The federal National Nuclear Security Administration is setting up an advanced network that can verify an attacker’s identity.
April 28, 2023
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The United States is wiring Ukraine with sensors that can detect bursts of radiation from a nuclear weapon or a dirty bomb and can confirm the identity of the attacker.
In part, the goal is to make sure that if Russia detonates a radioactive weapon on Ukrainian soil, its atomic signature and Moscow’s culpability could be verified.
Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine 14 months ago, experts have worried about whether President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia would use nuclear arms in combat for the first time since the American bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The preparations, mentioned last month in a House hearing and detailed Wednesday by the National Nuclear Security Administration, a federal agency that is part of the Energy Department, seem to constitute the hardest evidence to date that Washington is taking concrete steps to prepare for the worst possible outcomes of the invasion of Ukraine, Europe’s second largest nation.
The US government meanwhile said a US-organised convoy had reached Port Sudan to evacuate more US citizens by ship to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. It said hundreds of Americans had already left Sudan, in addition to the diplomats evacuated by air a week ago.
Speaking at a conference in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Mr Hamdok called for a unified international effort to persuade the Sudanese army chief and the RSF leader to hold peace talks.
“This is a huge country, very diverse … I think it will be a nightmare for the world,” he said.
“This is not a war between an army and small rebellion. It is almost like two armies – well trained and well armed.”
Mr Hamdok – who served as prime minister twice between 2019 and 2022 – added that the insecurity could become worse than the civil wars in Syria and Libya. Those wars have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, created millions of refugees and caused instability in the wider regions.
Tens of thousands of people are attempting to flee Sudan
Army commander Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF chief Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, disagree about the country’s proposed move to civilian rule, and in particular about the timeframe of the 100,000 strong RSF’s inclusion into the army.
Both factions fear losing power in Sudan, partly because on both sides there are men who could end up at the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed in the Darfur region almost 20 years ago.
Millions of people remain trapped in Khartoum, where there are shortages of food, water and fuel.
South Korea possesses the necessary technological capabilities to rapidly acquire nuclear weapons, potentially within a year, should it decide to pursue that path. However, South Korea has deliberately chosen to uphold its commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, President Yoon Suk Yeol said Friday.
Speaking at Harvard University’s Kennedy School in Boston, Yoon addressed growing public calls within South Korea for the country to pursue its own nuclear armament amid escalating North Korean missile threats.
When asked about whether the Washington Declaration implies South Korea’s recognition of North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, he said it did not.
“I object to approaching North Korea’s nuclear issue as disarmament, not as denuclearization,” he said.
Yoon and Biden said they adopted the declaration during their summit on Wednesday.
Under the Washington Declaration, South Korea and the US will launch a nuclear consultation group as a new mechanism to focus on nuclear and strategic planning issues. It would facilitate “systematic operations” of information sharing and the movements of strategic assets of the two countries.
President Yoon said of the Washington Declaration that it was an “inevitable choice.”
Regarding Korea-Japan relations, he said there will be a lot of emotional conflicts related to the colonial period in the past, but “We can’t move forward unless the historical issue is sorted out.”
The Asahi Shimbun reported on the day that the governments of Korea and Japan are coordinating the direction of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Korea on May 7-8.
Shuttle diplomacy between Korea and Japan has been suspended for more than a decade. The last time it was active was in December 2011, when former President Lee Myung-bak visited Kyoto and held talks with then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
Riots during Operation Guardian of the WallsYossi Aloni/Flash90
Arab analyst Ahmad Abu Zouhari has written that the balance of power between Israel and the “opposition axis” has changed, and Israel will pay a very heavy price in the next military conflict.
In an article in Hamas’ official newspaper, Falastin, Abu Zouhari writes that Israel is currently in a fearful situation in several respects: diplomatic, security, and military, all relating to the increase in military threats and concerns that the next conflict may include multiple parallel attacks conducted from Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Lebanon, and Syria, similar to what took place during Ramadan in 2021.
According to him, faced with this situation, which may bring about a collapse of the internal front and extremely heavy damages, Israel may act to thwart the threat or reduce its influence, by reaching a quick conclusion.
Abu Zouhari suggested that Israel may attempt to do this by, among other means, initiating the first strike, eliminating senior officials, massive aerial strikes, destruction of infrastructure, and intentionally harming civilians.
Abu Zouhari emphasized that Israel will pay a very heavy price for any mistakes it makes while dealing with the “resistance organizations,” since the equation of the relationship between the sides has changed since Operation Guardian of the Walls in 2021.
Protests against the legitimacy of Iran’s Islamic Republic continue to sweep across the vast country triggered by a multitude of reasons including rising food prices, the collapse of a twin-tower apartment building killing at least 29 people (with more dead feared under the rubble) and a considerable loathing of the clerical regime.
During Thursday night’s protests in the southwestern city of Abadan, where the building had collapsed, people chanted slogans against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself, saying “Khamenei is a murderer; his rule is illegitimate,” despite the deployment of riot police.
Police fired tear gas into the air to disperse the angry crowd of hundreds near the building site, online video analyzed Saturday shows. Videos shared online showed a massive crowd near the Metropol Building on Friday night, with lights shining on its facade. In a second video, demonstrators at street level are seen chanting: “Our enemy is here; they lie that it is America!” A third video showed an angry crowd with one shot heard. The person filming turned and ran, shouting: “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!”
According to human rights activists and Iranians meticulously documenting the regime’s violent crackdown, at least five people have been killed and scores of demonstrators have been incarcerated.
In this photo released by official website of the office of Iranian Senior Vice-President, on Friday, May 27, 2022, ruins of a tower at under construction 10-story Metropol Building remains after it collapsed on Monday, in the southwestern city of Abadan, Iran. (Iranian Senior Vice-President Office via AP)
The shocking deaths in Abadan prompted Iranian actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi to devote part of her acceptance speech to the suffering victims after winning best actress at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Saturday. Amir Ebrahimi lives in exile due to a smear campaign regarding her romantic life.
“The Biden administration and EU continue to talk about social justice but that just seems to be cheap talk for votes,” Banafsheh Zand, an Iranian-American journalist and human rights expert, told Fox News Digital. “That social justice does not seem to extend to everyone around the world though.”
“That Biden did not even address the disaster in Iran and the huge anti-regime demonstrations, is another sign of him wanting to cover up the Khomeinist regimes’ crimes against humanity, just so he can make his disastrous [nuclear] deal,” she added. “The Iranian people, for the most part, now consider both the Democratic Party and the European leaders as hypocrites and foes.”
Lisa Daftari, also an Iran expert, wrote on her website, The Foreign Desk, “As protests enter their third week in provinces across Iran with demonstrators calling for the death of the Iranian supreme leader and the overthrow of the hard-line, radical regime, the Iranian opposition is coming to social media in droves expressing their frustration at being generally ignored and unsupported by the international community.”
She continued, “The protesters, whose platform is mainly centered upon the government’s corruption and lack of human rights, have a global message; they’re calling out the regime spending billions of dollars on its terror ambitions and leaving the Iranian people without subsidies to purchase basic goods and live comfortable lives.”
March 08, 2020: A huge mural of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei Iran’s Supreme Leader painted next to a smaller one of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (R) seen on Motahari street on March 8, 2020 in Tehran, Iran. The message on the wall reads “The power and influence and dignity of America in the world is on the fall and extermination” and on top of the building, another slogan reads “We are standing till the end”. (Photo by Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)
Daftari, who speaks fluent Farsi, quoted one anti-regime activist saying: “I just want the international community to place themselves in our situation, and explain how they would feel. If your entire life is ruined because of a bunch of terrorists and others don’t care about you, how would you feel?”
The lack of strong condemnation of the Iranian regime’s violent crackdown on dissent and of solidarity for the protesters from the international community has, according to Daftari, “to do with the desire of major Western countries to negotiate and revive the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran.”
The US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany are desperately trying to reach a deal with Iran’s regime in Vienna to provide economic sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran promising to temporarily restrict its production of nuclear weapons.
Len Khodorkovsky, a former deputy assistant secretary of state in the Trump administration and senior adviser to the U.S. representative for Iran, tweeted, “I know what President Trump said to the Iranian people during #IranProtests. President Biden, your turn.”
Khodorkovsky embedded a tweet from Donald Trump from 2020 in which the former president declared that he stands with the people of Iran and added: “We are following your protests closely. Your courage is inspiring.”
President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, meets with senior White House advisors Tuesday evening, Jan. 7, 2020, in the Situation Room of the White House, on a further meeting about the Islamic Republic of Iran missile attacks on U.S. military facilities in Iraq. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
On May 16, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted, “Brave Iranian protesters are standing up for their rights. The Iranian people have a right to hold their government accountable. We support their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression online and offline − without fear of violence and reprisal.”
Iran’s regime is following its playbook used in past protests against the theocratic state. Iranians in Khuzestan, Esfahan and Tehran reported significant, serious disruptions to internet access, including blockages when trying to upload images of protests to social media.
Amir Taheri, a veteran Iranian journalist who has written extensively about the Islamic Republic, tweeted: “The Khomeinist clique see use of force as sole method for calming public discontent. They are sending armed anti-riot units to make large scale arrests in Khuzestan cities: Abadan, Ahvaz, Shadegan, Dezful & Izeh. Their incompetence is matched by their violence.”
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