The Iranian Horn is Nuclear Capable: Daniel 8

Iranian flag in Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant. on November 10, 2019, [Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images]

Iran uranium capable of making 3 to 5 nuclear bombs: ex-Israel official

June 2, 2023 at 2:33 pm

Iranian flag in Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. on November 10, 2019, [Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images]June 2, 2023 at 2:33 pm

A former head of Israel’s military intelligence, on Thursday, claimed that Iran possesses a quantity of uranium capable of making three to five nuclear bombs, Anadolu Agency reports.

Speaking to the Israeli public broadcaster, KAN, Amos Yadlin said that the recent report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not reveal anything new, adding that it is known to Israel that Iran is capable of making nuclear bombs.

On 24 May, Israel’s army Chief of Staff also said Iran has made unprecedented progress in its uranium enrichment program.

“Iran has made more progress in the field of uranium enrichment than ever before. We are closely examining additional domains that lead to nuclear capability,” said Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi at the Herzliya Conference.

Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb, a claim denied by Tehran, which says its program is designed for peaceful purposes.

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the landmark agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to retaliate by taking steps away from its nuclear-related commitments. It has since gone on to surpass limits on the amount of uranium it is allowed to possess, as well as the levels to which it is allowed to enrich the nuclear material.

The Strategy Behind Trampling Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

The Strategy Behind Repeated Rounds of Fighting in Gaza



Ma’ariv, Israel, May 27

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a landmark speech on June 14, 2009, presenting a different vision for the potential resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This appeared to contradict his long-held ideologies. The source of this shift is likely attributed to newly elected US President Barack Obama and his first diplomatic visit to the region. Making his debut in Egypt, Obama delivered a speech at Al-Azhar University on June 4, 2009, wherein he expressed solid support for a two-state solution. In his speech, he further remarked that the status quo, with millions of Palestinians without a state, was no longer sustainable. In no uncertain terms, he declared the Palestinian people’s aspirations for statehood and sovereignty legitimate. The proximity of the dates between then-President Obama’s speech in Cairo on 4 June 2009 and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at Bar-Ilan University, a week and a half later, indicate why Netanyahu publicly referred to the two-state solution. The choice of Bar-Ilan University as the venue was clearly deliberate, a symbolic gesture of symmetry meant to compliment Obama’s Cairo address. At that time, Netanyahu understood that he would be dealing with Obama for at least one presidential term, and as it transpired, he was faced with the president for two full terms, until 2017. Knowing this, he was seemingly hesitant to break the rules at the outset of the term of the American president on the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; as such, he voiced his willingness to discuss the two-state solution, even though he had probably already devised a way to “kill the issue” at a later stage. What was the gimmick that Netanyahu devised to terminate the two-state idea? He conceived of a new balance of power among the Palestinian people. It will gradually weaken the Palestinian Authority while bolstering Hamas, an unrecognized and illegitimate entity. Through this measure, Netanyahu sought to limit the conflict’s intensity and its effects in the Gaza Strip. And since Hamas is nothing more than a terrorist organization, the international community will be unable to push for progress along the Palestinian path when Gaza is aflame. Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz was a true historical military and social thinker. Over the last two decades, there have been 18 rounds of fighting in the Strip; nearly one per year. What does this Clausewitzian strategy aim to achieve? Netanyahu’s own words at a Likud meeting in the Knesset confirm this thesis: namely, that the transfer of Qatari money to Hamas is part of a strategy to divide Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, thus preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state. In response to this, Clausewitz presumably wakes from his grave and inquires, “OK, but what is the end game?” To which Netanyahu has no clear answer except to think to himself, après moi, le déluge—after me, the flood. The consequences of Israel’s “conflict maintenance” policy are costly. Gaza’s civilians have long felt the heavy burden of its effects, with not only life and property lost but also increasing trauma for children and diminished quality of life for future generations. Meanwhile, Netanyahu is, with his own hands, building up Hamas to succeed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Israeli Defense Forces has just one tactic: a brief burst of combat followed by a cease-fire. This situation has also propagated a dangerous coalition of enemies, as far east as Iran, that refers to a “multipronged scenario” stretching all the way to the Mediterranean. Netanyahu’s strategy of attempting to draw Jordan into joining the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians fell short. Attempting to understand the reasoning behind this action would require a separate piece of writing. Fortunately, it did not come to fruition. To deliver a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, two choices present themselves. The first option involves waiting for the return of the United States and the establishment of a moderating alliance between the Sunni-majority countries, including Israel. The purpose of such an alliance would be to create stability in the region, prevent Iran from gaining ground, and promote the resolution of the conflict. The second alternative would be to wait for a chance to remove Hamas from Gaza completely. —Shabtai Shavit, former head of the Mossad (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mi

Why Putin will nuke Ukraine: Revelation 8

Why Putin will use nuclear weapons

All the signs suggest Russia has made up its mind


He is ready to use nuclear weapons whenever he wants to. Credit: Contributor/Getty Images

Retired Brigadier General Kevin Ryan is a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He served as US defense attaché to Moscow and deputy director for strategy, plans and policy on the Army Staff.

June 2, 2023

However you try to spin it, the drone strikes that struck Moscow’s wealthiest neighbourhoods on Tuesday night represented a grim turning point in Putin’s flagging campaign against Ukraine. The surprise attacks — which killed eight people, and for which Kyiv has denied all responsibility — were the first against Russian civilians since the war began. They were also the most significant incursion into Russian territory since the Second World War.

Putin was quick to brand the strikes a “terrorist” act, while a rattled Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenaries, gave war chiefs a dressing-down for their inability to prevent three of eight drones from evading Russian air defences. Yet while this all provided a morale boost for the Ukrainian war effort, the question of retaliation hangs in the air.

Fifteen months into the war, Putin’s bombs have not broken Ukraine. An influx of 300,000 new soldiers over the winter has done little to improve the fighting of Russian units, and the reported deployment of tanks from the Fifties has added fuel to the rumour that Russian munitions are running out. Indeed, Russian military commanders appear to have exhausted their ability to effectively respond to Ukrainian escalation. It is becoming clear, in my view, that the only way Russia can meet escalation with escalation is by introducing nuclear weapons.

Many Western experts say they take the threat of a Russian nuclear strike in Ukraine seriously, but make the mistake of asserting that the odds are low. Last month, for instance, Avril Haines, the US Director of National Intelligence, told a Senate hearing that Putin’s weakened conventional force would make the Russian President more reliant on “asymmetric options” for deterrence, including nuclear capabilities — but he also said it was “very unlikely” that Moscow would do so. Speaking at the same hearing, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, also assessed the chances as “unlikely”.

And yet, there is strong evidence that Putin has resolved to use a tactical nuclear weapon in his war in Ukraine. In recent speeches and interviews, he has argued that Russia faces an existential threat — a situation, under Russian policy, that warrants the use of nuclear weapons. He has also reshuffled his military leadership, so that the three generals responsible for the employment of tactical nuclear weapons now command his “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Moreover, while Nato has made it clear that it will not sanction the use of its members’ nuclear weapons to defend Ukraine, Putin already has tactical reasons to deploy them: to save Russian soldiers’ lives, to shorten the war, to destroy Ukrainian forces. He also has strategic reasons: to rejuvenate the deterrent value of his nuclear arsenal and to prove that he is not a bluffer. We must therefore assume he is ready to use them, most likely in response to his faltering military’s inability to sufficiently escalate by conventional means. In other words, the nuclear genie is out of the bottle.

For much of the last 80 years, Russia’s security has rested on two pillars whose relative strength has waxed and waned — its conventional ground forces and its nuclear weapons. The conventional forces have been used to influence, bully and force Russia’s neighbours and adversaries to bend to its will. The nuclear forces were intended to deter the United States and the West from interfering militarily in Russia and its perceived zone of influence. Since the end of the Cold War, however, Russia’s conventional forces have at times struggled with their share of the task. To compensate, Russian leaders have had to rely on their nuclear forces to do both: strategic nuclear weapons to deter the West and tactical nuclear weapons to threaten neighbours.

Today, a single nuclear strike in Ukraine could thwart a Ukrainian counterattack with little loss of Russian lives. For Moscow, this consideration is as much practical as it is moral: last year’s large-scale mobilisation and increase in military units showed that Putin’s army was too small for its task. Nevertheless, Russia has managed to create only a few new battalions because most new personnel and equipment simply replaced losses in existing units. Putin and his military leaders are running out of the people and material needed to achieve his goals.

At the start of this year, Putin took several public steps to demonstrate that he is not bluffing about using nuclear weapons. In February, he signed a law “suspending” Russia’s participation in New Start, the strategic nuclear arms treaty. This step officially ended joint inspections of American and Russian nuclear weapons sites and released Russia from the obligation to limit its number of strategic nuclear weapons — though Russia promised to do so.

Then, in March, Putin announced that he would station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, with a storage facility set to be built as early as July. Since Russia has already deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missile systems there — as well as thousands of troops — this would put nuclear delivery systems and warheads in close proximity to one another, greatly reducing the warning time of their use. Putin also suggested that Belarussian forces would be trained to use the weapons.

The Kremlin has taken these increasingly threatening steps in the belief that Nato and the West — in particular, the United States — is not paying attention to Russian demands on the global stage. In 2018, when Putin unveiled a bevy of new nuclear weapons, he warned: “You will listen to us now!” Except many didn’t: four years later, his invasion of Ukraine was a wake-up call for those who had ignored him.

Despite this, some in Russia undoubtedly fear that the threat of a nuclear strike has begun to ring hollow. And for Putin, whose regime is vulnerable, to threaten a tactical nuclear attack without following through now carries perhaps as much risk as striking. As a result, besides warning the West that he might use a nuclear weapon, the Kremlin has, step by step, prepared the Russian people with reasons why he should use nuclear weapons. Among these justifications, Putin has repeatedly invoked “whataboutist” comparisons to the United States. When announcing plans for deployment of Russian nuclear weapons to Belarus, he said: “The United States has been doing this for decades. They have long… deployed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of their allied countries, Nato countries, in Europe, in six states… We are going to do the same thing.” Putin has also repeatedly referenced American nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and equated American goals then — to save soldiers’ lives and shorten the war — with Russian goals today.

He has, for instance, made clear to the Russian people that Moscow’s red lines for the use of nuclear weapons, spelled out in its official documents, have all been crossed since the invasion. These include the claim that the very survival of Russia is at stake in the current struggle — and at last month’s Victory Day parade, Putin declared that the West’s “goal is to achieve the collapse and destruction of our country”. Another of Russia’s officially designated red lines is attacks “against critical governmental or military sites of the Russian Federation, disruption of which would undermine nuclear forces’ response actions”. Perhaps in light of this, Moscow has alleged that Ukrainian drones have struck strategic nuclear bomber planes inside Russia, and that Ukraine and the US are responsible for drones launched to assassinate Putin. All these claims, the real and the fabricated, are used to establish the pretext for Putin to use nuclear weapons.

In response, a number of Western observers have pointed out that, since we have not seen any movement of nuclear weapons, we have no tangible signs of intent to use them. I disagree. Last autumn, officials in Kyiv reported that Russia was firing “Kh-55 nuclear cruise missiles” with dummy warheads. Observers suggested these missiles — which are designed to carry only a nuclear weapon — were launched to erode Ukrainian air defences by “decoying” them into destroying the Kh-55s rather than missiles with conventional explosives. This claim makes little sense: missiles, even unarmed, would be too valuable for Russia to use as decoys. What does make sense, however, is launching Cold War-era missiles with dummy warheads to test their reliability for use in a real nuclear strike.

But what will trigger Putin’s decision to launch? Most likely it will be the inability of the Russian military to meet his demands by conventional means. If a Ukrainian offensive threatens, for example, the loss of Crimea, Putin would seek an escalation of the fighting to prevent that loss. If the conventional forces could not successfully respond, a nuclear strike against the Ukrainian forces would be deployed. As he announced last September, on the night he illegally added four Ukrainian provinces to Russia: “If the territorial unity of our country is threatened, in order to protect Russia and our nation, we will unquestionably use all the weapons we have. This is no bluff.”

At home, too, there are push factors that may further embolden Putin. Most urgently, he is under pressure from Russian nationalists, who supported him in his rise to power, but are now vocal in their dissatisfaction. Some, like former FSB officer Igor Girkin, have openly criticised the senior military leadership, even Putin. That criticism may be morphing into opposition, forcing him to consider escalating his war before his conventional forces are ready.

Meanwhile, claims that Putin would be dissuaded from using nuclear weapons by important allies, such as China or India, are not borne out by the war thus far. Although Putin values the support of others, he has not shied away from putting that support at risk to get what he wants.

None of this is to say that we in the West should pressure Ukraine to forgo its goal to liberate all seized territory. But it does mean that we should anticipate a nuclear attack and develop possible responses. As soon as Russia uses a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, the fallout will start to spread. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians will be dead, suffering or dealing with the effects of the explosion. Hundreds of millions of Europeans will be bracing for war. But 7 billion others around the globe will go about their business, alarmed but physically unaffected.

Ultimately, this may prove more dangerous to the international order. The image that many people have of nuclear arms as civilisation-ending weapons will be erased. In its place, such weapons will have been “normalised” and, although tragic, acceptable in war. In this dramatically changed world, the burden is on the West to decide how to respond.

The Iranian Horn Continues to Grow: Daniel 8

Iran increasing nuclear stockpile while cooperating: IAEA


01 June, 2023

As of 13 May, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was estimated at 4,744.5 kilograms (10,459 pounds). The limit in the 2015 deal, which US withdrew from, was 202.8 kilograms.

The nuclear watchdog said in its quarterly report that Iran’s estimated stockpile of enriched uranium had reached more than 23 times the limit [Getty]

Iran has significantly increased its stockpile of enriched uranium in recent months, continuing its nuclear escalation, a confidential report by the UN nuclear watchdog on Wednesday seen by AFP said.

The agency, however, noted progress in its cooperation with Iran in a separate report saying it has decided to close the file on nuclear material at an undeclared site, an issue which has long exacerbated relations between the two parties.

The two confidential reports come days before the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is due to meet to review progress in addressing the watchdog’s remaining concerns.

The nuclear watchdog said in its quarterly report that Iran’s estimated stockpile of enriched uranium had reached more than 23 times the limit set out in the landmark 2015 accord between Tehran and world powers.

As of 13 May, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was estimated at 4,744.5 kilograms (10,459 pounds).

The limit in the 2015 deal was 202.8 kilograms.

The report also said that Iran is continuing its enrichment of uranium to levels higher than the 3.67 percent limit in the deal.

Wait, we can get the Sixth Seal? Revelation 6:12

Wait, we can get earthquakes in Western New York?


by: Christine GregoryPosted: May 28, 2021 / 12:40 PM EDT / Updated: May 28, 2021 / 02:34 PM EDT

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The short answer to that is, yes! And Thursday evening was a prime example of that.

At approximately 8:41 P.M., residents from Livingston County reported feeling the light tremor. It occurred about 30 miles southeast of Batavia and rated a 2.4 in magnitude on the Richter scale. USGS confirms earthquake reported in Livingston County

We typically don’t think of New York state for having earthquakes, but they certainly are capable of having them. 

Upon my own investigation, there does appear to be an existing fault line right nearby where the quake happened that may have contributed to the light tremor, but it is not confirmed by official sources.

The Clarendon-Linden fault line consists of a major series of faults that runs from Lake Ontario to Allegany county, that are said to be responsible for much of the seismic activity that occurs in the region. It is a north-south oriented fault system that displays both strike-slip and dip-slip motion. 

Strike-Slip Fault

Dip-Slip Fault

Clarendon-Linden Fault System

Image courtesy:

This fault is actively known for minor quakes, but is said to not be a large threat to the area. According to Genesee county, researchers have identified many potential fault lines both to the east, and to the west of the Clarendon-Linden Fault.

According to the University at Buffalo, they have proof that upstate New York is criss-crossed by fault lines. Through remote sensing by satellite and planes, a research group found that “there are hundreds of faults throughout the Appalachian Plateau, some of which may have been seismically active — albeit sporadically — since Precambrian times, about 1 billion years ago.”

The state of New York averages about a handful of minor earthquakes every year. In Western New York in December of 2019, a 2.1 earthquake occurred near Sodus Point over Lake Ontario, and in March of 2016, a 2.1 earthquake occurred near Attica in Genesee county. 

For an interactive map of recent earthquakes from the USGS click HERE.

~Meteorologist Christine Gregory 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Russian troops preparing nuclear power station for a meltdown

IAEA Director General Grossi travels to Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant

Russian troops ‘dismantling nuclear power station’ sparking fears for safety of plant

Russian troops around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant attacked the city of Nikopol and surrounding villages on the bank of Dnieper River with drones and heavy artillery, damaging several residences.


09:52, Fri, Jun 2, 2023 | UPDATED: 10:12, Fri, Jun 2, 2023

Zaporizhzhya power plant has been occupied by Russian forces (Image: Getty)

Ukrainian Nuclear Regulation Inspectorate head, Oleg Korikov, warned the situation at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant is “getting worse every day”. Korikov said Russian troops occupying the Zaporizhzhya plant are “causing direct damage to the nuclear safety and security of the plant”.

He continued: “In order to restore nuclear and radiation security, it is necessary to immediately withdraw the Russian military and Russian personnel.”

He added: “International partners were informed that the Russian invaders continue to exert intense pressure on the personnel of the ZNPP, resort to intimidation, search the private residences of the station employees, prohibit contact with persons who are in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government, and when people try to leave the occupied territory, they are not released and threaten confiscation of property.

“Representatives of Rosatom, who are illegally present at the ZNPP and are in fact complicit in the war crimes committed by the Russian Federation and its military, recruit personnel who do not have the appropriate qualifications.

IAEA Director General Grossi travels to Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant

Russian troops are causing direct damage to the plant (Image: Getty)

“Due to dismantling or theft by the Russian invaders of important elements of the systems, disabling of parts of computer equipment, etc., significant efforts and resources are needed to restore the physical protection system at the station.

“The occupiers almost completely degraded the emergency preparedness and response system at the ZNPP.

“By order of the occupying ‘administration’, the transmission of information from the Automated System for Monitoring the Radiation Situation (ASCRO) of the Zaporizhzhya NPP was blocked.”

Yes, Iran is Ready to Nuke US: Revelation 16

railway packages for containers with uranium hexafluoride salt, raw material for nuclear reactors
Iran has been escalating its program for years since the US unilaterally withdrew from its nuclear deal with world powers in 2018. (Reuters: Shamil Zhumatov)none

Iran increasing enriched uranium stocks, holding 23 times the limit, says nuclear watchdog

Posted Yesterday at 1:10pm

Iran has significantly increased its stockpile of enriched uranium in recent months, continuing its nuclear escalation, a confidential report by the UN nuclear watchdog said.

Key points:

  • Iran has enough uranium enriched to up to 60 per cent for two bombs
  • The IAEA estimates Iran’s stockpile is now 23 times the 202.8-kg limit imposed by the 2015 deal
  • The reports said Iran had given a satisfactory answer explaining the presence of uranium particles at one site

The agency, however, noted progress in its cooperation with Iran in a separate report saying it has decided to close the file on nuclear material at an undeclared site, an issue which has long exacerbated relations between the two parties.

The two confidential reports come days before the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is due to meet to review progress in addressing the watchdog’s remaining concerns.

The nuclear watchdog said in its quarterly report that Iran’s estimated stockpile of enriched uranium had reached more than 23 times the limit set out in the landmark 2015 accord between Tehran and world powers.

As of May 13, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was estimated at 4,744.5kg.Iran’s former president Hassan Rouhani visits nuclear facilities in April 10, 2021.(Reuters: Iranian Presidency Office)none

The limit in the 2015 deal was 202.8kg.

The report also said that Iran is continuing its enrichment of uranium to levels higher than the 3.67 per cent limit in the deal.

Efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal — which was left in tatters by the unilateral withdrawal of the United States in 2018 — have stalled since last summer.

The stockpile of uranium enriched up to 20 per cent is now believed to be 470.9kg — up 36.2kg since the last report in February — while the amount enriched up to 60 per cent stands at 114.1kg, an increase of 26.6kg and enough to make two bombs.

Enrichment levels of around 90 per cent are required for use in a nuclear weapon.

Reinstalled monitoring equipment

Meanwhile, the IAEA has been able to reinstall some monitoring equipment set up under the 2015 nuclear deal — but which was later removed by Iran — the reports said.

“Iran has allowed the agency to install monitoring equipment at two declared enrichment facilities,” it said.

Some additional surveillance cameras were also installed at workshops in Esfahan where “centrifuge rotor tubes and bellows are manufactured”.

However, the agency said it awaits Iran’s engagement to address “the completion of the installation of surveillance and monitoring equipment, access to data recordings and the gaps in the recordings.”

On the detection of uranium particles enriched to near bomb-grade at the Fordo plant, the IAEA said it has “no further questions on the matter” for now.

“The Agency assessed that the information provided (by Iran) was not inconsistent with Iran’s explanation for the origin of these particles,” the report said.

In a second confidential report, the IAEA said it has decided to close the file relating to the presence of nuclear material at one undeclared site after receiving a “possible explanation” from Iran.IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has been urging Iran to work together with the watchdog. (AP: Lisa Leutner)none

The watchdog “has no additional questions… and the matter is no longer outstanding at this stage”, the report said of the site at Marivan in Abedeh county.

The IAEA had reported the discovery of traces of radioactive material at three sites not declared by Iran, in a blow to efforts to restore the 2015 deal.

The Marivan site in the southern province of Fars is the first to be addressed under a work plan agreed by Iran and the IAEA in March.

The other two sites are Varamin and Turquzabad.

Iran has always denied any ambition to develop a nuclear weapons capability, insisting its activities are entirely peaceful.


The Ignorance of Babylon the Great: Revelation 17

June 2023
By Shannon Bugos

Ahead of a widely expected counteroffensive by Ukraine in its war with Russia, the U.S. intelligence community continues to assert that the likelihood of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons in the war remains low.

“It is very unlikely” that Russia would employ nuclear weapons, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told Congress during a May 4 hearing.

Gen. Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who also testified at the hearing, agreed with Haines, but added that, “in the nature of conflict, there is always that possibility” of nuclear weapons use.

The assessment followed Russia’s suspension in February of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the last Russian-U.S. nuclear arms control agreement still standing. (See ACT, March 2023.) Moscow has conditioned a resumption of the treaty and its associated activities, such as on-site inspections and detailed data exchanges, on Washington withdrawing support from Kyiv.

“Russia’s decision to suspend the [New] START may be reversible,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in an April 20 statement. “However, for this, the United States must show political will and abandon its aggressive policy of undermining the security of our country, taking practical steps towards a real de-escalation.”

Despite the Russian suspension, the United States has continued to provide broad unclassified data on its strategic nuclear arsenal. In this year’s first biannual data exchange, Washington reported that it deploys 1,419 warheads on 662 delivery vehicles, roughly the same data as in September. (See ACT, November 2022.)

“The United States continues to view transparency among nuclear weapon states as extremely valuable for reducing the likelihood of misperception, miscalculation, and costly arms competitions,” the State Department said in a statement accompanying the publication of the data on May 12.

Russia and the United States have emphasized that they will continue to adhere to an ongoing 1988 Soviet-U.S. agreement that requires the two nations to exchange notifications of launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Russia also expressed its intention to continue adhering to a 1989 Soviet-U.S. agreement that requires advance notification of major strategic exercises.

In mid-April, Russia announced a successful test of what the Russian Defense Ministry described as an “advanced” ground-based ICBM from the Kapustin Yar test site, with the training warhead hitting a mock target at the Sary-Shagan test site in Kazakhstan. (See ACT, May 2023.) The ministry said that the test was intended to “confirm the correctness of the circuit design and technical solutions” for the missile.

The ministry did not specify the type of ICBM, but experts suggest the test featured a nuclear-capable Sarmat ICBM.

On April 19, the United States tested a Minuteman III ICBM equipped with a reentry vehicle at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The Air Force said it traveled about 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. “This test launch reinforces what our allies and partners already know: We’re always ready to defend the United States with combat ready nuclear forces anytime, anywhere, on order, to conduct global strike,” stated Gen. Thomas Bussiere, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command.

This is a time for war: Deuteronomy

Doomsday Clock inches closer to midnight

By Josh Robin – Chief National Political Reporter New York City PUBLISHED 9:58 AM ET Jun. 01, 2023 PUBLISHED 9:58 AM EDT Jun. 01, 2023

Seventy-three years after Hiroshima, Japan, was leveled in an atomic explosion, the city recently hosted world leaders at the G-7 summit. Survivors of the bombing implored the leaders to ensure the devastation is never repeated.

But a leading nuclear war watchdog has determined the risks of nuclear war are the highest since it began counting, two years after the United States dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists points to the perils of war between the nuclear-armed Russia, and Ukraine, which the nuclear-armed NATO is supporting.

“We are kind of in this danger zone,” said Sharon Squassoni, a professor at the Elliott School of Public Affairs at The George Washington University who helped make that determination.

In January, the “Doomsday Clock” was set at 90 seconds to midnight — midnight defined vaguely, if disturbingly, as “an atmosphere where civilization is no longer possible or where great swaths of it’s going to be a world in which you are not going to want to live,” in Squassoni’s definition.

The number had never been higher, not even in the depths of the Cold War.

The Ukraine war, and Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling, was seen as the main driver of the added vigilance. Earlier this month, Russia and its neighbor Belarus formalized a deal to deploy Moscow’s tactical nuclear weapons there. Putin says the move followed the U.S. basing nuclear weapons in such countries as Turkey, Italy, Belgium and Germany.  

Organizers of the Doomsday Clock also cite climate change for the increased movement toward midnight. 

“I think the main message to take away is that the situation is urgent and steps need to be taken,” Squassoni told Spectrum News.

But others wonder whether armageddon is really all that near.

Steven Pinker, an author whose new book argues progress is on the rise, says of the Doomsday Clock, “the underlying attitude seems to be let’s just whip people into a lather of fear and dread.”

Pinker, a psychology professor at Harvard University, calls the clock’s accuracy “defective,” disputing the metrics used to determine its time to “midnight.”

“There always has to be some guesswork,” he said in an interview. “But right now, it has no relation at all to the degree of risk. I think a panel of experts whose goal was not ‘let’s terrify people,’ but whose goal was ‘let’s accurately quantify the risk,’ could do a better job.” 

Despite the assessment that the world has been heading towards the apocalypse, lifespans have also generally improved over the decades. And the number of nuclear weapons has declined over time, but are still seen as more than sufficient to annihilate humanity.  

Apart from the U.S. and Russia, nine countries are armed with nuclear weapons: the United Kingdom, France, China, North Korea, India, Israel and Pakistan. Three of those nations are members of the G-7, which in Hiroshima collectively called for“continued non-use of nuclear weapons, transparency and dialogue between nuclear and non-nuclear states.

The joint statement also justifies weapons that “serve defensive purposes, deter aggression and prevent war and coercion.”

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy attended the meeting, with leaders reiterating support for Kyiv. Squassoni says people should not conclude the Doomsday Clock’s warnings about nuclear war should take away from it the belief that fear of nuclear war should cause the U.S. to pull back from its support of Ukraine. 

“It is absolutely not in anybody’s interest that Russia simply subvert all of the rules of the so-called international order established after World War II,” she said. “What we are suggesting is that all of the channels for dialogue need to be heavily used.”

Squassoni also pushed back against the charge that the Doomsday Clock whips people into a “lather,” leading them to inaction because of the seeming futility of it all. She calls the Doomsday Clock a “meme,” a visual tool created by a panel that includes Nobel laureates meant to spur more research and advocacy. 

“Nobody wants to be painted as a Cassandra, ‘we’re running around saying the sky is falling’” she said. “It is not just to scare people, but to alert them that there’s a broad range of risks out there that we really need to pay attention to and put some effort against.

Still, she noted with a laugh, “I scare my family.”

More enriched Uranium and much less trust: Daniel 8

A picture taken on November 10, 2019, shows an Iranian flag in Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, during an official ceremony to kick-start works on a second reactor at the facility. – Bushehr is Iran’s only nuclear power station and is currently running on imported fuel from Russia that is closely monitored by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

5 years after U.S. left Iran nuclear deal, more enriched Uranium and much less trust

May 30, 20234:40 PM ET

It’s been five years since the U.S. pulled out of the nuclear deal. How close is Iran to a bomb? What can the U.S. do to stop them? And how are regional and global shifts changing the equation?


Five years, that’s how long it’s been since the U.S. walked away from the nuclear deal with Iran. Well, ask Iran’s foreign minister about the prospects for a new deal with the U.S., and here’s what you’ll hear.


HOSSEIN AMIR-ABDOLLAHIAN: (Through interpreter) This window will not be open forever.

KELLY: That is what Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told me through an interpreter in Tehran earlier this year. Here he is a month later on CNN.


AMIR-ABDOLLAHIAN: (Through interpreter) The window for an accord is still open, but this window will not remain open forever.

KELLY: You’ll hear near identical language in speeches and interviews going back to 2021. Funny thing is you will hear the same sense of urgency when you question American diplomats. Here’s Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, talking to me last year.


ANTONY BLINKEN: Mary Louise, we’re very, very short on time. The runway is very short.

KELLY: It was then-President Trump who, five years ago this month, yanked the U.S. out of the nuclear deal known as the JCPOA, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. What followed is the U.S. reimposed crushing sanctions. Over time, Iran stopped adhering to the limits the deal had imposed, and day by day, its nuclear program crept forward.


RAFAEL GROSSI: One thing is true, they have amassed enough nuclear material for several nuclear weapons, not one at this point.

KELLY: That’s Rafael Grossi, head of the IAEA, the United Nations nuclear monitor, speaking to European lawmakers in January. Doesn’t mean Iran has a nuclear weapon, Grossi says, but…


GROSSI: That trajectory is certainly not a good one.

KELLY: So what now? We’re going to spend these next few minutes considering that question, starting with Rob Malley. Today he’s the U.S. special envoy for Iran. He was the lead White House negotiator on that 2015 agreement that the Trump administration walked away from. How close is Iran to a bomb?

ROB MALLEY: So, I mean, the answer to that question is in two parts. First is the question of enrichment of uranium. And we know, we’ve said publicly, that they’re only a couple of weeks away from having enough. If they decided to enrich uranium to weapons-grade, they’d be very close to having enough for one bomb. I think the other question is how long it would then take them to have a bomb, to have the means of delivery. That’s classified information I can’t get into, but it would take longer. But we are focused very much on deterring Iran from making that decision to enrich at weapons-grade.

KELLY: I mean, they’re there basically, in terms of having the nuclear material that they would need to do this.

MALLEY: If they made that decision, they would have the weapons-grade uranium within a short period of time.

KELLY: So I put questions along these lines to Iran’s foreign minister.

Will Iran build nuclear weapons?

And he told me through an interpreter, we have high capabilities when it comes to peaceful nuclear energy. However…

AMIR-ABDOLLAHIAN: (Through interpreter) However, when it comes to our beliefs and values, we do not pursue the making of a nuclear bomb.

KELLY: So Rob Malley, he says they’re not pursuing a nuclear bomb. Do you believe him?

MALLEY: So first, our intelligence community has made the assessment public that we believe that at this point, they have not made the decision to pursue a bomb. We’re not going to rest on that assessment. And that’s why it’s very important for us, and President Biden has made clear, that we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. We will use deterrents to make clear to them that all options are on the table if we conclude that they’re taking steps that are tantamount to decision to acquire a bomb. But we also will pursue diplomacy because we think that’s the most verifiable and sustainable way to prevent them from getting a bomb.

KELLY: When you say all steps necessary, when you say Iran must not be allowed to get a bomb, what, if anything, at this point can the U.S. actually do about it?

MALLEY: So first, as I said, and this has been said from – for the last two and a half years, our preference is a diplomatic option. I think it’s been proven to be the most effective way and the most sustainable way to make sure that Iran doesn’t acquire a bomb. And we have a credible diplomatic path. But we also have a credible deterrence path. In other words, president has said all options are on the table. You could imagine what that means. He has said explicitly that the military option will be on the table. It is far from the preferred option, but he will do what it takes to make sure Iran doesn’t acquire a bomb. And we hope that we could resolve this through diplomatic means, and we’re prepared to go down that path.

KELLY: What does a credible diplomatic path look like at this point? The U.S. doesn’t talk to Iran and vice versa.

MALLEY: No, the U.S. doesn’t talk to Iran because – I mean, we don’t negotiate directly with Iran because Iran has decided not to go down that path. But we came very close to reaching a deal last August. In fact, all of the countries that were negotiating – whether it was the U.S., its European partners, Russia, China – all were in agreement with the proposal that had been put on the table by the European Union. Iran turned its back on that deal. Since that time, a lot has happened. Iran has engaged in a brutal repression of its peaceful protesters. It has delivered drones that Russia is using for its brutal invasion of Ukraine, and its nuclear program has advanced. So there have been changes…

KELLY: Which complicates efforts to negotiate with them.

MALLEY: Of course it complicates – of course.

KELLY: Yeah.

MALLEY: But Iran knows that if it wants to go down that path, we’re prepared to do it. Of course, we will not ignore the other issues that we face with Iran, whether it’s the detainment of several American citizens, hostages – and we’re engaged in indirect talks to get them out – or the other threats that Iran presents to our people and to our personnel in the region.

KELLY: Is the nuclear deal of 2015 – the one you negotiated for President Obama, is it dead?

MALLEY: You know, I’ve said this in the past, my job is not to – I’m not a necrologist. My job is not to pronounce death certificates.

KELLY: But is there any movement on it?

MALLEY: Our goal is to reach a diplomatic outcome with Iran that would verifiably ensure that Iran can’t acquire a nuclear weapon. We’re not there yet of course. And as I said, Iran is the one that turned its back on a very realistic deal. So I have to…

KELLY: Although it was the U.S. that walked out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

MALLEY: And that is true. And the president and the secretary of state have said it, and national security adviser said it only two weeks ago. It was a reckless decision that put us in a much worse situation.

KELLY: I guess it prompts the question, if you were Iran, would you sign another deal with the U.S., knowing that the U.S. has broken its word on this in past and knowing that it’s possible the Biden administration may be gone in two years?

MALLEY: That’s a decision for them to make. They could continue on the current path which has brought real economic problems for them. We will not be lifting our sanctions as long as we can’t enter into another nuclear deal. If they believe that they’re better off without one, that will be their choice.

KELLY: At some point, does the North Korea example become instructive? By which I mean the U.S. didn’t want North Korea to get nuclear weapons either, but it did. And the U.S. is having to hold its nose and live with it.

MALLEY: That’s not a scenario that we’re contemplating at all. It would not be in their interest, and it’s not something that President Biden would permit.

KELLY: Rob Malley, thank you.

MALLEY: Thank you.

KELLY: He is President Biden’s special envoy for Iran. So is he right – that the U.S. can stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon should it decide to do so? A question for our next guest, Iran expert, Vali Nasr. He is a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. And Professor Nasr, fact check for us, if you would, that assertion that the U.S. is not going to let Iran get a nuclear weapon. Realistically, can the U.S. stop them at this point?

VALI NASR: It’s not going to be easy. In other words, the U.S. could use military option against Iran, but it will not necessarily kill the program. And in fact, it will then push Iran to make the very decision that Rob Malley said Iran has not made yet, which is to acquire nuclear weapons. So the United States then would really have to contemplate continuing a war with Iran until it takes nuclear weapons away from Iran, which means a kind of military presence in the region that the United States does not want to contemplate and may not be successful at doing it.

KELLY: Fact check one more thing we just heard there from Rob Malley, that Iran has not yet decided whether to go nuclear or not. Does that square with your analysis?

NASR: I think so. I think for the longest period of time, Iran has really dangled its nuclear program as a way to get the United States to lift sanctions on Iran. We will mothball this program that you’re really very concerned about if you actually lift sanctions on us, so we can have a semi-normal economy and govern our country. That trust has broken down. In other words, Iranians are no longer convinced that the nuclear program will actually get sanctions lifted unless it’s a much, much bigger program, which is what they’re trying to do. But that has brought them much closer to actually crossing the red line and becoming a nuclear state.

KELLY: Let’s step back and consider an alternative. You have co-authored a piece that’s in Foreign Affairs magazine this month. The headline is “The Path To A New Iran Deal: A Regional Agreement Could Succeed Where Washington Failed.” Vali Nasr, briefly sketch out your argument.

NASR: Well, currently it does not look like we can get to a nuclear deal with Iran on the basis of the 2015 nuclear deal because neither sides trust the other one. The United States wants concessions from Iran that Iran is not willing to give to the United States directly and to the Europeans, and they’re not even able to talk anymore. Also, the United States, given pressure even in Congress on the administration, is not willing to lift sanctions or give Iran money that Iran needs. So engaging the region is a way of providing a political pathway to break the deadlock that the JCPOA is facing currently.

KELLY: You heard me asking about North Korea, if the U.S. has learned to live with a nuclear North Korea. Is that a possibility with Iran?

NASR: Well, Iran could end up looking like North Korea down the road. That analogy is not incorrect. In other words, the United States may be doing all the saber rattling, talking about all options being on the table. But in the end, the Iranians may calculate that the United States right now, at this moment in time, after the Iraq experience, with Ukraine on the table, is not going down a path of war with Iran. And as a result, the red line of what is tolerable with Iran will keep moving. So this is not out of the ordinary to think that Iran will continue to enrich material, will become more dangerous, but also will become poorer, more radical and a more difficult problem for the United States down the road.

KELLY: Vali Nasr is professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Thank you so much.

NASR: Thank you very much.

KELLY: To sum up, the U.S. does not want Iran to get a bomb. Iran says it does not want to get a bomb, even as it enriches uranium closer and closer to weapons-grade. And while neither Washington nor Tehran will pronounce the nuclear deal dead, Grossi, the U.N. nuclear chief, calls it an empty shell.