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North Korea and Iran Threat Updates

Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by Carol55, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Fatima, Thank you!

    It's important that we remain charitable to each other, what kind of example do we set if we don't.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  2. Byron

    Byron Archangels

    So, if Antichrist comes after the Warning, and Scripture says he will reign in Jerusalem, then not all Jews will have converted in Israel. In the nation of Israel during the reign of Antichrist they will oppose the true Roman Catholic Church like the messages from "godspeaks..." tells us.
  3. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    Will respond to this in the thread on the Era of Peace and the Divine Will thread.
    Mary's child and Byron like this.
  4. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Israel Believes Syria Strikes Took Out Nearly Half of Assad’s Air Defenses
    Syria was able to bring down the Israeli F-16 by taking advantage of a vulnerability in the way the crew flew the jet, initial probe finds

    Amos Harel Feb 12, 2018 10:38 AM 3comments https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news...ria-s-air-defenses-military-beliefs-1.5808981
    Israeli security forces examine the remains of an F-16 Israeli jet near the village of Harduf, Israel on February 10. Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

    Israel army: Drone was allowed to cross into Israel to prove Iranian aggression

    In Saturday’s exchange of fire Syria scored a rare success, downing an Israeli F-16 fighter jet with an antiaircraft missile, apparently taking advantage of a vulnerability in the way the crew flew the jet. Israel however destroyed nearly half of President Bashar Assad’s air defenses, according to military estimates.

    Senior Israel Defense Forces officials told Haaretz that the wide-ranging aerial operation over the weekend is considered a success and the army is aware of the risks involved in such an operation, which at times can also result in planes being hit. The strikes by Israel took out the batteries that fired missiles at its fighter jets and also hit four Iranian targets, including the drone control center and communications systems.

    Syria was able to down the Israeli plane because it was flying too high. That, at least, is the initial assessment based on an Israel Air Force investigation of the incident.

    Netanyahu struggles to draw red lines in Putin's Syria playground

    2/11/2018 Putin will let Israel continue attacking Syria, but will not stop Assad's military from trying to shoot down its planes
    Seven comments on the escalating Israeli-Iranian game of chicken
    2/11/2018 Israel may be decimating Syrian air defenses, but the searing image of a downed F-16I fighter gives Damascus a clear propaganda victory

    The F-16 was one of eight of the same model that took part in an attack on an Iranian command trailer at the T4 base near the city of Palmyra, deep inside Syria. It was from that trailer that members of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched the drone that penetrated Israeli airspace on Saturday, and which was intercepted over the Beit She’an Valley. Israeli army sources said Israel had tracked the aircraft in the course of its entire flight from the Palmyra area, through northern Jordan until it crossed into Israel.

    From the initial investigation it appears that at least one of the Israeli jets remained at high altitude, apparently to verify that the missiles that were fired at the Iranian trailer actually hit it. At that point, Syria’s aerial defense system fired an unusually large number of missiles, more than 20, of at least two types – long-range SA-5s and shorter-range SA-17s. The volley of missiles was clearly visible to Israelis in the north and even in the center of the country.

    Missile contrails seen in Israel during overnight strike in Syria

    The lead Israeli plane managed to spot the missiles and dive to evade them. The crew that was hit did not do that – and when the Syrian missile was close to their plane, the pilot and navigator abandoned it, using their ejection seat. The pilot sustained moderate injuries and the navigator was lightly injured.

    Israel Air Force sources believe that a warning regarding the antiaircraft fire also reached the crew that abandoned their aircraft, but for a reason that is still not clear, the crew did not manage to take complete evasive action. It’s possible that the crew was too focused on its aerial bombardment and therefore reacted in a way that made the plane vulnerable to being hit.

    Israel shoots down Iranian drone infiltrating from Syria.
    The investigation is expected to address operational aspects including deployment of the electronic warfare “mantlem,” which is designed to disrupt efforts to identify and hit the planes; carrying out the necessary maneuvers; and examining whether the squadron that carried out the mission may have had a bit of excessive confidence — this, in light of the fact that the force has carried out many dozens of attacks in recent years (as prior Air Force commander Amir Eshel told Haaretz last August) without being hit.

    The Israel Air Force has a long tradition of in-depth debriefings and therefore it is reasonable to anticipate that the reasons for the mishap will be clarified.


    2/11/2018 In first, Israel and Iran are engaged in a head-to-head confrontation
    Russia’s reaction to Syria’s downing of an Israeli fighter jet indicates Moscow’s broad support for Tehran and Damascus
    Israel and Iran are now, for the first time, engaged in a full-frontal confrontation on Syrian territory. That’s the main significance of Saturday’s day of fighting in the north.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  5. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Israeli Strikes in Syria Risk Forcing Russia to Adopt pro-Iranian Stance
    Following Iran's drone infiltration into Israel, cracks could be found in the working assumption that Moscow controls all of the moves in Syria

    Zvi Bar'el Feb 12, 2018 10:25 AM 0comments https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israeli-actions-in-syria-could-force-russia-to-take-pro-iranian-stance-1.5806999[​IMG]
    President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with Russian Olympic athletes at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside in Moscow, Russia. On Friday, Feb. 9, 2018Grigory Dukor/AP

    Key media outlets in Iran have so far preferred to quote the Syrian state news agency SANA and media outlets in Israel in their reports on events in Syria on Saturday. As expected, the headlines focused on the downing of an Israeli fighter jet and not on the interception of an Iranian drone – the careful wording attempting to distance Iran from any involvement in Saturday morning’s events. If these reports serve as an indication of Iran’s political and military position, they reflect an effort to avoid direct confrontation with Israel and continue to frame the conflict as being between Syria and Israel, and unconnected to Iran.

    Israel shots down Iranian drone
    2/10/2018 Israel army releases video of the event that sparked new hostilities between Israel and pro-Assad forces in Syria

    Iran is waiting anxiously for a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump, expected in May, about the future of the Iranian nuclear agreement and the option of new sanctions the administration wants to impose on Iran. A military clash between Israel and Iranian forces in Syria could play into Trump’s hands and those of the congressmen/women who would use such a conflict as proof that new sanctions need to be imposed on Tehran.

    Iran is part of a troika, including Russia and Turkey, that has unsuccessfully sought a diplomatic solution to the war. Iran doesn’t want to open another military front with Israel, which could lead Israel to start a war against Hezbollah. This strategy requires Iran to keep a low military profile not only with regard to Israel, but also toward Turkish forces that invaded northern Syria last month to stop Kurdish militias from taking over the border areas.

    Children carrying a part of a missile in Quneitra, Syria, February 10, 2018.\ ALAA AL-FAQIR/ REUTERS

    At the same time, it may be assumed that, as a rule, Iran has to coordinate its military actions with Russia – in order to prevent a situation in which a military clash with Israel sabotages chances of diplomatic action by Russia and could turn the presidential palace in Damascus into a target for Israeli strikes.

    On the other hand, this strategy also requires an explanation as to why an Iranian drone was sent toward Israel – an action that is of no military use to Iran and could (and indeed did) bring about an Israeli response of unknown extent, and present Iran as the aggressor.

    One explanation is navigational error rather than a tactical decision – or worse, a strategic one to goad Israel into a response. Another, less likely, explanation is that Iran wanted to show off the capabilities of the drone, in the context of reports made public this week that Iran is working on extensive production of Mohajer 6-model drones as part of its espionage and defense array.

    When it comes to military action in Syria, Iran is far more restricted by diplomatic considerations than Israel is. Israel enjoys almost unlimited U.S. backing and even limited Russian “permission” to operate in Syrian territory, as long as the target isn’t the regime itself but activities and facilities that can be linked to Hezbollah. But Iran, being a full partner both during the war and afterward, is obligated to maintain balance and coordination with the other partners.

    However, this balance does not give Israel free rein to test the limits of Russian patience. That is to say, to what extent Russia will allow Israel to carry out targeted actions when it is becoming clear that by turning a blind eye, it could expand and deepen Israeli military involvement – to the extent of fully opening up a military front.
    Israeli soldiers on the border with Syria, February 10, 2018.Gil Eliahu

    Growing cracks can be found in the working assumption that Russia controls all of the military and diplomatic moves in Syria, and can therefore prevent Iran and Turkey from operating in Syria to further their own interests. Russia was unable to prevent Turkey from invading northern Syria; it failed to turn the Sochi conference in late January into a significant step toward an overall cease-fire and subsequently to negotiate the establishment of a transitional government; and it didn’t deal with the deployment of pro-Iranian forces in southern Syria in a manner that might assuage Israeli concerns.

    Russia, which vigorously renewed its strikes on Idlib province in a bid to defeat the rebel forces and aid the regime’s takeover of the city and the district, needs the assistance of pro-Iranian militias in the area to complete the operation. This assistance places Russia in a bind: Between its desire to restrict Iranian influence; and its objective of ending the military conflict in favor of the Syrian regime, in which Iran plays a major role.

    Israeli involvement could, therefore, not only divert the focus of the fighting to an unexpected front. It would also force Russia to adopt an openly pro-Iranian strategy, when so far it has been trying to walk a fuzzy line, managing to maintain coordination with all sides.

    Israeli involvement could also influence the branding of the war in Syria from being a domestic struggle into a war against Israel, thus strengthening Iran’s position, that of Hezbollah and some of the militias, and underscoring the Syrian and Iranian claim that Israel and the United States are the entities wanting to perpetuate the war.

    As a result, Israel’s declared strategy of preventing Iranian forces from establishing themselves in Syria cannot ignore the web of diplomatic considerations dictating the actions of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Syria. At least in the foreseeable future, these three countries will continue coordinating their actions as allies and will make an effort to keep other entities, like Israel and the United States, out of the arena – especially after they managed to block any diplomatic or military move by Washington in Syria.

    In the short term, the continued conflict depends on a decision by the Israeli government and on considering the pressures being brought to bear on it by Moscow and Washington to hold back on its desire to loosen Iran’s grip in Syria.

    Israeli Air Force general: Syria strike is the most substantial since 1982
    2/10/2018 Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar says the Iranian drone was an advanced, low-signature model Israel has never before captured
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  6. Luan Ribeiro

    Luan Ribeiro Angels

    Would a war between Iran and Israel be enough to cause a high rise in the price of oil capable of affecting the world economy?
    garabandal likes this.
  7. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Luan, A big enough war would cause all sorts of instability. It's best we keep watch and keep praying.
    Mary's child and Luan Ribeiro like this.
  8. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Israel-Syria-Iran Flare-up: With Newfound Confidence, Assad Moves From Threats to Action
    If it turns out Iranian soldiers or 'advisers' were killed in the Israeli strike, the situation may go from bad to worse

    Amos Harel Feb 11, 2018 8:25 AM 4comments https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news...-assad-moves-from-threats-to-action-1.5806625
    Netanyahu and cabinet ministers on the Golan Heights, February 6, 2018 קובי גדעון / לע"מ

    The incident Saturday on the Israeli-Syrian border signifies a grave escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel on one hand and Iran and the Assad regime on the other. The threats have been replaced by actions – the exchange of fire on the border and deep within Syrian territory – and these tensions have no end in sight.

    According to the Israeli army, this is what transpired: In the early morning, an unmanned Iranian aerial vehicle launched from the T-4 Syrian airbase near Palmyra in the south of Syria. The drone entered Israeli territory through the northern Beit She'an Valley and was shot down by an Israeli helicopter. In response, Israeli air force fighter jets attacked and destroyed the Iranian trailer in Syria from which the drone was launched.

    During the strike, Syrian aerial defense systems opened heavy fire at the Israeli jets. One of them, possibly hit by Syrian fire, was abandoned over Israeli territory. The pilots were taken to hospital, where one is in serious condition. This is the first such incident in the last 30 years.

    In a second response, Israel bombed 12 targets in Syria, four of which were Iranian sites, as well as Syria air-defense batteries. It remains to be seen whether this will end the exchanges.

    >>The threat of war between Israel, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah | Analysis

    The dramatic and unusual fact that the pilots ejected from the F-16 will probably be talked about extensively in the media in the coming hours, but one must not ignore the bigger implications of the events.

    Israel has, according to reports, already attacked a joint Syrian-Iranian weapons factory last September, followed by an attack on an Iranian militia base near Damascus in December. This morning, however, is the first time a manned Iranian target has been bombed. So far reports from Syria are few, but if soldiers or "advisers" were killed in the Israeli strike, it's a different story altogether.

    What does Iran want with the Israeli border? Since last summer, Israeli leadership has been warning of an Iranian attempt to gain a foothold in Syria, riding on the Assad regime's success in the civil war. This attempt includes deployments in southern Syria of some 10,000 Shiite militia fighters from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, under the auspices of Iran; erection of weapons factory in Syria; and Iranian talks with the Assad regime to establish an aerial and maritime base in Syria.

    The incursion into Israeli territory, which seems planned, is both a violation of sovereignty and a severe provocation. IDF spokesman Brigadier General Ronen Manelis used harsh words this morning, saying Iran is dragging the region into jeopardy and will pay the price. It seems, from his rhetoric, that this exchange is far from over.

    The Assad regime has long warned Israel that it would respond to Israeli strikes against convoys and weapons depots tied to Hezbollah in Syrian territory. A severe warning of this sort was sounded last week, after a bombing – attributed to Israel – of a weapons development facility near Damascus.

    The launch of anti-aircraft missiles on Israeli jets came as a response to Israeli incursion into Syria, but it is also an expression of the regime's newfound sense of power. Last March, in the same area of Palmyra, anti-aircraft missiles were fired at Israeli jets. One of the missiles, which entered Israeli territory, was intercepted by the Arrow defense system. That incident took place shortly after the regime took control of Aleppo. Since then, Assad has retaken practical control of over 80 percent of Syrian territory. In recent weeks, the regime has been carrying out a brutal campaign against rebel strongholds, including in an enclave near Damascus. Syrian self-confidence is also manifested in its willingness to exchange blows with Israel.

    The bombing of the Iranian trailer from which the drone was launched comes days after a publicized visit to the Golan Heights by Israeli cabinet ministers, armed with their uniform Uniqlo coats. But the signs of conflict have been felt in the air for months. The prime minister, defense minister and IDF chief have relayed warnings to Syria, Iran and Lebanon. A senior Israeli official estimated back in December that the advent of Shiite militias in southern Syria places Iran and Israel on a collision course.

    This tension, more than ever, is pulling in the big powers. For Russia, which still has fighter squadrons and sophisticated anti-aircraft batteries in northern Syria, the Assad regime – and even the Iranians, to some extent – are part of Moscow's camp, which has the upper hand in the Syrian civil war. The Trump administration has been signaling a more resolute stance towards the Iranians as compared with the Obama administration, which feared intervention in the country and was worried about thwarting what it perceived as its greatest achievement: The Iranian nuclear deal signed in Vienna in the summer of 2015. Did President Trump give Netanyahu a green light to engage Iran in the north?

    We are in the midst of a day of fighting on the Golan Heights, but the sides are on a very slippery slope.
  9. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Iranian drone infiltration, downed Israeli fighter jet: What we know about latest Israel-Syria escalation
    2/10/2018 Here are the events that transpired on Saturday morning, step by step

    Iranian drone infiltrates Israeli airspace early Saturday morning
    ■ Israeli aircraft intercept the Iranian drone
    ■ Israel bombs Iranian drone control site in Syria in response to infiltration
    ■ Syrian SA-5 and SA-17 air defense batteries target Israeli F-16 jet, prompting the pilots to eject
    ■ Two pilots evacuated to hospital, one in serious condition
    ■ Israel responds to downing of jet with a fresh strike, targeting 12 sites in Syria, four of which are Iranian
    ■ Israeli military says "Syrians and Iranians are playing with fire"
    ■ Senior Israeli official says Israel views the incidents of the border with "grave severity"
    ■ Sources in Damascus say that downing of Israeli jet was "strategic decision," but Syria has no interest in full-scale war
    Iran, Hezbollah warn Israel: Next act of aggression will carry 'severe response'
    ■ Hezbollah says downing of Israeli F-16 marks 'start of new strategic phase'
    ■ Israeli Ambassador to UN Danny Danon demands Security Council "put an end to Iranian provocation
    ■ Pentagon says U.S. supports Israel's 'inherent right to defend itself'
    ■ Netanyahu says he told Putin that Israel will defend itself against any attack from Syria
    Putin urged Netanyahu to avoid any step that would lead to a new confrontation
    As Syria and Iran Threaten Israel, America Signals Its Ally Is on Its Own
    Rex Tillerson’s Middle East tour includes Amman, Ankara, Cairo, Kuwait City, and Beirut, but not Jerusalem. That made little sense before the Iranian incursion yesterday: It would be malpractice now. He needs to come to Israel

    Daniel B. Shapiro Feb 12, 2018 2:47 PM 5comments https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east...alling-to-israel-you-re-on-your-own-1.5807630
    Rex Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State, arrives at Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) in Mexico City, Mexico, on Thursday, February 1, 2018.Bloomberg

    Even before Saturday’s dramatic events across the Israeli-Syrian border, there were legitimate questions about the degree of American engagement to help Israel manage the increasingly complex challenges it faces to the north.

    A visit to the region by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, upon which he embarked this weekend, has a chance to change that, to the benefit of both U.S. and Israeli interests.

    The U.S. focus in Syria has been to complete the defeat of ISIS in central and eastern Syria, provide support for Kurdish and Sunni allies in preventing an ISIS resurgence, and, to a degree, stemming an Iranian or Syrian-regime advance into areas formerly under ISIS control. The tools to effect these goals are limited: primarily 2,000 American troops, support for the Syrian Democratic Forces, and USAID-led stabilization efforts.

    Much less American attention has been directed at preventing the establishment of Iranian military facilities in Syria that could be used to launch attacks against Israel. An agreement intended to keep Iranian and Iranian-backed elements from approaching the Israeli border has no enforcement mechanism, and visitors to Israeli observation posts in the Golan Heights can look into Syria and see it observed in the breach.

    One reason for that lack of emphasis has been Israel’s effectiveness in addressing these threats by itself.

    Nearly 100 times over the past five years, according to former Israeli Air Force Commander Major General (ret.) Amir Eshel, Israel has struck at targets in Syria, primarily Iranian weapons shipments destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon. In the past six months, this campaign has been more openly acknowledged and more directed at actual Iranian assets inside Syria.

    The Trump Administration’s policy, much like the Obama Administration’s, has been to support Israel’s freedom of action to carry out such strikes. Neither Administration has deemed it desirable to engage in military action directly in such cases, and, in fairness, Israel has sought no such American role.

    The wreckage of an Israeli jet brought down by Syrian anti-aircraft defenses on fire near Harduf, northern Israel. Feb. 10, 2018Yehunda Pinto/AP

    Now, with yesterday’s penetration of Israeli airspace by an Iranian UAV, a serious escalation, the United States needs to upgrade its involvement.

    Israel responded to the incursion with strikes on multiple Syrian and Iranian targets, losing an F-16 to heavy Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Thankfully, the plane went down in Israeli territory with its crew members wounded, but alive. But it was the first Israeli fighter aircraft downed in combat in decades, and the prospect that it could have gone down in Syria, and its crew captured or worse, tells us how close we were to a far more dangerous event.

    As it happens, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is about to embark on a tour of Middle East capitals. It is a perfect opportunity to stop in Israel, coordinate substantive policy and strategic messaging with the Prime Minister, and execute a joint U.S.-Israeli strategy on other stops. Many Secretaries of State have done exactly that during similar moments of crisis.

    But oddly, Israel does not appear on the itinerary. Tillerson’s stops include Amman, Ankara, Cairo, Kuwait City, and Beirut, but not Jerusalem. That made little sense before the Iranian incursion yesterday. It would be malpractice now. The Secretary needs to come to Israel.

    Children looking at the remains of a missile launched from Syria that crashed earlier in Alonei Abba, east of Haifa, in northern Israel. February 10, 2018JACK GUEZ/AFP

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  10. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    continued from above....

    The substantive objective would be to ensure that Israel and the United States are on the same page regarding threats from Syria and Lebanon. Since the Second Lebanon War of 2006, Israel’s policy has been to prepare for the next conflict with Hezbollah, which, in light of Hezbollah’s massive build-up of missiles and rockets aimed at Israel, appears inevitable, but to seek to postpone that conflict as long as possible.

    But several new elements complicate that calculus. One is, as noted, Iran’s increasingly aggressive push to insert weapons and personnel, both Iranian and Shia militia, at key locations in Syria to enable direct attacks on Israel. The base that the Iranian UAV flew from yesterday, which Israel struck later in the day, is one such facility.

    A second factor is the prospect that Hezbollah, under Iranian sponsorship, will establish production lines for precision-guided missiles in Lebanon. These weapons, which, in the next war, could pose a direct threat to critical Israeli targets like the Defense Ministry, airfields, and power plants, have been the primary focus of Israeli strikes on shipments from Syria to Lebanon.

    The prospect of a domestic production capability in Lebanon might cause Israel to recalculate whether it can afford to wait, or whether it must destroy those facilities in Lebanon sooner, potentially igniting a broader conflict.

    Hezbollah supporters in Kfar Kila on the Lebanese border with Israel to celebrate the crashing of an Israeli air jet and to denounce the Israeli retaliation on Syria. February 10, 2018ALI DIA/AFP

    Third, the role of Russia as a sponsor and protector of the Assad regime and an ally of Iran complicates Israeli strategy and even operations, but also presents opportunities to engage Russia to impose restraints on Iranian behavior.

    Tillerson and Prime Minister Netanyahu need to try to reach agreement on the U.S. diplomatic support for Israel’s ability to defend itself, chiefly by reinforcing Netanyahu’s own conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Secretary would be well-advised to add one additional capital to the end of his itinerary: Moscow.

    But Tillerson can also use his regional stops to seek support from other leaders, so the Russians, who are active throughout the Middle East, hear from a chorus of voices about the importance of reining in Iranian aggression before it produces a destabilizing war that no one wants — and Russia should not want either.

    Israeli solders taking positions in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near the border with Syria. February 10, 2018JALAA MAREY/AFP

    Beirut may be Tillerson’s most important stop of all. Hezbollah, while a wholly-owned Iranian proxy, is also a player in Lebanese politics. As such, it is not immune from considerations about its standing with the Lebanese public, even beyond its Shia base. Some clear messages from Tillerson to his Lebanese hosts about the risks posed to Lebanon’s infrastructure and population, where Hezbollah has embedded itself, if Iranian and Hezbollah threats against Israel trigger a full-scale war, could reinforce Israel’s deterrence.

    In the event of war, the United States will inevitably seek to lead the diplomacy to bring it to an end after Hezbollah has been dealt a decisive blow. But there will be immense suffering on both sides before it is through.

    Players throughout the Middle East watch for symbols. President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s visits to Israel conveyed strong support and friendship, and the lead White House role in managing this relationship.

    But the Secretary of State arriving at a moment of crisis demonstrates something else: Detailed coordination and determined vigilance by American and Israeli allies to jointly confront and deter real-time threats.

    And just as clearly, his absence - as he lands in capitals all around Israel - would tell the region that against Iran in Syria, Israel is on its own.

    Daniel B. Shapiro is Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa, in the Obama Administration. Twitter: @DanielBShapiro
  11. jackzokay

    jackzokay Angels

    So let them become 'best buddies...'
    I don' think they're breaking any rules by so doing. France, UK, United States, Germany have been 'best buddies' for years.
    Its only natural that countries form economic and trade alliances.
    What of it?
  12. jackzokay

    jackzokay Angels

  13. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Iran hints at seaborne reactors while respecting nuclear deal
    Francois Murphy February 22, 2018 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...s-while-respecting-nuclear-deal-idUSKCN1G625G

    VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has fired a diplomatic warning shot at Washington by raising the prospect of building nuclear reactors for ships while staying within the limits set by its atomic deal with major powers, a U.N. nuclear watchdog report showed on Thursday.

    FILE PHOTO: A display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran September 27, 2017. Picture taken September 27, 2017. Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/TIMA via REUTERS

    U.S. President Donald Trump has long railed against the 2015 nuclear deal for reasons including its limited duration and the fact it does not cover Iran’s ballistic missile program. He has threatened to pull out unless European allies help “fix” the agreement with a follow-up accord.

    Since Trump took office more than a year ago, Iran has stayed within limits on items including its stock of low-enriched uranium imposed by the deal, which also lifted painful international economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

    A quarterly report on Iran by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, which is policing the deal’s restrictions, showed that Iran remained compliant, but also that it had informed the agency of a “decision that has been taken to construct naval nuclear propulsion in future”.

    Iran has raised that prospect in public statements before. In 2016, President Hassan Rouhani ordered the start of planning on the development of nuclear marine propulsion in reaction to what he called U.S. violations of the nuclear deal.

    Rouhani was alluding to the lack of economic benefit to Iran from the deal because many companies including big Western banks continue to shun the country for fear of breaching separate U.S. financial sanctions that stayed in place after other sanctions were rescinded.

    Analysts have said Iran is many years or decades away from having naval nuclear capacity. But mentioning it evokes both projecting military might and potentially enriching uranium beyond the limit of 3.67 percent purity imposed by the deal.

    A senior diplomat said it was not clear from Iran’s statement to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) whether it was referring to those previous statements, but they appeared to be a reaction to Trump’s comments.

    “Formally there is no clarity on this. But informally yes, why now? So obviously there is a link ... to the possibility that the JCPOA’s future is questioned,” the senior diplomat said, referring to the 2015 deal by its full name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

    Iran’s notification on marine propulsion could cover a range of intentions over any period of time, meaning there was no cause for concern, the senior diplomat said.

    Iran has yet to respond to the IAEA’s request for “further clarifications and amplifications”, the report said, adding that if Iran had reached a concrete decision to build new facilities for marine propulsion it must provide design information.

    The confidential quarterly IAEA report follows a statement by Iran’s deputy foreign minister earlier on Thursday that Tehran will withdraw from the deal if there is no economic gains and major banks continue to stay away.

    Reporting by Francois Murphy; editing by Mark Heinrich

    Syria's war: Ghouta hit with incendiary rockets
    Ghouta is being hit by incendiary bombs that are intended to start large fires when they hit the ground. Osama Bin Javaid 2/23/2018
    more on Syria's Civil War
    More than 440 civilians have died in just six days in Eastern Ghouta alone.

    The area is now being hit by incendiary bombs that are appearing in the night skies, weapons that are intended to start large fires when they hit the ground.

    The opposition holds Russia and Iran responsible for the continuing bombardment, calling it a "genocide".

    Al Jazeera's Osama Bin Javaid reports from Gaziantep on the Turkish-Syria border.

    Trump describes Russia, Iran’s actions in Syria as ‘a humanitarian disgrace’
    Feb. 23, 2018 - 5:57 -
    Gen. Jack Keane on President Trump’s recent sanctions against North Korea and the president’s criticism of Russia and Iran for their actions in the Syria conflict.

    Iran warns of 'nuclear crisis' if JCPOA deal is scrapped 2/22/2018

    Graham: Iran should be held accountable for attacks on Israel from Lebanon 2/22/2018

    Iran could soon be spying on smartphones worldwide, report claims 2/21/2018
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018 at 9:58 PM

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