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Iran Threatens to Enrich Nuclear Fuel Higher than Ever If Demands Not Met

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

With the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, the Europeans are striving to keep the accord from collapsing. The Iranians, for now, are playing along—but on this condition: If they don’t receive the economic benefits promised them, they will not only exit the deal and go back to their old nuclear program, they’ll make it more advanced than ever. And they may just do it secretly, away from the eyes of international inspectors.

“If our interests are not materialized, we will withdraw from the nuclear deal and will enrich [nuclear fuel] to 20% degree or any level that we want out of their sight,” Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakh was quoted by the Fars News Agency as saying last week.

Previously, Iran claimed to enrich uranium to 20%—a medical-research-level grade much higher than needed for nuclear energy and well on the path to the 90% enrichment needed for nuclear weapons. So exceeding the 20% threshold would actually make Iran a greater threat than before. … Continue Reading

Beginning of Open War? Iran Launches 20 Rockets at Israel

Iran fired missiles at Israel directly instead of enabling terror partners instead. Illustrative image of rocket. By Joshua Spurlock

Iranian forces in Syria launched 20 rockets at Israel around midnight on Thursday in a dramatic escalation, less than 30 hours after the United States announced they were pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal. In the attack—reported by the IDF Spokesperson in a series of posts on Twitter—a number of rockets were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system. No injuries were reported by the attack, which targeted IDF posts on the Golan Heights in Israel’s north. The IDF Spokesperson later confirmed via Twitter that none of the rockets hit targets in Israel.

Israel’s response was the largest official series of strikes in Syria in decades. IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus tweeted that “dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria” were targeted and posted a map showing hits in more than 30 different locations across Syria. A sizable grouping of those targets were around the capital of Damascus.

“This Iranian aggression is another proof of the intentions behind the establishment of the Iranian regime in Syria and the threat it poses to Israel and regional stability,” said the IDF Spokesperson in a separate series of tweets, following up by stating that “the IDF will not allow the Iranian threat to establish itself in Syria. The Syrian regime will be held accountable for everything happening in its territory.”

The Times of Israel reported that the Iranian attack came from the south of Syria. The government-controlled Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said that Israel struck back by firing missiles at Syria, triggering Syrian air defenses. The SANA report claimed that Israel had also been behind a missile attack 24 hours earlier. … Continue Reading

Iran Warns of Rapid Nuclear Enrichment, ‘Trouble’ If US Nixes Nuclear Deal

April 22, 2018 Iran Nuclear Program, News

Could Trump fix the Iran nuclear deal? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers intended to increase the time it would take Iran to develop nuclear weapons if they ever chose to “break out” and move full speed towards nukes. There are many steps in that process, but a key step is developing the nuclear fuel for the bomb. And getting their nuclear fuel creation back to where they were before the nuclear deal would only take Iran four days.

That’s the threat from the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, who warned on Saturday they could rapidly restore their nuclear fuel enrichment back to their previously known top level of research-grade at 20 percent—weapons-grade is 90 percent—if the global powers dropped the nuclear deal. And that’s not all Iran could do.

Salehi, whose comments were published by the Fars News Agency, further said without providing details that Iran has other means to respond to the United States if they were to back out of the deal as President Donald Trump has threatened. Salehi said Iran is “prepared to move like an army” and hinted that American allies—perhaps including Israel—could also be targeted by Iran. “We hope that the other side makes a wise decision and avoids moves that would trouble them and others as well,” Salehi said. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Shows Drone Piece, Asks Iran: ‘Recognize This?’ and Warns Will Act ‘Against Iran Itself’ If Needed

February 18, 2018 Iran Nuclear Program, News

“Recognize this?” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds drone piece at the Munich Security Conference. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

One week after the Iranians dramatically escalated their conflict with Israel by flying a drone from Syria into Israeli airspace, Netanyahu escalated his own warnings to Iran in dramatic fashion on Sunday. “We will act, if necessary, not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself,” said the Israeli leader. In comments released by his office, Netanyahu noted that “Israel will not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves.”

During his speech to the Munich Security Conference, at which Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was present, Netanyahu noted that the Iranian diplomat “lies with eloquence” and his country denies its involvement in the drone incident. So to prove his point, Netanyahu brought an actual piece of the drone shot down by Israel with him and held it up to the conference. Said Netanyahu while displaying the drone wreckage, “Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should. It’s yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran: Do not test Israel’s resolve.” … Continue Reading

Secretary of State Says US-Europe Talks on Fixing Iran Nuke Deal ‘Underway’

January 28, 2018 Iran Nuclear Program, News

Will Europe join the US on Iran? German, EU flags in Square of the Republic in Berlin. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

United States President Donald Trump issued an ultimatum to Europe earlier this month—fix problems with the Iran nuclear deal or the United States will pull out of the accord this spring. On Saturday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed that talks have started and they are seeking to determine exactly what needs to be addressed to bolster efforts to counter Iran’s nefarious actions and nuclear ambitions.

Tillerson, in a press briefing published by the State Department, said they have agreed to work with Europe to “identify what areas we believe have to be addressed and a mechanism by which we can address those.” He said that working groups have been meeting in an effort to reach agreement on principles, “what is the scope of what we will attempt to address, and also how might we engage the Iranians on discussions to address these issues.”

Said Tillerson, “The work is underway. If it was easy, it would have already been done. We recognize the challenges, but we think we have to do everything we can to address those.” … Continue Reading

Germany Pushing for New Iran Sanctions to Keep Trump from Nixing Nuke Deal

Germany is trying to lead Europe on Iran. German, EU flags in Square of the Republic in Berlin. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

United States President Donald Trump was clear earlier this month when he said that Europe needed to increase restrictions on the Iranian nuclear and missile programs or else the US would terminate their role in the Iran nuclear deal. And it appears Germany was listening, because Der Spiegel reported on Saturday that Berlin is promoting new sanctions on Iran’s missile program and destabilizing activities in the Middle East, according to diplomats. The report said Germany, the UK, and France would intend the new sanctions—which would be outside the context of the nuclear deal with Iran—to acknowledge Trump’s concerns about Iran and to convince Trump to keep America in the nuclear accord.

The German Foreign Office had already tweeted that they “take note” of Trump’s statement on the Iran nuclear deal and that they would “talk to our European partners about next steps. We remain committed to the continued full implementation of the agreement.”

The Germans aren’t the only ones lobbying Europe to take the step. After Trump’s ultimatum, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on the topic. Netanyahu encouraged Macron that “Trump’s statement should be taken seriously and that those who wish to keep the deal should fix it,” according to a summary of that talk posted to Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Ofir Gendelman’s Twitter feed. Netanyahu also intended to discuss Iran with US Vice President Mike Pence during the American’s visit to Israel this week. … Continue Reading

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