Israel’s Doomsday and I
Israel’s Doomsday and I
Haaretz - 42 minutes agoAvigdor Lieberman was asked yesterday during a closed meeting what will happen tomorrow night. The questioner hoped to hear the foreign …
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Israel, officially the State of Israel ( play /ˈɪzriːəl/ or play /ˈɪzreɪəl/; Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, Medīnat Yisrā’el, IPA: [me̞diˈnät jisʁäˈʔe̞l] ( listen); …On May 14, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council declared the …Military equipment - Israeli Air Force - GOC Army Headquarters
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6 hours ago – Ex-CIA chief: “Only the U.S.” can strike Iran nuclear sites effectively … The senior diplomat said the diagram was part of a series of Iranian computer-generated models … The Jewish state insists it will not tolerate an Iran armed with nuclear arms. … That’s a pic of the IDF / Hasbara propaganda arm at work.
Aug 22, 2012 – FIrst of all, Iran will not use the nuclear weapon against Israel. … was afraid of coup by the military who would succumb to Nazi propaganda that the war was being fought for the Jews ….. Stuxnet computer virus, drones, loyalty, shared …. Little has changed as to either the dynamics or goals of the model. The …
Sep 10, 2012 – There is as yet no evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. …. hopes that it will not devolve entirely into an anti-Zionist propaganda organ. … the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that … People like this bring to mind the old Jewish adage (and I find it rather …
www.timesofisrael.com › Israel & the Region
Sep 11, 2012 – On Tuesday, diplomats told the Associated Press that Iran had … power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models …. Panetta is a bureaucrate with a fancy titile, stating the propaganda of the Obama administration. …. Jewish and Arab protesters square off in Jerusalem after Friday stabbing …
https://plus.google.com/…/posts/U8gGLUoyoJUSid Harth – 20 seconds ago – Limited –
Iran: Nuclear Device Computer Models, Jewish Propaganda and I Iran Nuclear Research, Jewish Propaganda and I
Oct 29, 2012 – The progress marches on in Iran toward a nuclear weapon. … on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it has run. ….. And don’t e-mail me through the Sun with that lame propaganda of yours anymore. … (I am not Jewish although in my mixed dna.
Oct 10, 2012 – Because in political relations right now, the nuclear bomb is of no use….we don’t need such weapons. … fear of arrogant powers or an onslaught of international propaganda. ….. very wrong and harmful to Jewish-Iranian relations or something. …. Herman and Chomsky’s “propaganda model” describes five …
Sep 11, 2012 – In November of 2011, an IAEA report did not state Iran has a nuclear … that Iran has moved further toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon, according to Bloomberg. The new evidence consists of Iranian computer models calculating … propoganda, the police state, war on terror, the intelligence services …
Mullah regime would try to blanket Jewish state with blasts … “suggest that Iran made computer models of a nuclear warhead and include satellite imagery of … Noam Chomsky: The Myth of the Liberal Media – The Propaganda Model of News …
Advanced Simulation and Computing and Institutional Research & Development
ASC simulations are central to U.S. national security, as they provide a computational surrogate for nuclear testing. NNSA’s ability to model the extraordinary complexity of nuclear weapons systems is essential to establish confidence in the performance of our aging stockpile. ASC tools enable nuclear weapons scientists and engineers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire weapons lifecycle from design to safe processes for dismantlement. Also, through close coordination with other government agencies, ASC tools also play an important role in supporting nonproliferation efforts, emergency response, and nuclear forensics.
Iran studying potent nuclear bomb
Iran studying computer simulations of potent bomb
- Scientists in Iran have run computer simulations for mega-bomb
- Bomb would be more powerful than explosive dropped on Hiroshima
- Leaked diagram sheds possible light on Iranian intentions
5:31PM EST November 27. 2012 – VIENNA (AP) — Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a diagram obtained by The Associated Press.
The diagram was leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran’s atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran’s nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon. The officials provided the diagram only on condition that they and their country not be named.
The International Atomic Energy Agency — the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear watchdog — reported last year that it had obtained diagrams indicating that Iran was calculating the “nuclear explosive yield” of potential weapons. A senior diplomat who is considered neutral on the issue confirmed that the graph obtained by the AP was indeed one of those cited by the IAEA in that report. He spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue.
The IAEA report mentioning the diagrams last year did not give details of what they showed. But the diagram seen by the AP shows a bell curve — with variables of time in micro-seconds, and power and energy both in kilotons — the traditional measurement of the energy output, and hence the destructive power of nuclear weapons. The curve peaks at just above 50 kilotons at around 2 microseconds, reflecting the full force of the weapon being modeled.
The bomb that the United States dropped on Hiroshima in Japan during World War II, in comparison, had a force of about 15 kilotons. Modern nuclear weapons have yields hundreds of times higher than that.
The diagram has a caption in Farsi: “Changes in output and in energy released as a function of time through power pulse.” The number “5” is part of the title, suggesting it is part of a series.
David Albright, whose Institute for Science and International Security is used by the U.S. government as a go-to source on Iran’s nuclear program, said the diagram looks genuine but seems to be designed more “to understand the process” than as part of a blueprint for an actual weapon in the making.
“The yield is too big,” Albright said, noting that North Korea’s first tests of a nuclear weapon were only a few kilotons. Because the graph appears to be only one in a series, others might show lower yields, closer to what a test explosion might produce, he said.
The senior diplomat said the diagram was part of a series of Iranian computer-generated models provided to the IAEA by the intelligences services of member nations for use in its investigations of suspicions that Iran is trying to produce a nuclear weapon. Iran denies any interest in such a weapon and has accused the United States and Israel of fabricating evidence that suggests it is trying to build a bomb.
Asked about the project, Iran’s chief IAEA delegate, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said he had not heard of it. IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said the agency had no comment.
Iran has refused to halt uranium enrichment, despite offers of reactor fuel from abroad, saying it is producing nuclear fuel for civilian uses. It has refused for years to cooperate with the U.N. nuclear agency’s efforts to investigate its program.
Iran’s critics fear it could use the enriched uranium for military purposes. Such concerns grew this month when the IAEA said Iran is poised to double its output of higher-enriched uranium at its fortified underground facility — a development that could put Tehran within months of being able to make the core of a nuclear warhead.
In reporting on the existence of the diagrams last year, the IAEA said it had obtained them from two member nations that it did not identify. Other diplomats have said that Israel and the United States — the countries most concerned about Iran’s nuclear program — have supplied the bulk of intelligence being used by the IAEA in its investigation.
“The application of such studies to anything other than a nuclear explosive is unclear to the agency,” the IAEA said at the time.
The models were allegedly created in 2008 and 2009 — well after 2003, the year that the United States said Tehran had suspended such work in any meaningful way. That date has been questioned by Britain, France, Germany and Israel, and the IAEA now believes that — while Iran shut down some of its work back then — other tests and experiments continue today.
With both the IAEA probe and international attempts to engage Iran stalled, there are fears that Israel may opt to strike at Tehran’s nuclear program. The Jewish state insists it will not tolerate an Iran armed with nuclear arms.
An intelligence summary provided with the drawing linked it to other alleged nuclear weapons work — significant because it would indicate that Iran is working not on isolated experiments, but rather on a single program aimed at mastering all aspects of nuclear arms development.
The IAEA suspects that Iran has conducted live tests of conventional explosives that could be used to detonate a nuclear weapon at Parchin, a sprawling military base southeast of Tehran. The intelligence summary provided to the AP said data gained from those tests fed the model plotted in the diagram. Iran has repeatedly turned down IAEA requests to visit the site, which the agency fears is undergoing a major cleanup meant to eliminate any traces of such experiments.
The intelligence summary named nuclear scientists Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Majid Shahriari and Fereidoun Abbasi as key players in developing the computer diagrams, adding that Shahriari and Abbasi were also involved in the Parchin testing.
Iran has for years rebuffed IAEA attempts to question Fakhrizadeh for his suspected involvement in secret programs. Shahriari was assassinated in 2010 by what Iran says were Israeli agents. Abbasi, now the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, was wounded in a separate assassination attempt the same day that Shahriari was killed.
The senior diplomat, who is familiar with the Iran probe, said the agency has not yet determined any connection between Parchin and the computer models. But Olli Heinonen, who headed the IAEA’s Iran investigation until 2010, said using the results of the alleged Parchin tests would “make sense as part of the design and testing of a (computer) model.”
Iran Nuclear Weapon Capabilities Closer: Report
VIENNA — The U.N. atomic agency has received new and significant intelligence over the past month that Iran has moved further toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon, diplomats tell The Associated Press.
They say the intelligence shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran sometime within the past three years.
The diplomats say the information comes from Israel, the United States and at least two other Western countries and concludes that the work was done sometime within the past three years. The time-frame is significant because if the International Atomic Energy Agency decides that the intelligence is credible, it would strengthen its concerns that Iran has continued weapons work into the recent past – and may be continuing to do so.
Because computer modeling work is normally accompanied by physical tests of the components that go into a nuclear weapons, it would also buttress IAEA fears outlined in detail in November that Tehran is advancing its weapons research on multiple fronts.
“You want to have a theoretical understanding of the working of a nuclear weapon that is then related to the experiments you do on the various components,” said David Albright, whose Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security is a frequent go-to source on Iran for Congress and other U.S. government branches. “The two go hand-in-hand.”
Such computer mock-ups typically assess how high explosives compress fissile warhead material, setting off the chain reaction that results in a nuclear explosion. The yield is normally calculated in kilotons.
Any new evidence of Iranian research into nuclear weapons is likely to strengthen the hand of hawks in Israel who advocate a military strike on Iran. They argue that Tehran is deliberately stalemating international efforts at engagement while continuing its clandestine weapons work.
Iran denies any interest in nuclear weapons and says suspicions that it ever tried to develop them are based on fabricated U.S, Israeli and other intelligence. At the same time, it has blunted IAEA efforts to investigate such claims for more than five years.
It also has scoffed at Western allegations that it is enriching uranium to make the core of nuclear warheads, saying it seeks only to create reactor fuel. But it refuses to accept offers of such fuel from abroad and is now producing material that is easier to turn into weapons-grade uranium than its main, lower-enriched stockpile.
The revelations come as Israeli officials are expressing growing alarm over what they see as continuing Iranian progress toward nuclear arms.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu engaged this week in a strident public exchange with the U.S. administration, calling on Sunday for “red lines” to be set for Iran. The calls were rebuffed, and on Tuesday, Netanyahu declared that “those in the international community who refuse to draw a red line on Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”
Netanyahu said that sanctions were hurting Iran’s economy but not nearly enough to compel it to stop the nuclear program, and said negotiations by the international community with Iran on the issue had failed.
Israel’s position is that airtight sanctions are needed against Iran’s central bank and oil exports. Because Asian nations in particular keep buying Iranian oil the country remains a top OPEC oil exporter, even though there are signs that its revenues are down and, with the currency plummeting, standards of living in Iran have fallen.
The comments from Netanyahu were the latest suggestion that Israel is considering taking military action on its own to at least slow down Iran’s program. That prospect could badly rattle world markets and spark wider war, and is opposed not only in most Western capitals but also among many in Israel’s security and political establishment. But Israeli officials have said that with Iran moving facilities underground its window of opportunity is closing while the world dithers with an inadequate sanctions regime.
Although some of the new information was said to have been supplied by the United States, it appears to run counter to the stated U.S. position that Iran shut down wide-ranging secret research and development of the components of a nuclear weapons program in 2003. At the same time the U.S. fears that Iran continues to move toward the threshold of making such arms by enriching uranium.
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s chief IAEA delegate, cut short a telephone request for comment, saying he could not talk because he was in a meeting. In Tehran, meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Rahmin Mehmanparast told reporters that Iran will start answering the agency’s “questions and concerns” only when “our rights and security issues” are recognized.
IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said the agency would not comment. But four of six diplomats who spoke to the AP on the issue said an oblique passage in the IAEA’s August Iran report saying “the agency has obtained more information which further corroborates” its suspicions alludes to the new intelligence.
All six demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss classified information member countries make available to the IAEA.
Two of them said the new information builds on what the agency previously knew, not only because the research was apparently performed past 2009 but also because it reflects that Iran has allegedly moved closer to the overall ability to develop a nuclear weapon.
The IAEA first outlined suspicions in November that Iran was working on calculating the yield of a nuclear weapon, as part of a 13-page summary of Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons work that it said was based on more than 1,000 pages of research and intelligence from more than 10 member nations.
It said then that “the modeling studies alleged to have been conducted in 2008 and 2009 by Iran … (are) of particular concern,” adding that the purpose of such studies for calculating anything other than nuclear explosion yields is “unclear to the agency.”
Albright, of the Institute for Science and International Security, said such computer-run modeling is “critical to the development of a nuclear weapon.”
George Jahn can be reached at http://twitter.com/georgejahn
Associated Press writers Dan Perry in Jerusalem and Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed.
There is a certain degree of purposeful denigration in this particular report and many other news items cropping up in the US media.
Nobody denies, not even Iran, that the country is efforts to have nuclear power with almost totally indigenous uranium, recycled over a period, perhaps to a degree of purification to an acceptable level, say 20% of purity necessary for harmless devices.
Huge array of imported centrifuges have not been doing their job, as per allegations against German manufacturers. Sabotage by other nations, including Israel and USA, is possible. Both these countries invented Stuxnet, Flame and other computer devices dierctly affecting office computers at Iran’s sensitive locations. Not to forget, the broad daylight assassinations of nuclear scientists by hired guns, paid by Israel’s Secret Services agencies.
Sovereign nations, like India and Pakistan not only tested atom bombs but while doing so, violated International conventions as well.
Israel never admitted to the world that they have massive amount of deadly atomic and biologic weapons.
…and I am Sid Harth@elcidharth.com
- IAEA – Israel – nuclear Iran
IAEA: ‘serious concerns’ over Iran’s nuclear programme
In its most detailed report to date on Tehran’s nuclear programme, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday that it has “serious concerns” that Iran may have worked to develop a nuclear weapon.
The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency is its most unequivocal yet suggesting that Iran is using the cover of a peaceful nuclear program to produce atomic weaponry.
Based on years of trying to probe Tehran’s secretive activities, its release will stoke debate on whether it’s time to jettison failed diplomatic efforts to end Iran’s nuclear defiance and replace them with force.
The 13-page annex to the IAEA’s regularly scheduled report on Iran included evidence that suggests the Islamic republic is working on the clandestine procurement of equipment and designs to make nuclear arms.
“While some of the activities identified in the annex have civilian as well as military applications, others are specific to nuclear weapons,” the report said.
Among these were indications that Iran has conducted high explosives testing and detonator development to set off a nuclear charge, as well as computer modeling of a core of a nuclear warhead. The report also cited preparatory work for a nuclear weapons test, and development of a nuclear payload for Iran’s Shahab 3 intermediate range missile – a weapon that can reach Israel.
In Washington, officials said the report confirms U.S. suspicions about the military nature of Iran’s program, and the Obama administration was readying a range of sanctions and other measures against Iran should the Islamic republic fail to answer questions raised about its nuclear ambitions.
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said there was a government directive not to comment until Israel has studied the findings in depth.
But before the report’s release, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned of a possible Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear program.
“We continue to recommend to our friends in the world and to ourselves, not to take any option off the table,” he told Israel radio.
That phrase is often used by Israeli politicians to mean a military assault. Israeli leaders have engaged in increased saber rattling recently, suggesting that an attack was likely a more effective way to stop Iran’s nuclear program than continued diplomacy.
Iran is under U.N. sanctions for refusing to stop uranium enrichment – which can produce both nuclear fuel and fissile warhead material – and other suspected activities that the international community fears could be used to make atomic arms. But Iran dismisses such allegations and says its activities are meant to be used only for energy or research.
Iran’s official IRNA news agency dismissed the U.N. findings, accusing IAEA chief Yukiya Amano of including “worthless comments and pictures provided by the intelligence services.” In Vienna, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s chief IAEA delegate, called the report “unbalanced, unprofessional and prepared with political motivation and political pressure by the United States.”
In Moscow, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it would not comment until it had time to study the report carefully.
Some of the information was new – including evidence of a large metal chamber at a military site for nuclear-related explosives testing. Iran contemptuously dismissed that, saying they were merely metal toilet stalls.
The bulk of the information, however, was a compilation of alleged findings that have already been partially revealed by the agency. It was meant to connect the dots between procurement, draftboard planning and testing, all supervised by the military under the guise of civilian organizations.
But a senior diplomat familiar with the report said its significance lay in the comprehensive way it laid out evidence indicating that Iran has engaged in all aspects of testing needed to develop a nuclear weapon. Also significant was the agency’s decision to share most of what it knows or suspects about Iran’s secret work with the 35-nation IAEA board and the U.N. Security Council after being stonewalled by Tehran in its attempts to probe such allegations.
It also underlined concerns that Iran had apparently continued work on developing a nuclear warhead and ways to trigger it past 2003 – the year that a U.S. intelligence assessment in 2007 said such activities stopped. Instead, the agency said, some of this work continued at least until 2010, although in a less concentrated way.
Unusually strong language reflected such worries, with the report noting that “some of the activities undertaken after 2003 would be highly relevant to a nuclear weapons program.”
“I think (the IAEA) want to lay out their case and say, ‘Look, we’ve gone as far as we can, here’s our best argument,” said David Albright whose Institute for Science and International Security in Washington tracks suspected nuclear proliferators.
The next step, he said, was up to the IAEA’s decision-making board, which referred Iran to the U.N. Security Council in 2006 – and can do so again, strengthening the chances of new U.N. sanctions.
The report was not being viewed as a game-changer in Washington. It doesn’t reveal intelligence unknown to the United States – which contributed to much of the IAEA’s knowledge about Iran’s nuclear work – and U.S. officials said it is unlikely to persuade reluctant powers such as China and Russia to support tougher sanctions on the Iranian government.
But the officials, who asked for anonymity because their information is privileged, said the report offered significant support for some long-held U.S. suspicions and lends international credence to claims that Tehran isn’t solely interested in developing atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
A senior administration official saidthe finding that Iran undertook computer modeling of the core of a nuclear bomb was “of particular concern.”
“There is no application of such studies to anything other than a nuclear bomb,” the official said.
The official also pointed to the report’s assessment that Iran is developing fast-acting detonators that can be used in a nuclear weapon, and its efforts to procure key nuclear weapons ingredients, such as high-speed electronic switches, spark gaps, high-speed cameras, neutron sources and radiation detection and measuring equipment.
The Obama administration will use the report as leverage in making its case to other countries that sanctions against Iran should be expanded and tightened, and that the enforcement of current sanctions be toughened, the officials said.
However, it’s not going to sway the U.S. administration from its plan to rely on sanctions and diplomatic pressure, instead of military threats, to deter Iranian ambitions, they said.
The U.N. Security Council has passed four sets of damaging sanctions on Iran, but veto-wielding members China and Russia oppose further measures and are unlikely to change their minds despite the report’s findings.
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October 2012:- In a new report, the IAEA said Iran had installed 700 new centrifuges at its fortified underground facility at Fordo. Iran has already been enriching uranium to 20 percent and the new equipment will allow the facility to double its output of higher-enriched uranium. According to the IAEA, this will allow Iran to make the core of a nuclear warhead within months. The plant is now believed to have approximately 2,800 centrifuges (AP, November 16, 2012).- The independent Institute for Science and International Security released a report concluding that in two to four months, Iran will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for at least one atomic bomb (about 25 kilograms) at its Nantaz facility. This assessment was made by former IAEA inspectors and other nuclear experts.
(Israel National News, October 10, 2012)- President Obama signed an executive order and House Resolution 1905, authorizing the implementation of sanctions stipulated in the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012. The order and bill state that the goal of compelling Iran to abandon efforts to acquire a nuclear weapons capability and other threatening activities can be achieved through a policy that includes economic sanctions, diplomacy, and military planning, and urges the President to initiate diplomatic efforts to expand the multilateral sanctions regime against Iran. Secondly, expands sanctions related to the energy sector of Iran and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by Iran, by expanding the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996.
(The White House, October 9, 2012)- Mansour Haqiqatpour, Iranian deputy head of parliament’s Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, said that his country would enrich uranium to 60% if negotiations with world powers over its nuclear program fail. This step, if taken, would mean Iran would be another significant step closer to the 90% enrichment level needed to make atomic bombs.
(Chicago Tribune, October 2, 2012)- According to an anonymous Iranian reporter who was recently hired as a researcher at one of Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran is recruiting staff non-stop to work on its nuclear program. The source said that Iran has already enriched uranium to 30% and “by next year, we hope to reach up to 50 or even 60 percent. The experience and knowledge is there, but getting the right parts at times has been difficult,” he said. Parts of the equipment being received was “not reliable and sometimes defective.”
(Times of Israel, October 2, 2012)
September 2012:- The United States Senate, in a 90-1 vote, passed Joint Resolution 41 which reaffirmed the government’s commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. The non-binding bill warns that time to limited to ensuring that Iran does not reaching this capability and urges the government to put economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran until it suspends uranium enrichment programs, complies with IAEA safeguards and inspections, and promises to only use its nuclear program for peaceful purposes.
(Washington Post, September 22, 2012)- Iranian atomic energy chief Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani said that “terrorists and saboteurs” used explosives to cut the electricity power lines to Iran’s Fordow underground nuclear enrichment plant in mid-August. Abbasi-Davani also said that a similar act had been carried out on power lines to Iran’s main enrichment facility at Natanz. Iran’s nuclear chief made clear his view that sabotage would not be successful in slowing Iran’s nuclear program and he also suggested that whoever carried out the sabatoge mission was connected to inspection teams from the IAEA.
(Reuters, September 17, 2012)- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ramped up threats against Iran while also taking a swipe at the United States, who recently said that it refuses to place red lines on negotiations with Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. “The world tells Israel ‘wait, there’s still time’. And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” Netanyahu said. Netanyahu has said Israel and the United States were in talks on setting a “clear red line” for Iran’s nuclear program but the two allies remain at odds over whether to spell out a clear threshold for military action.
(Reuters, September 11, 2012)- Diplomats from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said they received new intelligence that Iran has moved closer to the ability to build a nuclear weapon. They say the intelligence shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran sometime within the past three years. The information, gathered by the US, Israel, and at least two other Western nations, is significant for the fact that it strengthens IAEA concerns that Iran is continuing to work towards a nuclear weapons capability.
(Washington Post, September 11, 2012)- Working off concerns voiced by the Costa Rican government, Israel Radio reported that Iran has established training bases in northern Nicaragua near the border with Honduras to prepare for retaliatory strikes in case US or Israel strikes Iran’s nuclear facilities. According to the report, approximately 30 members of Hezbollah are based full time in the camp and receive all supplies directly from Tehran.
(Times of Israel, September 6, 2012)- In a closed-door intelligence briefing for member states, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showed officials a series of satellite images that adds to the growing suspicion that Iran is conducting clean-up activities in Parchin, a site believed to have housed nuclear weapons testing and development. “It was pretty compelling,” a senior Western diplomat said about the briefing by IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts and Assistant Director General Rafael Grossi.
(Chicago Tribune, September 5, 2012)
August 2012:- A quarterly report on Iran’s nuclear program released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that the Islamic Republic has more than doubled the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges at its impenetrable underground facility Fordow, near the holy city of Qoms and about 80 miles from the capital Tehran. The number of centrifuges now at Fordow had more than doubled to 2,140 from 1,064 in May. The IAEA report also noted that “extensive activities” at the Parchin complex, which has yet to be inspected, prove that Iran is leading a determined effort to cleanup that site from any evidence of illicit nuclear-weapons-linked testing.
(Reuters, August 31, 2012)- According to intelligence gathered by the United Nations, the US and Israel, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, has kickstarted his nuclear energy and weapons work after having been sidelined for up to nine years. Officials worry that Fakhrizadeh’s research revolves around warhead construction and coincides with steps taken by the Iranian government to push ahead other facets of their nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says he opened the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research in 2011 and that elements of Iran’s nuclear-arms research is taking place there.
(Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2012)- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) began to form a special “Iran Task Force,” drawing together sleuths in weapons technology, intelligence analysis, radiation and other fields of expertise, as it seeks to add muscle to a probe of suspicions that Iran is working secretly on atomic arms. The creation of the unit, much like the agency’s “Iraq Action Team” from the 1990′s, indicates frustration by UN officials over Iran’s refusal to cooperate with IAEA experts who are trying to follow up on suspicions that the Islamic Republic is secretly working on an arms program.
(Washington Post, August 23, 2012)- Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told Bloomberg Newsweek that Israel would be willing to strike the Iranian nuclear facilities even if such an attack would only delay the Islamic Republic’s ability to produce nuclear weapons. “One, two, three, four years are a long time in the Middle East – look what’s happened in the last year,” Oren said referring to the Arab Spring revolutions. “Diplomacy hasn’t succeeded,” Oren also said. “We’ve come to a very critical juncture where important decisions do have to be made.”
(Bloomberg Businessweek, August 16, 2012)- A poll released by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 61% of the Israeli public thinks that Israel should not attack Iran without US cooperation while 54.5% say the chances are low that an attack with US help would actually succeed. On the other hand, 56% of Israelis also believe that efforts by the West to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons are neither serious nor sincere, and a large majority (70%) feels that Israel cannot trust US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s promise that the United States will make sure Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons.
(The Peace Index, August 8, 2012)- Iranian state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that Iran successfully test-fired the newest version of the Fateh-110 missile which is capable of flying 185 miles and could targets spots in Eastern Europe or Israel. According to a Pentagon report, “Iran has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems with accuracy improvements and new submunition payloads,” which allow missiles to drop explosives over a wider area thus causing more destruction.
(CNN, August 6, 2012)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in a speech that the only solution to conflict in the Middle East is to destroy Israel. Ahmadinejad said, “Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented” between Israel and the Lebaneses terrorist organization Hezbollah. Later in his speech, the Iranian leader also noted that Israel “is an illegitimate regime, there is no legal basis for its existence.”
(Washington Post, August 3, 2012)
June/July 2012:- The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an opposition movement to the regime in Iran, claimed to have evidence that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has established a new research unit called the New Defence Research Organisation (NDRO) to rapidly expand Iran’s capability to build a nuclear weapon. The NCRI says that this new unit is subdivided into seven branches each with a responsibility for conducting a specific area of research, including the fissile material needed for a bomb, metals used for a warhead, and device detonators.
(The Daily Telegraph, July 17, 2012)- The Aerospace Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) conducted a missile exercise, dubbed Great Prophet 7, which involved firing dozens of missiles at a target that resembled a U.S. airbase situated in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, or Saudi Arabia. The exercise was meant as a signal that the Islamic Republic is prepared for a military clash with the West and Israel, and possesses a devastating “second-strike” response capability against any attack on its nuclear sites. IRGC Aerospace Force commander Brig.-Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh claimed Iran had already amassed information on 35 U.S. bases in the region and had deployed missiles to destroy them within minutes of an attack on its soil.
(JCPA, July 17, 2012)- The United States Department of Defense released a report on the military power of Iran that confirmed the Islamic Republic continues to improve the accuracy and lethality of its long- and short-range missile systems. “Iran has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems by improving accuracy and developing new submunition payloads” that extend the destructive power over a wider area than a solid warhead, according to the report which was signed by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
(Bloomberg, July 10, 2012)- Talks in Moscow between Western powers and Iran over the latters disputed nuclear weapons program failed to reach any conclusion over future policy as mistrust, miscommunication, and frustration kept the two sides apart. Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief, said that the differences in opinion between the two sides over Iran’s program are now so far apart that future meetings were not even scheduled at the close of negotiations. Iran’s parliament, meanwhile, told their lead negotiator, Saeed Jalili, to stick to their positions about not giving in to the demands of the West.
(New York Times, June 19, 2012)
May 2012:- Satellite photographs released by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) show intensified Iranian efforts to cleanse and destroy parts of the Parchin military site suspected by the IAEA of being a nuclear weapons facility. A tenative deal struck last week between the Islamic Republic and the IAEA would have allowed for international observers to visit the site to assess for nuclear weapons-related work. “The newest image raises concerns that Iran is attempting to raze the site prior to allowing the IAEA visit,” said ISIS in its report. “The razing of the two buildings may also indicate that Iran has no intention to allow inspectors access soon.”
(Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2012)- The IAEA released a report that confirmed Iran is still moving ahead with its uranium enrichment work in defiance of Security Council resolutions and agreements stipulated in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The IAEA report shows than Iran has significantly increased its production of 3.5% low-enriched uranium (has amassed nearly 750kg more than what was reported in the previous IAEA report), that it continues to stock 19.75% low-enriched uranium, and that its IR-1 centrifruge performance is increasing. According to independent analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), the report means that Iran has enough enriched uranium to fill five nuclear bombs if refined much further.
(Reuters, May 26, 2012)- Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, said threats and pressures cannot deter Iran from its revolutionary causes and ideals, and stressed that the Iranian nation will remain committed to the full annihilation of the Zionist regime of Israel to the end. General Firouzabadi said, “The Iranian nation is standing for its cause that is the full annihilation of Israel.”
(FARS News Agency, May 20, 2012)- The United States Senate approved tough new penalties on the Tehran regime to thwart its nuclear ambitions. The bill passed by the Senate would target Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, require companies that trade on the U.S. stock exchange to disclose any Iran-related business to the Securities and Exchange Commission and would expand penalties for energy and uranium mining joint ventures with Tehran. The bill also would deny visas and freeze assets on individuals and companies that supply Iran with technology that could be used to crack down on its citizens, such as tear gas, rubber bullets and surveillance equipment.
(Fox News, May 21, 2012)
March/April 2012:- Reports surfaced that Iran is actively seeking to establish its physical presence – ground and naval – in Yemen, a country among those that control the ports and shipping (and weapon-supply) of the Red Sea, as part of Iran’s broader strategy for hegemony in the region. According to U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein, the U.S. has evidence that the Iranians are providing military assistance and trainers to several groups in Yemen, information conveyed via Hizbullah and Hamas in Lebanon.
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, April 22, 2012)- The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, largely cut off all Iranian banking transactions through its network in order to enforce EU sanctions aimed at deterring Iran from continuing its nuclear program. SWIFT managed to halt business with nearly 30 Iranian banks and subsidiaries. “Disconnecting banks is an extraordinary and unprecedented step for SWIFT,” said Lazaro Campos, chief executive of the company. “It is a direct result of international and multilateral action to intensify financial sanctions against Iran.”
(Boston Globe, March 16, 2012)
February 2012:- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated three new nuclear projects including the loading of the country’s first domestically made nuclear fuel rods into the Tehran Research Reactor, Iranian state TV reported. A European diplomat in Vienna said that Iran “wants to show that they have the technical expertise to master the fuel cycle.” Additionally, the nuclear plants at Natanz and Fordow are now able to enrich uranium to 20% and will use a new type of centrifuge, the 174 IR-1, capable of three times higher enrichment speeds than previous models. There are around 9,000 centrifuges at these central Iranian plants, a 50% increase from the previous amount.
(Jerusalem Post, Haaretz Feb 15, 2012; American Enterprise Institue, Feb 21, 2012)- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that their inspectors were unable to obtain any new information on the Iranian nuclear program as Tehran refused to answer questions raised in the agency’s November 2011 report. A senior American official characterized the IAEA meeting as “foot-dragging at best and a disaster at worst.” U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, “My view is that right now the most important thing is to keep the international community unified in keeping that pressure on, to try to convince Iran that they shouldn’t develop a nuclear weapon, that they should join the international family of nations and that they should operate by all the rules that we all operate by.”
(New York Times, February 3, 2012)
January 2012:- Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that Israel believes “Iran’s nuclear development is clearly intended for military purposes.” This came in the wake of an Iranian request from the IAEA to begin enriching their uranium to a 90% grade. 90% is generally viewed as an indication of weapons-grade material.
(Israel Hayom, January 31, 2012)- U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the United States believes Iran is one year away from developing a nuclear weapon and possibly two years shy of being able to mount it on a deliverable weapons system. “The United States … does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us. And it’s a red line obviously for the Israelis so we share a common goal here,” Panetta said. “If they proceed and we get intelligence that they’re proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon then we will take whatever steps are necessary to stop it,” he added.
(Haaretz, January 30, 2012)- The European Union adopted an “unprecedented” resolution calling for an embargo on Iranian oil and petroleum imports to European nations. Europe has been one of the leading importers of Iranian oil and an embargo of this nature is meant to show Iran the West’s resolve in working towards an end to development in its nuclear weapons program. The EU foreign ministers also passed a resolution freezing all assets of the Iranian central bank in Europe.
(BBC, January 23, 2012)- Yukiya Amano, director general of the IAEA, made clear that he believes the Iranians are developing nuclear energy in order to create atomic or nuclear bombs and that he feels the Iranians have been less than open about their true intentions. “What we know suggests the development of nuclear weapons,” Amano said in his interview with the Financial Times of Germany. “I have absolutely no reason to soften my report,” he added. “It is my responsibility to alert the world, from the indicators I had, I draw the conclusion that it is time to call the world’s attention to this risk.” Iranian representatives to the IAEA responded to the comments by saying their country was open to discussing any issues about their nuclear energy program in a series of talks scheduled in Tehran for the end of January.
(Reuters, January 19, 2012)
2011:- In the Winter 2011/2012, a string of suspicious explosions hit various sites in Iran and killed a number of Iranian nuclear scientists.
- On November 12, an explosion at a Revolutionary Guard Corps weapons depot near Tehran (in Karaj) killed 17 soldiers, including an IRGC rocket expert and long-range missile research specialist. (Washington Post, November 12, 2011)
- On November 28, a large explosion rocked the Iranian city of Isfahan (where a military complex is located) as the government issued conflicting reports thought to deny any notions of damage by way of sabotage on its nuclear sites. (Telegraph, November 28, 2011)
- On November 30, there was a blast on a military facility in the Iranian city of Khorramabad near the Iran-Iraq border.
- On December 14, there was an attack against a plant that manufactures a particular type of steel that is used for nose cones and other parts of missiles. (Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, December 14, 2011)
- On January 11, 2012, nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was assassinated when a bomb detonated in his car. Iranian Lawmaker Kazem Jalali immediately blamed both the U.S. and Israeli intelligence services for the strike, though both categorically denied any involvement. (CNN, Jan 11, 2012).- In December 2011, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal noted that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon, “[it] would compel Saudi Arabia…to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences”. One of his officials clarified the vague statement by saying, “We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don’t. It’s as simple as that. If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit.” (New York Times, December 6, 2011)- In November 2011, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution calling on Iran to comply, fully and without delay, to its obligations under resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council and to intensify their dialogue with in order to resolve questions regarding their nuclear development. The resolution expressed support for a diplomatic, negotiated solution to the growing problem in order to restore international confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. This resolution came on the heels of yet another IAEA report – the fourth released in 2011 alone – that confirmed fears that Iran seems to be working towards the development of a nuclear weapon.- In November 2011, the US government took two distinct, yet tangible steps to halt funding to Iran in an effort to curb its nuclear programs. These steps by the Obama Administration sent an unequivocal message to the Government of Iran that it will continue to face increasing international pressure until it addresses the international community’s legitimate concerns regarding the nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
- On November 19, President Obama signed Executive Order 13590 that imposed sanctions on anyone doing business with Iran’s energy or chemical programs. If a person is found to have provided a good, service, technology, or support to Iran described in E.O. 13590, the Secretary of State, in consultation with other agencies, has the authority to impose sanctions on these people or businesses, including prohibitions on foreign or banking transactions and property transactions in the United States.
- Additionally, the US Department of the Treasury identified Iran as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act based on Iran’s support for terrorism, pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and the illicit and deceptive financial activities that Iranian financial institutions – including the Central Bank of Iran – and other state-controlled entities engage in to facilitate Iran’s illicit conduct and evade sanctions- On September 3, 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report on the Iranian nuclear program that expressed grave concern on Tehran’s experimental work to develop nuclear weapons, saying that it is becoming “increasingly concerned” at the advancements. The IAEA said Iran has begun deploying so-called second-generation centrifuges at its largest uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz, which could allow the country to produce nuclear fuel at three times its current rate. (Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2011).- In September 2011, Iran moved its most critical nuclear fuel production to a highly guarded underground military facility outside the city of Qum, where – according to intelligence officials – it is less vulnerable to an air or cyberattack such as the 2010 Stuxnet computer worm that reportedly infected 16,000 computers and set back Iran’s nuclear program by a year or two. (New York Times, September 2, 2011).- In June 2011, a UN panel of experts, which was convened after the UN Security Council imposed stiffer sanctions against in Iran in 2010, released a report which compiled information provided by Security Council member nations, monitors sent to various countries where unauthorized Iranian activity has been uncovered and input from outside experts on Iran’s development of medium- and long-range missiles, nuclear program and weapons-smuggling operations. The report warned: “Iran’s circumvention of sanctions across all areas, in particular the use of front companies, concealment methods in shipping, financial transactions and the transfer of conventional arms and related materiel, is willful and continuing. Iran maintains its uranium enrichment and heavy water-related activities, as noted in reporting by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and in the area of ballistic missiles, continues to test missiles and engage in prohibited procurement.” According to the report, in a period of less than six months, the Iranians launched Sejil and Shahab 3 missiles on three occasions, and conducted an additional trial of the Fateh-110 missile. (Haaretz, June 10, 2011).- In April 2011, scientists from Iran’s atomic energy program announced that they had successfully tested advanced centrifuges for enriching uranium and were less than a month away from starting Iran’s first commercial nuclear reactor. Though the advances were not yet fully implemented, the announcements countered international perceptions that Iran’s nuclear program had suffered significant setbacks during a series of cyber attacks on the country’s main uranium enrichment facilities in 2009 and 2010 and prompted some experts to redraw their forecasts for how quickly the country could build an atomic arsenal (Washington Post, April 14, 2011).- A January 2011 summit of six world powers meeting with Iran to discuss freezing its uranium enrichment program, failed after two days of negotiations in which Iran demanded an end to UN sanctions and an agreement that it could continue to enrich. Tehran rejected proposals for improved UN monitoring of Iran’s nuclear activities and the revival of a subset of international talks focusing on Iran shipping out a limited amount of its enriched uranium in exchange for fuel for its research reactor (Jerusalem Post, January 22, 2011).- In January 2011, the top-secret Manhattan Project published a study warning against Western complacency over Iran’s nuclear drive as they found that Tehran had boosted its capacity to build an atomic bomb during 2010. According to the Federation of American Scientists, after examining data provided by the IAEA, the enrichment capacity of gas centrifuges at Iran’s main enrichment plan in Natanz was more efficient in 2010 than in previous years (AFP, January 21, 2011).
2010:- Iran announced that it had selected the locations inside protected mountain strongholds where it would build 10 new uranium enrichment sites. In an additional move seen as retaliation against the international community for its sanctions against Iran, President Ahmadinejad also announced the implementation of a new law banning the Iranian government from anything beyond the minimum level of cooperation with the IAEA.
(AP, August 16, 2010)- IAEA report said that Iran had produced a stockpile of nuclear fuel that, with further enrichment, would be sufficient to build two nuclear weapons. In addition, the report said Iran expanded work at Natanz and that inspectors were denied access to facilities and their questions had gone unanswered.
(New York Times, May 31, 2010)- President Obama’s top advisers said they did not believe the government’s earlier National Intelligence Estimate’s conclusion that Iranian scientists ended all work on designing a nuclear warhead in late 2003 . The following month, President Obama announced new unilateral sanctions by the United States, freezing “the assets in U.S. jurisdictions of a Revolutionary Guard general and four subsidiaries of a construction firm he runs for their alleged involvement in producing and spreading weapons of mass destruction.” A day later, Iran announced it had begun enriching uranium to a higher level of purity, 20 percent, which is a step closer to producing weapons-grade uranium.
(New York Times, January 2, 2010; Washington Post, February 11, 2010)
2009:- Disclosed that Iran had a second fuel enrichment plant. The United States had apparently been aware of the facility, but it was hidden from IAEA weapons inspectors (Jerusalem Post, September 25, 2009). Meanwhile, Iran’s exiled political opposition movement reported the day before that it had learned of two previously unknown sites in and near Tehran that it said were being used to build nuclear warheads.
(Agence France-Presse, September 25, 2009)- IAEA report said the number of Iran’s centrifuges had grown to 8,300 (Haaretz, August 31, 2009). Director-General ElBaradei told the IAEA’s 35-nation board that Iran had not stopped enriching uranium or answered lingering questions about its nuclear program.
(New York Times, September 7, 2009)- Iran tested a new missile, the Sejil, with a range of 1,200 miles, that can reach Israel, U.S. regional bases and southeastern Europe . The Sejil is similar to the Shahab-3 (“Shahab” means shooting star in Farsi), which was unveiled in September 2007. That missile’s range had been improved from 810 to 1,125 miles. The Shahab-3 missile is capable of carrying a non-conventional warhead, could be stationed anywhere in Iran and can reach Israel as well as parts of Europe.
(The Peninsula, May 21, 2009)- Maj. Gen. Vladimir Dvorkin, head of the Moscow-based Center for Strategic Nuclear Forces, said that the most worrisome aspect of the potential danger of an Iranian bomb is not the possibility of a nuclear strike against other countries, but the ability to assume a more bold approach in dealing with the international community after becoming a nuclear power. “The real threat is that Iran, which is already ignoring all resolutions and sanctions issued by the UN Security Council, will be practically ‘untouchable’ after acquiring nuclear-power status, and will be able to expand its support of terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hizballah” said Dvorkin, “I won’t say the Iranians will be able to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles in the near future, but they will most likely be able to threaten the whole of Europe.”
(RIA Novosti, March 12, 2009)
2008:- The United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany offered Iran technical and commercial incentives to suspend uranium enrichment. A few weeks later, the powers held talks in Geneva, attended for the first time by a senior U.S. official, aimed at reaching an agreement with Iran and forestalling further sanctions. A senior Iranian official, however, ruled out any freeze in uranium enrichment . After the talks, the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Iranian Vice President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, announced Iran would no longer cooperate with IAEA experts investigating the country’s clandestine nuclear weapons program . Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad then announced that Iran had 6,000 centrifuges operating at its uranium enrichment facility at the underground Natanz facility, double the number operating less than a year earlier, a worrisome development showing the progress Iran had made toward developing a nuclear weapon . In December 2008, Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the IAEA, admitted that sanctions had been “a failure.”
(Reuters, July 20, 2008; Washington Post, July 24, 2008; Washington Post, July 26, 2008; Los Angeles Times, December 6, 2008).
2006:- In response to Iran’s continued defiance, the Security Council unanimously passed resolution 1737 to block “the import or export of sensitive nuclear material” to Iran. On February 22, 2007, the IAEA found Iran in violation of the Security Council ultimatum to freeze uranium enrichment. Iran continued to insist that its nuclear program could not be stopped by external actors. In March 2007, the IAEA announced the suspension of nuclear technical aid programs to Iran. Russia also announced it would withhold a nuclear fuel delivery to the county but then reversed its position.
(Reuters, December 18, 2007 )- The UN Security Council approved Resolution 1696, giving Iran until August 31 of that year to suspend its uranium enrichment and to implement full transparency measures requested by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iran insisted that it would continue its uranium enrichment program despite the resolution.