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Entries in Nuclear Weapons (15)


Iran Special: How Western Media Missed The Important Story from Israel

On Thursday, the head of Israel's military intelligence, Major General Amir Kochavi, made an important announcement. He said that, while Iran is developing its nuclear programme in 2013, it "has not yet decided to build a bomb".

Here's the catch: those who rely on Western media are unlikely to learn of this.

Instead, they will be treated to this far scarier spin, also taken from Kochavi's presentation: "Iran and Hezbollah Have Built 50,000-Strong Force to Help Syrian Regime".

So why did one declaration of Kochavi --- which is a misreading of a statement by an Iranian military commander last autumn --- make the headlines? Why is another --- which is far more significant and points to the debate within Israel over what to do about Tehran --- ignored?

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Iran Analysis: Assessing the Latest Nuclear Report --- Is There an "Imminent Threat"?

The Islamic Republic is slowly enhancing its nuclear weapons breakout potential. However, Iran remains years, not months away from having a workable nuclear arsenal if it were to choose to pursue that capability.

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Iran Analysis: A Diplomatic Dance Towards Renewed Nuclear Talks?

The Supreme Leader reviews military forces on Friday in North Khorasan Province

An interesting juxtaposition of regime messages on Friday....

The Supreme Leader, on the third day of his trip to northeastern Iran, told a military audience that the Islamic Republic was the only force checking the "war-waging impulse of power-seekers". His Foreign Ministry, however, had a far more conciliatory message via State news agency IRNA:

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran is ready to show flexibility to remove the West's concerns, but this move should have reciprocal measure, too....Iran can move toward eliminating concerns of the West, but the other side should guarantee Iran’s nuclear and enrichment rights for peaceful goals....In talks with Group 5+1, Iran was ready to solve all stated concerns step by step and in a mutually agreed framework.

Mehmanparast's statement is the Iranian response to a diplomatic development in the "West".

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Iran Special: The US Nuclear "Experts" at ISIS --- When Propaganda Replaces Analysis

EA Video Analysis: How to Become An Expert on the Iranian Nuclear Programme

ISIS Founder David AlbrightIf the ISIS was to admit any evidence that Iran is not on the verge of weapons-grade uranium --- indeed that Iran has been converting a good part of its uranium to non-military uses --- then it would undermine the demand of the US and European powers that Tehran has to shut down its enrichment, close down its plant, and ship out the 20% stock.

That cannot be entertained, because ISIS's analysts are committed to "Stop, Shut, and Ship". Thus the report is not just an error in analysis. With its assumptions, its speculations, and its ignorance of vital evidence, it is propaganda in support of a political quest.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Iran's Political Diversion

2011 GMT: Syria. While violence is still reported in Aleppo, Homs, and Deir Ez Zor, it appears there has been a last-minute escalation west of Damascus. Artillery fire, coming from the Mezzeh military base, has reportedly targeted Moudamya. Four people have been killed there, and many wounded, as a result of the shelling.

This video reportedly shows fires burning in Mezzeh, the result of shelling. Obviously, because of the darkness, there is no way to verify the location:

1809 GMT: Syria. The LCC has raised today's death toll to 203:

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Iran Feature: How Mitt Romney Got It Wrong on Tehran's "Dirty Bomb" (Cirincione)

Governor Mitt Romney's description, caught on video, of what he considered the real nuclear threat from Iran has further undermined his national security credentials, showing a fundamental misunderstanding of nuclear threats. Iran's nuclear program has nothing to do with dirty bombs. Terrorists would not use uranium -- from Iran or anywhere else -- in a dirty bomb. It is unclear if Gov. Romney was just riffing, or if his advisors had fed him this line of attack. But it is dead wrong.

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Iran Propaganda 101: Press TV Re-Arranges Ban Ki-Moon's Words

On Thursday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon addressed the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran. Press TV did not cover the speech. Instead it used Ban Ki-Moon's press conference today --- rewriting the translation on its own video --- to claim, "UN Censures West’s Threats Against Iran's Nuclear Energy Program".

A comparison of the Press TV account and what Ban Ki-Moon said on Thursday....


Press TV: “I have condemned the threats by any member state to destroy or delegitimize another. I have reminded the leaders...throughout the world to lower the volume and stop the provocation that can lead the area down a slippery slope of conflict."

Ban Ki-Moon: "For the sake of peace and security in this region and globally, I urge the Government of Iran to take the necessary measures to build international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme."

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Iran Document: The Supreme Leader's Speech to the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement

The UN Security Council has an illogical, unjust and completely undemocratic structure and mechanism. This is a flagrant form of dictatorship, which is antiquated and obsolete and whose expiry date has passed. It is through abusing this improper mechanism that America and its accomplices have managed to disguise their bullying as noble concepts and impose it on the world. They protect the interests of the West in the name of “human rights”. They interfere militarily in other countries in the name of “democracy”. They target defenseless people in villages and cities with their bombs and weapons in the name of “combating terrorism”. From their perspective, humanity is divided into first-, second- and third-class citizens. Human life is considered cheap in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and expensive in America and Western Europe. The security of America and Europe is considered important, while the security of the rest of humanity is considered unimportant. Torture and assassination are permissible and completely ignored if they are carried out by America, the Zionists and their puppets. It does not trouble their conscience that they have secret prisons in various places on different continents, in which defenseless prisoners who have no legal representation and have not been tried in a court of law are treated in the most hideous and detestable way. Good and evil are defined in a completely one-sided and selective way. They impose their interests on the nations of the world in the name of “international law”. They impose their domineering and illegal demands in the name of “international community”. Using their exclusive and organized media network, they disguise their lies as the truth, their falsehood as true, and their oppression as efforts to promote justice. In contrast, they brand as lies every true statement that exposes their deceit and label every legitimate demand as roguish.

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Iran Analysis: A 4-Point Beginner's Guide to the Nuclear Talks

After days of last-minute fencing --- reflecting both the tensions of diplomacy and the tensions within the Iranian political system --- Tehran finally agreed on Monday to the start of nuclear discussions in Istanbul. Iran's representatives will sit down with those of the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) on Saturday to consider the future of Tehran's uranium enrichment.

The theatrical dispute over location, which started when Iran pulled back last week from Turkey as the host of the talks, ended with the declaration that Istanbul's opening meeting would be followed by another round of discussions in Baghdad.

At one level, that's a face-saving arrangement. The Islamic Republic had boxed itself in with its posture that Turkey --- which has been a diplomatic partner of Tehran, which had been vital in working with Iran for a possible agreement in 2010, but which had angered some in the regime with its position on the Syrian crisis --- was no longer acceptable as the venue. The Iranians (and by this, I primarily mean the Supreme Leader) either had to take this pose all the way to the collapse of discussions even before they started, or accept that it was the Istanbul way or no way for the negotiations.

At another level, however, the Baghdad add-on is a tip-off from the Islamic Republic to the US and European powers not to expect an immediate meeting of minds in Turkey. If there is to be an agreement, it will have to come through lengthy talks producing compromise, rather than an Iranian concession to sanctions and other pressure, and an arrangement not only respecting but highlighting the Islamic Republic's sovereignty. A meeting in Iraq is symbolic of that desire --- the Iranians know that Washington is suspicious of Baghdad's political leanings towards Tehran, so the US would have to make a concession in entering that diplomatic territory.

At the same time, the setting-out of not just one but two sets of talks --- albeit with those in Baghdad on an unspecified date, only to be confirmed at the end of Istanbul --- raises the question as to whether either side will put a substantial offer on the table this week or whether each will fence for position, trying to get the other to tip off their negotiating hand and even give way on it.

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Iran Video Special: Europe & US Need Freedom Most of All

In an interview with RT, Ahmadinejad says that nukes are the weapons from yesterday, Iran isn't meddling in the affairs of others, "justice and dignity are among the requirements of all human beings," and the US and Europe need freedom more than Iran, because Iran already has so much. But hey, even Ahmadinejad admits, Iran isn't perfect.

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