Meet the nuclear scientists working in Iran for peace 1

As more about the US’s terms of surrender to Iran emerge, it becomes ever clearer that despite the big lie told by Obama and the Ayatollah Khamenei – the two Supreme Leaders – that Iran would never use nuclear energy for anything but peaceful purposes, it is in fact a nuclear arsenal that Iran is after.

Is anybody surprised?

In this article at the Wall Street Journal, Jay Solomon names some of the people and organizations behind the intense activity in Iran to acquire nuclear warheads and missiles to deliver them.

What? The Religion of Peace make war?

And against whom? Surely not the country they call “the Great Satan”? Whoever could imagine such a thing!

The Obama administration and European Union agreed as part of the accord last week to lift sanctions over eight years on a network of Iranian scientists, military officers and companies long suspected by the U.S. and United Nations as central players in a covert nuclear weapons program.

The U.S. also agreed to remove a German engineer from its financial blacklist by late 2023 after he was targeted by sanctions for his alleged role in a global black market in nuclear weapons technology run by the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan.

The decision to roll back sanctions on these individuals and organizations is detailed in more than 100 pages of documents released last week as part of the landmark nuclear accord reached between Iran and six world powers.

The Obama administration decided to remove Gerhard Wisser from its sanctions list by 2023. The German engineer was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison [suspended] by a South African court in 2007 for his role in supplying centrifuge components to the A.Q. Khan black-market network. … The U.S. and IAEA accuse Mr. Khan and his associates of facilitating the sale of nuclear equipment to North Korea, Iran and Libya during the 1980s and 1990s. The senior U.S. official didn’t provide specifics about why Mr. Wisser was granted sanctions relief as part of the Iran deal. Mr. Wisser could not be located. He pleaded guilty in 2007 in South Africa to manufacturing components that could be illegally used in nuclear technology. …

Republicans said in recent days they were stunned the White House and European allies agreed to lift sanctions on such individuals and expressed concerns about the long-term impact on U.S. and global security. A number of leading Republicans said the issue of sanctions relief will be among those they cite in attempting to block legislative approval of the Iran deal.

Congress started a 60-day review period of the agreement this week.

This would remove sanctions on those responsible for Iran’s nuclear weapons development at the same time restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program come off,” said Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, referring to the delisting of Iranian scientists, companies and officers. “That’s a deadly combination.” …

Among those [people] to be removed from the U.S., U.N. and EU sanctions lists by 2023 is Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi. U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies suspect he oversaw a secret Iranian program to develop the technologies for a nuclear weapon, at least until 2003. He’s been called by American officials the “ Robert Oppenheimer” of Iran’s nuclear efforts, a reference to the American scientist who oversaw development of atomic weapons during World War II. The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has repeatedly attempted to interview the military officer to conclude its investigation into Tehran’s alleged weaponization work, but has repeatedly been rebuffed.

Iran denies it sought to build a bomb and has guarded access to its military sites and leadership. …

The U.S., U.N. and EU also committed in Vienna to remove Fereidoun Abbasi-Davani, a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, from their sanctions lists over the next eight years. …  Mr. Abbasi-Davani was promoted to head the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran from 2011-2013.

The military body Mr. Fakhrizadeh allegedly headed, the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, known as SPND, also will be removed from the U.S. sanctions list by 2023. The IAEA has said SPND may have been involved in nuclear weapons research after 2003. The agency has sought to interview officials from the organization but have also been rebuffed.

The U.S. also agreed to remove Kalaye Electric Co. from its sanctions list over the next eight years. The Iranian company was exposed by the IAEA as having secretly run a uranium-enrichment facility in the early 2000s. …

The EU and U.N. also committed to removing Malek Ashtar University from their sanctions lists. The Tehran research center was accused of supplying scientists who participated in secret weaponization work, according to former U.S. and IAEA officials. …

Denials and confusion will continue:

The Obama administration will begin briefing Congress on Wednesday, including with appearances by Secretary of State John Kerry. Mr. Kerry and other administration officials have in some cases added to the confusion over the status of Iranians and others on sanctions lists. According to the Vienna documents, the commander of Iran’s overseas military unit known as the Qods Force will be taken off EU and U.N. sanctions lists in the next eight years. But the secretary of state initially denied that the commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, would be removed from sanctions lists.

Of course he will be removed. He and everyone else on the list will probably be given awards soon by Obama, or the UN, or the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.

The ayatollah who charms the world 1

How go those old talks with Islamofascist Iran about stopping it getting armed with nukes?

The all-powerful supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s latest comment was far from helpful. Saturday, July 11, he said publicly: “The US is the true embodiment of global arrogance,” the fight against which “could not be interrupted” even after the completion of the nuclear talks. He also boasted that the Islamic Republic had “managed to charm the world” by sticking with those negotiations.

This is from DebkaFile:

Khamenei’s remarks reflect the struggle between the pro- and anti-nuclear deal factions at the highest level of the Iranian leadership. …

On June 29, President Hassan Rouhani was planning to resign when he asked the supreme leader to receive him first. He was upset by Foreign Minister Mohamed Zavad Zarif’s recall from Vienna to Tehran for a tough briefing. Zarif had warned the president that the talks were doomed unless Iran gave some slack. The foreign minister said that the six foreign ministers were preparing to leave Vienna in protest against Iran’s intransigence.

Rouhani when he met Khamenei warned him that Iran was about to miss the main diplomatic train to its main destination: the lifting of sanctions to save the economy from certain ruin.

The supreme ruler was unconvinced: He referred the president to the conditions for a deal he had laid down on June 23 and refused to budge: Sanctions must be removed upon the signing of the final accord; international atomic agency inspectors were banned at military facilities, along with interviews with nuclear scientists; and the powers must endorse Iran’s right to continue nuclear research and build advanced centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

Rouhani hotly stressed that those conditions had become a hindrance to the deal going through and insisted that sanctions relief was imperative for hauling the economy out of crisis.
Khamenei disputed him on that point too. He retorted that the revolutionary republic had survived the eight-year Iranian-Iraqi war (1979-187) with far fewer resources and assets than it commanded at present.

For back-up, the supreme ruler asked two hardliners to join his ding-dong with the president: Defense Minister Mir Hossein Moussavi and Revolutionary Guards chief Mohammad Ali Jaafari.

Both told Rouhani in the stiffest terms that Tehran must not on any account bow to international pressure for giving up its nuclear program or the development of ballistic missiles. 

In a broad hint to President Rouhani to pipe down, Khamenei reminisced about his long-gone predecessor Hassan Bani-Sadr (president in 1980-1981) who was not only forced out of office but had to flee Iran, and the former prime minister and presidential candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi, who has lived under house arrest for six years since leading an opposition campaign.

The supreme leader then set out his thesis that the danger of Iran coming under attack had declined to zero, since Europe was in deep economic crisis (mainly because of Greece) and because the US president had never been less inclined to go to war than he is today.

Jaaafri added his two cents by commenting that after a succession of fiascos, Obama would go to any lengths to reach a nuclear deal with Iran as the crowning achievement of his presidency. The Revolutionary Guards chief then added obliquely: “Before long we will present the West with a fait accompli.”

He refused to elaborate on this when questioned by the president, but it was taken as a reference to some nuclear event.

Rouhani left the meeting empty-handed, but his letter of resignation stayed in his pocket.

The next day, when Zarif landed in Vienna to take his seat once more at the negotiating table, he learned about a new directive Khamenei had sent the president, ordering him to expand ballistic missile development and add another five percent to its budget – another burden on Iran’s empty coffers.

Khamenei’s office made sure this directive reached the public domain. Zarif too was armed with another impediment to a deal. Khamenei instructed him to add a fresh condition: The annulment of the sanctions imposed against Iran’s missile development and arms purchases. 

Extreme peril 1

Obama, through his lackey John Kerry, continues to woo the hellish regime of the Iranian Ayatollahs. He longs for a “deal” at any cost.

He is doing everything possible to help them become a nuclear-armed power.

This really is, without exaggeration, the worst threat, the gravest danger, the world as a whole has ever faced. The threat of the imposition of world control by Communist Russia was grave, but the Russians were not willing to die in massive numbers when a retaliation to their attack descended on them. The Muslim Iranians “love death”, and reckon that Muslims would be happy to die and go to their brothel in the sky; and that, however heavy the retaliation, there would still be a lot of Muslims left alive to dominate – perhaps exclusively occupy – this world.

Either Obama does not realize that he is putting the world in extremest danger, or he must want what the Ayatollahs want.

What is that? The destruction of Israel, certainly,and he’s cool with that. But he cannot believe that Israel is the Iranians’ only target. They continue to scream “Death to America!” loud and clear while the charade of “negotiations” for the “deal” is in progress. He must be cool with that too. Do his P5+1 claques feel the same way? Seems so.

Their latest move is to HELP Iran get “the bomb”.

George Jahn writes at AP:

Western powers are offering Tehran high-tech reactors under a proposed nuclear agreement, a confidential document says, but a defiant speech by Iran’s supreme leader less than a week before a negotiating deadline casts doubt on whether he’s willing to make the necessary concessions to seal a deal. …

Iran’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Tuesday rejected a long-term freeze on nuclear research and supported the idea of barring international inspectors from military sites. Khamenei, in comments broadcast on Iranian state television, also said Iran would sign a final deal only if all economic sanctions on the country were first lifted. The preliminary deal calls for sanctions to be lifted gradually after an agreement is finalized.

Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed Khamenei’s remarks, saying Wednesday they were [only] for “domestic political consumption”. …

In another sign the Islamic Republic may be toughening its stance, Iran’s Guardian Council on Wednesday enacted legislation banning access to military sites and scientists, according to state TV. …

The West has held out the prospect of providing Iran peaceful nuclear technology in the nearly decade-long effort to reduce Tehran’s ability to make nuclear weapons. But the scope of the help now being offered in the draft displeases U.S. congressional critics who say Washington is giving away too much.

“These continued concessions only emboldened Iran’s leaders to press for more,” Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement. “The way these negotiations are moving, it is increasingly difficult to see the administration striking a meaningful, lasting agreement that would be acceptable to Congress.” …

[A draft annex] entitled Civil Nuclear Cooperation, promises to supply Iran with light-water nuclear reactors instead of its nearly completed heavy-water facility at Arak, which could produce enough plutonium for several bombs a year if completed as planned. …

Outlining plans to modify that heavy-water reactor, the draft, dated June 19, offers to “establish an international partnership” to rebuild it into a less proliferation-prone facility while leaving Iran in “the leadership role as the project owner and manager.”

The eight-page draft also promises “arrangements for the assured supply and removal of nuclear fuel for each reactor provided,” and offers help in the “construction and effective operation” of the reactors and related hardware. It offers cooperation with Iran in the fields of nuclear safety, nuclear medicine, research, nuclear waste removal and other peaceful applications. …

[But] because isotope production uses the same technology as enrichment and can be quickly re-engineered, the compromise has been criticized by congressional opponents of the proposed deal.

Scott Johnson comments at PowerLine:

This is no longer a deal to stop the Iranian nuclear program. It’s a deal to let the Iranians perfect their nuclear program with international assistance and under international protection.

Some country in the P5+1 will be helping the Iranians develop next-generation centrifuges in a facility impenetrable to American and Israeli bombs. Conversely, any country that wants to sabotage that development will be unable to do so, because the program will be protected and maintained by a major power.

As the centrifuges are being developed they’ll be spinning non-nuclear elements, but once they’re perfected the Iranians will be able to use them to enrich uranium. The international community will literally be investing in helping Iran achieve a zero breakout.

A couple of obvious points. First, it means the P5+1 will be actively providing the Iranians with the tools to break out while a deal is in place. The Iranians will already have 300kg of 3.67% uranium on hand, and they’ll be able to scale up production as they need because the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] lets them keep 5,000 centrifuges enriching uranium at Natanz and lets them keep another 10,000 centrifuges in storage available to be installed. They can bring low enriched material to Fordow and quickly enrich it to weapons-grade levels in the next-generation centrifuges they’ll have developed with P5+1 assistance. Second – again – it means that the P5+1 will be actively ensuring that Iran will have the technology to go nuclear at will the instant the deal expires. The technology the Iranians learn to develop at Fordow will be applied on a mass scale.

To that end, the draft, entitled Civil Nuclear Cooperation, promises to supply Iran with light-water nuclear reactors instead of its nearly completed heavy-water facility at Arak … [and]  offers to “establish an international partnership” to rebuild it into a less proliferation-prone facility while leaving Iran in “the leadership role as the project owner and manager.”

Light-water reactors are significantly more proliferation-resistant than heavy-water reactors (in fact there’s no reason to build a heavy water reactor – of the type that the Iranians have been working on – unless you want to produce plutonium for a nuclear weapon). But even LWRs are not proliferation proof, and a plutonium bomb isn’t the only concern.

Imagine that 15 years from now the Iranians have built a dozen LWRs with help from a P5+1 nation. One concern is indeed that they’ll kick out inspectors, keep the spent fuel, and start reprocessing on the way to creating a plutonium bomb. But a more subtle concern is that they will use the existence of the LWRs as a pretext for industrial-scale uranium enrichment – because they’ll say they need the uranium fuel for their plutonium plants – which can serve as a cover for breaking out with a uranium bomb. The P5+1 would be actively providing the Iranians with diplomatic leverage to use against the P5+1 in the future.

Urgent: defeat and destroy the SJW 9

The Social Justice Warriors – now apparently so established as to be commonly alluded to as the SJW – are an enemy army. The enemy of justice. They are a worse threat to our civilization than Islam (with which they are tacitly allied).

The feminists are the worst of the army’s regiments.

The SJW – aka the Left, or “progressives” – must be constantly engaged in battle until totally defeated.

Some rational thinkers have been fighting them for years. May they be heard above the weeping and gnashing of teeth of the self-pitying enemy!

The academies are major battlefields. There the young, quiveringly sensitive warriors are falling spitefully on their “progressive” elders who launched the war in their own student days.

In a splendidly stinging article atFront Page, Bruce Thornton fights the good fight. He does not name the SJW, but his attack hits the warriors – especially the feminists – hard. Here is most of it:

Recently several progressive professors have publicly complained that their students are hounding them for failing to consider their tender sensibilities by straying beyond the p.c. orthodoxy on sexual assault, sex identity, linguistic correctness, and a whole host of other progressive shibboleths. Northwestern “feminist” professor Laura Kipnis found herself in a Title IX star chamber for an article she wrote decrying the immaturity of her legally adult students. … Another progressive confessed (anonymously, reminding us that academics are an invertebrate species) he was so “scared” and “terrified” of his “liberal” students that he self-censors his comments in class and has changed his reading list.

These incidents follow the complaints of other progressives like Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Chait that the intolerant ideology at the heart of progressivism is now getting out of hand – something that many of us have been writing about for nearly 3 decades. That these progressives should now be shocked at such intolerance and persecution after decades of speech codes, disruptions of conservative speakers, campus inquisitions which ignore Constitutional rights, cancellations of commencement speakers, and ideological litmus tests imposed on new hires and curricula, bespeaks not principle, but rather indignation that now they are on the receiving end of the bullying and harassment long inflicted on conservatives …

Indeed, the campus intolerance progressives are now whining about is the child of the progressive ideology many of the complainers still embrace. Modern progressivism is at heart grievance politics, the core of which is not universal principle, but identity predicated on being a victim of historical crimes like sexism and racism, and on suffering from wounding slights defined as such by the subjective criteria of the now privileged victim who is beyond judgment or criticism. Once acknowledged by the state, victim status can then be leveraged into greater political, institutional, and social power. The mechanism of this leverage is the state and federal laws that empower students whose feelings have been hurt by their teachers’ challenging or provocative questions and ideas.

Sexual harassment law, for example, with its “intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment” language, guarantees that subjective, irrational, or even lunatic standards of what constitutes an “offense” will be used to justify limits on academic freedom and expression, and to punish transgressors. The overbroad and elastic language of Title IX, the law used to haul Kipnis before a campus tribunal, likewise has invited subjective and fuzzy charges from anybody who feels that “on the basis of sex” she has been “excluded from participation in” or “denied the benefits of” or “subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”.  Finally, the Department of Education’s 2011 “dear colleague” letter, which instructed schools investigating sexual assault complaints to use the “more likely than not” or “preponderance of the evidence” standard of evidence rather than the “clear and convincing” one, ensures that any complaint no matter how preposterous or irrational will have to be investigated, and the “guilty” punished.

Yet the obsession with the victim and his suffering, and the need for everybody else to cater to his sensitivity, reflects wider cultural trends. … In this therapeutic vision, the cultural ideal now is Sensitive Man, who revels in his superiority to others based on his sensitivity to suffering, and his public displays of what Alan Bloom called “conspicuous compassion” for state-anointed victims.

Consequently, as Charles Sykes writes in A Nation of Victims – which in 1992 detailed the cultural shifts that have led to today’s hyper-sensitive and litigious students: “One must be attuned to the feelings of others and adapt oneself to the kaleidoscopic shades of grievance, injury, and ego that make up the subjective sensibilities of the ‘victim’. Everyone must now accommodate themselves to the sensitivity of the self, whose power is based not on force or even shared ideology but on changeable and perhaps arbitrary and exaggerated ‘feelings’.”

In my 1999 book Plagues of the Mind, I drew out the implications for higher education of this cult of sensitivity, which has made “infants of people, particularly college students, who are led to believe that the world should be a place where they will never feel bad or suffer disappointment, where they will be coddled and indulged and mothered, and where their already overinflated estimation of themselves will be continually reinforced . . . No one seems concerned about what will happen to these adults when they have to enter the real world and discover that it can be a cold, uncaring place where their anxieties and psychic fears are not the prime order of business”.  Sixteen years later Kipnis made a similar point in her article when she observed, “The myths and fantasies about power perpetuated in these new codes [of sexual behavior] are leaving our students disabled when it comes to the ordinary interpersonal tangles and erotic confusions that pretty much everyone has to deal with at some point in life.”

As Kipnis’s troubles show, today this obsession with the feelings of students and their demands that they be protected from anything unpleasant or “hurtful” has manifested itself in the hysteria over an alleged epidemic of sexual assault of female college students. (Professor Kipnis got into trouble for calling this phenomenon “sexual paranoia”.) Yet this is nothing new either. In the late 90s commentators were warning of the “New Puritanism”, and the “New Victorianism” – the title of Rene Denfeld’s 1995 analysis of this corruption of feminism.

In our view, feminism is a rotten ideology to start with. It can only go from bad to worse.

… The proliferation of “codes” governing courtship and sexual encounters in order to protect fragile women, the ever expanding list of prohibited words that might traumatize the “oppressed”,  the establishment of tribunals judging the accused without the benefit of Constitutional protections, and the noisy protests, shaming, and invective like those aimed at Professor Kipnis, are all in order to enforce orthodoxy through fear and self-censorship a la the poltroonish professor mentioned earlier.

Worst of all, the spread of this intolerance throughout universities makes impossible the very purpose of higher education: to broaden students’ minds by allowing what Matthew Arnold called “the free play of the mind on all subjects” and by familiarizing them with the “best which has been thought and said in the world”.  That ideal has now become scarce on our campuses. As Sykes wrote over 20 years ago, “Once feelings are established as the barometer of acceptable behavior, speech (and, by extension, thought) becomes only as free as the most sensitive group will permit.” This is precisely the state of affairs in American universities today, where the old notions that truth is a liberating force and that suffering teaches, and the great classics that embodied these and other verities of the human condition, have been sacrificed on the altar of victim politics and its aggrandizement of institutional power. So our universities now produce “snowflakes”, as some have called them, students with fragile psyches and empty minds. …

Now the progressives’ children are devouring their creators, the inevitable outcome of revolutionary passions and utopian goals that lack coherent principle and intellectual rigor. That’s why progressives suffering the wages of their ideology deserve no sympathy.

The shape of things to come 4

From Western Journalism:

The cruise missiles so often used to destroy ISIS installations and other enemy targets descend like a flash out of the sky, traveling up to 600mph as they approach unsuspecting terrorist compounds, hideouts, and ammo storage facilities. But the impressive speed at which a cruise missile is propelled will seem like a proverbial stroll in the park when an awesome new generation of hypersonic “birds” take flight as an operating Air Force weapon system.

The website military.com reveals updated details of the progress the Air Force is making in the development of the X-51, the hypersonic air vehicle that’s expected to be in service within the next decade. Though it’s known as the “Waverider”, the X-51 certainly doesn’t “ride the waves” in a conventional sense — it travels far above water or land as it reaches speeds up to Mach 5 — many times faster than the speed of sound.

The secret to the X-51 Waverider’s remarkable speed lies in its advanced scramjet technology, which has reportedly been in development since at least 2004. According to the Air Force chief scientist working on the program, Mica Endsley, a successful test flight in 2013 showed the technology is workable at an exceptionally high speed. “A B-52H Stratofortress carried the X-51A on its wing before it was released at 50,000 feet and accelerated up to Mach 4.8 in 26 seconds. As the scramjet climbed to 60,000 feet it accelerated to Mach 5.1.”

That kind of speed means the Waverider could conceivably travel across the United States — sea to shining sea — in about thirty minutes. It could scream across the Atlantic in close to an hour.

As military.com reports about the proof-of-concept test flight a couple of years ago:

“It showed that you could get a scramjet engine, launch it off an aircraft and it could go hypersonic. It was able to go more than Mach 5 until it ran out of fuel. It was a very successful test of an airborne hypersonic weapons system,” Endsley said.

The complex challenge that lies ahead for the X-51 program involves producing materials and building equipment that can withstand the tremendous forces and pressures of hypersonic flight. Pentagon officials are said to be enthusiastic about the scramjet technology because the U.S. military would be able to have air delivery systems that cost less and require fewer parts than conventional turbine engines.

An animation recently released by the Air Force shows a conceptual rendering of what the X-51 might look like on a future mission. You can get a glimpse of the possible future of America’s military might by clicking on the video above.

The weapon is not expected to be fully operational until 2023.

Will it ever be used? Not if Hillary follows Obama and his do-America-down policies. She would be more likely to sell it to the Russians, the Chinese, and the Iranians – provided an extra few million from each of them found its way into the gaping jaws of the Clinton Foundation.

But it’s a beautiful weapon. Perhaps a Rubio weapon. Perhaps a Cruz missile.

Posted under Defense, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Sunday, June 7, 2015

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The road to nuclear hell 2

An Iranian Guards commander sends a message to Obama and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):   

Gholamhossein-Qeybparavar

You would be wrong to dare to want to inspect our military centers and whoever does look at IRGC centers we will fill his throat with molten lead.- Gholamhossein Qeybparavar, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander, Fars Province, Iran.

And here’s a picture of a pathetic John Kerry (who has now put himself out of the insane negotiations with Iran by “breaking a leg”) bending over to persuade a skeptical, relaxed, unimpressed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif that the US really loves Iran  and wants nothing more than to make it happy (or something along those lines):

02NUKES-master675

Whose problem? 0

The US-Iran “agreement” … “can’t actually be an ‘agreement’ in the normal sense of the word [because] there is no prospect of Iran complying with it, and it’s quite possible that it will be proclaimed by the Obama administration regardless of whether Iran has even ostensibly ‘agreed’ to it .

So writes the splendid military-political analyst, Commander J. E. Dyer here.

The following also comes from her article:

Marie Harf is back, smacking down a mildly critical article in the New York Times about a looming problem with Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU at 3.5% purity), and the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) undertaken in November 2013 as the basis for continued negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

The gist of the concern is that the Iranian stockpile has grown 20% since the JPOA was agreed on.  This is a problem partly because it indicates non-compliance with the JPOA, under which Iran’s stockpile was supposed to be frozen.

But it’s also a significant problem because it’s not clear how Iran will be able to comply, on a meaningful timetable, with the stockpile allowance under a long-term deal.  Iran is supposed to get down to an LEU stockpile of 300 kg, and keep it there.  When IAEA completed its most recent inspection, Iran had 8,714 kg of LEU stock in uranium hexafluoride gas form (the form in which it is fed into centrifuge arrays for enrichment).

Iran thus has to convert to other forms, and/or render non-weaponizable, 96% of her current LEU stockpile in order to comply with the terms of the proposed final “agreement”.  Yet Iran has spent the last 18 months enlarging this stockpile, and has claimed technical difficulties with her plan to turn much of the stockpile into fuel elements for nuclear reactors.

An administration official reportedly acknowledged the issue:

“How are they going to do it?” one senior American official said recently when asked about the negotiations, details of which Mr. Kerry and his team are trying to keep confidential. “We’re not certain. It’s their problem, not ours. But it’s a problem.”

The Institute for Science and International Security, moreover, in its analysis of the latest IAEA report, repeated its warning from April 2015 that Iran still has a substantial stockpile of uranium hexafluoride, in oxide form, enriched to the higher 19.75% purity.  Although it would require re-conversion to be enriched further as weapons-grade material, doing that would more than double Iran’s post-“agreement” stockpile of LEU.

The warning about these real problems came to a head with the NYT article on Monday.  Reporters at the State Department’s daily briefing taxed Marie Harf with it; she described the State Department as “perplexed” by it, claiming that the article’s “main contentions are totally inaccurate”. But she proceeded to both misidentify and misstate one of these “main contentions” in her explanation:

“First, the notion in the story that western officials or U.S. officials involved were unaware of this issue or not understanding of what this entails is just absurd,” Harf said.

The article doesn’t say any such thing, so Harf is just arguing against a straw man here.  Her other comments shed no additional light on the issue.  She merely alludes to Iran’s “commitment” to reducing the LEU stockpile to 300 kg.

“What matters is that they [Iran] have committed already, and we said [it] publicly, to reducing their stockpile whenever this implemented 300 kilograms,” Harf said. “The notion that this is some big issue of concern of negotiation is more manufacturing a controversy than actual reality. Everyone who read that story this morning was totally perplexed by it.”

This comes from PowerLine, written and assembled by Scott Johnson:

Intelligence Squared US arranged one of its excellent debates on the upper West Side of Manhattan this week. The debate had as its subject the merits of President Obama’s pending arrangement with Iran. Addressing the proposition that the deal is good for the United States, the debate matched Philip Gordon and Amb. Thomas Pickering (for the affirmative) with Michael Doran and Mark Dubowitz (for the negative), with moderator John Donovan cracking the whip in impressive fashion. The audience votes on the proposition before and after the debate; the team that maximally moves the dial is declared the winner.

Intelligence Squared has made resources on the debate accessible here. The video is below; the transcript is here.

We think the case for the “agreement” or “arrangement”  as made by Gordon and Pickering is extremely weak.

Doran and Dubowitz bring some strong arguments to the debate, and in our opinion win it overwhelmingly. But then, we start off thinking the “agreement” is merely a cover for Obama’s intention to let Iran become a nuclear-armed power.

The narrow horizon of Libertarians 45

We consider ourselves libertarians with a small “l”: atheist libertarian conservatives.

We are not, however, to be counted among Libertarians because we part company with them on a number of issues that have arisen in our experience.

Some libertarian organizations are historical revisionists – in particular, Holocaust revisionists. One group told us they do not believe the Holocaust ever happened, or if it did, “the numbers of those killed could not have been anywhere near as large as is alleged”. This is not just ignorant, it must be maliciously intended too.

Libertarians have maintained that it’s okay to use children for pornography “if you pay them”. This is so vile, we can only hope most Libertarians do not agree with it.

Libertarians keep themselves under-informed about foreign affairs, and are absurdly pacifist. In America many are isolationist. We believe the US needs to be very strongly defended, and that defense sometimes requires a pre-emptive strike. We also believe in the Pax Americana, which means at present that this single super-power has a duty to protect the non-Islamic world from the forces of savage Islam – with arms if necessary.

Now a well-known Libertarian, a candidate for the presidency, is making a case for isolationism by falsely accusing the Republican Party – of which he is a member – of creating the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL).

We quote from an AP report. (Find it all at the New York Post here.)

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is blaming his own party for the rise of the Islamic State group.

The freshman senator from Kentucky said Wednesday that the GOP’s foreign policy hawks “created these people”. …

“ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately,” Paul said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

He continued:

“They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved – they loved Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. They just wanted more of it.”

Paul favors less military intervention abroad, wants a dramatic reduction in U.S. money to foreign governments and stands in opposition to the Patriot Act and the US policy behind drone strikes. It all makes him something of an outlier on foreign policy and national security in the GOP field. …

We agree with him that there should be a reduction in money to foreign governments: a reduction to zero. But that is an issue on which he has changed his mind (or says he has):  

Sensitive to being branded an isolationist in the race, he has scaled back some of his positions, no longer calling for deep cuts in the Pentagon budget, for example, and no longer proposing the elimination of foreign aid, including to Israel. …

Bobby Jindal, Governor of Illinois and a possible rival of Rand Paul as a presidential candidate, “described Paul’s comments as ‘a perfect example of why Senator Paul is unsuited to be commander in chief'”:

“We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position,” Jindal said. “We should all be clear that evil and radical Islam are at fault for the rise of ISIS, and people like President Obama and Hillary Clinton exacerbate it.”

We don’t think of “evil” as a force separate from human will, but we do agree of course that Islam is the cause of the rise of ISIS, and that Obama and Hillary Clinton have helped it rise.

In his interview earlier, Paul described Iraq as “a failed state”

Which it is …

 … and criticized Republicans who condemn his foreign policy as weak.

Which it is.

As the West goes grey 1

Colonel Richard Kemp, formerly Commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, deplores the abandonment by the Western world of the values that made it strong and great, and explains why he admires and defends Israel. (We have a difference of opinion with him over the expression “Judeo-Christian values”, but heartily agree with everything else he says.)

The Rubio doctrine 33

Marco Rubio made an excellent speech to the Council on Foreign Relations; on how bad US foreign policy has been under Obama’s disastrous leadership, and what it ought to be.

He says “the three pillars of his doctrine” are “American strength, the protection of our global economy, and a proud advocacy for America’s core values.”

Here’s the video:

Posted under Defense, Diplomacy, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 15, 2015

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