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Archive for August, 2012

Iran Produces 31% More Uranium To Add To Stockpile: IAEA

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Iran maintained its output of enriched uranium that world powers say may eventually be used for nuclear weapons, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran’s stockpile of medium-enriched uranium grew 31 percent to 189.4 kilograms (417.6 pounds) from 145 kilograms in May, the IAEA said today in an 11-page restricted report. The Persian Gulf country had raised production of the 20 percent enriched material by a third in the three-month period ending May 25.

“The agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities,” according to the report. The IAEA said it hadn’t detected any material diversion from Iran’s 16 declared nuclear facilities. Read more…

Former top US diplomat Jeff Feltman meets with Iran’s Supreme Leader

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Jeff Feltman, the UN Under Secretary for Political Affairs who until May served as a top US diplomat, on Wednesday became the most senior current or former American official known to meet with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in decades.

Feltman, the former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, met with Iran’s Supreme Leader as part of the entourage accompanying UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for meetings in Tehran. Ban traveled to Iran against the wishes of the US and Israel to attend the non-aligned movement summit.

American officials downplayed the rare meeting between even an ex-US official and Iran’s vehemently anti-American Supreme Leader, pointing out that Feltman doesn’t work for the US government anymore. Read more…

Iran’s New Penal Code Deeply Flawed

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Proposed amendments to Iran’s penal code would violate the rights of accused people and criminal defendants, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  Iranian authorities should suspend enactment of the proposed amendments and undertake a major overhaul of the country’s abusive penal laws.

The 48-page report, “Codifying Repression: An Assessment of Iran’s New Penal Code,” says that many problematic provisions of the current penal code remain unaddressed in the proposed amendments. Some of the amendments would weaken further the rights of criminal defendants and convicts and allow judges wide discretion to issue punishments that violate the rights of the accused. Lawmakers and judiciary officials have cited the amendments as a serious attempt to comply with Iran’s international human rights obligations. Read more…

A Self-Defeating Policy on Iran

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

According to the New York Times, the International Atomic Energy Agency is ready to report that the Iranian nuclear program continues to expand and to accelerate.  Moreover, the Times notes Iran’s emphasis on enriching uranium to 20 percent.

The 20 percent level is more than four times what is necessary for power reactor fuel.  As I have noted before, according to Professor Graham Allison, also of Harvard, this is like a football team reaching the ten yard line, where nuclear weapons-usable material is in the end zone. Stocks of uranium enriched to 20 percent materially shorten the time it would take Iran to break out or sneak out of its Treaty obligations and produce a nuclear weapon. Read more…

Nuclear-Weapon States Aren’t Created Equal

August 29, 2012 Leave a comment

America with the bomb poses no threat to world peace. Ditto Britain and Israel. Iran is another story.

For the past 67 years, the United States has been criticized for being the only country to drop atomic bombs on another sovereign nation. But while the anniversaries of Hiroshima (Aug. 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9, 1945) rarely pass without comment or controversy, another crucial date is completely ignored: Aug. 29.

Between July 16, 1945, the day the U.S. tested the first atomic device in New Mexico and realized that it actually worked, and Aug. 29, 1949—when the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb—the U.S. held a nuclear monopoly. Read more…

On Syria, Everyone’s Waiting for Obama

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

The Obama administration’s “lead from behind” foreign policy is having the same impact in Syria this year as in Libya last year: It is providing an opening for France to usurp the traditional American role as the leading outside power in the Middle East. While the bodies pile up in Syria, President Obama limits his support to the Syrian opposition to the rhetorical realm–backed up by the dispatch of a couple dozen computers.

Meanwhile French President Francois Hollande calls for the Syrian opposition to form a government as soon as possible and vows to recognize it as soon as it is created. He also speaks of creating buffer zones in Syrian territory and enforcing at least a partial no-fly zone–something that the Free Syrian Army has now called for. All of this is desperately needed to stop Bashar Assad’s ruthless killing machine, which is being aided by a substantial contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Read more…

The End of Pax Adana

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Although Turkey is not an Arab country, the Arab Spring is shaping Turkish affairs in important ways. Political changes in the country’s neighborhood have ended the equilibrium between Syria, Turkey, and Iran over the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group that has waged a violent campaign against Turkey for decades. This has meant the end of the Pax Adana, a regional balance characterized by the Syrian and Iranian promise not to support the PKK.

In 1998, Damascus signed a protocol with Ankara in the southern Turkish city of Adana promising to cease its support for the PKK. Iran joined in on that consensus in 2003. Now, Syrian and Iranian support for the PKK is back in the spotlight as Syria’s disintegration and Turkish-Iranian competition demolish the foundations of the former status-quo. Read more…

U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran’s regional ambitions, according to a new study for Congress.

Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals.

The American weapons sales total was an “extraordinary increase” over the $21.4 billion in deals for 2010, the study found, and was the largest single-year sales total in the history of United States arms exports. The previous high was in fiscal year 2009, when American weapons sales overseas totaled nearly $31 billion. Read more…

Internet Speed Index Around the World

August 27, 2012 Leave a comment
Hong Kong ranked number 1, Japan # 9, Sweden # 10, Denmark # 20, UK # 22, Norway 23, Ukraine #24, Germany 25, Russia # 28, and guess where U.S. stands! number 32. You don’t want to know about Iran’s rank, it ranks 163.
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Here in a America we tend to think we are the best at everything and have the best of everything. However, our egos prove to be too big- as a country that prides itself on innovation and claims to have some of the greatest technology, we certainly seem to have one of the slower internet connections. Not only do we have a turtle-like internet connection when compared to places like Japan and Korea, we also seem to have one of the more expensive mbps (megabytes per second) rate at $3.33.

Countdowns in Tehran and Jerusalem

August 26, 2012 1 comment

If Israel jets show up in Iranian airspace, it will most likely happen while Obama is too busy accusing Mitt Romney of secretly storing all his money in a giant cave in the Rocky Mountains to do more than dispatch a flunky to chew out Netanyahu over the phone. The election is the perfect window for a strike on Iran’s nuclear program, because Team Obama will be too tied down on the Romney Front to do much damage to Israel.
Despite the signs being brandished at your local Anarchists for Peace rally, accusing the United States of being a puppet of the Zionist regime, the United States and Israel have different interests. Israel is interested in not getting bombed and the United States is interested in regional stability. And regional stability means keeping the Sunni Arab oil countries happy. Read more…

Son of Hamas: ‘Time to expose Muhammad’

August 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Mosab Yousef in a candid interview about the prophet’s role in perpetuating terror.