Aletho News


The UN calls on Israel to destroy its nuclear weapons

By Viktor Mikhin – New Eastern Outlook – 16.11.2022 

The United Nations General Assembly has finally voted on a resolution calling on Israel to destroy its entire nuclear arsenal and allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit its nuclear facilities. 152 countries voted “yes”, five – Canada, Israel, Micronesia, Palau, and the United States – against, and another 24 countries, including members of the European Union, abstained from voting.

Few people can say where the “great states” of Micronesia or Palau are located. It is well known that the official head of Canada is the King of Great Britain, and it is not surprising that these three countries have, as befits good servants, unanimously followed the American order. Most states, aware of the enormous danger posed by Israel with its secret nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, responsibly voted in favor of this resolution.

The document states that Israel is the only state in the West Asian region and one of the few members of the UN (193 in total) that has not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The strong support for the resolution at the UN General Assembly in New York reflects widespread international frustration with the Israeli regime’s control of the nuclear threat in West Asia. This is especially true given how many countries Israel has invaded or attacked and how many genocides it has committed. The presence of Israel’s nuclear weapons has made the occupation regime over the Arab people of Palestine, according to the Saudi newspaper Arab News, “an extraordinary source of instability in the region.”

The resolution reiterated “the importance of Israel acceding to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and placing all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards by the International Atomic Energy Agency to achieve the goal of universal adherence to the treaty in the Middle East (West Asia).” The document called on Israel “to accede to the Treaty without further delay, not to develop, produce, test, or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, and to place all of its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an important confidence-building measure among all states in the region and as a step toward strengthening peace and security.”

Despite fierce and extensive Western propaganda and hysteria focused on Iran’s nuclear program, which has been repeatedly deemed peaceful by the IAEA, the resolution emphasizes that Israel poses a real threat to the region. The proposal for a nuclear-weapon-free zone in West Asia was also approved by the First Committee with 170 votes, including Iran. Perhaps not surprisingly, Israel was the only state to again oppose the text, as has happened repeatedly in the United Nations. The United States, Cameroon, Comoros, and Tanzania were the only four countries to abstain.

Iran’s representative to the UN General Assembly First Committee, Heidar Ali Baluji, criticized Israel for acquiring weapons of mass destruction and spending huge sums on conventional military needs. “In addition to weapons of mass destruction, the Israeli regime continues to threaten peace and security in the region and beyond with its large arsenal of sophisticated conventional offensive weapons. The regime is the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign aid since World War II,” Baluji said. Israel spent $24.3 billion on the military last year, equivalent to 5.2% of its GDP, placing it among the top five countries in West Asia for military spending. How much the Israelis spend on the military nuclear program and the constant improvement of these deadly weapons is anyone’s guess.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at Israel’s Dimona nuclear power plant, made headlines when he revealed Israel’s nuclear secrets to the world. The regime sent him to prison and only in 2004, after serving an 18-year sentence, most of which he spent in solitary confinement, was he released. However, strict conditions were placed on his release, including a ban on leaving Israel, a ban on entering the Palestinian territories, and a ban on communicating with foreign journalists. Since his release, Vanunu has served at least two prison terms after being convicted of alleged parole violations.

Not only does Israel possess nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the regime also disposes of its nuclear and radioactive waste in the Palestinian-occupied West Bank. According to numerous reports that have appeared in Palestinian and Arab newspapers in recent years, there is growing concern about the high rates of various cancers and birth defects among people in the southern West Bank. Israel has turned Palestinian towns and villages into a dumping ground for its nuclear and radioactive waste. Investigations in the Palestinian town of al-Khalil have revealed that its residents are suffering from radioactive contamination. According to reports, the radiation originates from Israeli nuclear facilities and nuclear waste storage sites in the area. It could also be the result of the use of depleted uranium weapons against the Palestinians.

Based on numerous studies, it is widely believed that there is a strong link between radiation and nuclear waste from Israel’s Dimona reactor (where a nuclear weapons facility was completed in 1963) and an increase in cancer cases in the southern West Bank. In the same areas in the south of the occupied West Bank, not a single case of cancer was reported before the Israeli factory began producing nuclear weapons. Many Palestinians currently suffer from cancer and birth defects, as well as recurrent miscarriages among women.

According to an Arabic Post investigation, Israeli authorities have not heeded official warnings from Palestinian officials who expressed serious concern about the danger of high levels of nuclear radiation in the atmosphere and groundwater in areas in the south of the West Bank, particularly in the city of al-Khalil (Hebron), where record levels of cancer and fetal malformations are recorded every year.

In December 2021, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused Israel of dumping hazardous nuclear waste, such as burnt oil, chemical and electronic waste, and others in the Palestinian territories. All this, he said, poses a long-term threat to the Palestinian environment (soil, water, air, and wildlife), in addition to the outbreak of cancer and birth defects. “There are 6,251 cancer patients in the country, which is a high percentage compared to neighboring countries,” Shtayyeh said. He also attributed this to the fact that the Israelis use the occupied territories as a dumping ground for nuclear waste.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani speaking before the UN, said that Israel’s advanced nuclear program poses a serious threat to international security and stability. Kanaani called on the IAEA to fulfill its mandate and responsibility in this regard.

It is worth noting that, according to various experts, Israel has 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal due to its active nuclear policy and the patronage of the West, especially the United States. It has repeatedly vehemently refused to have its military nuclear facilities inspected, not to mention refusing to sign the NPT. At the same time, Iran is a party to the NPT and has consistently maintained that its nuclear program is exclusively civilian in nature and subject to the strictest oversight by the UN and the IAEA. It is not surprising that Iran has repeatedly been subjected to the most thorough inspections by international bodies, and in Israel, even experts do not know where and what is located, not to mention the fact that not a single IAEA inspection has taken place there.

The policy of double standards is quite clear. When it comes to stopping nuclear proliferation, Israel is absolved of its responsibility. As a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran operates a peaceful program for energy and medical purposes, but is subject to the most stringent inspection program in IAEA history. At the same time, the West, especially the United States, has imposed the most painful sanctions regime on the Islamic Republic.

At the same time, Israel, which has hundreds of nuclear warheads, is not inspected by either the UN or the IAEA, and these organizations do not even want to hear about any control of Israel’s military nuclear program. On the contrary, Israel is supplied with endless amounts of military weapons (paid for by American taxpayers) and huge sums of money from the West, and also enjoys great diplomatic and political support on the world stage. An umbrella of uncontrollability, so to speak, is erected over Tel Aviv. The West is making it clear to Israel: do what you want, and we will cover you. But it is not the same for the peoples of this region, over whom hangs constantly the nuclear sword of Damocles, which can break loose at any moment with the use of nuclear weapons and the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

Viktor Mikhin is a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel produces weapons of mass destruction under West’s protection: Syria

Press TV – November 15, 2022

Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations, Bassam Sabbagh, says Israel must join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and eliminate its stockpile of nuclear weapons in order for a nuclear-weapon-free zone to be established in the Middle East.

Speaking at the Third Session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction in New York, Sabbagh lambasted Western countries, particularly the United States, for their generous support of the Israeli regime.

He argued that the approach has emboldened the regime to possess and develop more such munitions and to refuse to subject its nuclear facilities to international supervision, which have posed serious threats to regional peace and security.

He also complained that the tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons failed to introduce practical steps that would guarantee the effective implementation of the 1995 Middle East Resolution, which serves as a fundamental pillar in supporting the non-proliferation regime on the regional level.

The senior Syrian diplomat said Damascus supported the UN General Assembly resolution as a path parallel to the implementation of the Middle East Resolution, and not an alternative to it.

“Ever since the adoption of the resolution, Syria has cooperated with regional states participating in the conference to achieve their common goals. The progress made by the conference indicates the sincere and serious efforts made by participating countries, and reveals, on the other hand, the disregard of Israel and the United States for the international will. This practice goes hand in hand with their obstructionism to create a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction,” Sabbagh noted.

“Syria considers establishment of a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction as an important measure on the path of disarmament, empowerment of the non-proliferation regime, and a serious contribution to the protection of regional and international peace and security,” he said.

“Syria is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and tabled a draft resolution in 2002 and 2003 aimed at establishment of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction. The United States, however, aborted that initiative to protect Israel,” the Syrian diplomat said.

Israel, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to possess 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, making it the sole possessor of non-conventional arms in West Asia.

The illegitimate entity has, however, refused to either allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the NPT.

What has emboldened Tel Aviv to accelerate its nuclear activities, according to observers, is the support from the United States and Europe, the two parties most critical of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

November 15, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Has AUKUS nuclear submarine deal stalled?

With a deal that threatens non-proliferation, Australia is now yet another focal point of US-China tensions.

By Uriel Araujo | October 10, 2022

According to recent reports, an amendment proposed by AUKUS (Australia, UK and the US) countries to legitimize their nuclear submarine cooperation is being curbed by Chinese diplomatic efforts. The $122.4 billion dollars deal reached in September 2021 had been announced as the core component of this new strategic partnership. 

AUKUS, the security pact between these three Anglo-Saxon countries to counter China, was announced in September 2021, and has been controversial from the very start. Together with the QUAD, it has certainly increased tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

In this context, Australian authorities in Canberra plan to acquire at least eight nuclear submarines, thereby possibly making the Indo-Pacific state the first one in the Southern Hemisphere to possess such vessels, as well as the first country that is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to do so other than the five recognized weapon states, namely the US, Russia, China, UK, and France. According to the International Atomic Energy (IAE) Rafael Grossi, these submarines will be fuelled by “highly enriched uranium”, so they could be weapons-grade or close to it. Beijing’s Permanent Mission, in a position paper sent to the IAE last month, emphasized the fact that the “AUKUS partnership involves the illegal transfer of nuclear weapon materials, making it essentially an act of nuclear proliferation.”

The AUKUS countries in turn argue that the NPT allows marine nuclear propulsion as long as the proper arrangements are made with the Agency. However, in this case, nuclear material will be transferred to rather than produced by Australia itself. China disagrees with the AUKUS’ stance, arguing that the IAE is in fact overstepping its mandate. Beijing has called for an “inter-governmental” process to examine the issue at hand.

This is a complicated matter: when nuclear submarines are at sea, their fuel is not within the reach of the IAE’s inspectors and there is no way to keep track of the nuclear material. The agency’s director himself, Rafael Grossi, has told the BBC the AUKUS submarine deal would be “very tricky” for nuclear inspectors.

China’s mission to the UN in Vienna has also bluntly described AUKUS’ plans as nuclear proliferation under a naval nuclear propulsion “cover”. Ambassador Wang Qun, Chinese Permanent Representative to the UN accused the AUKUS states of “double standard” in a September 19 interview

American-Chinese tensions are already too high over the issue of Taiwan and to add fuel to the fire, Beijing perceives the US-led AUKUS plans as the West pushing its sea frontiers against China by weaponizing its ally Australia with nuclear submarines. To make matters worse, under the current arrangements the fleet would be a US-controlled squadron. Given the ongoing American “dual containment” policy, Beijing’s concerns do make a lot of sense.

Chen Hong, president of the Chinese Association of Australian Studies and also a director of the Australian Studies Center at East China Normal University, has even warned that by playing a part in this, Canberra could be sacrificing its own national security for the sake of other countries’ national interests.

In July, two Chinese think-thanks (China Arms Control and Disarmament Association and China Institute of Nuclear Industry Strategy) had already warned that the AUKUS submarine project could set a “dangerous precedent” and thus threaten non-proliferation in a lengthy report called “A Dangerous Conspiracy: The Nuclear Proliferation Risk of the Nuclear-powered Submarines Collaboration in the Context of AUKUS.” 

According to the document, if the US and the UK have their way, nuclear states will for the very first time be transferring weapons-grade nuclear material to a non-nuclear state (Australia). Such a precedent, it warns, “ferments potential risks and hazards in multiple aspects such as nuclear security, arms race in nuclear submarines and missile technology proliferation, with a profound negative impact on global strategic balance and stability.” The report also controversially evokes the possibility that Canberra might actually be intent on acquiring nuclear weapons, given its historical pursuit of the technology since the 1950s.

Meanwhile, Rob Wittman and Donald Norcross, two members of the US House Armed Services Committee, in a Wilson Center discussion on southeast Asia and the Pacific, have  urged Australians to work closely with the US to master nuclear technology.

Anthony Moretti, a Department of Communication and Organizational Leadership Professor at the Robert Morris University argues that there is a loophole in the NPT which would allow Canberra to acknowledge to the IEA that it has acquired nuclear materials and then simply refuse to allow any inspections validating its procedures. This would be the only way for Australia to go ahead with the AUKUS deal under the current framework, but the problem is the dangerous precedent it would set, as mentioned above. It is quite hard to imagine how Beijing could possibly allow such development. 

In his recent book titled “Sub-Imperial Power: Australia in the International Arena”, retired Australian army intelligence officer, Clinton Fernandes makes the convincing point that Canberra’s defense strategy has been built around a “structural dependence” on the US, which leaves it unable to defend itself in any scenario other than “in the context of the US Alliance.”

Australia has been called the “coup capital” of the so-called democratic world and the American influence on the country over the years has a lot to do with this. Washington has also controlled Canberra’s foreign policy for decades, as exemplified by the infamous Anglo-American coup that “dismissed” Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Right now, the island-country has become yet another focal point of tensions between great powers.

Uriel Araujo is a researcher with a focus on international and ethnic conflicts.

October 10, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Moratorium on nuclear tests must turn into legally binding obligation: Iran UN envoy

Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Zahra Ershadi
Press TV – September 8, 2022

An Iranian envoy to the United Nations says unilateral promises by countries about stopping nuclear tests cannot replace the nuclear disarmament, unless they turn into legally binding obligations.

Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Zahra Ershadi made the remarks on Wednesday while addressing a meeting of the UN General Assembly on the occasion of the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

“Pending the achievement of this goal [stopping nuclear tests], besides the implementation of these moratoriums by the NWSs (nuclear weapons states), consequently, should be replaced by a legally binding instrument to effectively prevent such tests,” she said.

She stressed the importance of the immediate implementation of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a “meaningful” step toward ridding the world from any threat of nuclear weapons, reaffirming it as the sole responsibility of the NWSs.

“The international community must hold the NWSs responsible and accountable by implementing this legal obligation and refrain from any activity inconsistent with that obligation,” she added.

The Iranian diplomat stressed the need to apply the approach to the Middle East “where the Israeli regime, as the sole possessor of all types of WMDs, poses the most serious threat to regional peace, security and stability.”

She criticized lack of implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the world 26 years after its signature.

Ershadi said the international community has been and continues to be adamant about ending nuclear tests, adding that achieving this noble goal relies on the political will of the nuclear weapon states.

She noted that Iran regrets the delay in halting nuclear tests and considers it a major reason for the failure of the 10th NPT review conference.

“Should these calls be effective, these ominous tests would not have been utilized for the production, proliferation and even use of nuclear weapons. After all, the world, including the NWSs, should have taken note of the devastating consequences of nuclear tests that are nearly identical to the actual use of nuclear weapons,” the Iranian envoy said.

She highlighted the importance and necessity of “putting an end to all nuclear tests for not only the sake of humanity and its future generations but also mother Earth.”

She said the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was a “right step in the right direction” and the only guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

NATO actions raise risk of nuclear conflict – Russia

Samizdat | August 9, 2022

The deployment of US atomic weapons on the territory of non-nuclear NATO members goes against the nonproliferation treaty (NPT), increases the risk of conflict, and hinders disarmament efforts. This was the message the Russian delegation delivered to the UN conference on nuclear nonproliferation in New York, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on Tuesday.

“NATO openly declared itself a nuclear alliance. There are US nuclear weapons on the territory of non-nuclear allied states in the bloc,” said Igor Vishnevetsky, deputy director for nonproliferation and arms control at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

In contravention of Articles I and II of the NPT, non-nuclear members of NATO are taking part in “practical testing” of the use of atomic weapons, Vishnevetsky added. Such actions “not only continue to be a significant factor negatively affecting international and European security, but also increase the risk of nuclear conflict and generally act as a brake on efforts in the field of nuclear disarmament.”

Moscow’s position is that “US nuclear weapons must be withdrawn to national territory, the infrastructure for their deployment in Europe must be eliminated, and NATO’s ‘joint nuclear missions’ must be terminated,” Vishnevetsky told the UN conference, according to a transcript posted by the Foreign Ministry.

The US Air Force currently has an estimated 150 nuclear bombs at NATO bases in Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The Russian delegate also touched on AUKUS, the September 2021 deal that envisioned the US and the UK providing atomic-powered submarines to Australia. This partnership “creates prerequisite for the start of a new arms race in the Asia-Pacific region,” Vishnevetsky said.

The withdrawal of US atomic weapons from non-nuclear NATO states was one of the key planks of Russia’s security proposal, presented to the US and NATO in December 2021. Neither Washington nor the military bloc addressed it in the responses they sent to Moscow in January.

At the very start of the conference, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia of “reckless, dangerous nuclear saber-rattling” aimed at “those supporting Ukraine’s self-defense.” Russian diplomat Andrey Belousov responded that Moscow put its nuclear forces on alert to deter NATO aggression, and that the conflict in Ukraine does not rise to Russia’s nuclear threshold.

Belousov has also addressed statements by US officials about new negotiations on strategic arms control with Moscow, saying that Russia has so far received only “declarative statements,” but no “concrete proposals.”

August 9, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran calls for international pressure to force Israel to sign NPT

Press TV – August 28, 2020

Iran has urged the international community to pressure the Israeli regime into joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Deputy Representative of the Islamic Republic to the United Nations Es’haq Al-e Habib says the international community must force Tel Aviv to join the NPT and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to access its nuclear facilities considering the Israeli regime’s destructive role in the region.

Addressing a virtual meeting on the anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on Thursday, Al-e Habib stressed that the destructive role of the United States and Israel has prevented the realization of a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Free Zone in the Middle East.

He slammed the US’ negative role in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and said with 1,054 nuclear tests, Washington has had the highest number of such tests in comparison to other countries.

He referred to the US as the possessor of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal and the only country to have used nuclear weapons, and said Washington not only has no intention to end testing nuclear weapons and join the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) but also continues to modernize and strengthen its nuclear arsenal.

Nuclear disarmament must remain at the top of the international community’s agenda, he said, adding that the nuclear tests must be stopped since they are against the soul of CTBT and commitment to nuclear disarmament as per the Article VI of the NPT.

Israel, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

The regime has refused to allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the NPT.

Under Article VI of the NPT, all parties to the treaty undertake to pursue good-faith negotiations on effective measures related to nuclear disarmament and the cessation of nuclear arms race.

August 28, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 6 Comments

France’s test of nuclear-capable ballistic missile inconsistent with NPT obligations: Iran

Press TV – June 20, 2020

Iran has voiced concern over a recent test-firing of an intercontinental nuclear-capable ballistic missile by France, saying the test is in clear violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and inconsistent with the European country’s commitments vis-à-vis nuclear disarmament.

“The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran expresses its concern over the move and believes that the French government should not overlook its international obligations enshrined in Article 6 of the NPT and the NPT Review Conferences,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Saturday.

He added that France must fully comply with its international obligations regarding nuclear disarmament.

The Iranian spokesperson emphasized that nuclear weapons pose a threat to global peace and security, and said testing such weapons would undermine the NPT as the basis for international non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

The French Ministry of Armed Forces announced on June 12 the launch of an M51 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from Le Téméraire, a Triomphant-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.

“The nuclear-powered Le Téméraire successfully fired an M51 strategic ballistic missile off Finistère,” Defense Minister Florence Parly announced in a Twitter post.

The launch was carried out without a nuclear warhead off France’s Western coastal region of Brittany. The missile was tracked throughout its flight phase by radars and by the missile range instrumentation ship Monge (A601), landing several hundred kilometers away in the North Atlantic.

The M51 – which replaced the M45 in 2010 – weighs 52,000 kilograms with a 12-meter length and a diameter of 2.3 meters. Its operational range is reported to be 8,000 to 10,000 kilometers with a speed of Mach 25. The three-stage engine of the ballistic missile is directly derived from the solid propellant boosters of the European Ariane 5 space rocket.

Moreover, the M51 carries six to ten independently targetable (Multiple Independently targeted Reentry Vehicle) TN 75 thermonuclear warheads which, since 2015, have been replaced with the new Tête nucléaire océanique (TNO or oceanic nuclear warhead) warheads. The new warheads are reportedly maneuverable (Maneuverable Re-entry Vehicle) in order to avoid potential ballistic defenses.

June 20, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Iran to even the nuclear score with US

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | May 7, 2019

It is going to be 30 years in another six months since the USS Abraham Lincoln, named in honour of the 16th US President, was commissioned on Nov. 11, 1989 as the 5th Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the American Navy. Now, as it leaves Croatia and heads toward the Persian Gulf, the carrier would have mixed emotions.

Its finest moment in all of these thirty years came on a sunny day off the coast of San Diego on May 1, 2003, when the then commander-in-chief President George W. Bush landed on its deck in the co-pilot’s seat of a Navy fighter jet to give a “thumbs-up” sign and declare victory in the war in Iraq.

“Major combat operations in Iraq have ended,” Bush said, the infamous “Mission Accomplished” banner hovering over him. “In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed,” the C-in-C declared.

Sixteen years later, USS Abraham Lincoln is going back to the Persian Gulf in atonement — to confront the real winner of the Iraq War and US’ number one enemy, Iran. The irony of this improbable moment cannot be lost on the 5,000-odd men and women on board the carrier when the US National Security Advisor John Bolton announced their new deployment at 9.30 pm on Sunday. The statement said,

“In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.  The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.”

Bolton didn’t go into specifics. To be sure, the sudden announcement — unusual for a Sunday and extraordinary for its timing at 9.30 pm — has triggered speculation. However, Tehran has taken Bolton’s words in its stride, dismissing them as “psywar”. One plausible explanation seems to be that 8th May happens to be the first anniversary of the announcement by President Trump on the US’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the fact of the matter is that the anniversary highlights three things.

First, the US and a clutch of Middle Eastern allies aside, the international community has continued to support the Iran nuclear deal. The US’ stark isolation is visible. Second, the US’ punitive sanctions against Iran have taken a heavy toll on the latter’s economy. Growth has stagnated while people face numerous privations in day-to-day life. Three, notwithstanding the above, there are no signs of Tehran changing its policies to compromise with the US’ regional strategies.   

Importantly, Tehran has also let it be known that on the anniversary date on May 8, President Hassan Rouhani will announce its retaliatory actions against the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal. The Tehran Times, which reflects establishment views, quoted “sources” to the effect Iran proposes to jettison some of the limitations on its nuclear activities (which had been suspended under the 2015) agreement. Specifically, the report goes to explain, that while Tehran as of now does not intend to quit the nuclear deal (although discarded by Washington), it will take measured steps within the ambit of articles 26 and 36 of the 2015 agreement.    

Tehran has already notified the European Union (which, along with UK, France and Germany, is a signatory of the agreement) of its intention. An urgent meeting of the so-called Joint Commission (E3+EU3) is due to take place in Brussels today with Iran’s deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator Abbas Araghchi. This is as per article 36 of the nuclear deal, which prescribes the modalities of arbitration. (The Tehran Times report is here.)

Meanwhile, Tehran is mulling over the options available to it. An influential Iranian strategic thinker who is close to the power circles in Tehran and used to be a spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiators in the past, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, wrote in the Middle East Eye on Monday about the growing perception in Tehran that the White House is “laying siege to Iran in ways similar to the way the Bush administration did as it prepared to wage an illegal war against Iraq.

Mousavian warned, “With the US constantly increasing sanctions and pressures, with other world powers failing to provide assurances for the JCPOA’s (Iran nuclear deal) economic benefits, Iran’s patience is running out. It is left with two options: A gradual withdrawal from the JCPOA or an  immediate departure from Non-proliferation Treaty and the JCPOA simultaneously.”

Mousavian concludes: “Both options are risky. The possibility of military confrontation exists in both options, but the latter is more effective because the United States will no longer be able to use the NPT as an instrument against Iran. In return, withdrawing from the NPT will bolster Iran’s position on the negotiation table more than ever by giving it more bargaining power.” (Ambassador Mousavian’s opinion piece is here.)

Significantly, there have also been reports recently that Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is planning to visit North Korea.

Of course, with its back pushed against the wall, Trump administration is leaving Iran with no choice but to retaliate. (The question of capitulation to US bullying simply does not arise.)

Now, if Iran quits the NPT, it has nothing to lose in the prevailing circumstances where its integration into the international community is in any case blocked by US sanctions. On the other hand, without Iran’s inclusion, the roof over the nuclear non-proliferation architecture will collapse overnight.

Suffice to say, Tehran is forcing the international community to push back at the Trump administration and restore the status quo ante in regard of the 2015 deal. But the Europeans have neither the political will nor the capacity or grit to measure up to Iran’s expectations.

The US knows it. Thus, a flashpoint is arising. Clearly, Iran will not precipitate any military confrontation. But then, Israel is also waiting in the wings to cook up some dirty tricks that leads to a US-Iran conflict. Herein lies the risk.

Having said that, Tehran is betting that Trump himself doesn’t want war with Iran. Possibly, Bolton who works for Israeli interests is punching above his weight. But the brinkmanship itself is incredibly dangerous. A US-Iran war is unthinkable, as the consequences will be disastrous not only for both and regionally but also for the world economy and international security. Worse still, Iran does not even threaten US interests directly.

It is highly unlikely that Trump would ever contemplate a replay of the infamous George W. Bush moment aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. Simply put, Iran is not Saddam’s Iraq. In Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan alone, there are 20,000 American troops deployed within Iran’s missile range.

Besides, Hezbollah has comprehensively targeted Israel. Israeli estimates put the number of Hezbollah rockets at anywhere up to 200,000. Read a thoughtful analysis by the Atlantic magazine entitled The Many Ways Iran Could Target the United States, here.

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

IRmep Lawsuit: US nuclear “policy substitution” for Israel undermines NPT, AECA and bilks US taxpayers

By Ryan Dawson | ANTI neocon Report | January 26, 2019

On January 17, IRmep filed a 59-page brief (PDF HTML) in a lawsuit demanding release of a series of secret presidential letters promising not to force Israel to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) or publicly discuss Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

The brief contextualizes a formerly top-secret 1969 cross-agency study about what U.S. policy toward Israel’s nuclear weapons should be. Unanimous consensus between the Departments of Defense, State and intelligence community was that Israel should be compelled to sign the NPT in order to be allowed to purchase conventional U.S. military weapons. Government agencies correctly believed that if Israel was allowed to possess nuclear weapons there would never be peace in the Middle East. National security adviser Henry Kissinger also grudgingly revealed intelligence in the summary that Israelis had stolen U.S. government nuclear material to build their arsenal atomic weapons. (1969 NSC papers on the Israeli nuclear weapons program filed as Exhibit A PDF)

Going against the consensus advice, on September 26, 1969, President Nixon adopted the Israeli policy of “ambiguity” (never confirming or denying Israel’s nuclear weapons program) in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. US presidents through Donald Trump have continued the Israeli “ambiguity” policy in a series of letters written under intense lobbying by the Israeli government.

According to the IRmep legal filing, this policy has perpetuated a $222.8 billion dollar fraud against U.S. taxpayers through non-enforcement of Arms Export Control Act bans on U.S. foreign aid—absent specific waivers—to known foreign nuclear powers that have not signed the NPT. The IRmep filing also debunks a series of assertions and disinformation filed in an affidavit by the National Security Council

On January 18, 2019 the Department of Justice filed a motion to indefinitely stop the lawsuit from proceeding until the end of the government shutdown, citing lack of funds to mount a legal defense. (PDF)

Listen to a discussion about next steps for this critical IRmep litigation and our other lawsuits on the Scott Horton Show (MP3).

January 28, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Helsinki: How About a Fresh START?

By Thomas L. Knapp | The Garrison Center | July 11, 2018

As US President Donald Trump heads to Helsinki for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump’s critics continue to inveigh against what they consider an illicitly close relationship between the two, a perspective stemming from the “Russiagate” scandal drummed up by supporters of Hillary Clinton to explain her defeat in the 2016 presidential election.

Russiagate or not, this summit may represent the two countries’ last, best opportunity to halt  or even reverse a decade of backsliding toward frigid Cold War relations. And Trump has a ready template at his disposal for pursuing warmer relations with a formidable, but hopefully former, foe.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan met with his Soviet counterpart, Mikhail Gorbachev, in Reykjavik. As the non-profit Reagan Vision for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World describes the summit, “[a] proposal to eliminate all new strategic missiles grew into a discussion, for the first time in history, of the real possibility of eliminating nuclear weapons forever. … Reagan even described to Gorbachev how both men might return to Reykjavik in ten years, aged and retired leaders, to personally witness the dismantling of the world’s last remaining nuclear warhead.”

While the full vision didn’t pan out, a year later the US and the Soviets signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Five years later came the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. “New START” arrived in 2010, shortly before relations between the two governments began to deteriorate in a big way.

At this point, the US is working on “modernizing” its existing nuclear arsenal, while Russia touts an advancing hypersonic missile program. We’re moving back toward the days of American schoolchildren practicing “duck and cover” drills under constant threat of nuclear war.

The best possible outcome of the Trump-Putin summit would be a new treaty that I’ll call “Fresh START.” Under such a treaty, the two governments would commit to getting back on the track laid down by Reagan and Gorbachev, actively working to meet their existing obligations under Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT):

“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament …”

Nuclear weapons are weapons of terror and of Mutual Assured Destruction. They’re not militarily useful outside those two ways of thinking. It’s time for the two countries with the largest stockpiles of such weapons to move together toward decommissioning and destroying those stockpiles. We may never again live in a world without nuclear weapons, but we can aspire to a world with as few of them as possible.

If Trump and Putin can deliver a Fresh START toward that goal, their summit will have been a resounding success.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (

July 11, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

NPT Violated: Russia Raises Issue of Utmost Importance

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 02.03.2018

Speaking at the UN Geneva Disarmament Conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is threatened by American tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) stationed in Europe and the destabilizing effect of joint nuclear missions (JNM) that NATO forces are being trained for.

The statement is more than propitious. No progress on European security is conceivable without an agreement on what to do with tactical nukes. US TNW are deployed while Russian tactical nukes are all stored. Unlike the US, Russia does not keep them abroad. Its non-strategic delivery means cannot strike the continental US. It makes American TNW in Europe an addition to the strategic potential able to tilt the existing strategic balance.

US instructors train European personnel, the Belgian, German, Italian and Dutch, to use TNW. An example is the yearly exercise Steadfast Noon, a low-profile training event conducted in semi-secrecy. The exercise testifies to the fact that European non-nuclear states (NNS) are involved in nuclear planning. The US trains their military personnel to fight a nuclear war.

It all constitutes a flagrant violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It prohibits nuclear states from transferring nukes to other recipients (Article I). It also prohibits NNS from receiving TNW (Article II). About half of US air-delivered bombs in Europe to be modernized are earmarked for delivery by aircraft of Europe’s NNS, which are parties to the NPT. In the early 2020s, modernized B61-12 guided nuclear bombs will be delivered by stealth F-35 bombers that many European NATO members are going to acquire thus achieving first strike nuclear capability.

Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey take part in the F-35 program. Belgium will probably purchase the F-35 as a replacement for its aging F-16. Poland, Finland (not a NATO member but a privileged partner) and Germany appear to be on the way to acquire the aircraft. There will probably be others – all of them becoming nations with nukes deployed on their territories and crews trained to use TNW in violation of the NPT.

The nukes are hard to get rid of. In 2010, NATO adopted the Tallinn formula, which stipulates that no member of the alliance can unilaterally withdraw American TNW.

The US 2018 Nuclear Posture Review eulogizes low-yield nuclear weapons (with strength of less than 20 kilotons). It identifies the need for nuclear sea-launched cruise missiles and lower-yield warheads for sea-launched strategic missiles.

If the idea is implemented, the RF won’t be able to distinguish an incoming low-yield munition from a full-blown weapon to trigger a nuclear exchange at strategic level. From Russia’s perspective, the concept presupposes another addition to the strategic arsenal. Very provocative, isn’t it?

NATO’s superiority in conventional weapons also should not be forgotten as well as the nuclear capability possessed by France and the United Kingdom.

Here is another aspect so rarely remembered nowadays. Sea-based TNW are excluded from the US-Russia TNW balance. The undeservedly forgotten Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNIs) signed in 1991 have so far been complied with. Unlike the INF Treaty, the compliance with the PNIs has never been doubted. Emergence of sea-based TNW means an end to the PNIs that have served both nations so effectively and for so long. The US, in effect, is adding European nuclear arsenals to the Russia-US strategic equation. Moscow will respond. It will also demand that these weapons are taken into consideration in potential arms control talks. It has every reason and right to do it. The problem of TNW will arise in negotiating the future the New START.

As one can see, the US plans undermine European security. They bring to naught the chances of reaching new strategic or non-strategic nuclear US-Russia accords. And it makes the US and European NATO members less secure upping the nuclear threshold. Moscow will not stand idle watching all these war preparations take place. It will respond. And other NPT participants will question the validity of the agreement breached in broad daylight. So may negative things with no silver lining visible. Is it worth it? Evidently not, but that’s what the US is doing. It will be responsible for the consequences. Russia has done its best to avoid the worst. On Feb.28, Sergey Lavrov said something really important. Hopefully, there are enough reasonable people not to make his stern and timely warning fall on deaf ears.

March 2, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

Russia Doesn’t Plan to Join Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – Lavrov

Sputnik – 19.01.2018

UNITED NATIONS – Russia does not plan to join the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday, stressing that Moscow shared a common interest in building a nuclear-weapon-free world but not using the methods, on which the treaty is based.

“Russia is not going to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We proceed from the fact that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is possible only in the context of general and complete disarmament, in conditions of ensuring equal and indivisible security for all, including those who possess nuclear weapons, as stipulated in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [NPT],” Lavrov said speaking at a UN Security Council meeting.

According to the Russian minister, the provisions of the TPNW are “far from these principles.”

“It [the treaty] also provokes deep disagreements among members of the international community and can have a destabilizing effect on the proliferation regime. I want to emphasize that we share the goal of building a nuclear-weapon-free world but it should not be achieved with such one-sided methods, on which the TPNW is based,” Lavrov underlined.

The TPNW was adopted on July 7 at a UN Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. It contains a set of prohibitions, including an obligation not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. So far, the TPNW has been signed by 50 states, and ratified only by three — Guyana, the Holy See and Thailand. The US, Britain and China haven’t also joined the treaty.

In September, Mikhail Ulyanov, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, said that the TPNW was contrary to Russia’s national interests and Moscow’s vision of how to move toward nuclear disarmament.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment