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Author Topic: Nuclear War, WMD issues  (Read 70881 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #300 on: May 11, 2014, 10:27:34 AM »

Thanks for that GM, EMP may well be the cutting edge of coming conflicts.  Certainly we are woefully unprepared and such an attack could be quite devastating.
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« Reply #301 on: May 11, 2014, 11:48:14 AM »

Thanks for that GM, EMP may well be the cutting edge of coming conflicts.  Certainly we are woefully unprepared and such an attack could be quite devastating.

Our grid is woefully vulnerable and without it, the loss of life incredible.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #302 on: May 22, 2014, 07:57:38 PM »

http://www.blog.standforisrael.org/articles/russia-may-build-more-nuclear-reactors-for-iran?sm=Blog&s_src=FB&s_subsrc=NFS1400XXEXXX
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #303 on: May 24, 2014, 09:28:47 AM »

Iran Is Providing Information on Its Detonators, Atomic Agency Says
By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROADMAY 23, 2014


WASHINGTON — For six years, international nuclear inspectors have been demanding that Iran turn over evidence of experiments that they suspect could have been part of a secret effort to solve the complex science of detonating a nuclear weapon.

On Friday, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the monitoring arm of the United Nations, said that it was finally beginning to see the information it had long sought — but that Iran insisted that the detonators were for non-nuclear purposes.

The disclosure was buried in a report by the atomic agency that detailed major progress Iran had made in diluting most of its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, nuclear fuel that the West has long feared could be converted relatively quickly into weapons-grade material. Getting Iran to dilute that uranium was perhaps the biggest single accomplishment of the interim deal struck last year, creating room for the current negotiations, which hit their first major roadblock last week.

While there were no details in the report about what data Iran had supplied on what are called “exploding bridge wire detonators,” the disclosure that a substantive discussion had begun with the agency suggested a significant change in tactics in Tehran. For years Iranian officials have refused to answer questions about what the agency blandly calls “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s program. The Iranians have claimed the queries are based on what they call Western fabrications of evidence and lies propagated by the C.I.A.


But inside American and European intelligence agencies, the detonator issue is just one of many questions about a suspected secret weapons-design program buried inside university laboratories and institutes. The suspicions were heightened nearly a decade ago, when evidence emerged from a laptop computer smuggled out of the country by an Iranian scientist recruited by Western intelligence agencies. The data he provided included diagrams, videos and other results that appeared to strongly suggest interest in weapons design.

While much of the work ended in 2003, there are disagreements in the intelligence agencies of different countries about whether, and how intensely, it was resumed. The negotiations over the evidence of weapons work have been taking place on a separate track from the talks between Iran and the major powers about its nuclear enrichment program. While the atomic agency inspectors are permitted to visit fuel production areas daily, the Iranians continue to block access to the scientist that the United States, Israel and others say ran many of the main weapons-research operations, Mohsen Fakrizadeh.

Some other Iranian researchers believed involved in the program have been assassinated in recent years, in operations that have been attributed to Israel. Israeli officials have never confirmed or denied responsibility.

The atomic agency’s report was issued at a moment when negotiators have reached a roadblock with Iran over how much it is willing to dismantle its nuclear fuel-making infrastructure. American officials want Iran to reduce the number of centrifuges — the machines that purify uranium — to around 4,000 from the current 19,000. The Iranians want to expand the number, over time, to roughly 50,000, saying they need such capacity to produce fuel for civilian reactors yet to be built.

In the meantime, though, Iran is complying with all the elements of its interim agreement. The report of the atomic agency, issued from its Vienna headquarters to member states, showed that Iran had “halted nuclear activities in the areas of greatest proliferation concern and rolled back its program in other key areas,” said an analysis from the Arms Control Association, an advocacy group in Washington.

The detonators that Iran began discussing with the atomic agency were invented during the Manhattan Project, the American-led effort to build the first atomic bomb during World War II. The detonators are similar to blasting caps: an electric current fires them off. But they use a much higher voltage and the timing of the explosion can be far more precise, allowing a number to fire more or less simultaneously.

While they are used in nuclear devices, they are also essential in mining and rocketry, as well as explosive welding and metal forming. The atomic agency said that at a May 20 meeting Iran had provided “additional information and explanations,” including documents, to substantiate its claim that it had tested the detonators for “a civilian application.”

The detonators are one of seven different technologies the atomic agency said, in a 2011 report, that Iran was believed to have investigated.

The report said the agency was assessing Iran’s information. “It is important,” the report added, “that Iran continues to engage with the agency to resolve all outstanding issues” related to the nuclear program.
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bigdog
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« Reply #304 on: August 04, 2014, 07:41:59 AM »

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2014/0801/Is-US-vulnerable-to-EMP-attack-A-doomsday-warning-and-its-skeptics-video
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #305 on: August 04, 2014, 11:36:37 AM »

Thanks for that BD.   This is a subject that deserves our attention IMHO.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #306 on: August 13, 2014, 07:23:44 AM »

The Growing Threat From an EMP Attack
A nuclear device detonated above the U.S. could kill millions, and we've done almost nothing to prepare.
By R. James Woolsey And Peter Vincent Pry
Aug. 12, 2014 7:14 p.m. ET
WSJ

In a recent letter to investors, billionaire hedge-fund manager Paul Singer warned that an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, is "the most significant threat" to the U.S. and our allies in the world. He's right. Our food and water supplies, communications, banking, hospitals, law enforcement, etc., all depend on the electric grid. Yet until recently little attention has been paid to the ease of generating EMPs by detonating a nuclear weapon in orbit above the U.S., and thus bringing our civilization to a cold, dark halt.

Recent declassification of EMP studies by the U.S. government has begun to draw attention to this dire threat. Rogue nations such as North Korea (and possibly Iran) will soon match Russia and China and have the primary ingredients for an EMP attack: simple ballistic missiles such as Scuds that could be launched from a freighter near our shores; space-launch vehicles able to loft low-earth-orbit satellites; and simple low-yield nuclear weapons that can generate gamma rays and fireballs.

The much neglected 2004 and 2008 reports by the congressional EMP Commission—only now garnering increased public attention—warn that "terrorists or state actors that possess relatively unsophisticated missiles armed with nuclear weapons may well calculate that, instead of destroying a city or a military base, they may gain the greatest political-military utility from one or a few such weapons by using them—or threatening their use—in an EMP attack."
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Bloomberg

The EMP Commission reports that: "China and Russia have considered limited nuclear-attack options that, unlike their Cold War plans, employ EMP as the primary or sole means of attack." The report further warns that: "designs for variants of such weapons may have been illicitly trafficked for a quarter-century."

During the Cold War, Russia designed an orbiting nuclear warhead resembling a satellite and peaceful space-launch vehicle called a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System. It would use a trajectory that does not approach the U.S. from the north, where our sensors and few modest ballistic-missile defenses are located, but rather from the south. The nuclear weapon would be detonated in orbit, perhaps during its first orbit, destroying much of the U.S. electric grid with a single explosion high above North America.

In 2004, the EMP Commission met with senior Russian military personnel who warned that Russian scientists had been recruited by North Korea to help develop its nuclear arsenal as well as EMP-attack capabilities. In December 2012, the North Koreans successfully orbited a satellite, the KSM-3, compatible with the size and weight of a small nuclear warhead. The trajectory of the KSM-3 had the characteristics for delivery of a surprise nuclear EMP attack against the U.S.

What would a successful EMP attack look like? The EMP Commission, in 2008, estimated that within 12 months of a nationwide blackout, up to 90% of the U.S. population could possibly perish from starvation, disease and societal breakdown.

In 2009 the congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, whose co-chairmen were former Secretaries of Defense William Perry and James Schlesinger, concurred with the findings of the EMP Commission and urged immediate action to protect the electric grid. Studies by the National Academy of Sciences, the Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Intelligence Council reached similar conclusions.

What to do?

Surge arrestors, faraday cages and other devices that prevent EMP from damaging electronics, as well micro-grids that are inherently less susceptible to EMP, have been used by the Defense Department for more than 50 years to protect crucial military installations and strategic forces. These can be adapted to protect civilian infrastructure as well. The cost of protecting the national electric grid, according to a 2008 EMP Commission estimate, would be about $2 billion—roughly what the U.S. gives each year in foreign aid to Pakistan.

Last year President Obama signed an executive order to guard critical infrastructure against cyberattacks. But so far this administration doesn't seem to grasp the urgency of the EMP threat. However, in a rare display of bipartisanship, Congress is addressing the threat. In June 2013, Rep. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.) and Rep. Yvette Clark (D., N.Y.) introduced the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage, or Shield, Act. Unfortunately, the legislation is stalled in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In October 2013, Rep. Franks and Rep. Pete Sessions (R., Texas) introduced the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. CIPA directs the Department of Homeland Security to adopt a new National Planning Scenario focused on federal, state and local emergency planning, training and resource allocation for survival and recovery from an EMP catastrophe. Yet this important legislation hasn't come to a vote either.

What is lacking in Washington is a sense of urgency. Lawmakers and the administration need to move rapidly to build resilience into our electric grid and defend against an EMP attack that could deliver a devastating blow to the U.S. economy and the American people. Congress should pass and the president should sign into law the Shield Act and CIPA as soon as possible. Literally millions of American lives could depend on it.

Mr. Woolsey is chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former director of the CIA.Mr. Pry served on the EMP Commission, in the CIA, and is the author of "Electric Armageddon" (CreateSpace, 2013).
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #307 on: September 10, 2014, 10:52:50 AM »

http://online.wsj.com/articles/watchdog-says-chlorine-gas-used-as-a-chemical-weapon-in-syria-1410362440
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #308 on: September 24, 2014, 02:39:37 PM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/us/us-ramping-up-major-renewal-in-nuclear-arms.html?emc=edit_th_20140922&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #309 on: February 07, 2015, 03:38:08 PM »



The Senate and Iran’s Bomb
Obama rejects a role for Congress that it has long played on arms control.
Feb. 6, 2015 6:47 p.m. ET

The ghost of Scoop Jackson is hovering over the Obama Administration’s troubles with the Senate and its nuclear negotiations with Iran. Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, a respected national-security Democrat from Washington state, was often a thorn in the side of Presidents who were negotiating arms-control agreements with the Soviet Union in the 1970s. President Obama wishes Senate critics such as Democrat Robert Menendez and Republican Bob Corker would simply get their noses out of the deal. This President needs a history lesson: Senate involvement in arms-control agreements goes back at least 50 years.

Threatening vetoes of anything the Senate sends him on Iran, President Obama seems to think his job is to negotiate nuclear arms agreements unilaterally, while the Senate’s job is to keep its mouth shut.

It was never thus.

The idea of nuclear-arms agreements negotiated by an Administration with little or no input from Congress is a relatively recent phenomenon. The Clinton Administration unilaterally negotiated the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea to stop its construction of nuclear reactors. The George W. Bush Administration followed, producing five sets of Six-Party Talks with North Korea. They all fell apart because the North Koreans cheated by continuing to test nuclear devices and develop missiles capable of delivering a bomb.

The Obama negotiation with Iran is called P5+1, which asks everyone to believe that the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, can be trusted to put Iran’s nuclear genie to sleep. That arms-control model may appeal to the Nobel Peace Prize committee, but it should not impress U.S. Senators.

The Senate’s experience with nuclear-arms control dates at least to the Kennedy Presidency in 1963 and the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which emerged after eight years of negotiations with the Soviet Union. Like virtually all Soviet-era arms agreements, that deal was a formal treaty and subject to the Constitution’s treaty-making process: The President may commit the U.S. to a treaty with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate. The Senate ratified the Kennedy test ban 80-19.

With a few exceptions, that public process was followed for decades. The agreements were openly debated by Senators with input, pro and con, by national-security specialists from inside and outside the government.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was negotiated during the Johnson Presidency and ratified under Richard Nixon in 1969. Nixon then undertook negotiations for the first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I). That produced the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which the Senate ratified 88-2. SALT I never became a formal, permanent treaty. It was a temporary deal, lasting five years, and Nixon submitted it to Congress for approval by votes in both the Senate and House.

President Obama’s Iran deal sounds like Nixon’s temporary interim SALT accord. But while Nixon understood the need to get Congress’s formal approval, the Obama White House refuses to note even the existence of Mr. Corker’s proposed up-or-down vote on an Iran deal.

When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and amid the Iranian hostage crisis, President Carter withdrew the SALT II treaty with the Soviets, knowing the Senate would never ratify it. During the Reagan years, Senators were preoccupied with nuclear verification and compliance. How, the Senators asked, would we know if the Soviets were cheating, and what would we do about it if they did cheat?

As the Reagan team pressed in 1987 for ratification of the INF treaty on medium-range nuclear weapons, Senator Sam Nunn, then the Democratic chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said, “We are going to have a major debate on verification, in the context of both this agreement and the next one.” Leading national-security figures testified in hearings, all of it covered and debated in major newspapers and television. It was a valuable exercise in American governance. The Senate ratified INF in May 1988, 93-5.

George H.W. Bush concluded the START treaty on longer-range nuclear weapons in 1991, which the Senate also ratified, as it did START II in 1996 under Bill Clinton.

Barack Obama’s Iran project is the outlier in the history of arms control. His insistence that no one may interfere in his negotiations has only increased misgivings in Congress about the details. If Mr. Obama were pursuing the traditional route to gain approval of an Iran agreement, exposing it to formal public debate and a vote, there would have been no need for Speaker John Boehner to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

Details matter. The Defense Intelligence Agency in its annual threat assessment last February said, “In addition to its growing missile and rocket inventories, Iran is seeking to enhance lethality and effectiveness of existing systems with improvements in accuracy and warhead designs.”

Missile delivery systems and warhead design were make-or-break issues during arms agreements with the Soviet Union. In Mr. Obama’s negotiations with Iran, they are virtually non-subjects.
***

Senators Menendez, Corker and Mark Kirk have led the effort for more accountability on an Iranian arms deal. President Obama’s response is a threat to veto any advice or consent the Senate may enact that doesn’t simply assent to whatever he signs. What an irony that his unilateral point man is former Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry .

This new Senate needs to re-establish its traditional role in letting the American people know what is in—and what is not in—these deals with the next generation of nations seeking nuclear bombs.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #310 on: February 15, 2015, 10:11:59 AM »

http://pamelageller.com/2015/02/washpost-exposes-obamas-disastrous-iran-nuclear-weapons-deal-point-by-horrible-point.html/
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« Reply #311 on: February 24, 2015, 11:27:46 AM »

GENEVA—The U.S. and Iran are exploring a nuclear deal that would keep Tehran from amassing enough material to make a bomb for at least a decade, but could then allow it to gradually build up its capabilities again.

Such a deal would represent a significant compromise by the U.S., which had sought to restrain Tehran’s nuclear activities for as long as 20 years. Tehran has insisted on no more than a 10-year freeze.

The possible compromise on the table appears closer to Tehran’s timeline. While it would add some years in which the Iranian nuclear program continues to be closely monitored and constrained, Iran would be able to increase its capacity to enrich uranium, and thus get closer to bomb-making capability again.

Critics in Congress and in Israel quickly attacked the prospect of a 10-year time frame as inadequate.

After four days of talks in Geneva, a senior U.S. official on Monday said there had been welcome progress toward a deal, while giving no specifics about its timeline.

The U.S. has been pushing for a freeze that would establish a period of time during which Iran would remain at least 12 months away from being able to fuel an atomic bomb—a so-called breakout period. Asked if Iran must accept that breakout period through the lifetime of an accord, the person signaled that may not be necessary.

“We have always said that we would have a one-year breakout time for a double-digit number of years and that remains the case,” the official said.

That suggests a period of as little as 10 years. When pressed, the official declined to elaborate.  Such a compromise could allow Iran to portray the major restrictions on its nuclear program at home as lasting only 10 years—an upper limit Iranian officials have mentioned before. Iran says its nuclear program is a purely civilian, peaceful one.  
It also could break the impasse over how many centrifuges—machines for enriching uranium—Tehran would be allowed under a deal. If Iran can expand its activities, it could start with fewer centrifuges and then be allowed to operate more over time.  The U.S. and its global partners could argue that Tehran’s activities will remain under significant international oversight and with some constraints for much longer.

U.S. lawmakers have said they’re going to closely scrutinize any agreement with Tehran and try to force a vote in Congress on it. A deal that allows Tehran to maintain a sizable capacity to enrich uranium, and to eventually be freed to pursue a broader nuclear program, is expected to face fierce opposition.  The Obama administration maintains that it doesn’t need congressional approval for the deal because it isn’t a treaty, although Congress would have to vote to lift some of the sanctions it has imposed on Iran over the years.

Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) said in an interview that a 10-year time frame wasn’t long enough to truly curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

“If you’re going to do all of this and then just end up with a 10-year agreement, you just really haven’t accomplished near what people had hoped,” said Mr. Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Such a time frame would be “very concerning,” he added. “About the time they’re beginning to do what they should be doing, they’d be out from under the regime.”

The Israeli government has been a leading critic of the talks, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned were destined to end in a “dangerous” deal.
On Monday, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel considers the negotiations “totally unsatisfactory” because it would allow Iran to be “extremely close” to a “dangerous breakout program.”  Referring to the latest suggested compromise, he said, “for a 10-year delay [in Iran’s nuclear program] you are sacrificing the future of Israel and the U.S., and the future of the world.”

Mr. Netanyahu will travel to Washington next week to make his case against the diplomacy. He is due to deliver a speech to Congress on March 3, at the same time U.S. and Iranian diplomats will be back in Europe seeking to advance work on a deal. The two sides are aiming to complete a framework deal by late March and have a full, detailed agreement by a June 30 deadline.

U.S. lawmakers have threatened to impose fresh sanctions on Iran if the March deadline is missed—a step that could scuttle the diplomacy.

The talks in Geneva were attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and, for the first time, by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. They met Sunday evening and Monday with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and the head of Iran’s atomic agency Ali Akbar Salehi.

Both sides said the expansion of the negotiations to other top-level officials aimed at cutting through the remaining complex issues.

“These were very serious, useful and constructive discussions. We have made some progress though we still have a long way to go,” the senior U.S. official said.

Mr. Zarif was quoted by Iranian state media as saying: “We have made progress on some topics to some extent, but there is still a long way to go before reaching a final deal.”

Russia’s deputy foreign minister and chief Iran negotiator, Sergei Ryabkov, reflected a palpable sense of optimism around the decade long talks. “Confidence is growing a deal can be reached,” he said.

Iran negotiates over the future of its nuclear program with the U.S., France, the U.K., Germany, Russia and China.

Western officials said a phased structure could apply in other areas as well, such as when international sanctions on Iran will be lifted, or when Iran could resume nuclear research. Still, Western diplomats insisted that real differences remained.

The concerns about Iran’s research work are a threat to any agreement on the enrichment issue. If Tehran is able to develop far more powerful centrifuges, Iran would be able to produce enough nuclear material for a bomb in less than a year.  

“The U.S. has gone a long way” toward accepting Iran’s position, said David Albright, who heads the Institute for Science and International Security, a think tank that has advised Congress. “If they don’t address these issues in some way, then this deal isn’t doable.”

—Joshua Mitnick in Tel Aviv and Michael R. Crittenden in Washington contributed to this article.

Write to Laurence Norman at laurence.norman@wsj.com
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« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 11:35:55 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #312 on: February 25, 2015, 06:55:27 AM »

First if anyone actually believes it will take Iran 10 yrs to get a bomb must not have been reading the news the last 10 yrs.
If anyone thinks we will be able to contain them for 10 yrs must also have not been reading anything the last decade.

This reminds me of the handling of our economy.  Keep throwing money at the debt and hope we can keep pushing off the inevitable because something totally unforeseen or unexpected will miraculously come out of know where to save us.

Nonetheless the Dem party will naturally rally round their guy to promote this as some sort of gigantic ingenious breakthrough giving the Nobel Peace Prize winner infinite praise and a earned monument in the pantheon of the world's great leaders.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #313 on: February 25, 2015, 10:26:56 AM »

https://consortiumnews.com/2012/06/06/bush-blocked-iran-nuke-deal/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #314 on: February 27, 2015, 06:09:06 PM »

White House-Netanyahu Rift Isn’t Over the Speech, but the Deal
By Gerald F. Seib
Updated Feb. 27, 2015 2:55 p.m. ET
WSJ

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads to Washington for a controversial speech to Congress next week, the immediate problem isn’t that he and the Obama administration disagree. At the moment, the problem actually is that they seem to agree on this: As things stand now, the Israeli leader is virtually certain to oppose and try to block the deal the U.S. is negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.

That is a change, and a significant one, from just a few months ago, when it seemed possible there could be a negotiated deal that both Mr. Netanyahu and President Barack Obama could embrace, if not exactly love. This change is why Mr. Netanyahu thinks it’s worth undermining his entire relationship with an American president by making a speech the White House didn’t know about and fumed about once it became known. And it’s why the White House has taken on Mr. Netanyahu so directly.

In short, the real sticking point isn’t the speech; the sticking point is the deal.

All of which raises a broader question: Does it have to be this way, or is there still hope of closing the rift? Despite all the tension, the possibility of common ground may not have disappeared entirely.

But first consider the immediate situation in Washington, where the controversy in coming days will be more about a speech rather than the substance of the Iran question. By now, the saga is well known. Republican House Speaker John Boehner went around the Democratic White House to invite Mr. Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress about the threat from Iran. The speech will come two weeks before Mr. Netanyahu is running for a new term at home, and three weeks before the deadline for the talks the U.S. and five other world powers are holding with Iran over a possible deal to curb its nuclear program.

The White House was miffed. Very. But not, as is commonly assumed, simply because the speech represented a breach of diplomatic protocol, in which world leaders deal with each other rather than through their countries’ respective opposition parties.

The deeper cause for concern within the administration was a feeling that the speech means Mr. Netanyahu has concluded that there is no version of the deal currently being negotiated with Iran that he can endorse—and that he is embarked on a strategy of using his strong connections with Republicans in Congress to find a way to use the legislative branch to block an agreement negotiated by the executive branch.

“He’s advocating against any deal. That’s just not diplomacy,” a senior administration official said. “And he’s not putting forward an alternative deal.”

Little that Mr. Netanyahu has done in recent weeks suggests otherwise. He said this week that it appears the “world powers” negotiating with Iran “have given up” on their commitment to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

In a nutshell, here’s the substantive disagreement. The administration believes the deal it’s negotiating will reduce Iran’s capacity to enrich uranium so much that Tehran’s leaders would need a year to break out of the agreement and produce enough fissile material to build a bomb—sufficient time to allow the U.S. and its allies to stop any such breakout. Mr. Netanyahu thinks that the residual enrichment capability granted Iran would still leave it as a threshold nuclear state, and would in any case be too large to adequately monitor and inspect with any certainty.

There was a time, not long ago, when Mr. Netanyahu appeared to be pleased enough with the economic pressure the U.S. and the West were putting on Iran that he thought it might produce a deal he considered good enough. By all appearances, that’s what has changed.

Is there any alternative to this impasse? Dennis Ross, a Middle East diplomat under several American presidents, including Mr. Obama, thinks there might be. He suggests a new kind of anywhere, any-time inspections regime, enshrined in both a deal and legislation passed by Congress. If that legislation also mandated explicit consequences for Iranian violations, including use of military force, it might create the kind of American assurance Mr. Netanyahu could accept.

“There is a way to bridge the difference,” Mr. Ross says. Next week, though, that may be hard to see.

Write to Gerald F. Seib at jerry.seib@wsj.com
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #315 on: February 27, 2015, 06:24:35 PM »

second post

WSJ

Iran on the Nuclear Edge
Official leaks suggest the U.S. is making ever more concessions.
Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, before the House Appropriations subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies. ENLARGE
Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, before the House Appropriations subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies. Photo: Associated Press
Feb. 27, 2015 6:44 p.m. ET
4 COMMENTS

Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress this week that no one should pre-judge a nuclear deal with Iran because only the negotiators know what’s in it. But the truth is that the framework of an accord has been emerging thanks to Administration leaks to friendly journalists. The leaks suggest the U.S. has already given away so much that any deal on current terms will put Iran on the cusp of nuclear-power status.

The latest startling detail is Monday’s leak that the U.S. has conceded to Iran’s demand that an agreement would last as little as a decade, perhaps with an additional five-year phase-out. After that Iran would be allowed to build its uranium enrichment capabilities to whatever size it wants. In theory it would be forbidden from building nuclear weapons, but by then all sanctions would have long ago been lifted and Iran would have the capability to enrich on an industrial scale.

On Wednesday Mr. Kerry denied that a deal would include the 10-year sunset, though he offered no details. We would have more sympathy for his desire for secrecy if the Administration were not simultaneously leaking to its media Boswells while insisting that Congress should have no say over whatever agreement emerges.

The sunset clause fits the larger story of how far the U.S. and its allies have come to satisfy Iran’s demands. The Administration originally insisted that Iran should not be able to enrich uranium at all. Later it mooted a symbolic enrichment capacity of perhaps 500 centrifuges. Last July people close to the White House began talking about 3,000. By October the Los Angeles Times reported that Mr. Kerry had raised the ceiling to 4,000.

Now it’s 6,000, and the Administration line is that the number doesn’t matter; only advanced centrifuges count. While quality does matter, quantity can have a quality all its own. The point is that Iran will be allowed to retain what amounts to a nuclear-weapons industrial capacity rather than dismantle all of it as the U.S. first demanded.

Mr. Kerry also says that any deal will have intrusive inspections, yet he has a habit of ignoring Iran’s noncompliance with agreements it has already signed. Last November he insisted that “Iran has lived up” to its commitments under the 2013 interim nuclear agreement.

Yet even then Iran was testing advanced centrifuge models in violation of the agreement, according to a report from the nonpartisan Institute for Science and International Security. In December the U.N. Security Council noted that Iran continued to purchase illicit materials for its reactor in Arak, a heavy-water facility that gives Tehran a path to a plutonium-based bomb.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported last week that Iran was continuing to stonewall the U.N. nuclear watchdog about the “possible military dimensions” of its nuclear program. On Tuesday an exiled Iranian opposition group that first disclosed the existence of Tehran’s illicit nuclear sites in 2002 claimed it had uncovered another illicit enrichment site near Tehran called “Lavizan-3.” The charge isn’t proven, but Iran’s record of building secret nuclear facilities is a matter of public record.

As for the idea that the IAEA or Western intelligence agencies could properly monitor Iran’s compliance, a report last year from the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board is doubtful. “At low levels associated with small or nascent [nuclear] programs, key observables are easily masked,” the board noted.

This is significant since the Administration insists that any deal will give the U.S. at least one year to detect and stop an Iranian “breakout” effort to build a bomb. Iran’s ballistic missile programs aren’t even part of the negotiations, though there is no reason to build such missiles other than to deliver a bomb.

The Administration’s emerging justification for these concessions, also coming in leaks, is that a nuclear accord will become the basis for a broader rapprochement with Iran that will stabilize the Middle East. As President Obama said in December, Iran can be “a very successful regional power.”

That is some gamble on a regime that continues to sponsor terrorist groups around the world, prop up the Assad regime in Syria, use proxies to overthrow the Yemen government, jail U.S. reporter Jason Rezaian on trumped-up espionage charges, and this week blew up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier in naval exercises near the Strait of Hormuz.
***

Given how bad this deal is shaping up to be, it’s not surprising that U.S. allies are speaking out against it. “We prefer a collapse of the diplomatic process to a bad deal,” one Arab official told the Journal last week. Saudi Arabia has also made clear that it might acquire nuclear capabilities in response—precisely the kind of proliferation Mr. Obama has vowed to prevent.

No wonder many in Congress want to hear Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week. They look at all of this public evidence and understandably fear that the U.S. is walking into a new era of nuclear proliferation with eyes wide shut.
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« Reply #316 on: March 02, 2015, 11:47:51 AM »

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