Posts tagged ‘Nuclear Weapons’
Several reports out of the China-North Korean border area indicate that Beijing is massing People’s Liberation Army troops on the frontier and has told them to prepare for war.
“Columns of (People’s Liberation Army) trucks have been pictured on the move near Yanji City which is close to the triple border between China, Russia and North Korea,” the U.K. Star reported Tuesday.
According to a computer translation of the Korean-language Daily NK, military trucks have been moving into position at night so as not to attract the attention of locals.
“There were so many soldiers in (vehicles) that there was a traffic jam,” a source reportedly said on Dec. 30. “We have not seen so many soldiers trucking to Yanji so far.”
Sources in the Chinese media have said that the PLA is “preparing for war on the Korean Peninsula” and that army commanders have participated in a “war ceremony” urging their troops to be ready for war. Pictures of the ceremony, shot last month, show massive gatherings of Chinese troops, all of whom were purportedly swearing oaths only given during wartime.
Meanwhile, residents of the area have apparently been told that “Trump (is) to hit North Korea in the New Year, we are preparing for war on the peninsula,” a source said. China’s move comes as North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un warned in his New Year’s Day address that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk and that North Korea would continue its development of atomic weapons in 2018.
“The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat,” Kim said, according to NBC News.
“This year, we should focus on mass-producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment. These weapons will be used only if our society is threatened.”
The troop movement also comes as President Trump accused the Chinese of selling oil to North Korean tankers at sea.
“Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea,” the president tweeted. “There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”
The tweet came after it was revealed that the South Koreans had intercepted a Chinese-flagged vessel accused of selling oil to the North Koreans in violation of United Nations sanctions imposed after Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test. However, reports have also indicated that the incident wasn’t isolated, with Chinese-flagged vessels spotted transferring oil to North Korea 30 times since October.
There have been three possible reasons postulated for China’s massive buildup on the North Korean border. The first is to guard against an influx of refugees should a war break out in North Korea. The second would be to seize assets in the hermit state should the Kim regime fall. The third — and most ominous — is that China could be prepared to join any possible war on North Korea’s side.
While China has shown support for imposing sanctions against North Korea, it’s shown less enthusiasm for actually enforcing them. Beijing is also Pyongyang’s closest ally and trading partner, something that the Trump administration has repeatedly tried to leverage to get Kim Jong Un under control during this latest spell of bellicosity.
Would Beijing be willing to spark a world war over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, particularly if the first move comes from Pyongyang? It’s not entirely implausible, especially given this latest buildup. Bottom line: If you were worried about Chinese military intervention in North Korea before, this is not a pleasant augury.
H/T Zero Hedge
Ratcheting up tensions in the Middle East — and raising the potential for conflict — a top Iranian general is warning that the Islamic Republic has missiles that can strike all U.S. military bases in the region.
According to Reuters, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, made the announcement Tuesday in response to news that the U.S. House of Representatives had voted last week for new sanctions on Iran’s missile program.
“Our missiles’ range is 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), and that can be increased, but we believe this range is enough for the Islamic Republic as most of the U.S. forces and most of their interests in the region are within this range,” Jafari said ominously.
“Americans are trying to impose new sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards for its missile program, but that is an excuse to harm Iran’s economy,” Jafari continued.
The sanctions the House approved are only related to its missile program, and are technically separate from the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. But President Donald Trump opened the door to the action when he decertified that agreement in October, calling it the “worst deal ever made,” according to CNN.
The agreement former President Barack Obama reached with the murderous mullahs of Tehran lifted economic sanctions on Iran in return for a “limited nuclear program” to be used for benefit of its citizenry and not for the manufacture of weapons.
After it was reached in July 2015, however, even Obama administration insiders have admitted the White House manipulated the American media and ultimately deceived the American people about the true nature of the deal.
And now Iran seems to be boasting about its military capabilities in an armed conflict with the United States.
According to Fox News, Jafari sounded like a general ready to fight.
American political and military leaders “know that if they begin a war between Iran and the United States, they will definitely be the main losers and their victory will by no means be guaranteed,” Jafari said.
“Therefore, they won’t start a war,” he declared.
Considering the history of Iran has been unbridled hostility toward the United States since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, no American leader — least of all President Trump — can take these words lightly.
The more America learns about Obama’s Iran deal, and the more Iranians boast about their capabilities, the worse Obama’s legacy looks for endangering American security.
Hopefully, President Donald Trump will take the appropriate action to keep the American people and its armed forces safe, no matter where they are in the world.
Information emerging from furtive North Korea indicates that a tunnel at the regime’s nuclear test site collapsed last month after a nuclear test, killing about 200 people.
A report from Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi, citing unnamed sources, said 100 people were killed in an initial collapse around Sept. 10, and another 100 died in a rescue operation.
Other reports put the date of the collapse as Oct. 10. No official North Korean announcement was made about the date of the collapse.
North Korea’s massive Sept. 3 test caused multiple tremors and landslides in the region, according to Reuters.
Even before news of the tunnel collapse emerged, Western analysts had said the region might be unfit for more nuclear tests.
Reports that a tunnel collapsed triggered fears that radioactive material might also leak out.
Nam Jae-cheol, the chief of South Korea’s Korea Meteorological Administration, said Monday some type of collapse was likely.
“Based on our analysis of satellite imagery, we judge that there is a hollow space, which measures about 60 to 100 meters (in length), at the bottom of Mount Mantap in the Punggye-ri site,” he said. “So, should another nuke test occur, there is the possibility (of a collapse).”
Asked then whether an earthquake could trigger a release of radioactive materials, Nam said, “Should it sink, there is a possibility,” according to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency. September’s hydrogen bomb detonation resulted in a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Aftershocks led to a 3.4 magnitude quake on Sept. 23 and a 2.9 magnitude quake on Oct. 12. Earlier this month, experts speculated that North Korea’s test site might have suffered irreversible damage.
“The explosion from the Sept. 3 test had such power that the existing tunnels within the underground testing site might have caved in,” said Kim So-gu, head researcher at the Korea Seismological Institute.
“I think the Punggye-ri region is now pretty saturated. If it goes ahead with another test in this area, it could risk radioactive pollution,” he added, as reported by Reuters.
A more powerful underground detonation at the current site could be “potentially suicidal,” not only because of damage from past tests, but also due to potential eruptions at Mount Paektu, a volcano only about 60 miles away, according to Kune Yull Suh, a professor of nuclear engineering at Seoul National University.
The website 38 North, which tracks North Korean activities, reported that the Punggye-ri nuclear test site did sustain damage from the last test. It said there were “numerous landslides throughout the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site on the slopes of Mt. Mantap (and beyond) resulting from North Korea’s sixth nuclear test. These disturbances are more numerous and widespread than seen after any of the North’s previous five tests.”
URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/kju-missile-new-target-war/
Reports began breaking Monday afternoon that the rogue regime in North Korea had fired off yet another ballistic missile in a provocative manner, this time sending one on a trajectory toward the nearby island nation of Japan. According to Reuters, the missile was fired in the early hours of Tuesday morning in Japan time, crossed over the northern Hokkaido section of Japan and broke apart into three pieces, crashing harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean.
Nevertheless, the Japanese government issued an alert to citizens to take any precautions necessary and prepare for the worst. The missile flying over Japan was the first time North Korea has made such an aggressive move since 2009 and marks a “sharp escalation in tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” Reuters reported.
Japan reportedly did not make any effort to shoot down the missile tracking through their sky, despite currently practicing to do just such a thing with anti-missile batteries deployed at U.S. bases in Japan, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to Agence France-Presse, the “unidentified ballistic missile” was fired from the Sunan region near the capital of Pyongyang, overflying Japanese territory to crash in the East Sea, part of the Sea of Japan.
“South Korea and the US are jointly analysing for details,” stated a media release from the South Korean military’s Joint Chief of Staff’s office.
A spokesman for the Japanese government said the launch was viewed as a “serious, grave security threat” to the Asian nation, and that “full steps” were being taken to ensure the continued safety of Japanese citizens.
It is thought that the most recent launch — which came just days after three smaller short-range missiles were launched to minimal effect — was in response to the start of a new round of military exercises in the region conducted jointly by U.S. forces and their South Korean counterparts.
The launch also comes at a time when virtually the entire world — including China and Russia, at least publicly — are urging North Korea to refrain from such provocative actions.
Obviously, it remains to be seen if there will be any sort of response to this latest missile launch, as President Donald Trump has promised to unleash “fire and fury” on the communist nation if it attacked any United States territory. South Korean President Moon Jae-in suggested his nation “immediately switch to offensive operations” if the North crossed an unspecified line with its provocations, according to Business Insider.
Of course, we will be sure to update you with any further information as this story continues to develop.
War might not be the inevitable result of North Korean provocations, but it’s coming closer with every step Kim takes.
Please share this on Facebook and Twitter to let everyone know that Kim Jong Un just fired off another missile, this time toward Japan.
What do you think of North Korea firing a missile that flew over top of Japan? Scroll down to comment below!
URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/china-announces-will-implement-tough-sanctions-north-korea/
For the second time in recent days, China took a major step to put pressure on North Korea to resolve its standoff with the United States over North Korea’s missile development efforts. The Chinese government announced Monday it will implement the sanctions that were imposed against North Korea by the United Nations on Aug. 5.
The Security Council sanctions block nations from accepting North Korea’s primary exports, including coal, iron, iron ore, lead and seafood. The sanctions also target other revenue streams, such as banks and joint ventures with foreign companies. The sanctions could cost North Korea a third of its $3 billion annual export revenue.
Although China did not block the sanctions at the U.N., it was unclear until the announcement whether China, which is North Korea’s largest trading partner, would implement them. China also faces possible action from President Donald Trump, who has said he may order an investigation into allegations of unfair Chinese trade practices.
“It is obviously improper to use one thing as a tool to imposing pressure on another thing,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday. “There will be no winner from a trade war, it will be lose-lose.”
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China’s action to implement the sanctions came days after a state-run newspaper said that if North Korea attacks the United States, it will fight any war that results on its own.
“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” the Global Times editorial said.
Throughout the escalation of tensions between the United States and North Korea, China has called for restraint.
“The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complicated and sensitive,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement Friday.
“China hopes that all relevant parties will be cautious in their words and actions, and do things that help to alleviate tensions and enhance mutual trust, rather than walk on the old pathway of taking turns in shows of strength, and upgrading the tensions,” he said.
Writing in The Washington Post, David Von Drehle said China needs to emerge from the North Korean-American showdown with a win.
” … the audience of greatest concern to China — namely, the other leading countries in the region, including Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam — faces the urgent question of whether they can trust a rising China to share in safeguarding their sphere. If the problem of Kim isn’t defused, those nations are sure to seek even deeper alliances with the United States while building their own military capacity. China’s regional influence will shrink rather than grow,” he wrote.
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URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/us-officials-news-border-advantage/
A missile defense system that the United States has begun installing in South Korea has “reached an initial operating capability to defend against North Korean missiles,” according to news reports. U.S. officials confirmed Monday that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, which was deployed to the Korean peninsula in order to counter the threat of missile strikes from Kim Jong Un’s regime, had successfully come online, according to Reuters. However, they cautioned that full operability would not be reached for several months.
The system’s installation has been a point of contention with China, which has argued that THAAD’s radar could be used to spy on Beijing and would weaken the deterrent effect of China’s own ballistic missiles.
“It helps in no way to achieve the denuclearization of the peninsula and regional peace and stability,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said last week, according to Agence France-Presse.
On Tuesday, North Korean officials said that the introduction of the THAAD system, in addition to American bomber drills with Japan and South Korea, had pushed the peninsula to “the brink of nuclear war.”
It also said that President Donald Trump and “other U.S. warmongers are crying out for making a preemptive nuclear strike.”
Yes, apparently we’re the warmongers, even as North Korea conducts illegal missile tests and broadcasts concerts with video of San Francisco being blown up by a nuclear weapon.
It’s obvious that Kim Jong In is not tethered to reality. Dictators living in la-la land are hardly anything new, but most of them don’t have nuclear weapons at their disposal.
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As tensions continue to mount on the Korean peninsula and in the surrounding east-Asian region, China appeared to make further preparations for what increasingly looked like an impending humanitarian crisis. According to The Korea Times, a Chinese government document was recently spotted in the border town of Dandong ordering the “urgent” recruitment of individuals fluent in both Chinese and Korean.
Though the document didn’t specify the number of Chinese-Korean interpreters to be recruited, it did mention 10 separate departments for which the interpreters could conceivably work, including departments dealing with border security, public safety, customs, trade and medical quarantine.
Radio Free Asia reported on the document as well, and while it noted that a Chinese foreign affairs spokesperson dismissed the urgent request for interpreters as “normal working requirements,” they couldn’t help but point out that the order came at a time of drastically increased tension and fear that military action against North Koreacould result in a flood of refugees surging across the border into China.
“Security and stability are very fragile at the moment, and the danger is great of a new conflict breaking out at any time,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a recent news conference. “We can’t risk even a 1 percent possibility of war.”
A journalist for The Toronto Globe and Mail who has been at the Chinese-North Korean border for a time also noted the document in an in-depth report on the tension that has settled over the entire region.
“People living here have a deep sense of fatigue,” explained Jin Qiangyi, director of the Centre for North and South Korea Studies at Yanbian University in China’s northeastern city of Yanji.
The people “are growing tired of it all,” the professor explained. “The current state of things is more tense than it has ever been in the past.”
The reporter also noted other cities and towns placing themselves on “high alert” status and an abundance of military vehicles and troops staged throughout the area.
He further noted that a failed nuclear test or similar catastrophe would likely send a cloud of radioactive contamination across the border into China, and that any sort of military strike or subsequent political unrest could prompt waves of refugees in the hundreds of thousands to try and flee the communist prison regime.
While the urgent request for Chinese-Korean interpreters could very well be nothing more than normal procedure as Chinese officials claimed, odds are great that they are actually in preparation for a military strike that may be forthcoming in the near future, particularly if rogue dictator Kim Jong Un insists on testing a nuclear device in spite of United Nations resolutions prohibiting him from doing so and a near-unanimous international alliance warning him explicitly not to.
By: Harris on July 19, 2016
URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/new-uk-pm-announcement-nuke/
Theresa May recently had her first debate in the British House of Commons since being named Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. What she said showed true leadership and conviction — something our current president could learn from. When asked if she would be prepared to kill innocent people if she had to give an order to use nuclear weapons, her response was simple:
She couldn’t be any more clear than that. May was formerly the home secretary and it seems as if her prior experience has given her some insight on what to do when faced with threat of terrorism.
During the commons debate there was discussion regarding renewing the Trident nuclear deterrent. As May joined in on the discussion, she was asked by another Parliament member: “Can we cut to the chase? Is she personally prepared to authorize a nuclear strike that can kill 100,000 innocent men, women and children?”
May quickly and unequivocally responded that she was prepared to make that call if she had to.
If they thought that because she was a woman she might be expected to be a little emotional at the mention of innocent children, they learned instead that she is a true leader. Her comments came in stark contrast to what President Barack Obama has said about avoiding the regrettable but sometimes necessary loss of innocent lives in a time of war.
“And I have to say to you, the whole point of a deterrent is that our enemies need to know that we would be prepared to,” May added. “Unlike some suggestions that we could have a nuclear deterrent but not actually be wiling to use it, which come from the Labour Party front bench.”
URL of the original posting site: http://hotair.com/archives/2015/10/18/north-korea-offers-u-s-a-peace-treaty-or-something
Of course, this may come as news to later generations of readers who probably assumed that the war ended back in the 50s. But it never actually ended on paper… they simply came to a truce, putting the war on hold essentially for eternity. (Or at least until now.) But this week the Norks seemed to put an offer on the table to scrap the entire affair once and for all. (Fox News)
North Korea reportedly rejected the idea of resuming talks to abandon its nuclear program on Saturday, but said it would welcome negotiations for a peace treaty with Washington.
North Korea’s foreign ministry made the statement one day after President Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye said they were ready to open talks with Pyongyang on sanctions if they were serious about dissolving its nuclear program, according to Reuters.
“If the United States insists on taking a different path, the Korean peninsula will only see our unlimited nuclear deterrent being strengthened further,” the North said in a statement.
North and South Korea are still technically at war after signing a truce in 1953 to temporarily end their conflict.
So just to be clear, Kim Jong-un’s people are not talking about stopping or even restricting their nuclear weapons program. They aren’t going to end their saber rattling against their neighbors to the south. In fact, they aren’t going to change a single thing in terms of the reasons that the entire civilized world aside from China and a few other communist holdouts have ostracized them. But they are willing to talk about a peace treaty with the United States.
That’s nice, isn’t it? If it happened it would give
John Kerry a chance to hang another “agreement” on the wall for his legacy as the Secretary of State. (And given what this one would be worth, it’s probably an excellent match for the Iran deal.) But how would this work? During his meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Barack Obama said that we were “ready” to talk about an agreement, but that seemed to be based on the idea that North Korea would disarm. Failing to hinder somebody’s nuclear ambitions hasn’t stopped him from coming to the table in the past, however, so what would we be giving up to the Norks for such a deal? No doubt some increases in shipments of food and other humanitarian assistance, as well as some fuel I imagine. And in exchange for that we would get…
A piece of paper???????????????????????
Why would North Korea give up their nukes at this point? They’ve gained the respect they wanted in terms of bringing the real world powers to the table with them and they don’t seem to be in any imminent danger of being attacked. They saw what happened to their partners in Libya when they gave up their program. (Muammar el-Qaddafi was unavailable for comment.) Honestly, why would we waste any more time talking to Kim Jong-un? Unless and until he starts lobbing some actual missiles at someone we’re likely better off leaving his country to starve.
Article printed from WND: http://www.wnd.com
Let me highlight six Obama statements about the Iran nuclear agreement that are complete exaggerations.
1) President Obama said, “I’ve had to make a lot of tough calls as president, but whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls. It’s not even close.”
“Not even close”?
He just said Friday, “the vast majority of experts on nuclear proliferation have endorsed this deal. The world is more or less united …”
But 200 retired generals and admirals completely disagreed as they sent a letter to Congress last week urging lawmakers to reject the Iran nuclear agreement, which they said “would threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States.”
Are we to assume that most of them are not in any respect “experts on nuclear proliferation”? And are we gullible enough to believe that the commander in chief knows more about military strategy and American security than 200 retired generals and admirals?
And what about other notable experts who disagree? As one editorial piece noted: “Michael Hayden, former CIA director; Dennis Ross, longtime Mideast negotiator; Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; David Albright, former nuclear weapons inspector and president of the Institute for Science and International Security; and Olli Heinonen, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s former deputy director general for safeguards, have all expressed reservations about the deal.”
2) President Obama said, “Because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly – with the exception of the Israeli government – has expressed support.”
But the Wall Street Journal reported that “Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates – are just as distraught” as Israel about the Iran nuclear deal.
Mishaal al-Gergawi, managing director of the Delma Institute in Abu Dhabi and a prominent Emirati political commentator, explained: “A lot of the Gulf countries feel they are being thrown under the bus. The Gulf thought it was in a monogamous relationship with the West, and now it realizes it’s being cheated on because the U.S. was in an open relationship with it.”
Obama’s “with the exception of the Israeli government” comment is not only a ginormous snub to our greatest ally in the Middle East but an affront to the fact that Israel has been threatened repeatedly with genocide by Iranian leaders.
Jerusalem is 970 miles from Tehran, which is roughly the distance between Washington, D.C., and the islands of the Bahamas – just 50 miles off the Florida coast. If the Bahamas were a hostile state to Washington with a long history of threatening to eradicate the U.S. capital from the planet, do you think anyone in Washington would concede to give the Bahamas nuclear power?
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is absolutely right when he calls the Iran deal a grave travesty and threat for not only Israel but also a “historic mistake for the world.” He said, “The desire to sign an agreement was stronger than everything else. … Wide-ranging concessions were made in all of the areas which should have prevented Iran from getting the ability to arm itself with a nuclear weapon.”
3) The president initially said International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, inspectors would be allowed to “access any suspicious location” in Iran. He then backpedaled and limited it, saying, “Inspectors will be allowed daily access to Iran’s key nuclear sites. If there is a reason for inspecting a suspicious, undeclared site anywhere in Iran, inspectors will get that access, even if Iran objects. This access can be with as little as 24 hours’ notice.”
But the truth is, Obama’s “anytime, anywhere” inspections is a bunch of smoke-and-mirror sales pitches to get the American public and legislators to buy the agreement.
First, even the president confessed: “And while the process for resolving a dispute about access can take up to 24 days, once we’ve identified a site that raises suspicion, we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in.”
However, the Wall Street Journal did an investigation into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action released by the Obama administration and it “reveals that its terms permit Iran to hold inspectors at bay for months, likely three or more.”
Now, imagine what a drug dealer could do with a warning 90 days before a law-enforcement raid.
The White House noted: “Right now, Iran has nearly 20,000 centrifuges between their Natanz and Fordow facilities. But under this deal, Iran must reduce its centrifuges to 6,104 for the next ten years.”
Ten years?! That’s two-and-a-half presidential terms or cycles. And we expect the No. 1 terrorist-recruiting Islamic nation in the world to comply and not play a shell game with centrifuges over that 10-year period?
The White House again was wrong when it stated, “International inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will not only be continuously monitoring every element of Iran’s declared nuclear program, but they will also be verifying that no fissile material is covertly carted off to a secret location to build a bomb. … Basically, from the minute materials that could be used for a weapon comes out of the ground to the minute it is shipped out of the country, the IAEA will have eyes on it and anywhere Iran could try and take it.”
So, we are supposed to believe that, despite not being on the ground full-time, the IAEA, will be omniscient and omnipresent so as to detect any movement of any materials at any time outside the country, even though it will fight to get into the country to inspect anything in less than three months? Can you say, pipe dream?!
And if you think the preceding sounds bogus, consider that the Associated Press just discovered a “secret agreement” between the IAEA and the United Nations and reported this about the discovery: “Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work.”
And, to add injury to insult, guess who will pay for those Iran inspectors to investigate their own nuclear facilities? You guessed: the American taxpayers have to pay more than $10 million a year.
Reuters reported, after the IAEA said it has a severe funding shortfall and would need extra monies, the U.S. mission in Vienna said in a statement: “The United States is committed to working with all (IAEA) member states to ensure the agency has the resources it needs to verify Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the (July 14 agreement).”
The State Department echoed similar sentiment back in April: “The United States is committed to working with other IAEA member states to provide the agency the resources it needs to continue carrying out this [Joint Plan of Action]-related work.”
Imagine: Washington agreeing to force American taxpayers to pay for a rogue and terrorist-funding Islamic republic to inspect its own nuclear facilities while ignorantly hoping it doesn’t develop a nuclear bomb behind our backs.
We really have forgotten Sept. 11.
Write your representatives today and demand they reject the Iran nuclear agreement.
(Next week in Part 2, I will give three more examples of Obama’s misguidance and more evidence that the Iran nuclear agreement is bad news for the U.S. and world, how Iran will continue to build a nuclear bomb despite a signed agreement, and, grievous among all the fallout, even if Congress does not sign an agreement, Iran will still be rewarded with at least $50 billion and up to $150 billion additional revenue to continue to fund terrorism against Israel, the West and the U.S. And Obama agrees it is best. Yes, you read that right!)
By Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer
Hundreds of bad actors are set to be expunged from the US Treasury’s sanctions list as a result of the Iran nuclear deal signed last month in Vienna. Yet the most high-profile among them has gone strangely unnoticed: the country’s dictator since 1989, Ali Khamenei. According to the deal, within six to 12 months, Treasury will de-list more than three dozen banks, oil companies and other investments belonging to the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, a k a EIKO. Reportedly worth more than $95 billion, EIKO is controlled by the supreme leader.
EIKO was founded with the mandate of confiscating property from individuals linked to the shah’s system after the Islamic revolution of 1979. Khamenei broadened the mandate in 1991 to confiscate property from dissidents, too. EIKO officials have included some of Iran’s worst human-rights abusers.
Treasury slapped sanctions on EIKO and its subsidiaries back in June 2013, noting that the purpose of EIKO was “to generate and control massive, off-the-books investments, shielded from the view of the Iranian people and international regulators.” As one senior Obama administration official noted, Iran’s kleptocrats “profit from a shadowy network of off-the-books front companies . . . the Iranian government’s leadership works to hide billions of dollars in corporate profits earned at the expense of the Iranian people.”
A closer look at EIKO reveals that it maintains a stranglehold on the Iranian economy. The value of EIKO’s real-estate portfolio totals nearly $52 billion. EIKO’s investment arm is worth $40 billion. Its stakes in publicly traded companies total nearly $3.4 billion. EIKO maintains a complex network of front companies and subsidiaries abroad in places like Germany, Croatia, South Africa, the UAE, Turkey and beyond. These businesses were all flagged by the US government for illicit financial practices, including government corruption. As Treasury noted, EIKO made tens of billions of dollars alone through the exploitation of favorable loan rates from Iranian banks.
And they’ll all soon be off our sanctions list. Not because they have suddenly become legitimate. In fact, there’s no indication that their conduct has changed. The White House is simply trading them in for a purported diplomatic victory — even if it’s a temporary one, given that Iran must only wait 10 to 15 years to inherit a massive nuclear program, a short path to a bomb, intercontinental ballistic missiles and its economy immunized against future sanctions.
No matter how you slice it, this move undermines the mandate of the Treasury Department, which has spent the last decade building a powerful yet delicate sanctions architecture designed to punish Iran for its nuclear mendacity, ballistic-missile development, financial support for terrorist groups and backing of other rogue states like Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.
But above all, the goal was to shield the US-led global financial sector from Iran’s vast network of financial criminals and their illegal transactions.
The Obama Administration continues to insist that the nuclear deal won’t stop America from punishing Iran’s destabilizing activities across the Middle East. They say that the deal will keep sanctions on some of the worst actors within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which directs Iran’s external regional aggression, its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and its vast system of domestic repression. The Guards also control at least one-sixth of the Iranian economy, including strategic sectors — banking, energy, construction, industrial, engineering, mining, shipping, shipbuilding and others.
But Khamenei is the man who directs the activities of the Guards. Once EIKO is freed from the sanctions list, Khamenei will be free to invest billions around the world with impunity. With the benefit of American sanctions relief, and with the aid of the Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s supreme leader will now be able to tighten his stranglehold on the Iranian people — a side effect of the nuclear deal that has not garnered enough attention. At the same time, he’ll be under fewer restrictions to finance terror and bloodshed around the region.
Mark Dubowitz is executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance. Jonathan Schanzer, a former Treasury terrorism finance analyst, is vice president for research at FDD.
22 May 2015
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) claims it has access to nuclear weapons through the nation of Pakistan, according to an article by longtime ISIS captive John Cantlie in the latest issue of their official magazine, Dabiq. In “The Perfect Storm,” allegedly penned by the British Cantlie, the group asserts that they possess billions, enough to buy a nuclear bomb “’from weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials’ in Pakistan.” If they cannot buy the weapon, Cantlie writes, the group would be satisfied with buying a “few thousand tons of ammonium nitrate explosive.”
“Let me throw a hypothetical operation onto the table,” Cantlie allegedly writes. “The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilāyah in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region. It’s the sum of all fears for Western intelligence agencies and it’s infinitely more possible today than it was just one year ago.’
Analysts believe the black-market sales of artifacts and antiques have generated billions for the Islamic State. The militants have destroyed dozens of ancient shrines, churches, and museums, claiming that they promote idolatry. But people within cities tell media outlets these same militants ransack the places of their priceless items to sell on the black market. The terrorist group also forces people within their caliphate to pay enormous fines and taxes. When they captured Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, they told the Christians to leave, convert to Islam, or pay a protection tax (jizya).
“They’ll [Isis] be looking to do something big, something that would make any past operation look like a squirrel shoot, and the more groups that pledge allegiance the more possible it becomes to pull off something truly epic,” continued the article. “Remember, all of this has happened in less than a year. How more dangerous will be the lines of communication and supply a year on from today?”
There is no way to confirm that Cantlie wrote the text of the article. ISIS kidnapped the British photojournalist two years ago. He has appeared in many propaganda videos, mainly those intended to show Muslims in the West that life in the Islamic State is normal, if not better, than life for Muslims in the West. The latest video was about Aleppo, Syria, to portray the city “as functional and productive.” However, Cantlie said this video was the last in his series. The militant group did not comment on the video or release any information as to whether Cantlie is still alive.
DF-26C deployment confirmed
Chinese Internet photos first published Feb. 29, 2012 show China’s new DF-26c intermediate-range ballistic missile.
BY: Bill Gertz March 3, 2014 4:59 am
U.S. intelligence agencies recently confirmed China’s development of a new intermediate-range nuclear missile (IRBM) called the Dongfeng-26C (DF-26C), U.S. officials said.
The new missile is estimated to have a range of at least 2,200 miles—enough for Chinese military forces to conduct attacks on U.S. military facilities in Guam, a major hub for the Pentagon’s shift of U.S. forces to Asia Pacific.
As part of the force posture changes, several thousand Marines now based in Okinawa will be moved to Guam as part of the Asia pivot.
In April, the Pentagon announced it is deploying one of its newest anti-missile systems, the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to Guam because of growing missile threats to the U.S. island, located in the South Pacific some 1,600 miles southeast of Japan and 4,000 miles from Hawaii.
And on Feb. 10, the Navy announced the deployment of a fourth nuclear attack submarine to Guam, the USS Topeka.
Chinese military officials said the Topeka deployment is part of the Pentagon’s Air Sea Battle Concept and posed a threat to China.
Disclosure of the new Chinese IRBM follows the announcement this week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the U.S. military is sharply reducing its military forces.
“How can [U.S. policymakers] possibly justify such reductions in defense spending when American forces as far away as Guam, Korea, and Okinawa are targeted by these nuclear missiles,” said one official familiar with reports of the DF-26C.
It was the first official confirmation of China’s new IRBM, which officials believe is part of the People’s Liberation Army military buildup aimed at controlling the Asia Pacific waters and preventing the U.S. military entry to the two island chains along China’s coasts.
The first island chain extends from Japan’s southern Ryuku Islands southward and east of the Philippines and covers the entire South China Sea. The second island chain stretches more than a thousand miles into the Pacific in an arc from Japan westward and south to western New Guinea.
Few details could be learned about the new missile and a Pentagon spokesman declined to comment, citing a policy of not commenting on intelligence matters.
The missile is said to be on a road-mobile chassis and to use solid fuel. The fuel and mobility allow the missile to be hidden in underground facilities and fired on short notice, making it very difficult to counter in a conflict.
The DF-26C is expected to be mentioned in the Pentagon’s forthcoming annual report on China’s military power, which is due to Congress next month.
Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, told a congressional hearing this week that missile and other nuclear threats from China and Russia continue to grow.
“The current security environment is more complex, dynamic, and uncertain than at any time in recent history,” Haney said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Advances of significant nation state and non-state military capabilities continue across all air, sea, land, and space domains—as well as in cyberspace. This trend has the potential to adversely impact strategic stability.”
Russia and China in particular “are investing in long-term and wide-ranging military modernization programs to include extensive modernization of their strategic capabilities,” Haney said. “Nuclear weapons ambitions and the proliferation of weapon and nuclear technologies continue, increasing risk that countries will resort to nuclear coercion in regional crises or nuclear use in future conflicts.”
Richard Fisher, a China military affairs specialist, said Chinese reports have discussed a DF-26 missile as a medium-range or intermediate-range system. Medium-range is considered between 621 miles and 1,864 miles. Intermediate-range is between 1,864 and 3,418 miles
Online reports of three new types of medium- and intermediate-range missiles have said the weapons could be multi-role systems capable of firing nuclear or conventional warheads, along with maneuvering anti-ship and hypersonic warheads, Fisher said.
According to Fisher, two likely transporter erector launchers (TEL) for the new missiles were displayed last year on Chinese websites. They include two versions from missile TEL manufacturing companies called Sanjiang and Taian.
Three years ago, the state-run Global Times reported that the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC) was working on a new 2,400-mile range missile that would be deployed by 2015.
That Chinese manufacturer also produced the DF-21 missile, prompting speculation that the DF-26C is a follow-up version of that system.
“China is developing and will soon deploy new longer-range theater missiles as part of its anti-access, area denial strategies, to be part of a combined force of new long-range bombers armed with supersonic anti-ship missiles, plus space weapons and larger numbers of submarines,” Fisher said in an email.
These forces are being deployed to push U.S. forces out of the first island chain and to have the capability to reach the second chain, including Guam, he said.
“China also consistently refuses to consider formal dialogue about its future nuclear forces or to consider any near term limits on them,” Fisher said. “China is giving Washington and its Asian allies no other choice but to pursue an ‘armed peace’ in Asia.”
According to Fisher, the Chinese missile buildup has forced the Navy to redesign its first aircraft carrier-based unmanned combat vehicle into a larger and longer aircraft.
The new Chinese long-range missiles also highlight the urgent need for a new U.S. long-range bomber to replace an aging fleet of strategic bombers.
To counter the Chinese threats, the United States should field its force of anti-ship ballistic missiles on submarines to match Chinese capabilities and deter China from using its naval power against U.S. allies such as Japan and the Philippines, Fisher said.
Russian officials have cited China’s intermediate-range missiles as one reason Moscow is seeking to jettison the U.S.-Russia Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which bans medium and intermediate ballistic and cruise missiles.
U.S. officials have said Russia is violating the INF treaty with a new cruise missile and testing its long-range missiles to INF ranges.
“It is time to retire the INF treaty because the United States now requires this class of missiles in order to deter China,” Fisher said.
“The bottom line: We are in an arms race with China and if America falters, so will our strategic position in Asia, which will surely increase the chances of conflict, nuclear proliferation and even nuclear war.”
The Pentagon’s latest report on China’s military forces, published last year, said the PLA is investing in “a series of advanced short- and medium-range conventional ballistic missiles, land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles, counter-space weapons, and military cyberspace capabilities.”
The weapons “appear designed to enable anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) missions, what PLA strategists refer to as ‘counter-intervention operations,’” the report said.
The Washington Free Beacon first reported on March 7, 2012, that the Chinese military had revealed online photos of a new intermediate-range nuclear missile.
The new missile is believed by U.S. officials to be the DF-26C.
China’s military frequently uses the Internet to reveal the first photos of new weapons systems.
Analysts said the missile TEL shown in the photo is smaller in size than China’s DF-31 intercontinental missile and larger than the DF-21 missile.
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