The Associated Press on Tuesday presented a diagram in a report and claimed it was leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran’s nuclear energy program. The report said that Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in Japan. The diagram showed a yield of 50 kilotons.
Nuclear scientists Yousaf Butt and Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, writing on the website of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, said the AP report contained a “massive error.”
They said the “level of scientific sophistication” to draw the diagram “corresponds to that typically found in graduate or advanced undergraduate-level nuclear physics courses.”
Meanwhile, diplomats working with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also conceded on Friday that the AP document against Iran’s nuclear energy program was “scientifically flawed.”
The United States, israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Continue reading
Unable to win US support for a figurative ‘red line’ on Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu drew a literal one during a speech to the UN General Assembly, and offered an apocalyptic vision of a nuclear bombing of Israel.
Netanyahu used a large diagram of a cartoonish bomb to represent Tehran’s alleged ambition to create a nuclear weapon. The drawing was divided into three sections, with marks indicating 70 percent and 90 percent of the uranium enrichment required to build an atomic bomb.
“Iran is 70 percent of the way there, and are well into the second stage. By next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there it is only a few more weeks before they have enriched enough for a bomb,” he said.
The Israeli leader used a red marker to show the line at which he believes the world should intervene to halt the enrichment, claiming that this was the only way to peacefully resolve the issue.
“I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down – and it will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy,” he said, adding that the deadline may come as soon as next Spring.
The alternative, Netanyahu said, is a nuclear-armed Iran, which he likened to a nuclear-armed Al Qaeda. He called the Iranian leadership “apocalyptic,” and argued that they would use a nuclear weapon against Israel even if it meant the destruction of their own country.
The diagram implied that Iran is amassing enriched uranium with the intention of creating a nuclear device, and that at the 90 percent mark it would be very close to completion. Netanyahu did not offer any new evidence that Iran had overcome the numerous other scientific and technological hurdles necessary to create a nuclear weapon.
Tehran dismissed Netanyahu’s charges as “baseless and absurd.” Israel, “on a daily basis, threatens countries in the region, particularly my country with military attack,” Iran’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Asman al-Habib Es’haq Al-e-Habib said. He warned that Iran would retaliate if Israel attempted to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.
He also said, that Israel “has ignored repeated calls by the international community to accede promptly and without any conditions to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons party and place all its nuclear-related facilities under the International Atomic Energy Agency verification system.”
Netanyahu is not the first politician to use props at the United Nations to call for international action against a sovereign country. In February 2003, then-US Secretary of State Collin Powell spoke before the UN Security Council holding a vial that he said could contain anthrax produced by Saddam Hussein. No anthrax or other alleged weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq after it was invaded and occupied by a US-led coalition.
Netanyahu has been campaigning for a “clear red line” to curb Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions since the beginning of September. The hard pressure apparently cost him a meeting with US President Barack Obama. The American leader refused to sit down to talks with Netanyahu on the outlines of the 67th UN General Assembly after the Israeli PM lashed out at Washington’s unwillingness “to set deadlines” for Iran. Continue reading
Syria dismissed the UN Secretary General’s 11th annual report on ‘Children and Armed Conflict’ as “unprofessional, dishonest and motivated by incitement” as it is aimed at harming Syria and tarnishing its reputation and the extent of its abidance by its international commitments on child protection and preventing violence against them during armed conflicts.
Delivering Syria’s statement at an open UN Security Council session on Thursday, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, voiced deep concern over the wrong information included in the report by the outgoing UNSG Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radica Komara Swami.
“We therefore reject all the allegations brought in the report on my country Syria and denounce politicizing this important humanitarian issue which is in the first place concerned with the children of my country,” said al-Jaafari.
He decried the report as lacking the evidence and facts and depending instead on mere media-based anti-Syria claims, wishing that the report’s makers would have at least taken into consideration the Syrian government’s point of view “which we have persisted in conveying it to Komara Swami since the beginning of the events and until the end of her mandate.” Continue reading
One week after an assault in Benghazi left an US ambassador and three fellow Americans dead, conflicting reports into the details surrounding their passing from both the White House and Libyan officials leave the facts of the raid uncertain.
Tuesday marks one week since Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed after a US consulate in Benghazi was destroyed on September 11, but reports describing the events that led up to his death differ depending on the source. The Obama administration insists that a mob stormed the consulate to show their contempt with an American-made film that mocked the Islamic prophet Mohammad, but overseas the explanation is much different.
Some authorities in Libya say the attack on the consulate that killed Ambassador Stevens had roots with al-Qaeda, and that the White House has whitewashed the facts in order to make the explanation more favorable for American audiences on the eve of a presidential election.
On Tuesday this week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “We have provided information about what we believe was the precipitating cause of the protest and violence based on the information that we have had available,” and that the US stands by the claim that “spontaneous” attacks on the consulate resulted in the loss of four Americans. Continue reading
Bloodshed the work of armed militants before Syrian troops arrived
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
In an extraordinary account of the Daraya massacre by veteran journalist Robert Fisk, eyewitnesses reveal that it was U.S.-backed FSA rebels and not the Syrian Army who were responsible for the slaughter of 245 men, women and children.
The massacre, which took place last weekend, was instantly blamed on President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces by the global media despite video footage from the scene showing victims welcoming the presence of Syrian Army troops and blaming the violence on armed rebels.
Those eyewitness accounts have now been verified thanks to the courageous journalism of veteran reporter Robert Fisk, who is risking his life in his role as one of the few impartial media observers inside Syria.
In an article for the London Independent entitled Inside Daraya – how a failed prisoner swap turned into a massacre, Fisk reveals how he was able to talk to eyewitnesses independently of Syrian officials, all of whom said the violence was carried out by armed rebels before the Syrian Army even arrived in the town, which is five miles outside Damascus. Continue reading
Some 200 bodies were found in the town of Daraya outside Damascus, Syrian opposition activists reported blaming the massacre on pro-Assad forces. The opposition also claims that 370 people have been killed across Syria over the past 24 hours.
Opposition activists made a video footage showing the aftermath of the massacre and posted it online. They claim that the bodies were found in houses and basements around Daraya. Women and children are among the victims. The opposition insists that the civilians were killed by the army during house-to-house raids at the end of last week.
No independent confirmation has been made to these claims yet. Previously, opposition activists had been repeatedly caught red-handed staging fake massacre videos. The UN observer mission in Syria is over. The West and its allies in some Gulf monarchies did everything they could to expel international observers from the country. Russia strongly opposed the initiative, saying that the presence of UN observers was vital since they could have helped in shedding some light on the Daraya massacre.
There has been no response from state-run media on the issue. Their reports only say that the army forced rebels to leave Daraya. Earlier, Damascus reported that Daraya was occupied by militants who had been previously ousted from the capital. Daraya is a Sunni town, where opposition activists were said to hold their weapons and food supplies.
President Bashar Assad, though indirectly, commented on the incident by saying that his army is committed to withstand foreign conspiracy attacks. Analyst for the Institute of the Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Science, Boris Dolgov, comments:
“There is a core of good sense in Mr. Assad`s statement. Syria’s division into several states according to ethnic and religious groups has long been a much-talked about issue. What is the purpose? The division is necessary to weaken the Syria-Iran tandem and the Hezbollah Shia Islamic militant group and its wing in the Palestinian Authority which are openly supported by Damascus and Tehran.”
Some experts equal the Syrian crisis to the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Many opposition activists in Syria are Islamists who receive strong support from the West and the Gulf. Exactly like mujahideen in Afghanistan three decades ago.
This all has resulted in the Syrian conflict now resembling a real war, says Sergei Demidenko, expert for the Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis:
“Tensions are rising each day as well as the death toll. Both sides use all methods they have. Opposition activists are using Al-Jazeera and Al Arabiya channels as means of information warfare. Assad`s opponents won’t leave him for good. It means that new violent outbreaks and Damascus raids are very likely. Mercenaries are arriving in Syria, and regular arms supplies will probably continue for several more months.”
Opposition sources in Syria recently reported that Vice President Farouk a-Shara defected to the rebel side, which can be viewed as an episode of the information warfare. Mr. Shara took part in talks with an Iranian delegation in Damascus on Sunday, which resulted in the ultimatum: negotiations with the opposition can take place only after a ceasefire is agreed.
source: The Voice of Russia
The BBC reports, quoting Amnesty: “Images from Anadan revealed more than 600 probable artillery impact craters from heavy fighting between Syrian armed forces and armed opposition groups.” (My emphasis.)
Further: “Turning Syria’s most populous city into a battlefield will have devastating consequences for civilians. The atrocities in Syria are mounting already,” warned Christoph Koettl, emergency response manager for Amnesty International USA, without acknowedging that the killings of civilians are committed by the US-NATO Free Syrian Army (FSA) rather than the government.
“The Syrian military and the opposition fighters must both adhere to international humanitarian law, which strictly Continue reading
In his Thursday interview with Radio Israel, Barak went on to say, “We should not react or respond to these reports. The issue of attacking Iran is too important to let a report like this decide in which direction it goes.” Continue reading