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Archive for November 23rd, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 Iran faces deadline of nuclear talks this week

There are very specific prophecies in the Bible concerning Elam a province of Iran and Iran. This week is a very critical week in the negotiations to rein Iran in and if the talks collapse they are back to square one again but with the Iranians several months more advanced in their objective than when the talks began,

Netanyahu’s red line must be much closer advanced in location putting the whole region in greater peril of war than when the talks began.

Yes Jesus is in control and thinks will turn out as prophesied.

Nando

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/world/middleeast/in-iran-talks-us-seeks-to-prevent-a-covert-weapon.html?_r=0

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A view of the mountain where Iran built a hidden centrifuge facility called Fordo. The U.S. revealed its existence in 2009. Credit Google Earth
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VIENNA — Behind the efforts to close a nuclear deal with Iran this weekend lies a delicate question that has been little discussed in public: how to design an agreement to maximize the chances that Western intelligence agencies would catch any effort to develop an atomic bomb at a covert site.

Concern over the possibility of a future Iranian covert program — and the difficulty of writing a document that deals with the unknown — is rooted in a long history of distrust. But it has been rarely mentioned publicly by negotiators here as Secretary of State John Kerry and his European allies press a last-minute effort to resolve more immediate differences. The biggest disagreements center on how much capacity Iran could retain to make nuclear fuel, and how quickly economic sanctions would be suspended.

The efforts focus on the fate of Iran’s three major “declared” nuclear facilities, and on lengthening the “breakout” time for Iran to produce enough fuel for a single bomb. But those declared facilities are crawling with inspectors and cameras.

Unstated is the fear of a more problematic issue, referred to as “sneakout.” That describes the risk of a bomb being produced at an undetected facility deep in the Iranian mountains, or built from fuel and components obtained from one of the few trading partners happy to do business with Tehran, like North Korea.

To try to make sneakout more difficult and risky, scientists from the Department of Energy national laboratories, along with intelligence officers who can be seen hurrying this weekend through lobbies of Vienna’s grand hotels, have been providing ideas to negotiators and scouring the drafts of proposed language in the agreement. The goal is to “make as airtight as possible” the language that would allow highly intrusive inspections to track the precursors and parts that feed Iran’s uranium complex, according to one participant in the negotiations.

The American officials are highly attuned to the findings of a once-classified 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded that Iran ended its headlong race for a bomb in late 2003. But it also concluded that smaller-scale activity continued, and warned that “Iran probably would use covert facilities — rather than its declared nuclear sites — for the production of highly enriched uranium for a weapon.”

As the Monday deadline for a deal nears, it is far from clear that the Iranians will agree to these inspections, or allow them to take place if an agreement is in place. Already, hard-liners in Tehran like Reza Seraj, identified in Iranian news media as the “head of the intelligence faculty of the Revolutionary Guards Corps,” a previously unknown position, is warning of the consequences.

“This will mean they will get permissions for reconnaissance flights over our country and that their inspectors can enter anywhere, even the presidential palace,” Mr. Seraj wrote in a column published by the semiofficial Fars news agency.

American officials here say they are a lot more interested in mines and centrifuge parts than they are in palaces. And they say that despite the warnings in Tehran, they have had some success with the Iranian negotiating team. “On both mines and mills and centrifuge manufacturing sites there has been progress,” according to one senior administration official, who did not offer any details.

The deadline for the talks has already been extended once, and although Mr. Kerry has thus far avoided the word “extension,” many in his entourage see one — it would be the second — as inevitable, perhaps accompanied by some announcement of agreements in principle.

The threat from covert activities was driven home in the first intelligence briefings given to the incoming Obama administration in late 2008 and early 2009, when President Obama and his aides learned about the evidence that Iran was constructing a hidden centrifuge facility in a mountain outside the holy city of Qum that was so deep it could withstand all but America’s largest bunker-busting bomb.

Mr. Obama revealed the existence of that facility, called Fordo, in late 2009. In the run-up to what officials believed would be a climactic weekend here, teams of American, British, Israeli and European intelligence agencies have been looking for clues of another clandestine site. So far, they say, they have found no evidence of another large undeclared plant. “It’s an endless game of hide-and-seek,” one senior European intelligence chief said recently.

American spy satellites and even some drones — including one that crashed in Iran several years ago — search for tunnel entrances. Intelligence officials and private experts say hundreds, perhaps thousands, of underground bunkers and large tunnels now honeycomb the nation.

That is a worry for the future.

“From the beginning, the administration thought a nuclear agreement with Iran would need elements to deal with the overt program and one to detect covert facilities,” Gary Samore, Mr. Obama’s nuclear adviser during the first term, said recently.

American negotiators want an agreement that gives inspectors the right to roam the nation widely. From 2003 to 2006, inspectors did a lot of that, under an International Atomic Energy Agency agreement with the awkward name the “additional protocol,” which commits countries to opening up atomic facilities and sites they have long kept off limits.

Last year, Iran signed a temporary agreement with the West that gave inspectors access to a handful of such isolated sites, including mines and mills, from which uranium fuel originates. Presumably, an even wider set of inspection rules will be part of a permanent agreement, if there is one.

Similarly, officials say, there needs to be intense monitoring of the manufacturing and shipment of centrifuges — including a highly efficient new generation — so that the atomic energy agency could account for the location of every one. Here in Vienna, veteran agency inspectors still keep little clocks in their offices built by the Kalaye Electric Company, a Tehran firm bought by the country’s atomic energy agency where, a decade ago, inspectors discovered a badly hidden centrifuge factory.

Halting a covert path to a bomb is only one of the many moving parts in these negotiations. Most of the arguments now are over whether Iran needs most of the 19,000 centrifuges it has at Fordo and at Natanz, another formerly secret site, where centrifuge halls are buried deep beneath the Iranian desert.

David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington research group that monitors Iran’s nuclear program, told Congress on Tuesday that the deal should open a window revealing “how many centrifuges Iran has made, how much natural uranium it has produced and is producing annually, and its inventory of raw materials and equipment for its centrifuge program.”

Visiting sites is not likely to be enough to provide those assurances. American officials are also monitoring the activities of the long list of Iranian scientists — many of them under sanctions issued by the United Nations Security Council and the United States — who are believed to have been associated with Iran’s program to develop nuclear arms.

So far Iran has not allowed those scientists to be interviewed, arguing that to reveal their identities and locations would be to invite their deaths. Several have been killed already, often by “sticky bombs” placed on their cars on the way to work.

Of particular interest is the man suspected by the West of leading many of the military projects that might one day give weapons capability to Iran: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a former university professor who has headed several of the murky government institutes that American officials say are cover organizations for a weapons effort.

“Perhaps the most sensitive issue is the scientists,” one of the administration’s former top officials on Iran nuclear issues, Robert Einhorn, said recently. “Because a full confession by Iranians about their past weapons-related activity is highly unlikely, one has to look for ways for reassurance that these aren’t continuing now and won’t be resumed in the future.”

He said that “one of the best ways is to be able to have recurring meetings” with the scientists, “to be sure their activities are not related to the design of nuclear weapons.”

Iran denies it has ever engaged in weapons activities, saying the evidence cited by the United States and used as a source of detailed questions by the I.A.E.A. are fabrications.

It is unclear whether American officials will press Iran to publicly reveal any military dimensions of this program. They repeat the mantra that these negotiations “are about the future, not the past.” But the past lurks over the sneakout problem.

“We need to guard against the hidden program,” said Charles D. Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists and a longtime advocate of tougher sleuthing. “That’s the most likely route to a bomb. That’s the scenario I worry about the most.”

Nando end

Nov 23, 2014 The Middle East wars of Islam have always been a religious war

It is either ignorance or evil intentions that the leaders of the world or the news media have tried to characterized the conflicts of the middle east to be something else that religious war.

As a parallel saying goes it is the economy **%%%**, it should be said it is a religious war **%%%**.

The world is oblivious to the the forces driving the world today, the article below hits it right on the money when in the closing paragraph it states: “A thousand firefighters,” he wrote will not be able to extinguish a fire that has God as the fuse.”

Well God is lighting this fuse which will culminate in the seven year Apocalypse where the whole world will be judged when they turn against Israel.

Nando

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-israel-religious-war-20141122-story.html#page=2
Israeli-Palestinian conflict shifts ominously toward religious war
Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem
Israeli riot police stand guard in the plaza at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City. The hilltop where the mosque is located is revered by Jews and Muslims alike and is central to the current Israeli-Palestinian violence. (Jim Hollander / European Pressphoto Agency)
By Laura King contact the reporter
PalestineIsraelWest BankMahmoud AbbasBenjamin NetanyahuBan Ki-moonPalestinian National Authority
Israeli-Palestinian strife taking on overtly religious tones
A look at how Jerusalem’s disputed holy site figures in the latest violence

Guarded by a phalanx of riot police, the knot of young Jewish men, long sidelocks blowing in the breeze, strode across the paved esplanade of Jerusalem’s most sensitive religious site. A group of veiled and black-robed Muslim women leaped up to confront them, rhythmically chanting: “Allahu akbar!” — “God is great!”

Scenes like this one, playing out recently on a windy hilltop in Jerusalem’s walled Old City, illustrate the antagonism that has long colored the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now, though, the overtly religious elements of what had long been primarily a national and territorial struggle appear to be coming to the fore.
So long as the conflict remains on a secular, territorial track, there remains hope of a solution — not so with religion. – Uzi Rabi, Israeli analyst

In the Middle East, the term “holy war” sometimes serves as facile shorthand for events that are neither. In the last week, however, figures from Pope Francis to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have voiced alarm over the explicitly religious character of recent violence in Jerusalem and its environs.

That was crystallized this week by the horrific slaying of four Jewish worshipers in a Jerusalem synagogue and the killing of an Israeli police officer trying to defend them.

“The true danger … is that the wave of terror will turn into a true religious war, such as has not yet occurred here,” columnist Ben Caspit wrote this week in the Maariv newspaper. Many commentaries have noted the large potential for a conflict now primed to draw in Muslims not only in the Palestinian territories, but across the region and the Islamic world.
lRelated Israeli demolition of Palestinian home follows synagogue attack

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Israeli demolition of Palestinian home follows synagogue attack

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In Jerusalem, great religions have crowded and jostled their way down through millenniums. That is especially true in the walled Old City, where the trumpet-like sounding of the shofar, the wail of the muezzin and the pealing of church bells blend in a cacophony peculiar to this “port city on the shore of eternity,” as the late Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai put it.

Even before this week’s synagogue carnage in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, there were growing signs that places of worship were becoming battlegrounds, including the torching this month of a mosque outside the West Bank city of Ramallah and a firebomb attack on a historic synagogue in northern Israel.

At the conflict’s heart, though, is the iconic Old City plateau revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. In recent weeks, it has served as the principal rallying cry for Palestinian attackers, its fate now driving the conflict just as surely as its familiar domes dominate the ancient skyline.
Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem
Tourists visit the Dome of the Rock at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City. (Jim Hollander / European Pressphoto Agency)

Many other factors have influenced the mutual acrimony of recent months: the June killings of three young Jewish seminary students in the West Bank, followed by the reprisal torture and killing of a Palestinian teen; the destructive summer war in the Gaza Strip; heavy-handed Israeli police tactics used to quell street unrest in traditionally Arab East Jerusalem. But no other single grievance has galvanized such passions as the contested holy site.

The biblical Mt. Moriah — site of the ancient Jewish temples and of Islam’s third-holiest venue, Al Aqsa mosque — has for the last half-century been governed by an arrangement known as the “status quo,” under which only Muslims are allowed to pray on the plateau. Jews, largely adhering to mainstream rabbinical injunctions against ascending the mount and perhaps inadvertently treading on the Holy of Holies — the inner sanctum where the Ark of the Covenant was once kept — prayed instead at the adjoining Western Wall.
cComments

Imagine no religion / it’s easy if you try
Brian in KTown
at 10:05 AM November 22, 2014

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For several months, though, a movement spearheaded by Jewish activists has surged to greater prominence, staging more frequent visits to the hilltop site, which at certain times is open to tourists. Followers were sometimes counseled on how to circumvent the prayer ban with tactics such as “accidentally” falling down in order to ritually prostrate oneself, or reciting prayer fragments as part of tourist-style observations about the site’s historic structures.

In the view of Palestinians, and of neighboring Jordan, the formal custodian of the site, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated pledges to retain the status quo were dubious, because some of those actively seeking to scrap the status quo were members of his own government, or of the Israeli parliament. On the Palestinian side, a concerted campaign of extremist rhetoric dismissed Jewish ties to the site, further galvanizing Jewish activists’ calls for greater access.
Related story: U.N. human rights investigators denied entry to Israel for Gaza inquiry
Related story: U.N. human rights investigators denied entry to Israel for Gaza inquiry
Laura King, Batsheva Sobelman

As Muslim fear of a physical division of the site intensified, punctuated by episodes of violent unrest on the plateau itself, Israel imposed age restrictions for Muslim men for Friday prayers, sometimes banning those younger than 50, sometimes those younger than 35. Young Palestinian men seethed — and prayed in the streets outside barricades guarded by Israeli riot police.

Against this backdrop, a Palestinian assailant late last month made a brazen bid to assassinate Israeli American activist Yehuda Glick, one of the most vocal advocates for expanded Jewish rights to the site. Though seriously wounded, Glick survived, and amid the ensuing turmoil, Israel closed the hilltop to all visitors for the first time in years, a step Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called tantamount to a “declaration of war.”

Though the closure was brief, Jordan withdrew its ambassador in protest and warned that Israeli actions jeopardized their 2-decade-old peace treaty and a host of related accords. Secretary of State John F. Kerry made an urgent visit to Jordan this month for separate talks with Abbas and Netanyahu, winning promises of calming measures, including the lifting of the age restrictions for Friday prayers.

On Friday, midday prayers passed largely peacefully for the second week in a row, though with many hard-eyed glances between police officers and entering worshipers.

Rock-throwing clashes, which have become the near-daily norm in East Jerusalem neighborhoods, broke out later, and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank city of Hebron set an army post ablaze.

To many, the tilt toward a religion-centered conflict bodes ill for any revival of the peace process, which most recently broke down in April.

“So long as the conflict remains on a secular, territorial track, there remains hope of a solution — not so with religion,” analyst Uzi Rabi told Israel Radio. “This should be a wake-up call not only to Israel, but to world players.”

Despite a flurry of conciliatory interfaith gestures after the synagogue attack, including solidarity visits to the neighborhood by Muslim, Christian and other religious leaders, the dispute over the holy site appears on track to intensify, not ease.

A Tel Aviv University survey this month indicated that while a relatively slender majority of Israeli Jews — 56% — supported retaining the status quo, more than one-third wanted the prayer ban lifted, even if it resulted in bloodshed.

Columnist Nahum Barnea observed in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper that the shift from a national conflict to a religious one could unleash forces neither side could control.

“A thousand firefighters,” he wrote, “will not be able to extinguish a fire that has God as the fuse.”

Nando end