Recently in Nuclear Arms Category

Iran, P5+1 to Start Talks in Almaty on February 26

The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, also known as P5+1, will start a new round of talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on February 26, 2013, over Iran’s nuclear program, which has been the source of considerable tension between Iran and the West for several years. See “Kazakhstan will host Iran-P5+1 talks due to neutrality: MP.”

Wendy_R._Sherman, U.S. Under Secretary for Political AffairsThe Iranians, who are under extreme pressure from the United States and Europe to shut down their nuclear program, are  expected to take part. On February 19, 2013, Seyyed Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Asia and Oceania, told Iran’s Press TV that things may be different from the last meeting held in Moscow in June 2012.

“We have to wait and see what approach the other side adopts in the upcoming talks,” he said. See “Talks in Kazakhstan could be different if P5+1 proves goodwill, Iranian official says.”

The U.S. delegation is led by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman, in photo above, who left for Almaty on February 23, 2013.

The five permanent members of Security Council are:China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom

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The Fragile State of the Global Nuclear-nonproliferation Regime

Back on April 20, 2009, Think Tank blogger Steve Coll, author of the authoritative “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, suggested in a commentary in The New Yorker:

Along with two unfinished wars and economic freefall, President Barack Obama has inherited a less visible crisis, which may, in time, trump the others: the deterioration of the global nuclear-nonproliferation regime, which has lately reached its most fragile state of disrepair since the nineteen-eighties. At that time, South Africa became an undeclared nuclear-weapons power, and other newly industrialized nations (Taiwan, South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina, among them) quietly pursued hedging strategies that would allow them to build their own atomic weapons quickly, if they saw the need.
Mr. Coll said, “Today, a similar but more dangerous competition—not yet an open nuclear-arms race, but a race for nuclear options—is gaining momentum in the Middle East.” For more, see “No Nukes."

Questions: Why don’t U.S. Administrations ever talk publicly about Israel’s nuclear weapons?  Israel is the leading proponent of bombing Iran’s nuclear reactor. While the U.S. looked the other way, Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981 and one in Syria in 2007.

A good book on Israel’s development of nuclear weapons is Professor Avner Cohen’s 1998 book “Israel and the Bomb.”

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Saudi Arabia's Warning To Iran

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud  of Saudi Arabia's "has said Iran is putting the Gulf region in danger and has advised Tehran leaders to know "their limits," according to a January 27, 2007, article in Al Jazeera.net. The article is based on news agency reports.

Citing "an interview published in Kuwait's al-Seyassah newspaper on Saturday," January 27, 2007, Aljazeera said " Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud said attempts by Iran to spread Shia beliefs in Sunni communities would fail."

He was quoted as saying: "Saudi leaders and the Saudi state have always known their limits in dealing with nations, east and west. I explained this to Ali Larijani [Iran's nuclear negotiator] and advised him to pass it on to his government and its followers, with regard to foreign dealings."

To read more, please see "Saudi warns 'interfering' Iran."

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The Sunday Times Sees An Israeli Attack On Iran Coming

The Sunday Times of London reported in a January 7, 2006, report headlined "Focus: Mission Iran" that, "Israel will not tolerate Iran going nuclear and military sources say it will use tactical strikes unless Iran abandons its program. Is Israel bluffing or might it really push the button?" the paper said.

Of course, Israel denounced the story. However, the question is: What is Iran and its Shia allies all over the world expected to when, not if,  Israel attacks. I predict no Israeli will be safe as suicide bombers take revenge in and outside Israel.

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Raimondo: Olmert Let Israel's Nuclear Cat Out Of The Bag

Antiwar.com's highly opinionated columnist and editorial director, Justin Raimondo, one of the best analysts of International affairs I've read in 40-years of following global issues, notes in a December 13, 2006, post:

Israel's long-standing policy of nuclear ambiguity came to an end the other day when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in answer to a question about his country's rumored WMD arsenal, replied,

"Iran openly, explicitly, and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they [the Iranians] are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?"

"Ha'aretz avers," contends Mr. Raimondo. "It is not clear whether this was a slip of the tongue on the part of Olmert or an intended statement" – and his aides and supporters are certainly scrambling to explain his comments away as a linguistic mix-up. Yet, taken in context – not only the context of the interview, but the context of Israel's present position – I would argue the Israeli Prime Minister was sending a message not only to Iran, but also to the U.S."

To read why Mr. Raimondo thinks this is the case, see "Israel, Alone: The nuclear cat is out of the bag – and Olmert issues a warning…"

By the way, the best book I've read on Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons is Dr. Avner Cohen's 1998 book Israel And The Bomb. However, I'm sure there many more good ones out there.

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