Sunday, November 16, 2014

Israel Opposing Iran Nuclear Talks to Maintain Status Quo?

Robert Hunt, former US Ambassador to NATO, has published a piece today in which he discussing what he believes is the REAL reason Israel is so adamantly against ANY nuclear accord between the US and Iran: Israel wants Iran to remain the "boogeymen" of the Middle East.

Israel of course is not the only nation in that region that would prefer this image of Iran remain no matter what..

Kudos to Mr. Hunter on a piece somewhat out of left field when it comes to these nuclear talks..

Why Israel Opposes A Final Nuclear Deal with Iran and What to Do Abort It- LobeLog

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Syrian Nuclear Scientists Assassinated...Possible Iranian Connection?

First, the headline:

While a story of Syrian government scientists/engineers being killed would normally be a bit lost in the multitude of news concerning Syria's ongoing civil war, but it's that last bit of the headline, "one of them Iranian" that has caught many observers' eye. 

Here are some the facts concerning this story that may catch your eye too:
  • These engineers work at Syria's Der Al-Hadjar Nuclear Research Center, which is home to Syria only "true" research reactor, the SRR-1.
  • The SRR-1 is what is called a "miniature neutron source reactor" (MNSR), which is one of the smallest of its kind in the world.
  • While the reactor does uses highly-enriched uranium as its fuel (90% enriched), it uses so little fuel (just under 1 kilogram) that using this facility's current fuel or even its spent fuel (which may contain a VERY small amount of plutonium) for making nuclear weapons is not even remotely feasible.
  • However, while the MNSR can't be used to actually produce nuclear weapons, it CAN be used to experiment on methods of plutonium-extraction from spent fuel and several other non-civilian experiments. 
  • The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in recent years got into something of a row with the Syrian government over the possibility that experiments of these type were carried out at this facility. 
  • The reports of an Iranian nuclear engineer being killed in this attack is NOT confirmed by any Iranian or Syrian government sources but is being widely reported by various news agencies.
  • The area of the capital of Damascus where this attack occurred is NOT believed to be involved in any heavy fighting, so the odds of this being a random killing of government officials by "rebels" seems unlikely. 
So what is the real significance of this story?

If confirmed, why is there an Iranian nuclear engineer working at the MNSR? 

Who carried out this killing? Syrian "rebels" or operatives of the Israeli government?

All very good questions and regardless of their answers, I suspect this won't be the last we hear of Syrian nuclear-related activities...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Senator Rand Paul: President Obama's ISIS War is Illegal

Not much to comment on here.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a likely 2016 contender for the GOP nomination, makes the case that our current conflict with ISIS in Iraq and Syria has now exceeded the legal limits and is now unconstitutional.

That is NOT a new observation nor even a very unique one (much the same was said of the brief air war over Libya several years ago), but that doesn't mean he's wrong in making this accusation..

The Daily Beast- Obama's ISIS War is Illegal