WASHINGTON — North Korea is upgrading one of its two major missile launch sites, apparently to handle much bigger rockets, and some design features suggest it is getting help from Iran, a U.S. research institute said Thursday.
A successful satellite launch in December and a nuclear test on Tuesday, both in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, have intensified concern that North Korea is moving toward its goal of building a bomb small enough to be fitted on an intercontinental missile.
An analysis written for 38 North, the website of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, indicates that North Korea has made significant progress since October in constructing a new launch pad and other facilities at Tonghae, on the Read more…
At space conference, Amir Eshel says “Syria is falling apart, no one knows what future holds,” warns of Assad’s unconventional arms.
Israel’s need to deal with developing threats before they begin having an impact on the country’s security is growing, Israel Air Force Chief, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, told a Herzliya space conference on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Eight Annual Space Conference, hosted by the Fisher Institute, Eshel said that “most of the threats come to our borders from Iran through various ways.”
Turning his sights to Syria, Eshel said the country is “falling part.”
“Today, no one has an idea of what will be in Syria, and how the country will look. This is happening in a place with a vast arsenal of weapons, some of which is modern and advanced, and some of which is unconventional,” he added.
“This isn’t our backyard – it’s right on our borders. This is a very big challenge for us. Beyond that, we are dealing with a very Read more…
Iranian scientists – with Russian help – have set up two sites to use laser technology to enrich uranium for the regime’s nuclear bomb program, according to a source in the Revolutionary Guards intelligence unit.
The Russians had argued that due to IAEA monitoring and Western countries’ lurking satellites, it would be wise to use lasers to enrich uranium as, the source added, it is 16 times more productive, requires less space and energy, and is much easier to hide.
In 2010, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad boasted that Iran possessed laser enrichment technology, but the regime refused to respond to demands by the International Atomic Energy Agency to explain its laser program.
“Iran’s motto is nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for none,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared Thursday, in a speech welcoming Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi to Tehran. Morsi’s visit was the first by an Egyptian leader to Iran in over three decades.
Iran’s state TV in a live broadcast showed Morsi being received with full red-carpet honors by Tehran’s vice president in charge of executive affairs Hamid Baghaei in the capital’s Mehrabad airport on Thursday. The world, Khamenei said “Is in transition towards a new international order and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) can and should play a new role.”
The summit (Photos: AFP)
He further underlined the need for solidarity among all NAM member-states, saying it was an “obvious necessity” in the current era for establishing this new order.
Source says leaders expect attack that will usher in ‘messiah’
By Reza Kahlili
Despite the recent declaration by Iran that it does not want a nuclear bomb and statements by regime officials that they are willing to negotiate over the nuclear issue, indications from within Iran signal massive preparation for an all-out war as part of its destiny.
Nine years ago a Revolutionary Guards arm, the Holy Defense, published a book, “The Last Six Months,” in which it describes the conditions needed in the last six months prior to the reappearance of the last Islamic messiah. The book was distributed in the hundreds of thousands to all Guards, Basij and army bases throughout the country.
Islam’s Shiites believe their 12th Imam, Mahdi, will reappear at the end of times and kill all the infidels, raising the flag of Islam in all four corners of the world.
The book admonishes the military forces that they must be prepared to do their duties during those six months and that there will be many Read more…
FILE – This file photo released on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, claims to show US RQ-170 Sentinel drone which Tehran says its forces downed earlier this week, as the chief of the aerospace division of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, right, listens to an unidentified colonel, in an undisclosed location, Iran. Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency said Thursday, April 18, 2012 that Russia and China have asked Tehran to provide them with information on a U.S. drone captured by the Islamic Republic in December. (AP Photo/Sepahnews, File) EDS NOTE: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HAS NO WAY OF INDEPENDENTLY VERIFYING THE CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. ANONYMOUS — AP
Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency says Russia and China have asked Tehran to provide them with information on a U.S. drone captured by the Islamic Republic in December.
The Thursday report quotes Ahmad Karimpour, an adviser to Iran’s defense minister, as saying Tehran has received requests for many countries for information on the RQ-170 Sentinel, but Moscow and Beijing have been most aggressive in their pursuit of details on the drone. He did not elaborate.
Iran said in December that it had downed the unmanned stealth aircraft in eastern Iran.
U.S. officials have acknowledged losing the drone. They have said Iran will find it hard to exploit any data and technology aboard it because of measures taken to limit the intelligence value of drones operating over hostile territory.
GENEVA: India has vaulted to the top of the list of Iran’s oil customers, overtaking China, in a first-quarter buying surge ahead of tighter sanctions against Tehran this summer, data published by a leading industry consultant showed.
Direct imports to India from Iran were 433,000 barrels per day in the first quarter, compared with 256,000 barrels per day to China, according to data compiled by Geneva’s Petrologistics and seen by Reuters via an industry source.
The Indian import figure was up by around 23 percent from the 351,0000 bpd imported over the same period of 2011 and significantly above its 2011 average of 326,000 bpd.
Iran, like many oil exporters, does not publish its own oil sales data on a timely basis. The Petrologistics figures, however, reinforce indications that India has stepped up imports, while business has slowed between Tehran and Beijing over payment terms.
“The first quarter was likely the exception to the rule … China took a strong stance on negotiations, but its imports will Read more…
US-led military strikes against Iran are inevitable this year if Tehran does not give ground at multilateral talks next month over its nuclear programme, according to diplomatic sources in Moscow.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has asked Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to warn Iran the negotiations represent a “last chance” to avoid military action, the Kommersant newspaper reported.
“Hillary Clinton asked her Russian colleague to pass that thought on to the Iranian authorities, with whom Washington does not maintain its own relations,” a high-ranking foreign ministry source told the paper.
The source said there was a high likelihood of an attack “before the end of the year”, adding: “The Israelis are, in essence, blackmailing [US president Barack] Obama. They are Read more…
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano on Saturday said he believes the threat posed by Iran’s atomic activities is eclipsed by the dangers of North Korea’s known nuclear-weapon efforts, Kyodo News reported (see GSN, March 9).
The North’s development of nuclear weapons, which includes two nuclear tests to date, is a “threat to East Asia,” the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said.
“The problem (with North Korea) is serious and its impact on the world is larger” than Iran, Amano said. His organization and a number of governments around the world worry that Iran is seeking a nuclear-weapon capability; Tehran maintains that its atomic development program is strictly peaceful (see related GSN story, today).
The veteran Japanese diplomat said he hopes to dispatch IAEA monitors to North Korea to verify implementation of a recently agreed-to shutdown of Read more…
(Kitco News) - Higher gold prices are possible next week as tensions with Iran continue to escalate, market watchers said.
Prices were lower on Friday, but up on the week. The most-active April gold contract on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled at $1,776.40 an ounce, up 2.9% on the week. March silver settled at $35.338 an ounce, up 6.4% on the week.
In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 32 participants, 24 responded this week. Of those 24 participants, 19 see prices up, while three see prices down, and two are neutral on prices. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders, money managers and technical chart analysts.
Gold and crude oil prices rose this week, supported by concerns that Read more…