Saturday, January 16, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
Evangelist Franklin Graham compared 10 members of the GOP to Judas Iscariot on Thursday after they voted to approve President Donald Trump's second impeachment.
Israel has been lauded for deploying what is currently the fastest Covid-19 vaccination campaign in the world. Less than a month after receiving its first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, the country of 9 million has vaccinated around 20% of its population, and more than 72% of people over the age of 60 have already gotten their first dose of the shot. Israel’s health ministry aims to have 5.2 million of its citizens vaccinated by March.
First of all, the Biden administration is coming in only one week. Everyone is talking about the likelihood of attacks from Iran even before then, but there was a recent INSS annual report that came out and said that the likelihood might even go up under the Biden administration, that there's an "open account" between Israel and Iran, between Iran and the United States, and maybe because the Biden administration might be a government with more restraint in general, that maybe Iran might see this as a green light to finally get revenge on Israel for various events that Israel might have been involved in over the last year related to certain top Iranian intelligence and other officials officials disappearing. Please, what do you think about that?
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, sent an official letter to the Security Council on Thursday noting all of Iran's rogue activities and demanded that the council discuss its aggression, including the transfer of weapons to terrorist organizations, systematic violations of the nuclear agreement and its repeated calls for Israel's destruction.
Ambassador Erdan's letter is part of a diplomatic effort he has been leading in recent months against Iran at the UN and within the diplomatic community. As part of this campaign, he recently presented a "5-point plan" to combat global terrorism to the Security Council, which included calling for condemnations against countries that fund terrorist organizations.
In his letter, Ambassador Erdan highlighted Iran's current efforts to enrich uranium to 20%, in clear violation of the nuclear agreement and another step that clearly demonstrates its ambitions to develop a nuclear program for military purposes. The letter also mentions a recent bill proposed by the Iranian Parliament calling for the destruction of Israel by the year 2041.
“It is no secret that Iran has become the largest proliferator of ballistic and other missile technologies to Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Gaza, delivering these capabilities into the hands of non-state and terrorist actors and destabilizing the region,” Ambassador Erdan wrote in the letter.
He continued, "Israel has repeatedly warned of Iran’s unceasing malign activities and highlighted these violations through numerous calls to the international community and letters to the United Nations bodies, providing concrete, verified and documented evidence of the Iranian regime’s reckless and illicit behavior in the Middle East and beyond."
Ambassador Erdan called on the Security Council to immediately impose an arms and missile embargo on the regime in Tehran and apply maximum pressure against it.
Erdan, who will soon take up his post as Israel’s Ambassador to the US in addition to the UN, closed the letter warning that Israel would take all necessary measures to protect its citizens and sovereignty.
North Korea displayed what appeared to be a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) at a parade on Thursday, Reuters reported, citing state media.
The country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, smiled and waved as he oversaw the parade in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, photos by state media showed.
The parade featured rows of marching soldiers, as well as a range of military hardware including tanks and rocket launchers, according to Reuters.
At the end, a number of what analysts said appeared to be new variants of short-range ballistic missiles and SLBMs rolled into the square on trucks.
“The world’s most powerful weapon, submarine-launch ballistic missiles, entered the square one after another, powerfully demonstrating the might of the revolutionary armed forces,” the country’s news agency KCNA reported.
Photos released by state media showed the SLBM was labelled Pukguksong-5, potentially marking an upgrade over the Pukguksong-4 that was unveiled at a larger military parade in October.
The display follows the congress of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, the first of its kind in five years. During the congress, Kim was named the “general secretary” of the party.
In remarks he made at the start of the gathering, Kim threatened to expand his nuclear arsenal and stated that the fate of relations with the United States depends on whether it abandons its “hostile policy”.
Kim’s comments were seen as applying pressure on the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Outgoing President Donald Trump tried to reached an agreement with North Korea while in office. Kim and Trump met in Hanoi in 2019 for a summit that left nuclear talks at a standstill.
The pair had met three times since June 2018 but made little progress towards denuclearization.
Since those talks broke down, North Korea has conducted several tests of ballistic missiles.
Biden, who will take office on January 20, is unlikely to hold direct meetings with Kim unless the North Korean leader takes significant denuclearization steps.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Iran has started work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor, the UN nuclear watchdog and Tehran said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
The move marks Iran’s latest breach of the nuclear deal it signed with six major powers in 2015.
“(International Atomic Energy Agency) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi today informed IAEA Member States about recent developments regarding Iran’s plans to conduct R&D activities on uranium metal production as part of its declared aim to design an improved type of fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor,” the IAEA said in a statement.
The IAEA’s confidential report to member states, obtained by Reuters, said Iran had indicated it plans to produce uranium metal from natural uranium and then produce uranium metal enriched up to 20% for fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor.
Last week, the Islamic Republic announced it had resumed enrichment of uranium at its underground site in Fordow. Iran plans to enrich uranium to 20%, a level it last reached before the 2015 deal.
Iran’s continued violations of the deal are viewed as a means to challenge US President-elect Joe Biden, has taken a different approach to the Iran deal than Trump and has expressed a desire to rejoin the agreement. He recently told The New York Times that he would do so if Iran returned to compliance with it.
The Iranian government, however, has ruled out the possibility of renegotiating the nuclear deal, saying it was fully discussed in detail five years ago and needs no renegotiations.