Why Do Media Keep Saying Iran Has Nuclear Weapons Program?

No-Mushroom-Cloud-Featured

By Adam Johnson for FAIR – The problem with all of these excerpts: Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. It has a civilian nuclear energy program, but not one designed to build weapons. Over 30 countries have civilian nuclear programs; only a handful—including, of course, the US and Israel—have nuclear weapons programs. One is used to power cities, one is used to level them. If you are skeptical, just refer to a 2007 assessment by all 16 US intelligences agencies (yes, those 16 US intelligence agencies), which found Iran had “halted” its nuclear weapons program. Or look at the same National Intelligence Estimate in 2012, which concluded again that there “is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.” Or we can listen to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, which concurred with the US intelligence assessment (Haaretz, 3/18/12). The “Iran Deal,” formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is built on curbing Iran’s civilian nuclear program, out of fear—fair or not—that it could one day morph into a nuclear weapons program. But at present, there is no evidence, much less a consensus, that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program. JCPOA cannot be used as per se evidence such a program exists today; indeed, it is specifically designed to prevent such a program from developing down the road.

Here's What Would Happen If US Nuked North Korea

1nuke

By Greg Fish for Rantt. When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Maybe this is why so many Americans wonder why they can’t just nuke a country posing a risk to their security. With an arsenal of some 6,800 operational and precisely engineered warheads, it seems almost too appealing to end all your worries with the push of a button. But there’s a good reason why our nuclear posture isn’t determined by trigger-happy civilians eager to immolate enemy nations in radioactive hellfire. More than two decades of not having to think about nuclear annihilation seem to have created a bizarrely casual attitude about the, well, for lack of a better word, fallout from using nukes. Maybe this is why Trump has been psychotically cavalier about the notion of starting a nuclear war lately.

10 Reasons The US Should Stick With The Iran Nuclear Deal

iran2

By Medea Benjamin for CodePink – President Trump is expected to announce this week that he will not recertify that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal. He will argue, falsely, that the agreement is no longer in the national interest of the United States. The president’s announcement will not end the deal but will pass the buck to Congress. In the next 60 days, Congress could impose new sanctions that would scuttle the deal or it could pass new legislation addressing issues that were never part of the original mandate, which would also effectively kill the agreement. Enough public pressure could keep the agreement intact. Here are 10 good reasons why the US should uphold the deal. President Trump’s claim that Iran is not complying with the conditions of the deal is false. Iran is complying, as certified in eight reports over the past two years by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the entity charged of monitoring the deal. The Trump administration has not produced any evidence that Iran is not holding up its part of the bargain.

Nuns To Deliver UN Nuclear Abolition Treaty To US Military Base

screen_shot_2017-10-09_at_12.28.39_pm

By Julia Conley for Common Dreams. Colorado Springs, CO – speaking out against the United States’ decision to forego last month’s United Nations treaty prohibiting the use and development of atomic weapons, two Catholic nuns on Monday will perform their latest in a long series of anti-nuclear protests. Sister Ardeth Platte and Sister Carol Gilbert plan to present the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, signed by 53 countries, to officials at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, delivering the message that the U.S. must join with other nations to reach worldwide nuclear disarmament. “We’re coming as peacemakers and peace advocates, to teach and show our concern,” Platte said in an interview with the Denver Post. “Our politicians could be heroes of these times, if they start working with nations rather than against nations.” The U.S. was one of several countries with nuclear capability that did not sign the agreement. North Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom were among the other nations that refused to take part in negotiations—which Platte and Gilbert say too many Americans don’t even know took place. “We want the citizens of Colorado to know about this treaty,” Gilbert told the Post. “The treaty would make nuclear weapons illegal.” The treaty was signed amid growing tensions between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who has tested several intercontinental ballistic missiles since July, launching them into the Pacific Ocean over Japan.

Global Anti-Nuclear Campaign Coalition Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Members of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons traveled to New York City in July to promote an anti-nuclear treaty at the United Nations headquarters. (Photo: Ralf Schlesener/ICAN)

By Jessica Corbett for Common Dreams. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, at a time when, as the committee said, “the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time.” ICAN was granted the award “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons,” said Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Berit Reiss-Andersen. The committee described ICAN, a coalition of non-governmental organizations in 100 countries, as “a driving force in prevailing upon the world’s nations to pledge to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit, and eliminate nuclear weapons.” The coalition recently played a notable role in garnering support for the historic United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted by 122 countries on July 7. The nine nations with nuclear weapons—the United States, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, and the United Kingdom—declined to endorse the treaty.

The Enormous Cost Of More Nuclear Weapons: What Is The Gain?

Screenshot 2017-10-03 at 11.48.00 AM

By Guy T. Saperstein and Kelsey Abkin for AlterNet – An analysis by the Arms Control Association of U.S. government budget data projects the total cost over the next 30 years of the proposed nuclear modernization and maintenance at between $1.25 trillion and $1.46 trillion. This expenditure is not included in our defense budget of $700 billion, which leads the world in military spending and represents more than the spending of the next seven countries combined –three times what China spends and seven times what Russia spends on defense. To put this into perspective, this number exceeds the combined total federal spending for education; training, employment, and social services; agriculture; natural resources and the environment; general science, space, and technology; community and regional development (including disaster relief); law enforcement; and energy production and regulation. With climate change deemed by the Pentagon as an immediate national security threat, healthcare costs rising, and an increasing number of natural disasters, one might think nuclear weapons would lose their place as the top recipient of federal spending. But this is far from the case and there is a reason why. As long as other countries continue to harbor nuclear weapons, we will do the same. And vise versa. As Donald Trump said at the start of his campaign, “If countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.”

Anti-war Nuns Carry Message Of Nuclear Disarmament To Colorado Springs

Sister Carol Gilbert, center, and Sister Ardeth Platte, withi the late Sister Jackie Hudson, left, at the N-8 missile silo in Weld County. Submitted photo

By Debbie Kelley for The Gazette – The sisters also will hold free public presentations: at noon Oct. 9 at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in the Kraemer Family Library; at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at Colorado College’s Gaylord Hall, on the main floor of Worner Campus Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave.; and a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at 420 Mesa Road. “We’re coming as peacemakers and peace advocates, to teach and show our concern,” Platte said. “Our politicians could be heroes of these times, if they start working with nations rather than against nations.” Leading up to the Colorado Springs events, Platte and Gilbert will conduct a vigil on Oct. 7 at the N-8 missile silo in Weld County, where in October 2002 they poured blood on a Minuteman III missile loaded with a 20 kiloton nuclear bomb, one of 49 high-trigger nuclear weapons stored in Colorado. Their action symbolized taking it offline. They were convicted of sabotage and received harsh sentences: 41 months for Platte and 33 for Gilbert. In September 2000, Platte, Gilbert and three other Catholic nuns were arrested for civil disobedience at Peterson Air Force Base and jailed. The charges were subsequently dropped. They’ve also served time in other states for nonviolent acts of civil disobedience.

Here’s Every Nuclear Weapon In The US Arsenal

owsspawg/ flickr

By Staff of Union of Concerned Scientists – A nuclear weapon—the most destructive device on Earth. The US nuclear arsenal includes over 4,600 weapons. These weapons are unlike any other. Here’s an average one, the W78. (image right) It causes a mile-wide radioactive fireball and can destroy most buildings—and humans—in a circle about 4 miles wide. Hundreds can be launched within minutes. About 400 nuclear-tipped missiles are stationed underground in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota. They’re staffed 24/7 and kept on hair-trigger alert, ready to launch if and when they receive orders from the president. Submarines carry hundreds more. A single nuclear-armed submarine carries the TNT equivalent of roughly seven World War II’s. About 10 such subs are at sea at any given time. Aircraft are armed too. About 300 bombs and air-launched cruise missiles are deployed on air bases in the United States. Another 150 bombs are in Europe. All are capable of smaller, lower-yield explosions, which may increase the risk that they’ll actually be used. The president can use them at any time.

More Than 40 Nations Sign Nuclear Ban Treaty in First Hour

1bannbomb

By The Institute for Public Accuracy. Reuters reports today: “Dozens of countries signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons on Wednesdayamid tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, although the United States, Britain, France and others boycotted the event at the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders. “The treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons will enter into force 90 days after 50 countries have ratified it. … “‘There remain some fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in existence. We cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children’s future,’ U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said as he opened the treaty for signing.

Top German Politicians Want US Nuclear Weapons Out

by Neil H | CC BY 2.0

By John Laforge for Counter Punch – A series of anti-nuclear weapons actions between March and August at Air Base Büchel in Germany brought widespread media attention to the 20 US nuclear weapons still deployed there. Surprising demands for the bombs’ removal soon came from high-ranking political leaders including Germany’s foreign minister. A timeline of events between July 12 and 18, involving a Nukewatch-organized delegation of 11 US peace activists, shows how the work may have moved the officials to speak out. July 12 — Upon its arrival, four members of the US group held a press conference in Frankfurt accompanied by Marion Küpker, international coordinator for DFG-VK — Germany’s oldest anti-war group — and organizer of the five-month peace camp. News of the unprecedented US group was reported in the daily Frankfurt Journal (“Activists from the US land in Frankfurt: Campaign against US nuclear weapons”), the online magazine FOCUS (“Nuclear fighters receive support from the US”) and picked up around the country. July 15 — Headlines like “Today in Büchel: Action day against nuclear weapons,” and “Konstantin Wecker sings for the peace,” was news across southwest Germany when the well known singer-songwriter drew about 400 to his performance near base’s main gates. The US delegates all spoke briefly to the gathering through interpreters.

Need For Diplomacy More Clear Than Ever After North Korea Claims H-Bomb Test

Protesters call on President Donald Trump to stop his drive to war against North Korea on August 14, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Andrea Germanos for Common Dreams – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, meanwhile, said that he was drafting new sanctions to place on North Korea in response to the test. “It’s clear this behavior is completely unacceptable,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” Yukiya Amano, head of the U.N. nuclear agency, said the test was “an extremely regrettable act,” and called on North Korea “to fully implement all relevant resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and the IAEA,” which include stopping further nuclear tests. Among those appealing for calm was Russia, declaring diplomacy “the only possible way” to resolve the conflict. The foreign ministry in Moscow said the test merited “the strongest condemnation,” and warned that “the continuation of such a line is fraught with serious consequences” for Pyongyang. “In the unfolding conditions,” the ministry statement added, it is imperative to remain calm and to refrain from any actions that lead to a further escalation of tension.” “We call on all interested parties to immediately return to dialogue and negotiations as the only possible way for an overall settlement of the problems of the Korean peninsula,” it said.

Global Peace Wave Developing

No Nukes protest

By Peace Wave Task Force for Organizing Committee, the World Conference against A and H Bombs. On the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 2017 World Conference against A and H Bombs called on the peoples of the world to launch international join international simultaneous actions “Peace Wave” to urge all national governments to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons from September 20, the day when the Treaty will be open for signatures, until 26, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted on July 7 this year with the support of 122 States. It is a groundbreaking treaty to open a path to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons. The “Peace Wave” will start from Japan at noon, September 20, and circle around the globe, linking actions in different countries to call on all governments of the world to join the treaty. In response to the call by the World Conference against A and H Bombs, we call on all of you to organize actions, setting the common goal as “Abolition of nuclear weapons . . .

United States Criticized for Ongoing Korea War Games

Protest outside the White House on August 26, 2017 against Korean war

By Staff for Al Jazeera. US and South Korean troops have begun annual military drills amid heated warnings by North Korea that the exercises will worsen tensions in the region. The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills, which began on Monday, are largely computer-simulated war games. The exercise brings together as many as 50,000 South Korean soldiers and approximately 17,500 US service members for a simulation of war on the Korean Peninsula. South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said the drills are defensive in nature. He said the exercises are held regularly because of repeated provocations by North Korea, including two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month. Pyongyang called the 11-day operation a “reckless” invasion rehearsal that could trigger an “uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war”. China and Russia last week urged the United States to suspend the drills in exchange for North Korea suspending its missile and nuclear tests.

Iran Threatens To Send Warships To Atlantic And Ramp Up Nuclear Activities If US Continues Sanctions

activistpost.com

By Aaron Kesel for Activist Post – Amid Americans’ concerns that North Korea threatened to launch a missile at Guam, Iran is planning on building up a flotilla of warships in the Atlantic Ocean, while Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani has threatened to revitalize the country’s nuclear program if the U.S. continues “threats and sanctions.” If Washington continues with “threats and sanctions” against Iran, Tehran could easily ramp up its nuclear activities Rouhani said in Iranian Parliament, AP reported. In an hour and a day, Iran could return to a more advanced (nuclear) level than at the beginning of the negotiations. “The U.S. has shown that it is neither a good partner nor a trustable negotiator,” Rouhani added. “Those who are trying to go back to the language of threats and sanctions are prisoners of their past hallucinations. They deprive themselves of the advantages of peace.” Iranian lawmakers reportedly shouted “death to America” as they passed the bill to increase military spending. The legislation also imposes sanctions on U.S. military officials who are in the region. Meanwhile, after the announcement of a massive $500 million investment in war spending, Iran has planned to send flotilla of warships to the Atlantic Ocean in response to the U.S. proposed sanctions against the country.

Activists Blockade Nuclear Base, Plead To De-escalate Crisis With North Korea

DSC_0300

By Leonard Eiger for Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action. Washington State – Activists blockaded the West Coast nuclear submarine base that would likely carry out a nuclear strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) should President Donald Trump give the order. Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, is home to the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the US. More than 1,300 nuclear warheads are deployed on Trident D-5 missiles on the eight ballistic missile submarines based at Bangor or stored at Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) at the Bangor base. Activists with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action held a vigil and nonviolent direct action at the Bangor base on August 14…