Iran test fired a new submarine-to-surface missile



Aug 27, 10:07 AM (ET)By ALI AKBAR DAREINI TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran test fired a new submarine-to-surface missile during war games in the Persian Gulf on Sunday, a show of military might amid a standoff with the West over its nuclear activities. A brief video clip showed the long-range missile, called Thaqeb, or Saturn, exiting the water and hitting a target on the water’s surface within less than a mile. The test came as part of large-scale military exercises that began Aug. 19. “The army successfully test fired a top speed long-range sub-to-surface missile off the
Persian Gulf,” the navy commander, Gen. Sajjad Kouchaki, said on state-run television.

Iran routinely has held war games over the past two decades to improve its combat readiness and to test equipment including missiles, tanks and armored personnel carriers. But Sunday’s firing of the missile came as Iran remains defiant just five days before a deadline imposed by the U.N. Security Council for
Tehran to suspend the enrichment of uranium, which can produce both reactor fuel and material usable in nuclear warheads.

Iran said last week it is open to negotiations but it refused any immediate suspension, calling the deadline illegal. Tehran has expressed worry about Israeli threats to destroy its nuclear facilities, which the West contends could be used to make a bomb but which
Iran insists are for the peaceful purpose of generating electricity. The Islamic country also is concerned about the U.S. military presence in neighboring Iraq and
Afghanistan.
In an advance for
Iran’s weapons industry, the Thaqeb is the country’s first sub-fired missile that leaves the water to strike its target, adding to the country’s repertoire of weapons that can hit ships in the Gulf.

Iran‘s current arsenal includes several types of torpedoes – including the “Hoot,” Farsi for “whale,” which was tested for the first time in April, capable of moving at some 223 mph, up to four times faster than a normal torpedo. Kouchaki said the Thaqeb could be fired from any vessel and could escape enemy radar. He said it was built based on domestic know-how, although outside experts say much of the country’s missile technology originated from other countries like Russia and
China.
He did not give the weapon’s range. It did not appear capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Iran already is equipped with the Shahab-3 missile, which means “shooting star” in Farsi, and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. An upgraded version of the ballistic missile has a range of more than 1,200 miles and can reach Israel and U.S. forces in the
Middle East.
Last year, former Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said
Tehran successfully had tested a solid fuel motor for the Shahab-3, which was considered a technological breakthrough for the country’s military.
Solid fuel dramatically increases the accuracy of a missile while a liquid fuel missile is not very accurate in hitting targets. Iran’s military test-fired a series of missiles during large-scale war games in the Persian Gulf in March and April, including a missile it claimed was not detectable by radar and can use multiple warheads to hit several targets simultaneously. After decades of relying on foreign weapons purchases,
Iran’s military has been working to boost its domestic production of armaments.
Since 1992,
Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane, the government has said. It announced in early 2005 that it had begun production of torpedoes

[Pew Poll on] How Muslims Think

 

[Pew Poll on] How Muslims Think

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
June 27, 2006
http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3706

[NY Sun title: "Survey of World's Muslims Yields Dismaying Results"]

How do Muslims worldwide think?

To find out, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press carried out a large-scale attitudinal survey this spring. Titled “The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other,” it interviewed Muslims in two batches of countries: six of them with long-standing, majority-Muslim populations (Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey) and four of them in Western Europe with new, minority Muslim populations (France, Germany, Britain, and Spain).

The survey, which also looks at Western views of Muslims, yielded some dismaying but not altogether surprising results. Its themes can be grouped under three rubrics.

A proclivity to conspiracy theories: In not one Muslim population polled does a majority believe that Arabs carried out the attacks of September 11, 2001, on America. The proportions range from a mere 15% in Pakistan holding Arabs responsible, to 48% among French Muslims. Confirming recent negative trends in Turkey, the number of Turks who point the finger at Arabs has declined to 16% today from 46% in 2002. In other words, in every one of these 10 Muslim communities, a majority views September 11 as a hoax perpetrated by the American government, Israel, or some other agency.

Likewise, Muslims are widely prejudiced against Jews, ranging from 28% unfavorable ratings among French Muslims to 98% in Jordan (which, despite the monarchy’s moderation, has a majority Palestinian Arab population). Further, Muslims in certain countries (especially Egypt and Jordan) see Jews conspiratorially, as being responsible for bad relations between Muslims and Westerners.

Conspiracy theories also pertain to larger topics. Asked, “What is most responsible for Muslim nations’ lack of prosperity?” between 14% (in Pakistan) and 43% (in Jordan) blame the policies of America and other Western states, as opposed to indigenous problems, such as a lack of democracy or education, or the presence of corruption or radical Islam.

This conspiracism points to a widespread unwillingness in the umma to deal with realities, preferring the safer bromides of plots, schemes, and intrigues. It also exposes major problems adjusting to modernity.

Support for terrorism: All the Muslim populations polled display a solid majority of support for Osama bin Laden. Asked whether they have confidence in him, Muslims replied positively, ranging between 8% (in Turkey) and 72% (in Nigeria). Likewise, suicide bombing is popular. Muslims who call it justified range from 13% (in Germany) to 69% (in Nigeria). These appalling numbers suggest that terrorism by Muslims has deep roots and will remain a danger for years to come.

British and Nigerian Muslims are most alienated: Britain stands out as a paradoxical country. Non-Muslims there have strikingly more favorable views of Islam and Muslims than elsewhere in the West; for example, only 32% of the British sample view Muslims as violent, significantly less than their counterparts in France (41%), Germany (52%), or Spain (60%). In the Muhammad cartoon dispute, Britons showed more sympathy for the Muslim outlook than did other Europeans. More broadly, Britons blame Muslims less for the poor state of Western-Muslim relations.

But British Muslims return the favor with the most malign anti-Western attitudes found in Europe. Many more of them regard Westerners as violent, greedy, immoral, and arrogant than do their counterparts in France, Germany, and Spain. In addition, whether asked about their attitudes toward Jews, responsibility for September 11, or the place of women in Western societies, their views are notably more extreme.

The situation in Britain reflects the “Londonistan” phenomenon, whereby Britons preemptively cringe and Muslims respond to this weakness with aggression.

Nigerian Muslims generally have the most belligerent views on such issues as the state of Western-Muslim relations, the supposed immorality and arrogance of Westerners, and support for Mr. bin Laden and suicide terrorism. This extremism results, no doubt, from the violent state of Christian-Muslim relations in Nigeria.

Ironically, most Muslim alienation is found in those countries where Muslims are either the most or the least accommodated, suggesting that a middle path is best – where Muslims do not win special privileges, as in Britain, nor are they in an advanced state of hostility, as in Nigeria.

Overall, the Pew survey sends an undeniable message of crisis from one end to the other of the Muslim world.

The Religion of Peace?

The Religion of Peace?
By Andrew G. Bostom

Frontpagemag.com
During the discussion period after a recent talk by the courageous secular Muslim “apostate” Wafa Sultan, Judea Pearl, father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (who was barbarously murdered by pious Muslim terrorists), alluded to the Koran’s “verses of peace”—which certain votaries of Islam uphold as the religion’s exclusive legacy. According to an observer at the event, Judea Pearl derided Ms. Sultan’s critical view of Islam by further contending that the Koran’s bellicose and brutal verses were mere “cultural baggage”, akin to “similar” pronouncements in the Old Testament. The comparison was naïve, if not absurd.

Naïve because the Koran’s “verses of peace”, frequently cited by both Muslim and non-Muslim apologists, most notably verse 2:256, “There is no compulsion in religion”, were all abrogated by the so-called verses of the sword. These abrogating verses of the sword recommend beheading or otherwise murdering and mutilating non-Muslims, and Muslim apostates. According to classical Muslim Koranic commentators verse 9:5 (perhaps the most infamous verse of the sword), “Slay the idolators wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush…”, for example, cancels 124 verses that promote patience and toleration.

The sacralized Islamic sources indicate that as the Muslim prophet Muhammad accrued political and military power, he evolved from a proselytizer and persuader, to a warrior (i.e., a prototype jihadist; see: The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model), and dictatorial legislator. Thus the sword and other similar Koranic verses—as per the linkage between Muhammad’s biography and the Koranic narrative—capture the Muslim prophet at his most dogmatic, belligerent, and intolerant. Muslims are enjoined to fight and murder nonbelievers—woe unto those who shirk these campaigns—but those who are killed fighting for the one true religion, i.e., Islam, will be rewarded amply in the afterlife. A sampling of such verses, which established these eternal injunctions, are included below:

47:4: “Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds”

9:29: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.”

4:76: “Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Shaitan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Shaitan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak.”

8:12: “When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

8:38-39: “Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.”

9:39: “If you do not go forth, He will chastise you with a painful chastisement and bring in your place a people other than you, and you will do Him no harm; and Allah has power over all things.”

4:74: “Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world’s life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward.”

9:111: “Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.”

As Ibn Warraq notes, aptly (p.69):

“tolerance” has been abrogated by “intolerance”

And this doctrine of abrogation, necessitated by the many contradictions which abound in the Koran, originates as putatively taught by Muhammad, himself, at verse 2:106: “Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?” . This verse, in combination with verses* 16:101, 22:52, and 87:6, was elaborated into a formal system of abrogation (naskh in Arabic) by the greatest classical Muslim Koranic scholars and jurists, which entailed (p.72),

…the suppression of a ruling without the suppression of the wording. That is to say, the earlier ruling is still to be found in the Koran, and is still to this day recited in worship, but it no longer has any legal force [emphasis added]

But it is only when viewed in the larger context of the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad warwhich derives substantively from the abrogating Koranic sword verses—that Judea Pearl’s naïve equation to “similar” verses from the Old Testament, becomes entirely fatuous. From the bellicose verses in the Koran, expounded upon in the hadith (the words and deeds of Muhammad as recorded by pious Muslim transmitters), Muslim jurists and theologians formulated the Islamic institution of permanent jihad war against non-Muslims to bring the world under Islamic rule (Shari’a law).

Since its earliest inception, through the present, jihad has been central to the thought and writings of prominent Muslim theologians and jurists. The precepts and regulations elucidated in the 7th through 9th centuries are immutable in the Muslim theological-juridical system, and they have remained essentially unchallenged by the majority of contemporary Muslims. The jihad is intrinsic to the sacred Muslim texts, including the divine Koranic revelation—”the uncreated word of Allah”. The Old Testament sanctions the Israelites conquest of Canaan—a limited domain—it does not sanction a permanent war to submit all the nations of humanity to a uniform code of religious law. Similarly, the tactics of warfare are described in the Old Testament, unlike the Koran, in very circumscribed and specific contexts. Moreover, while the Old Testament clearly condemns certain inhumane practices of paganism, it never invoked an eternal war against all of the world’s pagan peoples.

Uninformed ecumenical zeal in search of a fantasy Islam yet to be created, does not excuse making intellectual, let alone moral equivalences, between the severely limited and contextualized war proclamations of the Old Testament, and the permanent proto-jihad war injunctions of the Koran. Staking out the presumptive “higher” moral ground by a thinly veiled (and ahistorical!) attack on a courageous secularist seeking profound, not cosmetic (and meaningless) changes in Islamdom, is unsavory and destructive, regardless of the misguided motivations.

* 16: 101: “And when We change (one) communication for (another) communication, and Allah knows best what He reveals, they say: You are only a forger. Nay, most of them do not know.”; 22:52: “And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet, but when he desired, the Shaitan made a suggestion respecting his desire; but Allah annuls that which the Shaitan casts, then does Allah establish His communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise”; 87:6: “By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message), so thou shalt not forget”

The discussion of abrogation/naskh draws heavily upon the insightful analysis, here pp. 67-75, of my courageous mentor and colleague Ibn Warraq.

 


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First Word: What is ‘Human Rights Watch’ watching?

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

First Word: What is ‘Human Rights Watch’ watching?



When it comes to Israel and its enemies, Human Rights Watch cooks the books about facts, cheats on interviews, and puts out predetermined conclusions that are driven more by their ideology than by evidence. These are serious accusations, and they are demonstrably true.

Consider the following highly publicized “conclusion” reached by Human Rights Watch about the recent war in Lebanon between Hizbullah and Israel:

“Human Rights Watch found no cases in which Hizbullah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack.”

No cases!

Anyone who watched even a smattering of TV during the war saw with their own eyes direct evidence of rockets being launched from civilian areas. But not Human Rights Watch. How could an organization, which claims to be objective, have been so demonstrably wrong about so central a point in so important a war? Could it have been an honest mistake? I don’t think so.

Despite its boast that “Human Rights Watch has interviewed victims and witnesses of attacks in one-on-one settings, conducted on-site inspections … and collected information from hospitals, humanitarian groups, and government agencies,” it didn’t find one instance in which Hizbullah failed to segregate its fighters from civilians.

Nor apparently did HRW even ask the Israelis for proof of its claim that Hizbullah rockets were being fired from behind civilians, and that Hizbullah fighters were hiding among civilians.
Its investigators interviewed Arab “eyewitnesses” and monitored “information from public sources including the Israeli government statements.”
Human Rights Watch ignored credible news sources, such as The New York Times and The New Yorker.
“Hizbullah came to Ain Ebel to shoot its rockets,” said Fayad Hanna Amar, a young Christian man, referring to his village. “They are shooting from between our houses.”

…Mr. Amar said Hizbullah fighters in groups of two and three had come into Ain Ebel, less than a mile from Bint Jbail, where most of the fighting has occurred. They were using it as a base to shoot rockets, he said, and the Israelis fired back.

- Sabrina Tavernise, “Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hizbullah,” The New York Times, July 28, 2006.

Near the hospital, a mosque lay in ruins….

A man approached and told me that he was a teacher at the Hariri school. I asked him why he thought the Israelis had hit a mosque, and he said, simply, “It was a Hizbullah mosque.” …

A younger man came up to me and, when we were out of earshot of others, said that Hizbullah had kept bombs in the basement of the mosque, but that two days earlier a truck had taken the cache away.

- Jon Lee Anderson, “The Battle for Lebanon,” The New Yorker, August 8, 2006.

Even if the location of UN posts were known to Israeli commanders, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that Hizbullah fighters used one as a shield from which to unleash fire. They’ve done so in the past, says Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie (ret’d.), who witnessed the technique while on peacekeeping assignments in the area. “It’s the same as if you set up your weapons systems beside a mosque or a church or a hospital.”

- Carlie Gillis, “Diplomacy Under Fire,” MacLean’s, August 7, 2006.

The surgeon led a group of journalists over what remained: mangled debris, shredded walls and a roof punched through by an Israeli shell.

“Look what they did to this place,” Dr. Fatah said, shaking his head. “Why in the world would the Israelis target a hospital?”

The probable answer was found a few hours later in a field nearby. Hidden in the tall grass were the burned remnants of a rocket-launcher.

Confronted with the evidence, Dr. Fatah admitted his hospital could have been used as a site from which to fire rockets into Israel.

- Sonia Verma, “Hizbullah’s Deadly Hold on Heartland,” National Post, August 5, 2006.

[Samira] Abbas said, she heard from relatives that her house in Bint Jbeil had been destroyed. She said Hizbullah fighters had gathered in citrus groves about 500 yards from her home.

- Mohamad Bazzi, “Mideast Crisis – Farewell to a Soldier; Reporting from Lebanon; Running Out of Places to Run,” Newsday, July 28, 2006

“What that means is, in plain English, ‘We’ve got Hizbullah fighters running around in our positions, taking our positions here and then using us for shields and then engaging the (Israeli Defense Forces),’” said [Lewis] MacKenzie, who led Canadian peacekeepers in Bosnia.

- Steven Edwards, “UN contradicts itself over Israeli attack,” CanWest News Service, July 27, 2006.

It was also reported that Hizbullah fired from the vicinity of five UN positions at Alma Ash Shab, At Tiri, Bayt Yahoun, Brashit, and Tibnin.

- United Nations interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Naqoura, July 28, 2006 (Press Release).

While these pictures have escaped the ravaged country, other images and footage taken by local newspaper and television teams are routinely
seized by armed Hizbullah fighters at road blocks.

In one image a group of fighters, including youths, are preparing to fire an anti-aircraft gun just metres from an apartment block with laundry sheets drying on a balcony.

Others show a Hizbullah fighter armed with a nickel-plated AK47 rifle guarding no-go zones after Israeli blitzes.

Another depicts the remnants of a Hizbullah Katyusha rocket in the middle of a residential block, blown up in an Israeli air attack.

The Melbourne man who smuggled the shots out of Beirut told yesterday how he was less than 400m from the block when it was obliterated.

“Hizbullah came in to launch their rockets, then within minutes the area was blasted by Israeli jets,” he said.

“Until the Hizbullah fighters arrived, it had not been touched by the Israelis. Then it was devastated.

“After the attacks they didn’t even allow the ambulances or the Lebanese Army to come in until they had cleaned the area, removing their rockets and hiding other evidence…

The fighters used trucks, driven into residential areas, as launch pads for the rockets, he said.

Another image shows a line of decimated trucks sitting behind a 5m crater. The tourist who smuggled the images back to Melbourne said the trucks had been carrying rockets.

The release of the images comes as Hizbullah fighters face increasing censure for using innocent civilians as “human shields.”

- Chris Tinkler, “Revealed: How Hizbullah puts the innocent at risk; They don’t care,” Sunday Mail (Australia), July 30, 2006.

HOW COULD Human Rights Watch have ignored – or more likely suppressed – this evidence from so many different sources? The only reasonable explanation is that they wanted there to be no evidence of Hizbullah’s tactic of hiding behind civilians. So they cooked the books to make it come out that way.

Even after the fighting ended and all the reports of Hizbullah hiding among civilians were published, HRW chief Kenneth Roth essentially repeated the demonstrably false conclusions that “in none of those cases was Hizbullah anywhere around at the time of the attack.” So committed is Human Rights Watch to its predetermined conclusions that it refused to let the facts, as reported by objective sources, get in its way.

Many former supporters of Human Rights Watch have become alienated from the organization, because of, in the words of one early supporter, “their obsessive focus on Israel.”

Within the last month, virtually every component of the organized Jewish community, from secular to religious, liberal to conservative, has condemned Human Rights Watch for its bias. Roth and his organization’s willful blindness when it comes to Israel and its enemies have completely undermined the credibility of a once important human rights organization. Human Rights Watch no longer deserves the support of real human rights advocates. Nor should its so-called reporting be credited by objective news organizations.

What did you do in the war, UNIFIL?

What did you do in the war, UNIFIL?
You broadcast Israeli troop movements.
by Lori Lowenthal Marcus
09/04/2006, Volume 011, Issue 47


DURING THE RECENT month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel, U.N. “peacekeeping” forces made a startling contribution: They openly published daily real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon.

UNIFIL–the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a nearly 2,000-man blue-helmet contingent that has been present on the Lebanon-Israel border since 1978–is officially neutral. Yet, throughout the recent war, it posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.

Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces. Statements on the order of Hezbollah “fired rockets in large numbers from various locations” and Hezbollah’s rockets “were fired in significantly larger numbers from various locations” are as precise as its coverage of the other side ever got.

This war was fought on cable television and the Internet, and a lot of official information was available in real time. But the specific military intelligence UNIFIL posted could not be had from any non-U.N. source. The Israeli press–always eager to push the envelope–did not publish the details of troop movements and logistics. Neither the European press nor the rest of the world media, though hardly bastions of concern for the safety of Israeli troops, provided the IDF intelligence details that UNIFIL did. A search of Israeli government websites failed to turn up the details published to the world each day by the U.N.

Inquiries made of various Israeli military and government representatives and analysts yielded near unanimous agreement that at least some of UNIFIL’s postings, in the words of one retired senior military analyst, “could have exposed Israeli soldiers to grave danger.” These analysts, including a current high ranking military official, noted that the same intelligence would not have been provided by the U.N. about Israel’s enemies.

Sure enough, a review of every single UNIFIL web posting during the war shows that, while UNIFIL was daily revealing the towns where Israeli soldiers were located, the positions from which they were firing, and when and how they had entered Lebanese territory, it never described Hezbollah movements or locations with any specificity whatsoever.

Compare the vague “various locations” language with this UNIFIL posting from July 25:

Yesterday and during last night, the IDF moved significant reinforcements, including a number of tanks, armored personnel carriers, bulldozers and infantry, to the area of Marun Al Ras inside Lebanese territory. The IDF advanced from that area north toward Bint Jubayl, and south towards Yarun.

Or with the posting on July 24, in which UNIFIL revealed that the IDF stationed between Marun Al Ras and Bint Jubayl were “significantly reinforced during the night and this morning with a number of tanks and armored personnel carriers.”

This partiality is inconsistent not only with UNIFIL’s mission but also with its own stated policies. In a telling incident just a few years back, UNIFIL vigorously insisted on its “neutral ity”–at Israel’s expense.

On October 7, 2000, three IDF soldiers were kidnapped by Hezbollah just yards from a UNIFIL shelter and dragged across the border into Lebanon, where they disappeared. The U.N. was thought to have videotaped the incident or its immediate aftermath. Rather than help Israel rescue its kidnapped soldiers by providing this evidence, however, the U.N. obstructed the Israeli investigation.

For months the Israeli government pleaded with the U.N. to turn over any videotape that might shed light on the location and condition of its missing men. And for nine months the U.N. stonewalled, insisting first that no such tape existed, then that just one tape existed, and eventually conceding that there were two more tapes. During those nine months, clips from the videotapes were shown on Syrian and Lebanese television.

Explaining their eventual about-face, U.N. officials said the decision had been made by the on-site commanders that it was not their responsibility to provide the material to Israel; indeed, that to do so would violate the peacekeeping mandate, which required “full impartiality and objectivity.” The U.N. report on the incident was adamant that its force had “to ensure that military and other sensitive information remains in their domain and is not passed to parties to a conflict.”

Stymied in its efforts to recover the men while they were still alive, Israel ultimately agreed to an exchange in January 2004: It released 429 Arab prisoners and detainees, among them convicted terrorists, and the bodies of 60 Lebanese decedents and members of Hezbollah, in exchange for the bodies of the three soldiers. Blame for the deaths of those three Israelis can be laid, at least in part, at the feet of the U.N., which went to the wall defending its inviolable pledge never to share military intelligence about one party with another.

UNIFIL has just done what it then vowed it could never do. Once again, it has acted to shield one side in the conflict and to harm the other. Why is this permitted? For that matter, how did the U.N. obtain such detailed and timely military intelligence in the first place, before broadcasting it for Israel’s enemies to see?

Lori Lowenthal Marcus is president of the Zionist Organization of America, Greater Philadelphia District.

Defying U.N., Iran Opens Nuclear Reactor


Defying U.N., Iran Opens Nuclear Reactor

 


 Email this Story

Aug 26, 7:58 AM (ET)

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI KHONDAB, Iran (AP) – An Iranian plant that produces heavy water officially went into operation on Saturday, despite U.N. demands that Tehran stop the activity because it can be used to develop a nuclear bomb. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the plant, which
Tehran says is for peaceful purposes.
The announcement comes days before Thursday’s U.N. deadline for
Iran to stop uranium enrichment – which also can be used to create nuclear weapons – or face economic and political sanctions.
Tehran has called the U.N. Security Council resolution “illegal” and said it won’t stop enrichment as a precondition to negotiations.
Mohammed Saeedi, the deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said the heavy water plant is “one of the biggest nuclear projects” in the country, state-run television reported. He said the plant will be used in the pharmaceutical field and in diagnosing cancer. The plant’s top official, Manouchehr Madadi, said the facility has the ability to produce up to 16 tons of heavy water a year.
Iran has been a building a heavy water reactor near the plant for two years, but the reactor is not scheduled for completion until 2009. Nuclear weapons can be produced using either plutonium or highly enriched uranium as the explosive core. Either substance can be produced in the process of running a reactor. Reactors fueled by enriched uranium use regular – or “light” – water as a “moderator” in the chain reaction that produces energy. Reactors using “heavy water” contain a heavier hydrogen particle, which allows the reactor to run on natural uranium mined by
Iran, foregoing the enrichment progress.
But the spent fuel from a heavy water reactor can be reprocessed to extract plutonium for use in a bomb. The West’s main worry has been uranium enrichment. Iran on Tuesday responded to an incentives package presented by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany aimed at getting
Tehran to roll back its disputed nuclear program.
Iran said it would be open to negotiations but did not agree to the West’s key demand for
Tehran to halt uranium enrichment as a precondition to talks.

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