Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a diagram obtained by The Associated Press.The diagram was leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran’s atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran’s nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon. The officials provided the diagram only on condition that they and their country not be named.
The senior diplomat said the diagram was part of a series of Iranian computer-generated models provided to the IAEA by the intelligences services of member nations for use in its investigations of suspicions that Iran is trying to produce a nuclear weapon.
Iran will continue enriching uranium "with intensity", with the number of enrichment centrifuges it has operating to increase substantially in the current year, the country's nuclear energy chief was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
The comments by Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, signaled continued defiance by Iran in the face of international demands that Tehran halt enrichment to the higher 20 percent fissile purity level, close down its Fordow enrichment plant, and ship out its stockpile of the material.
"Despite the sanctions, most likely this year we will have a substantial growth in centrifuge machines and we will continue (uranium) enrichment with intensity," Abbasi-Davani was quoted as saying on Wednesday by the website of Iranian state television (IRIB).
UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano said earlier this month that Iran is enriching uranium at a constant pace and international sanctions aimed at making Tehran suspend the activity are having no visible impact.
The Palestinian Authority indicated it would take Israel to the International Criminal Court if it uncovers evidence Israel assassinated former PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, something that could become possible if the PA obtains an upgrade to its statehood status in the UN this week.
Speaking to reporters at a new conference in Ramallah on Tuesday, PA investigator Tawfiq Tirawi said Palestinians were gathering evidence about Arafat's death in order "to submit [it] to the International Criminal Court," Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.
Results from the tests were not expected until March or April of 2013.
The Palestinians appear certain to earn approval in the 193-member UN General Assembly for a status upgrade to "observer state" - similar to the Vatican's rank - from observer "entity." The move would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood.
The change would likely allow the Palestinians to access bodies like the International Criminal Court in the Hague, which prosecutes people for genocide, war crimes and other major human rights violations, where it could complain about Israel.
Twin car bombs ripped through a Damascus suburb on Wednesday, killing at least 34 people and leaving dozens critically wounded, according to state media and hospital officials.
The state news agency, SANA, said two cars packed with explosives detonated early in the morning in the eastern Jaramana suburb, a district that is mostly loyal to President Bashar Assad. The area is populated mostly by Christians and Druse, a minority sect.
A series of blasts have struck regime targets in Damascus and elsewhere since last December, raising fears of a rising Islamic militant element among the forces seeking to topple Assad.
Twin car bombs carried out by the Western-backed so-called “rebels” have killed dozens of civilians in a Christian-Druze neighborhood in Damascus, highlighting the sectarian extremism, not “democratic” aspirations, as well as the level of depravity, driving opponents of the Syrian government. Immediately after the explosions, and as casualty figures began trickling in, Associated Press (AP) attempted to spin and downplay the act of terrorism, claiming in its report, “Twin car bombs kill 20 in Syria, hospitals say,” that:
“Syrian hospital officials say twin car bombs have killed at least 20 people in a Damascus suburb that is mostly loyal to President Bashar Assad.”
Excusing egregious acts of terrorism aimed at Syria’s civilian population by claiming those targeted were “mostly loyal to President Bashar Assad” has been a favorite tactic of AP, BBC, CNN, Fox News, and others. In reality, the vast majority of Syrians, from Christians to Druze, from Shia’a Muslims to moderate Sunnis, are targets of the sectarian extremist, Saudi-Wahhabi indoctrinated terrorists the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia have been funding, arming, importing from across the region, and arraying against the people of Syria since at least 2007.
The terrorists in Syria have recently received a boost by the West, arranging for them a political front in Doha, Qatar to act as the reasonable “face” for their armed terrorism, portraying the premeditated destabilization by foreign terrorists as an indigenous struggle for “freedom and democracy.” Already, even that front has suffered setbacks, as its newly US-Qatari appointed leader, Moaz al-Khatib, has been revealedas not only involved with Western oil corporations, but also has declared on Al Jazeera his intentions of establishing an “Islamic state.”
Clearly, blowing up a neighborhood full of Christians and Druze would fall in line with just such a plan, driving yet more of Syria’s diverse population beyond its borders to live as permanent refugees – not with alleged plans of “freeing” the country, or gracing a multicultural society that has lived together for centuries with “democracy.”
Western-backed terrorism has already targeted Christians across Syria, as reported in the LA Times’ “Church fears ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Christians in Homs, Syria,” as well as in USA Today’s distorted, but still telling, “Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with Assad, Alawites.” With the recent bombing of a Christian-Druze neighborhood in Damascus to add to the list, it is clear a concerted campaign of genocide is aimed at Syria’s many minorities by Western-backed sectarian extremists – on record, purposefully arrayed against Syria for this very purpose.
Less than a week after reaching a ceasefire agreement with Israel, Hamas’s Gaza prime minister on Tuesday outlined the movement’s next goal in its struggle: the West Bank.
After eight days of intense fighting in Israel, the strip’s Islamist rulers emerged in the Palestinian narrative as victorious against Israel, managing to sideline Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the Arab street and reignite talks of unification between the factions.
Hamas has historically been only a marginal force in the West Bank, but with its newfound popularity, Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said his group was looking to expand its reach into the Palestinian heartland in its bid to lay claim to the land.“The West Bank will be central in deciding the struggle with the occupation,” Ismail Haniyeh declared during a ceremony honoring the victims of Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza.
“[The West Bank] is central for its historic and geographic value, as well as its proximity to the enemy’s occupied cities.”
The assembly is expected to vote Thursday on a resolution raising their status at the United Nations from an observer to a nonmember observer state, a move they believe is an important step toward a two-state solution with Israel.