Zarif: No Online Cameras Allowed at Nuclear Sites (Mehr News-Iran)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told parliament on Tuesday that Iran would allow no online cameras to be installed in its nuclear facilities.
Zarif was also quoted as saying, "I have told the Western diplomats that Iran is capable of making an atom bomb anytime it wills."
See also Iran Rules Out Inspection for Military Sites (Times of Israel)
Iranian Defense Minister Brig.-Gen. Hossein Dehgan said Wednesday that international inspectors would not be granted access to military sites under the framework agreement on Iran's nuclear program.
"No such agreement has been reached and basically, visiting military centers are among the red lines and no visit to these centers will be allowed," Iranian media reported.
He said reports that the deal will allow International Atomic Energy Agency experts to inspect military centers across Iran were "lies" and "deceits."
Pakistan Reached a Nuclear Weapons Capability with 3,000 Centrifuges - Dore Gold (Facebook)
Advocates of the understandings with Iran over its nuclear program point to the fact that it proposes cutting Iran's 19,000 centrifuges to approximately 5,000, thus limiting its ability to enrich vast quantities of uranium.
But how many centrifuges does a country need to produce atomic weapons?
Pakistan enriched uranium for its first nuclear device with only 3,000 centrifuges. Thus, Iran will be left with enough equipment to go down this route.
Israel: Americans Know Iran Wants Nuclear Weapons (Times of Israel)
Ram Ben-Barak, a former senior Mossad official who is now the director general of Israel's Ministry of Intelligence, told Army Radio on Wednesday:
"Ask any American or European official who has been involved in the negotiations, ask him if he thinks that at the end of the process Iran wants nuclear weapons. Ask him in a one-on-one conversation, and he'll tell you yes, that's for sure."
Kerry Talks with Skeptical Jewish Organizations over Iran Deal - Geoff Earle (New York Post)
Secretary of State John Kerry met privately at the State Department on Wednesday with officials from prominent Jewish organizations that have expressed strong reservations about the Iran nuclear deal, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Two New York City Women Identified with Islamic State Planned U.S. Terrorist Bombing - Ellen Wulfhorst and Nate Raymond (Reuters)
Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, have been arrested and accused of conspiring "to prepare an explosive device to be detonated in a terrorist attack in the U.S.," according to a federal criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
When they were arrested, agents found bomb-building materials.
Velentzas had praised al-Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. and said she and Siddiqui were "citizens of the Islamic State." The women also voiced support for beheadings.
New Simulators to Train IDF Soldiers for Tunnel Warfare - Yuval Azulai (Globes)
Following lessons learned in the fighting in Gaza last summer, the Israel Defense Forces is preparing to train all its infantry in tunnel warfare using simulators that present soldiers with different scenarios, including detecting the tunnels, advancing through them, the complex and dangerous fighting within them, the complete mapping of their route, and their controlled destruction.
Six months after the fighting, Hamas is preoccupied with preparing for the next round against Israel and is digging new offensive tunnels.
Training in underground warfare will take place at ten special facilities now under construction. By the end of the year, all the soldiers likely to take part in future fighting in Gaza will have received training in tunnel warfare.
The Ministry of Defense is still looking for a reliable technological system that can provide advance warning of the digging of offensive tunnels towards Israeli territory from Gaza and Lebanon.
Israel's Knesset Is Earth's Greenest Parliament - Renee Ghert-Zand (Times of Israel)
The Israeli Knesset has recently become the greenest parliament in the world.
On March 29, the Knesset unveiled a 1,500-panel solar field on its roof and those of surrounding buildings, producing 450 kw.
Lighting throughout the building has been changed to the energy-saving LED variety.
The newer building has awning-type structures above windows that block the intense summer sun.
All lighting and air conditioning turns off automatically when a room becomes empty.
80% of all paper used in the Knesset comes from recycled sources, and all printing is double-sided.
Israel Develops Revolutionary Body Armor - Tamar Pileggi (Times of Israel)
Israeli scientists have recently developed an innovative new material able to withstand bullets and knife attacks that could revolutionize body armor technology.
Inspired by the scaly skin of fish, researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology designed a hybrid double-layered material that provides protection against penetration while preserving flexibility.
In addition to making bulletproof clothing for the military, the material could be used to protect space-walking astronauts from radiation and micro-meteors.
Israeli Researchers Help Regrow Heart Cells - Melissa Davey (Guardian-UK)
While human blood, hair and skin cells renew themselves throughout life, humans are unable to easily regenerate heart cells, making it difficult to recover from the permanent damage caused by heart attacks.
But scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney have discovered a way to stimulate heart muscle cells to grow, which could have major implications for heart attack sufferers in the future.
The scientists found that by stimulating a signaling system in the heart driven by a hormone called neuregulin, heart muscle cells divided in a spectacular way in both adolescent and adult mice.
The triggering of the neuregulin pathway following a heart attack in the mice lead to replacement of lost muscle, repairing the heart to a level close to that prior to the heart attack.
Brazil Adopts Israeli UAV Design - Richard Tomkins (UPI)
Israel Aerospace Industries' Brazilian partner, Avionics Services, is moving toward production of a long-endurance, unmanned aerial vehicle using IAI technology.
The Cacador UAV is designed to meet specific Brazilian needs and requirements.
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- Rouhani: Iran Will Only Sign Nuclear Deal If All Sanctions Lifted "Same Day" - Parisa Hafezi
Iran "will not sign any deal unless all sanctions are lifted on the same day,"
President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday. "Our goal in the talks is to preserve our nation's nuclear rights....The Iranian nation has been and will be the victor in the negotiations."
"Our main gain in the talks was the fact that U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged that Iranians will not surrender to bullying, sanctions and threats," Rouhani said.
"It is a triumph for Iran that the first military power in the world has admitted Iranians will not bow to pressure." (Reuters)
- Former Israeli Prime Minister Barak: Give Iran an Ultimatum - Matthew J. Belvedere
The U.S. needs to give Iranian leaders a clear choice: Get rid of your military nuclear program "or else," former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak urged on Wednesday.
"The Pentagon and the forces of America under the backing and probably directive of the president [could] create an extremely effective means to destroy the Iranian nuclear military program over a fraction of one night," he said. He described the type of targeted operation as closer to the killing of bin Laden than the war on Iraq.
Barak said he would rather see a peacefully negotiated end to Iran's nuclear threat. But "there is no agreement, basically," arguing that President Obama's administration backed themselves into a corner by committing "all around the world and back home to pass this agreement." (CNBC)
- Iranian Naval Vessels Sail near Yemen as Proxy War Intensifies - Simeon Kerr
Iran has sent two naval vessels to waters near Yemen as part of "anti-piracy efforts" in the trade routes that connect the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea, according to Iran's Press TV. The naval deployment highlights the tensions surrounding the conflict in Yemen after Sunni states led by Saudi Arabia launched an air campaign against the Zaydi Shia Houthis. Riyadh and its Gulf allies say Yemen is the latest example of Tehran expanding its influence through proxies across the Arab world.
- Qatar Lends Palestinians $100 Million to Pay Salaries
The Palestinian Authority said on Wednesday it had received a $100 million loan from Qatar to help pay civil servants' salaries. President Mahmoud Abbas, who is visiting the Gulf state, issued a statement thanking Qatar for the loan.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Israel: Iran Deal Fails to Fully Freeze or Supervise Iran Nuclear Activity - David Horovitz interviews Yuval Steinitz
Israel's Minister of Intelligence and Strategic Affairs, Yuval Steinitz, says the framework deal paves Iran's path to the bomb - treating the regime "as though it can be trusted, like Holland or Japan." Steinitz posited that since the agreement does not freeze R&D on advanced centrifuges, it would take Iran only about five years to complete the R&D on its IR-8 centrifuges, geared to enrich uranium 20 times faster than its current IR-1s. "We're worried that in five years, if and when their research is done, they will be able to break out to the bomb in two to three months."
Moreover, the understandings do not provide for critical "anywhere, anytime" inspections. In President Obama's New York Times interview, "Tom Friedman asked him, If there are military sites with nuclear activities, can there be 'anywhere/anytime' inspections? Obama said...we'd have to request that of the Iranians, and if the Iranians say no, there'll have to be arbitration. We say that is ineffective. It will take time....They claim that there's a freeze and inspections, and we see loopholes."
"I don't accuse Obama or Kerry of bad intentions, but they're making a terrible mistake....I think there's a delusion...that Zarif and Rouhani are moderates who represent moderates in Iran...and that if we just give Rouhani and Zarif sanctions relief, we'll empower them vis-a-vis the Revolutionary Guards and [Supreme Leader] Khamenei." Instead, Steinitz argued, "Iran's behavior is much more aggressive around the Middle East than it was under Ahmadinejad....The concept that you'll empower the moderate Rouhani and Zarif...is totally unconnected with the facts on the ground." (Times of Israel)
- Not on Obama's Watch - Ari Shavit
"Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch," the president told the New York Times. He's committing that Iran will not become nuclear before Jan. 20, 2017, promising that in the next 21 months Iran will not produce or assemble its first nuclear bomb. What are Israelis supposed to do with such a short-term commitment by the president? And what are the Saudis, Egyptians, Turks, Jordanians and Emiratis supposed to think?
The Obama-Friedman interview sets off a thousand alarm bells. We begin to suspect that the Obama-Khamenei agreement will not prevent Iran from going nuclear, but will only postpone the achievement by a few years. This is a time of trouble for every Israeli, Arab, European and American who favors stability and sanity. In the balance is the world in which our children will live or die.
- Hamas Member Identified as Stabber of Soldiers - Yasser Okbi
Palestinian sources identified the terrorist who stabbed two IDF soldiers on Wednesday as Muhammed Jasem Harahra, 32, a Hamas member from Sinjil, a Palestinian village near the site of the attack in the West Bank. (Maariv Hashavua-Jerusalem Post)
See also Stabbed Soldier Killed His Attacker - Roi Yanovsky
Tomer, a medic in the IDF Home Front Command, was stabbed twice in the back on Wednesday by a Palestinian assailant while standing outside a military vehicle. "At this point he entered the vehicle, where two of my friends were sitting, and tried to stab them too. I was on the ground but I got up, aimed my weapon, and shot and killed him." (Ynet News)
- Current Iran Framework Will Make War More Likely - Moshe Ya'alon
Israel has made clear its grave concerns about the Iran nuclear framework's fundamental elements and omissions. The vast nuclear infrastructure to be left in Iran will give it an unacceptably short breakout time to building a bomb. Iran's long-range ballistic missile program - a threat to Israel as well as the rest of the Middle East, Europe and the U.S. - is untouched.
The sanctions on Iran will be lifted, while restrictions imposed on its nuclear program will expire in about a decade, regardless of Iran's campaign of murderous aggression in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere; its arming, funding, training and dispatching of terrorists around the world; and its threats and violent efforts to destroy Israel, the region's only democracy.
To justify the risks inherent to the framework, its supporters have posited three main arguments: that the only alternative is war; that Iranian violations will be deterred or detected because of "unprecedented verification"; and that, in the event of violations, sanctions will be snapped back into place. These arguments have one important feature in common: They're all wrong.
As a former Israel Defense Forces chief of general staff and as a combat veteran forced to bury some of my closest friends, I know too well the costs of war. I also know that Israelis are likely to pay the highest price if force is used - by anyone - against Iran's nuclear program. No country, therefore, has a greater interest in seeing the Iranian nuclear question resolved peacefully than Israel. Our opposition to the deal is because the terms of the framework - which will leave an unreformed Iran stronger, richer and with a clear path to a bomb - make war more likely.
The alternative is a better deal that significantly rolls back Iran's nuclear infrastructure and links the lifting of restrictions on its nuclear program to an end of Iran's aggression in the region, its terrorism across the globe and its threats to annihilate Israel. This alternative requires neither war nor putting our faith in tools that have already failed us. The writer is Israel's minister of defense.
- Keep Up the Sanctions and Wait Out Iran - Naftali Bennett
One of the key arguments used by the U.S. to justify the recent Iran nuclear deal is that the alternative to this deal is war. This is simply not true. There is a third option. The world needs to wait and give the existing sanctions more time. These sanctions have already caused significant damage to Iran's economy and are the very reason the Iranians came to the table in the first place.
But, we are told, Iran will never forfeit its military nuclear program. Wrong. What seems impossible today is possible tomorrow if we are just willing to have patience, to wait and keep up the pressure.
Iran must face an either-or decision: either give up its nuclear bomb program or give up its economy. The proposed deal reached earlier this month gives Iran exactly what it wanted - sanctions relief and an opportunity to wait for the right moment to build the bomb.
Iran is ruled by a ruthless regime that cannot be trusted. It has already violated consecutive UN Security Council resolutions, and to think that it will now adhere to this deal is to ignore reality.
The writer is Israel's minister of economy.
- The Iranian Deal in Middle Eastern Geopolitics - James F. Jeffrey
What are the core geostrategic elements of the nuclear agreement with Iran? Iran (1) maintains its status as a nuclear threshold state; (2) receives at some point almost total sanctions relief; and (3) ducks formal culpability for its violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) with its nuclear weapons efforts and secret nuclear sites by keeping all of its nuclear infrastructure, even if dramatically modified.
The administration repeatedly hints that the nuclear agreement will encourage Iran to move toward "normal country" status. A metamorphosis of Iran toward normalcy cannot be ruled out. But apart from Germany and Japan after devastating defeats, such "flips" are rare.
The deal does not work in geostrategic terms if it is not clear to all, including the Iranians, that the international community will act forcefully by all means necessary to block a nuclear device. The most important step to contain Iran, stabilize the region and win acceptance for the nuclear agreement is to threaten in advance use of force if Iran violates the agreement.
Congress should help by passing in advance an authorization for the use of military force against an Iran in violation, and the president should specify what red line, if crossed, would provoke a military response. Such steps could defuse American opposition to the agreement and deter regional allies from "going it alone." The writer, a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, served as U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor with a special focus on Iran, and Ambassador to Iraq, Turkey, and Albania.
- How the Iran Deal Can Fall Apart - Daniel W. Drezner
One implicit assumption about the Iran nuclear deal is that there will be a finished deal come June 30 - or Sept. 30, when the inevitable three-month extension is added. However, I can see at least five ways that this framework crumbles before it gets implemented.
There is disagreement over the sanctions timetable. Each side could sabotage the other with its domestic sales pitch. The regional situation might melt down further. The Sunni Arab states remain unconvinced.
And a new U.S. administration could cancel the deal, as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential Republican presidential contender, has stated.
The writer is a professor of international politics at Tufts University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
- It's "Victory over America Day" in Iran - Thomas Donnelly
There is a geopolitical reason that explains why Tehran might be willing to at least slow its drive for the nuclear capabilities they have paid so much to acquire: Don't stand in the way of an enemy who's retreating.
Through its withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, unwillingness to stand by Arab allies, venom toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, phobia regarding the use of military power, and devout belief in the efficacy of arms control, the Obama administration seems to have convinced the Iranians that they can continue their gradual march toward regional hegemony and save their nukes for another day.
Iran will no doubt reinvest the proceeds from any economic revival induced by sanctions relief in campaigns in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere; Washington has become a willing partner in making Iran the dominant power in the region.
If Iran makes as many gains in the Middle East in the next decade as it has in this one, it will be free to spread an umbrella of nuclear deterrence over a much larger regional sphere of influence - of the sort that has long stirred Persian dreams.
The writer is a resident fellow at AEI and co-director of its Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies.
(American Enterprise Institute)
- The Iran Deal and Anti-Semitism - Jeffrey Herf
Neither the White House nor the State Department has offered a full discussion of the hatred of Jews and of Israel that has been a defining feature of the Iranian regime or of the irrationality which that hatred produces. For six years Obama engaged with Iran as that regime spewed forth vile expressions of anti-Jewish hatreds. Now it is important that the debate also include an American conversation about the anti-Semitism of Iran and the hatred and irrationality embedded in the core of Tehran's view of the world.
The writer is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland. (Times of Israel)
- Iran's Goal is Middle Eastern Hegemony - Michael J. Totten
Largely missing from the conversation about the nuclear deal with Iran is a recognition of the Iranian government's ultimate goal - to become the regional hegemon. Its nuclear weapons program is simply a means to that end. The Iranian government will continue to be a pernicious force in the region regardless of any agreement. Iran could eventually become a force for good, but we're not there yet.
For now, the regime is aggressively projecting power beyond its borders into the Arab world in ways that are entirely detrimental to both the West and the Arabs. A deal that allows Iran to grow stronger through sanctions relief without addressing any of that will almost certainly make the Middle East a worse place than it already is. (World Affairs)
- The Iran Agreement Is about More than Nukes - Michael Weiss
A decade's worth of diplomacy and dirty warfare with the world's only superpower has seen Iranian hegemony metastasize exactly where it was meant to be isolated or diminished. Any permanent deal will only certify and internationalize America's acquiescence to that hegemony since the attendant risks of trying to counter Iranian influence will mean threatening the compact, much as the chemical disarmament program for Syria gave Assad a year's worth of impunity by making him a necessary partner in dismantling his own nerve gas stockpiles.
- Can Iran Be Brought In Out of the Cold? - Jonah Goldberg
President Obama says he wants to bring Iran in out of the cold, to "break through (their) isolation." To be fair, Obama's goal is a good one. A civilized Iranian regime would presumably stop supporting Hamas in Gaza, Hizbullah in Lebanon, Houthis in Yemen, Bashar Assad in Syria and Shiite militants in Iraq. It'd even stop routinely calling for the destruction of Israel and "Death to America!" Who wouldn't want that?
The question is: Is a new Iran possible? If the Iranian regime were interested in being a constructive member of the international community, it would have been acting like one already, right? The writer is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
- The PA's Audacity - Editorial
In December, Israel froze the transfer of tax revenue it collected on the PA's behalf after the PA decided to join the International Criminal Court in order to instigate proceedings against Israel for alleged war crimes. Following pressure from Washington, the government relented and handed over to Ramallah NIS 1.37 billion. But Israel held back a symbolic NIS 160,000 to defray a fraction of the PA's NIS 2b. debt to the Israel Electric Corporation. The PA is also in massive arrears to Mekorot for water piped to it and to Israeli hospitals for unpaid medical bills.
According to PA President Mahmoud Abbas' arithmetic, this token deduction amounts to "a full third of the total." Therefore, he said, he refuses to accept any of the money and is prepared to take Israel to the ICC over the matter. It might be absurd to presume that collecting a small portion of enormous outstanding utility bills can be portrayed as a war crime. But what holds true for other nations is not so in Israel's case.
If Abbas does press this matter at the ICC, it would be interesting to see if the jurists actually rule that it is an inalienable Palestinian right to enjoy free electricity at the direct expense of Israeli consumers.
- IDF General: Gaza Conflict Was Victory for Israel, Defeat for Hamas - Yossi Yehoshua
The head of the IDF Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman, said in an interview that the 2014 Gaza War "was a victory. Hamas had plans and put them into practice with the aim of harming civilians and soldiers. They weren't successful....45 terrorists infiltrated through tunnels during Protective Edge, but not a single one saw a civilian....They encountered military forces."
Turgeman noted "the fact that [Hamas] failed to realize its offensive aims; the fact that around 1,000 of its fighters were killed and many others were wounded; the fact that it lost its most significant asset, the attack tunnels that it spent four or five years building; the fact that we destroyed its operational infrastructure throughout Gaza; the fact that it fired 4,500 rockets in the hope of achieving much deadlier results but was thwarted by our defense systems. They are the ones who've been left with the bitter aftertaste....And in the end, the campaign ended on our terms, not on theirs." (Ynet News)
See also The Gaza War 2014: The War Israel Did Not Want and the Disaster It Averted - Hirsh Goodman and Dore Gold, eds. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- Why the ICC Won't Investigate Violence in Palestine Any Time Soon - Kevin Jon Heller
People seem to think that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is somehow eager to leap into the most politicized conflict of the modern era. But I don't think we take the ICC's institutional interests into account nearly enough when we prognosticate about what it might do.
Why would the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) spend its limited resources on the Palestine situation, as opposed to all the other non-African situations it has been monitoring for years? Public pronouncements notwithstanding, the OTP has shown very little desire to wade into situations where major superpowers are watching their behavior.
In Afghanistan, where the U.S. is potentially subject to the Court's jurisdiction, the preliminary examination is now in its eighth year. In Georgia, where Russia is obviously sitting on the sidelines, the preliminary examination is now in its sixth year. So the OTP knows full well how to slow-walk a preliminary examination into oblivion.
What would happen if the OTP did open a formal investigation? There are a number of reasons to suspect that a formal investigation would not turn out as well for the Palestinians as many people think. Most obviously, Hamas' deliberate rocket attacks on [Israeli] civilians would be the easiest of all the crimes to prove in terms of its legal elements and evidentiary considerations. The writer is a professor of criminal law at SOAS, University of London.
- America's Academies for Jihad - Ayaan Hirsi Ali
In 2006, I was asked to speak at the University of Pittsburgh. Among those who objected to my appearance was a local imam, Fouad El Bayly, of the Johnstown Islamic Center. Bayly said I had "been identified as one who has defamed the faith...and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death." I learned recently that the man who threatened me with death for apostasy is being paid by the U.S. Justice Department to teach Islam at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md.
Several U.S. prison chaplains have been exposed in recent years as sympathetic to radical Islam, including Warith Deen Umar, who helped run the New York State Department of Correctional Services' Islamic prison program for two decades, until 2000, and who praised the 9/11 hijackers in a 2003 interview. The writer is a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the American Enterprise Institute.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Iraq Inches toward 3-Way Split - Yaroslav Trofimov
After more than a decade of internecine slaughter that followed the 2003 U.S. invasion, more and more Iraqis are concluding that the country's three-way partition among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds may be the only viable option left. "There is now a public acceptance of the idea of separation, and this acceptance stems from the facts on the ground," said Zuheir al-Sharba, deputy secretary-general of the Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf, one of Shiite Islam's main pilgrimage centers.
Hunain Alqaddo, a lawmaker from the ruling Shiite bloc, said, "The advances of Islamic State have brought all Iraqi parties together, but this is temporary. It will not last. The main problem in Iraq is that we have very little in common." (Wall Street Journal)
The Win-Win Delusion - Clifford D. May (Washington Times)
- The unsigned, non-binding "understanding" announced last week dismantles none of Iran's nuclear infrastructure. It does nothing to slow the Islamic republic's development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose only conceivable purpose is to deliver nuclear warheads to distant targets. It does not authorize "go-anywhere-anytime" inspections.
- It doesn't address Iran's support for terrorists, its holding of innocent Americans hostage, its power grab in Iraq, its military support for the brutal Assad dynasty in Syria and Houthi rebels in Yemen, its continuing threats to topple Arab regimes with close ties to the U.S., and to "erase Israel from the map." In exchange for not making these concessions, Iran is to be rewarded with the lifting of the remaining economic sanctions.
- The agreement being finalized is likely to lead to the spread of nuclear weapons (with a serious risk that some of those nukes will end up in the hands of terrorists), that it will further fuel jihadi fires, and that it will heighten our enemies' contempt for us.
- 21 years ago, President Clinton announced a "framework" deal with North Korea, an agreement he described as "a good deal for the United States" because North Korea would be obligated to "freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program."
- Today, North Korea has nuclear weapons and is building more - while also developing longer-range missiles and assisting Iran's nuclear weapons program.
The writer is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
See also North Korea Can Miniaturize a Nuclear Weapon and Shoot It at U.S. - Anthony Capaccio
Adm. William Gortney, head of the U.S. Northern Command, said Tuesday: "Our assessment is that [North Korea has] the ability to put a nuclear weapon on a KN-08 and shoot it at the [U.S.] homeland." The KN-08 may have a maximum range of 9,000 km., far enough to reach the West Coast, aerospace engineer John Schilling and security analyst Henry Kan wrote.
On Tuesday, Gortney said that if North Korea were to fire a missile at the U.S., "I am confident we can knock it down."
North Korea claimed after its last nuclear test in 2013 that it had the ability to hit the mainland U.S. with nuclear-tipped missiles. (Bloomberg)
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