Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear Weapons’

Annual Report on Military Power of Iran

December 26, 2012 2 comments

Published on December 26, 2012 by Akashma Online News



Executive Summary

There has been no change to Iran’s strategies over the past year. Iran continues to seek to increase its stature by countering U.S. influence and expanding ties with regional actors while advocating Islamic solidarity. Iran also desires to expand economic and security agreements with other nations, particularly members of the Nonaligned Movement in Latin America and Africa.
Iran’s military doctrine remains designed to slow an invasion; target its adversaries economic, political, and military interests; and force a diplomatic solution to hostilities while avoiding any concessions that challenge its core interests. Iran over the past year publicly threatened to use its naval forces to close the Strait of Hormuz in response to increasing sanctions and in the event Iran is attacked. Iran also has threatened to launch missiles against U.S. interests and our allies it1 the region in response to an attack and has issued threats to support terrorist attacks against U.S. interests.
Iran established the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp:r-Qod.s Force in 1990 to provide arms, funding, and paramilitary training to extremist groups.
We assess with high confidence that during the past three decades Iran has methodically cultivated a network of sponsored terrorist surrogates capable of targeting U.S. and Israeli interests; we suspect this activity continues.
Iran’s unconventional forces are trained according to its asymmetric warfare doctrine and would present a formidable force while defending Iranian territory.

Iran continues to develop technological capabilities applicable to nuclear weapons. It continues its uranium enrichment and heavy-water nuclear reactor activities in violation of multiple United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions and also continues to develop ballistic missiles that could be adapted to deliver nuclear weapons.
Regular Iranian ballistic missile training continues throughout the country. Iran continues to develop ballistic missiles that can range regional adversaries, Israel, and Eastern Europe, including an extended-range variant of the Shahab-3 and a 2,000-krn medium-range balllstic missile, the Ashura. Beyond steady growth in its missile and rocket inventories, Iran has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems by improving accuracy and developing new submunition payloads.
During the last two decades, Iran has placed significant emphasis on developing and fielding ballistic missiles to counter perceived threats from Israel and Coalition forces in the Middle East and to project power in the region. With sufficient foreign assistance, Iran may be technically capable of flight-testing an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015.
Preparation of this report study cost the Department of Defense a total of approximately $22,000 for the 2012 Fiscal Year Generated on 2012Jun 071226 REID: 5-UNCLASSIFIED

Full Update
Iranian Grand Strategy, Security Strategy, and Military Strategy
There has been no change to Iran’s strategies over the past year. Iran’s grand strategy remains challenging U.S. influence while developing its domestic capabilities to become the dominant power in the Middle East. Iran’s security strategy remains focused on deterring an attack, and it continues to support governments and groups that oppose U.S. interests.
Diplomacy, economic leverage, and active sponsorship of terrorist and insurgent groups, such as Lebanese Hizballah, Iraqi Shia groups, and the Taliban, are tools Iran uses to increase its regional power. Iran’s principles of military strategy remain deterrence, asymmetrical retaliation, and attrition warfare.
Iran seeks to increase its stature by countering U.S. influence and expanding ties with regional actors while advocating Islamic solidarity. Iran also desires to expand economic and security agreements with other nations, particularly members of the Nonaligned Movement in Latin America and Africa.
With the advent of the Arab Spring in 2011, Iran saw opportunities to increase its influence by supporting groups opposed to regimes in power, particularly those perceived to support U.S. interests. Iran publicized its belief that these popular, democratic uprisings were inspired by its own 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Outside the Middle East, Iran’s efforts to expand political, economic, and security ties with a range of countries demonstrate Tehran’s desire to offset sanctions and diplomatic isolation.

Iran continues to use a multipronged strategy in Iraq, including engagement with leaders across the political spectrum, outreach to the Iraqi populace, and continued support to Iraqi Shia militants and terrorists, such as Kataib Hizballah, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and the Promised Day Brigade, in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal. Iran provides money, weapons, training, and strategic and operational guidance to Shia militias and terrorist groups to protect and preserve Iran’·s security interests, including threatening the residual U.S. presence. In addition to providing anus and support, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp-Qods Force (lRGC-QF) is responsible for training Iraqi militants and terrorists in Iran, sometimes using Lebanese Hizballah instructors.
Iran continues to influence events in Afghanistan through a multifaceted approach, including support for the Karzai government while also supporting various insurgent groups. Tehran maintains ties with Afghan leaders across the political spectrum and continues to be involved in a number of humanitarian, economic, and cultural outreach activities among the Afghan populace. Although Tehran’s support to the Taliban is inconsistent with their historic enmity, it complements Iran’s strategy of backing many groups to maximize its influence while also undermining U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) objectives by fomenting violence.

Iran has been involved in Lebanon since the early days of the Islamic Republic, especially seeking to expand ties with the country’s large Shia population. The IRGC-QF oontinues to provide money, weapons, training, and logistic support to Lebanese Hizballah and views the organization as a key tool in its efforts to pressure Israel.
Since the beginning of the Syrian unrest, Iran has supported President Bashar al-Assad while downplaying the depth
of this support in public. Iran’s support to the Assad regime has included military equipment and communications assistance. Iran probably has provided military trainers to advise Syrian security forces.
(U) Iran’s Conventional Forces
Iran’s conventional military capabilities continue to improve. Naval forces are adding new ships and submarines while
expanding bases on the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea. In addition, Iran continues to expand the breadth of its naval operations. Iran deploys naval ships into the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea for conterpiracy operations and in 2011 and early 2012 deployed two separate surface groups to the Mediterranean.
In early 2012, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Ground Resistance Forces (IRGCGRF) conducted a series of exercises in northeastern and central Iran. The exercises, MARTYRS OF UNITY in the northeast and SUPPORTERS OF VELAYATand VALFAJR in central Iran, were the first significant exercises conducted by the IRGCGRF since its
reorganization in 2008. Three three exercises consisted of combined-arms maneuvers and were meant to show the
IRGCGRF’s offensive and defensive capabilities while offering limited training value for the participating writs.
Iran’s Unconventional Forces and Related Activities

Through the IRGC-QF, Iran provides material support to terrorist or militant groups such as HAMAS, Lebanese Hizballah, the Palestinian Islarnic Jihad, 1he Taliban, and Iraqi Shia groups.
• In close cooperation with Syria, Iran has provided Lebanese Hizballah with increasingly sophisticated weapons, including
a wide array of missiles and rockets that allow Hizballah to launch weapons from deeper in Lebanon or to strike Israel. We judge that the Iranian
military trains Hizballah and Palestinian extremist groups at camps throughout 1he region.
• Iran provides funding and possibly weapons to HAMAS and other Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Iranian Capabilities Related to Nuclear and Missile Forces
Iran is developing a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to the production of nuclear weapons if the decision is made to do so. It continues to progress with its uranium enrichment at Natanz and the newly operational Qom Enrichment Facility despite UN Security Council sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) November 2011 report on Iran provided extensive evidence of past and possibly ongoing Iranian nuclear weapons related research and development work. Iran has refused to address this evidence and denied repeated IAEA requests for access
to documents, personnel, and facilities.
• At the Natanz Underground Fuel Enrichment Plant, as of February 2012, Iran was producing 3.5-percent low-enriched uranium hexafluoride (LEUF6) with about 8,800 of the 9,150 installed IR- 1 centrifuges. At the Natanz Aboveground Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant, Iran was producing 20-percent LEUF
with one intercoooected cascade pair (328 centrifuges). About 6,200 empty IR-1 centrifuge casings were installed in that facility. At the Qom Enrichment Facility (aka the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant), Iran was producing 20-percent 6 LEUF1 with two pairs of interconnected cascades (about700 IR-1 centrifuges). Iran had filled the remainder of the facility’s centrifuge capacity with 2,100 empty IR·I centrifuge casings. Iran declared the entire facility would be used for producing LEUF previous plans to conduct centrifuge research and development there.
• Iran continued construction at the heavy-water Iran Nuclear Research Reactor (IR-40) at Khondab in violation of UN resolutions.

Regular Iranian ballistic missile training continues throughout the country. Iran continues to develop ballistic missiles that can range regional adversaries, Israel, and Eastern Europe,including an extended-range variant of the Shahab-3 and a 2,000-km medium-range ballistic missile, the Ashura. Beyond steady growth in its missile and rocket inventories, Iran has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems with accuracy improvements and new submunition payloads. Iran’s missile force consists chiefly of mobile missile launchers that are not tethered to specific physical launch positions.
Iran may be technically capable of flight­ testing an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015.
During the last 20 years, Iran has placed significant emphasis on developing and fielding ballistic missiles to counter perceived threats from Israel and Coalition forces in the Middle East and to project power in the region. In 2011, Iran launched several missiles during the NOBLE PROPHET 6 exercise, including a multiple missile salvo.
Short-range ballistic missiles provide Tehran with an effective mobile capability to strike partner forces in the region. Iran continues to improve the survivability of these systems against missile defenses. It is also developing and claims to have deployed short-range ballistic missiles with seekers that enable the missile to identify and maneuver toward ships during flight. This technology also may be capable of striking land-based targets.
Iran also has developed medium-range ballistic missiles to target Israel and continues to increase the range, lethality, and accuracy of these systems.
Since 2008, Iran has launched multistage space launch vehicles that could serve as a test bed for developing long-range ballistic missile technologies.

Read the PDF File of the Report DOD-Iran Report 1204

As you read this report, ask yourself this question. US seems to know exactly what is happening in classified underground nuclear Iranian plants. This make me deduct that the information is technically real, taken from the UN inspectors. With this discounting the claims of US insistence that Iran is not allowing Inspections on its nuclear facilities.

The other parts of the report are simply facts. Iran is looking to protect its territory and its population. The only way to assure their survival it is developing its military ballistic capabilities.

Iran Sanctions Committee Reports

It is ironic that most of the members of the Iranian Sanctions Committee are nuclear States with no accountability for their Nuclear Arsenal.

Azerbaijan  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Mehdiyev
China  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Zhang Junan-
Colombia  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Osorio
France  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Briens
Germany  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Wittig
Guatemala  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Rosenthal
India  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri
Pakistan  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Masood Khan
Portugal  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Moraes Cabral
Russian Federation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Churkin
South Africa  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Laher
Togo  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. M’Beou
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland  . . . . Mr. Parham
United States of America  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs. DiCarlo

SOURCE: FAS-Federation of American Scientist

Nuclear Weapons

More than a decade and a half after the Cold War ended, the world’s combined stockpile of nuclear warheads remain at a very high level: more than 17,000. Of these, some 4,300 warheads are considered operational, of which about 1,800 U.S. and Russian warheads are on high alert, ready for use on short notice.

The exact number of nuclear weapons in each country’s possession is a closely held national secret. Despite this limitation, however, publicly available information and occasional leaks make it possible to make best estimates about the size and composition of the national nuclear weapon stockpiles.


Status of World Nuclear Forces

Status of World Nuclear Forces End-2012*
 Country Operational
Total Inventory
 Russia  1,740a 0b  2,700c 4,500  8,500d
 United States  1,950e 200f  2,500g 4,650 7,700h
 France  290 n.a. ?i 300 300
 China  0j ?j 180 240 240j
 United Kingdom 160k n.a. 65 225 225k
 Israel  0 n.a. 80 80 80l
 Pakistan  0 n.a. 90-110 90-110 90-110m
 India  0 n.a. 80-100 80-100 80-100n
 North Korea  0 n.a. <10 <10 <10o
Total:p  ~4,100 ~200 ~5,700 ~10,200  ~17,300

“For forty or fifty years past, Mr. H. G. Wells and others have been warning us that man is in danger of destroying himself with his own weapons, leaving the ants or some other gregarious species to take over. Anyone who has seen the ruined cities of Germany will find this notion at least thinkable. Nevertheless, looking at the world as a whole, the drift for many decades has been not towards anarchy but towards the reimposition of slavery. We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity. James Burnham‘s theory has been much discussed, but few people have yet considered its ideological implications—that is, the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that would probably prevail in a state which was at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of “cold war” with its neighbors.” George Orwell-“You and the Atomic Bomb”, published October 19, 1945

Iranian Ambassador: It’s Not in Iran’s Interest to Build a Nuclear Bomb

Panetta Signs Order to Deploy 400 U.S. Personnel to Turkey

Posted on December 16, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Source US Department of Defense

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey, Dec. 14, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has signed an order that will deploy 400 U.S. personnel to Turkey to support the deployment that NATO agreed to recently of Patriot missile capability there, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today.

Panetta signed the agreement en route to Turkey as he wrapped up a trip this week that included time in Kuwait and Afghanistan with civilian and military leaders.

He visited the troops to thank them for their dedication and sacrifice, and for spending another holiday season away from family and friends.

While in Kabul the secretary also met with Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF regional commanders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

“The United States has been supporting Turkey in its efforts to defend itself,” Little said. “NATO has recently offered up Patriot missile battery capability to Turkey, [which] is a very strong ally of the United States.”

American forces in Europe will be in three types of bases.

  1. The first are main operating bases, installations like Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and U.S. Naval Station Rota, Spain. These bases will remain hubs and have American forces assigned to them.
  2. The second are called forward-operating sites. These bases are “light-switch operations” — meaning all troops arriving have to do is turn the lights on and operations can proceed. Examples of these bases are Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, Camp Eagle in Bosnia, and Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. There will also be forward-operating sites in Morocco, Tunisia, Bulgaria and Romania. Essentially, the US knows what is there, and knows what to bring when we come,” Jones said. “We can go from a zero presence to an operating base very quickly.”
  3. The third type of bases are called a cooperative security sites. These could be as small as a fueling agreement or as complicated as a few American contractors ensuring facilities are ready for U.S. troops to operate. These will be an inventory of geographical locations that if the US needed them, it will be pre-agreed with host nations that the US can have access to these bases. The key to the new footprint is an effective pre-positioning program. Global Security

Little said he expects the troops to be deployed in the coming weeks.

“I’m not going to go into precise locations at this time, he added, “but I wanted to let you … know that we signed that order and that we are prepared in the context of NATO to support the defense of Turkey for an unspecified period of time.”

The personnel will deploy to Turkey to operate two U.S. Patriot missile batteries once they are in place, he said.
“The purpose of this deployment is to signal very strongly that the United States, working closely with our NATO allies, is going to support the defense of Turkey, especially with potential threats emanating from Syria,” Little said.

Incirlik Air Base is an installation of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, a major command of the U.S. Air Force and the air component of the U.S. European Command, a DOD unified command.

“Turkey also is a key NATO ally and we have a lot of U.S. forces stationed there to enhance our strong defense cooperation,” Panetta told reporters traveling with him as the trip began.

“Both the United States and Turkey share common concerns now about the violence in Syria and the threat that it poses to regional stability, he added.

Panetta said DOD has been working closely with Turkey on humanitarian issues, chemical and biological weapons issues, and missile defense.

“I’m pleased that last week NATO pledged to deploy missile defense systems to protect Turkey, and we will participate in that effort as well,” the secretary said.

Panetta said the United States and Turkey are committed to work together to strengthen defense systems and to put pressure on the Assad regime in neighboring Syria to end the violence in that country and help develop the political transition that must take place there.

Cameco Sk-Canada is the major supplier of Uranium for Nuclear Weapons

December 12, 2012 6 comments

Follow Fallujah Aftermath

“We’re the Major Supplier of Uranium for Nuclear Weapons” Cameco

A horrific example of the birth defects suffered by babies in Fallujah

A horrific example of the birth defects suffered by babies in Fallujah

Originally Published 2008


Canada is violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

An Interview with Professor Jim Harding

While the U.S. appears to be on the verge of attacking Iran just for having a nuclear reactor, Washington and its allies continue to be the biggest nuclear proliferators in the world. Chief among these nuclear allies is Canada, which provides up to 40% of the world’s uranium, the largest amount. Eighty percent of Canadian uranium is exported, with 76% going to the U.S.

Canada has long been the main source of uranium for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, globally the largest and deadliest at 10,000 warheads and bombs. Washington has a first-strike nuclear policy and is actively preparing for nuclear war. It is also the only country that has actually used nuclear weapons–not once, but twice, on Japan in 1945.

We recently spoke to Professor Jim Harding about Canada’s contribution to U.S. nuclear aggression. A nuclear war could, of course, wipe out all human life. Harding is a retired professor of environmental and justice studies at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan. He is author of the recent book, Canada’s Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System.

A study recently published in the Environmental Contamination and Toxicology bulletin, found that the weapons and ammunition used by the US and its Imperial apparatus – NATO – in the illegal destruction and occupation of Iraq have led to significant rise in birth defects and unexplainable illnesses. In fact, there has been a five-fold increase in birth defects since the occupation began.

Before the invasion of Iraq just 2 per cent of babies were born with a defect. Between 2007 and 2010 the study found more than half of all babies were born with a defect. Just to repeat that, every other baby born has a congenital birth defect. In addition, during that period 45% of pregnancies ended in miscarriages. In young infants, the toxic metals mercury and lead were found to be at levels 5 times higher than normal

* ************************************************************************************************************************************

Q: Tell us about Canada’s role in the creation of the Western nuclear system.

Harding: We were involved at the very front end of the Manhattan Project that created the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The uranium that was used in the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was refined at the uranium conversion plant at Port Hope, Ontario, and the two sources were probably some from the Belgian Congo and some from the Port Radium mine that was reopened.

But the early work with the CANDU reactor in Montreal at McGill University, and then at Chalk River, also played a role with the production of plutonium for the bomb that was used in Nagasaki, because they were trying two different ways to create nuclear weapons.

The CANDU design that is now in 18 reactors in Ontario was actually created because of its capacity to produce weapons-grade plutonium. So that was shipped out of Chalk River into the U.S., I believe, into the 1960s. And the U.K.’s weapons program was also based on research at McGill and the prototype reactor that ended up as the CANDU. So Canada is right smack at the beginning of both the U.S. and U.K.’s nuclear weapons programs, and the history of nuclear weapons begins with these. We can’t seem to get it through our consciousness that we are not just used by the Anglo-American imperial system; we were willing compatriots in the creation of nuclear weapons.

Q: How did Canada help build the U.S. nuclear arsenal?

Harding: The arms race is already in place by 1946, a year after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs are dropped. The U.S. has the Strategic Air Command system in place, with the strategy of carrying atomic weapons towards Russia as a supposed deterrent, but of course Russia doesn’t have the atomic bomb at this point. And when the USSR actually develops the atomic bomb by 1949, the U.S. moves to the H-bomb and the whole thing escalates.

Canada is at the centre of that, because we are one of the main sources of uranium, both at Elliot Lake and Uranium City, for the U.S. arms race escalation from about 1953 on. So every speck of uranium that was mined out of northern Ontario and northern Saskatchewan went into nuclear weapons, mostly the U.S. ones, although a few contracts also went to Britain. That went on till 1966, and in some cases those contracts carried to the end of the 1960s. So, for that whole period, the 1950s and the 1960s, Canada is a major uranium fuel source for the escalation of the nuclear arms race.

Q: How is Canada violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

Harding: Canada signed this treaty in 1970 and claimed that it would not be using uranium for weapons production. We now know that uranium out of Saskatchewan has been diverted through the depleted uranium (DU) system and has been fuelling the weapons stream. The public, I think, is largely unaware that we are still complicit directly in the weapons stream. It’s a tricky thing to track, but it goes something like this: After refining the uranium at Port Hope, we send it to the enriching system in the U.S. This system integrates both the military and the industrial uses of nuclear power. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Pentagon both take uranium from this system.

The uranium that is to be used in electrical generating nuclear reactors is concentrated to about 5%. This is uranium-235. About nine-tenths of the mass of what’s left after enrichment is called depleted uranium. This is then available to the Pentagon to use for weapons. And it’s not really depleted. That’s a misnomer. It’s still uranium. It’s primarily uranium-238, which can be put into Pentagon reactors to create plutonium. All the Pentagon needs to do is bombard the depleted uranium with neutrons and it can create a plutonium stream for weapons. Also, the depleted uranium is the packing on the H-Bomb. What makes the H-Bomb the mega-bomb is the amount of packing of the depleted uranium around the plutonium trigger.

Then the various weapons-producing companies such as Aerojet and ATK take this uranium and make the conventional depleted uranium weapons that are now contaminating probably the last four war zones in the Middle East and Southern Europe. Uranium out of Canada that’s got into the depleted uranium stream has already been dropped on Iraq during the U.S. invasion. So the weapons connection got obscured when the Non-Proliferation Treaty came, because technically the uranium is shipped to the U.S. for their reactors, but in fact the depleted uranium that’s left is then in the control of those countries. So it fundamentally abrogates the intentions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but not technically.

Q: What are the implications of Canada’s continuing support for U.S. nuclear militarism?

Harding: It’s frightening stuff to think about. We’re really talking madness here in terms of the capacity. How few of these mega-bombs it would take to create a catastrophe that makes climate change look insignificant! The U.S. had 37,000 nuclear weapons during the 1980s, armed and ready to go. And we’re talking about using a very small number of those and having disastrous global implications.

When you dig below the surface, the complicity issue is always there. It was there in Vietnam, in terms of companies in Canada exporting armaments and even chemicals that were used in the napalm bombing. And in Canada we’re still doing that around depleted uranium. It just tends to be hidden behind the public statements of us being a non-nuclear power and having made the decision to focus on exporting medical isotopes and not nuclear weapons. This is an effective PR and propaganda system, but it just doesn’t happen to be true.

Q: What are the effects of depleted uranium on humans when it is used in conventional weapons, aside from immediate death and injury?

Harding: The number of cancers and death by cancer are significantly greater (than if the depleted uranium were not present), as are permanent sterility, birth deformations, and death from birth deformation. Depleted uranium affects the whole embryonic development, as well as increasing the risks of thyroid leukemia and other childhood cancers. They are seeing increases in a number of cancers in Basra and in other areas where they know there were high levels of depleted uranium weaponry used.

Q: Does Canada’s involvement in nuclear weapons production go beyond providing uranium to the U.S.?

Harding: There’s a story under this, not just about the diversion of uranium into DU weapons, but possible complicity recently in the actual production of the weapons metal. The uranium that’s going into the U.S. for enriching becomes part of the depleted uranium stockpile, and that’s accessible for weapons, but the Inter-Church Uranium Committee had an invoice leaked to it showing that uranium that went from the Key Lake mine in Saskatchewan to the U.S. then went back to the Port Hope uranium conversion plant which is run by the Canadian mining company Cameco (which also runs the Key Lake mine). From Port Hope, this uranium then went to Aerojet for depleted uranium uses. So as late as the early 1990s, there is some evidence that not only are we sending the uranium that ends up in the depleted uranium stockpile but we’ve also actually been involved in some processing of the depleted uranium in Canada. At that point, Cameco was licensed to refine uranium, but not licensed to work with depleted or enriched uranium.

Right now, Cameco has a license to do some slightly enriched production at Port Hope, and that is a contentious issue, but back then, when depleted uranium was coming to Port Hope, they had no license to work with DU, which did go to Aerojet, which is a munitions company.

Q: Does Canada supply any other nuclear power with uranium?

Harding: We’re also the major source of uranium for the French nuclear system, and that’s their 58 reactors, but likely their weapons program as well, because they don’t have another major source.

Q: Which Canadian companies are involved in uranium extraction?

Harding: Cameco is the big company in Saskatoon. It was started by an NDP government as a public enterprise and is now the largest uranium mining company on the planet. It’s a private company. It came out of the Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation, the Crown corporation that developed the mines. This was privatized in 1988 under Mulroney when Grant Devine was the Conservative Premier of Saskatchewan. Denison is another Canadian company in uranium exploration. There are a hundred [junior] companies that are prospecting; they’ll sell to a bigger company if they find anything.

Q: What is the role of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and NAFTA in Canada’s uranium exports?

Harding: In the U.S., under the FTA, the depleted uranium is actually defined as being of domestic origin. So once the FTA and NAFTA came into effect, the U.S. shut down its uranium industry because it had security of supply from Canada.

Asad Ismi is the CCPA Monitor’s international affairs correspondent. Kristin Schwartz is a journalist and radio producer in Toronto. This interview was recorded for Asad and Kristin’s radio documentary Path of Destruction: Canadian Mining Companies Around the World, scheduled for release this month. For Asad’s publications, visit

According to information from Cameco Inc., the last shipment of depleted uranium for use in arms manufacture occurred
in 1988, when the company was known as Eldorado. Apparently “thousands of tons” of depleted uranium have been
exported to the U.S. for this purpose, in accordance with the federal government’s export policies and permits, which do
not consider the uses to which Canadian exports to the U.S. may be put.

This depleted uranium would have been used as shielding for bombs,bullets, tanks, guns, etc., and would have penetrated brick or cement walls used to protect civilians in bomb shelters, basements, etc. in the Gulf War and in Yugoslavia, causing thousands of civilian deaths, contrary to the Geneva Conventions and every other international agreement designed to protect humans and their rights. The radioactive fragments from such exploded bombs and artillery would then remain in the environment, poisoning water supplies and food crops. Depleted uranium in the environment was almost certainly responsible (in part) for the Gulf War Syndrome which ruined the lives of hundreds of servicemen, including Canadians. Activistmagazine

Israel arrest of Peter Hounam for talking to Vanunu Mordasi

Posted on September 27, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Original story run on May.26, 2004

By Yossi Melman and Yuval Yoaz, Anat Balint Haaretz Service
British journalist Peter Hounam said Thursday night Israel should be ashamed for arresting him, adding he had been held in a “dungeon with excrement on the walls.”

Hounam was released from custody Thursday night, a day after the Shin Bet security services detained him on suspicion that he was involved in interviewing former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, who was freed in April after serving 18 years for spilling Israel’s nuclear secrets.

Security sources said the object of detaining and questioning Hounam was to ascertain whether he had any cassette recordings of an interview Vanunu gave Saturday to Yael Lotan, an activist in a committee that worked towards Vanunu’s release and against Israel’s nuclear program, which was to appear this weekend in the British newspaper the Sunday Times.

Lotan is suspected of having planned to give Hounam the recordings, because Vanunu was forbidden from meeting with non-Israelis as part of the limitations imposed on Vanunu by the Shin Bet upon his release from prison.

The Shin Bet said Thursday night it believes copies of the recordings have already been smuggled abroad. Shin Bet sources said they had not choice but to detain Hounam so as to investigate suspicions regarding information that Vanunu may have leaked to foreign media.

“Hounam was a central source of danger for the leaking of information,” a Shin Bet source said. “If we hadn’t detained him and investigated the intelligence information we had, and security damage had been done, we would have been blamed for neglecting our jobs.”

The detention of Hounam, who broke Vanunu’s account of the Dimona atomic program in 1980s, evoked vigorous criticism from journalists, politicians and human rights groups.

After his release, Hounam told reporters outside the Jerusalem lockup that Israel should be ashamed for arresting him, complaining of being kept overnight in solitary confinement in a “dungeon with excrement on the walls” and limited to “two hours of sleep.”

Hounam said he was questioned for more than four hours by Israeli security, without being charged. He said he was detained on suspicion of espionage, but during the interrogation, the Shin Bet admitted it made a mistake in its investigation.

“I really have to question the standards in this country,” he said. “This is a country which prides itself on being a democracy in the Middle East, and yet what I’ve experienced in the last 24 hours I’m afraid doesn’t stand up to that.”

Hounam was released with no restrictions. He said he was threatened with deportation, but planned to leave Israel anyway on Friday.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz ordered Hounam’s release, following a meeting between officials from the Shin Bet security service and representatives of the Justice Ministry.

Legal sources told Haaretz Thursday that there was a misunderstanding over the circumstances of Hounam’s arrest. Hounam is covering the Vanunu story and considered one of his closest friends.

Shin Bet detains BBC reporterIt was revealed Thursday that the Shin Bet detained BBC reporter Chris Mitchell at Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday, and confiscated tapes at his possession. Mitchell is preparing a documentary on Vanunu, and was arrested a day after Lotan interviewed Vanunu. A BBC technician was arrested Tuesday and released later that day, it was also revealed. The BBC has not yet given its response to these findings.

British Ambassador to Israel Simon McDonald has voiced concern to Israeli authorities over the Shin Bet seizure of Hounam. He spoke Thursday to Justice Minister Yosef Lapid and asked for clarifications on the arrest from the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Police. He also demanded a consular visit to Hounam in custody.

Hounam has been covering the Vanunu affair for years and is considered to be one of the closest people to the nuclear whistle blower. He interviewed Vanunu some 20 years ago for the Sunday Times, in which the affair first appeared.

The Foreign Journalists’ Association in Israel announced Thursday that it was amazed and deeply worried over Hounam’s arrest, and by the fact that he did not receive any legal assistance at the beginning of his detention.

The announcement added that Hounam’s documentary film on Vanunu has not yet been aired, and therefore he had not violated censorship rules. The association demanded that Israel reveal the accusations against Hounam, and “provide him with his democratic rights.”

Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said Thursday that he was unaware of the facts of the case, but said he believed that “there was a possible violation here of the legal restrictions placed on Vanunu.”

MK Yossi Sarid (Yahad) said that he hoped that the Shin Bet had “particularly convincing reasons” for Hounam’s arrest. “It is known that the sudden arrest of a journalist is unaccepted in a democratic state, and is hardly recognized in states such as North Korea and Burma,” Sarid said Thursday.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said Thursday that Hounam’s arrest damaged journalistic freedom and placed Israel in “a shameful light.”

Vanunu’s brother Meir told Haaretz on Wednesday that he did not know whether Hounam had met with his brother since his release. “It is part of the ongoing persecution against my brother and the defense establishment’s attempt to silence and terrorize him,” Meir Vanunu added.

Army Radio reported Thursday afternoon that Hounam’s attorney, Avigdor Feldman, will be allowed to meet with his client at 6 P.M.

According to Israel Radio, Feldman said earlier Thursday that he had been denied access his client, and had petitioned the Jerusalem District Court to overrule the ban. Feldman was quoted as saying that the prohibition, issued by the security forces, was for four days’ duration.

Under conditions imposed on Vanunu with his release, he is not allowed to give interviews or meet with foreigners. Feldman, who also represents Vanunu, said Hounam had not violated any of the restrictions and called the arrest a farce.

“The man was arrested for no reason. He was arrested as part of the security establishment’s never ending obsession with Vanunu,” Feldman told Army Radio.

Danny Seaman, director of the Government Press Office, said that if Hounam was arrested it was for serious offenses. He noted that his office had issued Hounam press credentials two weeks ago without any problems.

“This is irregular and so I assume they did not arrest him as a journalist but because they have real reasons,” Seaman told the radio. “The Shin Bet is a serious organization that deals with serious issues.”

Witnesses said Hounan was concerned as Shin Bet agents took him away from his Jerusalem hotel.

“I was sitting in the garden when he was brought in by five plainclothes security men,” said Donatella Rovera, a researcher with the human rights group Amnesty International, who was staying at the same hotel.

“As they were bringing him through the garden he broke away from them and came running to my table. He said ‘I’m being arrested, tell the Sunday Times,”‘ she said, adding that he was immediately pulled away.

Sunday Times foreign editor Sean Ryan said Hounam, 60, had been in Israel since April 16 to cover Vanunu’s release for the newspaper.

“We are trying to establish exactly what the situation is, where he is now and why he has been detained,” Ryan said.

Since he completed his 18-year prison sentence for espionage earlier this year, Vanunu has been under a number of official restrictions, including a ban on speaking with foreign reporters on his former work as a nuclear technician in the Dimona nuclear reactor complex.

Steinitz said Thursday that “In general, the Shin Bet does not arrest people arbitrarily, but with considered judgement. I am not saying that the Shin Bet does not err at times, but it is generally a very responsible organization, and things like this are done after profound consideration.”

“My assessment, and all of Mr. Hounan’s past and present behavior suggests this, that it is possible that there was a possible violation of the legal restrictions placed on Vanunu.”

BBC ‘very concerned’ over arrestA British Foreign Office spokeswoman in London early Thursday said that U.K. officials were notified of the arrest, and that the British consulate in Israel was looking into the matter.

A BBC spokeswoman in London said the broadcaster was “very concerned” about Hounam’s arrest.

The spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to answer any questions about Hounam, including where he was arrested and whether he had met with Vanunu since his release.

Hounam arrived in Israel more than a month ago, ahead of Vanunu’s release. Vanunu was freed on April 21, after spending 18 years in jail for espionage and treason.

Hounam was a member of the original Sunday Times team that interviewed Vanunu and then published his story in 1986. He left the paper several years ago and became a freelance reporter and also published books and produced films.

Unlike the other members of the team, Hounam stayed in touch with Vanunu and was active in the public struggle for his release.

Hounam visited Israel frequently over the past few months, and has been staying in a hotel in East Jerusalem for the past 6 weeks. During his stay, he has reported to the Sunday Times on Vanunu’s release and has been preparing a documentary on the affair for the BBC.

He has also been in close contact with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), which is working to file a petition against the restrictions imposed on Vanunu by the defense establishment since his release. Among others, Hounam was banned from meeting Vanunu, who has been living in a church in East Jerusalem since his release.

The Film That Exposed Israel’s Secret Illegal Nuclear Weapons.

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