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Iran

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, March 4th, 2012 - 106 comments
Categories: energy, war - Tags: , , ,

Israel and the US have both been ratcheting up their rhetoric against Iran in the past few months and an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities looks highly likely. Just the other day, Obama told Iran to stop its nuclear programme or else adding, “I don’t bluff”. I really, really hope he’s bluffing. Because Iran’s ready to make an attack on it cost the world big time.

Why war with Iran?
There’s no just war case for attacking Iran. Yes, the government is a quasi-dictatorship and it has brutally repressed uprisings but this is no Syria and Libya. In those cases, there were/are armed attempts by popular movements to overthrow their dictators – outside intervention would merely be leveling the playing field before the rebels get blasted apart by the regime’s heavy weapons.

In a perfect world, governments like the Iranian one wouldn’t exist but you can say that about the majority of the world’s governments and only the most fevered neo-con dream do you go knocking them off one at a time. In fact, we’ve already seen the result of that fevered neo-con dream in Iraq where the regime was knocked off without any domestic alternative extant, leading to sectarian violence, occupation and perhaps as many as a million deaths, with the very real prospect of civil war in the near future.

And Iran is not an external threat. It hasn’t started a war against its neighbours in over 150 years and its posture is clearly defensive. If it is trying to acquire nuclear weapons than it is for the same reason that any country – bar the US – has acquired them: not to use but as a deterrent to other nuclear powers. The Iranian government isn’t mad – they know that if they were to actually launch a nuclear weapon against Israel it would be signing Tehran’s death warrant. Ironically, the ‘threat’ Israel sees is that Iran will soon either have nukes or as good as have them, making them ‘invulnerable’ to Israel’s own nuclear arsenal because the Iranians will have a matching deterrent (and triggering the Saudis to develop their own nuke).

Iran’s not about to nuke anyone. The strategic case here is purely about preserving the nuclear high ground for Israel. Not a real threat in my book.

So, there’s no good reason to start a war with Iran (and I’ll argue no realpolitik one either). That’s never stopped wars happening before. In fact, its the just wars that don’t happen and the unjustified ones that do. What happens, then, if Israel or the US decides to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities?

Israeli/US offensive
In fact, the war is already underway. Israel has been assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists and Iran has been attacking Israeli diplomats with car bombs in return.

If Israel decides to for direct action against Iran’s nuclear facilities it could use its long-range missiles, the first time ICBMs would be used in combat, it could launch missiles from its submarines in the Persian Gulf, or it could launch an air strike. The latter would be more pinpoint but would involve a large portion of the Israeli air force and require overflight of at least one uninvolved Muslim country, which would be inviting scorn in the Muslim world and retaliation from Iran if it agreed.

The Yanks could launch cruise missiles and air strikes from carriers in the Gulf and its airbases in the region although, again, host countries would be inviting retaliation.

Iran’s nuclear facilities are heavily-fortified and dispersed, and it has some advanced air defence (in fact, it has some impressive domestic military equipment full stop). This wouldn’t be as simple as flying over and bombing a single reactor, as Israel did to Iraq and Syria. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t put money on an attack by the US or Israel succeeding in destroying Iran’s capacity to soon build a nuclear bomb – unless they use nukes themselves.

Iran’s reaction
But the bigger issue from our perspective in New Zealand is what Iran does if it is attacked.

Iran’s entire posture is around presenting a credible threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of the world’s oil exports pass (17 million barrels per day in an average of 14 tankers).

Iran wouldn’t even have to actually sink or capture oil tankers – a credible threat will be enough to get the insurance companies to withdraw any cover for tankers going through the Strait. And that would cripple the world economy virtually overnight.

To present a credible threat, Iran has developed and deployed hundreds of small, stealthy missile boats equipped with domestically produced anti-ship missiles that can be dispersed to numerous deployment positions along the coast in the event of a war, as well as domestically-built submarines and mines. It maintains a large land-based cruise missile force with mobile launchers that could be fire on tankers or docks and refineries in neighbouring countries. If Israel or the US attacks Iran, the Strait would be over-run with small fast Iranian boats and missile forces that would threaten any nearby tankers and US naval vessels.

Iran learned the lessons of the Iraq/Iran war, where its mass assault tactics lead to huge casualties for little gain, and its strategy of trying to stop Iraqi oil shipments resulted in the US sinking its largest ships. Now, by going for small and numerous weapons systems and concentrating on a single strategic vulnerability, rather than trying and failing to match the US’s naval capital ships in the Gulf, Iran is adopting classic guerrilla tactics. With all those little boats and mobile launchers running around, it would be very hard for the US to re-establish safe passage through the Strait for tankers and every day would cost hundreds of billions in economic activity to the US and its allies. It is a very clever strategy.

Oh, and Iran has its own ICBMs it could throw back at Israel.

Economic impact
Alternative routes to the Strait do exist – the biggest being the East-West Pipeline in Saudi Arabia but it can only carry up to 5 million barrels and is within range of Iranian missiles. Meanwhile, Iran has lessened its own dependence on the Strait by building refineries so that it no longer has to import refined oil products and a pipeline to Pakistan that will soon allow it to export more gas without going through the Strait. Countries also have strategic oil reserves but they take time to be accessed and they only spread the cost of the lost oil imports because the reserve shave to refilled later. The economic importance of the Strait of Hormuz cannot be over-estimated. The world needs the oil that passes through the Strait and has no other way of getting at most of it.

The oil experts are saying that world oil prices would hit $150 a barrel instantly if Israel or the US attacks Iran, even before the shortages hit. I don’t know how long they could stay up before the price simply destroys demand by plunging the world into a deep recession but I bet that it wouldn’t be too many days. All Iran has to do is stay in the fight long enough to make war too costly for the attackers.

Israel and the US must have every large oil importer in the world screaming at them right now to see sense – and not start a war.

Of course, war isn’t about being sensible, almost by definition. Israel and the US both see Iran as a bete noir out of all proportion to the actual danger it poses to them if they leave it alone. But if they kick over that hornets’ nest, the whole world will get stung. An attack could well fail in its aim of crippling Iran’s nuclear programme while unleashing economic devastation across the globe by turning off quarter of the oil.

The realpolitik doesn’t add up.

I really do hope Obama is bluffing. And that he can control the Israelis.

106 comments on “Iran”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    New war = US re-election.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Not if it puts the price of gasoline up to $5/gallon during “driving season”.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Yes, but they already have an answer for that. Higher fuel prices would be spun as “how ordinary Americans can patriotically support our brave men and women in uniform in the war against nuclear terror”.

        Also for the 2 months leading up to the election, Obama would ask the oil majors to eat a loss at the pump to keep prices reasonable.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1

          Given that the oil majors prefer republicans, that seems unlikely.

          More likely is a drawdown from the strategic petroleum reserve.

          Also when it comes to Americans, I think they put their pocket books ahead of “support the troops” rhetoric, as can be seen in their general under-funding of veteran support services.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            Given that the oil majors prefer republicans, that seems unlikely.

            Yes quite possibly the case, but what’s there not to like about Obama if you are an oil major?

            You’re speaking as if the Republican and Democratic parties are not equally great friends with corporate America. Since the Deepwater Horizon disaster Obama has continued to approve new deep sea exploration off the US coast, ‘liberated’ the oil fields of Libya and done nothing to slow down the expansion of oil and gas fracking on the continental US. That’s just off the top of my head.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Surely he won’t start a war and make even more mockery of that?

    • ianmac 2.1

      Wonder what Obama did to earn that?

      • rosy 2.1.1

        It was an aspirational Nobel 😉 Who knows, maybe he will think about it when drawing up attack plans and have a change of heart.

    • Bill 2.2

      Maybe the award was the result of poor communication and he was actually up for a ‘Noble Piece Prize’ on the back of those Presidential sandwiches.

    • muzza 2.3

      Lanth you were kidding right?

    • Vicky32 2.4

      Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Surely he won’t start a war and make even more mockery of that?

      I hope you’re being sarcastic, Lanth?

  3. ianmac 3

    Sounds like
    “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Definitely.”
    “Iran is developing weapons of mass destruction. Definitely.”
    Unconvincing.

  4. infused 4

    “Iran’s not about to nuke anyone. The strategic case here is purely about preserving the nuclear high ground for Israel. Not a real threat in my book.”

    Where do you pull this shit? You have no clue what is going on there.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Iran’s rulership is very rational and very smart. Its a far larger country than Iraq, with far more people and resources. It also has a continuous history which stretches back to antiquity. It is not in the interests of the Iranian Government to self-terminate by ever using what would have to be a primitive and clumsy nuclear device anywhere on anyone, when the Americans and the Israelis dozens of their own nuclear weapons stationed 15 minutes away from Tehran.

      • Populuxe1 4.1.1

        Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is “rational and smart”? Mr “there are no gays in Iran, and Israel must be wiped from the surface of the earth” is as batshit crazy as any dictator in recent history. And having a history stretching back to antiquity has little to do with it – Iraq’s was even older. Calling it a “primitive and clumsy nuclear device” is patronising and greatly misrepresents the level of technological expertise in Iran, and even the most primitive and clumsy nuclear device is a huge danger if it falls into the hands of extremists with the will to use it.

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          Ahmadinejad is not the only influence on government in Iran, nor do archaic bigotries negate the possibility of some sophisticated realpolitik.
           

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2

          and Israel must be wiped from the surface of the earth”

          You no doubt know that this is a contextual and cultural mistranslation (as well as a clear case of speaking to local populist politics), but have decided to go ahead and ignore that. Now, please explain why?

          Calling it a “primitive and clumsy nuclear device” is patronising and greatly misrepresents the level of technological expertise in Iran, and even the most primitive and clumsy nuclear device is a huge danger if it falls into the hands of extremists with the will to use it.

          Nah, its just most likely to misfire (like the North Korean one) for fuck all yield, and is going to be so big and heavy as to be impossible to weaponise.

          greatly misrepresents the level of technological expertise in Iran

          Which seems to be less now, after many of Iran’s top nuclear scientists were killed in unusual circumstances.

        • Morrissey 4.1.1.3

          “Israel must be wiped from the surface of the earth”

          Ahmadinejad never said that. You are (perhaps unwittingly) repeating U.S. disinformation.

          even the most primitive and clumsy nuclear device is a huge danger if it falls into the hands of extremists with the will to use it.

          Indeed. Which country was it that was extreme enough to use such devices? Twice.

          Was it Iran?

          • Populuxe1 4.1.1.3.1

            It’s a bit hard to use what you haven’t got, you twit. And their were particularly good strategic reasons for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even if the outcome was horrific. A direct invasion from the south (the plan B) would have resulted in many hundreds of thousands more deaths for both sides. And, in the Americans defense, we were all very ignorant about the effects of radiation in those days.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.3.1.1

              And, in the Americans defense, we were all very ignorant about the effects of radiation in those days.

              You heard of Madam Curie? Trust me, people knew that ionising radiation was a killer. They just didnt know what exact damage a nuclear weapon might have on people.

              Therefore the Americans used the Japs as guinea pigs. Teams of specialist researcher medical and damage assessment teams were on the ground in Nagasaki and Hiroshima within a day or two of the Japanese surrendering.

              I take it you are either an American or American educated. Starts to explain a lot about you.

              • Populuxe1

                No, I’m fully Kiwi born, raised and educated – I’m just not enough of an arrogant arsehole as to pass judgment on an entire nation of people. I also have American friends who are horrified by the actions and policies pursued by their government. Fuck you and your assumptions.
                Um, and no, you display a remarkable ignorance of the history of science. Ever heard of Operation Ploughshare – as late as the 1960s the Americans and even the Australians were considering using nukes to build canals, blast new harbours and so forth. They were very relaxed about radiation.
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Plowshare
                Actually there is plenty of historical evidence to suggest that Japan was far from being “within a day or two” of surrendering. They were launching nasty little balloon bombs into the jet stream, still fervently believing in the divinity of their Emperor. It wasn’t a question of Japan’s remaining military capability as it was their bloody-minded determination to go on fighting.
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_balloon
                You, Sir, are a prize dickhead
                 

                • Colonial Viper

                  I reckon you’re American. You’ve used American spellings more than once that I’ve noticed now, which tells me you’re either an American citizen or US trained/educated. You’ve been made buddy.

                  Ever heard of Operation Ploughshare – as late as the 1960s the Americans and even the Australians were considering using nukes to build canals, blast new harbours and so forth. They were very relaxed about radiation.

                  Yeah but that was caused by the fact a lot of the top secret knowledge was highly compartmentalised. During that time the US designed the Enhanced Radiation Weapon (aka the neutron bomb) and they knew it would kill organic life forms very efficiently indeed.

                  Actually there is plenty of historical evidence to suggest that Japan was far from being “within a day or two” of surrendering.

                  Reread what I wrote and respond to that please, not to something that you imagined up.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Well, first off I would rather stab myself in the thigh with a fork than use the American spelling – unless it was a cut ans paste from an American source. But I can assure you that you are wrong – I am not American, nor have I trained at an American institution. Otago, Massey and Canterbury. I am also at the tender mercies of the Firefox spellcheck.
                     

                    Yeah but that was caused by the fact a lot of the top secret knowledge was highly compartmentalised. During that time the US designed the Enhanced Radiation Weapon (aka the neutron bomb) and they knew it would kill organic life forms very efficiently indeed.

                    The concept of the neutron bomb was developed in 1958, an enhanced radiation weapon. Not an ordinary nuke. Civilians could still watch surface tests at that time. And if that knowledge was so compartmentalised a decade after the Second World War, why is it so difficult to understand that in 1945 there was general ignorance about the effects of radiatiopn.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      why is it so difficult to understand that in 1945 there was general ignorance about the effects of radiatiopn.

                      I agree. Which is why the US sent a large number of researchers in to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, after their experimental detonations there on live targets.

                      But I can assure you that you are wrong – I am not American, nor have I trained at an American institution. Otago, Massey and Canterbury. I am also at the tender mercies of the Firefox spellcheck.

                      That’s really reassuring thanks.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I agree. Which is why the US sent a large number of researchers in to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, after their experimental detonations there on live targets.

                      So you’ve reversed you position to admit that no one had any idea about the effects of radioactive fallout from a nuclear bomb at the time. Knowledge gathering after the event is hardly an “experiment”, and one could hardly call the dropping of the bombs as experimental – It was a propagandistic display of might to subdue the Japanese (also working on biological weapons at the time – so much for being about to surrender) and a warning to the Soviets.
                      You really should see someone about your paranoia and compulsive contrarianism.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      “That’s really reassuring thanks.”

                      The entire exchange speaks volumes, although not about Populuxe.

            • Morrissey 4.1.1.3.1.2

              And their [sic] were particularly good strategic reasons for Hiroshima and Nagasaki…

              Yes, it certainly was a salutary warning for the Russians.

              would have resulted in many hundreds of thousands more deaths for both sides.

              Nonsense, but it’s official nonsense. You’ve obviously internalized it all.

              we were all very ignorant about the effects of radiation in those days.

              Nonsense. Is your name Rob Fyfe?

              • Populuxe1

                Really I shouldn’t feed cretinous trolls like you, but I suggest you actually do some research into what would have been involved in Operation Downfall (the “Plan B” to Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and then try to imagine Iwo Jima extended over the whole Japanese archipelago.
                 

                • Morrissey

                  … cretinous trolls like you,

                  A word of advice, my friend: people who resort so quickly (or, in your case, immediately) to abuse are in effect signaling that they are not up to a rational discussion.

                  … what would have been involved in Operation Downfall…

                  It’s hard to decide which is more troubling: your blithe recycling of sixty-seven-year-old official lies, which not even the most addled State Department or Pentagon apparatchik* would have the temerity to endorse nowadays, or your naive recycling of counterfactual fantasies.

                  * With the possible exception of Crazy John Bolton.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Care to present your academic credentials? I’m sorry, I had no idea you knew more than the hundreds of military historians of various stripes who have dedicated decades to trawling through archives around the world in order to come to a comprehensive understanding of the war. Silly me.
                    I’m sure you must also be an expert on Japanese cultural anthropology and military history, too. You must have some interesting opinions on the inevitability of Japanese militant imperialism as seeded by the Meji Restoration and reinforced by their victory against the Russians at Battle of Tsushima in 1905. What observations can you share on the pathology of an army from a culture obsessed with saving face, modeled after the Prussian disciplinary structure, centred on the absolute rule of a divine Emperor? What insights can you offer about the resurgent extreme-right in Japan today, their links to the Yakuza, and so forth?
                    Go on….
                    Cretinous troll…

                    • Morrissey

                      Care to present your academic credentials?

                      I could but it’s not relevant here. What matters is what I write, and the quality and extent of my knowledge. I am more than confident that I know what I’m talking about because I read widely and seriously on this and many other topics. I can tell almost immediately that you have not. Your vague yet ridiculously extravagant citing of “hundreds of military historians” is about as convincing as a 9/11 Truther citing “hundreds of engineers” to imaginatively bolster his fantasies.

                      I’m sure you must also be an expert on Japanese cultural anthropology and military history, too.

                      In fact I am.

                      You,my friend, clearly are not.

                    • Populuxe1

                      You,my friend, clearly are not.

                      Possibly not as much as I would like, but enough to call bullshit.
                      Bullshit, you cretinous troll.

                    • Grumpy

                      Populuxe1 wins by TKO………

                    • Morrissey

                      Possibly not as much as I would like,

                      Definitely not as much as you need to debate with any degree of authority. You won’t see me truculently joining into a discussion about, say, medieval metaphysics or electronic engineering, because these are things I know little or nothing about. If I knew as little as you do about politics and history, I would devote my time to a serious course of reading for a couple of years, and then come back on line.

                      … but enough to call bullshit.

                      Sorry to disabuse you, but you do not know enough to do that.

                    • Morrissey

                      Populuxe1 wins by TKO………

                      That was dear old “grumpy” endorsing you, Populuxe.

                      I’ll bet it feels good to know you enjoy such high-powered intellectual support!

    • MValley 4.2

      I say Iran’s not going to nuke anyone just because they nukes because 9 other countries have nukes and a dozen more the ability to build them in pretty short time yet no-one has used them since more than one country had them.

      Iran’s rulers would be signing their own death warrants and those of their major cities if they ever used a nuke and they have no good reason to – if there is such a thing as a ‘good reason’ to bring down nuclear fire on your own country.

      Ever seen Yes, Prime Minister on nuclear deterrent? Pretty accurate

      Using a nuke would be suicide but having it means that it’s suicide for anyone else to use it on you.

      Basically, MAD works.

  5. The WMD question is only a pretext, like Iraq. All the more hollow for its total cynicism in the age of wikileaks.
    Like Iraq what is at stake here is rivalry between the US and China/Russia for control of the so-called Middle East and Central Asia.
    China is the main imperialist backer of Iran, and Pakistan is a volatile ally of the US and likely to swing towards China.
    Not only that China’s inroads into Africa and Europe are extending to the ME with a deal with Saudi Arabia.
    China is winning the economic war and the US and its proto-fascist lackey in the ME, Israel, have no way of countering without escalating war threats. The US has blown trillions on lost wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now caught in a global economic crisis do you think its warmongering over Iran will be any the less desperate and destructive?

    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2010/03/us-and-chinese-imperialism-hands-off.html

  6. locus 6

    1. Israel and the USA are sure that Iran is working towards nuclear weapons capability.
    2. IAEA inspectors have just released a report confirming that over the past three months, Iran has tripled its production capacity for purified nuclear fuel of the type needed to make a nuclear weapon, and is doing this in its new deep underground facility, which may be beyond the strike capabilities of Israel.
    3. Nothing is more important to Israel right now than stopping Iran developing nuclear weapons.
    4. If Israel lets Iran get past the stage where they can launch an effective strike on the potential nuclear weapon construction facilities, then their ‘protection’ against Iran is in the hands of the USA, which is not an acceptable position for the Israelis
    5. It’s not about having evidence that Iran’s going to nuke anyone. It’s about what the Israeli government believes Iran will do with nuclear weapons, e.g. help them to get into the hands of a terrorist group, or use them to gain political influence over the region, so spurring a nuclear race by ME states.

    Let’s hope that next week Obama and Netanyahu can agree on a strategic bottom line regarding how to force Iran to stop their nuclear programme, and that what they agree on will work.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      1. Israel and the USA are sure that Iran is working towards nuclear weapons capability.

      Are they more or less sure as the time they said Saddam Hussein had WMD?

      2. IAEA inspectors have just released a report confirming that over the past three months, Iran has tripled its production capacity for purified nuclear fuel of the type needed to make a nuclear weapon, and is doing this in its new deep underground facility, which may be beyond the strike capabilities of Israel.

      Nope. 20% enriched uranium is required for medical purposes and is several times lower than the level required to make a nuclear weapon.

      3. Nothing is more important to Israel right now than stopping Iran developing nuclear weapons.

      I’d love to see a quote from any Israeli Government minister to this effect, given that Israel is currently dealing with an economic and employment crisis.

      4. If Israel lets Iran get past the stage where they can launch an effective strike on the potential nuclear weapon construction facilities, then their ‘protection’ against Iran is in the hands of the USA, which is not an acceptable position for the Israelis

      Random and illogical. “Potential nuclear weapon construction facilities” =! “actual nuclear weapon construction facilities”.

      5. It’s not about having evidence that Iran’s going to nuke anyone. It’s about what the Israeli government believes Iran will do with nuclear weapons, e.g. help them to get into the hands of a terrorist group, or use them to gain political influence over the region, so spurring a nuclear race by ME states.

      Perhaps Israel could diffuse the nuclear arms race you say it is so concerned about by dismantling its own nuclear arsenal?

      Or do you think Israel would prefer a ME nuclear arms race where it is the only runner?

      • “Perhaps Israel could diffuse the nuclear arms race you say it is so concerned about by dismantling its own nuclear arsenal?”

        That would be an admission that they actually have one. Whilst the consensus appears to be that Israel DOES have an arsenal, the probability of getting them to admit it either verbally, or by dismantling their nuclear weapons and their means of making them is pretty low.

      • Populuxe1 6.1.2

        1. Israel and the USA are sure that Iran is working towards nuclear weapons capability.
        Are they more or less sure as the time they said Saddam Hussein had WMD?

        So you are saying because the Republican Bush government lied or misrepresented Iraq’s nuclear capability (though not their biological and chemical capabilities) ipso facto The Democrat Obama government must also be telling porkies about Iran. That’s rather curious logic.
         

        2. IAEA inspectors have just released a report confirming that over the past three months, Iran has tripled its production capacity for purified nuclear fuel of the type needed to make a nuclear weapon, and is doing this in its new deep underground facility, which may be beyond the strike capabilities of Israel.
         
        Nope. 20% enriched uranium is required for medical purposes and is several times lower than the level required to make a nuclear weapon.

        Because governments have never been known to lie about their nuclear technology? India, Pakistan, Israel, South Africa, North Korea… Even South Korea got into trouble because they were found to be developing an ultra efficient laser-based centrifuge process.
         

        3. Nothing is more important to Israel right now than stopping Iran developing nuclear weapons.
         
        I’d love to see a quote from any Israeli Government minister to this effect, given that Israel is currently dealing with an economic and employment crisis.

        Hence the desirability of distracting the Israeli population with a saber-rattling enemy. And this
         

        4. If Israel lets Iran get past the stage where they can launch an effective strike on the potential nuclear weapon construction facilities, then their ‘protection’ against Iran is in the hands of the USA, which is not an acceptable position for the Israelis
         
        Random and illogical. “Potential nuclear weapon construction facilities” =! “actual nuclear weapon construction facilities”.

        It’s possible they may already have
         

        5. It’s not about having evidence that Iran’s going to nuke anyone. It’s about what the Israeli government believes Iran will do with nuclear weapons, e.g. help them to get into the hands of a terrorist group, or use them to gain political influence over the region, so spurring a nuclear race by ME states.
         
        Perhaps Israel could diffuse the nuclear arms race you say it is so concerned about by dismantling its own nuclear arsenal?
         
        Or do you think Israel would prefer a ME nuclear arms race where it is the only runner?

        Oh yes, because Israel is going to end it’s decades long denial of having nukes just to calm the rest of the Middle East down. Given that Bibi, and a hawkish Knesset dominated by Likudniks and Ultra Orthodox religious conservatives would precisely love to be the only nuclear power in the region.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          a hawkish Knesset dominated by Likudniks and Ultra Orthodox religious conservatives would precisely love to be the only nuclear armed power in the region.

          FIFY. That’s what I thought. Thanks.

          • Populuxe1 6.1.2.1.1

            What is your point? It means the same thing – or are you going to argue that it’s somehow an exclusively American expression and therefore I’m working for the CIA? You’re priceless.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1.1.1

              No it doesn’t mean the same thing. Countries are legally permitted to develop nuclear technology for peaceful uses. Israel hasn’t done that, however.

              • Populuxe1

                Semantics. A nuclear power is a nation known to have a nuclear capability, regardless of whether it is overt or covert.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I think the distinction between peaceful uses of nuclear power (which is allowed under international law) and the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons (which is not) is an important distinction to make.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Semantics. The word “power” in this context implicitly suggests a country the potential for a military strike.  No one refers to Germany, which has nuclear reactors, as a “nuclear power”. Japan isn’t referred to as a “nuclear power”. You’re just being contrary for the sake of it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I like being clear on language. You might not think it important though, despite your education at Otago, Massey and Canterbury.

                      Its also good to know that you understand that Israel would like nuclear arms all to itself, you know, to be a unique and special military power in the region.

    • KJT 6.2

      And they said Iraq had WMD too!

  7. locus 7

    I am utterly opposed to any country having nuclear weapons. Preventing nuclear proliferation is essential. A nuclear arms race in the ME is unthinkable. So is a conventional war between Israel and Iran. I’m sure this will be a key theme in Obama’s meeting with Netanyahu next week.

    As for the points I raised and your replies – I should have made it clear that I paraphrased from a column in Friday’s New York Times written by Ethan Bronner (not yet published on the NYT website). So yes, my comments were derivative and speculative, but they do reflect some of what I’ve been reading in the US papers over the past week.

    I have no idea whether the recent IEAE report is reliable or whether the information is sufficient to suggest that Iran has a weapons construction capability. And I did draw an assumption (maybe incorrect) in point 3 from a quote four years ago by Netanyahu to Obama: “Senator, as President many things will come across your desk, but the most important by far, will be stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      I am utterly opposed to any country having nuclear weapons. Preventing nuclear proliferation is essential. A nuclear arms race in the ME is unthinkable.

      Oh relax, I look forwards to you writing 500 words in your next comment about how Israel should immediately dismantle its nuclear arsenal which has been variously estimated at over one hundred deployable nuclear warheads in order to difuse a ME nuclear arms race.

      And I did draw an assumption (maybe incorrect) in point 3 from a quote four years ago by Netanyahu to Obama: “Senator, as President many things will come across your desk, but the most important by far, will be stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

      Who provides you with these quotes? This is just Israel telling the US what it wants the US to do. 4 years ago.

      So answer me, is the US and Israel more certain or less certain about Iran’s nuclear weapons than they were about Saddam Hussein’s WMD?

      • Populuxe1 7.1.1

        It amazes me how your knee-jerk anti-Americanism trumps the pragmatic view that a nuclear weapon in the hands of a state run by fanatical mullahs, might not be a good thing.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          So you think that the US is right about Iran obtaining nuclear weapons just like they were right about Saddam Hussein having WMD?

          • Populuxe1 7.1.1.1.1

            That’s not even a rational argument. Obama is not Bush. The Democrats are not the Republicans. Iran is not Iraq. Chalk is not cheese.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              So you think that the US is right about Iran obtaining nuclear weapons just like they were right about Saddam Hussein having WMD?

              Do you or don’t you?

              • Populuxe1

                I’m not as arrogant as you. I don’t presume to have enough information to know. I lack the global intelligence network of the US or your smug certainty. None of this, however, prevents your premise from being illogical.

                • Colonial Viper

                  So you think that the US is right about Iran obtaining nuclear weapons just like they were right about Saddam Hussein having WMD?

                  Do you or don’t you?

                  Because everything you write seems to assume that the US is spot on, even though they got Iraq’s WMD so dreadfully wrong. Two out of three maybe?

                  • Populuxe1

                    I have answered your question. I do not know. However I do have enough functioning braincells to realise that because Iran is not Iraq, Obama is not Bush, and the Democrats are not Republicans, that it is conceivably possible that the US might, once in a while, be correct about something.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      it is conceivably possible that the US might, once in a while, be correct about something.

                      More correct about Iran than it was about Saddam’s WMD? With something like reasons to start a war I would want to be more sure than a roll of the dice. But if you want to take it on faith, or on the basis of trying for two out of three, that’s up to you.

                    • Populuxe1

                      “More correct about Iran than it was about Saddam’s WMD? With something like reasons to start a war I would want to be more sure than a roll of the dice. But if you want to take it on faith, or on the basis of trying for two out of three, that’s up to you.”

                      Um, yes. Especially as presumably Obama listens to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, instead of just making shit up like Bush did. You are extremely obtuse if you cannot see these are separate and different events that must be assessed on their own merits.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So you clearly assess the merits of Obama’s position on Iranian WMD as being much superior than that of Bush/Cheney/Powell’s position on Iraqi WMD?

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      So you clearly assess the merits of your own position as being much better informed than anyone else’s, despite the fact that you have no more information than them. Interesting.

                    • muzza

                      “I have NOT answered your question. I do not know. However I do NOT have enough functioning braincells to realise that because Iran is not Iraq, Obama IS Bush, and the Democrats ARE Republicans, that it is conceivably IMpossible that the US might, once in a while, be correct about something THAT THEY HAVE MANUFACTURED WITH THE ISRAELIS.” – FIFY

                      Good to see that the NZ tertiary education you claimed you have has relieved you rational thought POP, between you and OAB, there is almost zero geopolitical understanding, as it relates to propaganda and your inability to filter it!

                      Gulp gulp gulp – Argh, drank it all down!

                      USA USA USA!

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Muzza, ma gavte la nata.

    • McFlock 7.2

      Did Bibi offer to get rid of Israel’s nukes?

  8. McFlock 8

    Gwynne Dyer had an article on this in November, from a slightly different angle. On ofthe other things he points out is that Iran’s program, even if the intelligence hyperbole turns out to be correct, is completely legal.

    • MValley 8.1

      meh. Yeah they haven’t signed the NPT but it wouldn’t matter if they had. ‘Illegal’ in international law is just code for ‘what those with power decide to limit others from doing’. Actually, that’s the definition for domestic law too.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Iran did, as a matter of fact, sign the NPT – it was under the US installed shah at the time and did as it was told. Hell, the US was even going to help build Iran’s nuclear reactors but then Iran had a revolution and the US got upset that the Iranians had told them to fuck off.

        ‘Illegal’ in international law is just code for ‘what those with power decide to limit others from doing’.

        /agreed

        The NPT specifically requires that nuclear powers don’t trade nuclear knowledge and parts with non-NPT signatories and yet the US is trading these with India.

        • Bill 8.1.1.1

          And worth repeating, the US couldn’t have traded nuclear knowledge and parts with India without the help of Phil Goff who threw away NZ’s veto on the matter for the promise of talks about free trade talks.

    • Vicky32 8.2

      even if the intelligence hyperbole turns out to be correct, is completely legal.

      As my friend Raffaele pointed out in December – thereby showing that even someone who speaks English as a 3rd language and left school at 15, can see the obvious!
      Unlike many ‘educated’ people with their own agenda… 🙁

  9. KJT 9

    Trying to dissuade Iran from making nuclear weapons by threatening to invade? FIFY.
     
    Wasn’t it an invasion threat from Japan/Germany that started nuclear weapon development in the first place?
     
    If the USA diverted the trillions they spend on assuring oil supplies, (By invading oil rich nations)  on alternative energy and poverty reduction, everyone, including Americans, would be much better off.
    http://climatecrocks.com/2012/02/27/laffer-throws-a-new-curve-bob-inglis-explains/

  10. Sweet Jesus,

    Were did you guys find this imbecile. His “analysis” has so many holes in it it’s worse then Gruyere. I don’t have the energy to go over his epistle now but I’ll be having some fun with it tomorrow that’s promise.

    I’ll give you some hints.

    Iran wants to start an oil bourse not based on the US dollar (Like Gaddaffi and Sadam Hussein)

    Only 147 businesses rule the planet and the first fifty are banks.

    The entire financial system is collapsing and everybody is beginning to suspect the bankster Mafia.

    Ahmadinajad, the black sheep du jour and the so called mad dictator of Iran has announced to go back to being a university professor so that gives them a sort of limited option; attack now or having to vilify an whole new character while the lies are wearing thin.

    As I said, it would be helpful if your new “Geopolitical analyst” would give some back ground links so we could check up on his fables and other then that your attempt at adding some global geopolitical pizzazz to this blog is seriously pathetic and insufficient and the guy you picked to do it is woefully uninformed and just regurgitating the mud stream media. Again!

    [take a week ban for insulting an author and the standard without grounds, and another because I’m sick of every thread involving the US being hijacked by your conspiracy theories. The internet’s a big place, ev. Eddie]

    • muzza 11.2

      To be fair this article while really missing the main issues rather seriosuly, was an improvement on last weeks Syria disaster writing….

      Yes Iran is selling their oil in gold and trade in some cases now, which as you can imagine is red rag to a bull stuff, or middle finger to the bankers/oil/pharma/bombs/bullets mob, something like that anyway!

      Eddie the reference to conspiracey theories is IMO missplaced here, as Ev was making some valid points. I guess the line about the author may have ruled out any wiggle room..hey ho!

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        Several major countries are working very hard to be able to trade with each another free of the US dollar. This includes China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Japan. The US does not like this at all as it undermines the usefulness, control and printability of the US dollar as the reserve currency of the world.

        http://www.mintcollc.com/wordpress/archives/1708

        • Colonial Viper 11.2.1.1

          China is working hard to get off its dependence on the USD. By not being reliant on the USD for increasing amounts of trade, China can be a partner in building financial and banking systems outside of US control.

          And the classic tool that China is using to do this is known as a “bilateral currency swap”. That is, an agreement between China and another country to conduct trade with each other in their own currencies, avoiding the US dollar altogether.

          http://english.people.com.cn/90778/7709301.html

          Since the onset of the global financial crisis in late 2008, China has signed a total of 1.3-trillion-yuan currency swap agreements with 15 countries and regions such as South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Belarus, Argentina, etc. Some of the agreements have taken effect and promote the bilateral trade and investment between China and these economies.

          That’s almost US$200B worth of bilateral currency swap agreements signed since late 2008.

          • ianmac 11.2.1.1.1

            Some years ago there was a discussion that the Euro could usurp the place of the $US, if it was able to get a strong agreement among the Member countries. I suppose the USA might be pleased at the current disaster of the Euro?

            • Colonial Viper 11.2.1.1.1.1

              The US aims to slow down the loss of the USDs reserve currency status as much as possible; instability in the Euro assists with this but at a very significant cost – disruption to the economies of key allies. So “pleased” might be a tad strong.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.2

            What the banksters and their poodles in the governments didn’t get around to realising is that, in a free-market, there isn’t a reserve currency. This lack prevents the present economic hegemon (The USA) from printing money hand over fist and then buying up all the resources with that printed money.

  11. tsmithfield 12

    I seriously doubt Iran will attempt to nuke Israel. They might well succeed in wiping out Israel if they managed to get the first strike in. However, they would also solve the Palestinian problem permanently through the nuclear fallout. Also, the nuclear fallout would probably affect the entire Arab region, including the Iranians themselves.

    On the other hand, they may be more interested in launching a nuclear attack on the US if they can develop intercontinental missiles. Of course, there would be immediate nuclear retaliation from the US. However, I remember reading/seeing something about the great fear being of a state that saw itself in the same light as suicide bombers. That is, the state is willing to sacrifice itself for a cause, similar to the way that some deranged individuals are.

    • McFlock 12.1

      The suicide-state theory assumes a single homogenous ruling body. That isn’t Iran.
      And then there’s the Dome of the Rock also against the Israel option.
      And then there’s the sheer logistics of arranging enough ICBMs capable of hitting continental US before they decide to get pre-emptive.
          
      Or there could just be a major regional power going nuclear to get ahead of the game as an oil producer in a peak oil world, with the option of dirty bomb materials if they really are that nuts. Which I don’t think they are.
        
       

      • Populuxe1 12.1.1

        The suicide-state theory assumes a single homogenous ruling body. That isn’t Iran.

        It’s the will of the Mullahs that matters – The actual government has surprisingly little power, as the reformist President Mohammad Khātamī found out.

        And then there’s the Dome of the Rock also against the Israel option.

        A nuclear strike in Tel Aviv isn’t going to harm the Dome of the Rock.

        And then there’s the sheer logistics of arranging enough ICBMs capable of hitting continental US before they decide to get pre-emptive.

        Supposedly it would be really difficult for a group of terrorists to hijack passenger jets and use them on US targets… Oh wait. Anyway, all it would require is some bloody-minded fanatics to smuggle them into the US. Suicide bombers are just as effective as cruise missiles. It might be a bit 24 but not impossible.

            
        Or there could just be a major regional power going nuclear to get ahead of the game as an oil producer in a peak oil world, with the option of dirty bomb materials if they really are that nuts. Which I don’t think they are.

        That doesn’t sound all that nuts, and frankly religious extremists like Iran’s mullahs are not exactly known for calm rationality.
         
         
         
         
         

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Supposedly it would be really difficult for a group of terrorists to hijack passenger jets and use them on US targets… Oh wait.

          yeah it would be really difficult. Like precision flying a large passenger liner nap of the earth into the Pentagon after only having trained a few flight school lessons on single prop light aircraft…oh wait.

          • Populuxe1 12.1.1.1.1

            Oh. I see. You’re a conspiracy nutter. I’ll leave you alone then – I had thought you were rational enough to be worth debating. Obviously you’re not.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              So how did someone who had a handful of lessons in a light propeller plane managed to fly a heavy passenger jet liner nap of the earth, less than 50m of the ground for at least a kilometre into the side of the Pentagon?

              Sure I guess it could have been a skilful fluke, you know, beginners luck and all that.

              You must believe it was a skilful fluke, right?

              • Populuxe1

                Do you have any idea how automated a passenger jet is? It doesn’t take a lot of skill to fly once it’s in the air, and even less skill to crash it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I get it, your idea is the guy with a few lessons on light aircraft managed to set the autopilot on a heavy passenger jet liner with the co-ordinates of the Pentagon?

                  Where did he learn to do that?

                  Or is flying a heavy passenger jet liner just like having a few goes on MS flight simulator?

                  • Populuxe1

                    Who knows? You’ve obviously never felt sufficiently passionate about something to know what can be achieved if one puts everything into it – and obviously you have little understanding of how accurate flight simulators are these days.  Or indeed video games. It is quite possible, epsecially if you have no plans for surviving it.
                    http://www.ehow.com/video_4459664_airplane-landing-pilot-training.html

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Do not feed the truther.

                    • muzza

                      POP – Again you have just had your point of view shown to be idiotic. Auto Pilot, could have allowed that, FFS bro, back to Uni you go, those three schools were not enough. Ok, now how many flying lessons have you had, how many hours in a flight simulator have you had?
                      There are numerous commercial, and ex military experts who state on record that amateurs pilots , COULD NOT, have made the maneuvers of the flight 77

                      OAB – Not a Truther, Not a Denier , ma gavte la nata , and apparantly NOT an Italian either – Tu non hai capito nulla niente di realtà

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I play racing games on my PS3 lots, I’m totally ready for winning the UK Touring Car championship and the WRC now. Let me at ‘m.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Muzza, have you read Foucault’s Pendulum? It’s about three friends who invent an alternative version of history, and a group of morons who don’t understand it’s a fantasy.

                    • felix

                      “It is quite possible, epsecially if you have no plans for surviving it.”

                      Actually Pop, whether or not you plan to survive it has no bearing whatsoever on the difficulty of the manoeuvre.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Felix, of course it does, unless are you saying that your mental state is irrelevant.

        • McFlock 12.1.1.2

          The suicide-state theory assumes a single homogenous ruling body. That isn’t Iran.
          It’s the will of the Mullahs that matters – The actual government has surprisingly little power, as the reformist President Mohammad Khātamī found out.

          Yes, the civil branch will always lose a pissing match against the ruling council – but it’s not like the ruling council consists only of cosmic warriors in the fashion of AQ. The internal politics of Iran, what little I’ve read, make my head hurt. They have their share of delusional nutbars, like any totalitarian regime, but there’d be very few apocalyptics on the ruling council.

          And then there’s the Dome of the Rock also against the Israel option.
          A nuclear strike in Tel Aviv isn’t going to harm the Dome of the Rock.

          True – but multiple strikes against Tel Aviv, Dimona, and so on would be wasted without targetting Jerusalem. That was the lynchpin in 1948, and it will be come WW3.

          And then there’s the sheer logistics of arranging enough ICBMs capable of hitting continental US before they decide to get pre-emptive. Supposedly it would be really difficult for a group of terrorists to hijack passenger jets and use them on US targets… Oh wait. Anyway, all it would require is some bloody-minded fanatics to smuggle them into the US. Suicide bombers are just as effective as cruise missiles. It might be a bit 24 but not impossible.

          Oh please – the PFLP were hijacking multiple airliners in the 60s. It was simply a game-changer to use the planes as weapons, rather than simply take hostages (although had been attempted in I believe 1974 and in the 1990s). As soon as the passengers found out the change in script, they foiled the plan.

          Or there could just be a major regional power going nuclear to get ahead of the game as an oil producer in a peak oil world, with the option of dirty bomb materials if they really are that nuts. Which I don’t think they are.
          That doesn’t sound all that nuts, and frankly religious extremists like Iran’s mullahs are not exactly known for calm rationality.

          Actually, they are. And a connection with a dirty bomb would have equivalent repercussions to if they really did use nukes.

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      On the other hand, they may be more interested in launching a nuclear attack on the US if they can develop intercontinental missiles.

      Nope.

      It would take a couple of hours for Iranian ICBMs to be fueled, launched, and fly to reach the continental United States. But once surface launches from Iran were confirmed US nuclear tipped SLBMs launched from the Persian Gulf would hit Tehran in 15 minutes.

      The Iranians can do this math as well as anyone else.

      The Iranians are interested in having regional influence. They aren’t interested in gaining threatening but expensive capabilities (ICBMs) which would put the likes of global powers Russia and China on edge for no advantage to themselves.

      • insider 12.2.1

        Are you an American? Only an American stooge would say ‘math’.

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1

          Never said I wasn’t American. And unlike Populuxe I’m not blaming a spell checker either.

    • DH 12.3

      One of the more convincing arguments against Iranian nukes is the Syria and North Korea example. It condemns the people of a country to being ruled by tyrants permanently. Iran’s rulers don’t represent the people, Iranians are a pretty progressive bunch especially the educated ones. Give the mad mullahs nukes and the people would never be able to overthrow them. Despotic rulers can nearly always put down a local uprising by force as long as there’s no outside interference. That’s been demonstrated many times.

      Syria will keep slaughtering it’s citizens until quiet reigns again. The main reason no-one is intervening in Syria is because they threatened to start a regional war & use their WMDs against Israel if anyone attacked them. They’ve got nothing to lose, they know they’re dead if the revolt overthrows them, so MAD has lost its effectiveness. Iran would be the same.

      There’s other good arguments, such as starting a nuclear proliferation among Arab states.

  12. Rusty Shackleford 13

    Just more reason to support limited central government. No matter who the leader is, they are always going to abuse the power they are given.

  13. rosy 14

    It seems Obama didn’t give quite the speech to AIPAC the Israelis were looking for. Despite saying…

    A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israel’s security interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests of the United States. Indeed, the entire world has an interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. A nuclear-armed Iran would thoroughly undermine the non-proliferation regime that we have done so much to build. There are risks that an Iranian nuclear weapon could fall into the hands of a terrorist organization.

    (no mention of Israel’s nuclear weapons and non-membership of the non-proliferation regime, cf the legality of Iran’s position). He was adamant that ‘containment’ of the Iranian nuclear ambition was not an option, prevention was the aim, he then went on to say:

    … I firmly believe that an opportunity remains for diplomacy – backed by pressure – to succeed…
    Already, there is too much loose talk of war. Over the last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government, by driving up the price of oil, which they depend upon to fund their nuclear program. For the sake of Israel’s security, America’s security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster; now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition that we have built. Now is the time to heed that timeless advice from Teddy Roosevelt: speak softly, but carry a big stick.

    The speech tone, as a whole, is being interpreted by analysts as a restatement of position and a rebuke to Israel.

  14. mick 15

    Mordechai Vanunu brought his camera to work in late 1985, shortly before leaving his eight-year stint as a technician at Israel’s nuclear weapons factory at Dimona.
    Acting on his conscience, he carefully took about 60 photos of the top-secret labs and unique production processes involved. When some of these photos were originally published in the London Sunday Times’ exposé, they confirmed his eyewitness testimony about the extent of Israel’s nuclear weapons program and revealed Israel to be one of the world’s top nuclear powers. To this day, the Israeli government refuses international inspection of Dimona and continues to deny the existence of its nuclear arsenal. [click here for more of Vanunu’s story: archive/story.html]
    While their publication resulted in Vanunu being locked away for an 18-year prison sentence, his photographs of Israel’s nuclear weapons factory – a bold statement against nuclear secrecy and for the abolition of nuclear weapons – are here for all to see.
     
     
     
     
     
    http://www.vanunu.com/uscampaign/photos.html
     
     
     

  15. mick 16

    I go from thinking Israel or America only ever attack near helpless peoples. So all will be well. Hopefully.
    From whatreallyhappened.com this …
    Iran vs Israel: What The Media Wants You To Forget
    The corporate media have been given their orders to throw the focus back on to Iran.
    Here is a recap of what they are trying to make you forget.
    1. Last Spring, Rose Gottemoeller, an assistant secretary of state and Washington’s chief nuclear arms negotiator, asked Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel refused.
    2. The United Nations passed a resolution calling on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to submit to inspections. Israel refused.
    3. The IAEA asked Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to submit to inspections. Israel refused.
    4. Iran’s formal notification to the IAEA of the planned construction of the backup fuel-rod facility underscores that Iran is playing by the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which Iran has signed.
    5. Iran allows IAEA inspections of all its facilities.
    6. Contrary to face-saving claims, it appears that the US and Israel were both caught off guard by Iran’s announcement of a planned underground (to avoid being bombed) enrichment facility. The reasoning is simple. Had the US or Israel announced the existence of he new facility before Iran’s notified the IAEA, it would have put Iran on the defensive. As it is now, the US and Israel seem to be playing catch up, casting doubt on the veracity of Israel’s claims to “know” that Iran is a nuclear threat.
    7. The IAEA and all 16 United States Intelligence Agencies are unanimous in agreement that Iran is not building and does not possess nuclear weapons.
    8. In 1986, Mordachai Vanunu blew the whistle and provided photographs showing Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons factory underneath the reactor at Dimona.
    9. Israel made the same accusations against Iraq that it is making against Iran, leading up to Israel’s bombing of the power station at Osirik. Following the invasion of 2003, international experts examined the ruins of the power station at Osirik and found no evidence of a clandestine weapons factory in the rubble.
    10. The United Nations has just released the Goldstone Report, a scathing report which accuses Israel of 37 specific war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza earlier this year. Israel has denounced the report as “Anti-Semitic (even though Judge Goldstone is himself Jewish), and the United States will block the report from being referred to the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague, thereby making the US Government an accessory after-the-fact.
    11. Recently revealed documents prove not only that Israel has nuclear weapos, but actually tried to sell some to Apartheid South Africa. Who else Israel approached to sell nuclear weapons remains an unasked question.
    12. In 1965, Israel stole over 200-600 pounds of weapons-grade uranium from the United States.
    13. Declassified documents from the former South African regime prove not only that Israel has had nuclear weapons for decades, but has tried to sell them to other countries!
    We all need to be Joe Wilson right now. We need to stand up and scream, “LIAR!” at every politician and every talking media moron that is pushing this war in Iran. And we need to keep dong it until they get the message that we will not be deceived any more.
    Israel wants to send your kids off to die in Iran, and YOU are the only one that can stop them.
    Please forward this comment to your social networks.

    • Morrissey 16.1

      Israel has denounced the report as “Anti-Semitic (even though Judge Goldstone is himself Jewish)

      That’s merely a standard Israeli government response to any criticism.

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    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    5 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
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    6 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
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    7 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
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    7 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
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    7 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
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    1 week ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
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    1 week ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
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    1 week ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
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    1 week ago