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Iran

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, March 4th, 2012 - 107 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.

107 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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    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    2 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    2 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    4 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    5 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    6 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    7 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
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    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
    My wife and I, through a combination of good luck and good management, have managed to retire in comfortable circumstances. We celebrate our good fortune by making relatively small but regular donations to a range of good causes – to rescue services like the rescue helicopters, St John’s Ambulance and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
    Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    1 week ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
    Gabrielle Po-Ching In November 1918, the cargo and passenger ship Talune travelled to Apia, Samoa from Auckland, carrying a number of passengers who had pneumonic influenza. From these passengers stemmed the biggest pandemic Samoa had ever seen. With around 8,500 deaths, over 20% of the country’s population at the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    1 week ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
    It finally happened: about 13 years after first watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT) in 2007 when it became available in Germany, I recently completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training! Participating in this particular training had been on my to-do list for quite some time but it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
    Wayne Mapp (Photo: Tsmith.nz via Wikimedia) A former Minister of Defence says the government was too slow to involve the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. But Wayne Mapp, a National MP from 1996-2011 who served as Minister of Defence for three ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Underwhelming
    Transport is our second biggest polluter after agriculture, making up 17% of our national emissions. Cars and trucks emit 15 million tons of CO2 every year. So, if we're serious about tackling climate change, we need to eliminate this entirely. Public transport and better urban design will be a key ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
    The Greens' greatest disappointment while in government this term has been the failure to implement a ban on mining on conservation land. Promised by Jacinda Ardern immediately after gaining power, it had long been assumed that the problem was NZ First (who have a long history of environmental vandalism). But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
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    1 week ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
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    1 week ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
    As part of the Government’s focus on building closer partnerships with Māori and enhancing the quality of, and access to, Māori medium education, a payment of $8 million will be made to Te Wānanga o Raukawa in partial recognition of its Waitangi Tribunal claim (WAI 2698), Associate Education Minister Kelvin ...
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    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature boosts efforts to restore Kaimai-Mamaku
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced a $19 million investment over four years in an important forest restoration project involving a partnership between the Department of Conservation, iwi/hapū, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regional Councils, community conservation groups and organisations such as Forest and Bird across the ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting
    New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The changes build on the huge progress this Government has made to tackle the climate crisis. “Today is another step on ...
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    1 week ago
  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
    Economic activity across the Auckland region and the country bounced back to levels experienced under Alert Level 1 following Auckland’s move out of Alert Level 3, analysis in the Treasury’s latest Weekly Economic Update shows. The analysis of economic data since Auckland’s move out of Level 3 shows: Auckland card ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM statement on Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level review
    Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin.  This week is the Māori Language week and ...
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    1 week ago
  • More mental wellbeing services for young people in regions
    More mental health and addiction services are available for young New Zealanders in Rotorua and Taupō, Wairarapa, South Canterbury, Dunedin and Southland from next month, Health Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter say. “The Government is serious about making sure New Zealanders struggling with mental health ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government joins forces with Central Otago communities to clean up waterways
    The Manuherekia catchment in Central Otago is the third exemplar catchment to be targeted as part of the Government’s plan to clean up waterways by supporting community-led programmes.   Environment Minister David Parker said the Manuherekia catchment is vitally important to the people of Central Otago.  “The Manuherekia rises in the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government confirms new Dunedin Hospital design
    The Government has agreed on a preferred design for the new Dunedin Hospital featuring two separate buildings, and has provided funding for the next stages of work.   Minister of Health Chris Hipkins says Cabinet has approved in principle the detailed business case for the new hospital, giving people in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Join the one in a million reo Māori moment
    New Zealanders across the country are set to mark history as part of the Māori Language Week commemorations led by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori this year.  Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta says the initiative will mark history for all the right reasons including making te reo Māori ...
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    1 week ago
  • Education initiatives add to momentum of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2020
    More than 1000 teachers, support staff and school leaders have graduated from a programme designed to grow their capability to use te reo Māori in their teaching practice, as part of the Government’s plan to integrate te reo Māori into education, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Being trialled ...
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    1 week ago
  • The Toloa Tertiary Scholarships for 2021 aims to increase Pacific participation in STEM
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says the Toloa Tertiary Scholarships which aims to encourage more Pacific student numbers participating and pursuing STEM-related studies in 2021, are now open. “These tertiary scholarships are administrated by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), and are part of MPP’s overall Toloa ...
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    1 week ago
  • Financial support for timber industry
    Four Bay of Plenty timber businesses will receive investments totalling nearly $22 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to boost the local economy and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Rotorua-based sawmill Red Stag Wood Solutions will receive a $15 million loan to develop an engineered ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand seeks answers to the Gulf Livestock 1 tragedy
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is exploring the viability of working with partners to conduct a search for the black box on the Gulf Livestock 1. “We know how much it would mean to the families of those on the ship to understand more about ...
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    2 weeks ago