America Overdue For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New Study: America Overdue For Major Earthquake … In States You Didn’t Suspect

New York Destroyed

Written by: Daniel Jennings Current Events

Most Americans have a reasonable chance of experiencing a destructive earthquake within the next 50 years, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has concluded.

The survey’s new National Seismic Hazard Map show that the risk of earthquakes in parts of the country — such as the Midwest, Oregon and the Rocky Mountains — is far higher than previously thought. All total, Americans in one-third of the country saw their risk for an earthquake increase.

“I worry that we will wake up one morning and see earthquake damage in our country that is as bad as that has occurred in some developing nations that have experienced large earthquakes,” Carl Hedde, a risk management expert at insurer Munich Reinsurance America, said of the map in The Wall Street Journal. “Beyond building collapse, a large amount of our infrastructure could be immediately damaged. Our roads, bridges and energy transmission systems can be severely impacted.”

Among the findings:

  • The earthquake danger in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina is as high as that in Los Angeles.
  • 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years.
  • Parts of 16 states have the highest risk of a quake: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina

“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes,” USGS scientist William Ellsworth told The Journal. “We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this.”

Frightening Results From New Study

The USGS used new computer modeling technology and data collected from recent quakes such as the one that struck Washington, D.C. in 2011 to produce the new maps. The maps show that many Americans who thought they were safe from earthquakes are not.

New Relocation Manual Helps Average Americans Get Out Of Harms Way Before The Coming Crisis

Some of the survey’s other disturbing findings include:

    • The earthquake danger in Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, New York and parts of New England is higher than previously thought.
    • Some major metropolitan areas, including Memphis, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis and Charleston, have a higher risk of earthquakes than previously thought. One of the nation’s most dangerous faults, the New Madrid fault, runs right through St. Louis and Missouri. It is the nation’s second most active fault. On Dec. 16, 1811, the New Madrid Fault was the site of the most powerful series of earthquakes in American history.

“Obviously the building codes throughout the central U.S. do not generally take earthquake risk or the risk of a large earthquake into account,” USGS Seismologist Elizabeth Cochran told The Journal. Her take: Earthquake damage in the central US could be far greater than in places like California, because structures in some locations are not built to withstand quakes.

Others agree.

“Earthquakes are quite rare in many places but when they happen they cause very intense damage because people have not prepared,” Mark Petersen, the project chief for the USGS’s National Seismic Hazard Map, told The Journal.

This new map should be a wakeup call for Americans.

The Antichrist Remembers the Large Horn (Daniel 8:3)

Muqtada Sadr: Iraq never stands against Iran, its interests


(AhlulBayt News Agency) – Leader of a political party, the Sadrist Movement and the leader of Saraya al-Salam Muqtada al-Sadr pointed to historic and stable ties between two countries.
Muqtada al-Sadr made the remarks in an interview recently.Iraq never stands against Iran and its interests, he said.He also denied the fact that his recent regional trips aimed at joining international lobbies.

He referred to his trips as aiming at creating full understanding and coordination with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, reinforcing relations with regional countries and putting an end to tensions between Iraq and its neighbors.

Of Course Iran Has a Clandestine Nuclear Program

FeaturedImage_2017-08-18_PressTV_Rouhani_589b82c9-9820-406e-9831-ecd6670a9876

Did Rouhani Accidentally Admit to a Clandestine Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program?

by David Gerstman | 08.18.17 3:28 pm

The New York Times asserted on Tuesday that with a more advanced nuclear program, Iran “could start enriching uranium up to the level of 20 percent, a step toward building a nuclear weapon.”

But was Rouhani making a threat? Or did he accidentally admit that even now Iran is engaged in clandestine nuclear weapons research, in violation of the nuclear deal?

One of the weaknesses of the accord is that it doesn’t force Iran to reveal the full extent of its past nuclear research.

In December 2015, a month and a half before Implementation Day, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report that found that Iran had engaged in nuclear weapons research until at least 2009. The IAEA, which is the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations and is in charge of monitoring Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, couldn’t say for certain whether Iran had stopped seeking nuclear weapons because Iran withheld information.

In June 2016, the Obama administration acknowledged that traces of enriched uranium found at the Parchin military installation were likely the result of Iran’s nuclear weapons research.

In addition to the unresolved questions raised by the final IAEA report on Iran’s past nuclear work, a former Obama administration official told The New York Times in 2013 that “there has never been a time in the past 15 years or so when Iran didn’t have a hidden facility in construction.”

There also is a historical reason to suspect that Iran is cheating on the nuclear deal. That is because when it reached an agreement with the United Kingdom, France and Germany in 2004, Iran cheated on its commitments too.

In November 2004, Iran and the three European nations, known collectively as the EU3, agreed that Iran would stop enriching uranium in order to avoid being referred to the UN Security Council for violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In reporting the 2004 agreement, The New York Times noted:

The foreign ministers of the three countries brokered a deal, announced with much fanfare in Tehran 13 months ago. In it, Iran agreed to suspend its production of enriched uranium, which can be used in nuclear energy or nuclear weapons programs, and to submit to more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities.

After Iran violated the agreement, officials from the three countries acknowledged that the deal had been made too hastily and that the language of the final accord was too vague and open to misinterpretation.

However, within a year, Iran announced its rejection of the Paris agreement, saying that the incentives offered by the Europeans for it not to pursue a military nuclear program were “not acceptable.” Two days later, on August 8, Iran restarted its uranium enrichment program.

In response to Iran’s rejection of the deal, the Europeans said that they would refer Iran’s case to the Security Council. Beginning in July 2006, the Security Council would approve at least six resolutions (1696, 1737, 1747, 1803, 1835, and 1929) sanctioning Iran for its illicit nuclear program as it repeatedly refused to halt enriching uranium. (The nuclear deal removed the nuclear-related sanctions and allowed Iran to maintain its enrichment program.)

If Iran was concerned about the consequences of defying the Europeans, their lead nuclear negotiator for the Paris agreement didn’t show it.

Hassan Rouhani, now president of Iran, told a closed meeting of clerics in March 2006 that the negotiations allowed Iran to advance their nuclear program.

“From the outset, the Americans kept telling the Europeans, ‘The Iranians are lying and deceiving you and they have not told you everything.’ The Europeans used to respond, ‘We trust them’,” The Telegraph reported.

“When we were negotiating with the Europeans in Teheran we were still installing some of the equipment at the Isfahan site. There was plenty of work to be done to complete the site and finish the work there. In reality, by creating a tame situation, we could finish Isfahan,” Rouhani added.

“The dilemma was if we offered a complete picture, the picture itself could lead us to the UN Security Council,” he said, speaking of the predicament Iran was facing in September 2003, when the IAEA demanded a full accounting of its nuclear activities. “And not providing a complete picture would also be a violation of the resolution and we could have been referred to the Security Council for not implementing the resolution.”

Rouhani made similar boasts in 2013 when he was running for his first term as president. During a televised debate, when the moderator accused Rouhani of suspending Iran’s nuclear program for negotiations, the candidate pushed back:

Quite the contrary, Rouhani countered, detailing the completion of various phases of work at Isfahan under his watch in 2004 and 2005. He went on to state proudly that the Iranian heavy water reactor at Arak was also developed under his watch, in 2004.

“Do you know when we developed yellowcake? Winter 2004,” Rouhani went on. “Do you know when the number of centrifuges reached 3,000? Winter 2004.”

Incredulous at the notion that Iran had bowed to international pressure and halted nuclear activities in that period, Rouhani asked the interviewer, “We halted the nuclear program? We were the ones to complete it! We completed the technology.”

Not once—but twice—did Iran’s one-time nuclear negotiator admit that the Islamic Republic engaged in negotiations with the West to deceive the world and allow it to advance its illicit nuclear research.

Now he’s president.

What are the chances that the negotiations from 2013 to 2015 were also a distraction, “creating a tame situation” in Rouhani’s words, giving Iran the money it needed to advance its nuclear research and develop nuclear weapons?

I think the chances are pretty high.

The Ramapo Fault Of The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

Earthquake activity in the New York City area

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Although the eastern United States is not as seismically active as regions near plate boundaries, large and damaging earthquakes do occur there. Furthermore, when these rare eastern U.S. earthquakes occur, the areas affected by them are much larger than for western U.S. earthquakes of the same magnitude.[1] Thus, earthquakes represent at least a moderate hazard to East Coast cities, including New York City and adjacent areas of very high population density.

As can be seen in the maps of earthquake activity in this region, seismicity is scattered throughout most of the New York City area, with some hint of a concentration of earthquakes in the area surrounding Manhattan Island. The largest known earthquake in this region occurred in 1884 and had a magnitude of approximately 5. For this earthquake, observations of fallen bricks and cracked plaster were reported from eastern Pennsylvania to central Connecticut, and the maximum intensity reported was at two sites in western Long Island (Jamaica, New York and Amityville, New York). Two other earthquakes of approximately magnitude 5 occurred in this region in 1737 and 1783.[2][3][4] The figure on the right shows maps of the distribution of earthquakes of magnitude 3 and greater that occurred in this region from 1924 to 2010, along with locations of the larger earthquakes that occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884.

Background

The NYC area is part of the geologically complex structure of the Northern Appalachian Mountains. This complex structure was formed during the past half billion years when the Earth’s crust underlying the Northern Appalachians was the site of two major geological episodes, each of which has left its imprint on the NYC area bedrock.[5][6] Between about 450 million years ago and about 250 million years ago, the Northern Appalachian region was affected by a continental collision, in which the ancient African continent collided with the ancient North American continent to form the supercontinent Pangaea. Beginning about 200 million years ago, the present-day Atlantic ocean began to form as plate tectonic forces began to rift apart the continent of Pangaea. The last major episode of geological activity to affect the bedrock in the New York area occurred about 100 million years ago, during the Mesozoic era, when continental rifting that led to the opening of the present-day Atlantic ocean formed the Hartford and Newark Mesozoic rift basins.

Earthquake rates in the northeastern United States are about 50 to 200 times lower than in California, but the earthquakes that do occur in the northeastern U.S. are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of the same magnitude in the western U.S.[1] This means the area of damage from an earthquake in the northeastern U.S. could be larger than the area of damage caused by an earthquake of the same magnitude in the western U.S.[7] The cooler rocks in the northeastern U.S. contribute to the seismic energy propagating as much as ten times further than in the warmer rocks of California. A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt as far as 100 km (60 mi) from its epicenter, but it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake, although uncommon, can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from its epicenter, and can cause damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi) from its epicenter. Earthquakes stronger than about magnitude 5.0 generate ground motions that are strong enough to be damaging in the epicentral area.

At well-studied plate boundaries like the San Andreas fault system in California, scientists can often make observations that allow them to identify the specific fault on which an earthquake took place. In contrast, east of the Rocky Mountains this is rarely the case.[8] The NYC area is far from the boundaries of the North American plate, which are in the center of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean Sea, and along the west coast of North America. The seismicity of the northeastern U.S. is generally considered to be due to ancient zones of weakness that are being reactivated in the present-day stress field. In this model, pre-existing faults that were formed during ancient geological episodes persist in the intraplate crust, and the earthquakes occur when the present-day stress is released along these zones of weakness. The stress that causes the earthquakes is generally considered to be derived from present-day rifting at the Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Earthquakes and geologically mapped faults in the Northeastern U.S.

The northeastern U.S. has many known faults, but virtually all of the known faults have not been active for perhaps 90 million years or more. Also, the locations of the known faults are not well determined at earthquake depths. Accordingly, few (if any) earthquakes in the region can be unambiguously linked to known faults. Given the current geological and seismological data, it is difficult to determine if a known fault in this region is still active today and could produce a modern earthquake. As in most other areas east of the Rocky Mountains, the best guide to earthquake hazard in the northeastern U.S. is probably the locations of the past earthquakes themselves.[9]

The Ramapo fault and other New York City area faults

The Ramapo Fault, which marks the western boundary of the Newark rift basin, has been argued to be a major seismically active feature of this region,[10] but it is difficult to discern the extent to which the Ramapo fault (or any other specific mapped fault in the area) might be any more of a source of future earthquakes than any other parts of the region.[11] The Ramapo Fault zone spans more than 185 miles (300 kilometers) in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It is a system of faults between the northern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont areas to the east.[12] This fault is perhaps the best known fault zone in the Mid-Atlantic region, and some small earthquakes have been known to occur in its vicinity. Recently, public knowledge about the fault has increased – especially after the 1970s, when the fault’s proximity to the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York was noticed.

There is insufficient evidence to unequivocally demonstrate any strong correlation of earthquakes in the New York City area with specific faults or other geologic structures in this region. The damaging earthquake affecting New York City in 1884 was probably not associated with the Ramapo fault because the strongest shaking from that earthquake occurred on Long Island (quite far from the trace of the Ramapo fault). The relationship between faults and earthquakes in the New York City area is currently understood to be more complex than any simple association of a specific earthquake with a specific mapped fault.[13]

A 2008 study argued that a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake might originate from the Ramapo fault zone,[3] which would almost definitely spawn hundreds or even thousands of fatalities and billions of dollars in damage.[14] Studying around 400 earthquakes over the past 300 years, the study also argued that there was an additional fault zone extending from the Ramapo Fault zone into southwestern Connecticut. As can be seen in the above figure of seismicity, earthquakes are scattered throughout this region, with no particular concentration of activity along the Ramapo fault, or along the hypothesized fault zone extending into southwestern Connecticut.[2][11][15]

Just off the northern terminus of the Ramapo fault is the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, built between 1956 and 1960 by Consolidated Edison Company. The plant began operating in 1963, and it has been the subject of a controversy over concerns that an earthquake from the Ramapo fault will affect the power plant. Whether or not the Ramapo fault actually does pose a threat to this nuclear power plant remains an open question.[11]

Antichrist is Unifying the People (Revelation 13)

Erbil delegation to visit Najaf for meeting with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr

Rudaw
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Kurdistan Region’s delegation tasked with holding official talks on the independence referendum is scheduled to meet with influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the holy city of Najaf, some 170 kilometers south of Baghdad.

Sadr called on Kurdish President Masoud Barzani in July to “postpone” and eventually “cancel” the Kurdistan referendum on independence planned for September 25.

“Iraq is one and is for all,” Sadr said in a written statement at the time.

The visiting delegation is expected to return to Baghdad on Sunday to resume what has been described as “important” and “decisive” talks with the ruling Shiite National Alliance which also includes Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Dawa party.

Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, also a former PM, is the head of the Dawa Party.

Sadr’s Movement has 34 seats in the Iraqi parliament. It is a member of the Shiite National Alliance but has suspended its membership due to political differences with other members of the Alliance, in particular Maliki’s State of Law Coalition.

Sadr was recently visited the United Arab Emirates, after a similar visit to Saudi Arabia where he met with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, or MoB as he is known, a staunch opponent of Iranian influence in Iraq and the region.

The cleric Sadr is behind the weekly protests against the Iraqi government as well as the Kurdish-headed Iraqi election commission. His angry supporters even stormed the Iraqi parliament building in April, the first such incident to occur since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The delegation visited Baghdad on Monday and has since met with many Iraqi officials, including PM Abadi, VP Maliki, Iraqi parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri, and the Shiite National Alliance. The Iraqi officials have said that any step taken by the Kurdistan Region including the referendum should have constitutional backing, with Maliki suggesting that the constitution may have to be amended in order to allow the vote.

They also met with more than a dozen embassies in the Iraqi capital including those from the United States, Iran, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Russia.

Baghdad has called the referendum unconstitutional and unilateral, and said it will not recognize the result. The Kurdistan Region says Iraq pushed Erbil into calling for the referendum by violating at least 50 articles of the Iraqi constitution, including Article 140 that concerns disputed or Kurdistani areas claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad, and the budget-share which was cut in early-2014.

The visiting Kurdistani negotiating team maintains that they are sticking to holding the referendum on its stated time in September.

However, a Kurdish source with knowledge of the negotiations and who asked not to be named, told Rudaw that there is “a small chance” that the Kurdistan Region would agree to postpone the referendum until after the Iraqi elections if Baghdad guarantees to give the go-ahead for the referendum at a later date.

The guarantee should come “in writing” and be observed by the United Nations and the United States, the source explained.

The source said the delegation showed a softer line since the Iraqi ruling Shiite National Alliance expressed their willingness to solve all outstanding issues that pushed Erbil to call the referendum.

This is the process Trump will use to authorize a nuclear strike

http://15130-presscdn-0-89.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/trump-use-nukes.jpgThis is the process the US uses to authorize a nuclear strike

The United States nuclear arsenal can go from standby to missile launch in about five minutes, according to Bruce Blair a former Minuteman launch control officer.

The U.S. Strategic Command uses a strict protocol to authorize a launch.

Launching the U.S. arsenal requires eight steps, according to Blair, a research scholar at Princeton University’s program on science and global security and founder of nonproliferation advocacy group Global Zero.

The video above explains the protocols, but basically the president first talks to advisors such as the Omaha-based four-star general at the helm of the U.S. Strategic Command. The president’s conclusion is then carried out through a series of codes and encrypted messages that travel through the Pentagon to the land- or sea-based launch sites, where control officers simultaneously turn their security keys to initiate the launch.

Tensions between North Korea and the United States reached new heights on Aug. 8, when President Donald Trump warned the rogue regime it faced “fire and fury” if it made any more threats. North Korea responded by saying it planned to test fire missiles in the waters off the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. This week, Pyongyang toned down its rhetoric, saying it would wait to assess “the foolish and stupid conduct” of the United States.

North Korea test-fired a missile on July 28, despite pressure from China to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Following the launch, defense experts confirmed North Korea has the capability to reach more than half the continental U.S. with a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile.

U.S. intelligence believes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has up to 60 nuclear weapons, though some independent experts say the total is smaller. By comparison, the U.S. has around 6,800 nuclear weapons, according to the Federation of American Scientists, with about 1,800 actively deployed at land bases and submarines.

Five states in the continental U.S. are home to missile launch sites: Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming, according to the Congressional Research Service. The Eighth Air Force operates five nuclear-capable bomber wings out of bases in Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri and Texas. There also are 14 active Ohio-class submarines, with four of the nuclear-armed ships on designated “hard alert” patrols at any time.

Earthquake Assessment For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

by Daniel R. Dombroski, Jr.

A 10–fold increase in amplitude represents about a 32–fold increase in energy released for the same duration of shaking. The best known magnitude scale is one designed by C.F. Richter in 1935 for
west coast earthquakes.

In New Jersey, earthquakes are measured with seismographs operated by the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the Delaware Geological Survey.

An earthquake’s intensity is determined by observing its effects at a particular place on the Earth’s surface. Intensity depends on the earthquake’s magnitude, the distance from the epicenter, and local geology. These scales are based on reports of people awakening, felt movements, sounds, and visible effects on structures and landscapes. The most commonly used scale in the United States is the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, and its values are usually reported in Roman numerals to distinguish them from magnitudes.

Past damage in New Jersey

New Jersey doesn’t get many earthquakes, but it does get some. Fortunately most are small. A few New Jersey earthquakes, as well as a few originating outside the state, have produced enough damage to warrant the concern of planners and emergency managers.

Damage in New Jersey from earthquakes has been minor: items knocked off shelves, cracked plaster and masonry, and fallen chimneys. Perhaps because no one was standing under a chimney when it fell, there are no recorded earthquake–related deaths in New Jersey. We will probably not be so fortunate in the future.

Area Affected by Eastern Earthquakes

 

Although the United States east of the Rocky Mountains has fewer and generally smaller earthquakes than the West, at least two factors  increase the earthquake risk in New Jersey and the East. Due to geologic differences, eastern earthquakes effect areas ten times larger than western ones of the same magnitude. Also, the eastern United States is more densely populated, and New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation.

Geologic Faults and Earthquakes in New Jersey

Although there are many faults in New Jersey, the Ramapo Fault, which separates the Piedmont and Highlands Physiographic Provinces, is the best known. In 1884 it was blamed for a damaging New York City earthquake simply because it was the only large fault mapped at the time. Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault.

However, numerous minor earthquakes have been recorded in the Ramapo Fault Zone, a 10 to 20 mile wide area lying adjacent to, and west of, the actual fault.

More recently, in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to the Indian Point, New York, Nuclear Power Generating Station. East of the Rocky Mountains (including New Jersey), earthquakes do not break the ground surface. Their focuses lie at least a few miles below the Earth’s surface, and their locations are determined by interpreting seismographic records. Geologic fault lines seen on the surface today are evidence of ancient events. The presence or absence of mapped faults (fault lines) does not denote either a seismic hazard or the lack of one, and earthquakes can occur anywhere in New Jersey.

Frequency of Damaging Earthquakes in New Jersey

Records for the New York City area, which have been kept for 300 years, provide good information
for estimating the frequency of earthquakes in New Jersey.

Earthquakes with a maximum intensity of VII (see table DamagingEarthquakes Felt in New Jersey )have occurred in the New York City area in 1737, 1783, and 1884. One intensity VI, four intensity V’s, and at least three intensity III shocks have also occurred in the New York area over the last 300 years.

The time–spans between the intensity VII earthquakes were 46 and 101 years. This, and data for the smaller–intensity quakes, implies a return period of 100 years or less, and suggests New Jersey is overdue for a moderate earthquake like the one of 1884.

Buildings and Earthquakes

The 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, is an example of what might happen in New Jersey in a similar quake. It registered a magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale and produced widespread destruction. But it was the age of construction, soil and foundation condition, proximity to the fault, and type of structure that were the major determining factors in the performance of each building. Newer structures, built to the latest construction standards, appeared to perform relatively well, generally ensuring the life safety of occupants.

New Jersey’s building code has some provisions for earthquake–resistant design. But there are no requirements for retrofitting existing buildings — not even for unreinforced masonry structures that are most vulnerable to earthquake damage. Housing of this type is common in New Jersey’s crowded urban areas. If an earthquake the size of New York City’s 1884 quake (magnitude 5.5) were to occur today, severe damage would result. Fatalities would be likely.

Structures have collapsed in New Jersey without earthquakes; an earthquake would trigger many more. Building and housing codes need to be updated and strictly enforced to properly prepare for inevitable future earthquakes.

Nuclear Iran Will Rise When the Nuclear Deal Fails

We can sense fear in statements made by Iranian officials and most recently President Hassan Rouhani who warned against the consequences of the big scheme’s collapse – the reconciliation agreement with the West based on the nuclear deal signed during the term of former US President Barack Obama.

The Congress shocked the Iranian government when it reinstated a number of economic sanctions on Iran, and US President Donald Trump insisted on his stance that the nuclear agreement serves Iran more than the US, threatening to abolish it.

Countries of the European Union (EU) are keen to preserve the agreement, which they believe it ushered in a new phase with the Iranian regime. Since signing it, they rushed to seal huge trade deals with Tehran, a move that was previously not possible because the US government would have put any European company that dealt with Iran on the blacklist.

Most provoked

Arab states, especially Gulf countries, were the most provoked by this agreement. They were neither against sealing a deal that eradicates the Iranian nuclear danger nor against dealing commercially with Iran but objected over its high cost – extending Iran’s powers via fighting in Syria, Yemen and Iraq and threatening other Arab states.

In case Iran considered that imposing sanctions abolishes the nuclear deal then it will resume uranium enrichment, renewing tension. Iran offers the West two options: its nuclear project that will threaten the West and Israel in the future, or being allowed to have hegemony over the region.

Tehran used the second option as a weapon to blackmail the West: Obama’s administration struck with it a deal that only aims at halting its nuclear program, allowing it to enjoy its powers in several areas, including those that the US considers as interest zones such as the Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The new Iranian threats against the US economic sanctions must be taken seriously because they trigger Iran’s way of imposing what it wants via violence and chaos

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Significant progress

Yet, Iran’s commitment to ceasing the nuclear project is a significant progress that makes Iran worthy of the removal of economic and commercial sanctions. But Obama’s administration went so far in its concessions and allowed Tehran to wage wars, for the first time and in a direct manner, even in states not lying on its border such as Syria and Yemen.

The nuclear agreement is partially responsible for the region’s chaos. There are more than 50,000 extremists fighting in Syria – directed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and brought in from various countries at the time when the international community was endeavoring to get rid of extremist groups such as ISIS.

Because the nuclear agreement was negotiated discreetly between the Obama and Rouhani teams, the region hasn’t been aware of its details until recently – the Obama administration left behind it a dangerous mine. Iran has become more aggressive after signing the agreement, this is evident.

Disrupting the project

The deal might succeed in disrupting the nuclear project for another decade but it has fueled a more dangerous war in the Middle East and posed an unprecedented level of threat to regimes since the revolution in Iran in 1979. It also reinforced extremists in Tehran.

The new Iranian threats against the US economic sanctions must be taken seriously because they trigger Iran’s way of imposing what it wants via violence and chaos. But the US relapse in Syria represents a huge tactical mistake because Syria is where Iran can be besieged and obliged to cooperate regionally and internationally.

There is a contradiction here because Washington is escalating with Iran on the nuclear level and allowing it to operate freely on the Syrian front.

This article was first published in Asharq Al-Awsat.
______________________________
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today. He tweets @aalrashed.

The Book on the Sixth Seal of New York

http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2011/08/aftershock-earthquake-in-new-york-original.jpgEarthquakes Threaten More of America Than You Might Think

Nate Hopper
“You can be forgiven,” writes Kathryn Miles in Quakeland (Aug. 29), “for thinking that the ground beneath your feet is solid.” Yet it isn’t, and by the end of her reporting readers will feel a bit unsteady.

The concerns at the core of Quakeland are that seismologists know the most about the potential earthquakes that are the least alarming, and that we all know little about quakes to begin with. They remain the least predictable of natural disasters and possibly the most catastrophic.

While many of us know that California will likely suffer a sizable earthquake within three decades (or of the threats facing the coastal Pacific Northwest, thanks to a Pulitzer Prize–winning 2015 New Yorker article by Kathryn Schulz), few realize that New York City sits atop “a brittle grid” of rock and is overdue for a destructive quake. The city also resides about 25 miles downriver of Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear plant that one retired consultant calls “Fukushima on the Hudson” after the 2011 Japanese nuclear disaster, which was caused by an earthquake and led to an evacuation covering hundreds of square miles and more than 1,000 deaths. (The state recently announced that Indian Point will close in 2021.)

Miles renders a map of other endangered municipalities, like the Oklahoma city that houses tanks containing tens of millions of barrels of oil, in a state where quakes are increasing. Or the stretches of Mississippi River communities where survivors would struggle to receive relief depending on how one bridge fares. Or the several states where the mining and oil- and gas-drilling industries are causing more and more unnatural quakes and whose paychecks allow impoverished people to buy houses their work could end up cleaving. There are also plausible not-even-worst-case scenarios where thousands die, hundreds of thousands become homeless and billions of dollars’ worth of property and resources disintegrate — and that’s only for the known seismic faults. Scientists worry more about the many they have yet to find.

That fear you feel? It’s intended. Miles prefers the most provocative possibilities as Quakeland seeks to rattle us free of the ignorance, uncertainty and short memory that have paralyzed plans for prevention and survival.

Antichrist Has Unified the Islamic Horns (Revelation 13)

Saudi, Iraqi leaders ‘draw closer’ after Sadr meeting

Al Jazeera

The motivation for Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi Shia Muslim scholar, to meet the Saudi crown prince last month was an attempt to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq, seek a leadership role and tone down sectarianism between the two countries, analysts say.

Sadr, who is openly hostile to the United States, was hosted on July 30 by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The reason behind the gathering in Jeddah centred on a shared interest in countering Iranian influence in Iraq, Baghdad-based analyst Ahmed Younis said.

Saudi-Iran row: Iraq offers to mediate

Sadr’s visit to Saudi Arabia is a bold shift of his policy to deliver a message to regional, influential Sunni states that not all Shia groups carry the label ‘Made in Iran’.”

For Sadr, who has a large following among the poor in Baghdad and southern Iraqi cities, it was part of efforts to bolster his Arab and nationalist image ahead of elections where he faces Shia rivals close to Iran.

“This is both a tactical and strategic move by Sadr. He wants to play the Saudis off against the Iranians, shake down both sides for money and diplomatic cover,” said Ali Khedery, who was a special assistant to five US ambassadors in Iraq.

Ultimately, Sadr seeks a leadership role in Iraq that would allow him to shape events without becoming embroiled in daily administration, which could erode his popularity, diplomats and analysts say.

Days after the Jeddah meeting, Sadr met Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, who has also taken an assertive line against Iran, the dominant foreign power in Iraq since the 2003 US invasion ended Sunni minority rule.

Iran has since increased its regional influence, with its forces and allied fighters spearheading the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levane (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and holding sway in Baghdad.

For Saudi Arabia, less Iranian influence in Iraq would be a big win in a rivalry that underpins conflict across the Middle East.

“There are plans to secure peace and reject sectarianism in the region,” Sadr told the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper last week, saying that it was “necessary to bring Iraq back into the Arab fold”.

When asked what Saudi Arabia hoped to achieve with Sadr’s recent visit to the Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, a Saudi official at the Saudi embassy in Washington said: “Saudi Arabia hopes to encourage Iraqis to work together to build a strong resilient and independent state. With that in mind, it will reach out to any party who could contribute to achieving that goal”.

Limited Influence

A politician close to Sadr said the Jeddah meeting was aimed at building confidence and toning down sectarian rhetoric between the two countries.

The rapprochement is “a careful testing of the waters with the Abadi government and some of the Shia centres of influence like Sadr and the interior minister,” said Ali Shihabi, executive director of the Washington-based Arabia Foundation.

Another sign of rapprochement is an agreement to increase direct flights to a daily basis.

Iraqi Airways hopes to reopen offices in Saudi airports to help Iraqis travel to the kingdom, especially for pilgrimages, Iraq’s transport ministry said.

As OPEC producers, the two countries cooperated in November to support oil prices. Their energy ministers discussed bilateral cooperation and investment last week.

Iranian reaction to the meetings has however been minimal.

“Iraqi personalities and officials do not need our permission to travel outside of Iraq or to report to us,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said last week, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.