Nuclear security experts call on IAEA, P5+1 powers to reveal more details about Parchin inspection

 

Nuclear security experts are urging the International Atomic Energy Agency and the P5+1 global powers to divulge the details of how Iran’s Parchin military site will be inspected. Parchin is a military base just southeast of Tehran where Iran conducted work related to the detonation of nuclear warheads and Iran has historically stonewalled the IAEA from accessing the site. David Albright, the founder and the president of the Institute for Science and International Security, told Reuters that details of the inspection regime at Parchin “should be released because it’s undermining the IAEA’s credibility. Whatever the outcome of the sampling, the secrecy makes it harder to determine whether it’s a credible sampling approach.” Olli Heinonen, former deputy director-general for safeguards at the IAEA, called the secrecy of the arrangement “very unusual.” Previously, Heinonen has said that “[a]ccording to the IAEA rules and practice, such documents could be made available to the members of the IAEA Board…If a board member asks it and other resist the distribution…this can be overcome by a vote. Simple majority is enough, and no vetoes exist in the IAEA system. The board can also request the whole document to be made public.”

The Associated Press reported in July that Iran will be allowed to conduct its own inspections of Parchin.  In its report, the AP explained that the arrangement “diverges from normal inspection procedures between the IAEA and a member country by essentially ceding the agency’s investigative authority to Iran. It allows Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence for activities that it has consistently denied — trying to develop nuclear weapons.” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) cited this as one reason he would not support the deal.

Last Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that he was deliberating whether or not to pursue legal action against the President because not all documents were handed over to Congress as stipulated in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. In April, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted to PBS’ Judy Woodruff that Iran must disclose its past nuclear military activities for there to be a deal; however, two months later, he told reporters at a press conference, “We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in.  What we’re concerned about is going forward.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in a speech this week that the Palestinians would not allow Jews to desecrate the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem with their “filthy feet,” Palestinian Media Watch reported yesterday.

 

Yesterday, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas described Jews on the Temple Mount as “filth”:

“The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours… and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem.”

In his speech, parts of which were broadcast on official PA TV and posted on his personal website, Abbas also glorified Palestinians fighting against Israel in Jerusalem who are killed in the fighting. Abbas promised that Allah will reward those who “will not allow” Jews to “defile” Jerusalem.

Abbas’ speech came in the wake of Palestinian rioting earlier this week on the Temple Mount, including during the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. According to The Jerusalem Post, the violence intensified after Israeli officials banned the presence of “the Murabitun and Murabatat male and female Islamist activist groups, which gather on the Temple Mount to intimidate and shout at Jewish visitors on a daily basis.” On a tour of the Temple Mount last month, a congressional delegation including Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), and Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) witnessed a group of Jewish visitors to the holy site being accosted by the groups.

Access to the Temple Mount was restricted today and the Knesset authorized the deployment of 800 additional Border Patrol troops to Jerusalem amid Palestinian calls for a “day of rage.” (via TheTower.org)

 

A team of IBM research scientists from Haifa won the top prize at the Brain Inspired Technology for Education (BITE) Hackathon held recently at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, for a prototype application that screens for early indications of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The idea came from Anat Dahan, a doctoral student at the Technion’s Virtual-Reality and NeuroCognition Lab. Noting that individuals with ADHD have atypical muscle movements, she asked for IBM researchers’ help in developing a self-screening application that puts together machine learning with data from wearable devices to determine the need for further evaluation of ADHD. Their simple smartphone tool asks users to draw a rectangle 10 times, while accelerometers and sensors in their phone or their wearable track the movement. This helps identify and classify those individuals who have difficulty initiating and maintaining continuous motor activity. In related news, IBM Israel also has a prototype smartphone technology to detect dementia at an early stage by analyzing voice and speech patterns. This technology has shown an 85 percent accuracy rate in preliminary trials. First described last year in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Israeli, French and Dutch Dem@Care project seeks to enable diagnosis through a series of tests conducted using a smartphone or tablet computer in only seven minutes. (via Israel21c)


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