2021-02-05: News Headlines

Eve Ottenberg (2021-02-05). About Those Executive Orders… counterpunch.org A strange stasis now characterizes U.S. foreign affairs, while on the domestic front, Biden roars ahead. As of January 29, he had signed 42 executive orders. Not one addresses what the U.S. does abroad. True, Biden made the superb move of resuming negotiations over the START nuclear treaty with Russia, and he rejoined the Paris Accords and the World Health Organization. But otherwise, quiet blankets the foreign policy landscape.

Ralph Nader (2021-02-05). The Struggle Inside Senator Mitch McConnell's Brain. counterpunch.org Since 2015, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has ruled the Senate with an iron hand, describing himself as "the Guardian of Gridlock." He was Senator "NO," except for confirming over 200 mostly corporatist federal judges. Now comes a new challenge for Mitch McConnell as he leads 49 other Republican Senators, twenty of whom are up

Conn Hallinan (2021-02-05). China's Sea of Conflict. counterpunch.org Biden 's administration faces a host of difficult problems, but in foreign policy its thornist will be its relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). How it handles issues of trade, security and human rights will either allow both countries to hammer out a working relationship or pull the US into an expensive–and unwinnable–cold war that will shelve existential threats like climate change and nuclear war.

RT (2021-02-04). Ukraine appeals to Belarus for emergency electricity, as Lithuania admits it still imports energy from embargoed nuclear reactor. rt.com A Belarusian power station, once dubbed 'Chernobyl II' due to reported safety concerns, is set to do a roaring trade on the European energy market as neighboring countries increasingly find themselves in need of cheap energy. | Lithuania's minister for energy, Dainius Kreivys, told local media on Thursday that, despite efforts to cut the controversial plant out of its grid, the country was still importing significant amounts of its energy. | According to the politician, around 77 million kWh of electricity has been flowing into the Baltic nation at a cost of €4 million ($4.8 million) since the plant began…

Susan Price (2021-02-04). We can't give up on a world free from nuclear weapons. greenleft.org.au The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons became international law on January 22 for the 122 states who signed the agreement in July 2017, writes Vijay Prashad.

Mehr News Agency (2021-02-04). US,E3 foreign ministers expected to discuss Iran soon: report. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Feb. 05 (MNA) — The US, British, French and German foreign ministers are expected to have a conversation soon to discuss how to revive the Iran nuclear deal, four sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

sputniknews (2021-02-04). Iran May Reverse Religious Ruling Banning Nukes if Israel, US Act Aggressively – Ex-Diplomat. sputniknews.com In 2018, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that the US would reciprocate Iran's resumed compliance with the nuclear deal but would seek a broader agreement that also covers the country's missile program.

Kamal Iranidoost (2021-02-04). Borrell calls for using "maximum diplomacy" towards Iran. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Feb. 04 (MNA) — The EU Foreign Policy Chief Joseph Borrell has called for intensifying efforts to save the Iran nuclear deal, calling for moving from the US maximum Pressure towards "maximum diplomacy."

Abdel Bari Atwan (2021-02-04). Reviving the Iran nuclear deal. thealtworld.com Tehran doesn't trust US commitments any longer, it wants to see concrete steps | Direct talks may not have officially started between Iran and the Biden administration about reviving the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal. But negotiations are well underway through the media and statements from both sides intended to convey coded messages to the other. Their substance is not hard for seasoned observers to decipher. | The big question being addressed at present is which side will flinch first in the escalating diplomatic standoff. Will Iran make the opening move by submitting to US demands to resume compliance with the JCPOA…

Elijah Magnier (2021-02-04). Is the US prepared to come down from the tree and return to the Iranian Nuclear Deal? thealtworld.com The US administration intensified its contacts with its allies in the Middle East to de-escalate the tension Donald Trump created in his last weeks in office. Indirect messages have reached Iran from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and most recently from Iraq saying that the US has the intention of honouring its commitment and wishes to return to the 2015 deal that was revoked by Trump in 2018 (- it had already responded "positively" last year by rejecting Trump's attempt to strike a deal in his final days of office). Iran did receive the messages and Tehran also responded by sending positive signals to US President Biden vi…

Scott Ritter (2021-02-04). Why the Biden Administration Has Set Itself Up for Failure on the Iran Nuclear Deal. globalresearch.ca All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the "Translate Website" drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). | *** | By laying out unrealistic demands to Iran and engaging in fearmongering …

Dave DeCamp (2021-02-04). US Dismisses Iran's Offer to Coordinate Return to Nuclear Deal. globalresearch.ca All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the "Translate Website" drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). | *** | The US State Department dismissed an idea floated by Iranian Foreign …

(2021-02-03). The Threat of Nuclear Weapons with Noam Chomsky. theanalysis.news As the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enters into force on January 22, join the world-renowned intellectual for "The Threat of Nuclear Weapons: Why Canada Should Sign the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty" Presented by the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute.

Peoples Dispatch (2021-02-03). Iran reiterates its commitment to JCPOA, proposes US return to the deal. peoplesdispatch.org Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, in an interview with CNN, said that talks about nuclear weapons in the western media is baseless speculation aimed at directing public opinion against the country…

Paul Jay (2021-02-03). Where is Biden's Foreign Policy Headed? — Phyllis Bennis and Larry Wilkerson. theanalysis.news Biden has appointed many old guard interventionists and new Cold Warriors, but there is some hope for a better Iran policy. Watch out for attempts by Israel to scuttle the nuclear deal. A wide-ranging discussion with Phyllis Bennis and Larry Wilkerson on theAnalysis.news with Paul Jay.

Ralph Nader (2021-02-03). The Struggle Inside Senator Mitch McConnell's Brain. commondreams.org Allowing the Trumpian half of his brain to overpower his judgment and vote to acquit Dangerous Donald would spell disaster for the Republican Party (assuming the Democratic Party doesn't go to sleep as it did after Obama's win in 2008). | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_special_coverage/public/views-article/thumbs/mcconnell_biden_0.jpg

MEE staff (2021-02-03). 'Victory': Iran hails UN court decision to hear case over US sanctions. middleeasteye.net 'Victory': Iran hails UN court decision to hear case over US sanctions | International Court of Justice says it has jurisdiction to take on Iran's case against US over Trump-era sanctions | Wed, 02/03/2021 – 16: 36 | Zarif asked the European Union to coordinate a synchronised return of Washington and Tehran to the nuclear deal (AFP) | Iran's foreign minister hailed a decision by the UN's top court on Wednesday…

MEE staff (2021-02-03). 'Victory': Iran hails UN court decision to hear case against US sanctions. middleeasteye.net 'Victory': Iran hails UN court decision to hear case against US sanctions | International Court of Justice says it has jurisdiction to take on Iran's case challenging US over Trump-era sanctions | Wed, 02/03/2021 – 16: 36 | Zarif asked European Union to coordinate synchronised return of Washington and Tehran to nuclear deal (AFP) | Iran's foreign minister hailed a decision by the UN's top court on Wednesday th…

Marco Carnelos (2021-02-03). Time is running out for US to rejoin Iran nuclear deal. thealtworld.com As the Biden administration prevaricates, Tehran has issued an ultimatum that could move it closer to a nuclear weapon | US President Joe Biden's political agenda will be monopolised by internal issues for some time, but hotspots around the world will not adjust to his priorities. Given that Biden believes the US should Fortunately, the new president and his advisers seem aware that the best way for…

Kenny Stancil, staff writer (2021-02-03). 'Makes Us All Safer': Biden Admin Announces Five-Year Extension of New START Nuclear Treaty With Russia. commondreams.org "This welcome step is the start of our efforts to pursue effective arms control that lowers the risks of war and helps prevent arms races," said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_special_coverage/public/headline/thumbs/blinken_2.jpg

commondreams (2021-02-03). U.S. and Russia Extension of Nuclear Weapons Treaty Makes Everyone Safer; What About the Exploding Nuclear Weapons Budget? commondreams.org ______________________________…

yenisafak (2021-02-03). Top Turkish diplomat attends 18th MIKTA meeting. yenisafak.com "Attended 18th FM Meeting of MIKTA with Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Australia," Cavusoglu said in a Twitter post.Established in 2013, MIKTA is an informal partnership consisting of Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, and Australia.Cavusoglu "thanked South Korea for her term and congratulated incoming Chair Australia.""MIKTA is a good model for multilateral diplomacy. Will continue our contributions," the top Turkish diplomat added.

Online News Editor (2021-02-03). Biden, Putin extend New START at start of a difficult relationship. laprensalatina.com Washington, Feb 3 (efe-epa).- President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have agreed to extend the New START nuclear arms treaty for another five years, making what appears to be a good start in a bilateral relationship that, by all accounts, will be a difficult one. "Especially during times of tension, verifiable limits …

Karl Grossman and Harvey Wasserman (2021-02-03). Biden must inspect America's embrittled reactors. nationofchange.org Biden must act to prevent what would constitute nuclear suicide in the United States.

H.I. Sutton (2021-02-02). China's New Aircraft Carrier Killer Is World's Largest Air-Launched Missile. anti-empire.com Navies are racing to develop hypersonic missiles which may change the pace of naval warfare. Russia will deploy the Zircon hypersonic missile aboard warships and submarines. The US Navy has started down the path of the common hypersonic glide body (c-HGB) for its destroyers. Meanwhile China's latest hypersonic weapon is something completely different; it is air launched. | The massive new missile, labelled CH-AS-X-13, is probably the largest air-launched missile in the world. | The missile was first reported by Ankit Panda, the Stanton Senior Fellow at the Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for Internatio…

MEE and agencies (2021-02-02). Iran allows crew of seized South Korean oil tanker to leave in 'humanitarian move'. middleeasteye.net Iran allows crew of seized South Korean oil tanker to leave in 'humanitarian move' | Development comes as Tehran urges Seoul to release Iranian assets frozen in South Korea due to US sanctions
| Tue, 02/02/2021 – 16: 06 | South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun (L) meets his Iranian counterpart Abbas Araghchi (R) in Tehran on 10 January, after the seizure of a South Korean-fl…

Pepe Escobar (2021-02-02). Forever Wars by Pepe Escobar. thealtworld.com Description: | I have the pleasure to welcome you to the third in a series of e-books recovering the Pepe Escobar archives on Asia Times. | The archives track a period of 20 years — starting with the columns and stories published under The Roving Eye sign in the previous Asia Times Online from 2001 all the way to early 2015. | The first e-book tracked the interplay between China, Russia, and the U.S. between 2017-2020. | The second tracked the Islamic Republic of Iran throughout the "axis of evil" era, the Ahmadinejad years, the nuclear deal, and "maximum pressure" im- posed by the Trump administrat…

_____ (2021-02-02). US-Russia Nuclear Treaty Only First Step In Ensuring 'Future Existence' Of Humanity. popularresistance.org The total number of nuclear weapons both Russia and the US could possess was limited by New START, signed between the two countries in 2010. The treaty would have expired on 5 February 2021, had the Biden administration not agreed to extend it for another five years. | Peter Kuznick is a professor of history at American University, where he founded the Nuclear Studies Institute. He has authored and co-authored numerous books, including The Untold History of the United States, Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives and Nuclear Power and Hiroshima: The Truth Beh…

yenisafak (2021-02-02). Iran less than 2 years away from nuke weapons: Israel. yenisafak.com Israel's Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz warned on Tuesday that Iran needs a year or two to acquire a "nuclear weapon".Speaking to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, Steinitz claimed that Iran needs "around half a year" to produce enough uranium for a nuclear weapon."As for nuclear weaponry, the range is around one or two years", he said.Steinitz also credited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former US President Donald Trump for weakening Iran's goal of acquiring nuclear weapons."The withdrawal [of Trump] from the nuclear deal has weakened Iran," he said.Senior Israeli officials, including…

news.un (2021-02-02). DPR Korea: Impunity prevails in prisons, amid potential 'crimes against humanity' — Bachelet. news.un.org The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) is gravely concerned by "credible accounts of forced labour" in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) prison system, according to a new report published on Tuesday.

_____ (2021-02-02). Why We Can't Give Up On A World Free From Nuclear Weapons. popularresistance.org Nine countries of the 193 member states of the United Nations possess nuclear weapons. Two of them—the United States of America and Russia—have more than 90% of all the 13,410 warheads. Four countries—the US, Russia, the UK and France—have at least 1,800 warheads on high alert, which means that they can be fired at very short notice. | To compare the warheads currently deployed with the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima is enough to make the heart stop: the yield from the "Little Boy" used on Hiroshima is estimated at 15 kilotons, whereas the yield from one W88 warhead that is deployed on a T…

Yanis Iqbal (2021-02-02). Building a Nuclear Weapon-Free World. dissidentvoice.org On January 22, 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) became international law for the 122 states who signed the agreement in July 2017. Article 1a of TPNW states: "Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances to… Develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive …