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The Daily TIP: Iran's Atomic Chief: Reactor Shut Down for Nuclear Deal Can Be Restarted with Spare Parts

Posted by Tip Staff - January 25, 2019

Iran's Atomic Chief: Reactor Shut Down for Nuclear Deal Can Be Restarted with Spare Parts
House Majority Leader Hoyer: "Israel Should Maintain Control of the Golan Heights"
AP: Gas Forum Marks First Time Israel Accepted into Regional Alliance with Arabs
Israelis Ordered a Record 65 Million Packages Online in 2018

Iran's Atomic Chief: Reactor Shut Down for Nuclear Deal Can Be Restarted with Spare Parts

The head of Iran's nuclear agency said that the Islamic Republic acquired spare parts to replace pipes from a reactor that had been filled with concrete as part of the nuclear deal and could make the reactor operational again, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), admitted on a television interview that Iran had surreptitiously acquired pipes that could be used in the calandria for the Arak heavy water reactor. A calandria is a repository for the nuclear fuel.

According to the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran was supposed to remove the calandria from the reactor and fill it with concrete to make it inoperable.

The Obama White House, in fact, wrote that one of the accomplishments of the deal was that Iran "removed the calandria from its heavy water reactor and filled it with concrete.”

However, Salehi said that Iran did not render the calandria inoperable.

“We had bought the same quantity of similar tubes,” Salehi told the interviewer. “When they told us to pour cement into the tubes… we said: ‘Fine. We will pour.’ But we did not tell them that we had other tubes. Otherwise, they would have told us to pour cement into those tubes as well. Now we have the same tubes.”

Salehi boasted that "we had bought similar tubes, but I could not declare this at the time."

The Institute of Science and International Security, a think tank devoted to nuclear nonproliferation, observed on Twitter, "And there is Iranian illicit procurement implied - a supplier also broke UN resolutions. Was the import declared to the IAEA? It does not sound like it. Where are the tubes now @iaeaorg?"

House Majority Leader Hoyer: "Israel Should Maintain Control of the Golan Heights"

The United States should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has said. A spokesperson for Hoyer confirmed in response to an inquiry from The Jewish Insider on Thursday that the Congressman believes “Israel should maintain control of the Golan Heights.”

Israel captured most of the Golan Heights from Syria during the June 1967 Six Day War. While the Jewish State ceded a portion of the land as part of a separation of forces agreement with Syria following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel has retained roughly two-thirds of the Heights.

Earlier this week, Iran’s air force chief Brig. Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh vowed that his forces were ready to fight a war culminating in “Israel’s disappearance,” hours after Israel retaliated for an attempted rocket attack by Iranian-backed forces on the Golan Heights.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid warned in May 2018 that it would be “ridiculous and absurd” to demand that Israel withdraws from “the Golan Heights and give it to a mass murderer [Bashar al Assad] who is cooperating with Iran and Hezbollah.”

Last week, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, calling for the official recognition. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is also supporting the move.

The two Democratic Congressmen followed Republican Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who introduced a resolution last month that stated, “Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights is critical to Israel’s national security,” and that “Israel’s security from attack from Syria and Lebanon cannot be assured without Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

AP: Gas Forum Marks First Time Israel Accepted into Regional Alliance with Arabs

The formation of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum marks the first time Israel has been accepted into a regional alliance with Arab nations, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The creation of the forum — consisting of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and the Palestinians — was announced earlier this month in Cairo.

The goal of the forum is to cut costs of infrastructure and generally to make the export of natural gas less expensive.

“The discovery of significant gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean has also political value because it brings all of us ... together to cooperate with each other,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told the AP during his visit to Cairo. Steinitz also termed the forum the "most significant economic cooperation" between Israel and Egypt in the 40 years since the two nations signed a peace treaty.

In explaining why Israel is being welcomed into the regional group, the AP observed that the Jewish state's neighbors have "increasingly come to see Iran and Turkey, rather than Israel, as their greatest rivals."

Israel is expected to begin exporting natural gas to Egypt later this year as part of its $15 billion, ten-year, 64 billion cubic meters of gas deal with its southwestern neighbor. The gas, which will initially be taken from the Tamar field, and later from the larger Leviathan field when it comes online, is expected to make Egypt into "a regional energy hub," the AP reported.

Israel already exports gas to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

“This gives Israel an additional element to its relations with its neighboring countries. When you add an economic facet to the security cooperation it strengthens the bond and gives it stability,” said Oded Eran, a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan, who is currently affiliated with Israel's Institute of National Security Studies.

Israelis Ordered a Record 65 Million Packages Online in 2018

Ask an Israeli where her purse is from, and you’ll likely receive the smug answer, “from abroad.” This, of course, comes as no surprise to anyone who’s ever strolled down New York’s Fifth Avenue or London’s Oxford Street since there are few things Israelis love more than shopping outside the bounds of the Holy Land.

In recent years Israelis have discovered the pleasures of ordering from the comfort of their own homes, or, considering the national mobile phone addiction, from work or on the bus. For quite a few people, not a week goes by without an overseas package arriving in the post.

The year 2018 was a record-breaker in the field of online commerce. More than 65 million packages were delivered from abroad, weighing a total of 14,100 tons, according to the Israel Postal Company.

The leading items ordered by Israelis were clothing and footwear, kitchen accessories and other housewares, together with electronics, computers and gadgets. Vitamins and cosmetics, which are often much cheaper outside of Israel, were also ordered en masse.

The leading retailer in 2018 was Ali Express, from which 50 percent of orders were made. It was followed by firm favorite eBay, while the biggest jump in orders was identified in Amazon and British clothing merchants Next and Asos.

Next even has a Hebrew website, and is a particular favorite among Israeli moms buying clothes for their kids. Unsurprisingly then, most packages arriving in Israel originated in China, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

According to Israel Post, around 43 million packages were delivered to Israel’s 20 largest cities. Tel Aviv residents ordered the largest net amount of packages in 2018 – a whopping 5.1 million, averaging 9.53 parcels per person.

(via Israel21c)

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