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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Nuclear

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Responding to the assassination of top military leader Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran has now announced that it is ending all remaining limits on nuclear fuel enrichment described in the 2015 international agreement intended to preclude Iranian development of nuclear weapons.

The New York Times cites an Iranian government release: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will end its final limitations in the nuclear deal, meaning the limitation in the number of centrifuges. Therefore Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production including enrichment capacity and percentage and number of enriched uranium and research and expansion.”

Iran is not fully ending the 2015 nuclear deal; it will continue to allow IAEA inspectors in its facilities. But it will no longer agree to limit its nuclear fuel production in quantity or enrichment. This could allow, if Iran so desired, to rapidly escalate its nuclear program.

The Trump administration had already declared the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal between Iran, the United States and other nations to be null and void, imposing new economic sanctions in an attempt to force Iran into new negotiations; other signing nations have attempted to keep the 2015 agreement intact, despite continued administration threats against nations unwilling to enforce the newly demanded sanctions.

Trump praised the “beautiful vision” of the repressive and dictatorial North Korean regime of Kim Jong Un in a series of tweets on Friday.

North Korea has conducted a series of missile tests, including three launches in the last week. The launches are part of a longstanding pattern designed to threaten American allies in the region, including South Korea and Japan.

The provocations highlight the continued failure of Trump’s North Korean policy, which has seen the rogue nation granted an elevated international stature without making any concessions on its nuclear ambitions.

But for Trump, North Korea’s actions are no problem.

“There may be a United Nations violation, but Chairman Kim does not want to disappoint me with a violation of trust, there is far too much for North Korea to gain,” Trump wrote.

“Chariman [sic] Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country, and only the United States, with me as President, can make that vision come true,” Trump added. “He will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to, and he does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump!”

North Korea is a closed dictatorship that brutally suppresses and controls its citizens. It has repeatedly been shunned on the international stage, and harshly criticized and ostracized for its human rights abuses.

Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American college student, was detained and abused by the regime run by Trump’s “friend.”

“The 22-year-old was blind and deaf, his arms were curled and mangled and he was jerking violently and howling, completely unresponsive to his family’s attempts to comfort him. His once straight teeth were misaligned, and he had an unexplained scarred wound on his foot. An expert said in court papers that the injuries suggested he had been tortured with electrocution,” the Associated Press reported last year.

“A neurologist later concluded that the college student suffered brain damage, likely from a loss of blood flow to the brain for five to 20 minutes.”

Warmbier died in 2017.

Trump continues to make excuses for North Korea and cozy up to Kim Jong Un. Instead of addressing his diplomatic failures and how they have made the world less safe, Trump uses his elevated stature to prop up a brutal dictatorship.

Published with permission of The American Independent.