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Aletho News

Aletho News
2 Feb 2023 | 2:37 am

1. Researchers bamboozling journalists with mythical comparison of vaccinated and unvaccinated


Where are the numbers? by Norman Fenton and Martin Neil | January 31, 2023

From: XXXXXX
Sent: 30 January 2023 12:33
To: Norman Fenton
Subject: Hart Group

Dear Professor Fenton,

Apologies for any intrusion, but I'm contacting you directly since the Hart Group (which I understand you to be a member of), have not replied to my earlier emails – all very busy people, I do understand.

As a small group of individuals who between us have some journalistic and medical-science history, we are working on a presentation (with a further view to establishing a website), which aims to offer a wider range of information concerning Covid policies and treatment than, it appears, is usually available through current mainstream and social media.

Given that our aim is a balanced juxtaposition and presentation of arguments, hopefully allowing better-informed opinions to be arrived at, we do have a range of "issues" we'd love to understand better in order to present them fairly.

You are (I imagine) well-placed to comment on one specific matter, and I would be enormously grateful if you would spare a minute to advise, assuming this enquiry doesn't create any conflict of interest or other problems for you:

The Times and other media recently reported on a QMUL study* which indicates that unvaccinated individuals with certain medical conditions are more likely to suffer "serious outcomes" than vaccinated individuals. I believe presenting this this demands careful attention to context and contrasting with other possible perspectives. 

Dr Aseem Malhotra in a Twitter-hosted video makes reference to de-bunking claims about how this story has been reported, but makes no reference I can find to where such a de-bunking can be found; and sadly, he too seems unavailable to comment!

Probably, Dr Malhotra's position is not an issue you are required in any way to comment on. However, in general, I do think that those who would like to see "better", more balanced reporting on Covid should find time to speak to others, like us, who are trying to support exactly that cause – presumably it's in everyone's interest. But that's just a peripheral observation on my part!

It would be truly helpful if you can find a moment to provide some pointers to help us present a balanced picture of the study referred to above.

Many thanks, and best wishes.

Your's faithfully,

XXXXX

* Also reported on the QMUL website:  https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/2022/smd/unvaccinated-individuals-with-heart-problems-up-to-9-times-more-likely-to-die-or-suffer-serious-complications-from-covid-19.html

 

 

The study referred to is this one.

Here is my self-explanatory response:

Dear XXXXX

I should make it clear that, although I just briefly discussed this with one or two members of HART, my response below should certainty not be construed as 'the HART response'.

The most important point to note about the QMUL study is that it certainly does not claim anything like what either you or The Times seem to think it claims, i.e it certainly does not show that "unvaccinated individuals with certain medical conditions are more likely to suffer serious outcomes than vaccinated individuals."  In fact, no comparison with a vaccinated cohort was undertaken.

All the study actually did was look at the outcomes for covid patients with pre-existing conditions like myocarditis. This is something very different to the later studies (such as those Aseem Malhotra referred to) which compared incidence of myocarditis occurring post-vaccination with the base rates for unvaccinated. So, all the study actually shows is that "that individuals with certain pre-existing medical conditions who get covid are more likely to suffer serious outcomes than those without such medical conditions who get covid."  That is hardly novel, since this has been widely known since March 2020.

In fact, the authors of the study are demonstrating a very clear bias by referring to the people in the study as 'unvaccinated'. Of course, they were unvaccinated – it was a meta-analysis of 110 published studies between 1st Dec 2019 and 16th July 2020. There was, of course, no vaccinations anywhere during that period so referring to these people as 'unvaccinated' must have been done to fit a particular mischievous agenda. I am actually pleased you brought this study to my attention since it needs to be exposed for leading people like the Times and yourself to believe it was showing something that it wasn't.

One major conclusion in the paper seems sensible – that having diabetes or hypertension or ischaemic heart disease predicts for poorer outcomes (although the same could be said for many other conditions so there is hardly anything novel in this). But the first part of the conclusion seems entirely wrong. Just because you see covid hospitalising a lot of people who had pre-existing cardiac comorbidity certainly does not mean that covid caused their comorbidity.  It seems that this part of the conclusion may have been influenced by possible conflicts of interests (see below).

There are a number of other specific concerns about the study:

  • They included studies published from 1st Dec 2019 – but that was before covid was formally accepted to exist, so how could any study published in Dec2019/Jan2020 have patients with suspected covid? Any study published pre-mid Jan 2020 should be excluded by default, since even the flawed confirmatory PCR test was not available until then. There would be no way of knowing if 'is covid' results was a mix of 'not covid', 'possibly covid' and 'probably covid'.
  • How is 'suspected' the same as 'confirmed'? When the symptoms used for Covid marry to any number of other conditions that are common (and even endemic) then how can you say that suspected covid is even 'a thing'?
  • Someone hospitalised with exacerbation of an existing condition is NOT the same thing as someone who gets a new diagnosis OF that condition after vaccination.
  • Including so many Chinese studies clearly biases the work – and using China and USA to predict for LMIC (in the Introduction) is strange to say the least.

A colleague also noted the link between Prof Gupta (the senior author) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other potential conflicts of interest:

  • In this report Gupta is acknowledged as having provided the statistical support for a report that seeks to help the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation find new ways to support medical/health research in the UK. There are also a number of links between Gupta before he came to QMUL and functions (like some project called D3140 for the Rotary Club funded by BMGF in Mumbai, and research out of Imperial College) supported by the Gates Foundation. He is also heavily involved in Wellcome Trust AND the WHO – and is listed on the minutes of meetings between the two.
  • Gupta and the lead author (Sher May Ng) are both on this study that was in part funded by the NIH (Grumbach acknowledges an NIH grant while at the UCal Nursing School. My colleague managed to find that she also has an NIH.GOV email address).
  • Co-Author Kenneth Rice has worked on studies like this with staff from BMGF.
  • Kenneth Rice and Gupta are two of the over 200 doctors who are part of a research collaborative called TOPMed – funded by the NIH with a combination of US Gov and BMGF money.


I hope this helps you.

Yours

Norman Fenton

 

For clarification of the potential conflict of interest with BMGF, Scott McLachlan has provided the following information:

Bill Gates is the world's largest single shareholder of Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer stocks and therefore every time Pfizer, Moderna, Lilly (Eli), GSK, CureVac or even AstraZeneca (he had something like 8% in AstraZeneca shares at one point) sell a vaccine, that's money back in his pocket. (see here)

And while fact checkers claimed Gates would not profit from Gilead (Remdesivir), he actually purchased a significant chunk of Gilead and 27,000 shares in Merck in 2018 in preparation. (Merck are one of the manufacturers who licensed to manufacture Remdesivir in their plants)

The thing that journalists get confused on is the idea that he, through his foundations, made 'grants' to Moderna et al. These were not 'grants' in the way we get grants from EPSRC or UKRI – they are grant investments. Various companies in control of the BMGF are shareholders in Pfizer and Moderna. In return for sinking $50mil+ into Moderna, Gates's foundation took a large slice of Moderna's shares.

Further, Gates sells access to "investment opportunities" through GAVI COVAX and AMC. The 'investor' (usually a rich western govt or pharma/healthcare company) gives money to GAVI in their rich country where they make profits and need a tax write-off… then, they get included in the contract with some LMIC govt to sell them vaccines. The whole model works by shifting where the pharma/healthcare company make their profits. Pharma companies 'invest' by subsidising vax initially and then, over time the contract shifts to the country's govt paying extortionate rates for future vax.

As one of the links above says – as the world keeps getting sicker Gates keeps getting richer. He invested $555mil into COVID vax companies during 2019/20 and has made an estimated $4bil return. Nice work if you can get it.

Aletho News
2 Feb 2023 | 1:56 am

2. We rightly mourn the dead, but mustn’t forget the disabled


Worrying data from the USA and UK

Health Advisory & Recovery Group | February 1, 2023

Much of the analysis around Covid 19 vaccine harms revolves around counts of deaths, and excess mortality. This is perfectly understandable since "excess deaths" is a "hard" measure in that most countries are able to count the number of their citizens who have died quite accurately so this does allow for some reasonably informative inferences and international comparisons.

The same is of course not the case for "covid deaths" which even the strongest proponents of the establishment covid narrative have had to admit are affected by differences between countries in classification, testing rates, and policies.

However, as well as many countries experiencing excess deaths, there is currently a second huge problem: marked increases in the numbers registering as long-term disabled.

Because registering as disabled is usually done for the purposes of receiving financial assistance or other support from the state, there is a built-in gatekeeping function which limits spurious claims, so we can be reasonably confident that any significant increases represent genuine medical issues.

Looking at the USA first, a group called Phinance recently published an analysis of the proportion of the US civilian labor force who are registered as disabled.

This graph shows the % of workers aged 16 to 64 with a disability against the total number of Covid vaccinations administered in the same age group.

Phinance also published this graph which is a regression analysis showing a very strong correlation between the increase in the number disabled and the total number of doses given – something which actually is rather obvious from the above.

It is fair to point out that such a regression analysis should not in general be performed on cumulative series of data (ie total doses administered), but rather on discrete data (which in this case would be daily or weekly doses). If the measurements can only increase and not fall (as with cumulative data), this limits the significance of any correlation observed, as by default they will rise together.

This is less of a problem here in that only one of the 2 data points (vaccines) is cumulative (for the other axis they have used the increase in the number disabled). However, we wrote to the authors to ask why they didn't use daily or weekly doses administered.

They responded with the not unreasonable point that because the adverse effects occur over a wide and variable period after dosing, a cumulative series is probably more informative. We agree. Just because fewer doses were given one week does not mean there were fewer people at risk of developing a post vaccination disability in that week.

The extremely experienced medical statistician who blogs as "John Dee" has performed further analysis on the US data above. The article is rather technical but in essence by applying a number of sophisticated statistical tools he concludes that using cumulative data may exaggerate but has not invalidated the findings, which should therefore be regarded as highly suggestive (though not in themselves proof of) a causal relationship.

However, the criticism of the statistical methodology was never really "on point" anyway. Science advances through testing hypotheses by questioning the available data.

The point of the analysis of the disability data was not to conclusively "prove" that the vaccines cause harm, but rather to answer the question: Is there a signal of potential concern which warrants further study? The answer to this appears to be "yes" and anyone finding excuses to not even look further should be regarded as willfully blind.

Of course, the link to vaccination could quite easily be further tested by ascertainment of the vaccination status of a representative sample of the disabled, with comparisons to disability rates in the unvaccinated. That this is not even being discussed must surely be regarded as a red flag.

When a potential signal of concern is replicated internationally, it increases the likelihood that we are dealing with a causal relationship. Not much quality data on disability rates is available from other countries, but one country which does publish some comparable data is the UK.

In the UK, if disabled, a state payment called a personal independence payment (PIP) can be claimed. An official UK government report states that there have been "unprecedented levels of new claims in recent quarters" (in England and Wales).

This has been reported by various news websites, including Yahoo's article titled "The 'astonishing' rise in people claiming one key benefit".

PIP data is actually downloadable from an official UK government website, and "John Dee" has performed some analysis on it which can be read here and here.

The new claims data plotted against cumulative doses administered looks like this (with thanks to John Dee for the graphs):

Clearly, this bears an uncanny resemblance to the US data above.

As he did with the US data, John has drilled deeper into the data, showing, for example that whilst claim rates in the pandemic period were similar to those in the pre-pandemic period, there is a huge uptick in the post-vaccine period, with the error bars (and statistical tests of significance) indicating that this is not just random variation.

Moreover, he has used a technique called "cross-correlation" which strongly suggests that "the increase in the month-on-month changes in total administered doses is followed three months later by a rise in month-on-month changes in new cleared claims."

This would appear to add plausibility to the causation argument, in that three months is the period required by the government as a minimum qualifying period before an application for PIP can be filed.

Overall, these datasets surely raise huge concerns, which could be assuaged by further more detailed examination of the data, especially including vaccination status. We urge governments to carry out such an analysis, which need only be performed on a representative sample in order to generate reliable conclusions.

Aletho News
2 Feb 2023 | 1:30 am

3. FDA Adviser Inadvertently Confirms Pfizer is Doing Gain-of-Function Research


BY WILL JONES | THE DAILY SCEPTIC | FEBRUARY 1, 2023

They're starting to come now – the 'debunkings' of the Pfizer undercover video sting, in which executive Jordon Trishton Walker, "Director of Research and Development – Strategic Operations and mRNA Scientific Planning", tells his 'date' that Pfizer is looking to mutate the virus "so we could create preemptively developed new vaccines, right".

Pfizer released a statement on Friday, which notably did not deny that Dr. Walker works for the company (a fact which has anyway been confirmed via internet searches). Now the latest 'debunking' effort comes from Medpage Today.

After making the odd claim that "it is currently unclear if the man in the video is actually an employee of Pfizer, and if that is his real name" (journalism isn't what it used to be), writer Michael DePeau-Wilson notes that Pfizer's statement "summarily debunk[ed] the claims made in the video", as the company stated that it "has not conducted gain of function or directed evolution research" related to its "ongoing development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine".

While it is true that the statement does say this, it also says that "we have conducted research where the original SARS-CoV-2 virus has been used to express the spike protein from new variants of concern". Furthermore, it admits that:

When a full virus does not contain any known gain of function mutations, such virus may be engineered to enable the assessment of antiviral activity in cells. In addition, in vitro resistance selection experiments are undertaken in cells incubated with SARS-CoV-2 and nirmatrelvir in our secure Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratory to assess whether the main protease can mutate to yield resistant strains of the virus.

Despite the initial denial, then, what is being described here plainly is gain-of-function research – after all, the company is engineering the original virus to express the spike protein from new variants of concern, variants which are 'of concern' precisely because their spike protein has immune-evasive properties.

In case there is any doubt about this, FDA vaccine adviser Dr. Paul Offit inadvertently confirms it in the Medpage piece.

"Usually, when people talk about gaining function, they're talking about making it so that the virus is either more deadly or more easily transmitted or that it now can jump species," Dr. Offit says.

"[T]rying to make the virus more immune-evasive or more contagious… would be considered gain-of-function research," he adds.

Right, so exactly what Pfizer has said it is doing – engineering "the original SARS-CoV-2 virus… to express the spike protein from new variants of concern".

Offit tries to obfuscate, stressing that "Pfizer has been working with an mRNA platform that is coded for coronavirus spike proteins, not a whole virus".

Yes, the vaccine does not use whole virus. But no one said it does. The matter at hand is what Pfizer is doing to the virus as part of its vaccine development research. And Pfizer is clear that it is engineering "the original SARS-CoV-2 virus… to express the spike protein from new variants of concern". The whole virus, note.

Offit then implies that it isn't gain-of-function research because the variant has already been created by "mother nature" and Pfizer is just reproducing what nature has already done.

If there was some evil hand back there that was trying to make the virus more immune-evasive or more contagious, that would be considered gain-of-function research, but it's not happening. The evil hand is mother nature.

But even if the variant already exists in nature, that doesn't mean it's not gain-of-function research to engineer a virus to gain the immune-evasive mutation in the lab. Besides, how can you be sure you're producing the exact same variant and not some subtly (or not-so-subtly) new and more immune-evasive variant?

Offit then appears to betray an ignorance of the process of making the vaccine, as he says the "remarkably effective" development involved sequencing SARS-CoV-2 in "a matter of months". In fact, the virus was sequenced several times even in the last week of December 2019, and took a couple of days each time, not months.

Perhaps needing to restore his reputation with the politico-medical establishment after his criticism of the boosters last month (is this why he was given the job of defending Pfizer?), he is now effusive with praise for the mRNA vaccines. "This is the best medical achievement in my lifetime," he says. "And my lifetime includes the development of the polio vaccine."

Thus, despite the denials that what Pfizer is doing is gain-of-function research – denials which presumably take advantage of the fact that 'gain-of-function' is not rigorously defined – it's clear that what Pfizer admits to doing falls squarely within the definition cited by Dr. Offit, namely the commonly accepted one, which includes making the virus more "immune-evasive".

And they appear to tacitly acknowledge that, which is why they make their excuses. In Pfizer's case, that it is "required by U.S. and global regulators for all antiviral products" and "carried out by many companies and academic institutions in the U.S. and around the world". In Offit's case that Pfizer was just copying "mother nature".

In fact, though, as Dr. Robert Malone has pointed out, Pfizer has previously been upfront that it is doing this research, including in an August 2021 article in STAT News, and almost nothing in the undercover video is new. Why such a fuss was made about scrubbing it from the internet is therefore an interesting question – though this may be more linked to the sensation around it than the facts, which Pfizer's response anyway did not deny. How could it, when those facts were already on public record?

Perhaps the main lesson, then, is that we all need to be paying more attention.

We also need to think hard about what kind of research should be allowed and what should be banned. The reaction to the Project Veritas video suggests a strong feeling that this kind of work should not be done – including when it is (supposedly) imitating what nature has already created. The fear in the public is real and justified, and relates to the folly of engineering viruses to make them worse. Can this ever be a good idea? My feeling is there's no need to go beyond the viruses and variants nature already provides us with, and to stick to using real specimens, not engineered ones. But the current regulatory regime and scientific establishment clearly disagrees.

Whatever the right answer, we need to be able to talk about this properly. Not be subject to global, military grade censorship when someone tries to raise the topic as a matter of public concern, albeit in a sensational (and entertaining) way.

Aletho News
1 Feb 2023 | 8:22 pm

4. EU sanctions blocked Nord Stream repairs – company


RT | February 1, 2023

Norway's Equinor on Wednesday revealed that it was the government in Oslo and EU sanctions that blocked it from responding to a request for assistance in dealing with the damage to Nord Stream pipelines. The Baltic Sea pipelines delivering Russian natural gas to Germany were damaged by sabotage in September, which Moscow blamed on the West.

"The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that work on the pipelines would be in breach of the Norwegian sanction regulations – and by extension the EU sanction regulations," Equinor said a statement emailed to Reuters.

Equinor is the Norwegian oil company that administers the Pipeline Repair and Subsea Intervention (PRSI) Pool, established by Oslo to deal with leaks and ruptures. The Swiss-based operators for Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 are among the 72 members of PRSI, and sent requests for assistance in October, shortly after both pipelines were damaged by undersea explosions.

Because PRSI "adheres to current legislation related to sanctions," it "notified NS1 and NS2 (operators) that we were not able to do work as requested," Equinor said in the statement.

Nord Stream 2 AG told Reuters that it had filed a request for support to inspect the damage, "as a full member of the PRSI Pool," but was turned down. Its sister company, which operates the original Nord Stream, said in early October that the survey vessel it attempted to charter was waiting for permission from the Norwegian government.

The original Nord Stream was inaugurated in 2011, and supplied Russian natural gas to Germany and the rest of the EU while bypassing Ukraine and Poland. The second pipeline, which would have doubled the volume of gas deliveries, was finished in 2021 but Berlin refused to certify it for operations even before the conflict in Ukraine escalated. The US had sought to block the second pipeline's construction with sanctions and vowed it would prevent it from becoming operational.

On September 26, 2022 both strings of NS1 and one string of NS2 were damaged in a series of powerful undersea explosions. As NS1 was pressurized at the time, a large quantity of gas was released into the Baltic Sea.

Washington insinuated that Moscow was behind the blasts, while Russia pointed the finger at the West for the "act of terrorism." Sweden, Denmark and Germany launched an investigation into the explosion, but refused to share the results with Russia. Anonymous EU officials have since leaked to the US media that there was "no evidence" to suggest Moscow was behind the sabotage. Russia's energy company Gazprom was allowed access to the site only once, in late October.

While the German gas company Uniper has estimated it would take 6-12 months to repair the pipelines, it is unclear whether Berlin even wants to do so.

Aletho News
1 Feb 2023 | 7:42 pm

5. White House continues to block energy sharing plan for Lebanon: French official


The Cradle | February 1, 2023

Pierre Duquesne, France's envoy on international support to Lebanon, stated on 31 January that Egypt is still seeking assurances from Washington to start exporting gas to Lebanon via Syria.

"My Egyptian counterparts today told me, 'we want something precise' … There is a problem of exemption … and that concern should be dealt with not only on a political basis but on a legal basis," Duquesne said during a visit to Cairo.

Alongside Egyptian gas, the US-orchestrated plan, announced in 2021, also calls for exporting electricity from Jordan via Syria, which could add up to 700 megawatts to Lebanon's battered power grid.

Duquesne confirmed that all preparations for the energy-sharing plan had been completed, and there were no hold-ups over the pricing or quantity of gas. However, western sanctions on Syria prevent the Levantine nation from receiving the much-needed aid.

Moreover, Duquesne warned that Lebanon's presidential vacuum is also working against the plan, which has yet to go to the World Bank board for a review of specific pre-conditions ahead of the release of a $300 million loan to finance the gas exports over 18 months.

The same day the French official made his comments, the US canceled a tripartite meeting between the US Ambassador Dorothy Shea, Minister of Energy Walid Fayyad, and World Bank representatives after refusing to grant Lebanon any exceptions to the sanctions imposed on Syria.

Lebanese power stations have gone almost entirely offline since the start of the manufactured crisis in 2019, while fuel subsidy cuts have caused the costs for private generators to skyrocket.

The energy sharing plan between Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon was revealed soon after resistance movement Hezbollah launched a plan to import Iranian fuel in 2021.

Washington's abuse of the energy crisis in Lebanon falls in line with recent remarks by US officials, who said Lebanon must be forced towards collapse as the only solution to deal with Hezbollah.

"[Collapse will enable] Lebanon to somehow be rebuilt from the ashes, and freed from the curse of Hezbollah," US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara Leaf, said on 4 November.

Aletho News
1 Feb 2023 | 7:33 pm

6. IAEA head must visit Iran with ‘specific objective’, says Iran’s nuclear chief


Press TV – February 1, 2023

The chief of Iran's nuclear agency says any visit by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the country needs to have a "specific objective", in an oblique reference to the UN nuclear watchdog's political approach.

"This trip needs preparations and content and the aims and schedule of this trip should be determined," Mohammad Eslami, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi last week said he intends to go to Tehran in February for "much-needed dialogue" over Iran's cooperation with the UN nuclear agency and to discuss outstanding issues.

Grossi claimed that the suspension of talks aimed at the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and Iran's recent measures to reduce its compliance with the 2015 deal meant that the IAEA could no longer effectively monitor the country's nuclear program.

He also touched on IAEA's so-called probe into what the agency claims are the presence of "undeclared uranium particles" at some nuclear sites in Iran.

Iran has already rejected the probe, saying it's based on forged evidence provided to the IAEA by the Israeli regime, slamming the agency for adopting a political approach and forsaking its technical mandate.

Eslami said the West is waging a psychological warfare operation by accusing Iran of failing to honor its commitments under the JCPOA, while the fact remains that the Islamic Republic met all its commitments under the deal.

He reiterated that Iran is committed to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal and as the signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT), which is evident from numerous inspections of its nuclear facilities by the UN agency inspectors.

"The agency has carried out around two-thousand inspections [of countries' nuclear facilities] between 2020 and 2022, and over these three years, five hundred inspections — that is one-quarter of all inspections — were conducted in Iran," he said.

"They still feel concerned [about Iran's nuclear work] and this shows their language is the one used by enemies and aimed at a sabotage operation, [but] we won't be affected by them."

He stressed that the Israeli regime's influence over the UN nuclear agency and hostile moves against Iran over its nuclear work must end.

Iran rolled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord after the US unilaterally withdrew from the pact and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Tehran and the remaining signatories to the pact have held talks on reviving the accord since April 2021, after Joe Biden came to power in the US. But those talks have been stalled for months amid Washington's procrastination and refusal to provide guarantees.

Iran says an agreement on the revival of the deal hinges on the settlement of issues between Tehran and the IAEA, as well as the removal of all US sanctions on the country.

Aletho News
1 Feb 2023 | 7:28 pm

7. Irish MEP: US yielding to Israeli pressures over 2015 Iran nuclear deal


Press TV – February 1, 2023

A member of the European Parliament says the United States has bowed to Israeli pressures over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as negotiations for reviving the agreement have been stalled due to Washington's excessive demands.

In a post on his Twitter account on Wednesday, MEP Mick Wallace criticized the US and some "hawks" in the European Parliament over the stalled talks on reviving the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"Biden promised to get #JCPOA with #Iran back on track but negotiations have stalled," he wrote, adding, "[it] seems #US have caved to pressure from #Israel."

The "hawks in EU Parliament want to abandon" the JCPOA, however, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell "is right to keep dialogue open with Iran," Wallace added.

The remarks come as negotiations, which started in April last year in Vienna, remain stalled since August as Washington refuses to remove the sanctions that were slapped on the Islamic Republic by the previous US administration of Donald Trump.

This is while after taking office, the Biden administration had criticized his predecessor's decision to scrap the deal and vowed to reverse the measure.

On the contrary, the Biden administration officials have upped the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran and on several occasions announced that the talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal are no longer their main focus.

The White House, meanwhile, is leveling accusations against Iran over human rights issues during recent foreign-backed riots and drone delivery to Russia to be used in the Ukraine war. Tehran has strongly rejected the allegations in both cases.

Observers believe Washington is trying to use these baseless accusations against Iran to gain leverage in talks and negotiate from a position of strength.

Meanwhile, the Israeli regime has openly expressed opposition to the deal since it was signed back in 2015. The regime, which is the only possessor of nuclear warheads in the region without being a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has made various efforts in the past years to hamper Iran's peaceful nuclear program, from assassinating Iranian scientists to carrying out acts of sabotage in Iranian facilities and trying to push others away from the deal.

Aletho News
1 Feb 2023 | 5:13 pm

8. Russia hits back at US over nuclear arms treaty accusations


RT | February 1, 2023

Russia's ambassador to the US has dismissed Washington's claims that Moscow is violating the last remaining nuclear agreement between the two countries. In an interview with RIA Novosti on Wednesday, Anatoly Antonov branded the accusations "sensational," insisting that Russia has always impeccably observed the provisions of the New START treaty.

The US State Department submitted a report to Congress on Tuesday in which for the first time it accused Moscow of breaching the terms of the agreement. Specifically, the report claimed that Russian officials had rejected American requests for on-site weapons inspections and compliance talks.

Responding to the accusations, Antonov said it was Washington that had violated the accords by "illegitimately" withdrawing more than a hundred strategic weapons from accountability under the treaty.

"These actions concern the central limits of New START, undermining the key goal of the agreement – to maintain the balance of the parties' strategic offensive arms," the ambassador said.

As for the claims that Moscow has refused on-site inspections and postponed the next session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission, the diplomat stated that the US was trying to shift the blame and was refusing to see the root causes of the current predicament.

"We have repeatedly pointed out to Washington that the situation around START is a direct result of the hybrid war unleashed by the West against our country," Antonov said.

"We warned them that arms control could not be isolated from geopolitical realities. In the current conditions, we consider it unjustified, untimely, and inappropriate to invite the US military to our strategic facilities."

The ambassador stressed that Russia remains committed to the treaty and sees it as a "useful tool" in ensuring predictability in relations between major nuclear powers. However, he insisted that unless the US reconsiders its insistence on attempting to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, any advances in the field of arms control are impossible.

The New START treaty was originally signed by then-Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in 2010 and aimed to halve the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers deployed around the world. Unless extended, the treaty is set to expire in 2026, which the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has warned could trigger a nuclear arms race.

Aletho News
1 Feb 2023 | 5:03 pm

9. Former UK Defense Minister Says NATO May Need To Send Ground Forces To Ukraine


By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | February 1, 2023

The "domino theory" was once used to great effect in order to manipulate the American public into supporting the Vietnam War, but will the same narrative work to get the west to support World War III with Russia?

Former UK Defense Minister Sir Gerald Howarth seems to think so as he uses this exact claim to justify NATO boots on the ground in Ukraine.

It should be noted that a large percentage of the American populace and most of Europe have no interest whatsoever in engaging with Russia and possibly its allies in all out war, but the establishment appears intent on forcing the issue anyway. The delivery of NATO tanks and the possibility of longer range missiles will no doubt trigger a wider response from Russia, which will then be used by NATO as a reason to escalate further.

At the very least, Howarth does admit what many in the alternative media have been saying for some time – That Ukraine's efforts have ground to a halt without further support from NATO troops. The deliveries of money and weapons are nothing more than a stop-gap; wars are won by men.

The former minister suggests that Ukraine is essentially too big to fail and that NATO cannot allow Russia to prevail in the region, otherwise they will be emboldened to strike other nearby nations. There is zero evidence to support this argument, but it is clear that NATO talking heads are desperate to drum up some kind of public fervor.

Are western citizens willing to fight and die for Ukraine? It's highly unlikely.

Aletho News
1 Feb 2023 | 10:24 am

10. US to arm Ukraine with ‘longer-range’ missiles


RT | February 1, 2023

President Joe Biden's administration has reportedly decided to send longer-range rockets to Ukraine, giving Kiev's forces the capability to hit targets farther behind the frontlines, just as a top Ukrainian intelligence official threatened more strikes deeper inside Russia.

The gift of Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) rocket artillery munitions with a range of 150 kilometers (94 miles) will be part of an upcoming military aid package for Ukraine valued at more than $2 billion, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing two unidentified US officials familiar with the plans. The package will also include additional Javelin anti-tank weapons, mine-resistant vehicles, multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), and support equipment for Patriot air defense systems.

The GLSDB rockets will give Ukrainian forces further reach, nearly doubling the range of the MLRS and HIMARS munitions that Washington and its NATO allies have previously been provided. Biden had been reluctant to send weaponry that could strike Russian soil, risking escalation into a wider conflict with Moscow, but he has authorized increasingly provocative aid in recent weeks.

Washington approved plans to send M1 Abrams tanks to Kiev last week, even after Biden initially claimed back in March that the US wouldn't provide tanks or planes saying, "That's called World War III." While the US-made tanks are expected to be delivered to Ukraine by the end of this year or even in 2024, the first batch of previously approved 60 Bradley Fighting Vehicles is already en route, US Transportation Command confirmed on Monday.

The GLSDB is being developed by US defense contractor Boeing Co. under plans to quickly get new weapons into production for Kiev. It combines the GBU-39 small diameter bomb with the M26 rocket motor, both of which can be drawn from existing US weapons stocks. Washington will reportedly stop short of fulfilling Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky's oft-repeated requests for the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), which has a range of some 300 kilometers, double the GLSDB's reach.

While US officials have claimed that they don't intend for weapons given to Ukraine to be used for strikes into Russian territory, Kiev's forces appear to have no compunction about such attacks. US State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated Washington's stance earlier this month that Kiev is free to select its own targets, including in Crimea, which he claimed is still Ukrainian territory.

Ukrainian intelligence chief Kirill Budanov vowed on Tuesday that "until the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored, there will be problems inside Russia." He also said Kiev aims to retake Crimea by this summer.

The Kremlin has insisted that any threats to Russian territory, including Crimea and the territories that voted to join Russia in September, will result in the use of "more powerful weapons" by Moscow. Duma chairman Vyacheslav Volodin warned earlier this month of possible "global tragedy" for humanity if Western nations continue to provide weapons that Kiev could use to strike civilian cities and attempt to seize Russian territories.

READ MORE:

Ukrainian intelligence chief threatens attacks in Russia

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