NPR December 2009

The Journal of South Asian Non-Proliferation and Security

December 2009

Editorial Staff
Maria Sultan
Nick Robson
SASSI Research Fellows



SASSI‘s South Asia Security Brief is an online compendium of security related publications.
It is a periodic compilation of news, official statements, and expert analyses related to South Asian security issues.





Supporting worldwide understanding of South Asian security, non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament issues.

A Product of the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)






























Approval for Russia’s fuel bank

December 1, 2009

A stockpile of nuclear fuel is to be set up inRussiaunder IAEA auspices in an effort to increase security of supply. The IAEA has theorised that political problems could unfairly leave a country without reliable access to nuclear fuel, despite honest and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

UK Keen To Partner India In Nuke Power Plants

December 2, 2009

TheUnited Kingdomis keen to have a share of trade in the nuclear power plants, which will be built inIndia, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported a British envoy as saying here Tuesday.

IAEA-Led Missions Evaluate Nuclear Power Preparedness in Indonesia and Vietnam

December 2, 2009

The IAEA will be conducting two Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) missions in the coming days to review Indonesia´s and Viet Nam´s preparations for introducing nuclear power.

N-plant processes under review after Kaiga incident: Ashok Chavan

December 3, 2009

Government today said it was reviewing processes and procedures at all nuclear power stations following the “deliberate” contamination of drinking water at the Kaiga Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in which 92 employees suffered radiation.

Research Centre Boost For UK’s Civil Nuclear Industry

December 3, 2009

TheUKgovernment announced a package of initiatives to boost the country’s civil nuclear industry today, including the establishment of the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) in Sheffield,South Yorkshire.

Atomic-Blast Detection Station Established Near Iran

December 3, 2009

A United Nations group seeking to outlaw nuclear-weapons tests has set up a detection facility near the border betweenIranandTurkmenistanthat can register the shockwaves of an atomic blast.

Jordan selects Korean consortium to build nuclear reactor

December 3, 2009

The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) on Thursday chose a South Korean consortium to build the country’s first nuclear research reactor, chairman of the evaluation panel Nidal Zoabi said.

China looks at nuclear-powered cargo ships

December 4, 2009

The head of Chinese shipping giant Cosco has suggested that container ships should be powered by nuclear reactors in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, said to account for 4% of the global total.

Nuclear Power – IAEA Okays Nigeria’s Ambition

December 4, 2009

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said yesterday that it is fully in support of the country’s ambitions to build a nuclear power plant to meet its growing energy needs.

Sellafield fined over radioactive dust contamination

December 4, 2009

Sellafield has been fined £75,000 after two contractors inhaled radioactive dust at the nuclear plant. The workers were drilling an area of floor at the Cumbrian site’s plutonium finishing and storage plant in July 2007 when they were contaminated.

State utility regulators in U.S. prefer nuclear  

December 6, 2009

Nuclear power is preferred by twice as manyUSstate utility regulators as its nearest rival, the latest survey by RKS Research and Consulting shows.

India and Russia sign civil nuclear agreement

December 8, 2009

IndiaandRussiahave sealed a breakthrough long-term pact for expanding civil nuclear cooperation that is free from any restrictions onIndiaand guarantees it against any curbs in the future.

Turkey abandons nuclear bid

December 9, 2009

Authorities have officially ended the latest effort to introduce nuclear power inTurkey. A notice on the Turkish Electricity Trading Company’s website said the tender for new reactors had been cancelled.

India to supply low-cost nuclear parts for export

December 10, 2009

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Ltd. and Westinghouse Electric Co. plan to use India as a low-cost supplier of nuclear parts for export to the US and Europe, executives said Thursday.

Another 20 years for United State’s oldest reactor

December 11, 2009

After over half a century of operations, the oldest research reactor in theUSAhas been licensed to operate for a further 20 years. The Penn State Breazeale Reactor (PSBR) first received an operating licence from the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in 1955 and went critical on 15 August that year. Its licence number – R-2 – belies that it was in fact the first research reactor to be licensed by the forerunner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Ukraine set to take stake in IUEC 

December 14, 2009

Ukraine’s ministry of fuel and energy has said that the country plans to become an equity partner in the International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC) in 2010. The government has also decided that the Novokonstantinovskoye uranium project will not be privatized.

EU to open talks with Russia on nuclear energy deal  

December 22, 2009

European Union countries on Tuesday agreed to start negotiations withRussiaon nuclear energy cooperation, the bloc’s executive said.

UN helps Russian training centre to enhance nuclear power plant safety

December 28, 2009

Science students fromRussiaandUkrainehave been taking part in a United Nations-backed practical training programme to enhance the protection of people and the environment against radiation exposure from nuclear power plants while responding to safety and security-related needs.

Two killed in fire at Indian nuclear centre  

December 30, 2009

Two people were killed when a fire broke out at an Indian nuclear research centre, but authorities ruled out any radioactive leakage.



Afghan policy review

02 December 2009


US President Barrack Obama is finally poised to unveil his much awaited revision of Afghan policy in a speech to be delivered at West Point Military Academy, besides being televised on Tuesday evening….


Cut and run

03 December 2009


US President Barack Obama’s much-awaited announcement of his new Afghan strategy has evoked alarm and disappointment in equal measure. Obama has committed to sending 30,000 additional US troops, but also announced a withdrawal date starting from July 2011…


Obama and Pakistan

04 December 2009


US President Barack Obama’s new Afghan policy centers on three “core” elements. First, the troop surge adding 30,000 US troops to those already deployed there amidst the hope that NATO can be persuaded to contribute another 5-7,000…


Drone attacks in Balochistan

07 December 2009


Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi has said that Pakistan cannot oppose drone attacks in Balochistan because the Americans are funding us. He said that Washington can do whatever it wants as Pakistan is a beneficiary of American aid….


Countrywide threat

09 December 2009


Pakistan is the target of terrorist attacks almost every day now. The spread and range of attacks seems to be widening with each passing day. On December 7 we saw two major cities — Peshawar and Lahore — being targeted and the very next day the office of a sensitive agency in Multan was also rocked by blasts…


NRO and cabinet reshuffle

10 December 2009


The widely expected federal cabinet reshuffle seems nowhere in sight after Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani denied any such decision was due until the fate of the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) is decided by the Supreme Court (SC)….


Baloch reconciliation

11 December 2009

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani extended an olive branch to Baloch nationalists, including their exiled leadership, from the floor of parliament while discussing the government’s Balochistan package….


Widening offensive

14 December 2009


Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani may be forgiven for what appeared to be a Freudian slip or wishful thinking when he said that the military offensive in South Waziristan was almost over…


Good governance

15 December 2009


December 31 will see the end of the present local government (LG) system, leading to new LG elections next year. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that the new LG elections should be held on party basis…


Unresolved inconsistencies

17 December 2009


The New York Times has carried a story that claims Pakistan has rebuffed repeated US requests for a crackdown on the Haqqani network in North Waziristan….


Pandora’s Box

18 December 2009


As widely expected, the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) has been unanimously struck down by a 17-member larger bench of the Supreme Court (SC) headed by the Chief Justice….


Indian announcement of IHK pullout ‘cosmetic measure’: FO

22 December 2009


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said that the Indian announcement of withdrawing 30,000 troops from Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is ‘cosmetic’…


Breathing space

23 December 2009


In a rare display of statesmanship in a climate of rising tension in the post-National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) scenario, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif agreed some basic parameters to guide their relations within the context of the country’s situation…




IHK CM says China’s objections stopped road construction

01 December 2009


SRINAGAR: Work on a mountainous road in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) near the border with China has been stopped after objections from the Chinese army, an official said in a report….


Rights group finds mass graves in IHK

02 December 2009


SRINAGAR: A human rights group in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) said Tuesday it had found unmarked graves containing several thousand bodies in the revolt-hit region during a three-year survey of dozens of villages….


Jeep crash kills 13 in Azad Kashmir

03 December 2009


MUZAFFARABAD: At least 13 people were killed and 11 others injured on Wednesday when an overloaded jeep fell into a ravine in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the police said…


IHK’s anonymous graves reminder of war’s dark days

07 December 2009


BIMYAR: In the summer of 1996, Ali Mohammad Mir, a 40-year old building contractor and a father of three children, mysteriously disappeared. Today, he lies in some anonymous grave along with hundreds of other unidentified men…


Conflict-weary IHK marks 20 years of insurgency

14 December 2009


SRINAGAR: In a year of watershed events from Berlin to Tiananmen Square, 1989 also witnessed the birth of one of the world’s longest-running separatist insurgencies in Indian Kashmir….


Clinton for resumption of Indo-Pak talks on Kashmir

15 December 2009


WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India on all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, warning that terrorists would try to provoke a conflict between the two countries if the issues were not resolved….


WB delays funding for IHK project

22 December 2009


NEW DELHI: The World Bank (WB) has stalled its funding for a major project it had cleared in May last year for Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) on the ground that it is located in a disputed territory and requires a declaration to that effect for the funds to be released…


2 policemen killed in IHK ambush

23 December 2009

SRINAGAR: Two policemen were killed and another injured on Tuesday after suspected militants ambushed a patrol in a town in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK)…


Occupied Kashmir not Indian territory: WB

23 December 2009
The World Bank has refused to accept Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) as an integral part of India and has rather insisted upon a disclaimer from the IoK’s government that funding for a project will not be seen as recognition of India’s territorial claim on the state…




Tehran plays down nuclear statements, revision of IAEA cooperation

03 Dec 2009, The Earth Times


Tehran-Tehranon Thursday played down the recent official reactions inIranfollowing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution against the Islamic state,Farsnews agency reported. The Iranian parliament had earlier this week urged the government to revise its cooperation with the IAEA – and even consider withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – after the United Nations nuclear watchdog last week issued a resolution againstIran. Also Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the construction of ten new enrichment sites and further proclaimed that if the uranium exchange plan withRussiaandFrancefailed,Iranwould by itself increase the required uranium enrichment level to 20 per cent. “We have no plans to cut our connection and cooperation with the IAEA and will not withdraw from the NPT,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted by theFarsnews agency as saying.

WORLD: Iranian official calls for major nuclear expansion

News Services

December 6, 2009

— Iran’s vice president said Saturday his country needs 20 industrial-scale uranium enrichment facilities, a potentially dramatic expansion of its nuclear program in defiance of U.N. demands. Ali Akbar Salehi, who also heads the nuclear program, told IRNA news agency that Iranneeds the sites to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity through nuclear power plants over the next 20 years. The statement comes at a time of heightened Western concerns over Iran’s nuclear intentions. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has saidIran is considering whether to scale back cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency after it approved a resolution censuringIran over its nuclear program.


Europe may add little on the Iranian nuclear standoff
Ian Black
December 09, 2009


European governments are maintaining a united public position as the long-running crisis overIran’s nuclear program slouches toward its next stage. But behind closed doors the European Union’s “big three” are deeply pessimistic about prospects for a deal withTehran. The policy remains a “two-track” pursuit of negotiations coupled with discussion of sanctions, which is now certain to intensify. The remark by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner thatIranfaces a “last chance” captures the Western mood succinctly.Britain’s foreign secretary, David Miliband, chose instead to advertise “the calm, determination and unity of the international community” in response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s provocative announcement of plans to build 10 more uranium enrichment plants.

Iran Denies Enrichment Expansion Aimed at Challenging IAEA

Global Security, Dec. 9, 2009

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today said his country’s announcement last week of plans to build another 10 uranium enrichment facilities was not intended to challenge the 35-nation governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which had issued a resolution denouncing some of the Middle Eastern state’s nuclear activities, Agence France-Presse reported. TheUnited Statesand other Western powers suspect thatIran’s uranium enrichment program is aimed at generating nuclear-weapon material, butTehranhas said its aims are strictly civilian in nature. “The news that we announced (about the new plants) was not to confront the board of the agency, as we had assigned the (Iranian) Atomic Energy Organization to locate several sites (for the new plants) months ago,” Iranian state media quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

Iranian Minister Threatens Dimona

E.B. Solomont Jerusalem Post

Dec 10, 2009

Just as the UN Security Council prepares to discussIransanctions on Thursday, Iranian officials said they would not hesitate to carry out a military strike againstIsraelif their country came under “threat.” Following the International Atomic Energy Agency’s censure againstIranlast month, the open meeting of the Council’s sanctions committee on Thursday is set to focus on sanctions violations, with considerations of possible new sanctions, officials said. But the meeting also comes amid concerns overIran’s various leadership roles at the UN, including its appointment this week as chair of the UN Industrial Development Organization’s General Conference inVienna.

Iran FM: We’re Willing To Consider Nuclear Fuel SWAP


By Haaretz Service


Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Saturday that Tehran was ready to consider a recent proposal issued by Western nations under which Iran would obtain nuclear fuel from outside sources rather than producing it itself, the official IRNA news agency reported.  “We are ready to examine proposals by the other side about the fuel swap,” Mottaki told IRNA. The United States dismissed earlier this month an offer to swap 400 kilograms of low-enriched uranium on the Iranian island of Kish for nuclear fuel enriched to 20 percent, in what would be the first phase of a deal with world powers. Mottaki reiterated a mid-December statement thatIrandid not “insist on” theKishplan.  “The objective of that proposal was to open a way for the other side,” the news agency quoted Mottaki as saying.


Ahmadinejad: ‘Iran is solid and united’

23 December 2009: Jon Snow

There have been fresh clashes between Iran’s security forces and opposition protesters at events to mark the death of leading dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. In an exclusive interview for Channel 4 News the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has denied that his forces have attacked and intimidated opponents and warned the West not to assume that his country is divided.  He spoke exclusively to Jon Snow: Jon Snow “Mr. President do you accept that this country is at a cross roads? We are one week away from the end of the year and that the deadline when you have to give a response to the nuclear offer made by the P5+1. “The P5 group that meets with Germany from the security council of the United Nations – apparently representing the security council that has made this proposal about enrichment taking the material outside the country, bringing it back. And they say by the end of this year that is the deadline for a response.”


President Hamid Karzai’s rival pulls out of Afghanistan poll

Obama plans to send 30,000 to 35,000 more troops to Afghanistan

Christi Parsons and Paul Richter

December 1, 2009


Reporting from Washington – President Obama plans to send 30,000 to 35,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Monday, the largest single U.S. deployment since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The additional troops, Obama’s second major escalation of the conflict this year, will bring the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to about 100,000. But even as he dramatically escalates the war, Obama is expected to emphasize that there are limits to the length of U.S. military involvement in the region, White House officials said, though he is not prepared to set concrete deadlines for withdrawal. Obama will announce his newest Afghan strategy in a televised speech tonight before cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. It represents his second attempt to forge a joint strategy for dealing with Taliban fighters and other insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition to the military buildup, aides say the president’s speech will lay out plans for civilian efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and benchmarks for measuring progress.

Apply lessons learned in Iraq to Afghanistan, diplomat says in speech at Fort Leavenworth

December 2, 2009: Dawn Bormann | The Kansas City Star

Former ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker called a surge in Afghanistan “the essential way forward” as he spoke at Fort Leavenworth on Tuesday. “Will it work? We’ll have to see,” Crocker said. “Will it be the same as it was in Iraq? Absolutely not.” Crocker led civilian efforts in Iraq, and his close working relationship with Gen. David Petraeus, who led military efforts, has been hailed as a key aspect of the successful surge in that country. His lecture to military and civilian students at the Command and General Staff College came hours before President Barack Obama presented his plan for Afghanistan. Crocker presented two basic lessons learned from Iraq that could ring true throughout Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East: •Be careful what you’re getting into. “You’re playing on the other guy’s court,” he said.

Obama receives NATO, U.N. backing on Afghanistan

Atitya Chhor and Nikita Japra: CNN

December 3, 2009


United Nations (CNN) — U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to deploy 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

In a written statement, Ban praised Obama’s aim to “balance military and civilian efforts” and focus on strengthening institutions and security forces in Afghanistan, noting that it would be a long-term but essential process. Obama’s decision will bring the total number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to nearly 100,000. In part, the new 18-month initiative against the Taliban seeks to accelerate the training of Afghan national security forces. As early as July 2011, troops would begin transferring responsibility to Afghan authorities. However, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice indicated “it is not the expectation” that all required Afghan security forces “will be trained within 18 months.”

No Bin Laden information in years, says Gates

BBC: 6 December 2009


The US has had no reliable information on the whereabouts of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in years, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has admitted.

Mr Gates told ABC News in remarks broadcast on Sunday: “Well, we don’t know for a fact where Osama Bin Laden is. If we did, we’d go get him.”  A Taliban detainee in Pakistan told the BBC last week that he had information Bin Laden was in Afghanistan this year. However, Mr Gates said he could not confirm that information. When asked by ABC’s This Week programme when the US last had any good intelligence on the whereabouts of the al-Qaeda leader, Mr Gates said: “I think it’s been years.”



Turkey refuses U.S. call to send more troops in Afghanistan

ISTANBUL, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) –

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday ruled out sending more troops to Afghanistan as requested by the United States before heading for Washington. Erdogan said that Turkey has already contributed the “necessary number” of troops. However, it is willing to train the Afghan army and police. The 1,700 Turkish troops in Afghanistan are involved in patrolling the capital city of Kabul instead of combat missions.  The Turkish prime minister made the statement at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport prior to his visit to the United States. On Monday, he will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, who announced last Tuesday the deployment of 30,000 more U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan.

Petraeus predicts intensified combat in Afghanistan

By Julian E. Barnes

December 10, 2009


Reporting from Washington – Progress will come more slowly from the U.S. troop escalation in Afghanistan than it did during a similar move in Iraq, the top American commander in the Middle East told Congress on Wednesday, predicting intensified combat in coming months. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, said Afghanistan was beset by problems that would challenge the new U.S. strategy, including government corruption, insurgent sanctuaries along the Pakistani border and the strength of the Taliban movement. Petraeus commanded U.S. forces in Iraq in 2007 and ’08. He often called the situation there “hard but not hopeless.” Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he said Afghanistan was “no more hopeless” than Iraq was.


Afghanistan troops timeline gets its first revision

Gordon Lubold: December 14, 2009

Kabul, Afghanistan

The full complement of American forces deploying to Afghanistan under President Obama’s new strategy will not arrive until November, a top commander here said. The new, more gradual timeline means it will take longer for Mr. Obama’s surge of forces to arrive, thus potentially blunting their impact in the surge’s initial phases and leading to a slower drawdown of forces after July 2011. It comes as the military confronts the realities of deploying such a large force into a landlocked country with little in the way of infrastructure. Originally, the Obama administration had hoped to accelerate the deployment of the 30,000 additional forces in its get-in-and-get-out approach. The idea was to deploy new forces quickly and then begin a gradual withdrawal in July 2011. Senior administration officials said Dec. 1, the day Obama announced his new strategy, that it would take six months for all 30,000 troops to arrive.

U.S. steps up special operations mission in Afghanistan

By Julian E. Barnes | December 16, 2009


Reporting from Washington – The U.S. military command has quietly shifted and intensified the mission of clandestine special operations forces in Afghanistan, senior officials said, targeting key figures within the Taliban, rather than almost exclusively hunting Al Qaeda leaders. As a result of orders  from Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and allied commander in Afghanistan, the special operations teams are focusing more on killing militants, capturing them or, whenever possible, persuading them to turn against the Taliban-led insurgency. The number of raids carried out by such units as the Army’s Delta Force and Navy’s SEAL Team Six in Afghanistan has more than quadrupled in recent months. The teams carried out 90 raids in November, U.S. officials said, compared with 20 in May. U.S. special operations forces primarily conduct missions in eastern and southern Afghanistan.


Officials Say Iraq Fighters Intercepted Drone Video

Scott Shane and Christopher Drew

December 17, 2009

WASHINGTON — Insurgents in Iraq have occasionally intercepted video images sent from American military drones to troops in the field, causing the Defense Department to increase its use of encryption over the last year, military and intelligence officials said Thursday. The military has made extensive use of the remotely piloted drones for surveillance in Iraq and Afghanistan, using live video images to track insurgents, to catch them burying roadside bombs or to identify their houses or weapons caches. Most of that data is highly encrypted, and it has been critical to guiding attacks on the insurgents, often with missiles fired from the drones themselves or from helicopters.

New U.S. Spy Plane to Be in Afghanistan by Christmas

December 21, 2009 |

U.S. troops in Afghanistan are getting a new tool in their fight against terrorism in the form of a spy plane that will provide ground troops with still images, video and eavesdropping, Bloomberg reported. The first of the 24 new Hawker Beechcraft four-man twin-propeller plane is expected to arrive by Christmas — one month ahead of schedule, Lt. General David Deptula said in an e-mail, Bloomberg reported. In April 2008, the planes were ordered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to up the number of manned and unmanned aircraft collecting intelligence data, and will now be used to help support the 30,000 troops Obama ordered to Afghanistan. The plans have the capability to send images and video directly to ground troops, who will have portable computers that will let them see the images, Bloomberg reported.



Poland, U.S. Agree on Patriot Deployment Troop Terms

December 1, 2009


Poland and the United States have finished negotiating an agreement that would address the legal status of U.S. military personnel to be deployed on Polish territory with a Patriot missile defense system, Reuters reported last week.


Raytheon Receives $17M for South Korean Patriot Upgrades

December 2, 2009


Raytheon Co. has received a $17 million contract modification to upgrade the communication capabilities of South Korea’s Patriot Air and Missile Defense System, the U.S. defense contractor said yesterday.


Missile-Tracking Satellite Passes Environmental Tests

December 2, 2009


A geosynchronous satellite for the planned U.S. Space-Based Infrared System has successfully undergone a thermal vacuum testing process designed to simulate conditions in orbit, Lockheed Martin Corp. announced yesterday.


Japanese, U.S. Armies to Hold Missile Defense Drill

December 3, 2009


The armies ofJapanand theUnited Statesare expected to test their missile defense preparedness in a military exercise next Monday, the Washington Times reported.


Japanese Court Upholds Sentence Over Missile Defense Radar Leak

December 4, 2009


A suspended prison sentence for a former Japanese military officer convicted of leaking privileged information on the Aegis missile defense system was upheld yesterday by the Tokyo High Court, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported.


Chavez: Venezuela acquires thousands of missiles

December 7, 2009


President Hugo Chavez said Monday thatVenezuelahas received thousands of Russian-made missiles and rocket launchers as part of his government’s military preparations for a possible armed conflict with neighboringColombia.


NATO Open to Missile-Defense Cooperation With Russia

December 7, 2009


NATO announced Friday that it was prepared to consider collaborating on missile defense withRussia, in an indication that relations are improving withMoscowsince its 2008 invasion ofGeorgia, Russia Today reported.


U.S., Poland Sign Troop Agreement for Missile Deployment

December 11, 2009


Washington and Warsaw today signed an accord on the legal status of U.S. soldiers stationed in Poland that is a prerequisite for the deployment of Patriot air defenses in the European country, Agence France-Presse reported.


US, Poland status of forces pact deepens military cooperation

December 11, 2009


The US and Poland have reached an agreement to station an American antimissile defense system on Polish soil two months after plans to install a more robust missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic were scrapped in the face of intense Russian opposition.


Norway light spiral – missile failure caused by UFO/ET intervention?

December 13, 2009 | by Dr. Michael Salla


After first denying any missile test in the White Sea region where mysterious spiral lights could be seen over much of Norway on December 9, Russia one day later announced an embarrassing failure of a new intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile. Russia’s Bulava missile spun out of control during the third stage of a test launch.


Technical Glitch Foils Missile Defense Test

December 14, 2009


A technical problem with a target missile Friday curtailed an intercept test of the U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, the Missile Defense Agency announced.


India Tests Nuclear-Capable Missile

December 14, 2009


India yesterday conducted a successful test-firing of a ballistic missile that could be armed with a nuclear warhead, Reuters reported.


Japan Holds Off on Further Patriot Missiles

December 15, 2009


Japan’s coalition government appears to have decided yesterday to delay the fielding of additional Patriot Advanced Capability 3 air defense interceptors, Kyodo News reported.


U.S. to Simulate Missile Attack by Iran in Shield Test

December 15, 2009


The United States next month intends to assess its defenses against a possible long-range Iranian missile strike in a test expected to cost $150 million, Reuters reported.


Russia Navy to continue work with Bulava missile – commander

December 15, 2009


Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky believes it is impossible to refuse from the submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile Bulava, despite its recent unsuccessful tests, and impossible to replace it with another missile.


Russia completes trials of new surface-to-air missile

December 16, 2009


Russia has completed preliminary testing of a long-term interceptor missile for the advanced S-400 missile-defense system, the chief of the Almaz-Antei design bureau said on Wednesday.


Iran Launches Long-Range Missile in Test

December 16, 2009


Iran announced that it had successfully today test-launched an improved version of its long-range Sajjil 2 missile, Reuters reported.


Russia Working on New Missile Defense System

December 17, 2009


Moscow has announced that work is under way on a new integrated missile and air defense system, Interfax reported yesterday.


US to stage simulated Iran missile attack after Sajjil-2 test

December 17, 2009


The Pentagon will simulate an Iran missile attack with an ICBM in January, addressing a threat that is as yet hypothetical. Iran tested a medium-range Sajjil-2 missile Wednesday.


Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor downs missile in first live fire test

December 17, 2009


TEL AVIV —Israel’s new rocket defense system has proven a hit-to-kill capability. Officials saidIsrael’s Iron Dome has achieved the ability to strike incoming short-range missiles and rockets. They said the Iron Dome demonstrated this during its first live fire test in mid-2009.


Saudi Arabia requests sale of TOW missiles for National Guard modernisation programme


December 18, 2009


The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the US Congress on December 16 of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) toSaudi Arabiaof 2,742 BGM-71E-4B-RF Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided (TOW-2A) radio frequency missiles and associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support. Of the more than 2,700 missiles 42 will be used lot acceptance testing. The value of the sales is estimated at approximately $177 million.


Argentina successfully tests locally designed and manufactured missile booster

December 18, 2009


Argentinaannounced the successful launching of a missile booster,—identified as Gradicom PCX-2009—in a firing range in the centralprovinceofCordobaand said the event represented a “qualitative leap” for Argentine missile technology.


Australian missile frigate tests SM2 missile

December 18, 2009


Australian navy’s guided missile frigate, HMAS Melbourne, has demonstrated its updated air defence capability by recently test-firing a Standard Missile (SM 2) off the Jervis Bay, Australian Defence Ministry announced Friday.


Commander Underlines Role of Sejjil 2 Missiles in Boosting Iran’s Power

December 19, 2009


Head of the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Aerospace Organization Brigadier General Mehdi Farahi praised the country’s experts for providing the Sejjil 2 missiles with a radar-evading capability, saying that such weapons contribute an important role in boosting Iran’s deterrence power.


Russia Initiates Missile-Tracking Radar Station

December 24, 2009


Russia yesterday began use of a new radar station designed to provide early warning of incoming enemy missiles, Interfax reported.




“Transformative change” key to peace in Middle East: Austrian UN ambassador

December 1, 2009

“Transformative change on the ground is integral to peace” for a Palestinian state, the president of the UN Security Council, Austrian UN Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, said here Monday.

More than $147bn committed to development of the Middle East’s road, rail and public transport infrastructure

December 1, 2009

Middle East governments, facing the challenges presented by the world’s highest levels of population growth, have recognised that sustained long-term economic growth is heavily dependent on their transport infrastructures, with investment in excess of $147bn currently committed to address the region’s transportation needs.

Middle East firms build up operations in Iraq

December 1, 2009

While Western firms notch up high-profile deals in Iraq, smaller regional companies from Iran to Turkey are quietly building a broader Iraqi presence by pumping billions of dollars into housing and other projects.

Middle East press sees double standards in Swiss ban  

December 1, 2009


Newspapers in the Middle East are critical after the Swiss voted in a referendum to ban the building of minarets.


Middle East conflict played out in the olive groves

December 1, 2009


Akram Imran says the Jewish settlers came at night. “I came to work in the early morning. It was a horrible sight, a massacre of trees,” he said. “Some of them are at least 70 years old.” Climbing over a heap of withered branches in his olive grove on a rocky hillside near thevillageofBurin, the Palestinian farmer said they attacked 81 trees.


Switzerland’s minaret ban receives tough reception in the Middle East

December 1, 2009


Switzerland’s controversial referendum decision to ban the construction of new minarets for Swiss mosques has caused varying degrees of concern in the Arab world, and attracted a wide ranging debate about the reasons behind the decision.


UN’s Middle East envoy urges halt to demolitions, evictions in East Jerusalem

December 1, 2009


The top United Nations envoy to the Middle East today reiterated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for an immediate end to demolitions, evictions and the instalment of Israeli settlers in Palestinian neighbourhoods, as he visited the Sheikh Jarrah area in East Jerusalem, outside a house that was occupied by settlers.


Israel enforcing West Bank settlement moratorium

December 1, 2009


Israeli inspectors armed with aerial maps and empowered to confiscate construction equipment have begun enforcing a limited government moratorium on new building in West Bank settlements, officials said on Monday.


Middle East press unfazed on Dubai debt

December 2, 2009


Papers in the Middle East appear not to be shocked by the announcement by Dubai World that it is to reschedule part of its debts.


Egypt calls upon UN to support draft resolutions on Palestine

December 2, 2009


Egypt on Tuesday urged the UN General Assembly to support draft resolutions which express “grave concern” over Israel’s illegal settlement activities and restrictions on Palestinian people.


Iraq sees alarming rise in cancer, deformed babies

December 2, 2009

HE guns are gradually falling silent in Iraq as a fragile stability takes hold, turning the spotlight on a stealthier killer likely to stalk Iraqis for years to come. Incidences of cancer, deformed babies and other health problems have risen sharply, Iraqi officials say, and many suspect contamination from weapons used in years of war and accompanying unchecked pollution as a cause.

Israel okays new building projects despite moratorium

December 3, 2009

The Israeli government has authorised the construction of another 84 new homes in West Bank settlements, despite the moratorium it announced last week, Israel Radio reported.

Israel think-tank warns EU off “Swedish proposal”

December 3, 2009

A proposal before the European Union to endorse the division of Jerusalem would risk closing off half the city to non-Muslims, according to a think tank close to the Israeli government.

Israeli settlers reject plea to reduce tensions

December 4, 2009


Defiant West Bank settler leaders rejected a personal plea from the Israeli prime minister on Thursday to respect a government-ordered construction freeze in their communities, vowing to keep confronting security forces sent to enforce the edict.


Bush, Blair condemned over Iraq invasion

December 6, 2009


George W Bush and Tony Blair’s conviction that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was a threat blinded them to the lack of evidence justifying a war to depose him, an ex-UN weapons inspector said on Saturday.


Lebanon’s Palestinians: refugees for life

December 7, 2009


Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’s visit to Beirut today (Monday) casts the spotlight on the plight of nearly 300,000 Palestinians in Lebanon who fear they are doomed to be refugees for life.


UN urges Iraq to set election date ‘as soon as possible’

December 8, 2009


The United Nations on Monday urged the Iraqi president to announce “as soon as possible” the date for the war-torn country’s general election after MPs struck a last minute deal to back the poll.


Netanyahu prefers France for Syrian mediation

December 8, 2009


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said that he would prefer French rather than Turkish mediation in the event indirect talks withSyriaare revived.


‘Arab countries flop on human rights’

December 9, 2009


Human rights deteriorated across the Arab world in 2009 with torture widely practiced in several countries, mainly Egypt, an Arab watchdog said in a report released on Tuesday.


Israel gives initial nod to land referendum bill

December 10, 2009


The Israeli parliament on Wednesday passed the first reading of a bill requiring a referendum to approve a pullout from annexed east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as part of any peace deal.


Egypt ‘working’ on Gaza border wall

December 10, 2009


Egyptian earth-moving machinery was at work on the Gaza Strip border on Wednesday and an Israeli newspaper said the project under way was a subterranean metal wall to block Palestinian smuggling tunnels.


EU warns Israel not to divide bloc over Jerusalem

December 11, 2009


The European Union warnedIsraelon Thursday not to play “divide and rule” with the 27-nation bloc over the EU’s new position thatJerusalemshould be the shared capital ofIsraeland a future Palestinian state.


Iran to face new sanctions: Gates, EU

December 12, 2009


US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates said on Friday he expected the international community to impose significant additional sanctions againstIranover its nuclear programme.


Saudi Arabia denies Huthi rebels seized border post

December 13, 2009


The Saudi military denied a claim by Yemen’s Huthi rebels that they seized a Saudi border post, but said fighting has been heavy in the area, Saudi media reported on Saturday.


Blair Iraq war admission sparks fresh outrage

December 14, 2009


Tony Blair’s admission that Britain would have backed the Iraq war even if he knew it did not have weapons of mass destruction (WMD) sparked outrage on Sunday and calls for his prosecution for war crimes.


Hamas vows to ‘liberate Palestine’ at Gaza rally

December 15, 2009


Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya on Monday told tens of thousands of Hamas supporters his group remains committed to the elimination of Israel, on the 22nd anniversary of its founding.


Chavez sees US ‘threat’ over Iran ties

December 15, 2009


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s warning to Latin American nations about their ties with Iran was “an overt threat”, especially to his country and Bolivia.


Abbas blames Israel for stalled peace talks

December 16, 2009


Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday accused Israel of crippling the Middle East peace process by refusing to completely freeze all settlement activity on occupied Palestinian land.


Much of West Bank closed to Palestinian building: UN

December 16, 2009


About 44 percent of the West Bank is effectively off-limits to Palestinian construction, with much of that area reserved for the Israeli military and settlers, a UN agency said on Tuesday.


US backing lets Israel stall peace: Saudi FM

December 17, 2009


Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said in an interview published on Wednesday that US backing for Israel gave the Jewish state the option of not making peace.


Egypt mediator to help conclude prisoner swap in Jerusalem

December 18, 2009


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has invited a senior Egyptian mediator to Jerusalem on Sunday, raising speculation that Israel is about to make its latest response to the Hamas movement for a major prisoner swap.


U.S. Companies Shut Out as Iraq Auctions Its Oil Fields

December 19, 2009


Those who claim that the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 to get control of the country’s giant oil reserves will be left scratching their heads by the results of last weekend’s auction of Iraqi oil contracts: Not a single U.S. company secured a deal in the auction of contracts that will shape the Iraqi oil industry for the next couple of decades.


‘US aided’ deadly Yemen raids

December 19, 2009


TheUSprovided firepower and intelligence to help the Yemeni government launch a series of deadly raids against suspected al-Qaeda bases in the country, the New York Times has reported.


‘A secure Iraq would benefit the entire Middle East’

December 20, 2009


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that a safe and secureIraqwould benefit the entireMiddle East.


Revealed: the map of Olmert’s 2008 peace plan for the Middle East

December 20, 2009


In an exclusive story,Israel’s Haaretz newspaper has published Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s 2008 plan for peace with the Palestinians.


‘Egypt should fear Iran more than we do’

December 20, 2009


At the end of an hour-long meeting Sunday evening with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that “Egypthas more to fear fromIranthan we do.”


UN should play lead in Middle East settlement -Arab League chief

December 20, 2009


The United Nations should play the leading role in the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the chief of the Arab League said.


Hariri sees new page in Lebanon’s ties with Syria


December 21, 2009


Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Sunday he agreed with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on practical steps to open up “new horizons” in ties between the two Arab neighbours.


Israel to step up crackdown on settlement growth

December 21, 2009


Israelplans to deploy hundreds of troops to destroy illegal structures and prevent settler violence in order to enforceWest Banksettlement restrictions, a security official said on Sunday.


Middle East settlement needs “impossible” concessions – experts

December 21, 2009


The settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict currently requires both sides to make concessions, which are almost impossible in practice, a report prepared for an international Middle East conference in Jordan said.


N.Korean Arms ‘Bound for Middle East’

December 21, 2009

A cargo aircraft carrying North Korean weapons seized by the Thai government on Dec. 12 was bound for the Middle East, a senior U.S. intelligence officer claimed Friday.



Nuclear Corporation Formed in UAE


23 December 2009, 11:46 PMABU DHABI – The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued a decree formally establishing the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC). It is vested with the powers to implement all programmes of the country to tap nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.


Iran denies nuclear bomb trigger claim; accuses U.S. of forging papers


Eraldo PeresIn an interview with ABC News which was broadcast on Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied claims by The London Times last week that a leaked paper indicates that the country is working on a trigger device for a nuclear bomb.  This all comes at a time whenIranhas been receiving increasing pressure from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations to create transparency within its nuclear energy program, a program which many western countries feel may actually be a disguised weapons program.


New Chief Takes Charge at the U.N. Nuclear Agency


A new top inspector took charge Tuesday of the International Atomic Energy Agency as it faces one of the most turbulent periods in its 52-year history. Yukiya Amano, 62, is a career diplomat and lawyer who served asJapan’s representative to the agency until his selection as director general in July. He inherits crises withIranandNorth Korea, as well as the weakening of the global security system meant to curtail the spread of nuclear weapons.


India, Russia sign deals on nuclear energy, defense


(AFP) – Dec 7, 2009: MOSCOW — India and Russia signed deals on nuclear energy and arms sales on Monday as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks in the Kremlin with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. “We welcomeRussia’s participation in the broadening of our nuclear energy programme,” Singh told reporters after the talks, according to remarks translated into Russian. “The successful end of the negotiations on the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy is a major step forward,” he added.


Iran slams US at climate talk’s lays claim to nuclear energy


(AFP) –COPENHAGEN—Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed theUnited Stateson Thursday as an oil-addicted warmonger and insisted every nation have access to “clean and renewable energy sources”, including nuclear. “For about a century, oil has constituted the basic and strategic components ofUSsecurity foreign policy, the same role it played for the previous empires,” Ahmadinejad said at the UN climate talks inCopenhagen. “During this period, oil-rich regions of the world became the theatres of wars and military adventurism that led to foreign domination on their energy resources.”


Cyber Security Shortcomings at Nuclear Labs?


The Department of Energy, which is responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, may jeopardize the security of its technology and lose millions of dollars if it does not improve its cyber security, according to a recent Inspector General’s report.


US Signs Nuclear Deal with UAE


The new deal allows theUnited Arab Emiratesto receive sensitive information and materials from theUnited Statesto help create the Arab world’s first civilian nuclear power industry. Rapid development inDubaiis straining the emirate’s power supplies, 12 Dec 2009 The United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a landmark agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation.


Russia and India agree on nuclear energy


Russian president Dmitri Medvedev and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Russiagained a much sought-after foothold inIndia’s nuclear energy sector when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Dmitry Medvedev agreed inMoscowon December 7 to step up co-operation on civilian nuclear energy. India’s delegation also left the negotiations pleased that the two countries appeared to have ended the stalemate over the delivery byRussiaof a refurbished aircraft carrier toIndia. The delivery of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier has been delayed for two years by a price dispute that has soured relations.


Iran to Launch 1st N. Power Plant after 3 Final Tests


TEHRAN(FNA)-Iran’s first nuclear power plant in the southern city ofBushehrneeds to undergo three final tests before it is put into operation, an Iranian official announced on Saturday, adding thatTehranattaches much importance to the safety of the plant rather than its hurried launch.

Iran urges IAEA to rectify approach toward its nuclear program: FM  


TEHRAN, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urged the members of the IAEA board of governors to rectify their approach towardIran’s “peaceful” nuclear program, local Press TV reported Wednesday.  In separate letters to members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors, Mottaki saidIranwill continue its nuclear program, despite the recent IAEA resolution, the report said.


Indonesia gets serious about nuclear energy


JAKARTA: Indonesia could formally embrace nuclear power as early as next year as senior Government members push to revive a proposal to build up to four reactors just 30 kilometres from a volcano in Central Java.Indonesiais beset by regular blackouts that are crimping industrial production and deterring investors, and nuclear energy is being resurrected as a means to meet the country’s growing electricity needs while also capping carbon emissions.


Nuclear expansion could cost $18.2 billion


Express-News A new informal cost update puts the price of CPS Energy’s nuclear project at $18.2 billion, about $5 billion more than the utility has said is affordable forSan Antonio. The update, obtained by the San Antonio Express-News, is based on numbers provided by the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co., which operates the existing nuclear plant outsideBay Cityand is a key player in the proposed expansion. The new estimate lists the cost of building two reactors at nearly $13.9 billion. That sum jumps an additional $4.3 billion when financing charges and cost escalation are figured in.


2010 to be key year in fight against nuclear arms

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Next year will be crucial for global nuclear non-proliferation efforts and all eyes will be on the United States and Russia to see if the two top atomic powers can reach a deal to reduce their arsenals. In April, U.S. President Barack Obama declared in a speech inPraguethat theUnited Stateswas committed “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” In September he chaired a meeting of the U.N. Security Council that unanimously supported this vision.



Obama Administration Plans to Boost Focus on Nuclear Terrorism


TheUnited Statesis expected make efforts to stop terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons a core tenet of its revised nuclear policy, the New York Times reported Saturday.  Emergency response personnel treat a victim of a mock nuclear explosion during a 2006 drill inHonolulu,Hawaii. A forthcomingU.S.nuclear strategy document is expected to place top priority on efforts to counter nuclear terrorism.


Harvard’s Allison: be afraid of nuclear race


“The global nuclear order today could be as fragile as the global financial order was two years ago, when conventional wisdom declared it to be sound, stable and resilient,” Allison writes. Allison, who is director of theBelferCenterfor Science and International Affairs at theKennedySchool, says one encouraging factor is that President Obama gets it. The administration, Allison says, is making the most aggressive effort to revitalize the nuclear order since President Kennedy: the US has pledged to reduce its own reliance on nuclear weapons in its security strategy; is negotiating a new arms agreement with Russia, is working to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and is doing more to address the threats of nuclear terrorism.


A New Approach to US Nuclear Policy: Deterring Nuclear Terrorism


Back in August of this year, the Pentagon released two fact sheets on the Nuclear Posture Review, or NPR. As it states quite simply, the objective of the NPR is: To establishU.S.nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture for the next 5 – 10 years.  At the time, a number of experts expressed concern about whether or not the Obama administration was going to take a fresh, new direction with the NPR, or simply continue Bush administration policies. Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, told me in an interview.


U.S. to Make Stopping Nuclear Terror Key Aim


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s classified review of nuclear weapons policy will for the first time make thwarting nuclear-armed terrorists a central aim of American strategic nuclear planning, according to senior Pentagon officials. When completed next year, the Nuclear Posture Review will order the entire government to focus on countering nuclear terrorists — whether armed with rudimentary bombs, stolen warheads or devices surreptitiously supplied by a hostile state — as a task equal to the traditional mission of deterring a strike by major powers or emerging nuclear adversaries.


Terrorism a Focus of Nuclear Security Summit Planning Meeting


At a planning meeting held yesterday ahead of the 2010 Global Nuclear Security Conference, delegates from countries pursuing or in possession of nuclear energy capabilities agreed on the importance of strengthening measures to combat nuclear terrorism, Kyodo News reported. “A lot of international agreements, conventions, rules and guidelines (on nuclear security are in place),” a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said. “How they can fully be implemented will be a big challenge.”


India’s Poor Nuclear Safety


The tragic nuclear incident atChernobylin 1986 had clearly verified that even without using an atomic bomb, this very technology can eliminate hundreds of people through radiation exposure, leaving behind thousands of persons, affected with fatal diseases which also travel from generation to generation. After that major incident, big nuclear powers and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) emphasised the atomic countries for the need of a tight mechanism in order to avoid any catastrophe.


Dirty bombs’: A hoax

LAHORE– After short lulls, international media repeatedly explodes with startling reports about ‘insecurity’ ofPakistan’s nuclear facilities (Arnaud de Borchgrave, Hersh, et al). Hypersensitive analysts have postulated that terrorists may steal nuclear material to fabricate a “dirty bomb”, a euphemism for a radiological dispersal device. Post-graduate students in foreign universities have been analysing hypothetical implications of radioactive material falling into hands of so-called “terrorists”.


South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)

The South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) is an independent think tank dedicated to promoting peace and stability in the South Asian region. SASSI contributes to the international debate on contemporary South Asian security issues through this and other substantive products.

Journal of South Asian Nonproliferation


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