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Iranian Treasure Trove, Flood of Emotions, True Ironman


Israel Says Secret Files Prove Iran Lied About Nuclear Program

David M Halbfinger, David Sanger and Ronen Bergman, New York Times, April 30th 2018

Recap:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of lying about its efforts to build a nuclear weapon by presenting records that Israeli spies obtained from a warehouse in Tehran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Netanyahu the “boy who cried wolf [1].”

The Context:

  • Under the 2015 nuclear accord struck by Iran and six major powers, Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear program in return for sanction relief. US President Donald Trump recently gave Britain, France and Germany a May 12th ultimatum to address the deal’s failure to curb Iran’s ballistic missile program, inspection limitations, and “sunset” clauses under which key terms expire [2].

  • European leaders say Tehran has abided by terms of the deal and independent analysts say Netanyahu appears to be presenting old evidence [3]. A US state department report corroborates Europe’s assessment saying, "Iran continues to fulfill its nuclear-related commitments, allowing increased IAEA verification and not engaging in certain work that could contribute to the development of a nuclear weapon [4]."

  • In January, Mossad operatives smuggled thousands of original documents from a secret location in Tehran to Israel. Netanyahu cited these files when charging Iran for lying about never having a nuclear weapons program and preserving its nuclear know how for future use [5]. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “remains deeply concerned about Iran's dangerous escalation of threats toward Israel and the region" and supports Israel's right to defend itself [6].

  • Israel is widely believed to be the only nuclear state in the Middle East, though it neither confirms nor denies possessing such weapons [7].

Conversation Points:

  • Does pointing out Iran’s pre-deal nuclear weapons program help or hinder Netanyahu’s argument to scrap the Iranian nuclear agreement?

  • Will re-imposing US sanctions achieve the desired effects if all other nations can now legally conduct business with Iran?

  • How meaningful is the current agreement if Iran can still conduct belligerent activities even while technically abiding by terms of the deal?

Tour Guide in Desert Flood Deaths May Face Manslaughter Charges

Times of Israel, April 30th 2018

Recap:

Police will consider upgrading charges against a tour guide that led 10 teenagers to their death in an area affected by flash flooding. The guide, as well as the head of a pre-military academy, remained in police custody over claims they disregarded flood risk warnings.

The Context:

  • Nine girls and one boy were killed when they were hit by flash floods in the Dead Sea area. The guide, Aviv Bardichev, and head of the Bnei Zion pre-military academy, Yuval Kahan, were arrested on suspicion of causing death by negligence for ignoring flash flood warnings. Prior to the hike, several teens expressed their apprehension in light of the weather forecast. “It doesn’t make sense for us to go to a place where everything is flooding. It’s tempting fate — we’re going to die [8].”

  • The deaths have caused an outpouring of grief in Israel and President Reuven Rivlin expressed “the sorrow sweeping the nation from losing wonderful children, the best of our youth [9].”

Conversation Points:

  • Would Bardichev have been reprimanded for negligence if no one died during the tour?

Paralyzed Man Finishes London Marathon Aided by Israeli Robotic Suit

Tamar Ben Ozer, Jerusalem Post, April 25th 2018

Recap:

Englishman Simon Kindleysides became the first paralyzed man to finish the London Marathon. Kindleysides walked 26.2 miles in 36 hours with the help of the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton suit, a wearable device developed in Israel that allows paraplegics to mimic the function of the legs and hips.

The Context:

  • ReWalk was created by mechanical engineer Amit Goffer after a road accident left him paralyzed in 1998. The bionic suit has helped people around the world regain autonomy over their bodies.

  • In 2012, Claire Lomas became the first paraplegic to complete the course (also with the help of ReWalk), a challenge that took her 17 days.

  • The ReWalk exoskeleton allows independent, controlled walking as computers and motion sensors do the manual labor. The suit hugs the legs and users wear a remote control on their wrists to regulate their movements. The suit allows users to take strides at normal walking speeds without falling [10]. A ReWalk bionic suit costs roughly $85,000 [11].

Conversation Points:

  • Should insurance companies recognize Rewalk’s technology so it can help the masses?

Notes:

  1. Zarif likens Netanyahu to a ‘boy who cried wolf’, Tehran Times, April 30th 2018

  2. Israel says Iran lied on nuclear arms, pressures U.S. to scrap deal, Stephen Farrell, Reuters, April 30th 2018

  3. Ibid.

  4. Netanyahu accuses Iran of 'secretly' pursuing nuclear programme, Al Jazeera, April 30th 2018

  5. Netanyahu: Iran ‘brazenly lied’ about nuclear program, continued work after deal, Alexdaner Fulbright, Times of Israel, April 30th 2018

  6. Netanyahu: Iran Nuclear Deal Is Based on Lies – Here's the Proof, Noa Landau, Haaretz, April 30th 2018

  7. Israel says Iran lied on nuclear arms, pressures U.S. to scrap deal, Stephen Farrell, Reuters, April 30th 2017

  8. Israeli Teens Killed in Flash Flood Hike Buried Amid Anger Over Disregard of Weather Warnings, DEBORAH DANAN, Breitbart, April 29th 2018

  9. Ibid.

  10. Paralyzed 34-year-old man completes London Marathon using Israeli tech, SHOSHANNA SOLOMON 26 April 2018, 12:08

  11. Ibid.


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