IAEA: Nuclear Iran ‘Galloping Ahead’
IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM IS ‘GALLOPING AHEAD,’ IAEA CHIEF SAYS: Iran’s nuclear program is “galloping ahead” and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has very limited visibility on what is happening, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told a Spanish outlet in an interview published on Friday, July 22.
In June, Iran began removing essentially all the agency’s monitoring equipment, installed under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Grossi said at the time this could cause a “fatal blow” to chances of reviving the deal following 2018’s pullout by the United States. “The bottom line is that for almost five weeks I have had very limited visibility, with a nuclear program that is galloping ahead and, therefore, if there is an agreement, it is going to be very difficult for me to reconstruct the puzzle of this whole period of forced blindness,” he said. “It is not impossible, but it is going to require a very complex task and perhaps some specific agreements,” said Grossi, who was visiting Madrid. Iran has breached many of the deal’s limits on its nuclear activities since then-US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran in 2018. It is enriching uranium to close to weapons grade. Western powers warn Iran is getting closer to being able to sprint towards making a nuclear bomb. Iran denies wanting to. (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN CLAIMS MOSSAD AGENTS WERE CAUGHT TRYING TO BLOW UP ‘SENSITIVE SITE’: Iranian media claimed on Sunday, July 24, that Mossad agents who the Iranian Intelligence Ministry had claimed on Saturday had been caught in the country, were trying to blow up a “sensitive site” in Isfahan in central Iran.
The Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced on Saturday that it had caught a network of Mossad agents who were in contact with other agents in a “neighboring country” and had entered Iran from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The ministry claimed that the network was planning to carry out “unprecedented acts of sabotage and terrorist operations by using the most up-to-date operational and communication equipment and the most powerful explosives.” The ministry added that additional information would be announced later on. On Sunday, the same channel reported that the network entered Iran a few months ago through Kurdistan, and aimed to blow up a “sensitive center” in Isfahan. The report added that the network had been training for months in Africa in order to carry out the operation. (JPost / VFI News)
ABBAS PAYS CONDOLENCE CALL TO FAMILIES OF TERRORISTS ELIMINATED IN SHECHEM: Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas called the parents of the two terrorists who were eliminated in clashes with IDF soldiers in Shechem (Nablus) early Sunday morning, July 24, and expressed condolences for their loss, as it was reported.
In a conversation with the parents, Abbas stressed the Palestinian way of “sacrifice” for the sake of the homeland, noted that the “martyrs” now get to be in heaven next to other “martyrs”, and wished the terrorists who were wounded in the incident a speedy recovery. The incident in Shechem occurred when IDF soldiers operated, under the direction of Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) intelligence, in an attempt to arrest wanted terrorists, including one of the commanders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. During the activity, an exchange of fire began between the soldiers and the terrorists. Two terrorists were killed and 9 were injured, some of them seriously. Weapons were seized in one of the apartments of the wanted terrorists. In addition, disturbances developed in the area that included throwing rocks, explosives, and shooting by armed men. (INN / VFI News)
FATAH TERRORIST GROUP TO RUN IN JERUSALEM MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME: A media outlet reported on Sunday, July 24, that activists from Fatah and eastern Jerusalem are planning to run an Arab candidate in the Jerusalem municipal elections in October 2023. According to reports, Fatah activists have met with Arab businessmen, public figures from the eastern section of Jerusalem, and at least one member of the Knesset. The initiative is supposedly moving forward in consultation with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
The decision raises difficulties for Fatah, formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, which is the largest faction in the Palestinian Authority government. Fatah does not officially recognize Israel as the Jewish state. The party generally refers to Israel as ‘the occupation”, does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, and actively boycotts the city. Running in the municipal elections would signify tacit recognition of Jewish sovereignty over the city. The party’s candidates will therefore run as independents with no formal connection with the party. Samer Sangelavi, a Fatah activist and head of the East Jerusalem Development Fund, said that “after 55 years of boycotting the municipal elections, the time has come to review this policy and possibly change it, in the light of developments.” (I365N / VFI News)
ISRAELI PM WARNS RUSSIA AGAINST SHUTTING DOWN JEWISH NONPROFIT: Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid warned Russia against shutting down a major nonprofit that encourages Jewish immigration to Israel on Sunday, July 24, saying that its forced closure could damage relations between the two countries.
A court hearing is expected in Moscow on Thursday about the Russian Justice Ministry’s move to shut down the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency. Lapid said he is sending a delegation to Moscow this week that will “make every effort to maximize the legal dialogue” around the case. “The Jewish community in Russia is large and important and comes up in every political conversation with the government in Moscow,” Lapid said in a statement on Sunday. “The closing of the agency’s offices will be a serious event, which will affect relations.” (FNews / VFI News)
OVER 500 ISRAELI TECH EMPLOYEES FIRED IN ONE DAY, AMID ‘BUBBLE’ FEARS: More than 500 Israeli tech employees were laid off on Sunday, July 24, with the country’s most successful sector having now lost thousands of workers in recent months.
AID Genomics, a Singaporian medical technology company, announced a substantial reduction in its activity in Israel by moving its research and development center abroad and canceling planned investments in the country. This resulted in some 400 workers — the vast majority of the firm’s workforce in Israel — being laid off, according to media reports. Earlier, US insurance firm Asurion announced it was shuttering its Israeli development center, amid restructuring, resulting in 120 employees being fired. In addition, 40 other workers will be laid off at the end of the year. (TOI / VFI News)
1,850-YEAR-OLD BRONZE ROMAN COIN DISCOVERED ON ISRAELI BEACH: A bronze Roman coin dating back 1,850 years with the symbol of the Cancer zodiac sign and a Moon goddess was just discovered at Carmel Beach in Haifa by archaeologists from the Antiquities Authority (IAA). The coin was discovered during a survey of the area designed to find antiques and save them from degradation.
This isn’t the oldest Roman-era coin discovered – in fact, coins from the earlier Bar Kokhba revolt were found in Jerusalem two years ago. However, this coin was found in the water, is in remarkably good condition and its engravings shed considerable light on its origins and what it is meant to depict. The coins used as money by the Romans were minted from gold, silver, bronze, copper, and orichalcum, although historians are unclear as to what exactly orichalcum metal is. Over time, especially in the closing days of the Roman Republic and throughout the Roman Empire, these coins also contained a number of icons and writings. This coin, in particular, is no exception, and the writing on it tells us exactly when the coin was minted, in year eight of the reign of Antoninus Pius, and where it was minted, Alexandria in Egypt. (JPost / VFI News)
EDUCATION MINISTRY SAYS 5,600 TEACHING POSITIONS UNFILLED AHEAD OF SCHOOL YEAR: Some 5,600 teaching positions remain unfilled ahead of the coming school year, the Education Ministry revealed on Sunday, July 24, amid ongoing threats of a teacher’s strike before schools reopen on September 1.
The shortage is felt most strongly in Tel Aviv and central Israel, where schools are lacking nearly 3,500 teachers, according to data published by the ministry. Other regions are dealing with staff shortages in the hundreds. Elementary schools are facing a shortfall of 424 English teachers and 250 science teachers, while special education schools and kindergartens are facing shortages of 1,103 staff, the ministry added. There were also roughly 460 unfilled science teaching positions. Data uncovered found that more teachers left the field after last year compared to previous years. The number of college students pursuing teaching degrees also dropped from 13,500 during the 2020-2021 academic year to 11,400 the following year. Data published in March by the Central Bureau of Statistics revealed a 12 percent drop in new teachers this past school year. (TOI / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff