The New Endorsed Parameters of Peaceful Nuclear Power

In July 2015, six world powers concluded their negotiations with Iran on its nuclear power program. Parties like US President Barack Obama congratulated himself and the negotiating team for “prevent[ing] Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and ensur[ing] that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful going forward.”

That claim is questionable in the short-term and clearly false in the long-term. What is certain, was the deal established the new parameters for peaceful nuclear power for the world to (potentially) replicate.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (3rd L) delivers a statement during a ceremony next to British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (L-R) at the United Nations in Geneva November 24, 2013 (Reuters / Denis Balibouse) / Reuters

Nuclear Energy versus Nuclear Weapons

There are thirty-one countries in the world that have nuclear power plants for generating electricity and nine countries which have nuclear weapons. Those countries are (countries in bold posses both nuclear energy and weapons):

  • Nuclear power plants (31): United States; France; Russia; South Korea; China; Canada; Germany; Ukraine; UK; Sweden; Spain; Belgium; India; Czech Republic; Switzerland; Finland; Slovakia; Hungary; Japan; Brazil; South Africa; Bulgaria; Mexico; Romania; Argentina; Slovenia; Pakistan; Iran; Netherlands; Armenia
  • Nuclear weapons (9): Russia; United States; France; China; United Kingdom; Pakistan; India; Israel; North Korea

There are more than 31 countries that use electricity from nuclear plants – such as Italy and Denmark that each get over 10% of their power from nuclear plants – but do not host nuclear power plants in their country.  Nuclear power plants generate 14% of the electricity in the world.

Safety Concerns of Nuclear Energy

Despite the sizable role that nuclear electricity-generation plays, there are many safety concerns.

Peaceful power plants: Notable “meltdowns” of peaceful nuclear power plants include Ukraine (1986); United States (1979); and Japan (2011).  Countries with nuclear power plants institute many safety procedures to protect the surrounding areas from potential nuclear radiation fallout.

Fuel: Beyond the plants themselves, countries carefully manage the materials that are the basis for nuclear power: raw uranium and plutonium (that are mined); enriched uranium and plutonium (suitable for use in nuclear power or weapons); and spent fuel rods (post-use, no longer able to generate electricity, but have radiation).

  • Mining: Uranium is mined in 20 countries, with 90% mined in just a handful of countries: Australia; Kazakhstan; Russia; Canada; Niger; Namibia; South Africa; Brazil; USA; and China. Plutonium, while found in trace amounts in nature, is created in nuclear plants by modifying uranium.
  • Spent fuel: Edwin Lyman and Harold Feiveson have written about safety concerns of spent fuel.  Spent nuclear reactor fuel is highly radioactive and contains significant concentration of weapons-usable plutonium isotopes. Some countries like the USA, Canada and Sweden plan to store the spent fuel in geologic repositories. Others like UK and France reprocess the spent fuel and separate the plutonium from the uranium. Such uranium, which can be handled, becomes a potential source for theft to be used in nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapon facilities: Some nuclear facilities do not focus on generating electricity but are built specifically to produce weapons of mass destruction. These facilities pose risks not only from the radioactive materials or potential fallout from a meltdown of the plant, but from the massive destruction that such weapons can produce.

End-to-End Nuclear Facilities

Most countries with peaceful nuclear power plants do not have end-to-end facilities which can produce nuclear-generated power completely on their own.  Countries do not typically mine uranium, enrich it, produce the electricity and store or reprocess the spent fuel.  For example, Japan, which gets over 30% of its power from 50 nuclear plants, imports uranium from Australia, Kazakhstan and Canada. Historically, Japan relied on other countries for various steps of its nuclear program, but it has recently taken steps to enrich the raw uranium and reprocess some of the spent fuel inside Japan. For the most part, spent fuel has still been stored in the UK and France.

With the new 2015 P5+1 deal with Iran, Iran will have complete end-to-end nuclear capabilities with global approval.

Source: New Scientist/Global Security

Iranian Uranium Mines:  Iran opened two uranium mines in 2013, the Saghand mine and Gchine mine, that provide some uranium for its enrichment program (but these have low concentrations of uranium). The two mines in the city of Saghand in central Iran operate 1,150 feet underground.

Iranian Milling Facility: Approximately 75km from Saghand is the Ardakan mill which processes the uranium into yellowcake.

Iranian Enrichment Facility: The Uranium Enrichment Facility at Isfahan purifies the yellowcake to UF6, a gas, which enables it to be enriched. Enrichment increases the proportion of the U-235 isotope from its natural level of 0.7% to 3-5%.

After enrichment, the UF6 gas is converted to uranium dioxide (UO2) which is formed into fuel pellets. These fuel pellets are placed inside thin metal tubes which are assembled in bundles to become the fuel elements for the core of the reactor.

Natanz is Iran’s primary enrichment facility and consists of three underground buildings, two of which are designed to hold fifty thousand centrifuges, and six buildings built above ground. It’s stated purpose is to produce enriched uranium for use in both the Tehran Research Reactor (requiring 19.75% U-235 content) and fuel for the Bushehr nuclear power plant (requiring 3.5% U-235 content).

The Fordow Enrichment Plant is a large underground industrial facility located near the city of Qom. The site includes two underground halls each able to hold 1,500 centrifuges.  Iran failed to disclose the existence of the Fordow facility until it was revealed publicly by western governments in 2009.

A heavy water nuclear reactor near Arak was first identified by US satellite images in 2002. Heavy water reactors produce a lot of plutonium waste product as part of enriching uranium, which can be used in nuclear weapons.

The nuclear reactor at Bushehr on the Arabian Gulf, was started by Germany in the early 1970s, but suspended after the 1979 Iranian Revolution.  Russia took over constructing the plant and started delivering the nuclear fuel in May 2011.

Iran will soon have a complete end-to-end nuclear program which would include several underground and fortified nuclear sites.

From Nuclear Energy to Nuclear Weapons

There is a narrow gap between the assets and capability needed to build a power plant and what is needed to build weapons of mass destruction.  A brief primer from the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI):

Both nuclear reactors and nuclear bombs use either uranium or plutonium to create a nuclear chain reaction that releases energy. The speed with which they release energy is the crucial difference between the two: in a reactor the energy release is controlled and sustained over an extended period, whereas in a nuclear bomb the release occurs in fractions of a second. The science of fission is fairly straightforward; however, controlling fission reactions to get the desired effect is challenging.

While on the surface it may appear that the infrastructure required for both electricity and weaponry is the same (just some technical understanding stands in the gap), the reality is more complicated.

“To develop a nuclear device, the difference in the speed of the chain reaction creates additional requirements for the firing mechanism, grade of the uranium or plutonium used, and the density, physical surrounding and shape of the fissile material. These differences are substantial barriers to a state looking to shift from power production to assembling a nuclear device.”

In short, the raw materials and infrastructure are very similar, while the technical capabilities are a bit more complicated.

 Iran’s Nuclear Program: from Energy to Weapons?

According to CIGI: “a peaceful program provides the scientific foundation
upon which a state can go on to build and operate its own dedicated plutonium production reactor to produce the material for a nuclear weapon… The main benefit derived from a once-through nuclear energy program for the construction of a nuclear device is the buildup of nuclear infrastructure that would otherwise be difficult, if not impossible, to camouflage….  a peaceful nuclear energy program is best characterized as a stepping stone to acquiring the wherewithal for a nuclear device.”

The White House produced a summary of how the contemplated 2015 deal would block Iran from converting a peaceful program into a weapons program:

  • Reduce level of raw uranium: cut stockpile (mostly acquired in the past from South Africa) by 98%
  • Block enriching uranium: by reducing centrifuge count at Natanz and Fordow
  • Cap the enrichment level: to 3.67%, below the required level to produce weapons
  • Block plutonium production: reconfigure Arak plant so it cannot produce plutonium; ship out all spent fuel. Additionally, no new construction of heavy-water reactors for 15 years

In July 2015, the P5+1 countries effectively endorsed the acceptable parameters of a valid and peaceful nuclear energy program.

Creating the New Paradigm for All Countries

Which begs the question, if there are 31 countries that have nuclear power plants, why are there only 9 with nuclear weapons? Do they not have the technical capabilities for producing a weapon? Lack the desire? How much effort and infrastructure would it take for a country like Hungary to go from a peaceful nuclear program to a weapons program?

If a known state-sponsor of terrorism which calls for the annihilation of other countries (Iran) is permitted to keep such a vast nuclear infrastructure, every other country would be permitted to build comparable nuclear infrastructure.  This is true for countries with existing nuclear plants like Armenia, or non-nuclear countries like Venezuela.  In other words, this deal marks the world’s endorsement of a baseline peaceful nuclear program.

This is obviously very dangerous for the safety and security of the entire world.

A Better Alternative

US President Obama and others have questioned whether there is a better alternative.  Here are some possible points that should be considered before blessing an explosion of “peaceful” nuclear infrastructure construction in the world:

  • No end-to-end capabilities.  As a checks-and-balance for nuclear proliferation, no country should be able to maintain a complete mines-to-reactor program. Countries which are state-sponsors of terrorism should be barred from two components of a complete program. For Iran, they would likely opt to abandon their mines which are not very productive anyway. They would then be left with a choice of modifying their global behavior or giving up another component of their program (maybe opting to ship all spent fuel out of the country permanently).
  • No underground fortified facilities.   As a global precaution against a peaceful program becoming weaponized, no nuclear enrichment facilities should be fortified to such a level that destroying them with conventional weapons becomes nearly impossible. This would require Iran dismantling some of their underground facilities or making them less fortified.
  • Anytime, anywhere inspections. All peaceful nuclear facilities should be available for inspections by the IAEA at anytime.  For this Iranian deal, it would require a more stringent approach than the lengthy 24-day process currently contemplated.
  • Cap on centrifuges. Not only should the number of centrifuges of a country be capped, but no facility should be able to have over a certain number of centrifuges (for example, a cap of 6000 in a country, and no single facility with over 1,500).

These are some examples which should become a requirement of every country for every peaceful nuclear power program. These steps would help protect the entire world from a step-up from peaceful nuclear energy to threshold nuclear weapons.


The current P5+1 Iranian nuclear deal cannot be viewed in a simple comparison of whether the deal is better than no deal. It must be viewed in the context of establishing a new baseline for the use of nuclear power around the world. On such basis, it is easy to see the existing shortfalls.


Related First One Through articles:

Parallel and Perpendicular Views of Iranian Nuclear Deal

Has the “Left-Wing” Joined the UN in Protecting Iran and the Palestinians from a “Right-Wing” Israel?



Obama supports Anti-Semitic Palestinian Agenda of Jew-Free State

US President Obama again made his opinion clear that he supports Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas’ calls for creating a Jew-free country.

President Obama told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in October 2014, that the US is against both Jews building new homes and against Jews moving into existing homes in areas that Abbas wants to keep Jew-free.

The Obama administration comments were in response to two events: planned construction of 2600 new homes in Givat Hamatos and six Jewish families moving into homes they purchased in the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Silwan. Both neighborhoods are in the eastern part of Jerusalem.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said “The US condemns the recent occupation of residential buildings in the neighborhood of Silwan by people whose agenda provokes tensions.” Note this Obama condemnation was not about building a new town in a remote region of the West Bank; this was about Jews buying and moving into existing houses in Jerusalem.  The reason?  Because it makes the Arabs angry.

Abbas has been on record that he doesn’t want any Jewish presence in a future Palestinian country.  He wants Israel to keep Jews out of potential Palestinian land now so he won’t have to evict them or pay them compensation to leave later (similar to the compensation he expects Israel to pay to Arabs who left property in 1948). In July 2013, Abbas said “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands.”

Blatantly anti-Semitic statements from Palestinian leadership which call for banning Jews from the region is not new. In the Arab riots of 1936-9, Arabs effectively convinced the British to limit Jewish immigration to only 75,000 over the 1940-5 years, at the end of which time, Jews would be banned from moving to the country altogether. The Arabs and British took this action during the Holocaust in Europe, aiding in the murder of thousands of innocents who could have found refuge in their homeland, which the League of Nations had mandated 17 years earlier to be “national home for the Jewish people”. While the Jews were being killed in Europe, hundreds of thousands of Arabs from around the Middle East moved into Palestine.

Liberals could perhaps try to forgive Obama’s ignorance regarding Jews in the region – maybe he doesn’t know that:

  • Jews have consistently been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s- 100 years before the 1967 war;
  • Jews were always allowed to live throughout the land- including under the Ottomans for 500 years and then under the British Mandate;
  • Yemenite Jews were the original settlers of Silwan, back in 1882;
  • The League of Nations Palestine Mandate (1922) specifically stated that no one should be barred from living in the land due to religion: Article 15: “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief”;
  • The Palestinians and Jordanians started both the 1948 and 1967 wars which gave Israel half (in 1948) and then all of Jerusalem;
  • The Palestinians and Jordanians evicted all of the Jews from the eastern half of the city in 1949, barred the Jews from visiting the holy sites and are attempting to recreate that Jew-free environment in that part of the city today;
  • Jerusalem was never intended to be Jew-free or a Palestinian city according to the 1947 UN Partition Plan;
  • Israel already gave the Palestinians half of the “Holy Basin” when it gave control of Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority;
  • In the more macro story:
    • Jews have lived in Jerusalem for over 3000 years – 1600 years before Islam brought the Arabs to Jerusalem;
    • Jerusalem is the holiest city for only one religion – Judaism;
    • Only one people – Jews – ever made Jerusalem its capital in its 4000 year history;
    • The identity of Israel is Jerusalem; it is the only country to have a national anthem ABOUT its capital

Beyond a willful ignorance of the long and deep history of the Jews in all of Jerusalem, how could the first African-American president of the United States advocate creating Jew-free zones, knowing first-hand about racism? Would Obama stand for a housing policy that barred blacks from living in Washington, DC?

How can the US support the Arabs’ racist suggestion that would bar Jews from living in Jerusalem?



Obama criticizing Netanyahu on new Jerusalem homes:

Obama criticizing Jews living in Silwan:

Abbas on Jew-free Palestine:

1922 League of Nations Mandate:

1939 White Paper:

Yeminite Jews in Silwan:


Related First One Through articles:

800,000 Arabs moving to Palestine during the British Mandate:

The anthem of Israel is Jerusalem:

Short history of Palestinians+Jordanians controlling Jerusalem

The Arguments over Jerusalem

The United States backs Israel

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in July 2014 to stop rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. Both the people and government of the USA back Israel in its fight against terrorism, just as it always has.

Double Standards: Assassinations

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit released a long-secret memo in which the Obama administration laid out its legal reasoning for launching a drone attack on an American citizen overseas. The legal arguments for a targeted killing of an American citizen are greater than for a non-American, since the US citizen is entitled to due process in the court system, whereas a non-American is afforded fewer protections under the law.

The main justification presented in the memo revolved around the targeted person’s “continued and imminent threat of violence or death” to US persons. This justification received little debate in the press, congress or world opinion. All of the debates only revolved around the rights of due process for a US citizen.

The lack of debate would lead one to naturally conclude that everyone agrees with the rationale: that a government is responsible for protecting citizens that are threatened.

However, world opinion does not believe that such rationale is a universal responsibility. World bodies selectively believe that one government has neither the right nor the responsibility to protect its citizens. That government is Israel.

Consider the world reaction to the targeted killing of leading terrorists. The world celebrated the 2011 US assassination of Osama bin Laden, but almost uniformly (Australia was an exception) condemned Israel for the 2004 killing of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas.

Sheik Yassin had committed 100 attacks which killed hundreds of people in Israel. He had just completed a terrorist attack in Ashdod and was actively planning new attacks when he was killed. Osama bin Laden had committed a few attacks which killed thousands, and had not committed any recent attacks when he was killed by US special forces.

Below is a sampling of contrasting reactions from world leaders to the two events.

Now consider why Israel often ignores world opinion.

United Nations:

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan: “I condemn the targeted assassination of Ahmed Yassin. Such actions are not only contrary to international law but they do not help the search for a peaceful solution.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed Osama bin Laden’s death as a key turning point in the struggle against terrorism.


EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, described the assassination as “very, very bad news. The policy of the European Union has been consistently condemnation of extra-judicial killing.”

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said: “I would like to congratulate the U.S., pay tribute to its determination and efficiency in reducing the threat posed by terrorists and underline the close cooperation between the EU and U.S. in the fight against terrorism.”


The Holy See unites with the international community in deploring this act of violence that cannot be justified in any state of law. Lasting peace cannot come from a show of force.”

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said that while Christians “do not rejoice” over a death, bin Laden’s death serves to remind them of “each person’s responsibility before God and men” and “bin Laden must answer to God for having killed an innumerable number of people and exploiting religion”.


British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said: “Israel is not entitled to go in for this kind of unlawful killing and we condemn it. It is unacceptable, it is unjustified and it is very unlikely to achieve its objectives.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said that bin Laden’s death would “bring great relief” around the world. “I congratulate President Obama and those responsible for carrying out this operation.”


French President Jacques Chirac “unreservedly condemned” Israel’s assassination of Hamas terror leader Yassin. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous also said: “France condemns the action taken against Sheikh Yassin, just as it has always condemned the principle of any extra-judicial execution as contrary to international law.”

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said on that bin Laden’s death is a “victory for all democracies fighting the abominable scourge of terrorism. France, the United States and European states work closely together to fight terrorism, so I’m overjoyed at the news.”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said bin Laden’s death was a result of a “remarkable U.S. commando” operation. “For his victims, justice has been done. Today, in France, we think of them and their families.”


German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer: “The German government is deeply concerned about the development [killing of Sheik Yassin].”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “Last night, the forces of peace were able to report a success [killing of bin Laden].”


Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen: “This act will contribute to increased tensions in the area and will make it more difficult to implement an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.”

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre called the death of bin Laden “a break-through in the fight against terror”.


Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said “Terror and violence is not the way ahead.”

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said, “I congratulate President Obama and the American people with the success in finishing the era of bin Laden’s unscrupulous and inhumane violence and destruction


Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Israel’s actions were “thoughtless and reckless, and cannot be justified.”

Japan’s Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said today that the country welcomed the death of Osama bin Laden as “significant progress of counter-terrorism measures. I pay respect to the US officials concerned.”


United States Representative to the United Nations John Negroponte stated that the USA was “deeply troubled by this action by the Government of Israel

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “There is no better rebuke to al Qaeda and its heinous ideology. The fight continues and we will never waiver.”


The Brazilian government said it “deplored the murder of Sheik Ahmed Yassin.”

Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said the death of Al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden is “important and positive”.


Malaysia strongly condemned the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin: saying the action was a manifestation of terrorism.

Malaysian Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he hopes that the death of bin Laden would help bring universal peace and harmony.


LUIS ALFONSO DE ALBA GÓNGORA said his country regretted the actions taken by the Israeli army which had resulted in the loss of Sheikh Yassin. Mexico believed these actions broke down the necessary political conditions needed to put an end to escalating violence and to ensure peace in the region. It recognized the right to the self-determination of the Palestinian people, urged the international community to apply the Road Map, and urged the parties not to take unilateral decisions that placed obstacles in front of the road to peace. Societies had the right to live in peace. The protection of the rule of law and respect for human rights was essential to eradicate these acts. The Security Council must take a stance against international terrorism and the international community must continue together to endow the United Nations to guarantee that human rights and fundamental freedoms must be recognized fully

Mexico Ministry of Foreign Relation: The Government of Mexico reiterates its deep conviction that terrorism is a criminal activity that must be fought decisively by the international community because it represents a serious threat to global peace and stability and causes many innocent lives to be lost. That’s why the Government of Mexico recognizes the efforts carried out by the Government of the United States to fight against and capture Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization. These efforts have resulted in his defeat and death during an operation by U.S. armed forces in Pakistan. This is an act of great significance in the efforts to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism which threatens peace and international security, in particular the one practiced by one of the most cruel and bloody terrorist organizations which has acted against the civilian population and which has caused the loss of many innocent lives, including Mexican citizens in the attacks of September 11th, 2001.


HARDEEP SING. PURI said the killing of Sheikh Yassin had further inflamed passions in the Middle East, and there was concern that it would fuel the cycle of violence and counter-violence in the region, causing a set-back to the efforts to resume the peace process. There could be no military solution to the Middle East problem. States of course had the right to defend themselves, but they also had the responsibility to uphold international law. The people of Palestine deserved the full support of the international community to enable them to realize their national aspirations. There could, of course, be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terror. The international community had to be relentless in fighting the war to eradicate this scourge; no ends could be justified by use of the means of terrorism.

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh: “I welcome it as a significant step forward and hope that it will deal a decisive blow to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The international community and Pakistan in particular must work comprehensively to end the activities of all such groups who threaten civilized behavior and kill innocent men, women and children.”


CAROLINE MILLER said Australia had consistently supported Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorism. Hamas was a terrorist organization proscribed under the Australian law. It had used suicide bombers to target and murder many innocent Israelis. Australia urged calm and called on both sides to exercise maximum restraint. Violence would not settle the Middle East dispute.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard congratulated the United States on the operation and said she acknowledges the role of Pakistan in the fight against terror.  “Our fight against terrorism does not end with bin Laden’s death. We must remain vigilant against the threat posed by al Qaeda and the groups it has inspired,” she said.

New Zealand:

JILLIAN DEMPSTER said the use of extra-judicial killings by a State was particularly abhorrent. Assassinations such as the extra-judicial killing of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Yassin clearly violated the norms of international human rights law. Not only that, but they did not achieve their stated goal, were counter-productive to peace efforts in the Middle East, and would likely only produce further violence.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key stated that “the world is a safer place without Osama bin Laden”, but “bin Laden’s death may not mean an end to terrorism    

South Africa:

DUDU KHOSA said that her country condemned the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, founder and spiritual leader of Hamas. Such extra-judicial killings constituted a contravention of international law and relevant United Nations conventions, and only strengthened those not committed to achieving peace in the Middle East. Such acts could only lead to retaliation and counter-retaliation, further eroding any progress being made in the implementation of the Road Map.

South Africa Department of International Relations and Cooperation reaffirmed South Africa’s support for stemming “the demon of terrorism in all its manifestations


VLADIMIR PARSHIKOV said the Russian Federation supported the proposal to hold the special sitting since it was concerned about the worsening situation in the Middle East in general. The recent acts committed by Israel were a serious threat to the Road Map to peace and these acts of violence would nullify every effort taken by the Quartet. Both parties must show restraint and a high level of responsibility to commit themselves to peace. The Russian Federation would also vote in favour of the proposed draft resolution of the Security Council condemning all acts of terrorism including those committed recently by Israel.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry published a statement on its website calling bin Laden’s death a “landmark point… The elimination of Osama bin Laden, a notorious figure and the number one terrorist, is a landmark point in fighting international terrorism. This is an extraordinary event for the entire anti-terror coalition which will have a lasting practical meaning in terms of decapitation of the criminal organization,” the statement said. “It will become an important symbol since it took place on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the U.S. As part of the anti-terror coalition, we sympathize with the Americans, and appreciate the fact that the Russian authorities were informed about the news (of bin Laden’s elimination) ahead of the official announcement of U.S.President Barack Obama.”


SHA ZUKANG said the act of assassination by Israel was strongly condemned in the belief that the practice of targeted liquidation was not conducive to the settlement of the Middle East issue, rather, it would trigger more conflicts and bloodshed and further destabilize the region.

Chinese spokesman: We have noted the announcement and believe this is a major event and a positive development in the international struggle against terrorism.

Sri Lanka:

SARALA M. FERNADO said extra judicial killings were in contravention to international law and should be condemned in no uncertain terms by peace-loving countries. Terrorism brought immense pain to innocent civilians, broke social systems, generated hatred and darkened the future of the generations to be born. For a peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict, all parties should exercise restraint and refrain from any form of violence, as these only contributed to diminish hopes for a lasting peace.

External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris congratulated the US and said: “the killing of the terrorist leader [bin Laden] by US forces sends a warning to other terror groups as well.” Cabinet Minister de Silva added: the assassination “sheds a lot of light on how a ruthless terrorist group should be crushed.”


Prime Minister Recep Erdogan called the killing of Yassin “a terrorist act” and said that “the assassination was not humane.”

President Abdualla Gul declared that the killing of bin Laden was a message for terrorst organizations all around the world.

Saudi Arabia:

ABDULWAHAB ABDULSALAM ATTAR said that Israel had no use for the resolutions adopted by this august Commission, nor for the Geneva Conventions. The assassination of Sheikh Yassin was a crime. Israel also tortured detainees and prisoners in contravention of international law. The international community was urged to put an end to such crimes, including that committed against Sheikh Yassin. This criminal act must be deplored in this forum. Otherwise, the Commission risked losing its credibility. Full solidarity with the sufferings of the Palestinian people must also be expressed.

Statement on Saudi Press Agency: “An official source has expressed the hope of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the extermination of the terrorist head of Al Qaeda is a step towards the reinforcing of the international efforts to combat terror and breaking up its cells. And the extinguishing of the misleading school of thought it rests on.


MANAF AL-SALAHI said his country condemned the escalating Israeli policies which had taken a dangerous turn with the assassination of last week which was a clear violation of international norms and laws. This act may bring the region into spiralling violence. The peace process as a whole had reached a stalemate and it would be difficult for the peace process to be revived unless the international community pursued the road to peace in a strict way.

Embassy of Yemen in the U.S. released a statement welcoming “the elimination of Usama Bin Ladin, the founding father of the Al-Qaeda’s terrorist network. The successful operation, spearheaded by U.S. forces, marks a monumental milestone in the ongoing global war against terrorism.”


MOHAMMAD REZA ALBORZI said the international community had once again been witness to yet another act of brutality and barbarism and extra-judicial targeted assassination by Israel. The relentless massacre of Palestinians and targeted assassinations were strongly condemned, as these acts were clear instances of State terrorism, which further revealed the violent face of the Israeli Government before the international community. That these atrocities were perpetrated at the very time when the Commission was in session clearly manifested Israeli continued defiance of this body and was an appalling affront to the Commission’s credibility. It was high time that the Commission considered some sort of preventative mechanism to bring an end once and for all to the continued Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

Iran Foreign Ministry:  The Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that the death of Osama bin Laden will put an end to war and the killing of innocent people and restore peace to their region, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. The IRNA website reports Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that foreign countries now have no excuse for military buildup in the region to fight terrorism.”


SHEHAB A. MADI said the assassination of Sheikh Yassin was a crime that would only lead to further escalation, violence and instability in the region. It was another crime against the Palestinian people and a clear violation of all norms and international conventions. The policy of assassination which led only to more escalation and violence was totally rejected.

Jordan said the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is likely to end unjust campaigns in the West against Islam.


OMAR HILALE said his country strongly condemned the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yasssin and other civilians by Israel. This would have dangerous consequences that would destabilize further the region. Morocco rejected violence and everyone should return to the negotiating table. It was the responsibility of the international community to condemn Israeli acts.

Communications Minister Khalid Naciri said that “the entire world suffered from bin Laden and the organization he created“.

In total, 31 countries voted in favor of a UN Commission on Human Rights resolution “Which Condemns Continuing Grave Violations Of Human Rights in Territory, Including Tragic Assassination of Sheikh Yassin”: Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Despite condemning Israel for killing an active terrorist, these countries extolled the US doing the same thing:

Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said “Bin Laden’s activities are repudiated by all people and nations who truly believe in the dignity of the human condition, and we stand in support of all his victims.”

Chile President Sebastián Piñera said he was “glad that the whole world learned that, though late, justice arrives, and that crimes committed against innocent people around the world will not go unpunished.”

Ansyaad Mbai, the head of Indonesia’s counter-terrorist agency, said that bin Laden’s death “would bring positive impact” and that “it would reduce movements organized by radical groups since their main figure had died.”

Ethiopian Communication Department said “The Ethiopian Government salutes all parties involved in this operation, particularly the US anti-terrorist operatives, for hunting and destroying this unrepentant leader of an international terrorist organization.”

The US celebrates Israel

On June 1, 2014, New York City will again host a Celebrate Israel parade in Manhattan.  Americans positive attitude towards Israel has increased in each of the past decades. Israel ranks #8 in Americans favorability rankings globally, and higher than any country in the Middle East and Africa.