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Iranian Alert - September 15, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Americans for Regime Change in Iran ^ | 9.15.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 09/14/2004 9:01:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn

The US media still largely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” As a result, most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East. In fact they were one of the first countries to have spontaneous candlelight vigils after the 911 tragedy (see photo).

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alsadr; armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cleric; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; islamicrepublic; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; moqtadaalsadr; mullahs; persecution; persia; persian; politicalprisoners; poop; protests; rafsanjani; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; wot
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin

1 posted on 09/14/2004 9:01:56 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

2 posted on 09/14/2004 9:04:54 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

New cracks in nuclear containment

As North Korea, South Korea, and Iran test limits and raise risks of an arms race, the global challenge to nonproliferation grows.
| Staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor
WASHINGTON North Korea might test a nuclear weapon in the near future, though it apparently didn't explode one over the weekend. Iran is forging ahead with nuclear activities despite objections from much of the rest of the world. South Korea, it turns out, produced some fissile material a few years ago. The Seoul government didn't know what was going on - or so it says.

The global effort to curb nuclear proliferation may now be facing some of its most daunting challenges in years. Taken separately, the news items above are bad enough. But some experts worry that, added together, they might spiral into a whole more dangerous than the sum of its parts.

That's because a few serious cracks could conceivably shatter long-held international taboos against acquiring an atomic arsenal. Even one overt new nuclear nation might produce others, as rivals and neighbors rush to arm themselves defensively.

But this outcome isn't necessarily inevitable. Today, the number of states with a nuclear weapon remains the same as 15 years ago, points out Matthew Bunn, a nuclear expert at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"If we work hard and patch up these holes in the [nonproliferation] regime ... we still have a chance to be at the same place 15 years from now," says Mr. Bunn.

The case against North Korea

Still, September has so far been a daunting month for nuclear revelations - bad enough to make the issue a live one for the presidential campaign. Senator John Kerry said Sunday that by focusing on Iraq, Bush administration officials have "taken their eye off the real ball" and allowed nuclear threats to develop. Bush officials denied the charge - and said that this is one area where they are working with the international community to try to develop multilateral solutions.

For instance, the US isn't alone in confronting North Korea, said Secretary of State Colin Powell in a broadcast interview: "It's North Korea versus all of its neighbors, which have no interest in seeing North Korea with a nuclear weapon."

North Korea remains perhaps the most acute proliferation concern for US officials and experts outside government. Last weekend, reports that Pyongyang might be preparing to test a nuclear device coincided with the inexplicable appearance of a mushroom cloud in North Korea, near the border with China. By all accounts the cloud was the result of a non-nuclear explosion, the cause of which isn't yet clear. But if nothing else, the incident reminded the world of North Korea's self-proclaimed steady nuclear progress.

US intelligence estimates hold that North Korea now has enough fissile material for six to eight nuclear devices. That's enough of a stockpile to use some in a design experiment, say experts - meaning it's entirely possible that a real mushroom cloud will appear somewhere over the secretive nation in the next few years.

"I think it is a real possibility they will carry out a test," says Bunn. "Of course it would be completely insane on their part - they may think it may lead the US to bargain with them, but it would most certainly have the opposite result."

How the 'nuclear club' could grow

An overtly nuclear North Korea might not spark a regional arms race right away. But if Japan and South Korea saw no progress in containing the threat within a relatively short period of time, they, too, might decide it would be safer to be in the nuclear club than out. And if Japan and South Korea move, Taiwan might not be far behind.

Meanwhile, the international community on Monday was struggling with how to deal with Iran's nascent nuclear activities. Among the key aims of the US and European allies is to get Iran to fully give up nuclear enrichment activities, which it has so far refused to do, saying they are related only to a nuclear power program.

The US wants the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to set a November deadline for action. If Iran didn't comply, it would be hauled before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. Europe has moved closer to the US view recently, though the US still wants a more automatic "trigger" for action than many of its allies.

The fact that Iran is far more wily in geopolitics than North Korea or Iraq may make it a difficult opponent for the US on this issue, note some experts. "I think there's a bit of a stalemate, but there's room for progress," says Paul Kerr, a non- proliferation analyst at the Arms Control Association. "The Iranians seem to be probing to see what they can get away with."

In this context, South Korea's newly revealed nuclear activities, including production of 300 pounds of uranium metal in the '80s and creation of a small amount of highly enriched uranium in 2000, gave potential proliferators a rhetorical advantage, at the very least. North Korea has already used the admission to try and justify its own activities.

On Monday, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said South Korea's admissions were of "serious concern." A fuller IAEA report on the matter should be forthcoming by November, he said.

A broad but critical agenda

Can the cracks in the nonproliferation dike be plugged? Possibly, say experts. The US could make the issue one of higher visibility, and commit more money to programs designed to secure existing stocks of nuclear materials, says the Arms Control Association's Mr. Kerr.

Bunn of Harvard, for his part, says the US should tackle the nuclear programs of hostile states with more adroit diplo- macy. Then it should redouble efforts to secure fissile stockpiles, and roll up any black-market nuclear networks, such as the one headed by rogue Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan.

Next on Bunn's list is establishment of a robust international inspection regime to make sure controls stay in place. And the US might have to accept limits on its own arsenal, he says, such as a cap on development of new warhead designs.

"This a very broad agenda," says Bunn, "and it's very crucial, partly because the review conference [of the Non Proliferation Treaty] is coming up in early 2005, right after either a new President takes office or President Bush takes up his second term."

3 posted on 09/14/2004 9:05:21 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


NICOSIA [MENL] -- Iran has launched a major military exercise as the International Atomic Energy Agency began formal discussions of Teheran's nuclear program.

Iranian officials said the exercise in western Iran was meant to test the effectiveness of troops and strategic platforms against any foreign invasion. They said the exercise was the latest of more than a dozen over the last 18 months in an attempt to bolster deterrence against any Israeli or U.S. military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

The exercise, entitled Ashura-5, began on Sept. 12 in the western provinces of Hamedan, Kurdistan, and Zanjan. The exercise was being commanded by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, responsible for Iran's missile and nuclear weapons programs.

IRGC commander Gen. Yahya Rahim-Safavi said Ashura-5 would include the firing of surface-to-surface missiles and anti-aircraft batteries. The commander did not identify the missiles, but said they would be used for what he termed deep-strike warfare.

4 posted on 09/14/2004 9:05:42 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


By Safa Haeri
Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2004

VIENNA, 14 Sept. (IPS) The usually calm city of Vienna continue to be one of the world’s most news generating point, as alongside of the ongoing battle in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the controversial Iranian nuclear activities, ministers from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are also here to discuss the situation of oil markets, as prices hovers around 40 dollars per barrel.

The cartel, which supplies more than a third of the world's oil, will continue to produce as much crude as possible to lower near-record prices, the oil ministers for two members, Qatar and Algeria, said ahead of the OPEC’s meeting on Wednesday.

Informed sources told Iran Press Service that besides seeking “practical” ways and means to lower the prices, the ministers faces the thorny question of naming the next president of the 11 members Organisation as well as considering changing the present target price range of 22 to 28 US Dollars a barrel, a bracket that had been ignored during last nine months, with prices hitting 49.40 a barrel in New York.

OPEC is also divided on weather raising its official $22-$28 price target to a range centred around a $30-a-barrel or to keep the present system

OPEC is also divided on weather raising its official $22-$28 price target to a range centred around a $30-a-barrel or to keep the present system.

"We do not see a reason at this time to change or do anything with the band", Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Na’imi told reporters upon his arrival in Vienna, were both OPEC and IAEA are based.

OPEC output, including Iraq, rose 360,000 barrels a day to an average of 29.92 million a day in August, at a 25-year high for a second straight month, according to Bloomberg data. The 10 members with quotas, all except Iraq, pumped 28.1 million barrels a day.

OPEC is pumping 2 million barrels per day above its quota of 26 million and most of its members think that there is not a shortage of crude oil on the market, but speculation.

The group is meeting for the fourth time so far this year and may gather again in November or December.

On the presidency of the organization, sources said Iran has told other members that it is time that the job is given to an Iranian, in this case Mr. Kazempour Ardebili.

Iran has told other members that it is time that the job is given to an Iranian, in this case Mr. Kazempour Ardebili.

But Kuwait is also seeking the position.

“The chips are high and members divided, but it seems that Iran is the favorite”, one source told IPS, adding that Mr. Namdar Zanganeh, Iran’s Oil Minister, has warned colleagues that if Mr. Ardebili is rejected, Iran might create difficulties for the 40 years-old cartel.

Meanwile, on the other end of the city, participants at the IAEA meeting were reported to face serious problems on various fronts, as some medium-sized European Union members have put up a challenge to the Union's "Big 3" in the one hand and the Non aligned group opposing the draft resolution prepared by Britain, France and Germany.

Italy and Spain are spearheding a movement contesting that the so-called Big 3 should decide for the whole 25-members European Union on dealing with Iranian nuclear issue, sources said, adding that debates on the sidelines of the meeting aimed at watering down the EU's trio resolution that gives Iran until November to convince the EU, the US and the IAEA on its intentions has resulted in the posteponment of the session until Thursday. ENDS OPEC 14904

5 posted on 09/14/2004 9:06:01 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Executive Summary

"Terrorism Investments of the 50 States"

is the first national security-based statistical analysis of the investment patterns of America's public pension funds.  This report proves empirically that this nation's largest and most prominent public pension systems tend to be heavily invested in global publicly traded companies that have business activities in terrorist-sponsoring states.  1

Together, these funds invest over $1 trillion in stock alone2 on behalf of this country's fire fighters, police officers, teachers, state and local officials and other public employees, making this collection of funds one of the most powerful investment blocks in the world.  Given this extraordinary financial influence and the important role played by public companies in the economies of terrorist-sponsoring states3,the Center for Security Policy has reached a key finding: America's 100 largest and most prominent pension systems have the power to help defeat terrorism. 

From the pension system of this country's smallest state, Rhode Island, which has close to $400 million invested in 41 companies that are active in terrorist-sponsoring states, to America's largest public pension system -- the California Public Employees Retirement System -- which has over $17 billion invested in 201 such companies, the results were remarkably uniform:

On average, America's Top 100 pension systems invest between 15 and 23 percent of their portfolio in companies that do business in terrorist-sponsoring states.4

Among the report's other important findings:

From the fact that virtually each and every public employee in this country holds stock in companies that partner with governments that sponsor terrorism flows an extraordinary opportunity: America's 100 largest and most influential pension systems have the power to help defeat terrorism.  To understand why requires only one further statistic:  The total estimated value of the stock of some 400 companies doing business in terrorist sponsoring states held by America's leading public pension systems is approximately $188 billion.6

When a group of investors own roughly $200 billion worth of stock in some 400 companies, they should be able to exercise considerable influence over the decision-making and business activities of those companies.  Accordingly, if these Top 100 pension systems were to make clear that their funds will not be available to corporations partnering with terrorist-sponsoring states, the message would be unmistakable:  There will no longer be simply profits to be garnered from investments in rogue states; from now on, there will be real costs.  Ideally, those costs will translate into a choice between doing business with the American people and capital markets on the one hand or, alternatively, doing business with terrorists' friends and this country's enemies. 

The South Africa divestment campaign of the 1980's taught Americans a compelling lesson:  When companies receive a unified message from state pension systems and other institutional investors who follow their lead, they respond.  It seems reasonable to expect that, just as such corporate actions (notably, withdrawal from business operations in-country) compelled changes in the policies -- and ultimately the government -- of South Africa, application of this model to state-sponsors of terror could also produce salutary results.  In other words, the Top 100 public pension systems can help defeat terrorism by using their investments in public companies to force the governments of Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan and Libya to choose between their sponsorship of terrorism and their critical partnerships with public companies.

In a recent letter to the Executive Directors of the same Top 100 pension systems assessed herein, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) left little doubt as to the moral responsibility of our nation's pension systems to help defeat terrorism.  According to the Senator, "It is� uncon-scionable for our country's public pension systems to permit investment in companies that provide revenues, advanced equipment and technology to countries that threaten our vital security interests."

The data in this report establishes that such "unconscionable" behavior is pervasively occurring today.  For Americans to understand the full extent to which their money is being used by publicly traded companies to help terrorist-sponsoring regimes, they will need greater transparency and disclosure on the part of those who manage and invest such funds.  Toward that end, public employees, taxpayers and state and federal officials and legislators should insist on knowing the full extent of their unintended and undesirable exposure -- moral, strategic and financial -- to aiding and abetting our enemies.

In the meantime, a simple principle must be applied:  Americans do not want to invest in terror, directly or indirectly.  Regrettably, that is what is being done on a massive scale today.  Stopping such a practice -- the goal of -- can make a significant contribution to waging and winning the war on terror.

This report sought to analyze America's "Top 100" largest and most prominent public pension systems, excluding public university endowments.  At the time of publication, only 87 of these public pension funds had provided the data required to undertake this analysis. 

America's Top 100 funds invest via a number of other investment vehicles, making their total investments on behalf of the American people closer to $2 trillion.

For the purposes of this report, terrorist-sponsoring states are defined as Iran, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.  Although Cuba is also correctly listed as a state-sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State, relevant data for Cuba was not available for this study.

To perform the analyses of the 100 pension systems' investment portfolios, the Center forwarded this data to the Conflict Securities Advisory Group (CSAG).  Using their Global Security Risk Monitor, CSAG ran each portfolio to determine its exposure to companies doing business in terrorist-sponsoring states or to proliferation-related concerns.  The Center's use of this data and the views and policy recommendations expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect those of CSAG or its partner firm, Investor Responsibility Research Center.

Of the roughly 400 companies considered in this report, project values and similar financial data was available for only some 150 companies.  A reasonable estimate of the value of all 400 companies' projects in terrorist-sponsoring countries would be well over $100 billion. 

Based on the results for the 87 funds analyzed, we estimate that the actual holdings of the Top 100 pension systems in the stock of companies that do business in terrorist-sponsoring states likely exceeds $210 billion.


1. This report sought to analyze America's "Top 100" largest and most prominent public pension systems, excluding public university endowments.  At the time of publication, only 87 of these public pension funds had provided the data required to undertake this analysis. 

2. America's Top 100 funds invest via a number of other investment vehicles, making their total investments on behalf of the American people closer to $2 trillion.

3. For the purposes of this report, terrorist-sponsoring states are defined as Iran, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.  Although Cuba is also correctly listed as a state-sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State, relevant data for Cuba was not available for this study.

4. To perform the analyses of the 100 pension systems' investment portfolios, the Center forwarded this data to the Conflict Securities Advisory Group (CSAG).  Using their Global Security Risk Monitor, CSAG ran each portfolio to determine its exposure to companies doing business in terrorist-sponsoring states or to proliferation-related concerns.  The Center's use of this data and the views and policy recommendations expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect those of CSAG or its partner firm, Investor Responsibility Research Center.

5.Of the roughly 400 companies considered in this report, project values and similar financial data was available for only some 150 companies.  A reasonable estimate of the value of all 400 companies' projects in terrorist-sponsoring countries would be well over $100 billion. 

6.Based on the results for the 87 funds analyzed, we estimate that the actual holdings of the Top 100 pension systems in the stock of companies that do business in terrorist-sponsoring states likely exceeds $210 billion.


6 posted on 09/14/2004 9:06:28 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Europe sets deadline for Iran to respond to nuclear concern 2004-09-15 09:42:52

    VIENNA, Sept. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Germany, France and Britain formally submitted a draft resolution Tuesday to the InternationalAtomic Energy Agency (IAEA), setting a deadline for Iran to respond to concern about its nuclear program.

    The draft urged Iran to meet all the requirements of the IAEA before Oct. 31, according to sources.

    Meanwhile, the IAEA will carry out a comprehensive evaluation of Iran's nuclear program, in accordance with which the 35-nation Board of Governors of the IAEA will decide on whether or not further steps are needed at a meeting set to be held in November, the sources added.

    The draft also called on Iran to provide necessary cooperation with the IAEA in its inspections of the country's nuclear facilities and suspend all uranium enrichment-related activities.

    IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters Tuesday that he can't assure the inspection could be finished before November. But he stressed the inspection so far could not prove that Iran has been developing a program on nuclear weapons.

    Hossein Mousavian, head of the Iranian delegation to the IAEA meeting, said Monday that Iran's year-long suspension of uranium enrichment is not without a time limit and Iran has the right to develop peaceful nuclear technology.

    The Iranian official also stressed his country's uranium enrichment was under the supervision and control of the IAEA.

    The IAEA Board of Governors began a week-long meeting on Monday,during which the Iran nuclear issue would be discussed. Enditem

7 posted on 09/14/2004 9:08:23 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Yes. And guess who and what, is the root cause of the Iranians misery? Democrat Jimmy Carter, that's who.

8 posted on 09/14/2004 9:26:27 PM PDT by onyx eyes
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To: onyx eyes

"who and what, is the root cause of the Iranians misery? Democrat Jimmy Carter, that's who"

Thought that was worth saying again.

9 posted on 09/14/2004 9:56:10 PM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: DoctorZIn

Americans do not want war with Iran...Thinking
Israeli's and their sympathizers should not want
war with Iran...Long ago Arik Sharon urged his
protege in the white house to attack Iran the
day after he defeated Iraq....we should not fall
prey to the designs of the military adventures
of is not in the interest of
the USA....USA First--all others second.

10 posted on 09/14/2004 10:15:52 PM PDT by StoptheDonkey
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To: StoptheDonkey

BUMP for you!

11 posted on 09/14/2004 11:05:33 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (Democracy is a process not a product)
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To: F14 Pilot; nuconvert; freedom44; AdmSmith; Cronos

'Persian Gulf islands, insaparable part of Iran'
Sep 15th, 2004

LONDON,Sep 15 (IranMania) - Iran reiterated Tuesday its "total sovereignty" over three Persain Gulf islands claimed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), state media reported.

"Any claims against the territorial integrity of Islamic Republic of Iran and its possession of its regional waters, air space or economy are condemned," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi was quoted as saying by AFP in reaction to a final declaration from a Persian Gulf Cooperation Council summit.

"The three islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs as well as Abu Musa are inseparable parts of Iranian soil," Asefi asserted.

According to the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA, ministers from the GCC states meeting in Saudi Arabia on Monday renewed their support for the United Arab Emirates regrading the "three islands occupied by Iran".

Iran has controlled the three islands since the withdrawal of British forces from the region in 1971.

The UAE was established in 1971 following Britain's pullout from the region, shortly after Tehran took control of the islands situated roughly halfway between the two countries.

The GCC groups the gas- and oil-rich states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

12 posted on 09/15/2004 2:51:51 AM PDT by Khashayar (Learn Geography!)
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To: DoctorZIn

Restraining a Nuclear-Ready Iran: Seven Levers

Report of NPEC’s Competitive Strategies Working Group

September 13, 2004


When it comes to Iran’s nuclear program, most U.S. and allied officials are in one or another state of denial. All insist it is critical to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Yet, few understand just how late it is to attempt this. Iran is now no more than 12 to 48 months from acquiring a nuclear bomb, lacks for nothing technologically or materially to produce it, and seems dead set on securing an option to do so. As for the most popular policy options – to bomb or bribe Iran – only a handful of analysts and officials are willing to admit publicly how self- defeating these courses of action might be.

This report, based on commissioned research and meetings with the nation’s leading experts on Iran, the Middle East, and nuclear proliferation, is intended to highlight sounder policy options.

It makes seven recommendations designed to reduce the potential harm Iran might otherwise do or encourage if it gained nuclear weapons or the ability to have them in a matter of days. The report reflects analysis done at a series of competitive strategies workshops that focused on the next two decades of likely competition between America and Iran and what comparative strengths the U.S. and its allies might use to leverage Iranian behavior (for this analysis, see Checking Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions (Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2004) at

These workshops identified three threats that are likely to increase following Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapons option:

• Even More Nuclear Proliferation. Iran’s continued insistence that it acquired its nuclear capabilities legally under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) would, if unchallenged, encourage its neighbors (including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Algeria) to develop nuclear options of their own by emulating Iran’s example, by overtly declaring possession (in Israel’s case) or by importing nuclear weapons (in Saudi Arabia’s case). Such announcements and efforts, in turn, would likely undermine nuclear nonproliferation restraints internationally and strain American relations with most of its key friends in the
Middle East.

• Dramatically Higher Oil Prices. A nuclear-ready Iran could be emboldened to manipulate oil prices upward. It might attempt this either by threatening the freedom of the seas (by mining oil transit points as it did in the l980s or by threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz) or by using terrorist proxies to threaten the destruction of Saudi and other Gulf state oil facilities and pipelines.

• Increased Terrorism Geared to Diminish U.S. Influence. With a nuclear weapons option acting as a deterrent to U.S. an allied action against it, Iran would likely lend greater support to terrorists operating against Israel, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Europe and the U.S. The aim of such support would be to reduce American support for U.S. involvement in the Middle East, for Israel, and for actions against Iran generally and to elevate Iran as an equal to the U.S. and its allies on all matters relating to the Persian Gulf and related regions. An additional aim of the terrorism that Iran would support would be to keep other nations from supporting U.S. policies and the continued U.S. military presence in the Middle East. All of these threats are serious. If realized, they would undermine U.S. and allied efforts to foster moderate rule in much of the Middle East and set into play a series of international competitions that could ultimately result in major wars. Most U.S. and allied policy makers understand this and are now preoccupied with trying to prevent Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapons option. As Iran gets closer to securing this option, though, two questionable courses of action -- bombing or bribing Iran – have become increasingly popular. Neither, however, is likely to succeed and could easily make matters worse. Certainly, targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities risks leaving other covert facilities and Iran’s nuclear cadre of technicians untouched. More important, any overt military attack would give Tehran a casus belli either to withdraw from the NPT or to rally Islamic Jihadists to wage war against the U.S. and its allies more directly. Whatever might be gained in technically delaying Iran’s completion of having a bomb option, then, would have to be weighed against what might be lost in Washington’s long-term effort to encourage more moderate Islamic rule in Iran and the Middle East; to synchronize allied policies against nuclear proliferation; and to deflate Iran’s rhetorical demonstrations against U.S. and allied hostility. Meanwhile, merely bluffing an attack against Iran -- sometimes urged as a way around these difficulties – would only aggravate matters: The bluff would eventually be exposed and so only embolden Iran and weaken U.S. and allied credibility further. As for negotiating directly with Tehran to limit its declared nuclear program – an approach preferred by most of America’s European allies -- this too seems self-defeating. First, any deal the Iranian regime would agree to would only validate that the NPT legally allows its members to acquire all the capabilities Iran mastered. Second, it would foster the view internationally that the only risk in violating required NPT inspections would be to be caught and then bribed to limit only those activities the inspectors managed to discover. Considering these shortcomings, the working group decided that rather than trying merely to eliminate Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear option (something that may no longer be possible), it also would be useful to devise ways to curb the harmful things Iran might do or encourage once it secured such an option. This approach produced seven recommendations that the workshop participants believed were not currently receiving sufficient attention. These steps, they argued, would increase the credibility of current efforts to prevent Iran from going nuclear and needed to be pursued, in any case, if prevention failed. These recommendations include:

1. Discrediting the legitimacy of Iran’s nuclear program as a model for other proliferators through a series of follow-on meetings to the 2005 NPT Review Conference to clarify what activities qualify as being “peaceful” under the NPT.

2. Increasing the costs for Iran and its neighbors to leave or infringe the NPT by establishing country-neutral rules at the UN Security Council against violators withdrawing from the treaty and violators more generally.

3. Securing Russian cooperation in these efforts by offering Moscow a lucrative U.S. nuclear cooperative agreement.

4. Reducing Persian Gulf production and distribution system vulnerabilities to possible terrorist disruptions by building additional back-up capabilities in Saudi Arabia.

5. Limiting Iran’s freedom to threaten oil and gas shipping by proposing a Montreux-like convention to demilitarize the Straits of Hormuz and an agreement to limit possible incidents at sea.

6. Isolating Iran as a regional producer of fissile materials by encouraging Israel to take the first steps to freeze and dismantle such capabilities.

7. Backing these diplomatic-economic initiatives with increased U.S.-allied anti-terrorist, defense, naval, and nuclear nonproliferation cooperation. Would taking these steps eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat? No. Given Iran’s extensive nuclear know-how and capabilities, it is unlikely that the U.S. or its allies can deny Iran the technical ability to covertly make nuclear weapons. Yet, assuming adoption of the steps described, it would be far riskier diplomatically, economically, and militarily for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons than is currently the case. More important, taking these steps would leverage the comparative strengths of the U.S. and its friends in a manner that would undermine Iran’s efforts to divide the U.S. from its allies and to deter them from acting against Iranian misbehavior. It would not only discourage Iran’s neighbors from following Iran’s nuclear example, but force a needed reconsideration of what nuclear activities ought to be protected under the NPT (including those Iran has used to justify completing own nuclear breakout capabilities). Finally, it would map a non-nuclear future for the Middle East that might be eventually realized (assuming a change of heart by Iran and others) through verifiable deeds rather than on precise intelligence (which is all too elusive).


When U.S. and allied officials speak of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, imperatives are used freely: Iran, we are told, must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons; the U.S. and its allies cannot tolerate Iran going nuclear; a nuclear-armed Tehran is unthinkable. Yet, the truth is that Iran soon can and will get a bomb option. All Iranian engineers need is a bit more time -- one to four years at most. No other major gaps remain: Iran has the requisite equipment to make the weapons fuel, the know-how to assemble the bombs; and the missile and naval systems necessary to deliver them beyond its borders. As noted in the working group’s earlier report (see Checking Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions), no scheme, including “just in time” delivery fresh fuel and removal of spent fuel from Bushier, will provide much protection against Iran diverting its peaceful nuclear program to compliment its covert efforts to make bombs.

As for eliminating Iran’s nuclear capabilities militarily, the U.S. and Israel lack sufficient targeting intelligence to do this. In fact, Iran has long had considerable success in concealing its nuclear activities from U.S. intelligence analysts and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors (the latter recently warned against assuming the agency could find all of Iran’s illicit uranium enrichment activities). As it is, Iran could have already hidden all it needs to reconstitute a bomb program assuming its known declared nuclear plants are hit.

Compounding these difficulties is what Iran might do in response to such an attack. After being struck, Tehran could declare that it must acquire nuclear weapons as a matter of self-defense, withdraw from the NPT and accelerate its nuclear endeavors. This would increase pressure on Israel (who insists it will not be “second” in possessing nuclear arms in the Middle East) to confirm its possession of nuclear weapons publicly and, thus set off a chain of possible nuclear reactions in Cairo, Damascus, Riyadh, Algiers, and Ankara.

On the other hand, Iran could continue to pretend to comply with the NPT, which could produce equally disastrous results. After being attacked, Iran might appeal to the IAEA, the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement, the European Union, and the United Nations to make Iran’s nuclear program whole again and, again, use this “peaceful” program to energize and serve as a cover for its covert nuclear weapon activities. This would again put the entire neighborhood on edge, debase the NPT, and set a clear example for all of Iran’s neighbors to follow on how to get a weapons option. In addition, as more of Iran’s neighbors secured their own nuclear options, Washington’s influence over its friends in the region (e.g., Egypt and Saudi Arabia) would likely decline, as well as Washington’s ability to protect NATO and non-NATO allies there (e.g., Israel and Turkey).

In addition, Iran might respond to an overt military attack by striking back covertly against the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Iraq, or Israel through the support of non-Iranian terrorist organizations. The ramifications of any of these responses are difficult to minimize.

Finally, Iran could take any and all of these actions without actually ever testing, sharing, or deploying, nuclear weapons. Certainly, as long as most nations buy Tehran’s argument that the NPT’s guarantee to “peaceful” nuclear energy gives it and all other members the right to develop everything needed to come within a screwdriver’s turn of a nuclear arsenal, Iran will be best served by getting to this point and going no further. Indeed, by showing such restraint, Iran’s mullahs could avoid domestic and international controversies that might otherwise undermine their political standing, along with possible additional economic sanctions, and the additional costs of fielding a survivable nuclear force. Meanwhile, as long as Iran could acquire nuclear weapons quickly, Tehran could intimidate others as effectively as if it already had such systems deployed.

None of this, of course, argues for reducing pressures on Iran to curb its nuclear activities. The U.S. and its allies should continue to do all they can to head Iran off including efforts to throttle Iran’s “civilian” program. Indeed, if all Washington and its allies do is pressure Iran not to openly acquire nuclear arms, without pressuring Iran to give up its “civilian” nuclear efforts, Iran will easily best them by getting a quick nuclear breakout capability, claiming its entire nuclear program is legal under the NPT, and using its quick breakout capabilities diplomatically as it would if it actually had nuclear weapons.

What should we expect when, in the next 12 to 48 months, Iran secures such a breakout option?

If the U.S. and its allies do no more than they have already, two things.

First, many of its neighbors will do their best to follow Iran’s “peaceful” example. Egypt, Algeria, Syria, and Saudi Arabia will all claim that they too need to pursue nuclear research and development to the point of having nuclear weapons options and, as a further slap in Washington’s face (and Tel Aviv’s), will point to Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear program and Israel’s undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal to help justify their own “civil” nuclear activities. Second, an ever more nuclear-ready Iran will try to lead the revolutionary Islamic vanguard throughout the Islamic world by becoming the main support for terrorist organizations aimed against the U.S. and Washington’s key regional ally, Israel; America’s key energy source, Saudi Arabia; and Washington’s prospective democratic ally, Iraq.

Earlier in 2004, senior Saudi officials announced they were studying the possibility of acquiring or “leasing” nuclear weapons from China or Pakistan (this would be legal under the NPT so long as the weapons were kept under Chinese or Pakistani “control”). Egypt earlier announced its plans to develop a large nuclear desalinization plant and is reported recently to have received sensitive nuclear technology from Libya. Syria, meanwhile, is now interested in uranium enrichment. Some intelligence sources believe Damascus may already be experimenting with centrifuges. And Algeria is in the midst of upgrading its second large research reactor facility (which is still ringed with air defense units). If these states continue to pursue their nuclear dreams (spurred on by Iran’s example), could Iraq, which still has a considerable number of nuclear scientists and engineers, be expected to stand idly by? And what of Turkey, whose private sector was recently revealed to have been part of the Doctor Khan network?

Will nuclear agitation to its south and its repeated rejection from the European Union cause Turkey to reconsider its non-nuclear status? Most of these nations are now friends of the United States. Efforts on their part to acquire a bomb under the guise of developing “peaceful” nuclear energy (with Latin American, Asian, European, Russian or Chinese help), though, will only serve to strain their relations with Washington.

With such regional nuclear enthusiasm will come increased diplomatic pressure on Israel, an undeclared nuclear weapons state and America’s closest Middle East ally. Early in July of 2004, the IAEA’s Director and the major states within the Middle East urged Israel to give up its nuclear arms in proposed regional arms control negotiations. Israel’s understandable reluctance to be dragged into such talks or to admit to having nuclear arms now will not end these pressures. If Israel has a secret nuclear arsenal, Arabs argue, why not balance it with an Iranian, Saudi, Egyptian, or other covert nuclear capability? How fair is it for the U.S. and Europe to demand that these nations restrain their own “peaceful” nuclear ambitions if Israel itself already has the bomb and is publicly arguing that it will not be “second” to introduce nuclear weapons into the region? Wouldn’t it make more sense to force Israel to admit it has nuclear weapons and then give them up in a regional arms control negotiations effort (even though once Israel admits it has weapons, many of its neighbors, who still don’t recognize Israel, are only likely to then use Israel’s admission to justify getting nuclear weapons themselves)?

This then brings us to the second likely result of Iran becoming ever more nuclear-ready: A more confident Iran, more willing to sponsor terrorist organizations especially those opposed to Israel and the current government in Iraq. With Hamas in decline, Iran has already been seen to be increasing its support to groups like Hezbollah in Israel and Lebanon who want to liberate Palestine from “Israeli occupation”. Increasing this aid certainly would help Iran take the lead in the Islamic crusade to rid the region of Zionist – American forces and thereby become worthy of tribute and consideration by other Islamic states. Also, bolstering such terrorist activity would help Tehran deter Israel and the U.S. from striking it militarily.

Beyond this, Iran is likely to increase its assistance to groups willing to risk striking the U.S. News reports in August of 2004 claimed that Iranian diplomats assigned to UN headquarters in New York were to survey 29 American targets to help terrorist organizations interested in hitting the U.S. The aim here appears to be, again, to deter the U.S. from hitting Iran and to divide U.S. opinion about the merits of backing Israel and any other anti-Iranian measure or group. I nuclear-ready Iran is also likely step up its terrorist activities against Iraq, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. Iran already is reported to have several thousand intelligence agents operating in Shia regions of Iraq and is actively contributing to community associations there.

Meanwhile, there are nearly a dozen terrorist organizations operating within Iraq now employing Hezbollah in their groups’ names. As in the case of earlier Iranian penetration of Lebanon, these efforts will enable Iran to scout, recruit, and control terrorist operatives. The aim here will be to pressure the U.S. and its allies to remove their military forces from Iraq and, thereby allow a government
more sympathetic to Iran to emerge in Iraq.

As for Libya, Iran’s Mullahs are concerned about how much Qaddafi might tell the U.S. and the IAEA about what illicit nuclear technology Iran might have gained from Libya, Pakistan and others. Recent, unconfirmed reports indicate Iran has been arming the Libyan Combat Islamic Group – an organization Qaddafi expelled from Libya in the late 1990s and that the U.S. expelled from Afghanistan in 2001 -- at camps in southern Iran. If true, these reports suggest how Iran might leverage Qaddafi’s behavior. Iran also has a history of supporting terrorist activity in Saudi Arabia. Although only roughly 10 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population is Shia, this sect constitutes an overwhelming majority of the population living in Saudi Arabia’s key northern oil-producing region. Any terrorist action anywhere in Saudi Arabia, though, tends to raise questions about the general viability of the Saudi regime and the security of the world’s largest oil reserves. Historically, after a major terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia, markets worry, the price of oil increases, and Iran’s own oil revenues, in turn, surge upward. The reason why is simple: Saudi Arabia has the world’s largest reserve oil production capacity (roughly 7 million barrels a day). Damage Saudi Arabia’s ability to ramp up production or to export what it can produce (or merely raise doubts about the current Saudi government’s continued ability to protect these apabilities) and you effectively cripple the world’s capacity to meet increased demand for oil internationally. Terrorism in Saudi Arabia, in short, provides Iran with a quick, effective way to manipulate international oil prices.

This cannot help but garner Iran greater leverage in getting OPEC support its long-ignored calls to increase oil prices. It also will help Iran garner increased European and Asian regard for its calls for more financial support, investment, and high technology. Iranian progress on these fronts, along with offers of oil rights to European states, Russia, and China. It also will help keep the current regime in power longer (since it thrives on corruption and central planning, both of which require ever larger amounts of cash), will further reduce U.S. influence in the region, and make action in the UN Security Council against Tehran far less likely.

Yet, another way Iran could drive up oil prices is by threatening free passage of oil through the Straits of Hormuz or by engaging in naval mining in the Gulf (by its surface fleet of fast boats or with its smaller submarines) and other key locations (as it did in the late l980s). Iran has already deployed anti-shipping missiles at Qeshm, Abu Musa Island and on Sirri Island, all of which are in range of shipping through the Strait. It has also occupied and fortified three islands inside the shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz –Abu Musa, The Greater Tunbs and the Lesser Tunbs.

Given that one-fifth of the world’s entire oil demand flows through the Straits (as well as roughly a quarter of America’s supply of oil) and no other nation that has fortified its shores near Hormuz, an Iranian threat to disrupt commerce there would have to be taken seriously by commercial concerns (e.g., insurers and commodity markets) and other nations.


What are the chances of Iran of credibly making these threats? If the U.S. and its friends do little more than they already have, the odds are high enough to be worrisome.

What more should the U.S. and its friends do? Ultimately, nothing less than creating moderate self government in Iraq, Iran, and other states in the region will bring lasting peace and nonproliferation. This, however, will take time. Meanwhile, the U.S. and its friends must do much more than they are currently to frustrate Iran’s efforts to divide the U.S., Israel, and Europe from one another and from other friends in the Middle East and Asia and to defeat Tehran’s efforts to use its nuclear capabilities to deter others from taking firm action against Iranian misbehavior.

This is a tall order, one that will require new efforts to:

• Significantly increase the diplomatic costs of Iran ever deploying nuclear weapons or of any of its neighbors following Iran’s model of “peaceful” nuclear activity by getting the international community to insist on a tougher view of the NPT;

• Make Russia, Iran’s key nuclear partner, a willing backer of U.S. and European efforts to restrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions and of nuclear restraint in the Middle East more generally.

• Reduce the vulnerability of Middle Eastern oil and gas production and distribution systems to Iranian-backed terrorist attacks that could significantly increase energy prices.

• Force Iran into choosing between backing free passage of energy commerce in and out of the Gulf or becoming an outlaw in the eyes not just of the U.S., but of Europe and Asia.

• Strengthen U.S. and allied support of Israel by cooperating on a positive Middle Eastern nuclear restraint agenda that Tel Aviv could pace by deeds (rather than negotiation) and highlight the problem of large nuclear facilities located in Iran and the Middle East more generally.

How might these goals be achieved? First, by exploiting or leveraging:

• The desire of all nations to produce some result from the upcoming NPT Review Conference in May of 2005 to strengthen the NPT and increase its influence.

• French proposals to the European Union and the NPT Review Preparatory Committee to make withdrawal from the NPT difficult and sanctions likely for any nation that the IAEA cannot find to be in full compliance with the NPT.

• Russia’s long-standing interest in securing a nuclear cooperative agreement with the U.S. to secure Russia’s backing to strengthen nuclear restraints internationally.

• Oil producers’ anxieties to increase the security of Saudi oil production and distribution systems to possible terrorist attacks.

• Tehran’s desire to secure multinational guarantees to enhance Iran’s security.

• Israel’s clear regional lead in advanced nuclear capabilities.

• Europe’s desire to play an active role in promoting nuclear nonproliferation in the Middle East.

In specific, these levers could be pulled by taking the following steps:

1. Clarify what is peaceful under the NPT. The U.S. and other like-minded nations should use the occasion of the NPT review conference in May of 2005 to convene a series of follow-on meetings dedicated to reevaluating under what circumstances what forms of nuclear power should be considered to be “peaceful” and, thus, protected by the NPT.

These meetings should take into account the latest information regarding the spread of covert centrifuge and reprocessing technology, bomb design, and the availability of separated plutonium and highly enriched uranium. In addition, they should raise the questions of what nuclear materials and activities can be safeguarded in a manner that will detect potential violations early enough to achieve the IAEA’s and the NPT’s goal of “preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” This set of international gatherings, which should meet periodically in anticipation of the next NPT review conference in 2010, should also evaluate how increased use of free market competitions and private financing could help identify uneconomic, suspect nuclear activities. These meetings could be held under IAEA or UNSC auspices. If this proves to be impractical, though, the U.S. and other like-minded nations should proceed on their own (much as the Proliferation Security Initiative was promoted) to hold these meetings with as many like-minded nuclear power and large nuclear research reactor-capable nations as possible.

2. Establish country-neutral rules for NPT violators. The US and its allies should build on France’s recent proposals that the UNSC adopt set of a country-neutral rules for dealing with NPT violators, such as Iran and North Korea, which would stipulate that:

a. countries that reject inspections and withdraw from the NPT without first addressing their previous violations must surrender and dismantle their large nuclear capabilities (i.e., large research and power reactors and bulk handling facilities) to come back into compliance. Until the UNSC unanimously agrees to drop this ban, violators would lose the right to acquire nuclear technology under the NPT (a ban against exporting such help to these nations would be imposed), and international financial institutional support for major projects within their borders would be suspended.

b. countries that violate their safeguards obligations under the NPT and that the IAEA cannot find to be in full compliance should no longer receive nuclear assistance or exports from any other country until the IAEA Board of Governors is able to unanimously give them a clean bill of health.

The idea in passing these resolutions would be to make it clear to both Iran and its neighbors that violating the NPT as Iran or North Korea will have consequences for their nuclear programs and for continued international financial institution support.

Diplomatically, this will help the U.S. and its allies identify and treat Iran and North Korea in a country-neutral manner, not as an equal in negotiations, but as legally branded violators of the NPT.

3. Offer Russia a U.S. nuclear cooperative agreement. To help secure the support for these resolutions from Russia, the U.S. should offer Moscow a nuclear cooperative deal that Moscow has long sought. This deal would allow Russia to store U.S. origin spent fuel from Asia and Europe and pocket 10 to 20 billion dollars in revenues from this business. For nearly a decade progress on this deal has been stymied in the U.S. because of Russian unwillingness to drop its nuclear cooperation with Iran. Russia, meanwhile, insists that is cooperation with Iran is peaceful. Moscow has made it clear, however, that it would suspend its nuclear cooperation with Tehran if asked to do so by a resolution of the IAEA or the UNSC. If the country-neutral rules described above were passed, Russia would not have to announce that it was permanently dropping nuclear cooperation on Busheir, only that it was temporarily suspending nuclear cooperation with Iran as required by the resolution. Any resumption of Russian-Iranian nuclear cooperation that violated the resolution, however, would jeopardize continued U.S. consent to send additional U.S.-origin spent fuel, which should continue to require case-by-case approval by Washington (as is normally the case) under any nuclear cooperative agreement the U.S. strikes with Russia.

4. Reduce the vulnerability of Saudi oil production and distribution system by building additional capacity. In a study conducted for NPEC by energy researchers at Rice University, two key vulnerabilities in the Gulf oil production and distribution system in Saudi Arabia were identified. The first is an Iranian threat to close the Straits. Such a threat, Rice analysts argue, could be significantly reduced by upgrading and complimenting the trans-Saudi Arabian Petroline which would allow 11 million barrels a day to be shipped to ports on the Red Sea. This could be done with technical upgrades to the trans-Saudi Arabian line and by bringing the Iraqi-Saudi pipeline (Ipsa-2) back on line. To do the later would require an agreement with Baghdad. The cost of the entire project is estimated to be $600 million. Assuming the worse – a complete closure of the Straits of Hormuz – this bypass system is estimated to be capable of reducing the
economic impact to the U.S. to a loss of only 1 percent of gross domestic product. This figure could be reduced even further if additional pipelines were built from Abu Dhabi to ports in Oman. There are a number of ways in which these projects could be financed. Given the high price of oil and the large revenue streams high prices are now generating, the best time to finance such construction is now. The second vulnerability, Rice researchers identified is the major oil processing facilities located at Abqaiq. If terrorists were to attack these facilities, the loss could be as high as several millions of barrels a day of production. Work needs to be done to detail how best to reduce this vulnerability but, again, the time to address these concerns (and finance their fixes) is now, when oil prices are high. In the longer run, of course, the steady rise in energy prices are likely to produce both increased conservation and new alternative sources of energy that will reduce U.S. and allied reliance on Gulf oil and gas.

5. Call on Iran to agree to a Montreux Convention to demilitarize the Straits of Hormuz and an agreement to limit possible incidents at sea. One of the constant complaints of Iranian diplomats is that the U.S. and other major powers are unwilling to negotiate directly with Iran to guarantee its security. Certainly, the U.S. is loath to directly negotiate with Iran’s representatives for fear that this would give its current revolutionary government greater support than it otherwise would have. More important, after having been disappointed so many times, Washington officials are rightly skeptical that Tehran is serious about reaching substantive agreements. The Council on Foreign Relations recently highlighted this problem in a report on Iran, which eschewed attempting any grand bargaining with Tehran.

Several of America’s key European allies and Democratic U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry, however, are inclined to negotiate, if at all possible, incrementally. This suggests that talks of some sort will happen. Where should such efforts be focused? One sensible area, which unlike nuclear and human rights matters (where it is in Iran’s interest to hide its hand or lie and where negotiating with Iran would only lend greater legitimacy to the current regime’s bad policies), is demilitarizing and guaranteeing free passage through the Straits of Hormuz and agreeing to naval standards of behavior in and around the Gulf. Securing a Montreux-like agreement of the sort in place for the Dardanelles for the Straits and an incidents at sea agreement like that the U.S. secured during the Cold War with the Soviets would be in Iran’s interest. An agreement regarding Hormuz could assure multi-power guarantees to prevent any foreign nation from closing the straits (through which nearly all of Iran’s own oil exports flow). It would require submarines -- including U.S., Israeli, French and British special forces vessels -- to surface before entering or exiting the Straits. It would ultimately (after initial sounding talks with key European nations) entail negotiations with the U.S. On the other hand, such an agreement would also be in the interest of the U.S. and its allies. It would require Iran to demilitarize all of the islands and coast it has fortified near or adjacent to the Straits with artillery and anti-shipping missiles. It would give additional international legal grounds for military action against Iran if it should threaten to close the Straits (by moving Iranian military systems beyond an agreed demilitarized zone, the agreement would help give timely warning of Iranian efforts to cheat and allow superior allied air and reconnaissance capabilities a clear shot at identifiable ground or sea movements).

Finally, it would serve as a confined, limited set of talks the progress of which could be used as a barometer of Iranian seriousness in negotiations generally. Similar benefits could be secured with an incidents at sea like agreement with Iran that might include provisions to restrict any nation’s ability to covertly mine key waterways in or near the Gulf.

6. Encourage Israel to initiate a Middle East nuclear restraint effort that would help isolate Iran as a regional producer of fissile materials. Israel should announce how much weapons usable material it has produced and that it will unilaterally mothball (but not yet dismantle) Dimona, and place the reactor’s mothballing under IAEA monitoring. At the same time, Israel should announce that it will dismantle Dimona and place the special nuclear material it has produced in “escrow” in Israel with a third trusted declared nuclear state, e.g., the U.S. It should make clear, however, that Israel will only take this additional step when at least two of three Middle Eastern nations (i.e., Algeria, Egypt or Iran) follow Israel’s lead by mothballing their own declared nuclear facilities that are capable of producing at least one bomb’s worth of weapons usable material in one to three years. Israel should further announce that it will take the additional step of handing over control of its weapons usable fissile material to the IAEA when

a. All states in the Middle East (i.e., the three mentioned above) dismantle their fissile producing facilities (large research and power reactors, hexafluoride, enrichment plants and all reprocessing capabilities).

b. All nuclear weapons states (including Pakistan) formally agree not to redeploy nuclear weapons onto any Middle Eastern nation’s soil in time of peace. Such arms restraint by deed rather then negotiation should avoid the awkwardness of current Middle Eastern arms control proposals that would have Israel enter into nuclear arms talks with states that don’t recognize it and have it admit that it has nuclear weapons

– a declaration that would force Israel’s neighbors immediately to justify some security reaction including getting bombs of their own.

7. Back these diplomatic-economic initiatives with increased U.S.-allied anti-terrorist, defense, naval, and nuclear nonproliferation cooperation. A key derivative benefit of pursuing the proposals described above is their potential to frustrate Iran’s efforts to divide the U.S. from its friends and to deter them from acting against the worst of what Iran might do. In specific, it would be useful to

• Have the U.S. canvass the European Union, international financial institutions, and other nations about their willingness to back an Israeli nuclear restraint initiative of the sort described above. Clearly, it will make little sense for Israel to launch a nuclear restraint initiative, if other key nations merely dismissed it. To help determine its prospects for success, the U.S. ought to talk with its key allies in Europe and elsewhere to gage their willingness to back the proposal described. Would the United Kingdom, France and Germany and other European Union nations see the proposal as a positive step that other Middle East nations should be encouraged to follow? Would they be willing to announce that they would be prepared provide any Middle Eastern nation that matched Israel’s actions help in funding non-nuclear powered energy systems and smaller research reactors (that cannot make a critical weapon’s worth of material in anything less than a decade)? Construction of these facilities might begin once dismantlement commenced. Would international financial institutions, meanwhile, be willing to announce that they would put on hold further loans to states that subsidize or invest in uneconomical large research, desalination, or power reactors and other nuclear bulk handling facilities in the Middle East?. If so, Washington should consult with Israel and, assuming Israel’s willingness to proceed, announce that America will use existing U.S. cooperative threat reduction efforts to commence securing escrowed Israeli nuclear material and converting this material into appropriate storable form on a schedule that Israel will set.

• Increase the level and tempo of allied naval exercises in an around the Persian Gulf. These exercises should emphasize mine-clearing, protection of commercial shipping, nuclear export and import interdictions, and reopening the Straits under a variety of “seizure” scenarios. The exercises should be conducted with as many other interested Gulf and non-Gulf nations as possible.

• Increase international cooperation to help Iran’s neighbors secure their borders against illicit intrusions and illegal immigration. One of the key problems facing Iran’s neighbors (especially Iraq and Turkey) is the threat of terrorists transiting into to their territories. Cooperative efforts to secure these borders could be made a part of a larger international effort to help European and other states protect their borders and shores as well.

• Involve more Middle Eastern nations in the Proliferation Security Initiative.

• Consider ways to share the benefits of turn-key missile defense and reconnaissance systems in the Middle East in a manner that would avoid compromising these systems. The utility of missile defense and reconnaissance cooperation with friendly nations is clear enough. The dangers of sharing more than one should are less obvious but no less real (for a detailed discussion of these issues and how best to manage them see NPEC’s commissioned research, “Missile Nonproliferation and Missile Defense” and “Controlling Unmanned Air Vehicles: New Challenges at and

As noted in the overview, none of these proposals can guarantee Iran will not go nuclear. Assuming the U.S. continues to stick by its key friends in the Middle East, though, these measures will give Iran and its neighbors much greater cause to pause in further violating the NPT. More important, they will go a long way to frustrate Iran’s efforts to divide and deter the U.S. and its major allies from taking firm actions against the misdeeds Iran would otherwise be tempted to do once it becomes nuclear ready. Finally, and most important, these proposals if implemented, are much more likely in the near-term to restrain Iran’s nuclear enthusiasm and that of its neighbors than any effort to bargain over Tehran’s nuclear capabilities or to try to bomb them. In the end, however, only Iran’s eventual transition to more moderate self-rule will afford much chance for lasting, effective nonproliferation. Until then, the suggestions noted above are our best course.
13 posted on 09/15/2004 11:59:54 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

"The draft urged Iran to meet all the requirements of the IAEA before Oct. 31"

I think I could go back one year and pull that sentence out of an article written then. In other words, Nothing has been accomplished in the past year.

14 posted on 09/15/2004 5:27:21 PM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: nuconvert

US debates military strikes on 'nuclear Iran'
By Guy Dinmore in Washington (

The Bush administration's warnings that it will not "tolerate" a nuclear-armed Iran have opened up a lively policy debate in Washington over the merits of military strikes against the Islamic republic's nuclear programme.

Analysts close to the administration say military options are under consideration, but have not reached a level of seriousness that indicate the US is preparing actual action.

When asked, senior officials repeat that President George W. Bush is removing no option from the table - but that he believes the issue can be solved by diplomatic means.

Diplomacy on Wednesday appeared stalled.

The US and its European allies on the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency continued to wrangle over the wording of a resolution on Iran which insists it has no intention of using its advanced civilian programme to make a bomb.

Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think-tank, says that with "enough intelligence and spadework", the US could "do a good job" of slowing Iran's programme for a while.

But, he cautions, the Bush administration would need a "game plan" for the aftermath.

That long-term approach is lacking, analysts say, and has floundered in the debate over "regime change".

Asked whether Israel would take military action if the US dithered, Mr Schmitt replied: "Absolutely. No government in Israel will let this pass ultimately."

Tom Donnelly, an analyst with PNAC and the American Enterprise Institute, says that while inflicting military damage is possible, the consequences rule out this option.

If the US started down the military road, it would have to consider going the whole way to invasion and occupation.

"We have to start thinking in terms of a post-nuclear Iran," he said, describing the Europeans as "hopeless" on Iran, and India and China boosting their energy relations with the clerical regime.

Henry Sokolski, head of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, says the US and its allies are in a state of denial, that it is too late to stop Iran from getting the bomb. It already has the capacity, he says.

Neither of the US and European options "to bomb or bribe Iran" would succeed and both could make it worse.

Mr Sokolski describes as "highly irresponsible" the idea that the US can let Israel do the job.

The short-term benefits of air strikes would have to be weighed against the costs of a blow to US efforts to foster more moderate Islamic rule in Iran and the Middle East.

15 posted on 09/15/2004 6:47:20 PM PDT by freemycountry2 (GAME OVER: US debates military strikes on 'nuclear Iran')
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To: freemycountry2

"The short-term benefits of air strikes would have to be weighed against the costs of a blow to US efforts to foster more moderate Islamic rule in Iran and the Middle East."

16 posted on 09/15/2004 6:58:47 PM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: freemycountry2

If the regime changes to one that isn't hostile to U.S., europe, or other mideast countries, the nukes issue becomes a moot point.

17 posted on 09/15/2004 7:01:27 PM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: freemycountry2

Welcome to the Thread.
Welcome to FR.

18 posted on 09/15/2004 7:02:08 PM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

19 posted on 09/15/2004 9:04:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

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