Skip to comments.To Destroy Iranís Nuclear Bomb Program, 350 Targets Must Be Hit
Posted on 11/21/2004 3:38:23 PM PST by CHARLITE
No one familiar with Irans record of broken promises on its hidden nuclear weapons program will be surprised by the allegations leveled against Tehran this week.
On Wednesday, November 17, outgoing US secretary of state Colin Powell said to reporters during a South American tour: US has intelligence that Iran is working to adapt missiles for the delivery of nuclear weapons. I have seen information that they not only have the missiles but are working hard to put the two together.
The highly classified, unverified information Powell referred to was described in more detail by the Washington Post the next day: According to one official with access to the material, a walk-in source approached US intelligence earlier this month with more than 1,000 pages purported to be Iranian drawings and technical documents, including a nuclear warhead design and modifications to enable Iranian ballistic missiles to delivery an atomic strike. The warhead design is based on implosion and adjustments aimed at fitting the warhead on existing Iranian missiles.
DEBKAfiles military experts believe the data referred to the Shehab-3 and its improved version, the Shehab-4.
The US official said he would not have revealed this much had not Powell alluded to the intelligence publicly. If the information is confirmed, it would mean the Islamic republic is further along than previously known in developing a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it.
It would also mean that Tehran has been stringing along the International Atomic Energy Agency the IAEA and the three European powers, Britain, France and Germany, in months of negotiation. The upshot was an Iranian promise to the three, which was trumpeted this week, to suspend uranium enrichment for an indefinite period in three days time, in return for magnanimous incentives. Such promises have been made before and never last long. Three days later, on November 25, the International Atomic Energy Agency the IAEA holds a board meeting in Vienna. It must decide whether to accept Irans latest promise or refer Irans nuclear breaches to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.
Teheran therefore delivered its pledge in a race for time to save itself from sanctions that could threaten the Islamic republics regimes survival.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly 182 just out on Friday, November 19, was the first publication to name the Nour garden suburb of Lavizan in northeast Tehran as yet another covert site Iran has concealed from the IAEA. There, not only is enrichment going forward but also tests on lethal gases and weaponized biological agents.
According to DEBKAfiles Washington sources, the Pentagons most recent game model on military measures to dispose of Irans nuclear threat concludes it will be necessary to topple the Islamic republics regime at the same time.
The first stage would be a bombing mission against the regimes primary prop, the Revolutionary Guards.
The second stage would be the destruction of known and probable nuclear sites a much harder mission given the hundreds of sites known and unknown number and carefully camouflaged underground behind cunning window-dressing. US intelligence estimates as many as 350 sites. It does not have precise knowledge of which are the most important or even which are active.
Regime change in stage three would entail ground action.
At present, there are no air bases within range for carrying out stages two and three. Sufficient US troops for overthrowing the regime would pose a problem given Irans land area of four times that of Iraq.
Furthermore, there is no assurance that Iran would wait for stages 2 or even 3. Iranian agents may well pre-empt US action or retaliate by sabotage strikes or terrorist action inside America.
Co-opting Israels air might to the operation poses problems too. The Israelis are found to know as little about the locations of installations as the Americans. To reach Iran, Israeli warplanes would have to fly east over Saudi Arabia and Jordan, or north over Turkey. The distance of some targets, such as Irans nuclear sites in the Caspian Sea region, is too great for Israeli planes to make the round trip.
Notwithstanding these impediments, America cannot afford to give up its military option and must keep it afloat as a deterrent, say the authors of the Pentagon game model.
A sample out of Irans bag of hide-and-seek tricks with the international nuclear watchdog was exposed in DEBKA-Net-Weekly 160 on June 4, 2004:
The most secret section of the latest report the International Atomic Energy Agencys director Mohammed ElBaradai has drafted on Irans nuclear program is also the most embarrassing for the international nuclear watchdog. We reveal exclusively that when inspectors arrived in Iran in mid-May and asked to revisit installations they saw in February or April, they were astonished to find empty spaces. When they questioned their Iranian escorts, they were greeted with blank stares. What installations? the officials asked.
The inspectors pulled out photos from previous visits and showed the Iranian officials what had been there before. The Iranians dismissed them as having been shot in other places that looked the same - or grafted there by hostile intelligence bodies.
When the inspectors persevered and reported the existence of aerial photos showing the exact location of the missing facilities, the Iranians shrugged.
The amazing fact is that the Iranians had dismantled and swept away all the structures containing incriminating evidence of continuing uranium enrichment for weapons production so completely that there was no sign a building had ever stood there. The fresh flowerbeds were still in the same places as before but lawns had been extended to cover the sites, most probably with thick layers of earth. All the inspectors could do was to remove soil samples and take them away.
According to our sources, US officials involved in the Iranian nuclear issue have no doubt that the installations were not destroyed but removed to secret subterranean sites probably built under military bases scattered around the country and that the Iranians are industriously advancing their forbidden programs.
Five months later, we have discovered one of those clandestine destinations to be the Nour nuclear suburb of Tehran.
Ok. Could we just one really really really big bomb and basically center it ?
If need be we can do it the hard way........
No, you don't have to destroy all 350 targets. You only have to destroy a few key targets to disrupt the whole process.
Wrong. Destroy parliment with the bastards in session. Wipe out the government and the mullahs fall!
What a crock! What ever happened to refueling in air and remember how we brought Japan to their knees, we need to do it again, before it is done to us.
Yea, we nuked the Japanese, and now they are an excellent country. History is on our side. lol
I wonder how many of these targets are decoys though.
Looks like we'd better get busy.
So, we do a hundred this week, a hundred next week, etc. What're they gonna do? Invade us?
alot of these facilities are underground, in hardened bunkers, I don't think they can be penetrated with conventional, even bunker-buster, bombs.
iran has a decent military. they could launch missiles, they could close the persian gulf to shipping, etc.
If the EU is that stupid, I hope Iran nukes them first.
Tricky, that. I guess there must be a limit to the Iranian regime's shadow army, since they're supposedly relying on foreign mercenaries to keep their population down. Another thing to worry about is how many terrorist elements that they have deployed in other parts of the world.
I'd like to see those bunkers stand up to our nuclear-tipped bunker-busters.
SNOOOOOOORE ... SNOOOOOORE ...
you know we would never use those pre-emptively.
we should be funding our own insurgency in iran.
20 - B-2's x 16 2000lb JDAM = 320 targets
Seems like a couple of days could do it, if we used a mix.
Of course, we won't do it. Israel will. We just have to agree not to stop them from doing what needs doing, and perhaps defend them from the EU in the aftermath.
I'm not so sure about that. Bush hasn't taken the option off the table.
Regardless, I was just saying that I don't think these bunkers are as uncrackable as they're made out to be.
to conventional weapons? they are. the discovery channel did a show on the iraqi bunkers after the war, with tours of them accompanied by US forces. even after being hit with bunker busters, the most damage was that some doors would not close squarely on the hinges. the eastern european nations have perfected concrete and steel re-enforced bunkers.
That's why Bush has left the nuclear option on the table.
I'm not sure what the threshold would be for us to act pre-emtpively. perhaps if we had intercepts that they were passing these off to AQ.
festus: I do like the way you think! Sometimes the best, most effective things in life are darn simple.
There is no need to destroy 350 targets (and I believe there is more than 350)!
All you need is to destroy the important targets, such that will delay they program in lets say 10 years- enough time to change the regime in Iran.
IAF bombed the Osiraq nuclear reactor in Baghdad, Iraq in 1981 as the main target, however there were other targets who werent important.
In the case of Iran there are some important reactors and sites who need to be destroyed.
And fellows, lets dont forget that not only air attacks are taking into account :)
Waiting is deadly, that is why the new missile stirs things up so. The old ones can reach Israel, the new ones can reach Europe, Iran is making a nuclear power play, not just to kill the Jews, but to kill the West. The presence of enriched plutonium means they are making H-Bombs not A-bombs. A bombs could wipe out tiny Israel or troops, but it will take H-Bombs to take out modern European Cities. This clearly indicates that they intend to engage the world in full scale nuclear war. The only question is how to stop it with the least loss of life knowing that when they reach their goal Millions will die.
While I have no doubt that Israel can set their efforts back a long ways they will just rebuild from spot strikes. The scary part is that it take A-bombs to be triggers for H-Bombs. The obvious indication is that they have nukes now. You do not waste your time making enrich plutonium unless you have solved the trigger problem. No this tiger has teeth and is obviously trying to be a saber tooth.