Skip to comments.IR of Iran and the Dirty Bomb
Posted on 08/26/2008 5:38:31 AM PDT by Marze Por Gohar Reports
FrontPage Interviews guest today is Hadi T. Ardestani, a Nuclear Waste Management Expert and a Marz-e Por Gohar Nuclear Issues Specialist. He is also a Marz-e Por Gohar Nuclear Committee Chairman and an M.S. Environmental Sciences and Management, Nuclear Waste Management Specialist.
FP: Hadi T. Ardestani, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Ardestani: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear activities as a nuclear specialist in Marz-e Por Gohar and as the chairman for MPG's nuclear committee.
FP: I would like to focus with you today on Iran and what we would call the Dirty Bomb. But first, tell us a bit about the Marz-e Por Gohar Nuclear Committee.
Ardestani: Marz-e Por Gohar Nuclear Committee was proposed by Roozbeh Farahanipour, the chairman of MPG (Marze Por Gohar) party and formed by myself with due attention to the present situation of the Islamic Republics nuclear activities. Our goal in this committee is to research the regime's nuclear activities and provide timely information and updates regarding new developments taking shape in the nuclear sphere of the Islamic Republic.
FP: What in your view is the nuclear threat posed by Iran today?
Ardestani: At its most basic level, we simply cannot be sure that the Islamic Republic's oft-repeated declaration that they merely seek peaceful nuclear technology is true. Trusting the word of the Islamic Republic regarding any matter, particularly on an issue involving giving up strategic assets which can guarantee regional power and hegemony for this regime whose constitution demands worldwide export of the Islamic Revolution, is essentially impossible and is something reminiscent of a cruel joke.
The Islamic republic has armed, trained and funded Shi'ite militias in Iraq, blamed the violence in Iraq on the U.S, trained terrorists to subvert its neighbors and shipped weapons into a place like Iraq to kill thousands of innocent civilians covertly. Everywhere you turn, it is the policy of Iran to foment instability and chaos, no matter the strategic value or cost in the blood of innocents - Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
There can be little doubt that their destabilizing foreign policies are a threat to the interests of the United States, to the interests of every country in the greater Persian Gulf region, and to the interests of all countries within the range of the ballistic missiles Iran is developing. Clearly, the theocracy has demonstrated beyond any doubt, that it is willing to share its toys with like-minded entities such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Sadrists in Iraq.
The implications of the Islamic Republic sharing nuclear weapons technology with terrorist entities would be profound and horrific. There are those that espouse the notion that the theocracy in Iran is somehow a nationalistic entity and thus, the government would not take steps that would put Iran in danger. We have to keep in mind that the Islamic Republic is not a government of Iran, rather, it is a government of Allah (a specific sect in Shiite Islam to be specific) and thus Iran or its people simply don't matter outside their utility for the ruling circles and their global Jihadist goals.
FP: What do you think of the role of the international media in terms of the Islamic Republics nuclear program?
Ardestani: The international community has an essential and crucial role to play, which primarily is to counter the Islamic Republic's propaganda machine. I very often see and read media that declare that Iranians deem the Islamic republic's nuclear program as a great source of pride. Upon closer inspection and doing a little research I found out that the methodology used to ask the survey questions was flawed. They asked Iranians whether they would like Iran to have nuclear power or not? I think the response is clear: every single Iranian in this world will love to see his or her country developed and modernized.
Even if I was asked that question, I would say of course Iran should have nuclear power. There is a substantial difference between the Islamic Republic and Iran as a country or as a nation. If these differences were accounted for when formulating the survey questions, the results would have differed significantly.
The term Islamic Republic reminds people of the misery they've been living in since the inception of the theocracy. I don't want to go back to the history of Persian people, but suffice to say that Iranians were the first to have a human rights charter. It is with great sadness that we have to witness that a people that recognized human rights since Cyrus the Great have their own rights grossly trampled on.
Fortunately we can also observe great research being conducted on the Iranian nuclear program exposing the real face and real aims of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program such as that of Mr. Kenneth R. Timmerman, the President of Middle East Data Project, Inc. and author of Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran. I highly appreciate and recommend his works on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
FP: Which country is most threatened if the Iran acquires nuclear weapons capability?
Ardestani: This is a very important question you've raised. I think the orthodox answer would be Israel; however, I contend that the Iranian people would be clearly in the most present danger. By looking at the past 30 years of the Islamic republic's grim history, we see a clear, systematic campaign at cultural genocide if you will - to rid Iran of any pre-Islamic history and culture, because Iranian nationalism is an obstacle to the Islamic regime. When given a rope, the regime has used it to hang Iranians; when given stones they have stoned people; when given guns, they have executed dissidents: what does one expect the results to be, were the Islamic Regime to acquire nuclear weapons?
The second country to be put into clear and present danger by the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the Islamic theocracy is Israel and by default the United States, in addition to all the countries in the region.
FP: How should the question of dual-use technologies be addressed?
Ardestani: By referring to peaceful or non-peaceful nuclear program we mean using the nuclear technology either to produce electricity or to produce nuclear weapons. In case of the Islamic Republic, their nuclear program cannot be a merely peaceful one. We know clearly that they are looking for any weapons that can support their goal to export and expand their version of Islam and to destroy any other opposition the infidels.
This goal has clearly been stated several times by the Islamic Republics Supreme Leader.
Recently, the Islamic Republics president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again repeated that Israel should be destroyed. Hashemi Rafsanjani had already said in 2002, that if Israel attacks Iran with a nuclear bomb, nothing serious is going to happen, just some of the billion Muslims will be killed while the rest of the Islamic World will survive and will continue the Jihad, whereas if the Islamic Republic attacks Israel with a nuclear bomb, Israel will be destroyed totally and there will be no more Israel on the earth. I think it is clear what the message for the international community is.
The issue is that in Iran too many dangerous and genocidal leaders have access to the future nuclear bombs and missiles because there is no centralized responsible organization, no unified interpretation of their religious global mission and the extent of the means they are allowed to use in the Jihad, no system of checks and balances; a true and genuine anarchical disorder. That is why it is so very dangerous.
FP: Ok, lets move on to the Dirty Bomb and the threat from Iran in terms of its potential use. First tell us what the Dirty Bomb is.
Ardestani: The term dirty bomb is primarily used to refer to a radiological dispersal device (RDD), a radiological weapon which combines radioactive material with conventional explosives. Though an RDD is designed to disperse radioactive material over a large area, a bomb that uses conventional explosives would likely have more immediate lethal effect than just the radioactive material.
At levels created from most probable sources, not enough radiation would be present to cause severe illness or death. A test explosion and subsequent calculations done by the United States Department of Energy found that assuming nothing is done to clean up the affected area and everyone stays in the affected area for one year, the radiation exposure would be "fairly high", but not fatal. Recent analysis of the Chernobyl accident fallout confirms this, showing that the effect on many people in the surrounding area, although not those in close proximity, was almost negligible.
Because a terrorist dirty bomb is unlikely to cause many immediate deaths, many do not consider this to be a weapon of mass destruction. Its purpose would presumably be to create psychological, not physical, harm through ignorance, mass panic, and terror. For this reason dirty bombs are sometimes called Weapons of Mass Disruption.
Additionally, containment and decontamination of thousands of panic-stricken victims, as well as decontamination of the affected area might require considerable time and expense, rendering affected areas partly unusable for a long time, causing economic damage.
Since the 9/11 attacks the threat of terrorist groups using dirty bombs has increased significantly - which has been frequently reported in the media. The meaning of the term terrorism used here can be described as the calculated use of unlawful violence or the threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological objectives.
FP: How close has the world come to a Dirty Bomb being used?
Ardestani: Although there exists a growing fear of terrorists deploying dirty bombs, so far there have only been two such cases and neither detonated. Both involved Chechnya. The first ever attempt of radiological terror was carried out in November 1995 by a group of Chechen separatists who buried a Caesium-137 source wrapped in explosives at the Izmaylovsky Park in Moscow. A Chechen rebel leader alerted the media, the bomb was never activated, and the incident amounted to a mere publicity stunt and warning.
In December 1998 the second attempt was announced by the Chechen Security Service, who discovered a container filled with radioactive materials attached to an explosive mine. The bomb was hidden near a railway line in the suburban area of Argun, 10 miles east of the Chechen capital of Grozny. The same Chechen separatist group as above was suspected to be involved in the incident.
It should be noted that despite the enhanced fear of a dirty bomb attack, it is very hard to assess whether the actual risk of such an event has increased significantly. We know today that a dirty bomb can be easily made of the nuclear waste and nuclear reactor spent fuel. That means no enriched uranium or plutonium is needed - only the waste produced from enriched uranium cycle or the spent fuel for the reactor which is making this enriched uranium. That is why today we have very strict legislation regulating nuclear waste.
Every country has to transparently report their waste management and account for even one milligram of its nuclear waste. That is why the nuclear waste management is a crucial question that should be clearly explained in detail for International Atomic Energy Agency by every country that has nuclear power technology or is looking to acquire it.
FP: And so a Dirty Bomb and Iran?
Ardenti: With regard to the Islamic Republics history of nuclear activity, the problem is precisely that there is no transparency in the Islamic Regimes nuclear waste management and nuclear program and therefore, no logical conclusions can be drawn in this regard. That would suggest that even if they stop uranium enrichment, they are going to use the nuclear waste for a specific purpose, i.e. the fabrication of dirty bombs in order to attempt to bring the world under the control of Islamic Republic in line with their numerous declarations and statements throughout their 30-year rule.
So, what I and my colleagues in Marz-e Por Gohar are saying is: stop completely any nuclear activity by the Islamic Republic and not just the uranium enrichment. Halting uranium enrichment does not reduce the danger that the Islamic Republic poses: the danger is still there for making a dirty bomb.
FP: In terms of the nuclear issue in general, what should the international community do to deal with transgressors?
Ardestani: There are many ways to stop them. The best way in this situation is to put more pressure [on the regime] by cutting all relations with them, including but not limited to any commercial and financial transactions. We know that they are far from being independent and need to deal with the West and the rest of the free world. So, if the international community continues to say no to them because of their nuclear program - and if other countries, and in particular major industrial countries join in and just say no to the proliferating Mullahs, Im sure it will work.
FP: What should and can the United States do about Iran in particular?
Ardestani: As we know, the US has great influence on the international community. To increase the pressure, the US should lead the way and start by itself. We know today that there are many American companies or their related entities that despite existing laws restricting trade with the Islamic Republic, still invest in and have transaction with the Islamic regime. That is exactly how the regime has been able to survive and continue its nuclear (and other destructive) activities.
The U.S should stop accommodating the Islamic Republic directly or indirectly. The US should divest from Iranian business, period.
One of the California state assemblymen is planning to do just that. Assemblyman Joel Anderson is the California State Assembly Republican Member that represents California's 77th Assembly District. One of the most important of his proposals is to divest Californias $24 billion investment from roughly 300 foreign owned companies doing business in Iran. His Assembly Bill 221 will end the investment of California State Employees retirement funds in the Islamic Republic of Iran and halt Californians inadvertent financial support of the state sponsor of terrorism in the greater Persian Gulf region.
These investments may be directly or indirectly helping enhance Irans ability to further develop its nuclear weapons program, maintain and expand its protection and support of terrorist organizations, and continue to violate its own citizens human rights and ignore the universal declaration of human rights.
Assembly Bill 221 that was unanimously passed by the California State Assembly was a great success for the people of California and Americans due to Assemblyman Andersons vision helped along by Roozbeh Farahanipours live testimony at every step along the way in numerous committees. The Iran Divestment AB-221 was and is a great success and a significant step in the right direction for the rest of the states to follow.
And there is still more to do: a sizable investment in the Islamic Republic by the University of California system that needs to follow the same divestment process as AB-221: we need to call upon the University of California system to follow the spirit and intent of AB-221 and approve ACR-79; even if they may initially face some difficulties in the short run by divesting, they will prosper in the long run by not supporting state terrorism and abetting proliferation of nuclear weapon technology to Islamists.
The consequences of an attack by the Iranian clerical regime are catastrophic for Californians, Americans and American Allies.
FP: Hadi T. Ardestani, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.
Ardestani: Thank you