Skip to comments.Iran puts finishing touches on a desert A-test site east of Tehran (Debka)
Posted on 07/18/2009 4:38:38 AM PDT by Mad Federalist
DEBKAfile's military sources reveal that Iran is in the last stages of construction of a nuclear test site in the Kavir Lut desert between Tehran and its eastern border with Afghanistan. The work is managed by the Iranian experts invited to attend North Korea's nuclear test this year. (DEBKAfile reported June 27 that Iran has opened the way for a nuclear test.)
Two of the diplomats attached to the UN nuclear watchdog agency in Vienna confirmed to the Associated Press Saturday July 18 that Iran now has the means to test a weapon within six months. One said more specifically: "Iran has the capacity, if not the intention, to set off a test explosion in six months."
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the two diplomats emphasized there were no indications of plans for a nuclear test and in their opinion Iran is unlikely to risk heightened confrontation with the West and chances of an Israeli attack with such a course.
For the last six months, DEBKAfile's intelligence sources have all stressed that this supposition is wishful thinking having confirmed that Iran is squarely on the fast track for an N-test. Once preparations are complete, its leaders will not hesitate to conduct one, following the North Korean model.
And indeed the two diplomats in Vienna admitted the Iranians were blocking UN nuclear agency attempts to upgrade monitoring resources.
As recently as July 9, DEBKAfile's military sources reported: "The US, Europe - and even the Binyamin Netanyahu government - appear to have adopted the same strategy for North Korea and Iran. It is a combination of harsh oral rebukes coupled with a refusal to address North Korea's violations and Iran's race for a nuclear bomb in any practical way, even though sanctions are clearly of no effect at all.
A blind eye is equally turned to the close collaboration between Pyongyang and Tehran on their missile and nuclear development programs. The two rogue states are also clearly in tune on their nuclear diplomacy and timetables.
According to DEBKAfile's intelligence sources, North Korea shared the results of its latest missile launches with Iran, exactly as it did after its nuclear and ballistic tests. But neither Washington nor Jerusalem has raised a hand. Both nuclear transgressors are getting away with the gross, ongoing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and making a mockery of international law and UN resolutions."
Therefore, the diplomat's estimate Saturday that the Iranians will not risk confrontation with the West or chance an Israeli attack is completely unfounded, as are the theories that the Iranian leadership is in too shaky a position at home to go forward with a nuclear test. As soon as the test site is ready, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not be deterred from taking the nuclear plunge by the unrest at home, any more than grave illness has stopped Kim Jong-II flouting international prohibitions.
Still, the US and Europe will not fall out of their chairs because they have given the ayatollahs all the time they needed to attain a nuclear weapon.
Fireworks? I hope so.
Otherwise we will see the first globally-televised act of national suicide on the part of a Western power. If the forces of appeasement and “negotiation” win, Israel ceases to be.
Go, Bibi, go!
Israel already has its test sight ready.
But in all fairness of human compassion they should really give some warning if any populated areas are to be hit, its really not an issue with the major populations of Iran, its the lunatic hateful leadership it has.
Exactly like what we have here in the US.
Better yet perhaps Israel should nuke Washington DC for us and do a REAL favor for the world.
Shades of “The Sum of all Fears”.
Six or eight months ago I was of the opinion the Israelis weren’t going to do anything about Iran and would focus their energy on a defensive posture. And I would say I’ve been right so far but..
I’m now starting to actually believe they will attempt to set back the Iranian nuke program by attacking as many sites as they can. They have taken concrete steps that would be necessary for such an attack: Changing their apparent Suez doctrine and sending missile ships and subs through; Extensive exercises focusing on long range bombing; Also they have apparently sought and received permission to overfly Saudi Arabia(and Turkey?)
Combine that with what seems like an official line of acquiesence from our govt particularly Hillary saying that time is running out for Iran.
I’m still not entirely convinced but I think the chances of an attack by Israel have risen dramatically in the time frame I specified.
I suppose we’ll all find out in due course and heres hoping Hussein doesn’t throw Israel completely under the bus afterward.
...a nuclear test site in the Kavir Lut desert between Tehran and its eastern border with Afghanistan. The work is managed by the Iranian experts invited to attend North Korea's nuclear test this year.Debka.
Hey, Obammie, you commie, if you let Iran get the atomic bomb, YOU are going to have lot of blood on your hands.
You may be all right with that, though because you are evil.
... and our troops in Afghanistan are ‘down-wind’... just great.
zer0 said they could have nuk’s .So it’s no big deal. zer0 said the real problem is dem jews building settlements.
He will have a lot more blood on His hands than just a few million Israelis before He’s done.
Debka and breaking news should exclude each other.
We know Iran will attack Israel when it feels confident of a win...Our Gov't knows this as well, even better than we...
We would stop it if we could...We can't...Our Gov't COULD stop it but they WON'T...
If you voted for Obama, you are just as guilty as he is in the destruction of the US...And if you allow Iran to attack Israel, you are just as guilty as Iran in attacking Israel...
hussein’s time is counted
During the campaign, 0 stated, on more than one occasion, Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon would be a “game changer.” Unfortunately, he was never pressed to explain exactly what that meant. Nice to know he considers national security a game.
Debka? Are you kidding me? Maybe for light entertainment reading but as a news source they are a joke. Any else here long enough to remember the exclusive Debka story about 10,000 Iraqi troops that had invaded Jordan to attack Israel? Yeah.....
“North Korea shared the results of its latest missile launches with Iran, exactly as it did after its nuclear and ballistic tests. But neither Washington nor Jerusalem has (at least not yet) raised a hand”
RATHER they are too busy reporting 24/7 on Michael Jackson, and/or bashing Sarah Palin or reporting on philandering republican political types
Is Debka really reliable at all?
Never in the past....
The National Inquirer and the World Weekly News are usually more reliable than DEBKA.
Debka’s reliable in the same sense that “Weekly World News” is the only paper you can trust. ;’)
I think there is the - SLIGHT - possibility that BHO will order US Forces to attack Iran...to show he's tough...to divert attention from what's happening in the congress...and to lift his poll numbers.
He has "bigger fish" to fry...a socialist makeover of the US. He'd sacrifice the peaceniks and Islamists over that.
Actually I can see Obama doing some “voting present” on this issue. He’s just beginning to realize that the cult of Obama doesn’t reach beyond our shores.
He was not exactly given a heroes welcome in Africa.
Don't you mean "cite"?
How does one spell ‘gun sights’?
I think he means site. Or not.
On the other hand, I wonder if these “Iranian bomb in 6-12 months” story leaks are coming from Iran, so West thinks it has 3-4 months to act, then when they explode a bomb next month, the Mullahs say... Ah Ha! Allah gave us the Bomb. Give us everything we want.
However there have been independent reports for over a week that Israeli warships and subs are slipping through the Suez and taking up a strike posture. My guess is that any attack from Israel will forego manned aircraft and rely on missiles. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the sites were hit with EMP devices as well. If we're all very lucky one of the birds will be a smart one with IMANUTJOB's exact location hard wired to the warhead.
“With the demise of the RNEP nuclear bunker-buster program, the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency has stepped out of its usual verification and WMD detection/ destruction programs to fund a project called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). This 30,000 pound weapon is approximately 31.5 inches in diameter and 20.5 feet long, with about the same amount of explosives inside as Wallis Tallboy (5,300 pounds). It isnt the biggest bomb the USA has ever built the 44,000 pound T12 has that distinction but it could well become the biggest conventional bomb ever used. Even the famous GBU-43 MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) fuel-air explosive weighs in at only 21,000 pounds.
Unlike the MOAB, however, this projects goal is a GPS-guided, penetrating weapon that can be carried aboard B-52 Stratofortress or B-2 Spirit bombers to defeat a specialized set of hard and deeply buried targets like bunkers and tunnel facilities. Some graphics show expectations of over 60 feet of concrete destroyed, and a USAF article stated that the bomb was meant to penetrate 200 feet underground before exploding. The B-2 will be able to carry 2 MOPs: one in each bay, mounted to the existing forward and aft mounting hardware.
According to GlobalSecurity.org the MOP, also callled or Big BLU or Direct Hard Target Strike Weapon program in some documents, required a total of $11.4 million for development. If so, thats a very frugal program.
Contracts and Key Events
MOP comparisonsThe program would appear to be in the Task Order 2 stage of weapon development and preliminary testing.
Oct 23/08: Boeing announces a July 2008 test, in which a new fuze well design allowed a Small Diameter Bomb fuze in an 1,800-pound warhead to survive a supersonic impact into high-strength reinforced concrete and soil at Holloman AFB. Research partners included Applied Research Associates (ARA), L-3 KDI Precision Products, and Ellwood National Forge Co.
The design is the result of data collected from a 2006 test at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, when Boeing propelled a 1,800-pound penetrator warhead at more than 2,300 feet per second through high-strength reinforced concrete. Steve Vukelich, director of Special Programs at Boeing says that This design concept can be incorporated into existing weapon fuzes and [is] currently being considered for a number of advanced weapons.
Feb 6/08: The Register reports that the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) will now be dropped for the first time from a B-52 Stratofortress bomber in June 2008, in a test originally scheduled for August 2007.
The problems apparently stem from the bomb rack. It has proved impossible to hang the MOP from existing racks, and a whole new subsystem has had to be designed, reportedly pushing program costs up by $10 million and causing a 10-month delay.
Dec 18/07: A team of weapons specialists at Whiteman AFB, home of the USAs B-2 sealth bomber fleet, loaded a 20-foot long, 700 pound mock MOP into a B-2 bomb bay replica thats used for training purposes. Interesting comment by weapons loader Tech. Sgt. Jason Hermann of the 509th Maintenance Group:
I couldnt help but notice how enormous the bomb was hanging in the weapons bay. It looked much larger once we had loaded it into the weapons bay than when it was on the loading adapter.
See USAF article: B-2, MOP A Devastating Combo.
March 14/07: Boeing announced that on a MOP bomb body successfully completed a static tunnel lethality test (i.e. theres supposed to be an earth-shattering ka-boom!) on this day at White Sands Missile Range, NM.”
Israel will not bomb Teheran unless Iran attacks first. They will however bring down the program by attacking various strategic sites. Hoping...............
Here's a question: Did GWB give the Israelis any MOPs before leaving office and if so, do the Israelis have a reliable delivery platform? Especially one that won't put aircrew at huge risk? How many strikes would be necessary I wonder? I would think that installations clustered together wouldn't need to be struck directly to suffer massive cave ins and structural collapses from the shock waves of the original strikes.
“Did GWB give the Israelis any MOPs before leaving office and if so, do the Israelis have a reliable delivery platform?”
Yes on both questions:
They key weapon to be used against hard targets and underground sites like Natanz might be the GBU-28, although the US may have quietly given Israel much more sophisticated systems or Israel may have developed its own, including a nuclear armed variant.
The GBU-28 is carried by the F-15I. It is a “5,000 pound” laser guided bomb with a 4,400-pound earth-penetrating warhead that can be upgraded by the IAF to use electrooptical or GPS targeting. It is a vintage weapon dating back to the early 1990s, and the IAF is reported to have bought at least 100. It has been steadily upgraded since 1991 and the USAF ordered an improved version in 1996.
It looks like a long steel tube with rear fins and a forward guidance module. It can glide some 3-7 miles depending on the height of delivery. It is 153” long X 14.5” in diameter. (photos at http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/smart/gbu-28.htm).
Multiple strikes on the dispersed buildings and entries in a number of facilities would be necessary to ensure adequate damage without restrikes - which may not be feasible for Israel given the limits to its sortie generation capability over even Iranian soft targets. As
for hardened and underground targets, the IAF’s mix of standoff precision-guided missiles — such as Harpoon or Popeye - would not have the required lethality with
conventional warheads and Israel’s use of even small nuclear warheads would cause obvious problems.
Israel may have specially designed or adapted weapons for such strikes, and bought 500 bunker busters from the United States in February 2005. Experts speculated whether the
purchase was a power projection move or whether Israel was in fact planning to use these conventional bombs against Iranian nuclear sites. These speculations were further
exacerbated with the Israeli Chief of Staff, Lt. General Dan Halutz, was asked how far Israel would go to stop Iran’s nuclear program, he said 2,000 kilometers.
The hard target bombs it has acquired from the US are bunker busters, however, are not systems designed to kill underground facilities. They could damage entrances but not
the facilities. What is not known is whether Israel has its own ordnance or has secretly acquired the more sophisticated systems described later.
Its main problem would be refueling — its 5 KC-130H and 5 B-707 tankers are slow and vulnerable and would need escorts — and its ordinary B-707 AE&W, ELINT and
electronic warfare aircraft are also slow fliers, although the new G-550 Shaved ELINT aircraft is a fast flier and the IAF has some long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
that could support its aircraft, before, during, and after such missions.
The big manned slow fliers would have serious problems penetrating and surviving in Iranian air space. Israel has, however, specially configured some of its F-15s and F-16s
with targeting, EW, SAM-suppression aids, and ELINT for this kind of mission. The full details of such capabilities are unknown.
Ah all good muslims and nazis flock to your anti-Israeli cause. But I was refering to Americans - you know, people like you and me, your granny, your wife, your kids?
My anti-Israeli cause? I’m pro-Israel.
I was talking about Obammie the Commie.
So, you’ve lost me on this one.