Skip to comments.IAEA says foreign expertise has brought Iran to threshold of nuclear capability
Posted on 11/06/2011 7:58:24 PM PST by Free ThinkerNY
Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Irans government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.
Documents and other records provide new details on the role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction, the officials and experts said. Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability, they added.
The officials, citing secret intelligence provided over several years to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the records reinforce concerns that Iran continued to conduct weapons-related research after 2003 when, U.S. intelligence agencies believe, Iranian leaders halted such experiments in response to international and domestic pressures.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog is due to release a report this week laying out its findings on Irans efforts to obtain sensitive nuclear technology. Fears that Iran could quickly build an atomic bomb if it chooses to has fueled anti-Iran rhetoric and new threats of military strikes. Some U.S. arms-control groups have cautioned against what they fear could be an overreaction to the report, saying there is still time to persuade Iran to change its behavior.
Iranian officials expressed indifference about the report.
Let them publish and see what happens, said Irans foreign minister and former nuclear top official, Ali Akbar Salehi, the semiofficial Mehr News Agency reported Saturday.
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I’ve never seen the IAEA so hawkish on Iran. Guess once Mohammad ElBaradei (or Hans Blix) is no longer your boss, you actually do your jobs there?
So, if Iran launches one and it’s a dud, someone is going to be in BIG TROUBLE...for between 6 and 28 minutes, anyway.
As far as the former Soviet assistance goes, some of that is our fault. You can thank Clinton and Operation Merlin for that debacle.
No, it just means that Iran is just about to let the cat out of the bag regarding it's Nuclear weapons program.
The UN has been doing everything in it's power to cover for Iran and NK as they develop their weapons. Now that it is far too late to do anything to stop Iran, and after more than a decade of providing cover, the UN is pretending to be concerned and tough so it has enough credibility to cover for the next round of evil, oppressive dictatorships that wish to develop WMDs
I fully expect that history will record within the next 20 months that one or two more nuclear weapons will be used against populated cities.
If Iran does do something nuclear against Israel, they will respond in kind. They may even do a preemptive strike. The real issue in my mind is Saudi Arabia and how they want to seek revenge for an attempted killing of one of their ambassadors. I would not be surprised to see a Saudi/Israel sponsored strike on Iran.
If Iran launches anything of MRBM or greater capability in anger... regardless of if it works, gets intercepted by missile defense...whatever. I say we turn every possible launch site, every single lab, regardless of where it is located, into a glass topped, self-lighting parking lot.
Successfully intercepted or not... Saudi Arabia, guardians of Mecca and Medina, will immediately negotiate with Israel to protect Islamic Holy sites from IDF retaliation in kind. I expect an IDF airborne strike, staged from Saudi bases, to take out multiple launch sites and development facilities in Iran. Look for the entire Middle East to polarize around those supporting Iran vs those that do not.
I doubt that the Iranian leadership has that strong a death wish. Rather, the nukes will be used as insurance, so that when Iran moves against Iraq (now handed over to Iran on a silver platter by President Obama), the Arab states (who rightly fear Iranian power) or Israel (through their Hezbollah proxies), retaliation from Israel or the US will be off the table.
Also, I imagine that the leadership views nukes as a good insurance against getting the G(K)(h)addaffi treatment.
But actually using the nukes (which are likely to be few in number and of limited yield) will inevitably lead to Tehran being turned into a crater. Not worth it from the perspective of the Supreme Leader.
“But actually using the nukes (which are likely to be few in number and of limited yield) will inevitably lead to Tehran being turned into a crater. Not worth it from the perspective of the Supreme Leader.”
Right. Not worth it - now. Maybe in another 5-10 years when they have a sophisticated arsenal. It would be a dumb move at any time - better to keep them as a deterrent, but that assumes a rational government.
But if they should nuke Israel what would the fallout pattern (radiation, not political) look like? Would they care? Would the Saudis? If so, that could be a game changer.
Any radioactive fallout would be a tertiary concern in case of nuclear war between Israel and Iran anyways, the primary effects are likely to dwarf the impact of fallout by orders of magnitude.
The leadership of Iran is more stable than we think. Ahmadinejad is merely one in a string of puppets keeping up appearances for the Supreme Leader, who is the real power in Iran (and always has been). Hence , I give his rants little weight. It all comes down to what the Supreme Leader and his followers want the nuclear weapons for.
I personally doubt that he wants to go down in what would be the equivalent of a nuclear suicide bombing. Especially now that the strategic possibilities in the region offer Iran a buffet of opportunities to extend its power without open war. But who knows?
Specifically, the North Koreans, Russians, and some Pakistanis.