Posts Tagged ‘WMD’

Atomic Amnesia: The Forgotten Military Aspects of Iranian Mullahs’ Nuclear Program

June 7, 2014 Leave a comment


pix2_060214Enriching uranium or producing plutonium is an industrial project; it requires thousands of centrifuges, as well as reactors. This phase can be easily detected by intelligence agencies or the IAEA. But the next phase, assembling the enriched materials into a bomb – building the actual warhead – can be done in a very small space, inside a single room and is almost impossible to detect. Final piece of the nuclear-armed puzzle is fitting a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile. Iranian mullahs reportedly have already tested missiles with 2,000 – 2,200 kilometer range, which could easily reach the regional states and perhaps portions of southeastern Europe. However the mullahs’ military activities can be considered as a serious global threat if and only if it combines with its nuclear program.

Because manufacturing of the warhead (2nd phase) is undetectable, the red line must be drawn at the enrichment phase, not the final assembly of the nuclear weapon. This means that any final agreement between the West and the Iranian mullahs should include the total suspension of the mullahs’ uranium enrichment program and their heavy-water reactor, as was centrally demanded by the UN Security Council Resolution dated August 2012.This not only requires the regime to discontinue any future addition to their centrifuges but involves the destruction of more than 20,000 existing centrifuges. Only then it would be safe to say that the apocalyptic mullahs’ nuclear threat to Middle East and the world has been curbed. [DID]

With most analysis of the Iranian nuclear program focused on its uranium-enrichment capabilities and the possible plutonium route to a nuclear device, the purely military aspects of Iran’s activities have been relegated to the sidelines. Indeed, as the nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran move toward the July 20 deadline, it is still not clear whether the international negotiators will insist upon including the suspected military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program in the framework of a final comprehensive deal. When we consider the relationship between the decade-long IAEA investigation into the military aspects of Iran’s program, and the recent round of negotiations led by the P5+1, it should be clear that IAEA findings must feed into P5+1 negotiations. But, the current situation—in which the IAEA is waiting for some Iranian answers until the end of August, but the deadline for the talks is July 20—does not auger well for the inclusion of the military aspects in a comprehensive deal.

In fact, the military aspects of Iran’s program are of critical importance to negotiations with Iran, and should be regarded as a deal-breaker if not included in any proposal for a final deal. Read more…


Surprise Attack on Iran: Can Israel Pull It Off?

April 16, 2014 Leave a comment


According to a report in March by the Israeli daily Haaretz, Israel continues to prepare for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Quoting anonymous members of the Knesset who were present during hearings on the military budget, officials in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) have allegedly received instructions to continue preparing for a strike and a special budget has been allocating for that purpose. However, conducting a military operation against Iran’s key nuclear facilities would be a challenging task for the Israeli military. The distance from Israel to the Iranian nuclear sites is such that any strike using the air force would be challenging on its fuel capacity. Allocating tanker planes to the mission could alleviate part of this concern. Nonetheless, Israeli jets can’t spend too much time in Iranian airspace before the mission itself is in jeopardy. Engaging Iran’s air force in dogfights must be avoided. Therefore, surprise will be a necessary element in a successful Israeli mission. Read more…

The Weak-willed President and his Abject Foreign Policy Failure

April 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Our allies and our enemies have seriously recalculated where the U.S. stands. It was not difficult to define American geopolitical strategy over the seven decades following World War II — at least until 2009. It was largely bipartisan advocacy, most lead_from_behind_MDambitiously, for nations to have the freedom of adopting constitutional governments that respected human rights, favored free markets, and abided by the rule of law. And at the least, we sought a world in which states could have any odious ideology they wished as long as they kept it within their own borders. There were several general strategic goals as we calculated our specific aims, both utopian and realistic.

(1) The strategic cornerstone was the protection of a small group of allies that, as we did, embraced consensual government and free markets, and were more likely to avoid human-rights abuses. That eventually meant partnerships with Western and later parts of Eastern Europe, Great Britain, and much of its former Empire, such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In Asia, the American focus was on Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan. The U.S. military essentially guaranteed the security of these Asian nations, and they developed safely, shielded from Soviet or Chinese Communist aggression, and more recently from Russian or Chinese provocations. Read more…

Iran and the Syria Model

October 3, 2013 Leave a comment

From the Syria debacle, Iran has learned that our threats are empty and posturing as a “moderate” works. Iran and Syria model

When — not if — is the only mystery about an Iranian nuclear bomb.

All the warning signs are there.

‘Game Changers’

In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama on two occasions went out of his way to warn the Iranians that the development of a nuclear weapon “would be a game-changing situation, not just in the Middle East, but around the world.” Obama later added, “It is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon; it would be a game changer.”

Strong language. And Obama twice this year again used “game changer” in reference to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, warning him not to dare use chemical weapons. Read more…

Beware the Smiling Cleric

September 27, 2013 Leave a comment

There are a few reasons to be optimistic about Iranian president Hassan Rouhani coming to New York. Fresh off a major electoral victory this summer, there is no time like the rouhani_smile_ir_92313present for a reformist to meet and greet the Great Satan. Likewise, a face-to-face meeting with a card-carrying member of the Axis of Evil could be a Nixonian moment for President Barack Obama. Groundbreaking political discourse and a thawing of relations might be the first step toward a changed relationship that could remake a Middle and Near East torn asunder by a decade of war, conflict and intense political rhetoric. President Obama would be wise to explore any diplomatic options for Washington. But he should do so carefully and pragmatically, and consider the underlying drivers pushing Tehran to seek détente. Beneath the surface are dynamics that more aptly define the political reality: deep economic and political fissures eroding Iran’s carefully orchestrated system of government. Read more…