Patterico's Pontifications

10/4/2009

The Greatest Threat in the Middle East

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 3:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Iranian President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly threatened to annihilate Israel and now UN nuclear agency experts have confirmed that Iran has acquired “sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable” atom bomb:

“Senior staff members of the United Nations nuclear agency have concluded in a confidential analysis that Iran has acquired “sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable” atom bomb.
***
If Iran is designing a warhead, that would represent only part of the complex process of making nuclear arms. Experts say Iran has already mastered the hardest part, enriching the uranium that can be used as nuclear fuel.

While the analysis represents the judgment of the nuclear agency’s senior staff, a struggle has erupted in recent months over whether to make it public. The dispute pits the agency’s departing director, Dr. ElBaradei, against his own staff and against foreign governments eager to intensify pressure on Iran.

Dr. ElBaradei has long considered a confrontational strategy toward Iran to be counterproductive. Responding to calls for the report’s release, he has raised doubts about its completeness and reliability.”

ElBaradei’s non-confrontational approach likely explains today’s statement in Tehran that “Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses.” Because it’s much safer to verbally attack democratic nations like Israel than unpredictable authoritarian regimes like Iran.

— DRJ

11 Responses to “The Greatest Threat in the Middle East”

  1. While I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of the situation, this announcement isn’t really very much. Making a working fission weapon using U-235 is not very hard, once you’ve gotn a suffficient amount at the required purity. The basic design of a “cannon” bomb has been public knowledge for maybe 40 years. The design is very straightforward and works very well, and it was considered to be sufficiently reliable that the bomb designers on the Manhattan Project didn’t think it needed to be tested before real use.

    And they were proved to be correct, at Hiroshima.

    It isn’t trivial but it isn’t the kind of challenge that’s involved in making a Pu-239 weapon work. That is tricky, which is why the first plutonium bomb was tested in New Mexico. The second one destroyed Nagasaki.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  2. Here’s a similar perspective to Steven Den Beste’s comment.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  3. I vaguely recall reading that Israel has enough nukes in its home grown nuclear sub fleet to flatten Iran.

    Go Israel. 😉

    JerryT (e06cd6)

  4. The UN hack is right about one thing–if the world’s unforgivable willingness to sneer at the threat represented by the psychotics in charge of Iran to Israel results in Israel’s destruction, a lot of Middle Eastern capitals might get a radioactive reminder of the circumstances of Samson’s death. If I was Netanyahu, several Arab leaders would have gotten a grim, private message by now: “If we go, your capitals and Mecca go with us.”

    M. Scott Eiland (c552ec)

  5. El Baradei is not merely ineffectual. He’s on Iran’s side.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. Israel will not attack Iran with nukes unless attacked. If that happens, it will be the end of the modern age including petroleum and a lot more more. THis is exceedingly dangerous and we are not making any plans that might mitigate the damage. We are not drilling oil wells and we are not building nuclear plants. This will be very, very bad. Obama is Chamberlain and Ahmadinejad is Hitler.

    I give us five years unless the Iranians overthrow the mullahs. Obama, of course, is supporting the mullahs.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  7. I wonder if it’s hype or excessive jitters on my part to think this point in time is like a newer version of the period that led up to WWII, when the appeasement policy of Neville Chamberlain towards Hitler first became so notorious, so infamous.

    Mark (411533)

  8. The United Natons wanted a hard-nosed, no-nonsense investigator to keep close tabs on a rogue Islamic regime and make sure they weren’t secretly building nuclear weapons … so of course they found someone named Mohammed.

    Mike G in Corvallis (70f47e)

  9. JerryT – Israel has no nuclear subs. The term nuclear sub refers to the propulsion system not the armament. While Israel does have several subs none of them are nuclear powered.

    I also strongly doubt that Israel has any nuclear weapons on subs capable of hitting Iran. The only missiles that I know of in the Israeli arsenal which can be sub launched would be Harpoon or Harpoon class weapons. (Israel does have some indigionously produced missiles such as the Gabriel in this same basic class.) While it would be technically possible to mount a nuclear warhead on one of these missiles it is not likely. Further all of these missiles have ranges of around a hundred miles maximum, not really enough for an effective strategic strike.

    Also Israeli subs are ussually stationed in the Mediteranean. While they do have one port at Eilat which has access to the Red Sea they did not used to base subs there. I did see a report that they had sent one sub through th Suez to Eilat temporarily but do not know off hand whether it has remained there.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  10. I have heard el Baradei’s wife is from Iran and still has family there.
    Probably considered a feature instead of a bug when the UN was looking for a chump/inspector boss.

    Richard Aubrey (7ab450)

  11. El Baradei never saw any Arab nuclear effort. He welcomes the Arab A-Bomb.

    PCD (1d8b6d)


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