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Iran - What Nuclear Weapons Program?

 
 
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 09:13 am


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2w7J59FPmQ

Throwing this out there to see what others think about it.
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 10:39 am
I don't think anyone knows. I think the Persian regime is sufficiently competent in terms of intelligence that we can't find out. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. However, the point this gentleman maks at the end of his discursus, that the preception is being manipulated by people with a stake in portraying Iran as pursuing such a program, is telling.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:40 pm
@edgarblythe,
Holocaust? What Holocaust?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:50 pm
@roger,
That's the first post I recall ever reading by you, roger, that I consider to be stupid.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:53 pm
@edgarblythe,
Why? They deny both.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 01:13 pm
@roger,
Whether they do or don't, it has nothing to do with the point of this thread. If you want to discuss that, or Hitler or the Crusades, why not start a thread of your own? I only care about if there is conclusive evidence of a nuclear weapons program. That they and the Jews dislike each other is already established.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 01:24 pm
Ahmedinajad and some of the fanatics indulge in that rhetoric, and it's small wonder considering that after the 1953 coup, the CIA used Israeli intelligence operatives to set up and train SAVAK, the Shah's secret police. That doesn't mean, however, that "they," i.e., every Persian, believes that tripe.

But that's neither here nor there, as EB points out. They call North Korean the Hermit Kingdom, but they could just as well apply the name to Iran. I'd say we've got just as much chance of getting reliable intelligence from Iran as we do from North Korea.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 01:58 pm
@Setanta,
Of course they don't all say or believe that. My point was only that his denials don't carry a lot of weight. Not with everyone, that is.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 02:03 pm
My point is, I am not looking for emotional or ideological arguments. Just the Joe Friday facts.
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 02:16 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

My point is, I am not looking for emotional or ideological arguments. Just the Joe Friday facts.

Well, without speculating about what intellegence data we may have about earlier Iranian contacts with the the Khan group from Pakistan, or what the Iranians were doing with the Syrians in the facility destroyed by Israel, we certainly can wonder why, in a world with abundant, cheap, reliable sources of uranium enriched to 6-9% U-235 (suitable for power plants), Iran has chosen to very expensively duplicate these expensive processes (including separation of plutonium from spent fuel) and repearedly reject the associated UN nuclear agency oversight (to which most other nations suscribe). Beyond that, they have chosen to construct these facilities in widely dispersed, deep, hardened structures at extraordinary cost (something none of the other nuclear capable nations have bothered to do). Strangely, they have even, by their own admission, begun enriching the uranium to 50% U-235 - well beyond the requirements of any but naval type reactors, and very close to what is required for a uranuim warhead - to match their plutonium process. Finally, with abundant domestic sources of gas and petroleum they have less need for alternate sources of power than other nations.

Perhaps it all is a result of their deeply held, extraordinary concerns about global warming.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 05:15 pm
The Wickepedia article on Iran's Nuclear Program is a tortuous read. Most concerns about their developing weapons rest on a mountain of speculation. Naturally they are placing their stuff as deep as possible, since the USA and Israel constantly hold up a threat of preemptive strike. They have had a number of cooperative programs with nations that withdrew materials and support, including the USA. The only surefire way to get enriched uranium seems to be to make their own.

The USA thought a nuclear plant in Iran was a fine idea, when they had the Shah to push around.
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 05:49 pm
@edgarblythe,
Not a convincing argument, but it appears it is enough for you.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 07:12 pm
@georgeob1,
I thought I was the only one who caught Irans own admission to a 50% enrichment. A crude dirty fissile bomb can theoretically be constructed from 20% (U235) .
Theyve been developing the same types of enrichment facilities we used in Manhattan (centrifuge, gas diffusion) AND theyve reportedly got a 10% stake in the GE- SILEX process(as part of the French program).
Theyve also got breeder reactors .

A journalist friend has asserted that this year or next, the people in Iran will probably have their own "Persian SPring".

0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 07:21 pm
@georgeob1,
Getting personal is no way to go.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran
The article is too long to paste here. Much of the evidence provided by the US against Iran is labeled false or unsubstantiated throughout.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 07:36 pm


This NYT article follows your line of thought, pretty much.

A Defiant Iran Vows to Build Nuclear Plants
Published: November 29, 2009
WASHINGTON — Iran angrily refused Sunday to comply with a demand by the United Nations nuclear agency to cease work on a once-secret nuclear fuel enrichment plant, and escalated the confrontation by declaring it would construct 10 more such plants.

response to the demand came as Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said his cabinet would also order a study of what it would take for Iran to further enrich its existing stockpile of nuclear fuel for use in a medical reactor — rather than rely on Russia or another nation, as agreed to in an earlier tentative deal.

It is unclear how long it would take Iran to enrich the fuel to the levels needed for the medical reactor, or whether it has the technology to fabricate that fuel into a form that could be put into the reactor. But the declaration appeared intended to convince the West that Iran was prepared to move closer to bomb-grade quality, while stopping short of crossing that threshold.

Even if Iran proceeded with a plan to build 10 enrichment plants, it is doubtful Iran could execute that plan for years, maybe decades. But the announcement drew immediate condemnation from the White House, which hoped Iran’s defiant tone would help persuade Russia and China that imposing harsh sanctions was justified.

Both countries, historically opposed to sanctions, had voted in favor of a resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, demanding that Iran stop work on a formerly secret enrichment plant. By refusing to accept that resolution, one senior administration official said, “Ahmadinejad may be doing more to assemble a sanctions coalition than we could do in months of work.”

The White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said of Iran’s declaration: “If true, this would be yet another serious violation of Iran’s clear obligations under multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, and another example of Iran choosing to isolate itself.”

According to Iranian state television, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s cabinet voted to begin construction at five new sites designated for uranium enrichment plants — it did not specify where — and to determine locations for another five in the next few months.

In Europe, diplomats called the Iranian plan for a giant expansion of enrichment closer to a national aspiration than an imminent threat. Iran’s main enrichment facility, at Natanz, began early this decade and today the country has installed fewer than a tenth of the 50,000 centrifuges it is designed to handle. A second, once-secret plant — revealed two months ago — has been under construction for more than three years, and it is still at least a year from completion.“It’s preposterous,” a diplomat in Vienna who collaborates with the International Atomic Energy Agency said of the plan for the 10 plants. The diplomat added: “It would be way, way more than they need no matter what their nuclear aspirations.” He noted that the United States had just one enrichment plant, in Paducah, Ky.

But the threat appeared to represent Iran’s decision to find a way to strike back politically at the West for the Security Council’s three resolutions demanding that it stop all enrichment activity. The atomic agency’s board built on those Security Council resolutions on Friday, when it demanded that Iran halt work on building its second enrichment plant. It was the first time the agency had told Iran to halt construction of a plant.

What American and atomic agency officials fear is that the steady drumbeat of defiant declarations from Iran could lead to the one act that would truly touch off a crisis: Iran’s withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. That would terminate the already limited presence of the West’s atomic inspectors in Iran. North Korea took that step in early 2003, and soon produced the fuel for eight or more nuclear weapons; it has since tested two.

More than 200 members of the Iranian Parliament signed a letter on Sunday, according to Iranian press accounts, urging that the atomic agency’s presence in Iran be further restricted, and individual political leaders have called for withdrawal from the nonproliferation treaty.

But Iran may be hesitant to follow North Korea’s lead. Such a declaration would signal to the world that Iran was heading for “nuclear breakout,” a rush to produce a bomb. It also would almost certainly build pressure for sanctions, and could lead to pre-emptive military action by Israel. “You have to think,” one of President Obama’s top national security advisers said recently, “that they would think twice before denouncing their treaty obligations.”

Instead, the speaker of Iran’s Parliament, Ali Larijani warned Sunday that Iran’s cooperation with the agency could “seriously decrease” in the near future.

Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful, and to date has enriched uranium to a relatively low grade, consistent with making fuel for a civilian nuclear power plant. But so far, there are no civilian nuclear plants under construction to receive that fuel; the two plants Iran is getting ready to open, at Bushehr, receive fuel from Russia. The absence of civilian reactors is one reason Western analysts suspect that Iran’s real intentions are to make atom bombs.
Iran has long talked of building as many as 19 more nuclear plants in addition to the complex at Bushehr. In the past, the plan for a total of 20 power plants resulted in a large gap between Iran’s declared ambitions and its envisioned needs for enrichment, and Sunday’s announcement sought to end that contradiction, at least in theory.

Western nuclear experts said that taking the declaration of the 10-plant goal at face value was akin to believing in the tooth fairy. “They’re hyping it,” said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington that tracks nuclear proliferation. “They couldn’t build that number of centrifuges. They don’t have the infrastructure.” Mr. Albright added that Iran’s supplies of uranium were dwindling, casting more doubt on the vastly expanded commercial fuel goal. The result, he said, is that the new push for enrichment will probably end up producing “one small plant somewhere that they’re not going to tell us about” and be military in nature.David E. Sanger reported from Washington, and William J. Broad from New York. Nazila Fathi contributed reporting from Toronto.

0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 09:35 pm
@edgarblythe,
Unsubstantiated by whom? I think you are ignoring the irrational implausibility of Iran's actions if it is really true that their interests are only to supply power generating reactors. The distribution of these fuels is a matter of international convention and many nations around the world operate nuclear powerplants without enrichment or spent fuel reprossing facilities. If a nation wanted to pursue an illicit or secret weapons program the first order of business for it would be to develop national programs for spent fuel reprocessing and the enrichment of uranium.

Natural uranium ore is 0.5% fissionable U-235. A power reactor requires about 6% U-235, while a uranium fission weapon requires more than 80% U-235. An alternate way to produce a bomb is through plutonium all of which is fissionable. Plutonium is a component of spent nuclear fuel and can be readily harvested from it in a reprocessing plant.) By international convention uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprossing plants of all countries are subject to IAEA inspection - something that Iran has been particularly unwilling to comply with.

The implausibility comes in when one recognizes that Iran could buy all the reactor grade enriched uranium it wants from international suppliers at far lower cost than it has incurred in its development programs. it has raised that cost considerably by dispersing, burying and hardening these facilities to protect them from attack - all at great cost. It all may well be an irrational way to thum their noses at the West, but that is at best an unreliable hypothesis for such a serious matter.

All of this can be deduced based on readily available facts attested to by the Iranians themselves. What additional intelligence information our government may have gathered over the years doesn't even enter in to it.

You're of course free to believe anything you want - however implausible it may be.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 09:44 pm
@georgeob1,
Iran would be more than out of their mind to even contemplate the use of any a-bomb. Who are they going to attack, and what will be the world-wide response? No more Iran?

I see that as the extreme form of harakiri.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 09:47 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
What additional intelligence information our government may have gathered over the years doesn't even enter in to it.


Ah, but it does matter. The inferences which can be taken from known (or strongly suspected) Persian activities are well enough, but "additional intelliegence information gathered by our government is chimerical. It certain is not sufficient to justify invading yet another middle eastern country, and entering another bloody war. We know now that Central Intelligence, DIA and NSA all willfully lied about Iraq. We know that they took statements at face valued (which they probably didn't believe) from Chalabi and the INC. Even here at A2K, there were conservative clowns running around talking about "intelligence" acquired from "Iraqi defectors." Of couse, trillions of dollars later and hundreds of thousands of lives later, we know that was all bullshit.

So perhaps you can understand why men and women of good will and even just a moderate intelligence would be reluctant to hang too much assumption on your "intelligence information our government may have gathered over the years."

*************************

Quite apart from that, one can understand why the Persians would want their own nukes given that Israel possesses them, and especially as Israelis and their Persian stooges murdered thousands of Persians before the Shah was finally run out of Iran. You may not like it, and you may prate about our national security interests, but those arguments won't mean **** to Iran, nor most other citizens of middle eastern nations. You know, O'George, sometimes there are things we just can't control, short of all out war, and perhaps you'll forgive the rest of us for not wanting all out war.
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 10:06 pm
There is a possibility Iran is working toward nuclear weapons. (I am not here to argue ideology, as I said earlier). But, even if they are, what setanta just said goes double for me. These endless expenditures of money are a huge part of Bush's crashing of the economy. This nation does not have an endless supply of money for wars. Plus, there is collateral damage to the extreme in all of these things. I for one do not want to see more casualties. It is not a given that Iran would commit suicide by launching a nuclear war.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 10:48 pm
@edgarblythe,
Indeed, it would be suicide, and they know it.
0 Replies
 
 

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