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Bloviating Zeppelin: Iran: Going It Alone?

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Iran: Going It Alone?

Rebecca from Revka's Take had a good question in the comment section of my last post:

"Why do you think he (Iran's President Ahmadinejad) is saying all this crazy stuff in the media if he has 'just begun' his uranium enrichment? I would think he would have kept his mouth shut about his intentions until he was real close to getting a nuke, or has already had one from another source. I tend to think based on his actions, that he already has the plan in place and had other nations in bed with him on it. What do you think?"

Excellent question! I have an inquiring mind, so I began to inquire.

The Jewish Virtual Library has this to say about Iran, sourced from a CIA report published in November of 2004:

Iran continued to vigorously pursue indigenous programs to produce nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Iran is also working to improve delivery systems as well as ACW. To this end, Iran continued to seek foreign materials, training, equipment, and know-how. During the reporting period, Iran still focused particularly on entities in Russia, China, North Korea, and Europe. Iran's nuclear program received significant assistance in the past from the proliferation network headed by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan.

Nuclear. The United States remains convinced that Tehran has been pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program, in contradiction to its obligations as a party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). During 2003, Iran continued to pursue an indigenous nuclear fuel cycle ostensibly for civilian purposes but with clear weapons potential. International scrutiny and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections and safeguards will most likely prevent Tehran from using facilities declared to the IAEA directly for its weapons program as long as Tehran remains a party to the NPT. However, Iran could use the same technology at other, covert locations for military applications.

Iran continues to use its civilian nuclear energy program to justify its efforts to establish domestically or otherwise acquire the entire nuclear fuel cycle. Iran claims that this fuel cycle would be used to produce fuel for nuclear power reactors, such as the 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor that Russia is continuing to build at the southern port city of Bushehr. However, Iran does not need to produce its own fuel for this reactor because Russia has pledged to provide the fuel throughout the operating lifetime of the reactor and is negotiating with Iran to take back the irradiated spent fuel. An Iranian opposition group, beginning in August of 2002, revealed several previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear facilities, sparking numerous IAEA inspections since February 2003. Subsequent reports by the IAEA Director General revealed numerous failures by Iran to disclose facilities and activities, which run contrary to its IAEA safeguards obligations. Before the reporting period, the A. Q. Khan network provided Iran with designs for Pakistan's older centrifuges, as well as designs for more advanced and efficient models, and components.

This report states further:
Chemical. Iran is a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Nevertheless, during the reporting period it continued to seek production technology, training, and expertise from foreign entities that could further Tehran's efforts to achieve an indigenous capability to produce nerve agents. Iran may have already stockpiled blister, blood, choking, and possibly nerve agents-and the bombs and artillery shells to deliver them-which it previously had manufactured.

Biological. Even though Iran is part of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), Tehran probably maintained an offensive BW program. Iran continued to seek dual-use biotechnical materials, equipment, and expertise that could be used in Tehran's BW program. Iran probably has the capability to produce at least small quantities of BW agents.

Advanced Conventional Weapons. Iran continued to seek and acquire conventional weapons and production technologies, primarily from Russia, China, and North Korea. Tehran also sought high-quality products, particularly weapons components and dual-use items, or products that proved difficult to acquire through normal governmental channels.

Question for my readers: if Russia, China and North Korea, all loving regimes, are supplying Iran with "conventional" weapons, can you do the logical extension?

Let's look at other reports and articles. From the BBC:
But Iran does not have a significant and established nuclear reactor programme, and in economic and practical terms establishing an enrichment facility cannot be justified. That means the enrichment facility is almost certainly for a nuclear weapons programme.

The article asks: where did Iran get the know-how to build a nuclear industry? Another excellent question. Their answer:
So to establish the plants and factories required, Iran has had to undertake a clandestine programme of acquisition of the hardware and technical knowledge. The most obvious candidates for this are Russia and China.

However, Russia has agreed to confine its nuclear interests in Iran to the construction of nuclear power plants and recent agreements between Iran and China have fallen through. Another possibility is that a deal has been struck with a third nuclear developing state such as Pakistan or North Korea.

It is also possible that some of the equipment and specialised materials needed have been acquired under apparently legitimate contract with the West but which has dual-use capability.

Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan -- I see some consistencies here.

From John Bolton's speech to the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC on August 17, 2004:

Another potential source of plutonium for (Iranian) weapons is the Bushehr light-water power reactor, which is currently under construction. That reactor is under IAEA safeguards. Russia has agreed to provide all fresh fuel for that reactor, and Iran and Russia are discussing an agreement to return all spent fuel to Russia. However, if Iran should withdraw from the Nonproliferation Treaty ("NPT") and renounce this agreement with Russia, the Bushehr reactor would produce enough plutonium each year for about 30 nuclear weapons.

It would also appear that nuclear parts shipped to other countries may miraculously have been "diverted" to Iran as well. From Regime Change Iran:
Critical components and specialized tools destined for Libya's nuclear weapons program disappeared before arrival in 2003 and international investigators now suspect that they were diverted to another country, according to court records and investigators.

The seizure by the United States and Britain of a separate shipment of nuclear-related components from a freighter headed for Libya in October 2003 crippled the network and led to Khan's admission that he had been selling know-how and technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Since then, the biggest concerns for international inspectors and intelligence agencies examining Khan's operation have been whether an unidentified customer is also pursuing a nuclear weapon or whether Iran might have received the missing technology and, potentially, designs for an atomic weapon.

A non-Western intelligence official said it was possible that the missing centrifuge components and other material was sold secretly to Iran by someone in the Khan network as the operation started to unravel after the seizure of the shipment in 2003.

Even back in 2003, wrote:
Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Iran may develop usable nuclear weapons within two years using technology from countries including Russia, China and France, an Iranian opposition group said. The National Council of Resistance of Iran, founded in Tehran and now based in Paris, made the assertion two weeks before the expiration of a United Nations' deadline for the country to prove it isn't developing nuclear weapons.

"The Iranian regime is sparing no effort in its drive to acquire nuclear weapons,'' Dowlat Nowrouzi, a council member, told reporters in London. Asked when the regime would succeed, she said: "Our prediction is 2005, 2006.''

Timely prediction, eh?

Also, here is an excellent capsulization of Iran's nuclear chronology.

On this afternoon's Michael Medved show, Senator John McCain said that, regarding Iraq, the only thing worse than sanctions or a military option is a nuclear-armed Iran disturbing the entire Middle East -- but that nations must present a unified, solid front for Iran to take notice.

The clock continues to tick.


Also, in brief:


It just tickles me that the DEM continues, reliably, to implode.


Blogger NEO, SOC said...

The problem remains that the left wackos are leaving this alone because there is a remote possibilty that Wilson did reports on Iran's nuclear information as well. Isn't it interesting that there isn't so much hype about Iran from the left? "Hey, let's shut up, so that if the intel is wrong; we didn't support it! Also, someone tell John Kerry to keep quiet on this one, too!"

Is it possible that the left is waiting for the nukes to be in flight before believing they exist? LOL! IDIOTS!

Tue Jan 24, 08:05:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

NS: Well gawrsh, we know why John Kerry is silent, don't we? In law we call those "facts in evidence."

I would certainly hope the Left isn't quite so far afield that nukes either in flight or detonated on soverign American soil by local cells have to cook off prior to some collective political forehead-slapping on BOTH sides of the aisle.

I often ask myself: what WOULD have happened had Flight 93 not been grounded by its passengers and, instead, collided with its likely intended target, the Capitol building in Washington, DC?

Would all the multiple and varied arguments about Abu Ghraib, the NSA, the CIA, the borders both north and south (and our exposed eastern and western coasts) be moot? Or would we STILL not "get it?"

Sometimes I wonder. . .

Wed Jan 25, 05:02:00 AM PST  
Blogger NEO, SOC said...

Speaking of Iraq (well we aren't, but I am pasting this from another post): Did anyone hear about the Iraqi woman in Kansas who got up screaming and praising George Bush for freeing her people? She condemned the leftist people who were coming out against him; she told Bush "I love you" and flowered him with many compliments and words of appreciation.

Pretty sad that you didn't hear anything about it. But, what did the media report from his visit to Kansas? I guy asking him if he had seen BrokeBack Mountain! And we say the media is not recounting the challenges for black America? What about the media's failure to report the Iraqi Americans feeling towards to the war?

Wed Jan 25, 05:45:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

NS: Wow, you're right, I can recall having a conversation in the car yesterday while the radio was playing in the background and I wondered why this woman with an accent was praising the US. NOW I know what that was about -- thanks!

In any event, that's why I call them the DEM -- Defeatist, Elitist Media.

Wed Jan 25, 06:45:00 AM PST  
Blogger Revka said...

Blo, since i am female, i am getting chills reading this..
I have been asking myself this question since this Iranian leader came out so boldly regarding his intentions.
ALso, i thought it was wierd that the leader in N. Korea met with China's president recently, and Syria keeps meeting with IRan.
There is something brewing. Before reading your post, i suspected it was Iran, Russia, China and N.Korea. I don't know exactly what they are planning, but something is up.
Thanks for the info, and the answer to my question with facts. I only had intuition based on what i was seeing in the news, and based on their hate for jews/americans.
Sounds like my suspicions may be correct.
I know they want to cripple America at the least, and take Isreal as their own at the most.

Thu Jan 26, 08:50:00 AM PST  
Blogger Revka said...>>>ForeignBureaus>>>archive>>>200601>>>FOR20060126f.html

Blo, you might find this interesting. It goes with my post today.. I have always agreed with Benyamin Netanyahu..
The nice things Bush and Condi are saying about the possibility of Hammas changing their ideology toward israel is a joke. They know they won't change.
Now they have the political power to start a war.

Thu Jan 26, 10:28:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Rebecca: How'd you like to be an Israeli citizen today, knowing you're surrounded officially by new Hamas leadership and a ring of hostile countries?

I'll go check out that link; thank you.

Thu Jan 26, 01:45:00 PM PST  
Blogger Revka said...

You bet.. I would be feeling a little 'anxious'.. especially now that Hamas has political 'gravitas'.

Thu Jan 26, 04:34:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Hamas. Yeah. Man, that's a post in and of itself. Who'd a thunk?

Fri Jan 27, 05:05:00 PM PST  

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