Tag Archives: Nuclear weapon

The Iran regime’s unstoppable path to nuclear weapons

It matters not where any national leader stands as far as the Iran deal is concerned, the greatest concern to the international community should be why Iran has been seeking the capability to build nuclear weapons for more than two decades.

During the early 1990s, the Israeli secret service reportedly obtained Iranian government documents, stating that Iran had acquired several nuclear warheads from the former Soviet Union. The documents were authenticated by experts in the US, all of which were said to be correspondence between officials in the Iranian government and leading commanders of the IRGC, verifying that the missiles had been successfully acquired. Although these weapons were no longer operational due to age, they were still useful to nuclear scientists as a blueprint for a future weapon.

It is now believed that during the 1980s, when Iranian boffins were struggling to master nuclear technology, Iran obtained the know-how to overcome its problems in the more difficult aspects of nuclear technology, and from then on, the two countries shared future technological advances.

Since the founding of the Islamic Republic, Iran has been working all out to become the Middle East’s most powerful military nation, so with it its constant confrontational policies concerning the export of terrorism, and its meddling in the politics of neighboring countries, it has led to it having to face many foes throughout the region.

So adding that to the fact that a number of its near neighbors are armed with nuclear weapons, including its arch enemy Israel, it made perfect sense to the regime’s hawks to arm Iran in a similar manner.

It was in 1985, Iran began its gas-enrichment program, and when this was discovered many years later, the regime went on the defensive, claiming that its nuclear program was solely for it wanting to become self-sufficient in its energy needs, and for the purpose of medical isotopes.

When questioned as to why it had kept its nuclear program a secret, the leadership claimed it was under no obligation to declare it under the terms of the IAEA safeguards agreement. The agreement stated that it only had to inform the IAEA of the existence of its facilities, six months before any nuclear material was actually being produced and so as far as the Iranian administration was concerned any infringements were minor.

During the time of its secret nuclear sites being discovered, when questioned about its refusal to answer many crucial questions on its program, the regime claimed it hadn’t spoken out due to it being an intrusion of its rights. This was in addition to the fact that it didn’t want commercial secrets being leaked to its opponents, and also the fact that it wanted to safeguard the security of the sites in question.

Energy self-sufficiency

Then when it came to the need for such a program, the regime’s claims for it to be solely for self-sufficiency in its energy needs, and medical purposes just didn’t hold up under scrutiny. Even with the Bushehr reactor up and running, which it wasn’t at the time, it would only result in the production of 3 percent of Iran’s electricity needs, and that the rest of the facilities that were in action or in the pipeline, was not feasible for civilian use.

So much about Iran’s nuclear program just didn’t add up even with the fact that there was no evidence at the time that it was operating a reprocessing program meant little. The regime had been known to be seeking to acquire hot-cell heavy manipulators and lead glass shielding windows from a foreign state, which would be required should it be wanting to embark on such a program.

Suspicions arose as to why the regime would want to acquire such components, which it claimed was for the use of producing medical isotopes. However, after studying specifications for the project, which the IAEA had acquired from a foreign state, it showed that the hot cells being fitted out had walls of 1.4 metres in thickness, which were more suited to the handling of spent fuel, rather than for the purpose of radioisotope production, and pointed towards a military use rather than a medical one.

Then in the summer of 2002, the Iranian dissident group the MEK revealed the existence of a series of nuclear sites in Iran, and within a year it was discovered that Iran was in the process of conducting uranium enrichment at Natanz.

An unidentified IAEA inspector cuts the connections between the twin cascades for 20 percent uranium enrichment at the Natanz facility, some 322 kilometers south of Tehran on Jan. 20, 2014. (AP)

With suspicions beginning to be raised even further that Iran was at work developing nuclear weapons, this further heightened when it was discovered that the regime was mining uranium at Saghand as well as operating a yellow cake production plant in the vicinity of Ardakan, and with a pilot uranium enrichment plant up and running in Natanz, it was also operating a commercial scale enrichment facility close by.

To produce nuclear weapons, enriched uranium is essential, and it takes a full-blown nuclear program to produce it. Uranium ore is a natural element much like iron, often taken from the ground in open cast mining; but it needs to be processed to extract pure uranium from the base material.

Centrifuges are essential in processing of uranium. They are cylindrical tubes that whirl at great speed, separating out or purifying the desired uranium isotopes. Iran’s Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant was designed to hold around 3,000 centrifuges, producing in the region of 19.75 percent enriched uranium, which Iran claimed is part of the process to produce medical isotopes.

Where nuclear weapons are concerned, their design requires the use of weapons grade uranium to make them functional, and it takes 90 percent enrichment of uranium to take it to weapons grade, which would take only a matter of weeks to produce in Iran’s new and advanced centrifuges.

Doubling down on centrifuges

Back in August 2012, Iran was known to have doubled the number of centrifuges at its Fordow plant in just three months, increasing the number to 2,000. Until the time of the Iran Deal, the number had increased to 2,800, with Fordow running at full capacity.

During that period of time, Iran had increased its supply of a more purified form of enriched uranium, which was much easier to convert into weapon’s grade fissile material. But at this present time, with the regime now mass producing much more efficient centrifuges, with more than 10,000 installed at the Natanz facility alone, they had enough low-enriched uranium to produce at least six nuclear weapons.

Before the Iran Deal, with Iran having built at least five secret facilities, where work was believed to have been carried out on the development of nuclear weapons, it can only be said that the Iran deal has put this work on hold, as most of Iran’s nuclear program is still continuing in a limited capacity. Should the deal eventually collapse, it would only take Iran a matter of months to reinstate its nuclear activity, and the road to a bomb would be fast coming.

So with these nuclear sites carved into the side of mountains, with the regime protecting them with state of the art air defences throughout the country, it leaves them virtually immune to airstrikes. This made it difficult to completely halt Iran’s nuclear program through a bombing campaign would be near impossible, due to the regime’s instalment of the Russian S-300 long-range air defence system.

So adding this to the fact that Iran has already developed its own long-range air defense system, named the Bavar-373 (Bavar meaning “Belief) – and has claimed it is far superior to the Russian S-300, it also gives it the ability to operate both on and off roads. And with the system using Sayyed-3 missiles, which have been successfully tested, it utilizes target acquisition radar, target engagement radar, and phased array radar to direct the primary functions of the system. The system can strike mid-altitude targets with great accuracy, is able to down bombers as well as various other combat aircraft including drones and cruise missiles.

But as far as the Iran deal is concerned, the Iranian regime is in a win-win situation, because as far as an armed confrontation is concerned, it is fast heading toward becoming untouchable. So the only way to bring an end to its nuclear program, other than through a one-sided deal that only benefits its clerical leadership, would be through sanctions or hostilities.

But whatever option is chosen, a regime change would be needed at the end of it, in order to deter Iran from the nuclear path in the future, and at the moment, this seems to be a long way off.

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Obama ignoring intel that points to Iran buying nuke and missile materials

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See no evil, hear no evil seems to be the watchword of the Obama administration when it comes to Iranian cheating on the president’s pride and joy; the deal that’s supposed to prevent Iran from building an atomic bomb.

The Washington Free Beacon has learned that Germany has passed along intelligence to the US government indicating that Iran is still buying nuclear materials that would allow it to build a bomb, as well as illegally obtaining parts that aid in its missile program.

The Obama administration is brushing aside new German intelligence reports indicating that Iran has accelerated its efforts to procure key nuclear materials, despite promises to end this behavior as part of last summer’s nuclear accord, according to comments by a U.S. official provided to theFree Beacon.

Germany’s internal intelligence agency concluded in a recent report that sources have witnessed “extensive Iranian attempts” to procure illicit materials, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology,” according to the report. The report appears to show that Iran is not upholding its most critical commitments under the nuclear deal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear this week that the intelligence shows “Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council,” particularly one Security Council resolution that bars Iran from pursuing ballistic missile technology.

The intelligence report and subsequent warnings were met with a tepid response from the Obama administration, which declined to comment on the intelligence and told the Free Beacon that it continues to view Iran as complying with the nuclear accord.

The administration’s response stands in sharp contrast to that of leading GOP lawmakers, who told the Free Beacon that the White House is intentionally ignoring Iran’s bad behavior.

“We believe that Iran is continuing to meet its [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] commitments,” a State Department official authorized only to speak on background told the Free Beacon.

When pressed to explain how this comported with Germany’s warnings, the official said the administration “would refer you to German authorities for any comment about reports attributed to them.”

The administration official would not take a stance on indications that Iran’s procurement activity—which has increased nearly twofold since the nuclear deal—could violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which bans such activity.

“As for UNSCR 2231, we have spoken previously about ‎how Iran’s reported missile launches are clearly inconsistent with the resolution,” the source said when asked if the new intelligence shows that Iran’s behavior constitutes a violation of the resolution.

A CIA official declined to comment on Germany’s findings and whether they comport with U.S. intelligence assessments.

Even if the administration called out Iran for violations of the deal, the sanctions wouldn’t “snap back” into place until a lengthy examination took place and a panel that would decide if Iran is cheating voted to cite Tehran. Then, you’d have to get the Security Council – including Russia and China – to agree to reimpose the sanctions that have recently been lifted.

Good luck with that.

In fact, the president lied when he assured Congress and the American people that if Iran was caught cheating, the sanctions would “snap back” into place. No such thing will ever happen. Obama knew it at the time and he certainly knows it now. This is why the administration is ignoring the German intelligence; they couldn’t do anything about it even if they wanted to.

#Iran Unveils Underground Site For Nuclear Capable Emad Missile

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By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin///DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran unveiled a new underground missile depot on Tuesday with state television showing Emad precision-guided missiles in store which the United States says can take a nuclear warhead and violate a 2010 U.N. Security Council resolution.

The defiant move to publicize Iran’s missile program seemed certain to irk the United States as it plans to dismantle nearly all sanctions on Iran under a breakthrough nuclear agreement.

Tasnim news agency and state television video said the underground facility, situated in mountains and run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was inaugurated by the speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani. Release of one-minute video followed footage of another underground missile depot last October.

The United States says the Emad, which Iran tested in October, would be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and U.S. officials say Washington will respond to the Emad tests with fresh sanctions against Iranian individuals and businesses linked to the program.

Iran’s boasting about its missile capabilities are a challenge for U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration as the United States and European Union plan to dismantle nearly all international sanctions against Tehran under the nuclear deal reached in July.

Iran has abided by the main terms of the nuclear deal, which require it to give up material that world powers feared could be used to make an atomic weapon and accept other restrictions on its nuclear program.

But President Hassan Rouhani ordered his defense minister last week to expand the missile program.

The Iranian missiles under development boast much improved accuracy over the current generation, which experts say is likely to improve their effectiveness with conventional warheads.

The Revolutionary Guards’ second-in-command, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, said last Friday that Iran’s depots and underground facilities are so full that they do not know how to store their new missiles.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Richard Balmforth)