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  • More on the Iranian Nuclear Threat

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on February 2nd, 2006 (All posts by )

    Richard North of the EU Referendum blog has this post about the Iranian nuclear threat. North is manifestly knowledgeable about the technical details of various weapons, as many of his posts demonstrate. North is concerned but not alarmed about the situation, basically finding that the Iranians will have a real problem coming up with a deliverable weapon — i.e. getting from a device to a weapon is still not kid stuff. “Putting various strands together, for Iran to pose a credible threat to Israel, it must not only have a functioning bomb, but also a reliable means of delivery. And here, not all the pieces are falling into place.” The post and comments are good. RTWT.

     

    6 Responses to “More on the Iranian Nuclear Threat”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      Pakistan did it, using a Chinese design. Why not Iran?

      From the mullahs’ POV, smaller would be better, but any bomb small enough to fit into an airliner would be useful.

    2. Lex Says:

      I’m not sure to what extent Pakistan actually “did it”. How deliverable and reliable are their bombs, anyway? I notice that they have gained little advantage from possessing them. The Indians, who are more technically adept, could annihilate them, and would do so if Pakistan ever used one of them. Moreover, the Pakistanis, who have supported terrorists for decades, have not shown any willingness to let any of their few, expensive, precious nuclear treasures be handed off to terrorists. For one thing, if a terrorist smuggled one into Mumbai or Dehli and set it off, there would not be much head scratching in India before Pakistan was subjected to nuclear annihilation. The Pakistanis are probably more worried about one of these things being lost or stolen due to their customary incompetence, and then getting blamed if it gets used.

      The possibility of an airliner originating in Iran successfully pulling off a nuclear kamikaze attack on Israel, which leads to Iran’s immediate nuclear annihilation by the Israelis, does not strike me as a sufficiently plausible scenario that the USA should start another war over it.

      Apparently neither does the president, which I find a relief.

    3. Ken Says:

      “I’m not sure to what extent Pakistan actually “did it”. How deliverable and reliable are their bombs, anyway? I notice that they have gained little advantage from possessing them.”

      Except that our Public Enemy Number One can hide out there and they get no real pressure to cough him up…

    4. Lex Says:

      Well, Osama is hiding in the wilds of Waziristan. No one has ever really had control of that area. The British never did, and post-independence, the Pakistani government never did. Could the Pakistanis just cough up Osama if they wanted to? I don’t think so. I do agree that some elements in the Pak government probably don’t want to turn him over, even if they could.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      The possibility of an airliner originating in Iran successfully pulling off a nuclear kamikaze attack on Israel, which leads to Iran’s immediate nuclear annihilation by the Israelis, does not strike me as a sufficiently plausible scenario that the USA should start another war over it.

      -Your analysis depends critically on the accuracy of your estimate of odds.

      -Look a few years down the road: Iran has nukes, other countries have nukes, one or more bombs go off in Israel. Who did it? What next? I’m skeptical that the USA or even Israel is prepared to murder millions of innocent Iranians because of the actions of a small cadre of psychopaths. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I think there’s enough doubt as to make the effectiveness of this kind of deterrence questionable.

      -BTW, note that Bush, in response to a reporter’s question, recently made explicit a promise to defend Israel. This is unprecedented, I believe. I speculate that it came about because Israel was planning to attack Iran and was dissuaded only by the promise of an explicit American defense guarantee. Whether such a guarantee will be effective is anybody’s guess. However, the fact that Intrade shows roughly 1-in-3 odds of a US/Israel bombing attack on Iran within the next year suggests that, no matter what Bush says he wants now, there is a significant possibility of some major shit hitting the fan in the near future.

    6. Gordon Says:

      There was an article whic appeared in Le Figaro newspaper here in france that I found very disturbing. It is wriiten by a member of the Hudson Institute based in Washington. I know nothing about this organisation.
      Essentially it is claimed that the Iranian president is a religious fanatic motivated by a belief in the return of the hidden twelfth imam and that his coming can be hastened by the actions of believers. One of these actions would be the destruction of Israel.
      If you want to read the whole thing use http://www.lefigaro.fr/ , click on debats opinions and scroll down to an article titled “Iran: the need for a coercive strategy”

      [Admin update: the opinion piece in question is here.]