what's left

Washington comes clean on Iran’s (nonexistent) nuclear weapons program

with 2 comments

By Stephen Gowans

Remind me why sanctions have been imposed on Iran.

Is it because the country is developing nuclear weapons?

If so, US and Israeli officials don’t believe it.

According to the August 19th edition of The New York Times (“U.S. assures Israel that Iran threat is not imminent”), “American and Israeli officials believe breakout” – that is, a transition from enriching uranium for civilian use to developing a workable nuclear weapon – “is unlikely anytime soon.”

Iran, it seems, is having difficulty enriching uranium. That could be because “the United States, Israel and Europe have for years engaged in covert attempts to disrupt the enrichment process by sabotaging (Iran’s) centrifuges. “

Whatever the case, Iran has only “a limited supply of nuclear material, currently enough for two weapons.” And “it would take roughly a year — and perhaps longer — for Iran to complete what one senior official called a ‘dash’ for a nuclear weapon.”

Were Iran to make a dash for a nuclear weapon, would Washington know about it? Yes. “American officials said the United States believed international inspectors would detect an Iranian move toward breakout within weeks, leaving a considerable amount of time for the United States and Israel to consider military strikes.”

Either that or Iran would kick “out international … inspectors, eliminating any ambiguity about Iran’s nuclear plans.”

And “even if Iran were to choose this path, American officials said it would probably take Iran some time to reconfigure its nuclear facilities to produce weapons-grade uranium and ramp up work on designing a nuclear warhead.”

Okay, but let me get this straight.

If Iran ever decides to develop nuclear weapons — that is ever decides to — there will be no ambiguity; its course of action will be clear within weeks.

Moreover, it will take Iran at least a year to develop a workable weapon, allowing other countries plenty of time to intervene. And breakout “is unlikely anytime soon”, if it ever happens at all.

But most importantly, Iran is not currently working on a nuclear weapon.

So, why is Iran being sanctioned?

Written by what's left

August 22, 2010 at 10:57 pm

2 Responses

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  1. This not about nuclear weapons. This has always been a false charge based on hype and on the paranoid, and generalized assumption that because Iran can enrich uranium and has a civilian nuclear power program that it will make nuclear weapons. Well, so can any other nation which has a civilian nuclear power program. But that does not mean that they will.

    It is like saying that my neighbor is planning to kill someone just because they own a gun.

    And where is the US government’s evidence to support their suspicions? To date, the US has not provided any credible evidence to back up their accusations.

    Neither the US or the zionist state believe that Iran has nuclear weapons. They know that Iran is not a threat. But Iran IS a powerful adversary and competitor who stands in the way of US and zionist supremacy in the region. This is the #1 reason why Iran is being isolated. Iran is a growing economic and military power which is outside of US and zionist control, and that is why it is being weakened by sanctions and threats. To sanction and threaten a nation just because it is independent and a growing power would not fly diplomatically, so the Iranian nuclear weapon threat has been manufactured to serve as an excuse to demonize and choke that nation.
    If there was any credible evidence that Iran is secretly building a nuclear weapon, then Iran would be in a much worse situation. Russia, China and others would find this out and the IAEA would most likely suspend all cooperation with Iran, and so would Russia and other nations.

    Paul

    August 23, 2010 at 9:34 pm

  2. Good comment Paul.
    Concise and accurate.

    Ted

    September 27, 2010 at 8:58 pm


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