February 6, 2005

AND HITLER IS SPEEDING UP THE V-2 PROGRAM...:

Iran Would Accelerate Nuke Program if Attacked (Paul Hughes and Parisa Hafezi, 2/06/05, Reuters)

Iran would both retaliate and accelerate its drive to master nuclear technology if the United States or Israel attacked its atomic facilities, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator warned on Sunday.

Hassan Rohani, secretary-general of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, also told Reuters there was nothing the West could offer Tehran that would persuade it to scrap a nuclear program which Washington fears may be used to make bombs.


Mr. Rohani must have thought Monty Python and the Holy Grail a drama.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 6, 2005 12:16 PM
Comments

You get the impression that the iranian regime has no idea what a single American SSBN could do to them.

What they need to do is accelerate their understanding of Unilaterally Assured Total Destruction.

Posted by: M. Murcek at February 6, 2005 12:21 PM

Somehow, the Black Knight must have become a patron saint of the mullah's brand of Islam.

Posted by: John at February 6, 2005 1:00 PM

It is complete nonsense to think that the US would do anything to Iran's nuclear program and we would certainly force Israel to sit on its hands as well.

Any assault, short of a virtually eliminationist one on all of Iran, would fail to eliminate the program. It would give the rapidly decaying regime of the Mullahs another half century of life at least. Also, it would further exacerbate Euro-US divisions, which for some idiotic reason we seem to care about.

Posted by: Bart at February 6, 2005 1:10 PM

Bart-

I don't know. There is a lot of opposition to the current regime in Iran. The form of government which is taking shape in Iraq may be the key. In any event, barring a change in the ideology of the crackpots in power over there, our options may be few.

John-

Mohammed was oblivious to God's sense of humour. The Islamic bureaucrat quoted above probably reveres the black knight as a stubborn fighter for the cause.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at February 6, 2005 2:17 PM

I've no idea how true it is, but I've read that many or even most Iranians, even if they hate the regime, think having nukes is a good idea for reasons of national pride. Very bad news if so, because 1) if we or the Israelis take out the nukes, we tick off the people who are more likely to see things our way otherwise, and 2) even if the regime falls, the nuke program might well continue.

Posted by: PapayaSF at February 6, 2005 3:52 PM

PapayaSF -

Shades of Pakistan's Bhutto when he said, 'My people will eat grass if necessary,' but would 'have the bomb.' I fear you are probably right.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at February 6, 2005 6:07 PM

So Iran is threatening to accelerate the nuclear weapons program that it simultaneously reports to the IAEA does not exist?

Posted by: Gideon at February 6, 2005 6:33 PM

"t is complete nonsense to think that the US would do anything to Iran's nuclear program and we would certainly force Israel to sit on its hands as well."


Earth to Bartman: Bush is President, not your Boi.

Posted by: NC3 at February 6, 2005 7:35 PM

Bart:

We could no more stop Israel than stop the rain.

Posted by: oj at February 6, 2005 10:21 PM

Iran has gigantic natural gas reserves and does not need nuclear power for anything but the bomb.

Posted by: Randall Voth at February 7, 2005 5:00 AM

NC3, I haven't the foggiest idea what you are talking about. Please try English, or perhaps French or Spanish, next time. Sobriety is also appreciated.

Tom, an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would weaken pro-democracy forces there, because it would enable the mullahs to wrap themselves in the flag, in a fever of nationalist fervor. This has to enter into the President's calculus.

OJ, the US forced Israel to refrain from bombing Iraq in Gulf War I and people were killed in Tel Aviv by Iraqi Scuds as a result, so there is precedent. The downside to America's perceived interests of a raid against Iran even if successful is quite significant, and, since the Iranians are not stupid, the chance of a raid being successful is quite low. Dispersing the nuclear facilities is not hard for the Iranians to do and they are certainly not above putting them in populated areas with lots of civilians where an Israeli attack would be readily portrayed as a war crime everywhere but on Fox News.

By contrast when the Israelis bomned the Osirak reactor, French intelligence on orders from Mitterand did everything short of big neon signs in Hebrew saying 'THIS WAY TO THE NUCLEAR BOMB MAKING FACILITY!' or 'BOMB HERE!' to direct the Israelis to the target.

Posted by: Bart at February 7, 2005 7:01 AM

NC3, I haven't the foggiest idea what you are talking about. Please try English, or perhaps French or Spanish, next time. Sobriety is also appreciated.

Tom, an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would weaken pro-democracy forces there, because it would enable the mullahs to wrap themselves in the flag, in a fever of nationalist fervor. This has to enter into the President's calculus.

OJ, the US forced Israel to refrain from bombing Iraq in Gulf War I and people were killed in Tel Aviv by Iraqi Scuds as a result, so there is precedent. The downside to America's perceived interests of a raid against Iran even if successful is quite significant, and, since the Iranians are not stupid, the chance of a raid being successful is quite low. Dispersing the nuclear facilities is not hard for the Iranians to do and they are certainly not above putting them in populated areas with lots of civilians where an Israeli attack would be readily portrayed as a war crime everywhere but on Fox News.

By contrast when the Israelis bombed the Osirak reactor, French intelligence on orders from Mitterand did everything short of big neon signs in Hebrew saying 'THIS WAY TO THE NUCLEAR BOMB MAKING FACILITY!' or 'BOMB HERE!' to direct the Israelis to the target.

Posted by: Bart at February 7, 2005 7:01 AM

Bart:

No we didn't.

Posted by: oj at February 7, 2005 8:08 AM

Moshe Arens said that America did just that, as did Schwarzkopf in his autobiography.

Posted by: Bart at February 7, 2005 8:21 AM

What else would you expect?

Posted by: oj at February 7, 2005 9:04 AM

Big talk comes easy from Arab and Iranian mouths. It is never backed by big action.

What makes anyone think an airstrike is the only way to take out the Iranian program? Israel has plenty of access to Farsi speakers to infiltrate Iran. A nuclear "accident" during a test is quite within the realm of possibility. Then, where is the public support in Iran?

Posted by: Bob at February 7, 2005 9:48 AM
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