Europeans are becoming concerned with the possibility that Iran may actually have the materials to produce a nuclear weapon by year’s end:
Could Iran be building an atomic bomb? When the US released a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) late last year, it seemed as though the danger of a mullah-bomb had passed. The report claimed to have information indicating that Tehran mothballed its nuclear weapons program as early as autumn 2003. The paper also said that it was “very unlikely” that Iran would have enough highly enriched uranium — the primary ingredient in atomic bombs — by 2009 to produce such a weapon. Rather, the NIE indicated “Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough (highly enriched uranium) for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 timeframe.”
It didn’t take long for experts to question the report’s conclusion that Tehran was no longer interested in building the bomb. And now, a new computer simulation undertaken by European Union experts indicates that the NIE’s time estimates might be dangerously inaccurate as well — and that Iran might have enough fuel for a bomb much earlier than was previously thought.
As part of a project to improve control of nuclear materials, the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy set up a detailed simulation of the centrifuges currently used by Iran in the Natanz nuclear facility to enrich uranium. The results look nothing like those reached by the US intelligence community.
The United States has been doing what it can to mobilize the world community against Iranian nuclear weapons development. Sometimes the Europeans have sided with us, sometimes against us in the discussion. Meanwhile French, German, and Russian companies have been helping Iran build its fortifications and aiding in its nuclear development program.
Iran is a miniscule flyspeck. The UK, France, and Germany can be and should be fully capable of dealing with any threat posed to them by Iran themselves.
Even armed with nuclear weapons Iran doesn’t pose a threat to us. If they were to use their nuclear weapons against us Iranian civilization would die overnight. If they’re not deterred, the next guys will be.
Perhaps it’s time for the Europeans to start thinking about life without the American aegis. We’ll still be here if a real threat emerges.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the International Atomic Energy Agency has produced its most recent status report on Iran’s nuclear development program:
VIENNA (AFP) — The UN atomic watchdog said Friday it had made “quite good progress” in its long-running investigation into Iran’s disputed nuclear drive, but was still not in a position to offer a verdict on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
In a confidential new report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) complained that Iran was continuing to defy UN demands to halt uranium enrichment.
Furthermore, it had started developing faster and more efficient centrifuges to produce enriched uranium, which can be used to make the fissile material for a bomb.
The IAEA has “recently received from Iran additional information,” said the report, which will be put to its board of governors next month.
“As a result, the agency’s knowledge about Iran’s current declared nuclear programme has become clearer.”
However, the information “has been provided on an ad hoc basis and not in a consistent and complete manner,” the UN watchdog complained.
That meant that the agency “is not yet in a position to determine the full nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.”
Tehran insists its nuclear drive is purely peaceful, while the United States and other Western powers accuse it of covertly seeking to develop a nuclear bomb.
Or, in other words, Iran continues its brinksmanship act for reasons that, if its nuclear development program is completely peaceful, are hard to fathom. At least for me.
I think I’ve been very clear in my position on Iran over time. I believe that Iran has a nuclear weapons development program or, at the very least, they want people to believe that they have a nuclear weapons development program. While I don’t believe that Iran’s having or using nuclear weapons would be a good thing, I don’t believe that we should resort to violent means i.e. bombing or invasion to stop them. This position is characterized by some as hawkish.