Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Iran and the Bomb

  1. #1
    Senior Member Syme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    769
    Credits
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default Iran and the Bomb

    So, in keeping with my recent habit of only posting about interesting Middle East related news items, here's something that's been in the headlines recently: Iran's nuclear program.

    Most experts seem to concur that Iranian enrichment activities put them 1-3 years away from developing a nuclear weapon. It would be a small, Hiroshima-type fission bomb. After that they will have the capability to continue producing similar weapons at a rate of one every couple years or so, unless they continue to add enrichment capacity, which is of course possible. They also have ballistic missiles which could deliver a nuclear warhead to a range of 2500-3000 km, with more capable missiles apparently under development.

    The Obama administration, like the Bush administration, seems to want to put a stop to this. The tool to be used is economic sanctions. Problem is, no-one seems able to get any serious sanctions rolling. The Russians and Chinese (who are both permanent UN Security Council seat holders and also trade partners to Iran) will need to be on board for any sanctions to have much punch, but they aren't willing to support severe sanctions even though they have warmed (slightly) to the general idea recently. Theoretically more severe sanctions could be enacted without them but any such sanctions would have a gaping hole right through the middle of them. Meanwhile Tehran is apparently willing to suffer through whatever sanctions we put into place, which underlines the fundamental truth that sanctions advocates don't seem to understand: Iran considers it's nuclear program crucial to it's security and regional strategic interests, and also considers it a symbol of Iranian strength and independence, and isn't going to give it up no matter what sanctions we put on them. Knuckling under like that would undermine the Iranian government's image, whereas remaining defiant and carrying on undeterred by Western sanctions will enhance it. Sanctions will also probably help the Iranian government more than hurt it in domestic terms, by reinforcing the idea that Iran as a country is under attack by hateful foreign powers (which bolsters the regimes legitimacy and lets it crack down on opposition more harshly).

    Then there is the possibility of a military attack against Iranian nuclear facilities. The two countries that might potentially do this are the US and Israel. I doubt very much that the US would do it, Israel is a much more likely candidate. Although they would need tacit US permission, since Israeli planes would have to fly through US-controlled airspace over Iraq on their way to and from targets in Iran. In either case, the political consequences would be severe. Iran has the capability to attack, disrupt, and temporarily halt oil tanker traffic in and out of the Persian Gulf, which would obviously cause some real problems. Israel can also expect to have to deal with retaliatory attacks from Hizballah (which is well-armed with Iranian- and Syrian-supplied missiles, now possibly including Scud ballistic missiles), and maybe Hamas too, if they strike at Iranian nuclear facilities.

    My own attitude is that, objectionable as their political system and current government may be, Iran is a sovereign nation and if they really won't be dissuaded diplomatically from developing nuclear weapons, then we ought to go ahead and let them have them. Even if a hard-hitting sanctions package could be put together, which it can't, it would not stop the Iranian nuclear program and in fact would do the regime a political favor. Military strikes are a terrible idea for various reasons. I don't buy into the "mad mullahs" theory of Iranian political decision-making, which holds that because the country's leaders are religious figures, they are unpredictable and possibly deranged fanatics who cannot be expected to show any rational tendencies or self-preservation instincts, and thus will launch nuclear weapons at Israel ASAP just because they think God told them to. A serious examination of Khamenei's decision-making track record (something 99% of media figures and politicians who speak out on this issue have never made) reveals that he is in fact perfectly willing and able to subordinate religious considerations to practical ones, e.g. in the way Iran improved it's relations with Gulf states in the 1990s. He and the other high-ups are perfectly aware that using nuclear weapons against Israel would be the end of their regime and would in fact lead to terrible things for their country as a whole. So let them have their handful of low-yield bombs.

    What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    50
    Credits
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    I must say it was all very well put Syme. I agree with you that nothing shy of military action will stop Iran. I believe that as a signatory of the non-proliferation treaty (NPT), they have every right to pursue nuclear technology in any way, shape or form.

    The 3 pillars of the NPT:
    1. non-proliferation,
    2. disarmament,
    3. the right to peacefully use nuclear technology.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear...eration_Treaty

    Like you said, Iran is not dumb and I do not believe they are incapable of rational thinking. Anyone stating otherwise is foolish for thinking Iran is a suicidal state, not concerned in the slightest with self-preservation. Also, Iran's argument that it wants nuclear technology for civilian purposes is irrefutable, as they have signed the NPT and there is no conclusive evidence showing an intent to pursue nuclear weapons.

    The argument that it will start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East is a bogus one that shows up on Fox news a lot. For anyone who isn't aware, Israel has had hundreds of nuclear weapons for decades now. What a double standard. That is why an attack on Iran by Israel is just so outrageous, and quite frankly, I doubt the Israelis have the cojones to do it at a time when the international community is already scrutinizing everything the apartheid state does.

  3. #3
    Senior Member John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mulligan's Valley, CO
    Posts
    66
    Credits
    243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    I have nothing useful to add. I'm just posting to say that I finally got your username, Syme.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Syme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    769
    Credits
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I have nothing useful to add. I'm just posting to say that I finally got your username, Syme.
    Just read a bit of Chesterton?

  5. #5
    Senior Member John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mulligan's Valley, CO
    Posts
    66
    Credits
    243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Okay, maybe not...

    I was thinking more Orwell...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Syme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    769
    Credits
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Nope, it's the name of a character from G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, one of the most significant novels of the 20th century IMO.

    Back to Iran... Personally I am somewhat suspicious of Iran's claims to only want nuclear power for peaceful purposes, in light of articles such as their continued ballistic missile development program (the idea that they seriously want the long-range Shahab variants for throwing around a few hundred kilograms of conventional high explosives is militarily questionable, at best). I suspect that Tehran is also interested in nuclear weapons capability, if not necessarily building an actual bomb ASAP. But I really don't think that matters; even if they are seeking a nuclear weapon, I say let them go for it. It certainly would not be wise or appropriate to use military force to retaliate for an NPT violation, especially in light of the consequences such an attack against Iran would have.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    50
    Credits
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    This forum is dead Syme. You killed it with your logic and impossible-to-argue against opinions. Jeez

    Syme is also the name of a character in Orwell's 1984. A very good book might I add. Read it.
    Last edited by mrbazoun; 07-15-2010 at 08:41 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Paul Robeson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1
    Credits
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Of course the "Mad Mullah" claim is bullshit. Iran in the 1980's had an overall progressive foreign policy, including such non-religious issues as condemning apartheid and being one of the leading international voices for the independence of Namibia. Even the Taliban condemned September 11, which of does not mesh well with the "ALLAHU ACKBAR ALL DAY DEATH 2 WASP AMERIKKKA" claims in the US media.

    Iran, as a sovereign country, should have nuclear weapons; same with the DPRK. If unstable countries like Pakistan which are courted by the US are allowed to have nuclear weapons, then I don't see why a country like Iran ruled by University-educated technocrats (and advised by University-educated theologians) with no tradition of military rule is such a horrible affront to the world. Claims that Ahmadinejad called for the "wiping" of Israel off the map were pretty obviously bullshit, and even then you'd hear more radical stuff out of the mouths of working-class Arabs across the Peninsula and especially in Palestine. In this case it's just "serene, civilized Israel" versus the "evil mad-dog goat-fucker Islamist Mujahids."

    As for Iran & the US, see: http://theredphoenix.wordpress.com/2...war-with-iran/

  9. #9
    Merry fucking Christmas Atmosfear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    8,677
    Credits
    1,827
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    The reason Iran and DPRK shouldn't have nuclear weapons is because the rest of the world is committed to the idea of nuclear non-proliferation and that works just fine for everyone who wants to go along to get along.

    Iran is no safer with nuclear weapons than it is without.

  10. #10
    Ambulatory Blender MrShrike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    438
    Credits
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Iran is no safer with nuclear weapons than it is without.
    What a load of bullshit. If Iran acquired nukes tomorrow, all talk of invasion would be shelved immediately, never to be heard of again. No-one even mentions the idea of invading the DPRK anymore. If it wasn't for the fact that their entire society would immediately collapse, the North Koreans could probably stand down the bulk of their armed forces, because regardless no-one would be prepared to risk the consequences of seriously pissing them off by invading.

    But even if it was true, I doubt you could convince anyone in Iran that it's true, and that's the fundamental problem with the concept of non-proliferation. Why would any nation willingly leave itself helpless in the face of potential extinction?

    Particularly one with a (quite reasonable in this case) paranoia that it is next target on the list for invasion?

  11. #11
    sponge sponge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    sponge
    Posts
    3,778
    Credits
    644
    Blog Entries
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrShrike View Post
    What a load of bullshit. If Iran acquired nukes tomorrow, all talk of invasion would be shelved immediately, never to be heard of again. No-one even mentions the idea of invading the DPRK anymore.
    It must be nice, being so ignorant. UN-backed attack would be almost immediate given the world-wide support for non-proliferation, at least in the places that matter (the West).

    We (America) would love to invade and beat the shit out of North Korea. Why? We like South Korea, we hate totalitarian communist states, and we hate China, and North Korea reminds us of China, only failed. Coincidentally, we're also interested in keeping luke-warm ties with China, since they are the last remaining real threat to our country, economically and politically. They back North Korea. That's why we haven't invaded. Once North Korea finally goes full retard and breaks the few rules PRC has told it not to break (basically no outright, unprovoked foreign aggression), they're fucked. We will never be scared, nor ought we be, of a nation so close to total economic (and subsequent political) failure that they can't even keep power on to their capital city 24/7.
    Quote Originally Posted by Atmosfear View Post
    scarf wasn't man enough to do it so queendork pushed herself down the stairs.

  12. #12
    Ambulatory Blender MrShrike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    438
    Credits
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    So let me get this straight, you're claiming that without Chinese support, the U.S. would invade North Korea, even though they would almost certainly nuke Seoul in retaliation?

  13. #13
    sponge sponge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    sponge
    Posts
    3,778
    Credits
    644
    Blog Entries
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrShrike View Post
    So let me get this straight, you're claiming that without Chinese support, the U.S. would invade North Korea
    yes
    even though they would almost certainly nuke Seoul in retaliation?
    that's rather speculative, they'd certainly like to nuke Seoul, but given their generally shit state as a nation, I doubt their launching platforms are as redundant and sophisticated as those of the West and Russia. It's plausible that a preliminary (stealth) invasion force could knock out their infrastructure in very little time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Atmosfear View Post
    scarf wasn't man enough to do it so queendork pushed herself down the stairs.

  14. #14
    Ambulatory Blender MrShrike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    438
    Credits
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sponge View Post
    that's rather speculative, they'd certainly like to nuke Seoul, but given their generally shit state as a nation, I doubt their launching platforms are as redundant and sophisticated as those of the West and Russia. It's plausible that a preliminary (stealth) invasion force could knock out their infrastructure in very little time.
    See that's the problem - the idea that they CAN'T or WON'T nuke Seoul is the really speculative point of view. Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but we don't know for sure. They certainly have the technology, capacity and motivation to do so.

    All they need is to put in place and protect a few warheads, fired from mobile missile launchers with a range of only 100km or less. The South Korean capital is only 40km from the DMZ. Bury these in amongst several hundred other 'dummy' launchers and the chances of getting them all is fairly minimal.

    The prospect of a "stealth" invasion, by a force small enough to be undetectable, of actually succeeding in completely destroying all the right ones is again minimal. You're right, it's plausible that it might work, but not remotely guaranteed. Without this step succeeding the rest of the plan falls down immediately.

    Even if you plan on only going ahead if that last step does work, the planned follow up invasion would need a minimum of several weeks to be organised and forces put in place. And if the North Koreans turn on CNN, they will have at least 6 months warning of a major invasion coming while the political debate require to authorise an invasion goes on. This further makes a mockery of the idea of a stealth invasion - if hardly stealth if they know you are coming 6 months or a year in advance and are expecting prelimary infiltrations.

    Alternatively, if the U.S. sneak attacked first, then give the DPRK 6 months to recover from any damage done, while they arrange the follow up invasion, that gives them North Koreans more than enough to time to fix the damage done.

    So what you've got is a whole bunch of possible, but fairly slim chances to complete each necessary step in the right order and at the right time, each of which if it fails or the timing is wrong, can potentially end in the immediate death for several million people.

    Who's going to sign the order to put this plan into action?

  15. #15
    A very manly muppet Mad Pino Rage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
    Posts
    2,865
    Credits
    3,041
    Trophies
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    I'm going to feel bad for doing this but here is my uneducated opinion on the matter. I was reading the wikipedia article on US-Iran relations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_%E...ates_relations), and I don't know how I exactly feel. Recently, they demanded the US vacate the Persian Gulf. Apparently the state was preaching anti-American sentiment to the people. They're seems to be buckets full of bad blood between both the US and Iran.

    I really think we should leave a sovereign state to develop on their own. We should strive to build better diplomatic relations with them. However, I'm a little worried about them developing weapons and that they may house violent extremists.
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
    Albert Einstein

  16. #16
    Strangle Hazard thank mr skeltal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    The Abyss
    Posts
    5,297
    Credits
    6,184
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default

    No one in this thread has posted this yet, so here is the most recent IAEA report concerning Iran and the status of their development of weaponized nukes

    http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Doc...gov2011-65.pdf

    spoiler alert: they are continuing to work towards nuclear power, but there is no further evidence than there was 8 years ago to evidence that they are trying to build a bomb.

Similar Threads

  1. Whelp, looks like we're going to war with Iran now
    By thank mr skeltal in forum Casual Intercourse
    Replies: 62
    Last Post: 11-08-2009, 02:04 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •