"TITTER YE NOT"
I couldn't care less how you
This post will achieve a score
of over 1,000 points whether
you like it or not.
HEADLINE: Iranian Missile
Could Reach the U.S. by
Well that is understandable,
they only have one camel to carry it on.
I see Iran wants to nuke Israel.
Not the most original idea but
for trying to make the world a better place you've gotta give them their Jews.
What Iran needs now is a
more moderate leader.
A Mullah Lite.
NUCLEAR IS BAD FOR
Domestic Nuclear Power
Iran take note. Imagine world without nuclear weapons. Nelson
Mandela understood that a world free of nuclear arms would be a
freer world for all, writes Desmond Tutu.
In February 1990, the same month that Nelson Mandela, also known
as Madiba, walked free after 27 years behind bars, South Africa's then-President, Frederik Willem
de Klerk, issued written instructions to dismantle the nation's atomic arsenal. Like Madiba's achingly
long incarceration, the apartheid regime's development of these most abominable weapons, though
never officially acknowledged, had become an intolerable blight on South Africa's image abroad.
Divesting ourselves of the bomb was -- as de Klerk later remarked -- an essential part of our transition from a pariah state to an accepted member of the family of nations. In his time as president, from 1994 to 1999, Madiba frequently implored the remaining nuclear powers to follow South Africa's lead in relinquishing nuclear weapons. All of humanity would be better off, he reasoned, if we lived free from the threat of a nuclear conflagration, the effects of which would be catastrophic. Addressing the U.N. General Assembly in 1998, he said:
"We must ask the question, which might sound naive to those who have elaborated sophisticated arguments to justify their refusal to eliminate these terrible and terrifying weapons of mass destruction -- why do they need them anyway?"
Despite Madiba's undisputed moral authority and unmatched powers of persuasion, his cri de coeur for disarmament went unheeded in his lifetime. South Africa, to this day, remains the only nation to have built nuclear weapons and then done away with them altogether.
Nine nations still cling firmly to these ghastly instruments of terror, believing, paradoxically, that by threatening to obliterate others they are maintaining the peace. Quite unaccountably, all are squandering precious resources, human and material, on programs to modernize and upgrade their arsenals -- an egregious theft from the world's poor.
Madiba attributed the lack of progress in achieving total nuclear disarmament to "Cold War inertia and an attachment to the use of
the threat of brute force to assert the primacy of some states over others." To his mind, the struggle against the bomb was intertwined, inextricably, with the struggles to end racism and colonialism. He abhorred the double standard, deeply entrenched in today's international order, whereby certain nations claim a "right" to possess nuclear arms -- in the hundreds, even the thousands -- while simultaneously condemning, and feigning moral outrage towards, those who dare pursue the same. We must vociferously challenge the perceived entitlement of a select few nations to possess the bomb. As Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. Secretary-General, put
"There are no right hands for wrong weapons."
But how do we uproot the discriminatory order? How do we end the minority rule? In our decades-long fight against apartheid in South Africa, we depended upon the combination of an irrepressible domestic ground swell of popular opposition to the regime and intense and sustained pressure from the international community.
The same combination is needed now in the movement to abolish nuclear weapons. In the Mexican state of Nayarit, ministers and diplomats from three-quarters of all nations -- those not coming include the Permanent Five members of the U.N. Security Council, the U.S., UK, France, Russia and China -- were gathered to discuss the
devastating humanitarian impact of nuclear detonations.
They covered the inability of emergency workers to provide relief to the wounded; the widespread dispersal of radiation; the lofting of millions of tonnes of soot from firestorms high into the upper troposphere; the collapse of global agriculture from lack of sunlight and rainfall; the onset of famine and disease on a scale never before witnessed.
This conference was a much-needed reminder of what nuclear weapons do to humans beings -- something seldom mentioned in arms control discussions -- but also a vital chance for the international community to chart a new course. It is high time for the nuclear-free nations of the world, constituting the overwhelming majority, to work together to exert their extraordinary collective influence.
Without delay, they should embark on a process to negotiate a global treaty banning the use, manufacture and possession of
nuclear weapons -- whether or not the nuclear-armed nations are prepared to join them. Why should these weapons, whose effects are the most grievous of all, remain the only weapons of mass destruction not expressly prohibited under international law?
By stigmatizing the bomb -- as well as those who possess it -- we can build tremendous pressure for disarmament. As Madiba
understood well, a world freed of nuclear arms will be a freer world for all.
Even as officials from the United States and its allies emphasize their commitment to the diplomatic process, there's a heightened awareness that failure to reach a deal could increase the pressure for U.S. military action against Iranian nuclear sites. In an interview with, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told CNN's Erin Burnett that while the U.S. is focused on the talks, it is also prepared to invoke the military option if they fall through.
"We have the capability to shut down, set back and destroy the Iranian nuclear program and I believe the Iranians know that and understand that," Carter said.
Critical to that capability is the powerful ground-penetrating bomb known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) -- a 15-ton behemoth that can explode 200 feet underground and is designed specifically to destroy deeply buried and fortified targets. The MOP is the weapon of choice for underground sites such as the ones at Fordow and Natanz in Iran, which house some of that country's largest nuclear reactors. And the bomb is ready for use if needed, Carter said. A deterrent now, or in the future.
Even if a deal is reached, the military's contingency plans could act as a further deterrent. Iran has a history of conducting nuclear work in secret, and many in the international community question whether its government can be trusted to fully roll back the military dimensions of the nuclear program. The very existence of the site at Fordow, buried deep under a mountain near the city of Qom, was kept hidden from the international community until 2009.
And Iran's reluctance to provide international inspectors access to nuclear sites remains a sticking point in the talks, particularly after Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted by Iran's official state news agency last month as saying his country would not allow inspectors into military facilities. This could keep inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, out of facilities like Parchin, where Iran is believed to be conducting high explosives testing. The U.S. military already maintains targeting folders on thousands of sites around the world, including all known Iranian nuclear sites. Plans for these sites include detailed analysis of target structure, geology, proximity to civilian populations, air defense and potential risk.
Risks in an attack. There are also vulnerabilities. The military would have to determine how many bombs to drop in order to guarantee each site's destruction; the more sorties required, the easier it is to lose the element of surprise. Iran also maintains significant coastal air defenses, which would have to be successfully jammed. At a congressional hearing, Carter told lawmakers he has a
"responsibility to make sure that the military option is real." "It's not part of the negotiation," he said, "but it's a very, very big role, and we take it very seriously."
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey added that he is in active consultations with regional allies, including Israel.
BIRD OF PREY FATBOY SLIM
"If there's a deal," Dempsey said,"I've got work to do with them. And if
there's not a deal, I've got work to do with them." He added, "We're committed to doing that work."
Israeli military action?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been one of the most vocal critics of the negotiations with Iran and has vowed that Israel will act alone if necessary to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon.
But the Israelis are more limited than the United States in their military capabilities.
Absent U.S. involvement, they would have to rely heavily on non-stealth
F-15s, which would need to be re-fueled en route to their targets in Iran.
They also lack the kind of bombs that can reach the low depths of the Massive Ordinance Penetrator, presumably putting sites like Fordow
and Natanz out of reach.
Israel also risks incurring the wrath of the international community if it acts alone. And any military strike is unlikely to end Iran's nuclear efforts. As President Barack Obama told Israel's Channel 2:
"A military solution will not fix it, even if the United States would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program, but it will not eliminate it."
Iran's ballistic arsenal is one of the largest in the Middle East, and, according to the Director of National Intelligence, many of Iran's missiles are "inherently capable of carrying a nuclear payload." Iran has made important technical strides in recent years with
regard to missile development: it has successfully placed three satellites into low earth orbit using its own two-stage launch vehicle;
it has built and successfully tested multi-stage missiles; it has improved missile guidance; and it has improved and diversified the
fuel used to propel its missiles. These developments allow Iran to extend the range of its missiles and to deploy and fire them more quickly. Iran has also worked to ensure survivability of its missiles:
they can be mounted on mobile launchers and deployed to newly built silos.
Iran's arsenal of liquid- and solid-fueled ballistic missiles has grown steadily. The Shahab-3 ballistic missile has been deployed for several years. Iran is believed to have fielded several hundred, which have a range of about 1,300 km, and to developed variants of the Shahab-3 with an extended range. Iran has also displayed and successfully tested the solid-fueled Sejil, a two-stage ballistic missile with an estimated range of over 2,000 km. These missiles could be adapted to carry a nuclear warhead.
Iran's rapid growth in missile prowess has led to increased concern about the country's intentions. According to Israeli engineer Uzi
Rubin, Iran could be building a fleet of long-range missiles that, armed with conventional warheads, might serve a "saturation" strategy. A salvo of such conventionally-armed missiles against an Israeli city, for example, could substitute for Iran's skeletal air force. Given that many of Iran's ballistic missiles are inherently capable of carrying nuclear payloads, Iran may also be developing a long-range nuclear weapon delivery system. The International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA ) is investigating evidence that Iran
may have worked on re-designing a missile re-entry vehicle for its Shahab-3 missile to accommodate a nuclear warhead.
Iran's determination to acquire and produce ballistic missiles grew out of its war with Iraq in the 1980s. Tehran found itself ill
prepared to retaliate against Iraq's missile attacks on Iranian cities. Tehran decided that, for its own protection, it had to achieve self-reliance in missile production. Iran's first efforts to achieve this aim focused on the import and production of short-range Scud-type missiles. In 1985, the then-head of Iran's Parliament, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, led a high-level delegation to Libya, Syria, North Korea, and China. As a result of the trip, Iran obtained Scud missiles from Libya and North Korea, and later acquired rocket components and know-how from both North Korea and China.
Iran's first batch of Scuds (known as Scud Bs ) arrived from Libya in 1985. These single-stage, nuclear-capable, Soviet-origin
missiles use liquid fuel and can fly about 280-300 km when carrying a 770-1,000 kg warhead. Before long, Iran had depleted its
small supply. It then turned to North Korea in hope of finding a new supplier. Tehran offered to help finance Pyongyang's missile program in exchange for technology transfer and an option to buy North Korean missiles as soon as they came off the production line.
The first batch of North Korean Scud Bs was delivered in July 1987, and it was reported that the delivery took place even before the missiles were available to North Korea's own army. Over the next seven months, Iran imported 90-100 missiles, most of which were promptly used in combat. According to the U.S. Defense Department, Iran fired nearly 100 Scuds at Iraq between 1985 and 1988.
After the war ended, Tehran continued its missile efforts. By late 1990, Tehran had negotiated to buy North Korea's newest missile offering, the Scud C. U.S. intelligence began to detect shipments of North Korean Scud C missiles moving to Iran in 1991. The liquid-fuel Scud C is longer and wider than the Scud B, which suggests that the fuel tanks were expanded to hold more propellant. It has an estimated range of more than 500 km when carrying a 700 kg warhead. According to press reports, Iran ordered some 200 Scud Bs and Scud Cs from North Korea in 1991. Iran also succeeded in test-firing what U.S. intelligence identified as a Scud C in 1991.
In early 1993, an additional North Korean shipment of Scud Cs, along with several launching pads, was reported by the Israeli
media. According to U.S. intelligence, Pyongyang also supplied Scud production technology. "Iran's relationship with North Korea follows the usual pattern," said a U.S. State Department official at the time, "you first buy entire missiles and the kits to assemble missiles, and then you learn to make them on your own - designs and blueprints come with the package." According to the official, North Korean specialists worked on the ground in Iran to help Iranian scientists master the basic steps of Scud production. In 1993, Iranian Minister of Defense Akbar Torkan announced that "our technological capability is such that if we require similar missiles [to the Scud-B] then we can manufacture them ourselves."
In July 1998, Iran first tested its imported version of North Korea's
medium-range No-Dong missile. This single-stage, liquid-fueled, road
mobile, nuclear-capable ballistic missile became known as the Shahab-3
in Iran. According to Iranian officials and U.S. and Russian technical
xperts, the original Shahab-3 could carry a 1,000 kg payload 1,300 km.
Iran subjected the missile to at least seven test flights, with mixed results,
between July 1998 and July 2003, when Iran declared the missile
operational and delivered it to the armed forces.
After these initial steps, Iran has continued to test variants of the missile.
According to Uzi Rubin, Iran tested a longer-range version of the
missile, in 2004, with a much revised baby bottle-shaped reentry vehicle.
Variants of the Shahab-3, including the Ghadr (Qadr), have been tested
several times since then. Iran claims that these variants have a greater
range (up to 2,000 km) and throw weight (750 - 1,000 kg), as well as
In November 2007, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced
that North Korea had sold Iran a missile with a range of 2,500 kilometers.
This appeared to confirm earlier press reports that Iran had acquired the
BM-25, a modified version of the Soviet SS-N-6, which is a single-
stage, liquid-fueled, submarine-launched ballistic missile with a range of
2,400 to 3,000 km and the ability to carry a nuclear warhead.
Iran followed with a second successful satellite launch in June 2011 (the
Rasad), and a third in February 2012 ( the Navid Elm-o Sanat ), in both
cases using the Safir. After the first launch, U.S. officials admitted "grave concern" over the achievement and cautioned that the capabilities necessary for the space launch could be applied toward developing long-range ballistic missiles. In addition to its Scud and Shahab missiles, which rely on liquid fuel technology, Iran has developed solid fuel technology, which is more useful militarily.
Iranian protesters burn an American flag
during an annual anti-American rally
Iran also possesses the solid-fueled, Chinese-made, 150 km-range CSS 8 (also called the Tondar 69 ) and a second solid-fuel missile called the Fateh 110. Both are short-range, tactical missiles. Iran claims to have successfully flight tested the Fateh 110 in September 2002. It is reportedly a single-stage missile with at least a 200 km range. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has served as head of Iran's Parliament and as President of Iran, asserted that Iran itself produced the solid fuel propellant for the missile. In addition, then-Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani announced in January 2000 that Iran had commissioned projects to produce the solid fuel ingredients HTPB resin, aluminum powder and potassium chloride at the Ministry of Defense's Education and
The Aerospace Industries Organization, which reportedly manages a number of missile plants, claims to be capable of producing "many types of liquid and solid propellant." According to an Iranian media report, the Aerospace Industries Organization opened a plant to mass produce the Fateh 110 in mid-September 2002, after completing a successful test flight. Iran has reported a number of successful tests of the Fateh 110 since then.
On May the 20th, 2009, Iran successfully tested the Sejjil-2, a two-stage, solid-fuel, surface-to-surface missile. It appears to have been successfully tested several times since then. U.S. officials confirmed Iran's claim that the missile's range is between 2,000 to 2,500 km. A May 2009 joint threat assessment by U.S. and Russian technical experts estimated the rocket motors for each of the
two stages are alike except for their length. The assessment also estimated an overall weight of roughly 21 tons, if the missile were carrying a 1-ton warhead, which the Sejjil "should be able to carryâ€¦to a range of about 2200 km." Further advances on the Sejjil continue. Iran announced that it test-fired an upgraded version in December 2009. According to an Iranian official, this version boasted a shorter launch time.
The success of the Iranian missile program and the speed of its development would not have been possible without extensive
foreign assistance, notably from North Korea, Russia, and China. While North Korea furnished the basic hardware for liquid-fueled rocket propulsion, Russia supplied materials, equipment, and training. China supplied help with guidance and solid-fueled rocket propulsion. According to a 2012 report to Congress by the Director of National Intelligence, Iran remained dependent on foreign suppliers for obtaining important missile components.
As noted above, North Korea furnished the basic building blocks for Iran's liquid fuel, Scud-type missile effort. Iran received both complete missiles and the plants to build them. In effect, North Korea served as Iran's off-shore missile development site. Many of
Iran's missiles, the BM-25, the Shahab-3 and the Scud B and C, have come directly from North Korea, either in the form of components or finished missiles. In May 2011 a U.N. panel of experts reported that Iran and North Korea were suspected of exchanging ballistic missile technology by using regular scheduled Air Koryo and Iran Air flights, in violation of sanctions on both countries.
For years, Beijing has been a major supplier of battlefield and cruise missiles to Iran. In 1987, Iran purchased the Chinese Silkworm anti-ship missile and then acquired the more capable C-802, a Chinese antii ship missile that Iran test-fired in 1996 from one of its ten Chinese-built " Houdong " patrol boats. During the 1990s, Iran reportedly acquired Chinese CSS 8 surface to surface missiles,
which can carry a 190 kg warhead up to 150 km.
China has also outfitted Iran with solid fuel missile technology. Beijing's help appears to have started in the 1980s, during Iran's work on the Mushak missile, described above. In 1998, the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile threat to the United States (known as the Rumsfeld Commission
after its chair, Donald Rumsfeld) reported that China had already "carried
out extensive transfers to Iran's solid-fueled ballistic missile program."
In addition, Iran has received missile testing and guidance assistance from China. In June 1996, the chairman of a Congressional hearing cited U.S. intelligence findings that China had already "delivered dozens, perhaps hundreds of missile guidance systems and computerized tools to Iran."
Despite Russia's adherence to the Missile Technology Control Regime
since 1995, Russian entities have continued to help Iran develop missiles.
In October 2000, the Central Intelligence Agency reported to Congress that Russian assistance had "helped Iran save years in its development of the Shahab-3." And in its report covering missile proliferation during the first
half of 2003, the CIA observed that Russian assistance was also supporting "Iranian efforts to develop new missiles and increase Tehran's self-sufficiency in missile production."
IRANS MISSILE THREAT
By using the approximately 9,000 first generation centrifuges operating at its Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, Iran could theoretically produce enough weapon-grade uranium to fuel a single nuclear warhead in less than 2 months. This timetable is longer if Iran operates fewer centrifuges, or feeds the machines with natural uranium rather than low-enriched uranium.
Iran's more advanced IR-2m centrifuges, about 1,000 of which are installed at Natanz, would allow Iran to produce weapon- grade uranium more quickly.
Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium is now sufficient, after further enrichment, to fuel approximately eight nuclear
warheads. Because Russia has a ten-year contract to fuel Iran’s only power reactor at Bushehr, Iran has no present need for enriched uranium to generate civilian nuclear energy.
Iran could fuel approximately 25 first generation implosion bombs if it had the ability to enrich the uranium needed to supply the Bushehr reactor annually.
Total amount of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) enriched to approximately 3.5 percent U-235 produced as of May 2015:
Amount of this material ready for further enrichment (i.e., stored in gaseous form) as of May 2015:
Amount theoretically needed to produce a bomb's worth of weapon-grade uranium metal:
Number of first generation implosion bombs this 8,715 kilograms could fuel, if further enriched:
Before using uranium in a warhead, it must be enriched to weapon-grade (90 percent or more U-235) and processed into a metallic shape sufficient to explode in a chain reaction.
Sixteen kilograms are assumed to be sufficient for an implosion bomb. This was the amount called for in the implosion device Saddam Hussein was trying to perfect in the 1980’s, and the design for such a device has circulated on the nuclear
black market, to which Iran has had access.
According to these experts, Iran could use as few as seven
kilograms of this material if Iran’s weapons developers possessed a
“medium” level of skill, and if Iran were satisfied with an explosive
yield slightly less than that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima,
Japan. If Iran chose to use an amount smaller than 16kg, the time
required to make each weapon would be less than estimated here.
Ali Khamenei Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
(born 15 July 1939)
has been the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
There is only one possible solution to unrest in
the Middle East, "namely the annihilation and
destruction of the Zionist state."
In Iran, there is no freedom of the press, no freedom of speech, no independent judiciary, no free elections. There is no freedom of religion - not even for Shiites, who are forced by Iran's theocracy to adhere to one narrow set of official rules. Elliott Abrams
There has come into being a kind of a Shia belt from Tehran through Baghdad to Beirut. And this gives Iran the opportunity to reconstruct the ancient Persian Empire - this time under the Shia label. Henry Kissinger
In any authoritarian society, the possessor of power dictates, and if you try and step outside, he will come after you. This is equally true of Soviet-ism, of China and of Iran, and in our time it has happened a lot in Islam. The point is that it's worse when the authoritarianism is supported by something supernatural. Salman Rushdie
No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. Winston Churchill