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Sunday, February 28, 2010


Other periods of time have been mentioned over the three decades since the Iranian people kicked out the Shah as to how long it would take the Iranians to build a nuclear weapon, but six months seems to a very popular nominal figure. Never mind, of course, that there has not been a skerrick of evidence to even suggest that the Iranians are doing anything more than building nuclear reactors for generating electricity or creating medical isotopes for medical purposes. But that hasn’t stopped the propagandists who seem to insist that Iran is still only six months away from having a nuclear weapon.

If I started the list of claims that Iran would have a weapon within six months from back in 1980 when the Shah went, you’d still be reading it in, well… six months time! So, I’ll cut short the list and start it off with some of the earlier claims of this century.

Back in August 2003, the LA Times reported that Iran could have a ‘nuclear weapon in six months’. More than two years later in September 2005, Israel claimed Iran would have ‘nuclear weapon in six months’. Then, nearly three years later in June 2008 we were told again that Iran would have a ‘nuclear weapon in six months’. A year later, in July 2009, Ha’aretz reported that ‘Germany believes Iran could have a nuclear bomb in six months’.

Now, in the very latest statement dated 23 February 2010, made by so-called ‘Iran weapons expert’, David Albright, Iran, in his expert opinion, is now only… wait for it; six months away from having a nuclear weapon. This is the very same David Albright that was telling us more than a year ago in February 2009; “In as quickly as a few months, Iran would be able to have enough weapons-grade uranium for nuclear weapons”. It’s also the very same David Albright who told the CBS ’60 Minutes’ show way, way back in January 1999 that Saddam Hussein was “within a few months to a year of having a nuclear weapon”.

Albright? Not very! He’s the original boy that cried ‘Wolf!’ Unfortunately, the media will continue to echo his and similar cries and there will be those that believe them. Eventually the West, led by Israel and the US, will attack Iran based on these lies, but the worst of it is; hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of dead later, the rest of world will go along with it without a murmur.


Wes said...

Just like "the final confrontation between Israel and Iran is imminent" and "a US/Israeli strike is about to occur", eh Damien?

You and numerous others have been banging on about a war on Iran beginning immediately for years. And yet that's never happened either, has it?

Damian Lataan said...

And I hope it never does come, Wes. If it does then a lot of people are going to die.

Unfortunately, however, since there is unlikely to be regime change from internal influences, the Israelis will try to create a casus belli that will bring on just such a 'final confrontation'.

For years throughout the 1930's Churchill banged on about a coming war with Germany. He was the 'lone voice in the wilderness'.

Short of internal regime change, (not going to happen) a final confrontation is Israel's only endgame scenario.

Bibi's Lunatic Fringe said...

According to this NYT OpEd Israel has been bearing false witness against Iran for almost 20 years.

Israel Cries Wolf
"In 1992, Shimon Peres predicted that Iran would have a nuclear bomb by 1999.."

traducteur said...

An entertaining column by Helena Cobban at Just World News,

Speculation is reportedly rife among Washington insiders over why, a couple of weeks ago, the Iranian authorities moved nearly all their stockpile of low-enriched uranium from its previous, deep-underground bunker to a very vulnerable-looking above-ground facility.

But here's one possible explanation for the move that immediately occurred to me, and which was not among those listed in that article from Washington by the NYT's David Sanger.

In moving the uranium to its new, very vulnerable position, perhaps the Iranian authorities are not so much "inviting" an Israeli attack, which is one of the possible explanations Sanger mentions (with the cynical goal that the attack might then strengthen the mullahs' own political position inside Iran)... as calling out the political blackmail the Israelis and their supporters have been using worldwide, around the argument that "if the world's governments don't support much tighter sanctions on Iran, then it might be impossible to hold Israel back from attacking Iran's nuclear stockpile."

It seems entirely possible to me that, by trundling their stockpile up into its new position-- which they did under the ever-present and watchful eyes of the IAEA inspectors who, lest we forget, have been monitoring Iran's nuclear-tech programs from the get-go, unlike Israel's-- the Iranians may in effect be saying: "Okay, here it is. Go ahead, Israel!"

But with the aim, not as Sanger posits of quite cynically hoping that that attack take place, but of demonstrating to the world that when push comes to shove Israel does not actually dare do it.

Enlisting the aid of the relevant authorities is nearly always the best way to deal with blackmailers, in any realm of human activity. Iran undertook its move to greater physical "vulnerability" under the full protection of international legitimacy.

So does Israel dare attack now?

I very much doubt it.

And now, it can no longer so easily hide its decision not to attack behind "logistical" excuses such as "Well, it's a very tricky thing to do, but we're working very hard to find a way..." while its spokesmen and apologists worldwide also continuing saying, "but when we decide the time is right-- which will be soon!-- you'll have to hold us back very hard and give us many additional benefits etc, plus step up those sanctions on Iran quite considerably, in order to prevent us from going ahead... "

If this is indeed the thinking behind the Iranian move, then it looks very smart. It's an excellent way to deflate all the rhetoric that's been going around, internationally, to the effect that "If the Security Council members don't adopt even more draconian sanctions against Iran, then no-one can predict what the Israelis might decide to do!"

... Your move, Israel.

Damian Lataan said...

You make a valid point, Trad. I'm not sure at all why the Iranians have made this move except that it is clearly part of a political move and not one completed for any practical purpose with regard to the nuclear cycle.

I agree that it is more than likely to show the Israelis upfront what they think the world wants to see, but I don't believe that the Iranians would think that it would stop an Israeli attack against them.

Israel's will argue that it is not just the uranium but also the means by which it can be enriched that they are concerned about. Attacking Iran's stockpile most likely won't happen if, for no other reason, it would release a toxic cloud into the atmosphere that could even contaminate Israel.

However, we all know that Israel isn't interested in Iran's so-called 'nuclear weapons program' - despite the rhetoric and propaganda it knows full well that Iran doesn't have one - but, rather, regime change in Iran is their goal.

We'll have to wait and see the what the next move will be.

Damian Lataan said...

As it turns out, it seems the Iranians can move the stuff around with ease and shift it from its exposed position where it is now back to its underground facility at Natanz within half an hour.

Storm in a tea cup which doesn't change the status quo.

Anonymous said...

I agree this is a revealing development (moving nuclear material with high mobility).

One suggests (as others here have intimated) that Iran is making a political/strategic statement to the Yanks and anyone else that their inherent mobility of such material is a means that degrades the yanks etc ability to act with force, via demonstration of such high mobility of material (or anything else) faster than the 'sensor to shooter' process that drives the yanks, let alone their decision making process.

In effect Iran is saying, ' we're faster than you can react, hence you're ability to hit us is even less then you think'.

I'm reminded of the old 'nuclear warning shot' argument that was advocated by some in NATO in the '70'
and '80's, where a nuclear weapon would be deliberately detonated in a 'safe' location, as a warning shot to the USSR, that NATO was no pushover.

Iran is similarly demonstrating an inherent mobility that is faster than the American empire can react, thus showing up just what a bunch of sluggards they really are.

When war is the failure of the human spirit, deflating the pompousness of the yanks in this manner, by lampooning them can only help prevent war and the wider effects it will have on all of us.

Nylon Shirt

Djazaïri said...

I tranlated it in french and put it on my blog:

Damian Lataan said...

Thanks for that Djazairi; much appreciated.