Iranian Nukes: Maybe Not So Soon After All

A new National Intelligence Estimate just released today concludes that Iran has stopped active efforts at building its own nukes. CNN's report.

"We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely," the report says. A more likely time frame for that production is between 2010 and 2015, it concludes.

The Bush administration doesn't think this means we can rest easy, though:

U.S. National Security adviser Stephen Hadley expressed hope after Monday's announcement, but he said Iran remains a serious threat.

"We have good reason to continue to be concerned about Iran developing a nuclear weapon even after this most recent National Intelligence Estimate," he told reporters at the White House. "In the words of the NIE, quote, Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons if a decision is made to do so."

The Inter-Press Service reported last month, based on "accounts of the process provided by participants to two former Central Intelligence Agency officers," that what seems to be this very NIE has actually been ready to go for nearly a year. I'm not 100 percent convinced by that sourcing, but Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly is, and notes:

This NIE was apparently finished a year ago, and its basic parameters were almost certainly common knowledge in the White House well before that. This means that all the leaks, all the World War III stuff, all the blustering about the IAEA — all of it was approved for public consumption after Cheney/Bush/Rice/etc. knew perfectly well it was mostly baseless.

The National Intelligence Estimate at issue.

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  • Matt||

    Christ, that Drum quote is stupid. First of all, wouldn't it be just a little bit smart of the administration to understand that such "consensus" estimates are often just plain wrong? Second, a nuclear bomb by 2010 is only two years away -- I'm hardly comforted by that time frame. And finally, Drum hasn't pointed out one fact showing that any of the things stated by the administration were false, let alone supporting his ridiculous claim that they were "baseless."

  • ||

    I'd like to thank Doherty for linking the report. I'd also suggest that people read it before coming to any conclusions one way or the other, especially the fifth page, where the language is explained.

    This line in particular should be noted A "high confidence" judgment is not a fact or a certainty, however, and such judgments still
    carry a risk of being wrong."


    Even if this estimate is fairly certain that Iran does not have nuclear weapons yet, it can't assert that they do not have them and certainly can't confirm whether or not we can confirm them in the future.

    While this report does call Bush's assertions into question (as if they already weren't in question from the get go, given the source), we shouldn't be fools and take this report as the Gospel, especially since a 2002 estimate stated that Iraq was pursuing nuclear weapons. Intelligence reports are much like playing Russian Roulette with a loaded pistol. You can have "high confidence," but you can just as easily be wrong.

  • Latent Deterrence||

    Could it be that Iran wants to live in a nuclear shadow land, not having nuclear weapons but capable of building them if need be ?

  • Corn-Fused in an Iowan Nuclear||

    Hmmm, perhaps the President of Iran is pulling a Hussein and making the World think he has weapons he does not? Oh wait . . . I mean making the world think he doesn't have weopons he dopes have . . . I mean making people think he doesn't have weaopons he doesn't have . .

    Help! I am Corn-Fused!

  • ||

    3W,

    I don't think we are absolutely certain that any country on earth doesn't have a nuclear program. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to openly consider nuclear first strikes against them!

  • teh||

    Don't worry crimethink, those kind of dubious explanations don't start to appear until after we have already attacked the country in question and the original rationale turns out to be untrue!

    Unless you meant the U.S. shouldn't attack in the first place. I will assume that you did not, because that kind of opinion is just "crazy."

  • ||

    Considering the long term costs of maintaining nuclear weapons - can Iran even afford to go that path?

  • thoreau||

    Why would Iran want nuclear weapons? It's not like they need to worry about any sort of threat from, say, a global superpower with a thirst for oil and a ruling party in the grips of a militarist/religious ideology.

    What could they possibly be afraid of?

  • Guy Montag||

    Brian,

    Thank you for your pre-9/11 perspective. Oh, sorry, I was remiss, thank you for your nuclear freeze era perspective (you remember those days, many readers might not).

    So, all of those current Iranian statements and activities are just a ruse,. the report by the surrender monkeys is fact?

    Okay, thank you very much for your input.

  • Guy Montag||

    thoreau,

    Why would Iran want nuclear weapons?

    Could not possibly be to destroy Israel, like they say every other day. No, that is too simple. Must be something else.

  • ||

    Nuclear weapons are pretty much a defensive weapon. If Iran were serious about mounting an offensive against either Israel or the West, they would simultaneously build their conventional capacity. But they don't, their conventional military is an international joke.

  • Guy Montag||

    It's not like they need to worry about any sort of threat from, say, a global superpower with a thirst for oil and a ruling party in the grips of a militarist/religious ideology.

    Like they have a defense system or delivery system to use nuclear weapons against us. Is the idea that if they just blow them up we will stop our "thurst for oil"? The only deivery system they have is getting into Israel range and good luck getting one past the Arrow.

    Please post more, you are entertaining.

  • Guy Montag||

    Cesar,

    They are building nuclear capability and are refining rockets that can launch a payload to Israel. They announce their progress daily. Are there too many dots for you?

    The Soviets did not STOP doing that crap until Gorbochev stopped it, the first Soviet leader who did not want to bomb the West into submission.

  • Ramsey||

    Guy, I agree with you that isreal is a likely target, but you use a rather specious argument. If they are developing a nuke there are a number of ways to deliver it anywhere in the world without relying on any sort of advanced delivery system (shipping container).

    Even so, when I was in the army I did not want to risk walking into the teeth of a nuke, and freaking iran is nuts enough to use one in their own country. It would be a deterrent in the case of invasion. I really wish that some sort of wet work specialist would just start knocking off megalomaniacal tyrants pursuing nukes.

    Did you see the onion article about North Korea successfully detonating 60% of their GDP? That was comic gold.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    The track record of the various agencies we here in the US like to refer to as the Intelligence Community (an oxymoron to be sure) of divining accurate information of value connected to countries like say, Iran, is ranking right up there with that of a Numerologist.

    Iran may not be on the verge of nuking Israel, but mistaking inability for lack of will is a bit naive I would think.

  • ||

    So now if King George, the phony conservative, fulfills the wishes of the Israeli government first neoconservatives and attacks Iran sans congressional approval, he'll be all the more deserving of impeachment.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Rick, what if King George just took out the Iranian nuke plant and called it a day?

    Not saying we should but it would be kind of fun.

    I've got friends who would like to see that happen.

  • ||

    I love how delicately Reason magazine approaches evidence like this of systematic administration mendacity. If this were a suppressed report on Body Mass Index, you'd be screaming to the heavens. Way to speak truth to power, guys.

  • ||

    My cursory reading of the report suggest that Iran has just moth balled its nuke project and can restart it in short order once the heat is off.

    For conspiracy theorist I would point out that a lot of that heat comes from credible saber rattling and having two armies parked on either side of Iran. Keeping the pressure on Iran is exactly the right thing to do.

    I suspect they are waiting for a change in the winds like a democrat President or a shift in European leaders to a more pacifistic stance. They only need a window of year or two of dithering to make their nukes a fati accompli.

  • thoreau||

    Does anybody here believe that the Iranian leadership is suicidal?

    No, I'm not talking about the crazy guy who give speeches on TV and has very little power. I'm talking about the unelected clerics who actually control the levers of power under their system. In other words, the Dick Cheneys of Iran, not the GWB who appears on TV.

    Does anybody believe that those guys are suicidal? Have they given any sign of that?

  • <i>REASON</i>||

    having two armies parked on either side of Iran

    That is just a coincidence as one Army is exchanging Blood For Oil and the other is continuing the failure of Bush to capture Osama Bin Laden at Tora Bora due to the distraction of the other Army's quest for Oil and civillian casualties.

    How dare you say this has anything at all to do with Iran or Geopolitical strategery.
    The Imperialistic Criminal Regime of Bush's AmeriKKKa isn't playing RISK here they are making money for Cheney's friends at Halliburton and Bush's Daddy's Oil buddies.

    You deluded.........Neo-Con !!!

  • shecky||

    Could not possibly be to destroy Israel, like they say every other day. No, that is too simple. Must be something else.

    If it's to destroy Israel, why should I care? Could not Israel deal with this problem?

  • ||

    a nuclear bomb by 2010 is only two years away

    Having enough uranium to produce a weapon, and actually producing that weapon are two different things. I'd like to see an estimate on how long they'd take to develop a weapon once they had the raw materials in place.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Could not possibly be to destroy Israel, like they say every other day. No, that is too simple. Must be something else.


    Too simple. Israel is, to put it crudely, the Emmanuel Goldstein of the middle east, the evil dummy that the regions backwards, autocratic regimes use to direct popular resentment outwards. It's all rhetoric. These regimes want nuclear weapons because it gives them a real place to negotiate on the world political stage. If you have nukes, you get negotiated with. If you don't, you get negotiated to.

  • shecky||

    Does anybody here believe that the Iranian leadership is suicidal?

    Despite the descriptions of crazy Iran, going nuclear seems quite a rational move on their part.

  • Surrender Ape||

    So, all of those current Iranian statements and activities are just a ruse,. the report by the surrender monkeys is fact?



    Ook.

  • ||

    So they gave up the bomb program in 2003...there was something else that happened in 2003....maybe Bush is only half as dumb as he sounds.

  • ||

    For conspiracy theorist I would point out that a lot of that heat comes from credible saber rattling and having two armies parked on either side of Iran. Keeping the pressure on Iran is exactly the right thing to do.

    I hate to say things like this, but Iraq and Afghanistan have completely and entirely shifted the focus and capabilities of the US Armed Forces away from traditional warfare and toward counterinsurgency.

    So, yes, there are two substantial forces on either side of Iran. The question is whether those forces are trained and equipped to fight a field war.

    I'm skeptical at best.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    If you're trying to say that Iran's real leaders aren't stupid enough to bite off more war than they can chew, I absolutely would NOT compare them to Dick Cheney...

  • ||

    So, all of those current Iranian statements and activities are just a ruse,. the report by the surrender monkeys is fact?

    I recall seeing this statement back in 2002, except one of the "n"s was changed to a "q".

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Thow-row, hmmmm, maybe crazy, maybe not. My only reference is China, who was the one nuke dude I always figured was crazy enough to push the red button. But they din't. And we all muddled through and now we buy all their stuff. Just like postwar Japan.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Hey, Rick Barton, Oh Mighty King of UTube (although Urkobold is giving you a run for your pesos).

    I'm thinking about doing a TWC Picks The Best Christmas Songs extravaganza between now and the 25th. Course, it'll just be my own personal opinion mind you. You might hate 'em all. :-)

    Didn't work out last year but I might have a shot this time because UTube is so much more, well, easier I guess.

    First one is here if you're interested.

  • BakedPenguin||

    TWC, thanks. If you're referring to this thread, it's a one-off, though.

  • ||

    a nuclear bomb by 2010 is only two years away

    By the time they've turned that into a real bomb, they may have actually figured out missiles.

    From the test results I've seen reported, it doesn't sound like Iran needs a nuke just yet......but maybe in, oh, say, three years or so, the time would be ripe.

    Persians hate Arabs. Arabs hate Persians. Sort of. But they both hate Israel because it's The In thing to do.

    So if they actually figure out how to blow Israel off the map, they can stand up and beat their chests for a few minutes. Then they'll return to their regularly scheduled attempts to bash each other's brains out.

    Given what Hezb. did to Israel recently, I wouldn't put it past Iran to try nuking Israel. Not that it's our problem, just saying.


    a global superpower with a thirst for oil and a ruling party in the grips of a militarist/religious ideology.

    On the militarist/religious ideology front, we still don't hold a candle to Iran.

    Does anybody believe that those guys are suicidal? Have they given any sign of that?

    Now that's a really funny question.

    Remind me who's religion it was that came up with the idea of a suicide bomber. I'd say "suicidal" doesn't mean just exactly the same thing to them, that it does to us here in the West. And between Hezbollah and Hamas, Iran sponsors suicide bombers, even if the bombers themselves aren't Iranian.

    There are lots of reasons to fear the Iranians getting their hands on a nuke, because there are lots of ways you can play that card once you've got it. I wouldn't bet on them being rational players, any more than I'd bet for or against this latest "they don't have nukes after all" report.


    More than anything, I'd bet that if the Iranians did get a nuke, they wouldn't be able to afford to maintain it for very long. Which means, if they've got half a brain (and they clearly do), and then they go and actually build one, then there is good reason to think that they plan on actually doing something with it.....

    If we got hard evidence they were actually putting one together, then I for one would in fact get nervous.

  • ||

    btw, does everybody here appreciate just how crude and UNsophistocated state of the art surveillance technology really is? Think about it. We can't even make camera systems for speeding tickets that can reliably ID the driver of the car. The reject rate on those systems is still pretty high.

    Sure we can put up a satallite that can see tiny little spot sizes. So you're a million miles up, looking down through a straw.

    Translation: somewhere on the face of the earth, there are exactly 36 pebbles and you know everything there is to know about them. Give me a few minutes, and I'll be able to tell you all about another 36 pebbles.

    How hard is it to hide a nuke battery from airborn survelliance? I'm no expert, but common sense says that it can't be all that hard.


    All of which leads up to this question: how do I go get me one of those jobs where I do "intelligence estimates"? [I don't mean a field grunt risking his neck, I mean one of those guys in suits that talks to the press and writes reports for the president] Talk about plush. You don't have to be right to get paid.

  • ||

    The Wine Commonsewer,

    Be careful. Some folks thought that thr Iraq war would be fun!

    TWC's fave Christmas tunes sounds great! This is one Christmas speacial I think I'll really dig.

    If I may, here's a New Wave and a Punk offering:

    THE WAITRESSES - "Christmas Wrapping"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP_WH4heId4

    Sex Pistols - "Punk Rock Christmas"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDUfiylZMoQ

  • Kolohe||

    By the time they've turned that into a real bomb, they may have actually figured out missiles.

    This is definitely an underestimated factor in the normal proliferation debate. Bombs are easy, delivery systems are hard. The US was successful with Trinity the first time; with Vanguard, over ten years later, not so much.

  • ||

    So, what's the problem with Iran having the bomb, anyway? I mean, are they actually more dangerous than North Korea or China or Pakistan or Russia?

    I know there are some here who piss themselves at the very sight of Muslims, but realistically, is there any reason to fear a nuclear attack from Iran more than from one of the above mentioned dictatorships? Why should we believe that we can actually keep Iran from acquiring the bomb if they really want it?

  • thoreau||

    If you're trying to say that Iran's real leaders aren't stupid enough to bite off more war than they can chew, I absolutely would NOT compare them to Dick Cheney...

    Good point!

    Instead of asking whether Ahmadinejad has a Cheney, perhaps we should all pray that Bush has a Khatami.

    Wait, Khatami was ineffective.

    OK, how about the Zoroastrian priesthood? They had at least three Wise Men, which is more than we've got in DC right now. Can we get some of those?

  • ||

    So, what's the problem with Iran having the bomb, anyway?

    You tell me -- what's wrong with private US citizens owning machine guns, bazookas, and attack helicopters? Are private citizens really more dangerous and untrustworthy than law enforcement?

    Democrats are quick to trust the other guy on the international stage (oh c'mon, we can trust him and he's no lunatic). But then they get to their own back yard and don't trust anybody with so much as a BB gun.

    I hope you aren't one of those. And if you're okay with private citizens owning whatever the hell they feel like, then I'm okay taking our nuclear stock pile, and mailing a nuclear warhead to the leader of every now-nuke-free country on the planet. Oh, and make sure you give them a missile to deliver it too.

    You know, maybe if we did this then we really could end war. Or else have the war that ends all of us, and then that would end war.

    Anyway, Nukes For Peace is my new bumper sticker.

    And I want to know what Guy is going to be driving around once people are free to own whatever they want.

    I'm partial to Harrier jump jets, but the gas mileage is horrible.

  • ||

    They had at least three Wise Men, which is more than we've got in DC right now.

    thoreau, I wouldn't be so fast to jump to that conclusion. Consider:

    King George has got his ass in a sling over Iraq and he knows it. It ain't popular. It can't keep going, there's got to be a resolution.

    But who in their right mind would even pretend that you can settle Iraq down without Iranian cooperation? Ain't gonna happen. Even King George can see that.

    So how do you get out of the sling? Think, think, think.....

    The problem with Iran is They Got Nukes in the oven. Based on -- ?? -- a combination of "intelligence" and Iranian blather (which alternates between "we can build nukes if we want them" and "we don't have no stinking nukes man").

    This latest "intelligence" report is BS, pure and simple. Does anybody at all believe that we really know what the Iranians are up to in their secret underground bunkers?

    Nope.

    So what is King George going to do? Well if their ain't no Iranian nukes in the oven, then the Iranians aren't quite so much the bad guys after all. Right?

    The biggest reason we can't settle Iraq down is that the Iranians want a big say in what happens with their neighbor (rational). So if we suddenly learned that Iranians weren't so bad after all, and we started working WITH them on Iraq, well....

    It is remotely possible that this headline grabbing "intelligence" report is the shrewdest political move King George has made yet. [at least that we see from where we sit on the outside of the white house]

    If we suddenly begin finding ways to cooperate with Iran in about Iraq in coming months, then I'm going to have conclude that King George is at least as rational as you seem inclined to believe the Iranians are.

    I for one don't know if the Iranians are rational or not.....sometimes the evidence says yes, sometimes no.

  • ||

    You tell me -- what's wrong with private US citizens owning machine guns, bazookas, and attack helicopters?

    But your analogy doesn't work, I don't think, since the U.S. has no jurisdiction over Iran; we are not Iran's elected government. Also, Iran hasn't attacked us.

    So, let me re-phrase the question. Since we can have nukes, since China and Pakistan (!) and North Korea can have nukes, why can't Iran?

  • Cara Lutetia||

    "We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely," the report says. A more likely time frame for that production is between 2010 and 2015, it concludes.

    Note that enriching uranium is only part of the process involved in making a working nuclear weapon.

  • Britney Spears Guy||

    Leave Iran alooooooone! Right now!

  • Guy Montag||

    Note that enriching uranium is only part of the process involved in making a working nuclear weapon.

    One person with the peoper amount in each hand can be a nuclear weapon by themselves. If you accelerate the uranium you get a bigger yeild.

  • ||

    They could have the necessary parts for a bomb in 2.5 years. How is this reassuring?

  • ||

    But your analogy doesn't work, I don't think, since the U.S. has no jurisdiction over Iran

    You missed my point. I'm not talking about jurisdiction. I'm talking about the principle.

    Why are the freaking Iranians more rational than my crazy neighbors down the street? Why should I trust one more than the other?

  • ||

    They could have the necessary parts for a bomb in 2.5 years. How is this reassuring?

    Which was precisely my other point above. This whole scenerio makes absolutely no sense......as anything other than a political move.

    At least that I can see. Unless somebody has a better idea.

    If the Iranians are in fact a rational actor, then what are they going to do with a nuke? Nothing good.

    If they aren't rational, what are we going to do about it? Other than obliterate them in retaliation after they do whatever deed they're going to do with a nuke(s).

  • ||

    As a wise man once said, Fool me once, shame...shamon you. A foo mah...can't get fooled again!

    After spending the last few years staring at complete disaster in Iraq, anyone who thinks it would be a good idea to launch another pre-pre-pre-emptive war in the Middle East might as well be wearing a big "Ignore Me" sign.

  • BC||

    "...Does anybody believe that those guys are suicidal? Have they given any sign of that?"

    Who knows...maybe they're horny and those 72 virgins await.

  • ||

    If the Iranians are in fact a rational actor, then what are they going to do with a nuke?

    Deter an invasion of their country by a belligerent, imperialist global superpower looking to secure oil reserves and install another client state government in the Middle East.

  • ||

    I'd like to point out that suicidal bombing as a strategy was started by the Tamil Tigers, NOT anyone in the Mideast. And no one with a brain cell is going to claim that the Tamil Tigers are Muslims. (It looks like in Sri Lanka the Muslims are moderate and unfortunately caught in the middle of the shooting.)

  • ||

    It's entertaining to watch the right-wingers here and elsewhere suddenly take on the "well, it's only intelligence, you can't base too much on it" attitude, after using (selective) intelligence to justify a full-scale invasion of Iraq. I guess the right-wingers just adopt whatever stance is necessary to support war--and then they turn around and tell us it was "the last resort."

  • Cara Lutetia||

    Guy Montag,

    One person with the peoper amount in each hand can be a nuclear weapon by themselves. If you accelerate the uranium you get a bigger yeild.

    Nations have spent decades researching what is needed to build and deliver a nuclear weapon. How is Iran exactly immune to such requirements?

    Ebeneezer Scrooge,

    If the Iranians are in fact a rational actor, then what are they going to do with a nuke?

    The same thing other states use their nukes for: national prestige, force projection, deterrance, etc.

  • adrian||

    were the kamikazes of wwII not 'suicide bombers'? I'm pretty sure this tactic has a long history.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The Wine Commonsewer

    My only reference is China, who was the one nuke dude I always figured was crazy enough to push the red button. But they din't.

    More than 20 years ago, while I was in college, we had a visiting history professor from China. ...over beers he told us about a "little border dispute" between the USSR and China. He said that the resolution of that dispute came quickly after China's "above ground nuclear test" exactly on the border in dispute - right in between the massing Soviet and Chinese armed forces.

    Quite the stick for drawing lines in sand...

  • ||

    Since we can have nukes, since China and Pakistan (!) and North Korea can have nukes, why can't Iran?

    Agreed. Pakistan is probably the most dangerous of any members of the nuclear "club" right now.

    One coup (which seems far more likely than anyone else) and the Taliban, the actual people involved with 9-11, will have nukes.

    Iran and North Korea likely just want nukes to get stuff. As it stand now, India and Pakistan want them to deter each other. But if the wrong asshole gets in power in Pakistan, we're in serious trouble.

    (Not that Musharaf is any better, but at least he knows we'd fuck his day up if he tried to turn on us. But he still has an interest in self-preservation.)

  • ||

    He said that the resolution of that dispute came quickly after China's "above ground nuclear test" exactly on the border in dispute - right in between the massing Soviet and Chinese armed forces.

    I sometimes wonder if the reason we survived the Cold War was that China and Russia hate each other more than they hate us...

  • ||

    Since we can have nukes, since China and Pakistan (!) and North Korea can have nukes, why can't Iran?

    Is there any reason that, say, Mugabe, shouldn't have nukes? Anyone at all, so long as they can claim to be a sovereign nation?

  • ||

    What's with people thinking that intel reports are only real when it validates their belief?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    NM interesting story. See, apparently nukes can deter. Which, of course, is why we don't bitch at China about nukes in the same way we bitch at Pakistan, N Korea, and Iran.

    What's with people thinking that intel reports are only real when it validates their belief?

    Tricky, you rest my case. That's exactly how it is.

    Rick Barton, I'm going over to U Tube....

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Sex Pistols - "Punk Rock Christmas"

    Well, Nick's down with that one. :-)

  • ||

    Why are the freaking Iranians more rational than my crazy neighbors down the street? Why should I trust one more than the other?

    I don't know what being rational has to do with it. The governments of China, North Korea, Pakistan, and Russia are hardly rational.

    If we're to stick with your "neighborhood" analogy, why do some irrational neighbors get bazookas and attack helicopters while other irrational neighbors don't?

  • ||

    Is there any reason that, say, Mugabe, shouldn't have nukes? Anyone at all, so long as they can claim to be a sovereign nation?

    That's the question. I think it's difficult for small countries who want nuclear weapons to take the U.S. government seriously when it says, "Look I know that we have thousands of nuclear weapons and so does Russia and China and even Great Britain, North Korea, Pakistan and India, but you...we don't think you should have nuclear weapons. They're just too dangerous."

    It just seems silly to me.

  • ||

    They days of the Nuke Club being an exclusive gathering are over.

    We either need to get serious about global nuclear disarmament, or we need to accept that yet more versions of the "Islamic Bomb" are going to come into being. Saudi Arabia. Egypt. Syria?

    Back in the Cold War, a plausible case could be made that our nuclear superiority was more of a boon for our national security than our enemies' arsenals were a threat. In other words, that the existence of nukes was a net plus for our security.

    Clearly, the figures need to be recalculated in the aftermath of 9/11.

  • Guy Montag||

    Cara Lutetia,

    One person with the peoper amount in each hand can be a nuclear weapon by themselves. If you accelerate the uranium you get a bigger yeild.


    Nations have spent decades researching what is needed to build and deliver a nuclear weapon. How is Iran exactly immune to such requirements?



    I am really not clear on what your question is. It has been known for many years the amount of enriched uranium required for critical mass and I am sure that Iran has that information. What I was talking about is having two sub-critical masses brought together mechanically, but the bomber, with his own hands. If you want higher yield from the same quantity then you accelerate the masses together, like the "Little Boy" bomb.

    Much of the modern research is in getting smaller and smaller amounts of uranium to achieve higher yields.

    Getting all of that to work in a missile is tricky. Getting it to work on your desk is simple.

    Can you restate your question?

    Note: that wikipedia link may not contain exact information, please consult your personal physisist for proper guidance.

  • ||

    """We either need to get serious about global nuclear disarmament, or we need to accept that yet more versions of the "Islamic Bomb" are going to come into being. Saudi Arabia. Egypt. Syria?"""

    I agree, but how can anyone take us seriously about disarmament when we are talking about creating lower yield bunker busters to use on Iran? That kinda of talk promotes the reasons to own nukes, being that the number one reason to have them is as a deterrent against nations that have them and state a desire to use them.

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