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Nord
25 Jan 12,, 22:22
No, I can`t se the picture here. Iran had peace in 300 years, beside the war with Iraq, that Iraq started. Talking about the nukes, so how come Israel is allowed to have like 400 of them? or Pakistan?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82svQGBlY08&feature=player_embedded

Dreadnought
25 Jan 12,, 22:27
No, I can`t se the picture here. Iran had peace in 300 years, beside the war with Iraq, that Iraq started. Talking about the nukes, so how come Israel is allowed to have like 400 of them? or Pakistan?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82svQGBlY08&feature=player_embedded

When was the last time either of those two stated openly that another country should be "whiped from the earth"? Iran has funded and armed those that attack Israel on a constant basis. Do you really want to see them with a nuclear weapon acting like the racist spanked ass's they already are? If you do then perhaps you should live closer to them knowing that their threats might one day provoke the very thing they threaten with and trust me when I state this...That regime would not survive an exchange and they fully know that.

Dreadnought
25 Jan 12,, 22:28
I would bet on it, either US or Irael.

Perhaps maybe you havent been up on your middle east news in perhaps the last three months. If you were then you would know that statement would not be true unless Iran provokes it.

bigross86
25 Jan 12,, 22:31
Wouldn't you say that the continuation of their nuclear program and their tacit support of terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah is enough of a provocation?

Nord
25 Jan 12,, 22:33
Who is provoking who? Right now EU has emposed an oil-embago on Iran, like the USA did on Japan in the ww2. That could be pretty provoking...

Regarding the nukes again, there are only one country in the world that have used them on civilians, and that is USA, twice.
How come USA still are allowed to have them?

Nord
25 Jan 12,, 22:48
Little background to the conflict.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HUQnVCZnmnI


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW_Rbka6eZ8&feature=player_embedded

bigross86
25 Jan 12,, 22:58
The USA used them because they were in a state of Total War, probably the last time in history Total War was ever waged. The N5 have them because of the power plays in the cold war. India has them because of Pakistan and China, Pakistan has them because of India. North Korea may or may not have them because they are schmucks intend on domineering their neighbors to the south. Israel doesn't have them because of all her neighbors intent on destroying her.

Iran, on the other hand, has no need for them aside for offensive purposes. They are not under threat of invasion, and are not under threat of annihilation.

That being said, of course the ideal is that all countries give up their nukes, but I highly doubt that will ever happen until after a nuclear exchange. In the meantime, might as well prevent the spread of nukes, which destabilizes things even more for everyone on the planet

TopHatter
25 Jan 12,, 22:59
Who is provoking who? Right now EU has emposed an oil-embago on Iran, like the USA did on Japan in the ww2. That could be pretty provoking...

Regarding the nukes again, there are only one country in the world that have used them on civilians, and that is USA, twice.
How come USA still are allowed to have them?

Seriously? You're comparing Iran to the United States and Israel? :confused:

Which of those three nations is the subject of UN Resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803 and 1929? It's Iran and for a damn good reason: Iranian nuclear weapons make most of the entire world extremely nervous, again for a damn good reason.

AND you're bringing up Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Hasn't that been debated to death on the entire Internet already? Ok, well a couple of things to consider:

By 1945, every month that the Pacific War dragged on, 100,000 civilians died in the Japanese-occupied territories, due to starvation, disease, abuse, and outright execution. The atomic attacks finally convinced the Emperor to end the war...and even then there were IJA hotheads that staged a coup to destroy the surrender proclamation and silence the Emperor.

And, the Pacific War most definitely did not start at 8:15am August 6th 1945.

Why is the United States still allowed to have them? Because unlike other countries (like Cuba in 1962 for example) the United States hasn't been eager to fling nuclear weapons around like so many firecrackers. And unlike Iran, the United States hasn't vowed the annihilation of another country.

TopHatter
25 Jan 12,, 23:04
No, I can`t se the picture here. Iran had peace in 300 years, beside the war with Iraq, that Iraq started. Talking about the nukes, so how come Israel is allowed to have like 400 of them? or Pakistan?

By the way, your claim that Iran has had 300 years of peace is simply not supportable.

Not with a proxy like Hezbollah and the indiscriminate mining and attacks on neutral shipping during the 1980's. It's hardly peaceful to routinely pull up alongside a helpless merchant ship in a frigate and spray the bridge with machine gun fire.

Nord
25 Jan 12,, 23:09
"India has them because of Pakistan and China, Pakistan has them because of India. North Korea may or may not have them because they are schmucks intend on domineering their neighbors to the south. Israel doesn't have them because of all her neighbors intent on destroying her. "

Israel have started all wars it been into since 1948.

TopHatter
25 Jan 12,, 23:12
"India has them because of Pakistan and China, Pakistan has them because of India. North Korea may or may not have them because they are schmucks intend on domineering their neighbors to the south. Israel doesn't have them because of all her neighbors intent on destroying her. "

Israel have started all wars it been into since 1948.

Ok, now you're veering into Mel Gibson territory. :rolleyes:

Just for fun, please explain how Israel started the Yom Kippur War?

Nord
25 Jan 12,, 23:14
When it comes to killing civilians

In Vietnam, started on the lie in Tonkin bay, 3 000 000 vietnameese lives where lost. And about 60 000 americans. In the war on a lie in Iraq, claiming they had WMD, they lost between 1-2 000 000 lives. It is about time to wake up, and stop killing the worlds population.


Afganisthan:

"What causes the documented high level of civilian casualties -- 3,000 - 3,400 [October 7, 2001 thru March 2002] civilian deaths -- in the U.S. air war upon Afghanistan? The explanation is the apparent willingness of U.S. military strategists to fire missiles into and drop bombs upon, heavily populated areas of Afghanistan."

bigross86
25 Jan 12,, 23:17
Ok, now you're veering into Mel Gibson territory. :rolleyes:

Just for fun, please explain how Israel started the Yom Kippur War?

This I gotta hear...

Don't forget the 1970 War of Attrition, or the 1967 and 1956 wars, both a result of Egypt blocking the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping

bigross86
25 Jan 12,, 23:18
Bearing that in mind, I will not be responding further, except to the thread subject.

Me as well. I'd love to hear Nord's explanations, but I'll wait for him to open a new thread if he's serious about his claims

Bigfella
25 Jan 12,, 23:25
By the way, your claim that Iran has had 300 years of peace is simply not supportable.

Not with a proxy like Hezbollah and the indiscriminate mining and attacks on neutral shipping during the 1980's. It's hardly peaceful to routinely pull up alongside a helpless merchant ship in a frigate and spray the bridge with machine gun fire.

Beat me to it TH, though I was thinking of stuff on a slightly larger scale.

An imperial scrap over territory neither empire owned:

Russo-Persian War (1804 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Persian_War_(1804%E2%80%931813))

Hows about invading Russia?

Russo-Persian War (1826 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Persian_War_(1826%E2%80%931828))

....then there were repeated attempts to seize bits of Afghanistan in the mid C19th:

Anglo-Persian War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Persian_War)

I suspect I could dig up more examples of the lack of 'peacefulness' on the part of Iran, but this is enough to make it clear that our poster doesn't know an awful lot about the subject.

Personally I have never accepted the 'those crazy mullahs are going to launch a nuke & destroy their own nation' line. They haven't shown much of an incliantion to do anything even a bit like this over the past 30 years, I see no reason for a change now. Iran having nukes is undoubtedly a bad thing. Not a nation I want to see as a regional power. However, short of actually invading & removing the government nothing that the US & especially Israel can do is going to do much more than strengthen the government & slow down the nuclear program by a few years.

My bet is that Israel doesn't attack - can't do enough by itself & will probably do more harm than good. If Iran closes the Straits, however, all bets are off. That brings in the US & suddenly makes this feasible.

YellowFever
26 Jan 12,, 00:07
Nord, please stick to opening a bazillion threads about T-72 A,B,C, D and the rest of the alphabet.

TopHatter
26 Jan 12,, 00:08
Nord, please stick to opening a bazillion threads about T-72 A,B,C, D and the rest of the alphabet.

Yellow, I can't agree with that. He has just as much right to discuss things here as anybody else and he's certainly not limited to his modeling threads.

JAD said it best: Let's stick to the subject here on this thread.

YellowFever
26 Jan 12,, 00:12
Yellow, I can't agree with that. He has just as much right to discuss things here as anybody else and he's certainly not limited to his modeling threads.

JAD said it best: Let's stick to the subject here on this thread.

Right you are.

Apologies Nord.

But you have to come with a better game than you've shown so far. These people know history. You're going to get chewed if you don't.

S2
26 Jan 12,, 02:12
I don't know why you're apologizing. He's been here since Feb. 2006 and it's almost as though he's lived in a vacuum whilst being a member. Multiple threads discussing and dismissing his nonsense. Multiple members banned for being as stupid. He's not heard or reed of the NPT, we're to assume? Riiiight. He's unaware, after multiple threads and MUCH openly-available news of the obligations freely incurred by NPT members?

I say B.S. "Nord", as in 6th S.S. Gebirgs Division? I wonder...

Color me ad hominem on this one.

troung
26 Jan 12,, 03:06
No, I can`t se the picture here. Iran had peace in 300 years, beside the war with Iraq, that Iraq started. Talking about the nukes, so how come Israel is allowed to have like 400 of them? or Pakistan?

Nadir Shah, the Qajars, Mullah Iran's interference in regional nations...

Waiting to hear about pure Aryan races or something stupid.

TopHatter
26 Jan 12,, 15:18
I've pruned off the posts from the "Will Israel Attack Iran in 2012?" thread to a new thread. Keep it civil please.

Dreadnought
26 Jan 12,, 15:25
Who is provoking who? Right now EU has emposed an oil-embago on Iran, like the USA did on Japan in the ww2. That could be pretty provoking...

Regarding the nukes again, there are only one country in the world that have used them on civilians, and that is USA, twice.
How come USA still are allowed to have them?

*In both cases, Japan was given the choice of surrender or face the destruction they bought upon themselves. They opened the war killing sailors and civilians in Pearl Harbors attack and another attack. They had their choice, they chose poorly and faced the destruction that came.

Blaming the US for using the tech they had at hand to reduce their own casualties and Allied in invading the home islands is poor grounds for this fight you are trying to put up for why can the US have them.

You still havent answered the question posed to you about Iranian provocation.

Dreadnought
26 Jan 12,, 15:28
When it comes to killing cicilians

In Vietnam, started on the lie in Tonkin bay, 3 000 000 vietnameese lives where lost. And about 60 000 americans. In the war on a lie in Iraq, claiming they had WMD, they lost between 1-2 000 000 lives. It is about time to wake up, and stop killing the worlds population.


Obviously you havent read much about the war in Iraq. WMD term is loosley used by politicians to gain clout. WMD's were indeed found in Iraq and there are plenty of examples. Go read before stating something foolish.

In this day and age even a pipe bomb is considered by many to be a WMD. IMO, correct given its intentions.

S2
26 Jan 12,, 15:30
"When it comes to killing cicilians

In Vietnam, started on the lie in Tonkin bay, 3 000 000 vietnameese lives where lost. And about 60 000 americans. In the war on a lie in Iraq, claiming they had WMD, they lost between 1-2 000 000 lives. It is about time to wake up, and stop killing the worlds population."

The Vietnam war started for the Vietnamese a long time before The Gulf Of Tonkin Incident. Too bad we didn't finish it properly. I bet you can't tell me how many S. Vietnamese died in N. Vietnam's Re-Education camps following the war's end?

Lot of GOOD reasons to go to war against Iraq-a latent WMD capability, now removed for the foreseeable future, only one of them. Meanwhile, can you tell me how many Iraqis died at the hands of other Iraqis? That would help cast matters in their proper light-unless, of course, you were a real fan of Saddam Hussein's police policies among his own people.

He was SO GOOD at keeping the peace.

"Afganisthan:

What causes the documented high level of civilian casualties -- 3,000 - 3,400 [October 7, 2001 thru March 2002] civilian deaths -- in the U.S. air war upon Afghanistan? The explanation is the apparent willingness of U.S. military strategists to fire missiles into and drop bombs upon, heavily populated areas of Afghanistan."

Might want to check the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and UNAMA's versions regarding how the great majority civilians have died in Afghanistan-usually at the hands of the taliban.

I'll provide you an easy source to read if you do the same for the comment above.

I PROMISE.

Dreadnought
26 Jan 12,, 15:32
"India has them because of Pakistan and China, Pakistan has them because of India. North Korea may or may not have them because they are schmucks intend on domineering their neighbors to the south. Israel doesn't have them because of all her neighbors intent on destroying her. "

Israel have started all wars it been into since 1948.


They dont? And Israel has?

Would love to know this source of education you are using.:rolleyes:

bigross86
26 Jan 12,, 22:16
That was originally my quote. From what I understood from the Colonel, the North Korean nuke program isn't quite going anywhere. Israel has never officially admitted they have nukes

omon
26 Jan 12,, 23:30
iran never officialy admited they have nuke programm either. nobody belives iran, nor israel

Firestorm
27 Jan 12,, 21:31
It is generally accepted that Israel has quite a few nukes and has had them for a long time. If this is true, then realistically, Iran getting a nuke won't change things too much for Israel since they already possess the capability for a debilitating retaliatory strike. I don't buy the argument that the Iranians will commit national suicide just because they hate Israel. Dinnerjacket may be a moron, but suicidal? I doubt it.
Now if there was a land border between the two, it could be argued that possessing nukes might embolden Iran to launch a conventional war. But since there is no land border and the Israeli conventional strength is far superior, that possibility is remote.
The other argument could be Iran increasing support for the Hezbollah. They do that anyway. Israeli nukes haven't deterred them and possessing their own nukes won't change the equation. Case in point: India and Pakistan. Both have nukes and delivery systems. Yet Pakistan's proxy war continues. Things wouldn't have been any different even if they didn't have nukes.

But Iran obtaining nukes will make the surrounding countries with no nukes (namely the Arabs) a lot more uneasy than Israel. It will convince them to explore the nuclear option themselves. I'm sure the Pakistanis would be ever ready to oblige as long as they make money from it. IMHO, this is the reason the Iranian nuke as to be stopped, not because Israel will suddenly be in danger of being nuked. It won't.

bigross86
27 Jan 12,, 22:56
Dude, you are wrong on many, many different levels. I'll hit you up with an answer tomorrow, when it's not 1:00 AM here

S2
28 Jan 12,, 09:40
"...But Iran obtaining nukes will make the surrounding countries with no nukes (namely the Arabs) a lot more uneasy than Israel. It will convince them to explore the nuclear option themselves. I'm sure the Pakistanis would be ever ready to oblige as long as they make money from it. IMHO, this is the reason the Iranian nuke as to be stopped,..."

It is, indeed, one of the reasons Iran must be stopped from having these weapons. Unmentioned by you but underlying this rationale is that nukes are, in the end, only tools that can be used to threaten a variety of enemies. The same nuclear weapons which might ensure parity between sunnis and shias will also provide nuclear parity between arabs and Jews.

"...not because Israel will suddenly be in danger of being nuked. It won't."

Israel loses a trump card in any future Arab-Israeli conventional war if the surrounding arab states (most notably, KSA) also have nuclear weapons. The sum of all fears becomes realized.

Tanker
28 Jan 12,, 19:36
Who is provoking who? Right now EU has emposed an oil-embago on Iran, like the USA did on Japan in the ww2. That could be pretty provoking...

Regarding the nukes again, there are only one country in the world that have used them on civilians, and that is USA, twice.
How come USA still are allowed to have them?

Geezus...how old are you? You must be well under 30. Your argument is the same as the anti-Americans in another forum but this usually shuts them up...

Germany slaughtered 6 million human beings
Japan Slaughtered some 500,000 Chinese for no reason including 300,000 in Nanking alone...not to mention some 200,000 POWs.

Why are these 2 countries still allowed to be countries?

The 2 bombs dropped killed less people than the Tokyo firebombings yet no one mentions that or the above...so son whats your your response?

Tanker
28 Jan 12,, 19:40
"India has them because of Pakistan and China, Pakistan has them because of India. North Korea may or may not have them because they are schmucks intend on domineering their neighbors to the south. Israel doesn't have them because of all her neighbors intent on destroying her. "

Israel have started all wars it been into since 1948.

You would fit in with the anti-jews on the site I just left for this same reason...:bang:

Tanker
28 Jan 12,, 19:50
When it comes to killing civilians

In Vietnam, started on the lie in Tonkin bay, 3 000 000 vietnameese lives where lost. And about 60 000 americans. In the war on a lie in Iraq, claiming they had WMD, they lost between 1-2 000 000 lives. It is about time to wake up, and stop killing the worlds population.





Do you know what a WMD is? I'll tell you. A WMD is a weapon that when used will cause great or mass harm to a population or cause great or mass destruction to a city or population.

If you go back and browse you will find that that MANY of the IEDs used by the enemy were in fact WMD artillery shells that had mustard gas or other chemical weapons in them. The US Army found some 60 drums of Mustard Gas in either 2005 or 2006 hidden in the middle of no where and was found only because there were dead animals lying around it. A chemical weapon is in fact a WMD. And god knows that Iraq had tons and tons of chemicals.

It's about time to wake up and read some books.

Tanker
28 Jan 12,, 19:51
[B]When it comes to killing cicilians

Should the Mafia be worrying about killing cicilians? :biggrin:

Double Edge
29 Jan 12,, 12:44
But Iran obtaining nukes will make the surrounding countries with no nukes (namely the Arabs) a lot more uneasy than Israel. It will convince them to explore the nuclear option themselves.
The arabs pose no threat to Iran so why should they become more uneasy about iraniian nukes that will never be used on them.

Admittedly, getting the arab public to see it this way is likely to be challenging.


I'm sure the Pakistanis would be ever ready to oblige as long as they make money from it. IMHO, this is the reason the Iranian nuke as to be stopped, not because Israel will suddenly be in danger of being nuked. It won't.
Those arab countries are all NPT signatories so they cannot accept anything. What then can Pakistan do in this case. nothing.

If Iran succeeds the NPT is in danger, i would think this is the bigger issue.

Iran breaking the NPT remains the cassus belli for any action. Though corective actions might not wait that long.

All this rhetoric about blackmail to Israel & the Arabs is just a pretext or spin to act against Iran.

The core issue always was and will be the sanctity of the NPT.

The only thing that stands in the way of a more nuclearised world or a free-for-all between sellers & buyers. Pakistan offering help to the arabs is just one instance of it. The result is a much more uncertain and dangerous situation worldwide. This is the driving factor to push against Iran.

Gun Boat
29 Jan 12,, 13:06
Cut the crap, neutralise their ability to lauch a nuke. The world will not be a better place if Iran has the ability. Strike now, before its to late and let the likes of 'Bigfella' whine about the fact after it is done.

RoccoR
29 Jan 12,, 16:57
Double Edge, et al,

I'm sure that this is a concern, but not the underlying factor.



... ... ...

Iran breaking the NPT remains the cassus belli for any action. Though corective actions might not wait that long.

All this rhetoric about blackmail to Israel & the Arabs is just a pretext or spin to act against Iran.

The core issue always was and will be the sanctity of the NPT.

The only thing that stands in the way of a more nuclearised world or a free-for-all between sellers & buyers. Pakistan offering help to the arabs is just one instance of it. The result is a much more uncertain and dangerous situation worldwide. This is the driving factor to push against Iran.
(COMMENT)

The importance here is that nothing new has been discovered since the publication of the 2011 NIE. Thus it would not alter the DNI summation that:

“We do not know…if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”
SOURCE: http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20071203_release.pdf

The IRGC-QF and the Iranian MIOS will continue to collect on CNWDI and purchase functional technology as it may become available. This is a normal function of positive intelligence activities; not unique to Iran. This does not mean that Iran has an active and coordinated Nuclear Weapons Program. It just means that they scavenge what has been proliferated by Nuclear Capable nations. And scavenging activities are a symptom of a non-existent or troubled program grasping at any opportunity to cobble together something. But don't mistake this for a Nuclear Weapons Program; it is not.

First a true (No Crap) Story.


In 1964 the U.S. Army decided to see just how difficult it was (to build a bomb). They hired two professors that had Ph.Ds in physics, but no experience with nuclear weapons or access to nuclear secrets. The two were given the task of designing an atomic bomb using only information available to the general public. It took them roughly two years, but in the end they designed an implosion style weapon that could have been made in a local machine shop which could have produced an explosion similar to the Hiroshima bomb.

SOURCE: The UnMuseum - How to Build an Atomic Bomb
The UnMuseum - How to Build an Atomic Bomb (http://www.unmuseum.org/buildabomb.htm)
Any country or organization that has a decent crop of Physicists, and Iran fits this bill, with time and money, can design, fashion the components and construct a device of some magnitude, in a couple of years (probably less now). And remember how long these Middle Eastern countries have been considering this.

The true problem is the acquisition of the fuel and prototype testing. Our guys had a serious problem with this. Uranium 235 is very rare. And the Enrichment Process (separating the it from other isotopes) is the key factor. Build the device, you can do in your garage. Fueling the device requires a major factory. Or, you start with Plutonium and process it. But that is, as well, difficult to come by and even more difficult to work with. Just a whiff of it will take you down. Basically this is the "Breeder Reactor" issue.

If the Iranians wanted a device, then they probably have that capability already. They just need fuel. With the amount of time they have had to work on the problem, they could have a half-dozen or so devices. That portion of the project is easy. You don't need to have a program specifically for that.

After that, they need a delivery system. The BM-25 might just be big enough to carry the load, with a modified warhead.

Then - you need to either enrich the fuel yourself -- of scavenge for it. The most important aspect is the fuel and not the scientist.

With the exception of the fueling issue, the rest of it can be cobbled together in relative ease. We've known that you could build a bomb in a garage since before my Vietnam Days. There were rumors of the Soviet "Suitcase Bomb" for decades. When I was a young CI Agent, this was the biggest boogieman. Over the last decade, I've spent about seven years in the Middle East and Persian Gulf Region. Today's boogieman is the terrorist with fissionable materials. With fissionable materials, you do not need a Nuclear Weapons Program. Just a couple of reasonably good scientist and a machine shop.

It is fortunate for us, that the manufacture of fissionable materials is so very difficult. And that is what the UN Inspection Regiment is really looking for. And it takes a lot of effort to make it. But if the scavengers find weapons grade plutonium on the open market, then --- it could be easily hidden. That is what "Proliferation" is really all about.

The IAEA has, essentially, audited and verified that all the Iranian nuclear material that has been processed - has been properly accounted for in each year of inspection.

There has been much ado (about nothing) in the Iranian denial of access to certain facilities. The Iranians are not part of that Protocol, and it is not likely that they will sign on to that protocol, given the current diplomatic climate.

(SIDEBAR)

When speaking about "enrichment," it is important to note that there are generally 4 levels or categories of material.


Natural U-235 is mined at about 0.8% to 0.7%
Low Level enrichment takes the natural U-235 (0.7%) and bring it up to:

3.5%-to-5% (typically)
15-to-20% (Premium)


Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) above 20% to about 80%
Weapons Grade Material is above 80% but usually in the 90%-95% range.


Recently, the Iranians have implied that they intend to begin enrichment to the near 20% Level. This is the level of material that is used for newer Medical Devices and Scientific Research Projects. What ever it might be used for, it is nowhere near at the refinement level necessary to make a weapon.

Remeber, all U-235 enriched beyond the 20% is classed as: HEU. But not all HEU is weapons grade material. This is a very important distinction. It takes a lot of work, and equipment (huge) to bring U-235 up to the 90% range. And this is very difficult to hide.

There is no reason (YET!) to believe that the Iranians are going there. But the Iranians do want the world to know they can get there from here.

Just My Thought ---
Most Respectfully,

Double Edge
29 Jan 12,, 18:23
I'm sure that this is a concern, but not the underlying factor.
ok, so what would you consider to be the underlying factor then ?

As its not clear to me from your informative post.

Doktor
29 Jan 12,, 18:37
Maybe someone can enlight me...

If Iranians are developing civilian only nuclear program... why on earth they refuse (or to put it more correctly - resist) IAEA's inspections?

RoccoR
29 Jan 12,, 20:26
Double Edge, Doktor, et al,

Oddly enough, these are very similar questions.




ok, so what would you consider to be the underlying factor then ?

As its not clear to me from your informative post.
Maybe someone can enlight me...

If Iranians are developing civilian only nuclear program... why on earth they refuse (or to put it more correctly - resist) IAEA's inspections?
(COMMENT)

Everyone remembers the last time "Wolf" was called. No one (especially the P5+1) wants the déjà vu of that fiasco.

Whether or not Iran has a CNWDI Program, or not, is not the issue. It is Iran's single gold bargaining chip. It is all about what Iran will give-up, in turn, for what it wants. The US will not give-up the military hegemony over the Persian Gulf. And it certainly does not want the Persian Fleet to replace it in Bahrain.

We all talk as if the motive for the bombing was to retard the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program. And the P5+1 make proposals that they know Iran will not accept.

It is very unclear, if Iran is actually engaged in such a program. I am given to understand that "we" (the US) don't actually have any information that pins this down. (Rhetoric aside!)




In late 2009, the IC began to update the 2007 NIE on Iran, with the final version reportedly completed in February 2011. Briefing Congress on the NIE behind closed doors, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified, "We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons." But, “We do not know…if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”
REFERENCES:
http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20071203_release.pdf
Exclusive: New National Intelligence Estimate on Iran complete | The Cable
SOURCE:
Iran

I am haunted by what happen the last time we (America) proclaimed to the world that someone had proscribed Weapons Program (thousands and thousands of tons - WMD). It wasn't a little mistake --- it was huge.



Let me begin by saying, we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here.
SOURCE: CNN.com - Transcript: David Kay at Senate hearing - Jan. 28, 2004
We certainly don't want to repeat this mistake. I'm sure the last time we cried "Wolf" has not faded from everyone's memory.

Iran, cognizant of all this, is using that uncertainty to gain leverage. It will also leverage the dissidents to the embargo.

(The Doktor's Q: ) Earlier this month, the IAEA Team went back into Iran. Among other things, the will discuss the "Additional Protocols" which Iran has not "ratified" and is not yet subject to and legally bound. The P5+1, knowing what KSA's they've individually contributed believe that Iran's only impediment to having a viable weapon is the issue of fuel (weapons Grade Material). The P5+1 does not want to be held hostage to Iran who, may or may not, be bluffing. But the uncertainty is Iran's only real bargaining chip. It Iran opens up to the "Addition Protocols" (or the equivalent) it will lose its advantage; and come to a decision tree that they are not yet prepared to make.


If the do have a fuel program (enrichment) for weapons grade material, for an existing design: Do they give it up?

If they do not have a fuel program (enrichment) for weapons grade material, for an existing design: do they initiate a program?


They know that if the world believes they might have a fast track to HEU/80%+ or Plutonium, that they (Iran) will still have a voice. But if the world believes that Iran is not on the verge of being a nuclear regional power, they lose their voice and listeners.

Iran wants to be the dominate power in the Persian Gulf. They want to be the voice of Islam - the voice of Power, the Republic that made good - commanding the respect of every nation enjoined to pay homage. They want to be the hegemony. This is what they want. Give them this and they will dispense with any Program. But "uncertainty" of where they are and what they are doing plays a key role in this. The UNSC and the IAEA want the additional protocols for inspections simply because they don't know.

This could easily escalate into a Regional Arms Race.

Most Respectfully,
R

S2
30 Jan 12,, 01:56
"...I am haunted by what happen the last time we (America) proclaimed to the world that someone had proscribed Weapons Program (thousands and thousands of tons - WMD)..."

Get over it. We're not going to dismantle the C.I.A nor the NSA because of your nightmares. Iraq used WMD on their own. Those leaders remained in power and, given another opportunity to resurrect a dormant program, would have done so for the exact same reasons it had been developed in the first place...unless you really think Saddam had some sort of "come-to-Jesus" revelation in the interim.

Did you find comfort in their stewardship of Iraq?

"...It wasn't a little mistake --- it was huge..."

That latent capability remained. You know that.

"But S-2, are you satisfied now with their removal? Why, look at the civil violence since unleashed by those American dogs of war!?"

Yes. How messy it all is. Instead of state-sanctioned murder we have communal vendetta. Maybe even a civil war.

"...It is all about what Iran will give-up, in turn, for what it wants...Iran wants to be the dominate power in the Persian Gulf. They want to be the voice of Islam - the voice of Power, the Republic that made good - commanding the respect of every nation enjoined to pay homage. They want to be the hegemony. This is what they want. Give them this and they will dispense with any Program."

Sooo,... seem cool to you? You o.k. with the above?

"...And the P5+1 make proposals that they know Iran will not accept..."

Go figure.:rolleyes: Given the above is there ANY proposal acceptable to Iran that you might seriously put forward here that will also satisfy the rest of mankind.

"...It is very unclear, if Iran is actually engaged in such a program. I am given to understand that "we" (the US) don't actually have any information that pins this down. (Rhetoric aside!)..."

Maybe they do? Maybe they don't? Really? First, you may not be the best judge of such given your nightmares. Instead, you may be pre-conditioned to believe the best of these new ambitious hegemons and ignore the accumulated information and analysis of others. Second, given your lucid if nightmarish assessment of their ambitions can you reasonably suggest that Iran would contemplate those ambitions with nothing more than a pair of 2s in their hand?

What would provide somebody such as you with clarity short of a successful test after-the-fact?

Here's what David Albright said last November-

Is Iran Capable Of Developing Nuclear Weapons-PBS Nov. 8, 2011 (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec11/iaea_11-08.html)

"...Well, the background is, this weaponization program was abruptly ended in '03 because of international pressure. Pressure on Iran does work.

And what was visible at the time was Iran shutting down and we called it suspending its uranium enrichment program and agreeing to additional inspections, and was very cooperative. As part of that, they made a decision to hide the nuclear weaponization program, to disassemble it in a certain way and try to make it go away so the inspectors couldn't find it.

Unfortunately, the negotiations that were part of that process didn't bear fruit. And you can blame all kinds of sides in that, but they didn't bear fruit. And Iran broke with the suspension. And I think most countries in Europe, for example, that are involved in this issue thought that Iran's weaponization program also restarted, albeit at a smaller level.

The United States took the position that it had not restarted. The IAEA today takes the position that, yes, there is evidence that indeed it did restart.
...No, their enrichment program isn't working very well. And the report today shows they continue to have problems. They're more slowly deploying the advanced centrifuges than Iran had intended. So, the long pole in the tent, the ability to make weapon-grade uranium, is not going so well in Iran.

What we don't know is how much progress has Iran made on weaponization? But the evidence supports that they're not able to build a reliable warhead to put on a ballistic missile, that they didn't finish that work in 2003 and it remains unfinished today."

Now, the report is available to all. I'm sure you've read it-

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran-Report by the Director General 18 November 2011 (http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2011/gov2011-65.pdf) If so, can you explain this-

"...42. The information which serves as the basis for the Agency’s analysis and concerns, as identified in the Annex, is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible. The information comes from a wide variety of independent sources, including from a number of Member States, from the Agency’s own efforts and from information provided by Iran itself. It is consistent in terms of technical content, individuals and organizations involved, and time frames.

43. The information indicates that Iran has carried out the following activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device:

• Efforts, some successful, to procure nuclear related and dual use equipment and materials by military related individuals and entities (Annex, Sections C.1 and C.2);
• Efforts to develop undeclared pathways for the production of nuclear material (Annex, Section C.3);
• The acquisition of nuclear weapons development information and documentation from a clandestine nuclear supply network (Annex, Section C.4); and
• Work on the development of an indigenous design of a nuclear weapon including the testing of components (Annex, Sections C.5–C.12).

44. While some of the activities identified in the Annex have civilian as well as military applications, others are specific to nuclear weapons..."

In sum, the report and its annex is damning. Your comment suggesting it is very unclear simply cannot be written with any semblance of credibility in light of this report. Simply. Cannot. Be. Written.

I await your dissemblance, obfuscation and/or subterfuge to diminish this report's credibility or, alternatively, concession that Iran is, indeed, up to no good and must be stopped.

I can't imagine you'll admit they're up to no good but should be permitted achievement of their goals anyway. Then again, nothing surprises me any longer.:)

USSWisconsin
30 Jan 12,, 05:47
It takes a lot of work, and equipment (huge) to bring U-235 up to the 90% range.
True - more of the same work that took it to 20% How huge is the equipment? I don't agree with this - enrichment equipment isn't huge these days - it was back in the early days. A modern isotope centrifuge could fit in a residential basement.


And this is very difficult to hide.
Why?


There is no reason (YET!) to believe that the Iranians are going there.

Why? If they can enrich Uranium - why couldn't they take it to 95% weapons grade?

There are multiple ways to enrich Uranium - for example: gaseous effusion, centripital separation, and laser separation. Of these only gaseous effusion takes a large installation. It is well known that Iran uses centrifuges - these can be installed in smaller facilities - to produce large amounts - they only need to build a large number of small installations. Laser separation processes are even more compact, and this method has been around for quite some time, the physics principles are in the public domain - why couldn't they also be using this method?

Weaponization is a relative thing - they can cause lots of damage with a shipping container size device (it wouldn't be that hard to get it into a port or harbor - it could even fit in a truck) - a small ballistic missile warhead may be a long ways out for them, but a working device with a kiloton range yeild is still a weapon - even if it doesn't fit on a missile. Their inclination to support terror has been proven - and even a bulky device can be a terrorist weapon. Remember too - this isn't the 1940's or 50's, they aren't going to have all the technological challenges that the original Manhattan Project had - there are inexpensive computers - advanced machining techniques, materials and many other things that didn't exist back then - and these things are commercially available these days and not even very expensive. They don't need to build an Oak Ridge.

Just because we don't have photos, to display here, of them doing a distributed enrichment effort is no assurance that they aren't.

S2
30 Jan 12,, 06:06
I'm sorry-what's your degree and where is it from?;)

Double Edge
30 Jan 12,, 07:48
In sum, the report and its annex is damning. Your comment suggesting it is very unclear simply cannot be written with any semblance of credibility in light of this report. Simply. Cannot. Be. Written.

Not sure if damning is the right term. Maybe casting aspersions, raising suspicions or insinuating.

Before, you had suspicions, after the nov IAEA report you have some substance to back up those suspicions.

Interview: Focus of Iran visit is on "possible military dimension": IAEA chief | Xinhua | Jan 29 2012 (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/29/c_131380126.htm)


In answer to questions about some ambiguities over the report, the IAEA chief said, "It (the report) does not say Iran has nuclear weapons. It does not say that Iran has decided to develop nuclear weapons."

"However, the report says that we have the information that indicates that Iran has engaged in activities linked with the development of nuclear explosive devices. Therefore, we have required Iran to clarify these issues," he said.

Very subtle.

Maybe the current meeting of the IAEA officials in Iran might clarify more.

USSWisconsin
30 Jan 12,, 08:03
I'm sorry-what's your degree and where is it from?;)

MS in Nuclear Engineering from UW Madison Wis

Bigfella
30 Jan 12,, 10:23
Cut the crap, neutralise their ability to lauch a nuke. The world will not be a better place if Iran has the ability. Strike now, before its to late and let the likes of 'Bigfella' whine about the fact after it is done.

Gee, 100 posts in 3 years & you are name calling. At least it inspired me to trawl back through your post history & remind myself who you were. Nothing to see really. You haven't done enough here for me to waste my time calling you names. If I want to debate this I'll stick with the grownups & the contributors.

Doktor
30 Jan 12,, 10:50
MS in Nuclear Engineering from UW Madison Wis

Oh Master :wors:

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 12,, 10:59
There are multiple ways to enrich Uranium - for example: gaseous effusion, centripital separation, and laser separation. Of these only gaseous effusion takes a large installation. It is well known that Iran uses centrifuges - these can be installed in smaller facilities - to produce large amounts - they only need to build a large number of small installations. Laser separation processes are even more compact, and this method has been around for quite some time, the physics principles are in the public domain - why couldn't they also be using this method?The argument against this position is that it's a big OPSEC headache. The more people working on this, the more likely it would leak out and while spreading it around may reduce risk of complete destruction, it also spread its vulnerability everywhere. Destroying just one point will increase production pressure on the other surviving points.

Aside from this, I strongly doubt that Iran has the number of experts necessary to do more than 3 sites. One scientist cannot be at 3 different points in the country at the same time.

Lastly, like Qom, it would be damned hard to hide. You need extensive power requirements and decent security measures, all of which can be seen by cameras in orbit.

S2
30 Jan 12,, 14:59
Double speak from Double Edge?

"Not sure if damning is the right term. Maybe casting aspersions, raising suspicions or insinuating.

Before, you had suspicions, after the nov IAEA report you have some substance to back up those suspicions..."

Please consider CAREFULLY what you have written. Yes, we had serious suspicions prior to November 2011.

The information since gathered for this report is credible in the eyes of the IAEA. That information for this report indicates hidden pathways towards enrichment; efforts by MILITARY personnel and their organizations to acquire nuclear-related equipment and components; design work on an indigenously-developed nuclear weapon design-to include components testing; and the acquisition of nuclear weapons design information from a clandestine network of suppliers.

"...Very subtle..."

Oh bullshit. There's nothing about "hidden" and "clandestine" suggesting subtlety to the IAEA's indictment. It's forthright and DAMNING.

...Maybe the current meeting of the IAEA officials in Iran might clarify more."

:bang:

RoccoR
30 Jan 12,, 17:52
S-2, et al,

I understand your total and complete subjugation to that war effort. I was there myself for several tours.



Get over it. We're not going to dismantle the C.I.A nor the NSA because of your nightmares. Iraq used WMD on their own. Those leaders remained in power and, given another opportunity to resurrect a dormant program, would have done so for the exact same reasons it had been developed in the first place...unless you really think Saddam had some sort of "come-to-Jesus" revelation in the interim.

Did you find comfort in their stewardship of Iraq?

That latent capability remained. You know that.

"But S-2, are you satisfied now with their removal? Why, look at the civil violence since unleashed by those American dogs of war!?"


(Note: I did not say this. This is not from my posting. RRR)

Yes. How messy it all is. Instead of state-sanctioned murder we have communal vendetta. Maybe even a civil war.

Maybe they do? Maybe they don't? Really? First, you may not be the best judge of such given your nightmares. Instead, you may be pre-conditioned to believe the best of these new ambitious hegemons and ignore the accumulated information and analysis of others. Second, given your lucid if nightmarish assessment of their ambitions can you reasonably suggest that Iran would contemplate those ambitions with nothing more than a pair of 2s in their hand?

(COMMENT)

I did not say anything about nightmares; nor did I over dramatize. I am completely aware that you and people that agree with your argument, like to use that decade old intelligence on how Chemical Weapons were used. What they don't say is that, the US did nothing because Saddam was a US ally at the time. I know that most of the IA's are fully aware that the now famous Halabja (in Iraqi Kurdistan, circa 1988) incident was information that was more than a decade old when it was used as justification in 2002.

And I did not, in any way, suggest in any way, that we dismantle the Intelligence Community that I was a part of for nearly 40 years.

I don't know if "Saddam had some sort of "come-to-Jesus" revelation." I do know what the IC (Director David Kay, Iraq Survey Group) said on the matter. It is a matter of record. I am also aware of what LTG Odom said on the matter.

It is not wrong to want to avoid making those mistakes again.







"...It is all about what Iran will give-up, in turn, for what it wants...Iran wants to be the dominate power in the Persian Gulf. They want to be the voice of Islam - the voice of Power, the Republic that made good - commanding the respect of every nation enjoined to pay homage. They want to be the hegemony. This is what they want. Give them this and they will dispense with any Program."

Sooo,... seem cool to you? You o.k. with the above?
(COMMENT)

This is about what is; the conditions at a snapshot in time. It is not about what I want, or believe we should do. It is a thumbnail view of the dilemma we face. It is real and it should be understood if we are going to find a solution to alter the paradigm.





"...And the P5+1 make proposals that they know Iran will not accept..."

Go figure.:rolleyes: Given the above is there ANY proposal acceptable to Iran that you might seriously put forward here that will also satisfy the rest of mankind.
(COMMENT)

I'm not sure that there is a solution now that will satisfy "mankind;" or even a portion of the Persian Gulf neighborhood. Too many short-term gains have had an adverse impact on the long-term prospects. We might have lit the fuse on a Persian Gulf Arms Race.

The objective now is to negotiate a condition by which we avoid conflict and further proliferation.



Here's what David Albright said last November-

Is Iran Capable Of Developing Nuclear Weapons-PBS Nov. 8, 2011 (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec11/iaea_11-08.html)

"...Well, the background is, this weaponization program was abruptly ended in '03 because of international pressure. Pressure on Iran does work.


(COMMENT)

The Iranian programs of 8 and 10 years ago, like ours, change direction and emphasis. But as all politicians know, you take credit (the program remission) to justify the support for sanctions and negotiation efforts. That correlation, though - does not actually represent causation.



And what was visible at the time was Iran shutting down and we called it suspending its uranium enrichment program and agreeing to additional inspections, and was very cooperative. As part of that, they made a decision to hide the nuclear weaponization program, to disassemble it in a certain way and try to make it go away so the inspectors couldn't find it.
(COMMENT)

This may be entirely possible. Yes - it MAY be true. But we cannot assume it to be fact. And we cannot act on it as if it were fact. Not only is it irresponsible to suggest that - but, it certainly doesn't take our "lessons learned" into account.

Yes: We have an IAEA Team there now (left earlier this month). And they left with some suspicions (anomalous computer modeling, some R&D into what may prove to be detonation device, and questions about the very low level of HEU enrichment - not anywhere near weapons grade - but enrichment). And if the Team comes back with facts, you could be proven right. But I advocate working with the facts and understanding what those facts mean.



Unfortunately, the negotiations that were part of that process didn't bear fruit. And you can blame all kinds of sides in that, but they didn't bear fruit. And Iran broke with the suspension. And I think most countries in Europe, for example, that are involved in this issue thought that Iran's weaponization program also restarted, albeit at a smaller level.
(COMMENT)

It might be as you say: "albeit at a smaller level." There is some very suspicious research in progress. But we do not know what it means. It may be to stretch Iran's fifteen minutes of fame, to get more lime light, to sweeten their position at the bargaining table. We simply do not know.

What we do know is that the IRGC-QF and MOIS are scavenger hunting for knowledge, skills, abilities and material on the underground market. While they have succeeded, in the past, at a acquiring some weapons grade material, it wasn't in sufficient quantity to make a device workable.



The United States took the position that it had not restarted. The IAEA today takes the position that, yes, there is evidence that indeed it did restart.
...No, their enrichment program isn't working very well. And the report today shows they continue to have problems. They're more slowly deploying the advanced centrifuges than Iran had intended. So, the long pole in the tent, the ability to make weapon-grade uranium, is not going so well in Iran.
(COMMENT)

This is the key. I believe you are correct. This is about the fuel and their abilities. And as long as the world thinks they are are the pathway to the fuel, the greater the Iranian bargaining power is at the table.



What we don't know is how much progress has Iran made on weaponization? But the evidence supports that they're not able to build a reliable warhead to put on a ballistic missile, that they didn't finish that work in 2003 and it remains unfinished today."

Now, the report is available to all. I'm sure you've read it-

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran-Report by the Director General 18 November 2011 (http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2011/gov2011-65.pdf) If so, can you explain this-


"...42. The information which serves as the basis for the Agency’s analysis and concerns, as identified in the Annex, is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible. The information comes from a wide variety of independent sources, including from a number of Member States, from the Agency’s own efforts and from information provided by Iran itself. It is consistent in terms of technical content, individuals and organizations involved, and time frames.




The P5+1 know what they have contributed to the Iranian Nuclear Research Program. They also have a pretty good idea of what Iran has acquired from the underground networks. SO! They've put together a "worst case scenario" on where Iran "could be" in the development of a device, if there is a program.


43. The information indicates that Iran has carried out the following activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device:




• Efforts, some successful, to procure nuclear related and dual use equipment and materials by military related individuals and entities (Annex, Sections C.1 and C.2);
• Efforts to develop undeclared pathways for the production of nuclear material (Annex, Section C.3);
• The acquisition of nuclear weapons development information and documentation from a clandestine nuclear supply network (Annex, Section C.4); and
• Work on the development of an indigenous design of a nuclear weapon including the testing of components (Annex, Sections C.5–C.12).



This is analysis in probability. Some of this information is rather old. But we generally think that they have a working design of a weapon, possibly a first generation prototype, that is untested. The computer modeling that I mentioned (supra), and the design work on a detonator would suggest that they are trying to match the design, to a yield, and determine what the mass of the weapons grade material would be at that yield. Then that gives you the requirements on which you base you detonation device around.


44. While some of the activities identified in the Annex have civilian as well as military applications, others are specific to nuclear weapons..."




This is the idea I've just describe to you. It is anomalous research that requires explanation.



In sum, the report and its annex is damning. Your comment suggesting it is very unclear simply cannot be written with any semblance of credibility in light of this report. Simply. Cannot. Be. Written.
(COMMENT)

The report says different things to me, then it obviously does to you. It is a matter of interpretation. Again, my judgment on it being very unclear is the same conclusion that GEN Clapper, The Director of National Intelligence, came to in his testimony on The Hill. I am not saying you are wrong, I'm merely saying we need more information.



I await your dissemblance, obfuscation and/or subterfuge to diminish this report's credibility or, alternatively, concession that Iran is, indeed, up to no good and must be stopped.

I can't imagine you'll admit they're up to no good but should be permitted achievement of their goals anyway. Then again, nothing surprises me any longer.:)

(COMMENT)

I've spent too much time in the Region to trust any of of the players. Again, you might be proven right, later on. Then what is unclear today, may be more clear tomorrow. And if you are right, I will give you that credit and acknowledgement, and you'll have to share with me the source on your crytal ball.

Most Respectfully,
R

Parihaka
30 Jan 12,, 20:05
I did not say anything about nightmares; nor did I over dramatize. I am completely aware that you and people that agree with your argument, like to use that decade old intelligence on how Chemical Weapons were used. What they don't say is that, the US did nothing because Saddam was a US ally at the time. I know that most of the IA's are fully aware that the now famous Halabja (in Iraqi Kurdistan, circa 1988) incident was information that was more than a decade old when it was used as justification in 2002.

So, your moral indignation over the wests failure to curb the Saddam regime earlier aside, you're agreed that said regime used and had the potential to again use WMD's?

RoccoR
30 Jan 12,, 22:41
Parihaka, et al,

With clarification.



So, your moral indignation over the wests failure to curb the Saddam regime earlier aside, you're agreed that said regime used and had the potential to again use WMD's?
(COMMENT)

Hussein Iraq Regime had a history prior to 1991 of using Chemical Weapons in both domestic and foreign entanglements.

Any country, the US included, that has a history of using NBC Weapons, has the potential to use them again.

But I believe it is out of context. Like a legal triangle, there are three aspect angles to the intent of the statement.


Do we use "potential" as a legitimate reason for intervention or retribution?

Do we ignore past indiscretions only to call them up and use them when it is politically expedient?

Do we justify inaccurate charges of today, based on historical evidence of past indiscretions that were not worthy of interdiction at the time?


In context, the commentary was meant to highlight that, at the time, the US was pleading a case that Iraq was an eminent threat to the US and the Region based on intelligence analysis, and a trusted national security decision making process, that Iraq maintained enormous quantities of WMD. And that the US and the Region was in danger of Iraq releasing such weapons either directly or indirectly through surrogates (terrorist).

Today, we know that the intelligence analysis, and a trusted national security decision making process were faulty at the time. That inaccurate and sensationalized claims were made in the scope and magnitude of the threat presented by Iraq, at that time. The nature of my comment was to suggest that we avoid these mistakes in the future and objectively analyze and understand to true nature of the threat (near-term and long-term) that the question of Iran poses.

If the US has to take action, relative to Iran, let us do it for the right reasons --- and not guess work. Let everyone understand the true nature of the threat Iran poses today and the direction it is head with some measure of confidence. Let us not act like some cowboy vigilantes acting emotionally and irrationally on the most scanty of evidence.

Is that so wrong?

Most Respectfully,
R

USSWisconsin
30 Jan 12,, 23:13
The argument against this position is that it's a big OPSEC headache. The more people working on this, the more likely it would leak out and while spreading it around may reduce risk of complete destruction, it also spread its vulnerability everywhere. Destroying just one point will increase production pressure on the other surviving points.

Aside from this, I strongly doubt that Iran has the number of experts necessary to do more than 3 sites. One scientist cannot be at 3 different points in the country at the same time.

Lastly, like Qom, it would be damned hard to hide. You need extensive power requirements and decent security measures, all of which can be seen by cameras in orbit.

Sir, I will acceed to your opinion on this - I don't feel comfortable discussing this in greater depth in an open forum, since it might provide information that could be useful to foreign agencies seeking to accomplish distributed enrichment strategies. It is my opinion that Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons at this time. The articles cited, additional information in the public domain and general facts surrounding the issue support my belief.

Technology is very different today than it was even 20 yrs ago - and many people are using even older information to make arguments about how hard it is for a well funded nation to do this - a 1964 study (mentioned earlier in this thread) has little relavence today with regard to the challenges that have been substantially reduced with current technology and political changes that have occured - including some unfortunate lapses in the control of nuclear materials - in 1964 two physicists were able to design a bomb - but were unable to secure fissile fuel for it -today many things are different.

RoccoR
30 Jan 12,, 23:22
Parihaka;

Post Script: We "WE" are in our understanding.



Leon Edward Panetta, United States Secretary of Defense, said that Iran is not making nukes:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdiGahJItOA&

"To make them understand that they cannot continue to do what they’re doing. Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability, and that’s what concerns us. And our red line to Iran is, do not develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us."

SOURCE: Panetta admits Iran not developing nukes | The Raw Story (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/01/09/panetta-admits-iran-not-developing-nukes/)

This is about understanding were our (US exclusive) RED Line is (today).

Most Respectfully,
R

USSWisconsin
30 Jan 12,, 23:46
That video seems to say nothing at all - nuclear weapon no, nuclear capability yes --- :confu::confused::Zzzzzz:

The thing the Iranians appear to be doing is developing a capacity to produce fissile material. Chances are that they already have a bomb - and they are quite likely to have some fuel for it - but a bomb or two is not a nuclear arsenal, or even a deterrant. It is really more of a liability.

To build a credible nuclear stockpile (40 or 50 warheads) - they need to have the means to produce the fuel, and they need to have tested a device. They can probably get by without a test for quite a while (if they used a gun type device - they might not even need a test), but the means to produce fissile fuel (HEU) is what they are working on now.

Parihaka
31 Jan 12,, 00:09
RoccoR

Do we use "potential" as a legitimate reason for intervention or retribution?
Yes.

Do we ignore past indiscretions only to call them up and use them when it is politically expedient?
We didn't ignore past indiscretions, we used them as evidence of potential indiscretions

Do we justify inaccurate charges of today, based on historical evidence of past indiscretions
Yes as they were concrete evidence of potential

that were not worthy of interdiction at the time?
Simply because the time line didn't suit you does not justify not taking action.


If the US has to take action, relative to Iran, let us do it for the right reasons --- and not guess work.
What are the right reasons?

RoccoR
31 Jan 12,, 01:03
USSWisconsin, et al,

Yes, you are probably right on the money, on your assessment. The video, the SECDEF and former CIA Director, is saying that there is a deference between having a weapon and being able to produce a weapon. There are a number of countries that have the technical capacity to produce a weapon in short order; but, have no inclination.



That video seems to say nothing at all - nuclear weapon no, nuclear capability yes --- :confu::confused::Zzzzzz:

The thing the Iranians appear to be doing is developing a capacity to produce fissile material. Chances are that they already have a bomb - and they are quite likely to have some fuel for it - but a bomb or two is not a nuclear arsenal, or even a deterrant. It is really more of a liability.

To build a credible nuclear stockpile (40 or 50 warheads) - they need to have the means to produce the fuel, and they need to have tested a device. They can probably get by without a test for quite a while (if they used a gun type device - they might not even need a test), but the means to produce fissile fuel (HEU) is what they are working on now.
(COMMENT)

The device itself is a precision Machine Shop Project. It is not the important piece; and, until they are ready for testing, we probably will not see it.

But the creation of the fuel, as you point-out, is now the critical piece. And we can detect that in a number of different ways. Right now, they don't have the capacity to enrich the material to the desired purity level, suitable for a weapon. They are about 75% short of that ability.

Most Respectfully,
R

RoccoR
31 Jan 12,, 01:31
Parihaka, et al,

I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

There are many countries that have the potential to build a weapon, and the potential to enrich uranium.

What makes America different is our stead-fast belief in "The Rule of Law." I follow that belief.



I don't think America should take action on the possibility that there are latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness. (Potential)


I tend to think America should have the facts or evidence that would make a reasonable person believe that a crime or wrong doing has been, is being, or will be committed. (Cause for Action)


I am but one man, and one opinion.

I don't think that we should wait ten years if the "cause for action" is happening now. As anyone knows, you don't correct the dog for something they did an hour ago while you where watching. You take corrective action on the spot, not a decade later.

Again, just my opinion and where I stand.

Most Respectfully,
R

Parihaka
31 Jan 12,, 02:01
Parihaka,

There are many countries that have the potential to build a weapon, and the potential to enrich uranium.
Indeed there are, only two however have shown indication that they are doing so.


What makes America different is our stead-fast belief in "The Rule of Law." I follow that belief.
Good for you, perhaps you should point me in the direction of the particular law you are referring to.





I don't think America should take action on the possibility that there are latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness. (Potential)

I tend to think America should have the facts or evidence that would make a reasonable person believe that a crime or wrong doing has been, is being, or will be committed. (Cause for Action)
No, evidence that would make the IAEA believe.

To re-quote S2's post


Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran-Report by the Director General 18 November 2011[/COLOR] (http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2011/gov2011-65.pdf) If so, can you explain this-

"...42. The information which serves as the basis for the Agency’s analysis and concerns, as identified in the Annex, is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible. The information comes from a wide variety of independent sources, including from a number of Member States, from the Agency’s own efforts and from information provided by Iran itself. It is consistent in terms of technical content, individuals and organizations involved, and time frames.

43. The information indicates that Iran has carried out the following activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device:
• Efforts, some successful, to procure nuclear related and dual use equipment and materials by military related individuals and entities (Annex, Sections C.1 and C.2);
• Efforts to develop undeclared pathways for the production of nuclear material (Annex, Section C.3);
• The acquisition of nuclear weapons development information and documentation from a clandestine nuclear supply network (Annex, Section C.4); and
• Work on the development of an indigenous design of a nuclear weapon including the testing of components (Annex, Sections C.5–C.12).

44. While some of the activities identified in the Annex have civilian as well as military applications, others are specific to nuclear weapons..."



I'll regard the IAEA as the qualified authority thanks, not some non-specific 'reasonable person'.


I don't think that we should wait ten years if the "cause for action" is happening now. As anyone knows, you don't correct the dog for something they did an hour ago while you where watching. You take corrective action on the spot, not a decade later.

Has it occurred to you that punitive actions against nation states are rather more complex than training a dog?
I am however interested in your opinion that Iraq should have been immediately invaded and the Saddam regime toppled after they first used WMD.

Can you give me your justifications for this?

RoccoR
31 Jan 12,, 05:05
Parihaka, et al,

You are a tough audience. Don't mistake me for someone trying to defend Iran. For, as I have said before, I am not.



Indeed there are, only two however have shown indication that they are doing so.

(COMMENT)

How can that be, there are Five nuclear-weapon states under the NPT?



Good for you, perhaps you should point me in the direction of the particular law you are referring to.

(COMMENT)

I think I said "The Rule of Law;" and not a law. Two points.


Probable Cause vs Possible Cause

The Additional Protocols are not in force. From the IAEA Report:
"Iran’s Additional Protocol was approved by the Board on 21 November 2003 and signed by Iran on 18 December 2003, although it has not been brought into force. Iran provisionally implemented its Additional Protocol between December 2003 and February 2006."






No, evidence that would make the IAEA believe.

(COMMENT)

The IAEA is probably as fair a Compliance Oriented Inspection Activity there ever was. No organization is perfect. But the IAEA has done much to be proud of and seldom sensationalize their findings.



To re-quote S2's post

(COMMENT)

Paragraphs 43 and 44 of Section G are famous and often quoted. I have mentioned the material findings in substance, several times myself.


Bullet #1 refers to "Dual Use" which is neither in violation of the NPT or the Additional Protocols.

Bullet #2 This bullet also refers to the Iranian Enrichment upgrade to above 20%. But while this is technically HEU, it is no where near what is necessary for a weapons system and has civilian applications. I've discussed this in detail.

Bullet #3 Refers to the Scavenger Hunt (IRGC-QF and MOIS) that I discussed in Post #37. It is suspicious, but not unusual for intelligence activities. What makes it a concern is that it appears to be the equivalent of what the US would call: A Priority Collection Requirement.

Bullet #4 I've discussed this. It is the only bullet point really worth mentioning. This refers to the computer modeling, implosion simulations and the R&D into the detonation devices. CLEARLY, this is suspicious activity. But it is in the R&D realm. It bares further evaluation and explanation.


Paragraph 44, actually is a amplification of Bullet #4 in Paragraph 43. Obviously, the modeling of a implosion type detonation devices sounds ominously like a military application; without a civilian application.



I'll regard the IAEA as the qualified authority thanks, not some non-specific 'reasonable person'.

(COMMENT)

In "The Rule of Law," there is the requirement for competency. Oddly enough, I consider the IAEA a competent authority under the reasonable man concept.



Has it occurred to you that punitive actions against nation states are rather more complex than training a dog?

(COMMENT)

Why - YES.

But I also look at measures (like sanctions) designed to motivate the Iran to be more cooperative. But Iran is also a sovereign nation. And while US military action has been extremely effective against its military opponents in the region, our foreign policy, over the last half century has had only marginal successes.



"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."



I am however interested in your opinion that Iraq should have been immediately invaded and the Saddam regime toppled after they first used WMD.

Can you give me your justifications for this?

(COMMENT)

This is a misinterpretation of what I said, and the context (probably my fault).

Behavior modification and justification for military action are two different, but competing ideas in foreign policy. The use of WMD by Iraq in the late 1980's was not really challenged by the US. It is odd that the US should use it as justification for war a decade after Iraq collapsed it various NBC project and then disbanded them. It is an anomaly.

I am generally opposed to the US intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. I am but one man - who's opinion here is in the minority. But I believe that military intervention by US Forces should only be undertaken when the national security of the US is in peril. In a belief that the White House was right in its assessment, I believed Iraq was a national security threat. I don't believe that now - but it is water over the bridge.


"Don't start a fight, but if someone hits you, defend yourself."
"Never Start A Fight... But Always Finish It."

I'm not quite sure who said these words, but they were passed on to me by my parents. I think nations should consider them more closely.

Most Respectfully,
R

S2
31 Jan 12,, 05:17
"(Note: I did not say this. This is not from my posting. RRR)"

Indeed you did not. It's only fair for me to acknowledge. OTOH, you've made very similar comments to me in the past, however, regarding Iraq's proclivities towards violence. No "...dogs of war...", however. Sheer dramatic license on my part.:rolleyes:

"I am completely aware that you and people that agree with your argument, like to use that decade old intelligence on how Chemical Weapons were used..."

It is a fact regarding the use of such. However old is irrelevant. CW weapons were again used against the shias in the months immediately following DESERT STORM.

"...I know that most of the IA's are fully aware that the now famous Halabja (in Iraqi Kurdistan, circa 1988) incident was information that was more than a decade old when it was used as justification in 2002..."

What IS relevant is that same leadership council prevailed inside Iraq in February 2003. THAT, sir, is the continuing thread from 1988 to 2003 that bears relevance but remains unacknowledged by those who'd prefer to see Halabja and the Iran war as some sort of "one-off" aberration of an otherwise rational Iraqi leadership.

"...What they don't say is that, the US did nothing because Saddam was a US ally at the time..."

Silly. Were they to do so then they'd (by inference also myself) would be lying. Iraq wasn't an ally of America.

The March 16, 1988 attack on Halabja occurred in the midst of a cold war. Iraq was most certainly an ally... of our enemy- the Soviet Union. It is the Soviet Union, afterall, who provided Iraq with the integrated air defense network dismantled three years later by the coalition forces during Desert Storm. Those Republican Guard T-72s and BMPs didn't come from any NATO arsenal. Neither did those MiG-29 Fulcrums flown to the land of their erstwhile enemy, Iran.

"...I've spent too much time in the Region to trust any of of the players..."

Then a sage, wily and wizened observer such as yourself should know better. It remains more than a little presumptuous to automatically conclude Iraq had been America's busom buddy by virtue of its war upon Iran. Not so. Certainly the crew of the U.S.S. Stark, almost EXACTLY one year prior to Halabja, carried no such illusions.

"...I do know what the IC (Director David Kay, Iraq Survey Group) said on the matter. It is a matter of record. I am also aware of what LTG Odom said on the matter..."

As I'm aware of the words of Charles Duelfer in his transmittal message introducing the DCI Special Advisor's Report On Iraq's WMD-

"...From the evidence available through the actions and statements of a range of Iraqis, it seems clear that the guiding theme for WMD was to sustain the intellectual capacity achieved over so many years at such a great cost and to be in a position to produce again with as short a lead time as possible—within the vital constraint that no action should threaten the prime objective of ending international sanctions and constraints.

Saddam continued to see the utility of WMD. He explained that he purposely gave an ambiguous impression about possession as a deterrent to Iran. He gave explicit direction to maintain the intellectual capabilities. As UN sanctions eroded there was a concomitant expansion of activities that could support full WMD reactivation. He directed that ballistic missile work continue that would support long-range missile development. Virtually no senior Iraq; believed that Saddam had forsaken WMD forever. Evidence suggests that, as resources became available and the constraints of sanctions decayed, there was a direct expansion of activity that would have the effect of supporting future WMD reconstitution..."

Instead of counting heads, you settled for counting warheads.

Comprehensive Report Of The Special Advisor To The DCI On Iraq's WMD-September 2004 (https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/index.html)

DESERT STORM concluded in late March 1991. We didn't invade until late February 2003. Twelve years. I find the report very worthy reading and a clear reminder of a practiced Iraqi apparatus of deceit against which we ineffectually wallowed. I rue walking this ground again. OTOH, I fully appreciate the gravity of the threat posed by Iran accomplishing that which eluded Iraq.

You should too.

Doktor
31 Jan 12,, 05:31
RoccoR,

You think Iran is bargaining? I'd say they are playing poker and bluffing big time. The way they are playing their next bet will be "all in".

Then what?

With the losses they suffer from the sanctions they could have bought several TN electrical plants, plus a dozen rafineries for their oil and finished medical program. After all, this is what they publicly say they want.

Hoping to be a hegemon in the Gulf is like me hoping to buy a new Ferrari Enzo.

S2
31 Jan 12,, 05:43
"I'd say they are playing poker and bluffing big time. The way they are playing their next bet will be "all in".

Then what?"
Not fair! I already said they were holding a pair of deuces.:Dancing-Banana:

"...Hoping to be a hegemon in the Gulf is like me hoping to buy a new Ferrari Enzo."

I like your odds. We'll chill. Bomb over to Milan. Rock out. Chase chicks.

Chicks will chase US!!!

It's all good...:cool:

Parihaka
31 Jan 12,, 17:25
How can that be, there are Five nuclear-weapon states under the NPT?
As I'm sure you are aware, context is everything and we are discussing the development of nuclear capabilities outside or in contravention of the NPT. If however you wish to continue requiring the obvious to be stated, I'm happy to respond in kind.



I think I said "The Rule of Law;" and not a law.
What you said was "What makes America different is our stead-fast belief in "The Rule of Law." I follow that belief." For both America and yourself to be proven different than the rest of us, it would really help if you defined which law or set of laws provide the rule which define your nations and your personal exceptionalism.


Bullet #4 I've discussed this. It is the only bullet point really worth mentioning. This refers to the computer modeling, implosion simulations and the R&D into the detonation devices. CLEARLY, this is suspicious activity. But it is in the R&D realm. It bares further evaluation and explanation.Activity specific to the development of nuclear weapons, yes. Directly contrary to Irans obligations under the NPT.




In "The Rule of Law," there is the requirement for competency. There it is again. I really would prefer that you at least define which or what part of 'the rule of law' you are referring to, specifically how this concept is applicable to the subject material.




Why - YES.
Good, then why do you insist any punitive measures against Iraqs use of WMD had to be immediate?

RoccoR
31 Jan 12,, 18:44
Parihaka, et al,


I do apologize. It seems I misread part of the exchange and inferred something that was not implied.



As I'm sure you are aware, context is everything and we are discussing the development of nuclear capabilities outside or in contravention of the NPT. If however you wish to continue requiring the obvious to be stated, I'm happy to respond in kind.
(COMMENT)

My mistake.

I see that you are referring to Executive Orders 13094 and the more inclusive EO 13382 (http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/135435.pdf )the Iran Sanctions | D.P.R.K. Sanctions | Syria Sanctions | A.Q. Khan Sanctions.


Iran
North Korea
Syria
Pakistan


Lybia, which would have made Number Five was stricken from the list. The Iran-Syria-North Korea Non-Proliferation Act further eliminates Pakistan for reasons which open an entirely different can of worms. That is now down to three.


Iran (Additional Protocols not in force.)
North Korea (An Agreed Framework state, beyond the NPT.)

On January 10, 2003, North Korea withdrew from the NPT and Safeguards Agreement are no longer binding.
Syria (NPT in force. Problems!)




What you said was "What makes America different is our stead-fast belief in "The Rule of Law." I follow that belief." For both America and yourself to be proven different than the rest of us, it would really help if you defined which law or set of laws provide the rule which define your nations and your personal exceptionalism.
(COMMENT)

That is a tall order. I will have to defer you to a couple of sources:


LexisNexis: Rule of Law Rule of Law | LexisNexis (http://www.lexisnexis.com/en-us/about-us/rule-of-law.page)

American Bar Assoc: RoL Initiative ABA Rule of Law Initiative - Opportunities Home (http://apps.americanbar.org/rol/opportunities/opportunities-home.shtml)





Activity specific to the development of nuclear weapons, yes. Directly contrary to Irans obligations under the NPT.
(COMMENT)

Remember the NPT is voluntary. Iran can withdraw from it at any time. I have noticed that many people believe the NPT is an absolute. It is not by any means.




Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other Parties to the Treaty and to the United Nations Security Council three months in advance. Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events it regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.

Like I said in several previous posting, Iran is a sovereign nation.



There it is again. I really would prefer that you at least define which or what part of 'the rule of law' you are referring to, specifically how this concept is applicable to the subject material.
(COMMENT)

I've used it in two context:


No written law may be enforced unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice that transcend human legal systems.

The RoL requires the exercise of power in accordance with well-established and clearly written rules, regulations, and legal principles. A distinction is sometimes drawn between power, will, and force, on the one hand, and law, on the other.

There are a couple of links I've suggest, supra. But in general, I've used the RoL principles in these two context.



Good, then why do you insist any punitive measures against Iraqs use of WMD had to be immediate?
(COMMENT)

Again, this is a time and blackmail issue. It is not good diplomacy to indefinitely hold previous indiscretions over the head of a nation, under threat of war and invasion. Second, the US is not the "World Police." It is not even a signatory (withdrawn) of the Rome Status of the International Criminal Court where Human Rights and War Crimes are defined. How does the US even have standing?

This is simply another discussion, probably not of interest to the members.

Most Respectfully,
R

RoccoR
31 Jan 12,, 19:04
Doktor, et al,

Yes, interesting analogy.



You think Iran is bargaining? I'd say they are playing poker and bluffing big time. The way they are playing their next bet will be "all in".

Then what?
(COMMENT)

No one of the parties wants to go to war over this issue. Iran has several big chips (or cards if you will) to play at the barganing table.

What is "all-in" really mean. Suppose that Iran chooses to withdraw from the NPT. What standing does the US or the UN have? Nothing is then binding on it.



With the losses they suffer from the sanctions they could have bought several TN electrical plants, plus a dozen rafineries for their oil and finished medical program. After all, this is what they publicly say they want.

Hoping to be a hegemon in the Gulf is like me hoping to buy a new Ferrari Enzo.
(COMMENT)

The sanctions "may" not have the impact that the US desires.



India has joined China in saying it will not cut back on oil imports from Iran, despite stiff new U.S. and European sanctions designed to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program.

SOURCE:

India defies sanctions, won't cut Iran oil imports
By Erika Kinetz
AP Business Writer / January 31, 2012
India defies sanctions, won't cut Iran oil imports - Boston.com (http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2012/01/31/india_defies_sanctions_wont_cut_iran_oil_imports/)


The two largest emerging markets on the planet; China and India. And they can hold-off the sanctions.

A true Super Power has both military and economic strength that it uses to be persuasive in the world. The US, because it has consistently lost tax revenue from an eroding middle class economy, can no longer exercise that measure of strength is had, prior to the Afghanistan and Iraq ventures. It will not be able to maintain its standing force or replenish loses. It has an ever dwindling industrial capacity.

No, Iran has a few cards to play yet. It is by no means a "slam dunk." It may not have the military force to achieve its ends like the US has had in the past, but it has oil. And with the backing of India and China, it can holds it breath longer than the US.

Most Respectfully,
R

Doktor
31 Jan 12,, 19:51
Doktor, et al,

Yes, interesting analogy.



(COMMENT)

No one of the parties wants to go to war over this issue.
Over what issue? On the one side you have P5 holding NPT dear (as the only way to prevent worldwide nuclear arms race) + Israel who will have to learn to live with nuclear neighbor (who more then once said Israel should be erased off the map), on the other side is Iran, more isolated with each day.


Iran has several big chips (or cards if you will) to play at the barganing table.
In my view the one with better cards is the USA and her allies. They are the biggest shareholders of the casino, after all, and the house never losses ;)


What is "all-in" really mean. Suppose that Iran chooses to withdraw from the NPT. What standing does the US or the UN have? Nothing is then binding on it.
I really don't know, you tell me.




(COMMENT)

The sanctions "may" not have the impact that the US desires.



Iranian currency devalues, the buyers for Iranian products are blocked and will find new suppliers, the regime can travel to 10 destinations outside Iran, in a while they wont be of any significance as a partner to anyone. Hardly the sanctions are not working.


The two largest emerging markets on the planet; China and India. And they can hold-off the sanctions.
They can while they have interest in doing it. At the moment, being one of the few buyers of Iranian oil, they are in a position to dictate the price of that oil. With no legal ways for paying it, they will make barter arrangements selling/building something to Iran, lowering the price of that oil even more.

We wont see lot of planes full with cash or gold with fly to Tehran each week.


A true Super Power has both military and economic strength that it uses to be persuasive in the world. The US, because it has consistently lost tax revenue from an eroding middle class economy, can no longer exercise that measure of strength is had, prior to the Afghanistan and Iraq ventures. It will not be able to maintain its standing force or replenish loses. It has an ever dwindling industrial capacity.
Yet they are still #1 economy in the world and biggest market for Chinese products. China will lose more if that market closes.


No, Iran has a few cards to play yet. It is by no means a "slam dunk." It may not have the military force to achieve its ends like the US has had in the past, but it has oil. And with the backing of India and China, it can holds it breath longer than the US.

Most Respectfully,
R
We live in interesting times, I just hope it wont get too interesting:cool:

Double Edge
31 Jan 12,, 19:53
Double speak from Double Edge?
Don't know how to do doublespeak S-2, do not like double speak, prefer to be straight to the point :)


"Not sure if damning is the right term. Maybe casting aspersions, raising suspicions or insinuating.

Before, you had suspicions, after the nov IAEA report you have some substance to back up those suspicions..."

Please consider CAREFULLY what you have written. Yes, we had serious suspicions prior to November 2011.
I have


The information since gathered for this report is credible in the eyes of the IAEA. That information for this report indicates hidden pathways towards enrichment; efforts by MILITARY personnel and their organizations to acquire nuclear-related equipment and components; design work on an indigenously-developed nuclear weapon design-to include components testing; and the acquisition of nuclear weapons design information from a clandestine network of suppliers.
Agree


"...Very subtle..."

Oh bullshit. There's nothing about "hidden" and "clandestine" suggesting subtlety to the IAEA's indictment. It's forthright and DAMNING.

...Maybe the current meeting of the IAEA officials in Iran might clarify more."

:bang:
A smoking gun would be damning. There isn't one yet. Something we already agreed to when the IAEA report came out in Nov.

I refer you to my previous post to what the IAEA chief himself said.


Interview: Focus of Iran visit is on "possible military dimension": IAEA chief | Xinhua | Jan 29 2012 (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/29/c_131380126.htm)


In answer to questions about some ambiguities over the report, the IAEA chief said, "It (the report) does not say Iran has nuclear weapons. It does not say that Iran has decided to develop nuclear weapons."

"However, the report says that we have the information that indicates that Iran has engaged in activities linked with the development of nuclear explosive devices. Therefore, we have required Iran to clarify these issues," he said.

To put it another way, just so its clear how subtle this business is. I believe neither of the below two statements is true

- Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons
- Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.

Objectively speaking we are in between those two statements, wth good reason and I believe thats been the dominant position on the board since 2009 when the clandestine plant Frodo, near Qom was discovered.

Double Edge
31 Jan 12,, 21:42
The two largest emerging markets on the planet; China and India. And they can hold-off the sanctions.
Question is how long for ?


"It's a blow," said David Hartwell, senior Middle East analyst at IHS Jane's, adding that Iran may have discounted prices to keep the Chinese and Indians on their side. "If you have two major countries like India and China saying they will not abide by the sanctions, that's going to keep a vital line open for the Iranians to continue to sidestep the sanctions and get foreign capital."

He said India and China could just be trying to buy time to diversify their oil supplies and may steer away from Iran, especially if Saudi Arabia -- India's largest source of oil imports -- were to ramp up production and offer an attractively priced alternative.
My feeling is the bolded bit is the probable reason.

It was always going to be a challenge to find a replacement. But if successful then do not see any reason for these two not to comply. And then the rest of Asia will follow.

Bear in mind the EU sanctions only come into effect from July 1 2012

RoccoR
31 Jan 12,, 22:28
Double Edge, et al,

As I said, Iran could opt to withdraw from the Treaty. This would get it out from under the Compliance requirements. They would essentially be free, as a sovereign nation, to pursue any line of technological endeavor they deemed in their best interest.



Question is how long for ?

(COMMENT)

Well, the theory that the Saudi's could under cut the Iranians and still make a profit is possible; but with consequences.

Any losses the Saudi's encumbered would be passed-on to other customers to, at the very least, to the break-even point.




It was always going to be a challenge to find a replacement. But if successful then do not see any reason for these two not to comply. And then the rest of Asia will follow.

Bear in mind the EU sanctions only come into effect from July 1 2012.
(COMMENT)

There are two very likely consequences falling-out of the sanctions. Almost immediately:


China and India will enjoy lower fuel costs which will have a favorable impact on their economies. The sanctions work for them, in their favor. They are happy about it. If China didn't want the sanctions, the could have VETO'd the measure at the Security Council. But that VETO would have been counterproductive to their goal; lower fuel prices.


NOTE: The Chinese are, indeed, inscrutable. They are a key player in the Six-Party Talks with North Korea, who has on occasion, provided Iran with proscribe technology.

With the sanctions, the supply of oil will be diminished and the cost will have a corresponding rise; adversely impacting the American consumer.


This is just the first of a series of costs associated with the US trying to enforce the NPT and playing the part of "World Police."

Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
31 Jan 12,, 22:48
Double Edge, et al,

As I said, Iran could opt to withdraw from the Treaty. This would get it out from under the Compliance requirements. They would essentially be free, as a sovereign nation, to pursue any line of technological endeavor they deemed in their best interest.
If they do that Iran will be in a worse position than prior. It would be a bad move and provide an additional indicator as to their intent. And intent is very crucial here.

Already today they face that problem to then compound it for no gain seems odd to me.





(COMMENT)

Well, the theory that the Saudi's could under cut the Iranians and still make a profit is possible; but with consequences.

Any losses the Saudi's encumbered would be passed-on to other customers to, at the very least, to the break-even point.
I think the deal the Saudi's offered China & India isn't sweet enough to bite. There is time for more haggling.





(COMMENT)

There are two very likely consequences falling-out of the sanctions. Almost immediately:


China and India will enjoy lower fuel costs which will have a favorable impact on their economies. The sanctions work for them, in their favor. They are happy about it. If China didn't want the sanctions, the could have VETO'd the measure at the Security Council. But that VETO would have been counterproductive to their goal; lower fuel prices.


NOTE: The Chinese are, indeed, inscrutable. They are a key player in the Six-Party Talks with North Korea, who has on occasion, provided Iran with proscribe technology.

With the sanctions, the supply of oil will be diminished and the cost will have a corresponding rise; adversely impacting the American consumer.


This is just the first of a series of costs associated with the US trying to enforce the NPT and playing the part of "World Police."

Most Respectfully,
R
There will be rising cost for everybody when supply is reduced. Everybody will have to bear it. This willingness should it occur will send a signal to Iran as to the worlds opinion about their current path.

Double Edge
01 Feb 12,, 13:33
Another school of thought


When Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is closely aligned with Netanyahu's Likud Party, pushed the idea of sanctions against any financial institution that did business with Iran's Central Bank, the aim was to make it impossible for countries that import Iranian crude to continue to be able to make payments for the oil.

Dubowitz wanted virtually every country importing Iranian crude except China and India to cut off their imports. He argued that reducing the number of buyers to mainly China and India would not result in a rise in the price of oil, because Iran would have to offer discounted prices to the remaining buyers.

Global oil analysts warned, however, that such a sanctions regime could not avoid creating a spike in oil prices.
Obama Seeks to Distance U.S. from Israeli Attack | IPS | Jan 03 2012 (http://ipsnews.net/print.asp?idnews=106361)

This implies China & India have already negotiated exemptions from the sanctions. This brings into question whether Japan & Korea will also likewise ask to be exempted.


The result is likely to be a sanctions regime that reduces Iranian exports only marginally - not the "crippling sanctions" demanded by Netanyahu and Barak. Any hike in oil prices generated by sanctions against Iran's oil sector, moreover, would only hurt Obama's re- election chances. .

Of course the big problem with exemptions is what happens to the exempted countries if war breaks out. They will be scrambling and causing even more upset in the oil markets. It would be rather risky for countries to follow this path.

So how can exemptions make sense at all in this case ?

only if there is no war ;)

Double Edge
01 Feb 12,, 23:12
You think Iran is bargaining? I'd say they are playing poker and bluffing big time.

Whether or not Iran has a CNWDI Program, or not, is not the issue. It is Iran's single gold bargaining chip. It is all about what Iran will give-up, in turn, for what it wants.
Both of these are the same.

The suggestion is that Iran's nuclear charade is a means to an end.

Maybe they just want to get out of the doghouse they put themselves in since Khomeni got into office.

What is that end ? What does Iran want ?


Iran wants to be the dominate power in the Persian Gulf. They want to be the voice of Islam - the voice of Power, the Republic that made good - commanding the respect of every nation enjoined to pay homage. They want to be the hegemony. This is what they want. Give them this and they will dispense with any Program. But "uncertainty" of where they are and what they are doing plays a key role in this.
How do we give them this ? is it something to give or rather something Iran has to achieve on their own.

Why doesn't Iran just become a more powerful economy and improve the lot of their people. This will give them much more respect than any nukes ever will. All nukes do is help them defend themselves, there is no power projection with them at all. That will be down to how superior their forces are in relation to those in the neighbourhood. No nukes required. That Iran would want nukes appears somewhat spurious in light of this aim. It has to be no more than a bargaining chip.

For what ? can anybody give them what they want.

Their current path is one that leads to almost complete economic & political isolation. And this for a country that is blessed with loads of oil & gas.

RoccoR
02 Feb 12,, 22:58
Double Edge, et al,


“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.”

_________ Winston Churchill

Just one man's thought.







Iran wants to be the dominate power in the Persian Gulf. They want to be the voice of Islam - the voice of Power, the Republic that made good - commanding the respect of every nation enjoined to pay homage. They want to be the hegemony. This is what they want. Give them this and they will dispense with any Program. But "uncertainty" of where they are and what they are doing plays a key role in this. The UNSC and the IAEA want the additional protocols for inspections simply because they don't know.


How do we give them this ? is it something to give or rather something Iran has to achieve on their own.

... (CUT) ...

For what ? can anybody give them what they want.

Their current path is one that leads to almost complete economic & political isolation. And this for a country that is blessed with loads of oil & gas.

(COMMENT)

It has been said in Persian Philosophy, that Muhammad was the first Great General and that Islam is the only religion founded by a military leader.

There are some that have tried to convince me that the word "Jihad," corrected translated, means something on the order of --- "personal struggle." I really doubt that Muhammad was thinking along those lines when he initiated raids on caravans, or began the campaign of sieges of cities and towns during his rise to power. It is often said that other religion has been instigated by these means. Those that are a student of the teachings of Muhammad and want to emulate his practices (like Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) -- accept that Muhammad was a great strategist --- a strategic thinker on the first order, and that every action had a calculated purpose. Muhammad's use of guerrilla war, the practice of successive ambush and raid, make him one of the first leaders that rose to power almost entirely through insurgent tactics.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, is a faithful follower; and believes that lying is permissible in order to deceive an "enemy."



Americans are the great Satan, the wounded snake.

SOURCE
Americans are the great Satan... at BrainyQuote (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/ayatollahk115017.html#ixzz1lGX7toFB)

In deed, it may not be possible to give them what they want. But it may be possible to shift the focus of hegemony to the confines of the Persian Gulf and let their fellow Islamic states appropriately deal with them.



Why doesn't Iran just become a more powerful economy and improve the lot of their people. This will give them much more respect than any nukes ever will. All nukes do is help them defend themselves, there is no power projection with them at all. That will be down to how superior their forces are in relation to those in the neighbourhood. No nukes required. That Iran would want nukes appears somewhat spurious in light of this aim. It has to be no more than a bargaining chip.

(COMMENT)

Like American Leaders, the Supreme Leader, the commonality is in believing one has a higher calling, transcending the destiny of the mere plebeian and rabble. It is not about the people - but the destiny of the culture.

The nuclear issue is a tool in politics. But it is also, to some, an argument on the "right to chose their own destiny;" and not being submissive to an external power of infidels.

This is were America comes to a decision point.

Last weak, like children sometimes do in a playground, they take the toe of their shoe and draw a line in the sand. Then they boastfully declare (with their most Interesting Man in the World Game Face)!!! Cross that line! Clearly implying that something of consequence will happen if they do. The SECDEF's (Leon Panetta) declaration that "Iranian nukes and closing the strait as a "red line" for the U.S."

We artificially limit the number of options we have. Now is the time to formulate a strategy.

If the Iranian do what I did as a kid, they will not hesitate. They will cross the line and let the US make the provocative move.

I refer you to the first quote, supra - by: Winston Churchill

Most Respectfully,
R

Mihais
02 Feb 12,, 23:49
Sir,decision makers aren't the always the greatest minds of all,so they might indeed cross the line.And your chaps might indeed do something deadly stupid to your well being as a superpower.Such as starting a fight without intending to finish it by all means.

I agree with you that regional hegemony is what Iran wants.That an Ayatollah happens to be in charge is not relevant for this task.A Shah-in-Shah or a president would do the same. They also deserve it more than the worthless Arab regimes and unless a foreign power steps in,they will eventually get what they want.Putting much faith in the Arabs and leading from behind won't suffice.Unless your purpose is to be injured and insulted in the same time.
That fundamentally leads to 3 possible outcomes: 1.mobilize your nation's resources and fight to destroy Persia 2.give up the hegemony of the ME to the Mullahs 3.strike a deal with the Persian nationalists-offer them support to overthrow the Mullahs and the hegemony of the Gulf. Option 3 would serve everyone best.

USSWisconsin
03 Feb 12,, 00:31
Nuclear weapons simulations (and the hardware to run them) were a big secret in the early 90's (and earlier). Computational power to run them came from very expensive supercomputers. It took a big SC installation to host any of the useful sims. Then computer power became cheap - midrange servers started to reach the levels of performance required to run these simms. They still needed to be clustered to get up to the teraflop levels needed. But now the whole computer can fit in one chassis.

In the late 90's SGI sold Kazakstan some of these computers - they had purchased Cray Research a year or so earlier and used technology from Cray to cluster their large "Origin" midrange systems and achieve that level of performance. I was working a Cray during this period. The US gov't was extremely upset - all the defense contractors pulled their offices from my building. The whole place went to hell in a handbasket.

SGI didn't sell any specific nuclear simulation software - but selling the necessary hardware to a country that was not part of the "club" was enough to get technology licenses revoked and contracts cancelled. SGI did quite a few seemingly foolish things - some of them were very generous and nice for the employees.

Today the level of computational power needed can be purchased for <50,000$ - probably much less. Teraflops of processing power is common now, even in a high end desktop workstation. The only nuclear simm secrets left are the foundational physics data and software. Software could be written by talented programmers - who are available all over, but the data needs to come from experiements and nuclear tests. So if a country that did extensive weapons tests makes data available (like the USSR/Russia, France, or perhaps China) most countries could use simulations to design modern nuclear weapons. Some of the data doesn't come from explosive tests, it comes from materials studies - a country like Iran could probably gather the same data from their own research - but test results from succcessful explosions are also needed for calibration.

A point that needs to be made is that building nukes today will not require anything like the Manhattan project. Access to good data and nuclear materials are the primary obstacles facing countries seeking to build nuclear weapons. Both of these articles could theoretically be purchased by illegal means. Caveat emptor.

It appears to me that cleverly falsified data has been used to frustrate Iran's nuclear efforts, probably NK's too.

Double Edge
03 Feb 12,, 01:34
There are some that have tried to convince me that the word "Jihad," corrected translated, means something on the order of --- "personal struggle."
That is the common interpretation on the individual level.


I really doubt that Muhammad was thinking along those lines when he initiated raids on caravans, or began the campaign of sieges of cities and towns during his rise to power. It is often said that other religion has been instigated by these means. Those that are a student of the teachings of Muhammad and want to emulate his practices (like Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) -- accept that Muhammad was a great strategist --- a strategic thinker on the first order, and that every action had a calculated purpose. Muhammad's use of guerrilla war, the practice of successive ambush and raid, make him one of the first leaders that rose to power almost entirely through insurgent tactics.
That's talking about a community now. Its a different context and if its a community thats either under threat or one that wants to aggrressively expand then the thinking will be different. So the interpretation of jihad is dependent on the context.


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, is a faithful follower; and believes that lying is permissible in order to deceive an "enemy."
He certainly isn't the first nor will he be the last.

So what is the Iranian endgame here ?

Because it looks like to me the whole play was designed & scripted by Iran. The west & Israel are the supporting actors, thier role is just to react and nothing more. The main protaganist (hero?) is Iran.

Israel & the west make the right sounds creating tension and suspense at various points in the play. The Iranians respond by grandstanding, its all good fun.

The Iranians craft for themselves a series of assault courses they must finish to prove themselves, to their neighbours and the wider world. They must jump through hoops and in doing so the protagonist expects to win. To come out looking better than when they began. This play isn't supposed to be a tragedy its about looking good. Its a well crafted power play.


In deed, it may not be possible to give them what they want. But it may be possible to shift the focus of hegemony to the confines of the Persian Gulf and let their fellow Islamic states appropriately deal with them.
You are talking about the US leaving the scene and leaving the gulf states to fend for themselves. Are the gulf states capable of this and do they really want it. The monarchs are terrified of coups so their militaries will always be kept weak. So US will not be leaving the area anytime soon.


The nuclear issue is a tool in politics. But it is also, to some, an argument on the "right to chose their own destiny;" and not being submissive to an external power of infidels.
Yes, but the Iranians haven't got to that stage as yet. Its unclear whether they even plan to get there. They certainly give the impression that they want to. Or at the very least to keep the option open.


This is were America comes to a decision point.

Last weak, like children sometimes do in a playground, they take the toe of their shoe and draw a line in the sand. Then they boastfully declare (with their most Interesting Man in the World Game Face)!!! Cross that line! Clearly implying that something of consequence will happen if they do. The SECDEF's (Leon Panetta) declaration that "Iranian nukes and closing the strait as a "red line" for the U.S."

We artificially limit the number of options we have. Now is the time to formulate a strategy.

If the Iranian do what I did as a kid, they will not hesitate. They will cross the line and let the US make the provocative move.
This is the thing they have gamed the scenarios and expect to come out winning or failing that then not losing. They will not create situations that they cannot handle. But its very difficult to control the outcome. I bet every trouble maker in history has thought the same. So the best Iran can hope to achieve is a PR victory. They think they can fight to a stalemate.

Is this the goal the impression of going for nukes serves ? is this Iran's endgame .

If so its doubtful whether any diplomacy can change their chosen path. A conflict at some point seems inevitable :frown:

Nukes in this case looks more like a bait than a bargaining chip.

Doktor
03 Feb 12,, 14:42
Woot woot...


Iran Threatens Retaliation for Sanctions or Attack

DATE: 02/03/12 PUBLISHED:Friday, February 03, 2012 7:06:33 AM NUMBER: 1964971 AUDIO: VIDEO: WEB: TYPE: CN ))

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned that his country will retaliate against Western-backed oil sanctions and any threat of attack, after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was cited in media reports as saying he fears Israel could attack Iran in the next few months. A report Thursday in the Washington Post, later backed by other news outlets, said Secretary Panetta fears Israel could attack Iran as early as April, to stop Tehran's progress on a possible nuclear bomb. Panetta was not directly quoted in the report and has not commented on it. Khamenei's comments came in a speech on state television Friday as he marked the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. He said sanctions will have no effect on Iran's determination to continue its nuclear program. He also said Iran will back any nation or group that intends to confront Israel. Israel is among the nations, including the United States, that suspect Iran may be enriching uranium to make nuclear weapons. Israel has not ruled out an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, while the United States is pushing for increased international sanctions instead. Iran insists its nuclear activities are only for peaceful purposes. In retaliation for any further action, Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil is shipped.


Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned that his country will retaliate against Western-backed oil sanctions and any threat of attack, after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was cited in media reports as saying he fears Israel could attack Iran in the next few months.

Israel's intentions?
A report Thursday in The Washington Post, later backed by other news outlets, said Secretary Panetta fears Israel could attack Iran as early as April, to stop Tehran's progress on a possible nuclear bomb. Panetta was not directly quoted in the report and has not commented on it.

Khamenei's comments came in a speech on state television Friday as he marked the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Sanctions, no impact on nuclear program
He said sanctions will have no effect on Iran's determination to continue its nuclear program. He also said Iran will back any nation or group that intends to confront Israel.

Israel is among the nations, including the United States, that suspect Iran may be enriching uranium to make nuclear weapons. Israel has not ruled out an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, while the United States is pushing for increased international sanctions instead.

Iran insists its nuclear activities are only for peaceful purposes.

In retaliation for any further action, Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil is shipped.


Iran Threatens Retaliation for Sanctions or Attack | Middle East | English (http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Iran-Threatens-Retaliation-for-Sanctions-or-Attack-138635574.html)

Double Edge
03 Feb 12,, 15:03
Retaliate with what isn't clear in the article. The hormuz thing is over.

Otherwise the Iranians are mulling a 15 yr embargo on oil to Europe in response to the EU's sanctions. Thats it.

Doktor
03 Feb 12,, 15:18
If I was making 1c from every threat in the ME...


Barak: If sanctions fail, Iran must be hit

(JPost) 02/03/2012 00:47 (http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=256298)

Ya’alon says Tehran is developing missiles capable of reaching the United States.

Claiming that all of Iran’s nuclear facilities are vulnerable and that a military option is real and ready to be used if sanctions fail, Israel’s top political and military leadership issued a series of warnings to the Islamic Republic on Thursday in some of the most candid comments on the nuclear threat in years.

Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said there was a consensus among many nations today that if diplomacy and sanctions failed to stop Iran, a military strike should be launched.

“If sanctions don’t achieve the desired goal of stopping [Iran’s] military nuclear program, there will be a need to consider taking action,” he declared.

Barak said he saw Iran as nearing a stage “which may render any physical strike as impractical."

“A nuclear Iran will be more complicated to deal with, more dangerous and more costly in blood than if it were stopped today,” he said. “In other words, he who says in English ‘later’ may find that ‘later is too late.’”

Barak’s threat was backed up earlier in the day by Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon who said that Iran needed to be stopped “one way or another” and that a credible military threat needed to be on the table, a message also delivered by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz on Wednesday evening.

Dago
08 Feb 12,, 00:10
As was expected. Countries are already signing up for waivers, and like Pakistan,


Pakistan assures Iran on gas deal[/B]

* President Zardari tells Iranian vice president Pakistan also wants to import electricity from Iran

* Two countries resolve to enhance bilateral trade to $5 billion

* VP Ali Seedlou says Iran will help Pakistan in development projects

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is committed to implementing the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project at the earliest in order to meet the ever-growing demand of the country for energy and power, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Tuesday.

He was talking to Iranian Vice President for International Affairs Ali Seedlou, who called on him at the Presidency.

Discussing the implementation of mutually agreed projects, the president said that besides expeditious implementation of the gas pipeline project, Pakistan wanted to carry forward the proposed projects of 1000 megawatt Taftan-Quetta Power Transmission line and the 100 megawatt Gwadar power supply.

The visiting vice president said Iran had already laid gas pipeline on its side of the border, and was ready for realisation of the most important energy project.

President Zardari said the government was also pursuing a trade liberalisation policy across the border, and proposed for elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers between the two countries to further boost trade ties.

The president said that the recent agreement between the two countries to work towards expanding the Pakistan-Iran Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to include additional items form both sides and making it an agenda item for the next meeting of the trade committee was a welcome move to enhance trade links between the two countries.

He said that enhancing bilateral cooperation particularly in energy, security, communication and infrastructure would help the two countries to overcome the challenges in the way of realisation of full existing potential of their equation and to realise the goal of raising bilateral trade to $5 billion from the current $1.5 billion, which he said was doable.

About cooperation in the banking sector, the president said the establishment of a joint working group and the proposed visit of a delegation of Iranian banks to meet Pakistani counterparts would give impetus to the cooperation in the sector, besides facilitating bilateral trade.

The president said that facilitating export of meat and kinnow from Pakistan would help the two countries enhance mutual trade. He said that opening of a new border crossing at Gabd-Reemdan would connect southern parts of Balochistan and Karachi to Cha Bahar and Bandar Abbas through the coastal highway.

He said Pakistan was ready to grant multiple visas to the businessmen from Iran on a reciprocal basis.

“We look forward to welcoming President Ahmedinejad for the 3rd Pakistan-Iran-Afghanistan Trilateral Summit,” the president said, adding that the forthcoming summit would hopefully prove to be an important milestone towards “our journey to find peace, stability and Afghan-led conciliation process”.

Speaking on the occasion, Iranian VP Ali Saeedlou said Pakistan and Iran had great potential to enhance their cooperation in various fields, particularly in energy, trade and economy.

He said Iran would help Pakistan in development projects, adding that the gas pipeline project would help put the people on the road to progress and prosperity. He thanked the president for meeting him and said Pakistan was an important neighbour for Iran. He assured the president of Iran’s continued support and assistance to the Pakistani government in all fields. He also announced $100 million assistance for the development of flood-stricken people in Pakistan.

Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Adviser to PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and other senior officials were also present on the occasion. The Iranian vice president was accompanied by senior foreign office officials, while Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Alireza Haghighian was also present at the meeting.

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/57792000/gif/_57792280_us_iran_oil464x195.gif

We are defiantly going to see higher gas prices.

S2
08 Feb 12,, 03:33
"...We are defiantly [sic] going to see higher gas prices."

Wow! Out on a limb I see.

How defiantly will those gas prices be?:biggrin:

Dago
08 Feb 12,, 03:58
"...We are defiantly [sic] going to see higher gas prices."

Wow! Out on a limb I see.

How defiantly will those gas prices be?:biggrin:


Is it cold up there in Oregon?

Anyhow that was for you - definitely. How did I know the grammar police would stop by? Wouldn't expect that from S2. ..lmao

S2
08 Feb 12,, 05:00
Is it cold up there in Oregon?"

We've had an unseasonably mild winter. For a transplanted Wisconsin boy that would mean it's been positively summer-like.:)

"...How did I know the grammar police would stop by...?"

We're always watching for slackers and laggards. You appear to qualify on both counts. Think of the shame you've brought upon your grade-school teachers. Surely they quake in revulsion.

Shall we presume that, beyond your special operations planning acumen, you also harbor mad skillz as an economist?

Lucky us.:rolleyes:

Stitch
08 Feb 12,, 05:50
IMO, Iran is (unfortunately) smart enough to NOT do enough to bring the US into the mess; they are bucking to become THE regional power, but they won't do enough to piss-off the powers that be. My guess is they will stop just short of forcing NATO/US to intervene. The US won't OFFICIALLY state this, but I am sure there are a couple of Minutemen III (LGM-30G) that have been re-programmed for Tehran. And an Ohio-class sub in the Med or the Gulf would be a pretty good deterent, too.

Dago
08 Feb 12,, 06:13
[B]...you also harbor mad skillz as an economist?

Lucky us.:rolleyes:

How about you educate us on the cause of oil price fluctuation in 2003-2008? Supply and demand? Refinery capacity? OPEC production? Geopolitical considerations? Are you suggesting Geopolitical implications play no role in the rise in speculation of oil prices, I would have to disagree. The drop off in supply, from Iran, without cut in demand, would drive up the current price? If it was simply supply and demand. However some would argue that OPEC would make up for the difference? Can they? I showed earlier, the rise in domestic Saudi Arabia oil consumption is astonishing. Are you possibly suggesting, we can have lower prices, even with less production out of Iran and more demand now? Then something was fubar the past years. And your a fucking wizard. No pun intended.

S2
08 Feb 12,, 06:47
"...Are you possibly suggesting, we can have lower prices, even with less production out of Iran and more demand now?"

Clearly your sarcasm meter is on the fritz-

"Wow! Out on a limb I see."

Why would I make such a suggestion when I've seen oil prices rise steadily since a year ago and hold most of that gain WITHOUT an actual gulf war with Iran?

Of course we can't be certain how much spare capacity may (or may not) exist nor how that can be ramped up in a timely manner to meet market demand. That's just one of the questions which comes to my mind.

Then again, I don't presume to be an energy analyst. For that kind of analysis I'll be relying upon the Energy Information Administration-

U.S. Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.gov/)

It's an amazing resource for an amateur such as myself. Even a professional may benefit by it's use from time to time.:rolleyes:

E.I.A.- What Drives Crude Oil Prices? (http://www.eia.gov/finance/markets/)

snapper
08 Feb 12,, 10:19
"As we spoke, however, (Ehud) Barak laid out three categories of questions, which he characterized as “Israel’s ability to act,” “international legitimacy” and “necessity,” all of which require affirmative responses before a decision is made to attack:

1. Does Israel have the ability to cause severe damage to Iran’s nuclear sites and bring about a major delay in the Iranian nuclear project? And can the military and the Israeli people withstand the inevitable counterattack?

2. Does Israel have overt or tacit support, particularly from America, for carrying out an attack?

3. Have all other possibilities for the containment of Iran’s nuclear threat been exhausted, bringing Israel to the point of last resort? If so, is this the last opportunity for an attack?

For the first time since the Iranian nuclear threat emerged in the mid-1990s, at least some of Israel’s most powerful leaders believe that the response to all of these questions is yes." Good article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/magazine/will-israel-attack-iran.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all

Double Edge
08 Feb 12,, 10:22
To build a credible nuclear stockpile (40 or 50 warheads) - they need to have the means to produce the fuel, and they need to have tested a device. They can probably get by without a test for quite a while (if they used a gun type device - they might not even need a test), but the means to produce fissile fuel (HEU) is what they are working on now.
Any idea how long it takes to enrich 20% to HEU ?

Which is the harder bit 0-20 % or the remainder.

USSWisconsin
08 Feb 12,, 16:02
Any idea how long it takes to enrich 20% to HEU ?

Which is the harder bit 0-20 % or the remainder.

It depends on the capacity of the process - the output from the earlier stages is put into the later stages, so the amount of material available shrinks as enrichment level increases, if there is plenty of natural uranium, there will still be much less 20% enriched material - so theoretially it goes slower as the level of enrichment increases - due to availability of feed stock. Lighter material U235 is what is desired, the heavier U238 s collected at the edge of the drum, leaving enriched material further in, each stage enriches the material a little bit. In laser separation, a laser ablates the material and an EM field causes it to travel in a parabolic trajectory onto a collector, the lighter material travels further, and is collected further from the ablatement point.

The time it takes depends on how many centrifuges are used and how big each of them is - plus the amount of feed stock available to charge them. Laser separation operates with the same constraints.

RoccoR
08 Feb 12,, 17:41
Double Edge, USSWisconsin, et al,

I concur with USSWisconsin's comment, supra.



Any idea how long it takes to enrich 20% to HEU ?
(COMMENT)

It is rather complicated to compute the actual capacity Iran has at any one moment. The link to the .pdf document below explains the considerations one must take into account.

Based on the number of centrifuges Iran has demonstrated that they can bring online, the amount of power supplied, and the basic precursor characteristics we believe they have to use, this probably says it best.



Similarly, if Iran started with 20 percent enriched uranium as feedstock, this would substantially reduce its time to a bomb. Currently, Iran has produced about 40 kg UF6 (27 kg U) 3.5 years to produce the necessary 20 percent uranium. However, Iran could install more cascades for 20 percent enrichment (there is allocated space for a total of 6 cascades at PFEP). If all 6 cascades or 3 cascade systems are running, Iran could produce enough 20 percent material for bomb feedstock in about a year.

SOURCE: Page 16 of
Using Enrichment Capacity to Estimate Iran’s Breakout Potential
http://www.fas.org/pubs/_docs/IssueBrief_Jan2011_Iran.pdf


NOTE: This is based on the IAEA OSINT available at that time (one year old). There has been no significant improvements made that in the preceding open time interval that would alter this estimate by much. But remember it is merely an estimate.




Which is the harder bit 0-20 % or the remainder.
(COMMENT)

The level of difficulty does not increase; but the amount of power and time it tasks at the current capacity does. It would take about it would take about 10 years to achieve the same quantity at 90-95% levels.

(SIDEBAR)

Our CNWDI Scientists generally snub their noise at Weapons Grade material enriched to less than 90%. However, if you are willing to accept lower yields and somewhat dirtier devices, you could probably use material enriched at the 75% levels.

Please take a moment to glance over the .pdf document link.

Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
08 Feb 12,, 22:17
IMO, Iran is (unfortunately) smart enough to NOT do enough to bring the US into the mess; they are bucking to become THE regional power, but they won't do enough to piss-off the powers that be.
Plausible so how do they pull it off.

Their idea could be to make enough fuel for the future and secrete it away. All they need is enough time. No bomb, no test, just the raw fuel. Going on whiskey's earlier post that making the fuel is the hardest bit.

Thing is how do they account for the difference to get a green light from the IAEA. If they agree to a swap deal then they just lost what they struggled to make.

Have read articles that outright state that no feasible military option exists to deal with Iran but i'm not ready to rule out a strike just yet. Its looks unlikely but its always there in the background.


My guess is they will stop just short of forcing NATO/US to intervene.
To stop short is a killer move :biggrin:

Dago
08 Feb 12,, 22:30
Do you guys think Iran has the capability to strike Al Shaheen Oil Field? And make the Strait of Hormuz full of black slick worse then the Gulf Of Mexico? Al Shaheen Oil Field has an output of 260,000 barrels per day.



http://english.alrroya.com/files/imagecache/detail_page/rbimages/1290336671418463400.jpg

http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/alshaheen/images/6-ps1-platform.jpg

http://images.pennwellnet.com/ogj/images/ogj2/9636jnwi.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Persian_Gulf_relief_location_map.png/736px-Persian_Gulf_relief_location_map.png

26.605,51.932 - Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=26.605,51.932&spn=0.01,0.01&t=m&q=26.605,51.932)

Double Edge
09 Feb 12,, 01:35
It depends on the capacity of the process - the output from the earlier stages is put into the later stages, so the amount of material available shrinks as enrichment level increases, if there is plenty of natural uranium, there will still be much less 20% enriched material - so theoretially it goes slower as the level of enrichment increases - due to availability of feed stock. Lighter material U235 is what is desired, the heavier U238 s collected at the edge of the drum, leaving enriched material further in, each stage enriches the material a little bit. In laser separation, a laser ablates the material and an EM field causes it to travel in a parabolic trajectory onto a collector, the lighter material travels further, and is collected further from the ablatement point.

The time it takes depends on how many centrifuges are used and how big each of them is - plus the amount of feed stock available to charge them. Laser separation operates with the same constraints.
Thx


The level of difficulty does not increase; but the amount of power and time it tasks at the current capacity does. It would take about 10 years to achieve the same quantity at 90-95% levels.

RIght, and this is at Natanz and provided they don't kick the inspectors out of there and install more cascades or they cut that time signficantly.


As of 22 November 2010, Iran was operating 28 cascades or about 4592 machines at FEP, according to the IAEA. The ultimate capacity of Iran’s main enrichment plant is 50,000 centrifuges, so Tehran obviously has the goal of adding more machines. According to the latest report by the IAEA, only about half of the total of 54 cascades or 8426 installed centrifuges were operating. But this new total means that Iran has clearly added new machines since August 2009.


It takes 1510 kg SWU to enrich enough LEU (concentration 3.5 percent) to a significant quantity (27.8 kg U) of HEU (concentration 90 percent), with a tails at concentrations of natural uranium, 0.71 percent. If Iran used its entire capacity at Natanz, it would take about 5 months to produce enough HEU for a bomb.

If Iran started from 20 percent enriched uranium, it would take less than a month to enrich enough HEU for a bomb, if the tails are set at 3.5 percent U235. This would need about 146 kg U as feedstock.

Alternatively, if material is scarce, Iran could set the tails to 0.7 percent. This scenario would require 129 kg U, and it would take a month and a half to produce the HEU.

Fordow looks more interesting,


Iran had announced plans to install 3,000 IR-1 centrifuges at Fordow. This implies that the plant would have an annual enrichment capacity of 2 310 kg SWU. It would take Iran close to 8 months to produce enough HEU for a bomb at Fordow. However, if it started with 20 percent enriched uranium, it would take Iran about a month and a half to produce a SQ of HEU with a tails assay of 3.5 percent, if it had enough 20 percent enriched material as feedstock.

Double Edge
09 Feb 12,, 12:33
The point of my previous questions was to understand the Israeli position. How do terms like 'point of no return' or 'zone of immunity' fit into the picture given the FAS report.

The general meaning is after Iran crosses a certain point then no military action makes sense. That is to say there is no way to prevent Iran from making more bombs or destroy whatever bombs Iran already has.

But as the FAS report indicates, making a bomb is a linear process, there has to be enough LEU, along with cascades and time to enrich to HEU. And then weaponisation has to occur. Enrichment takes time, depends on the number of cascades employed, time taken to make enough HEU for 1 bomb is five times longer to make 5 and so on.

So i do not understand at what point there is a 'zone of immunity' or 'point of no return'. Maybe once Iran has made some nukes and hidden them but otherwise before that i cannot see it.

Another question LEU for how many bombs constitutes a point of no return. 1, 5, 10, more ?

For me, 'point of no return' is reached once Iran has the required knowledge & expertise to make the fuel and weaponise. They already know how to enrich fuel, does not matter whether its, LEU, 20% or HEU. A gun type bomb isn't too hard and no test is required. The two enrichment facilities Iran has could be destroyed but they could always be rebuilt later. The FAS report already indicated that as of Jan 2011 Iran already had enough LEU for 2 or 3 crude bombs.

So i do not understand what window the Iraelis are referring to when they use the premise of 'point of no return' or 'zone of immunity' to justify an attack :confused:

USSWisconsin
09 Feb 12,, 20:57
From the PDF above, now a year old - it appears that they would already have enough for at least two bombs in 2012 and the rate to make more depends on whether they are being sneaky - using the hold over/leakage at Fordrow, or going all out - using full production output at both facilities - it is different by a factor of ~10, so ~6 months per bomb with those Jan 2011 numbers in stealth mode, or perhaps a several weeks each - going all out - as long as thier feed stocks hold out. Even one bomb is significant, but to pose a real military threat would require > 10 bombs, IMO.

Keep in mind, the numbers in all this are approximate, bombs have been made with much less than 25 kg, and could be made with uranium enriched to less than 90% U235. There are many variables in the isotope separation process, the pdf does a good job of laying them out.



So i do not understand what window the Iraelis are referring to when they use the premise of 'point of no return' or 'zone of immunity' to justify an attack

Same here - this "timeline" excuse of theirs is very questionable.

RoccoR
09 Feb 12,, 22:17
USSWisconsin, et al,

Yes, to an extent, this is true.




... ... ... it appears that they would already have enough for at least two bombs in 2012 and the rate to make more depends on whether they are being sneaky
(COMMENT)

Not exactly. Iran has just broken the threshold of the 20% enrichment mark. You cannot make a Nuclear Weapon with 20% enrichment. Material enriched to that level is used in the production of certain medical equipment, security surveillance systems and laser enhancement devices.

What is significant about the 20% enrichment material is that it is the precursor material to start further enrichment to weapons grade. There is no evidence that the Iranians have enough HEU to make a weapon.


NOTE: There is no evidence that they have a working design for a detonator.




Keep in mind, the numbers in all this are approximate, bombs have been made with much less than 25 kg, and could be made with uranium enriched to less than 90% U235. There are many variables in the isotope separation process, the pdf does a good job of laying them out.

Same here - this "timeline" excuse of theirs is very questionable.
(COMMENT)

Yes, this may very well be important. But in order to enrich a quantity of material to even marginal level of weapons capable material, you need to start with many time more of the 20% material.

No ones timeline estimates are perfect; even the Iranians. It is a starting point. But before the component parts of a weapons are fabricated, the weapon is assembled and fueled, there are very distinct indicators that will tell us exactly where the Iranians think they are in the process.

Most Respectfully,
R

Officer of Engineers
09 Feb 12,, 23:01
NOTE: There is no evidence that they have a working design for a detonator.Yes, there is. Chinese and Pakistani nuclear warhead blueprints via AQ Khan.

USSWisconsin
09 Feb 12,, 23:27
USSWisconsin, et al,

Yes, to an extent, this is true.



(COMMENT)

Not exactly. Iran has just broken the threshold of the 20% enrichment mark. You cannot make a Nuclear Weapon with 20% enrichment. Material enriched to that level is used in the production of certain medical equipment, security surveillance systems and laser enhancement devices.

What is significant about the 20% enrichment material is that it is the precursor material to start further enrichment to weapons grade. There is no evidence that the Iranians have enough HEU to make a weapon.


NOTE: There is no evidence that they have a working design for a detonator.



(COMMENT)

Yes, this may very well be important. But in order to enrich a quantity of material to even marginal level of weapons capable material, you need to start with many time more of the 20% material.

No ones timeline estimates are perfect; even the Iranians. It is a starting point. But before the component parts of a weapons are fabricated, the weapon is assembled and fueled, there are very distinct indicators that will tell us exactly where the Iranians think they are in the process.

Most Respectfully,
R

Please take a moment to glance over the .pdf document link.
this pdf is dated Jan 2011 - it gives the separation rates and quantites of 20% feed stocks in Jan 2011- these are the evidence I am referring too - there is no such thing as a 20% barrier, it is just a number - they have had a year since this - with those rates, they could have enough 90% HEU for two SQ's


If more material is
wasted, the time to produce the HEU will be shortened. It takes about 1 300 kg UF6 enriched to 3.5
percent as feedstock to produce a SQ of HEU at 90 percent, with a tails assay of 0.7 percent, the
concentration of natural uranium. About 1 200 kg UF6 would be required if the tails assay was 0.45
percent or the current estimated waste concentration at FEP. According to the most recent PIV data,
Iran has accumulated over 3 tons UF6 of LEU, which would be enough to produce 2 crude nuclear
weapons.


The Fordow enrichment plant is a well-protected facility, located in a tunnel in the mountains near Qom
and in close proximity to an Iranian military base equipped with air defenses. These characteristics
make it less susceptible to an air strike and, therefore, a more convenient location for breakout than
FEP, despite its smaller capacity. Iran had announced plans to install 3,000 IR-1 centrifuges at
Fordow.29 This implies that the plant would have an annual enrichment capacity of 2 310 kg SWU. It
would take Iran close to 8 months to produce enough HEU for a bomb at Fordow. However, if it started
with 20 percent enriched uranium, it would take Iran about a month and a half to produce a SQ of HEU
with a tails assay of 3.5 percent, if it had enough 20 percent enriched material as feedstock.

This is all pointing to them having enough fuel, of course we don't know for sure - what whe do know is what is possible - given what we know they have
They have bomb designs - things are very different today than they were in the open liturature about nuclear weapons (pre 1970's) - many limiting weapons design factors of the past no longer exist with todays technology.
There are many factors here (like how much separation work was successfully completed in the last year) - and we only know some of them, but what we do know - does not rule out a couple bomb quanties of WG HEU.
No one is saying that this constitutes a nuclear asenal - it is what it is - a couple 25 kg rings of HEU in cans? possibly a pair of pits? somewhat less likely a couple 20 KT devices?
They aren't tested, if they are going to use a gun assembly system - they could probably skip a test, but only have one 15 KT device.

Double Edge
10 Feb 12,, 00:41
Same here - this "timeline" excuse of theirs is very questionable.
Israel's 'narrow view' of Iran threat 'frustrating White House' | Daily Telegraph | 09 Feb 2012 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9072426/Israels-narrow-view-of-Iran-threat-frustrating-White-House.html)


The Israeli concern is with Iran's plans to move the majority of its uranium enrichment facilities into underground bunkers near Qom, where they would be protected from air strikes by several layers of granite. Whether or not this justifies a pre-emptive strike is provoking debate with their US allies.
The Israelis are suggesting not that LEU will be secreted away and be unaccounted for but rather the entire enrichment facility which presumably would be used to enrich to HEU away from any peering eyes.

The question again is why a deadline.

Will Israel Attack Iran? | NY Times Magazine | Jan 25 2012 (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/magazine/will-israel-attack-iran.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all)


He warned that no more than one year remains to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weaponry. This is because it is close to entering its “immunity zone” — a term coined by Barak that refers to the point when Iran’s accumulated know-how, raw materials, experience and equipment (as well as the distribution of materials among its underground facilities) — will be such that an attack could not derail the nuclear project. Israel estimates that Iran’s nuclear program is about nine months away from being able to withstand an Israeli attack; America, with its superior firepower, has a time frame of 15 months. In either case, they are presented with a very narrow window of opportunity. One very senior Israeli security source told me: “The Americans tell us there is time, and we tell them that they only have about six to nine months more than we do and that therefore the sanctions have to be brought to a culmination now, in order to exhaust that track.”

This seems to be based on the development of the Fordow plant which is supposed to have come operational in 2011.

But is Fordow already operational and does the IAEA have access to Fordow ?

The FAS report does not indicate that this is so, in fact they use the performance data from Natanz to estimate what Fordow can produce.

But last Nov's IAEA report (http://www.armscontrol.org/system/files/IAEA_Iran_8Nov2011.pdf) says..


24. During an inspection on 23 and 24 October 2011, the Agency verified that Iran had installed all 174 centrifuges in each of two cascades, neither of which had been connected to the cooling and electrical lines, and had installed 64 centrifuges in a third cascade. To date, all the centrifuges installed are IR-1 machines. Iran informed the Agency that the main power supply had been connected to the facility. No centrifuges had been installed in the area designated for R&D purposes.

25. The Agency continues to verify that FFEP (Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant) is being constructed according to the latest DIQ provided by Iran. As previously reported, although Iran has provided some clarification regarding the initial timing of, and circumstances relating to, its decision to build FFEP at an existing defence establishment, additional information from Iran is still needed in connection with this facility.

26. The results of the analysis of the environmental samples taken at FFEP up to 27 April 2011 did not indicate the presence of enriched uranium.

So its unclear whether Fordow is up and running today and until that happens IAEA accounting will be pending.

Therefore it seems the Israeli premise is based on how long it would take for Fordow to become operational and start enrichment.

But will there be addtional enrichment plants ?


27. The Agency is still awaiting a substantive response from Iran to Agency requests for further information in relation to announcements made by Iran concerning the construction of ten new uranium enrichment facilities, the sites for five of which, according to Iran, have been decided, and the construction of one of which was to have begun by the end of the last Iranian year (20 March 2011) or the start of this Iranian year.

In August 2011, Dr Abbasi was reported as having said that Iran did not need to build new enrichment facilities during the next two years. Iran has not provided information, as requested by the Agency in its letter of 18 August 2010, in connection with its announcement on 7 February 2010 that it possessed laser enrichment technology.

As a result of Iran’s lack of cooperation on those issues, the Agency is unable to verify and report fully on these matters.

If there are more plants coming up then this deadline is going to be a moving one.

So what is the thinking here ?

if Fordow is stopped then its harder for Iran to open more plants ? Hmmmmm..

RoccoR
10 Feb 12,, 16:21
Officer of Engineers, et al,

Yes, you are correct in that the AQ Khan Network did provide some CNWDI on detonation.






Originally Posted by RoccoR
NOTE: There is no evidence that they have a working design for a detonator.
Yes, there is. Chinese and Pakistani nuclear warhead blueprints via AQ Khan.
(COMMENT)

Detonators for Nuclear Weapons are not as interchangeable as the are with conventional explosives. Changing the percentage of the HEU material also changes the requirements of the detonator.

We do know that Iran was doing some computer simulations related to detonator design. But we have no reason to believe that an actual working detonator, matched to their particular weapons design. That is (worst case scenario) --- if they even have a prototype design for the weapon.

To date, we have no idea where the Iranians are in there Project Management of a Weapons Program, if they even have a weapons program. What we have seen, relative to the detonator, is that they are not beyond the virtual simulation or the symmetry requirements.

Most Respectfully,
R

USSWisconsin
10 Feb 12,, 16:54
Officer of Engineers, et al,

Yes, you are correct in that the AQ Khan Network did provide some CNWDI on detonation.



(COMMENT)

Detonators for Nuclear Weapons are not as interchangeable as the are with conventional explosives. Changing the percentage of the HEU material also changes the requirements of the detonator.

We do know that Iran was doing some computer simulations related to detonator design. But we have no reason to believe that an actual working detonator, matched to their particular weapons design. That is (worst case scenario) --- if they even have a prototype design for the weapon.

To date, we have no idea where the Iranians are in there Project Management of a Weapons Program, if they even have a weapons program. What we have seen, relative to the detonator, is that they are not beyond the virtual simulation or the symmetry requirements.

Most Respectfully,
R


Here we are getting into OppSEC stuff - I can say, modern tech has changed things, I won't elaborate - but the problems with detonators described in open literature describe 1950's computers and electronics - what has changed with electronics and computers since then?

Dusty1000
17 Feb 12,, 17:59
Notably, the IAEA report summarises:


53. The Agency has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. After assessing carefully and critically the extensive information available to it, the Agency finds the information to be, overall, credible. The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. The information also indicates that prior to the end of 2003, these activities took place under a structured programme, and that some activities may still be ongoing.

So anything that definitely relates to nuclear weapons in the report, must have been prior to the end of 2003.

In addition to Leon Panetta's recent statements:


U.S. intelligence agencies assess that the Iranian leadership has so far not decided to build a nuclear weapon.

"They are keeping themselves in a position to make that decision, but there are certain things they have not yet done and have not done for some time," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at the same hearing without providing details.

World News - Iran 'unlikely' to provoke conflict, US official says (http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/16/10427563-iran-unlikely-to-provoke-conflict-us-official-says)



This conforms to previous assessments. Adm. Dennis Blair, Obama’s former director of national intelligence, told Congress in March 2009, “We judge in fall 2003 Tehran halted its nuclear weapons design and weaponization activities” but that Tehran “is keeping open the option to develop them.”

Read more: The US needs to leave Iran alone | The Daily Caller (http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/28/the-u-s-needs-to-leave-iran-alone/#ixzz1mfA9KO7p)


New York Times (Jan. 15) that “three leading Israeli security experts—the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz—all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel.”

Then, a few days afterward, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio (Jan. 18), had this exchange:

Question: Is it Israel’s judgment that Iran has not yet decided to turn its nuclear potential into weapons of mass destruction?

Barak: People ask whether Iran is determined to break out from the control [inspection] regime right now . . . in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or an operable installation as quickly as possible. Apparently that is not the case.

What the US and Israel fear is the unmasking of their lies about Iran (http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/4789)

The Iranian embassy in Canada says:


All Iranian facilities are under 24 hour IAEA camera surveillance and the agency has had the unprecedented 4000 man/day inspection of these facilities.

http://www.iranembassy.ca/Images/Ira...f%20Canada.pdf

And there is some indication in the press that this is the case, for example:


In an underground chamber near the Iranian city of Natanz, a network of surveillance cameras offers the outside world a rare glimpse into Iran's largest nuclear facility. The cameras were installed by U.N. inspectors to keep tabs on Iran's nuclear progress

Iran's Natanz nuclear facility recovered quickly from Stuxnet cyberattack (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/15/AR2011021505395.html)

According to this article, cameras are still to be installed at Fordo:

http://news.monstersandcritics.com/middleeast/news/article_1688011.php/LEAD-Salehi-IAEA-allowed-to-inspect-all-sites-no-Hormuz-blockade

One must wonder what all the fuss about nuclear weapons is. :rolleyes:

RoccoR
18 Feb 12,, 00:03
Dusty1000, et al,

Yes, to this extent, I agree. But now is the time to be even more vigilant.





One must wonder what all the fuss about nuclear weapons is. :rolleyes:

(COMMENT)

References:



. 29 Jan 12, 11:57 Post #37

. 29 Jan 12, 15:26 Post #40

. 30 Jan 12, 12:52 Post #50

. 30 Jan 12, 18:22 Post #54


As the IAEA still has some information and data to discuss and review, IMO we still do not know and should be cautious in any judgment. I still have some reservations as to the intentions. I am sure that in the forth coming weeks, there will be more information released that will answer some outstanding questions and address some of the more critical issues.

Certainly, we should reduce some of the saber rattling that has dominated the topic for the past several weeks.

Just My Thought,

Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
18 Feb 12,, 18:57
Iran-United States Confrontation: Strategic Losers Both | SAAG | Feb 12 2012 (http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers50/paper4906.html)


The United States has been a strategic loser in that initial hostile attitudes should have given way to a realistic strategic assessment that a rapprochement with Iran was a strategic imperative for the United States.

What comes to mind is the parallel of US policy of normalization of relations with China. If the United States could indulge in normalization of relations with China despite the fact that China had been involved in a war with the United States, there was no reason for the United States not to normalize relations with Iran when Iran was not involved in a war with the United States.

Had the United States politically reached out to Iran in good time, the United States with a strategically cooperative Iran in tow could have achieved political stability in the Gulf Region, ensured the security of Israel, and through Iran, the United States could have achieved strategic, political and economic access to Central Asia.

In short, a political reach out to Iran by the United States would have been a significant game-changer for the stability and security of the Gulf Region. Such a wise US move would not have created a strategic void for Iran and thereby bringing in Russia and China in Gulf Region power-play.


Iran too has been a strategic loser in its confrontation with the United States, in that Iran stands impeded by the United States to emerge as the natural strategically pre-eminent power in the Gulf Region. The stark strategic reality for Iran is that it cannot emerge as the pre-eminent regional power in opposition to the United States or inspite of the United States.


It cannot be forgotten that the United States and Iran have had a long history of strategic and security cooperation pre-1979. Iran till then was the main pillar of the United States security architecture in the Middle East. Iran was also being built-up by the United States as the dominant naval power in the North Arabian Sea.

Both the United States and Iran have now in 2012 to cut their strategic losses as once again the United States needs to outsource regional security to the naturally regional pre-eminent powers, which in the case of the Middle East happens to be Iran.


United States and Iran in a mutually cooperative strategic relationship would have put into place a significant 'game changer' on the strategic landscape of the Middle East. It would have had far-reaching strategic ramifications globally. China's present strategic intrusiveness in the Middle East endangering US interests would have been limited.

Regrettably, this could not emerge and both the United States and Iran have lived with the consequences.

One can always wish...

Double Edge
19 Feb 12,, 10:41
Turns out that China halving its imports from Iran for the month of January was down to a commercial dispute with Iran rather than for political reasons. China is back up to 500k barrels.

So Much for Sanctions: China, Iran Iron Out Oil Agreement | WSJ Blog | Feb 17 2012 (http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2012/02/17/so-much-for-sanctions-china-iran-iron-out-oil-agreement/)

February 17, 2012, 9:06 PM HKT

So Much for Sanctions: China, Iran Iron Out Oil Agreement

China has, at least for now, dashed any hopes that it plans to obey tighter U.S. sanctions against Iran after hammering out an agreement to resume some imports of Iranian crude.

State-owned Unipec, one of China’s top importers, reached an agreement with National Iranian Oil Co. earlier this week to renew an annual supply contract that had lapsed at the end of the year.

During the negotiations, which dragged into February and were only resolved after a visit to Beijing by Iran’s deputy oil minister, imports fell by about 280,000 barrels a day and halved the amount of Iranian crude shipped to China in January and February.

Although the timing of the cuts coincided with a renewed push by the international community to apply pressure to Iran over its nuclear activities, the agreement underscores that China’s dispute with Iran was strictly commercial rather political.

Beijing is typically pragmatic about its relationships with key oil producers such as Iran, which is China’s third-largest supplier of crude after Saudi Arabia and Angola.

Several state-backed oil companies all renewed contracts with NOIC last year, well before U.S. sanctions were tightened, and Unipec was expected to follow suit. But with the U.S. and E.U. moving to target Iran’s financial and oil sectors, Unipec may have found itself in a better bargaining position at a time when it already sought lower prices for crude supply.

China has steadfastly defended its economic ties with Iran, and U.S. officials are typically met with a chilly reception whenever they address China’s crude purchases.

Earlier this year, the U.S. slapped sanctions on Zhuhai Zhenrong, China’s largest buyer of Iranian crude, accusing the company of selling gasoline to Iran. The move was largely symbolic, considering that Zhuhai has no known assets or business ties to the U.S.

Meanwhile, the timing of the agreement also coincides with a visit by Xi Jinping, China’s next leader, to the U.S., where he is hearing concerns over Iran’s nuclear program and is being encouraged to cooperate with international efforts on Iran.

The move by Unipec sends a strong message that while China recognizes the need to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue, it isn’t about to cave to Western pressure.

– Wayne Ma

Iran to increase oil export to China to 500K bpd in 2012 | China Forum | Feb 17 2012 (http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&action=printable&tid=732456)
Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:29PM GMT

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has reached an agreement with the International United Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (UNIPEC) to increase oil exports to China to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The agreement with UNIPEC, indicates that a decline in Iranian crude exports to China earlier this year was due to a commercial dispute rather than political reasons, Dow Jones Newswires reported

According to the report, the deal is another sign that China has no immediate plans to obey US sanctions, which were toughened late last year to increase pressure on Iran over its peaceful nuclear activities.

On the New Year’s Eve, the US President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions which aim to penalize other countries for dealing with Iran's central bank and importing its crude oil. The European Union also banned Iran oil imports by its members on January 23.

Major Asian oil consumers, China, India, and South Korea, along with Iraq and Turkey have already asked for waivers on US oil sanctions against Iran.

Although the terms of the new contract between NIOC and UNIPEC have not been made public, last year's contract was for 220,000 bpd of crude and 60,000 bpd of condensate from Iran's South Pars gas field.

Iran's deputy oil minister headed a delegation to China this week to negotiate a new crude supply contract and other joint projects in oil, gas and petrochemicals with Beijing.

The new agreement comes following those negotiations and is expected to increase Iran's oil shipments to China to above 500,000 barrels a day in 2012.

During a briefing in Washington on February 14, China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai dismissed US-led sanctions on Iran to force the Islamic Republic into freezing its peaceful nuclear program, stressing that Beijing intends to pursue its "legitimate economic interests" with Tehran.

The United States, Israel, and their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program with Washington and Tel Aviv repeatedly threatening Tehran with the "option" of a military strike against its atomic facilities.

Iran argues that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

S2
19 Feb 12,, 18:25
So, as predicted, the Chinese leveraged the Iranians. Since when is a whore of any ilk not opportunistic? Or their "john"? These are the laws of supply and demand being exercised at their (pardon the pun) crudest.

Double Edge
19 Feb 12,, 20:31
And all this when Xi Jingping is over for a visit :biggrin:

Wonder what they spoke about.

S2
19 Feb 12,, 20:54
The weather?

Doktor
19 Feb 12,, 21:23
The weather?

That's saved for London. The Brits are obsessed with the weather.

S2
19 Feb 12,, 22:40
Perhaps they discussed the interesting times in which they live?

snapper
20 Feb 12,, 13:34
Without stating the bleeding obvious it began with O and has 3 letters.

Doktor
20 Feb 12,, 14:02
Without stating the bleeding obvious it began with O and has 3 letters.

NO WAY!!! The Chinese? I was told it is the Americans who are after the O.

Zinja
21 Feb 12,, 23:49
We are slowly moving into an age where international cause is increasingly becoming inconsequential. As nations become increasingly moral-less in their disgusting pursuit for selfish interests, it will only become even more difficult for any international effort to achieve anything meaningful to curb human suffering. Dictators will only be able to be toppled from within by their own civitisens, i don't know if this is a good thing or not.

Firestorm
22 Feb 12,, 00:19
As nations become increasingly moral-less in their disgusting pursuit for selfish interests, it will only become even more difficult for any international effort to achieve anything meaningful to curb human suffering.
:rolleyes:
This is highly amusing. So the past pursuits of selfish interests of the European colonial powers and later the US and USSR were just brimming with morals is it?

The only difference now is that the former victims of these past pursuits have started their own pursuit of selfish interests.

Zinja
22 Feb 12,, 00:32
:rolleyes:
This is highly amusing. So the past pursuits of selfish interests of the European colonial powers and later the US and USSR were just brimming with morals is it?

The only difference now is that the former victims of these past pursuits have started their own pursuit of selfish interests.
Whether those selfish interests are pursuit by mother Teresa or Robert Mugabe makes it no more justifiable. 6,000 people are dead in the ME, tens of thousands probably continue to die in NK, nations can pontificate in international arena for the demise of another nation with impunity, and you still think this is about European colonialism and cold war? You are so out of date mate!

Firestorm
22 Feb 12,, 01:42
Whether those selfish interests are pursuit by mother Teresa or Robert Mugabe makes it no more justifiable. 6,000 people are dead in the ME, tens of thousands probably continue to die in NK, nations can pontificate in international arena for the demise of another nation with impunity, and you still think this is about European colonialism and cold war? You are so out of date mate!

I was merely pointing out that your statement was factually wrong. Nations aren't getting more selfish or immoral in pursuing their interests. They always were. The only difference is that previously subdued nations are now joining the fray.

Dante
22 Feb 12,, 10:15
Whether those selfish interests are pursuit by mother Teresa or Robert Mugabe makes it no more justifiable. 6,000 people are dead in the ME, tens of thousands probably continue to die in NK, nations can pontificate in international arena for the demise of another nation with impunity, and you still think this is about European colonialism and cold war? You are so out of date mate!

Huh? Not to sound cinical, but 6000 isn't that many , and on the nations politics part I can generally see a real improvement. Just look back in history, politics haven't change that much in the last 3000 thousand years or so, but the methods got mutch better in the last decades :whome:

Double Edge
24 Feb 12,, 10:54
Things are moving slowly but surely...

More crude sought from Saudi Arabia | The Hindu | Feb 23 2012 (http://www.thehindu.com/business/article2924943.ece?css=print)

Seeking to lessen its dependence on Iran crude oil in view of rising tensions due to sanctions by the U.S. and the EU against Iran, India on Thursday asked Saudi Arabia for an additional 5 million tonnes of crude oil for next fiscal.

Briefing journalists after his bilateral meeting with visiting Assistant Minister for Petroleum Affairs Abdul Aziz Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R. P. N. Singh said India had sought 5 million tonnes more crude oil from Saudi Arabia in 2012-13. India buys 27 million tonnes of crude oil per annum from Saudi Arabia while its annual import from Iran is about 17 million tonnes.

Mr. Abdulaziz said Indian companies would have to approach Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's National Oil Company, for their requirements and as long as they could work out a commercial relationship, it was fine with the government. He said his country had a spare production capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day beyond the current output of 9.8 million barrels a day. India also sought more LPG from Saudi Arabia to meet growing energy needs.

Mr. Singh said India's refining capacity was increasing and lot of additional crude would be required and that was something for which the country was looking towards Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries.

Mr. Singh said he conveyed India's requirement of incremental quantities of Saudi Arabian oil in the years ahead considering the ongoing expansion in refining capacity in the country. Also, India sought more LPG to meet rural cooking gas demand. India imports nearly 2 million tonnes of LPG from Saudi Arabia.

In a related development, state-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) has decided to double crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia next fiscal and cut purchases from Iran by over 14 per cent.

HPCL, in 2012-13, has proposed to buy 3.5 million tonnes of crude oil from Saudi Aramco of Saudi Arabia against 1.75 million tonnes of oil bought in the current year. It will cut down purchases from Iran to 3 million tonnes in the year beginning April from 3.5 million tonnes in the current year.

Chogy
24 Feb 12,, 14:45
The answer to much of the world's current tensions and problems:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_gFr4PRmOBRU/TTtCUG8fB_I/AAAAAAAAAEA/FPP9LFr6LpU/s1600/40-mr_fusion.jpg

If we could assume for a moment that cheap Chinese-made "Mr. Fusions" were available at the low, low cost of $99.99, would the ME calm down? I know it's not all about oil like the mantra says, but some of it certainly is. The specter of a finite energy supply has nations shaking a bit.

I guess one way to look at it - Before fossil fuels became important, mankind and Nation-States were still hammering each other with great regularity. You can't pin Napoleon's wars of conquest on oil.

astralis
24 Feb 12,, 16:01
chogy,


If we could assume for a moment that cheap Chinese-made "Mr. Fusions" were available at the low, low cost of $99.99, would the ME calm down? I know it's not all about oil like the mantra says, but some of it certainly is. The specter of a finite energy supply has nations shaking a bit.


if that were true, the ME would slag down!

SM Stirling did a riff on it a while back:

Amazon.com: Ice, Iron And Gold (9781597801157): S.M. Stirling: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Iron-Gold-S-M-Stirling/dp/1597801151)

"Roachstompers".

pretty much an economic infrastructure which depends on oil just goes to hell-- think about all the ME dictatorships dependent on oil money; they'd almost collapse overnight. world economy would probably ironically go into a depression as the oil economy disappears (a lot of gas stations, tankers, refiners, etc go kaput).

thankfully it wouldn't be as bad a scenario as the one which Stirling postulates (in that scenario, the USSR has survived til now and undertakes a first strike on the US before it falls apart without the oil money), but for the first decade it would suck.

then things would get a lot better, of course.

Double Edge
25 Feb 12,, 14:24
Iranian regime as the rational actor.

Getting Iran to back down on its nuclear program | WAPO Op-Ed | Feb 21 2012 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/getting-iran-to-back-down/2012/02/21/gIQAMhf8TR_story.html)

Getting Iran to back down on its nuclear program
By David Ignatius,

“We are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor,” said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on CNN on Sunday. That sounds right to me, but his comment raises a tricky question: How much pressure will it take to get this “rational” country to curb its nuclear program?

The answer here isn’t comforting: Recent history shows that the Iranian regime will change behavior only if confronted with overwhelming force and the prospect of an unwinnable war. Short of that, the Iranians seem ready to cruise along on the brink, expecting that the other side will steer away.

I count two clear instances when Iran has backed down, and two more “maybes.” These examples remind us that the Iranian leaders aren’t irrational madmen — and also that they drive a hard bargain. Here are the two documented retreats:

● In July 1988 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini “drank the cup of poison,” as he put it, and agreed to end the Iraq-Iran war. He accepted a U.N.-sponsored truce but only after eight years of brutal fighting, Iraqi rocket attacks on Iranian cities and the use of poison gas against Iranian troops. Khomeini’s decision followed the shooting down of an Iranian civilian airliner on July 3 by the USS Vincennes — unintended but a demonstration of overwhelming American firepower in the Persian Gulf.

● In the fall of 2003 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s regime halted its nuclear weapons program because of “international pressure,” according to a 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate. The decision came after the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, which the Iranians apparently feared was the prelude to an attack on their soil. The Iranians also agreed in 2003 to start talks with European nations on limiting their enrichment of uranium — beginning the haggling that continues to this day.

Two other examples are less obvious, but they illustrate the same theme of rational Iranian response to pressure. In both cases the trigger was a strong back-channel message from the United States:

● In March 2008, Iran restrained its Shiite allies in Iraq after a U.S. warning about shelling the Green Zone. The Mahdi Army had been firing heavy rockets and mortars into the enclave, causing rising U.S. casualties. Gen. David Petraeus, then U.S. commander in Baghdad, sent a message — “Stop shooting at the Green Zone” — to Gen. Qassem Suleimani, head of the Quds Force. The intermediary was Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who had close relations with both generals. The shelling tapered off.

● Last month, Iran toned down its threats to close the Strait of Hormuz after a U.S. back-channel warning that any such action would trigger a punishing U.S. response. The private message paralleled a public U.S. statement: “The United States and the international community have a strong interest in the free flow of commerce and freedom of navigation in all international waterways.” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi subsequently offered reassurance: “Iran has never in its history tried to prevent, to put any obstacles in the way of this important maritime route.”

The Iranians’ behavior in negotiations, too, has seemed to wax and wane based on their perception of the West’s seriousness. When Russia and China supported U.N. sanctions in 2010, the Iranians got nervous. When India and China reduced oil purchases recently, Tehran took notice.

Clear messaging to Iran — and to Israel, too — is important as the tension mounts over a possible Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear targets. The most direct public message yet came from Dempsey in his appearance on Fareed Zakaria’s show, “GPS.” It’s worth looking carefully at just what the nation’s top military officer said.

“The Iranian regime has not decided that they will embark on the effort to weaponize their nuclear capability,” Dempsey said, thereby offering Tehran a chance to save face in any deal. He argued that because Iran isn’t yet building a weapon, it would be “premature” and “not prudent” for Israel to attack. “A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives,” he cautioned. But he conceded that the U.S. hasn’t yet persuaded Israel to hold off.

The signal to Israel is very clear: Don’t attack!

But what about the message to Iran? History shows that the clerics in Tehran won’t accept a deal unless they conclude that there’s no alternative but a punishing war. Somehow, the United States must convince Iran that this confrontation is deadly serious — and then work to find the rational pathway toward agreement.

Double Edge
06 Mar 12,, 16:17
Hillary had a busy couple of days last week giving her testimony at a number of congressional hearings. What she says on this topic is a damn side more reliable than what my govt tells me.

India taking steps in right direction on Iran sanction: Clinton | TOI | Mar 01 2012 (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-03-01/india/31113398_1_absolute-foot-iranian-oil-china-and-turkey)


PTI Mar 1, 2012, 10.35AM IST

WASHINGTON: The US appeared to express satisfaction with the steps being taken by India to reduce its dependence on Iranian oil even as Washington said it was having "very intense and very blunt" conversations with New Delhi, China and Turkey to bolster American sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme.

"With respect to India, they are making steps that are heading in the right direction. In fact, I think in a number of instances, the actions of countries and their banks are better than the public statements that we sometimes hear them making," Clinton told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing.
Exactly


Clinton said China, which is another major country being pushed by the US to reduce its dependence on Iranian oil, too has made progress.

"I think that we have made progress, not enough in my view. With respect to China, they have actually worked with us to prevent certain businesses within China from continuing their trade. They have reached out to the Saudis and others to determine ways to make up their loss of oil, if they cut what they receive from Iran," Clinton said.

"So we're having very candid conversations with a number of countries, two of whom you named, to try to impress on them our seriousness about enforcing sanctions which will have very difficult consequences for them," Clinton said in response to a question from Congresswoman Nita Lowey from New York.

A day earlier, testifying before another congressional committee, Clinton said the US is having "very intense and very blunt" conversations with India, China and Turkey on reducing their dependence on Iranian oil.

"With respect to China and Turkey and India, we've had very intense and very blunt conversations with each of those countries. I think that there are a number of steps that we are pointing out to them that we believe they can and should make," Clinton said responding to questions from Senator Robert Menendez.

The top US diplomat said in a number of cases, "both on their government side and on their business side", they are taking actions that go further and deeper than perhaps their public statements might lead you to believe.

"We are going to continue to keep an absolute foot on the pedal in terms of our accelerated, aggressive outreach to them. And they are looking for ways to make up the lost revenues, the lost crude oil," Clinton underlined.

Both India and China, two major buyers of Iranian oil accounting for 12 and 22 per cent of its total export respectively, have said they will continue to import fuel from Tehran despite the EU and US embargo. Turkey has also said it will continue to import oil from Iran.

She agreed that it was difficulty for these countries. "So we've had to put together an entire team to try to assist them in thinking through ways of doing that," Clinton said responding to a question from Menendez.
Interesting


She said the American "expectation and the direction" is to "see significant reductions".

"You know, for some countries, it's a lot harder than other countries. So we have really come in with a lot of suggestions to help them be able to do what we're asking them to do," said Clinton.

Testifying before the state, foreign operations and related programs subcommittee of the Senate appropriations committee, Clinton on Tuesday told Senators the US is aggressively pursuing sanctions against Iran.

"We are implementing the new Iran sanctions aggressively. The president issued an executive order on February 6 that blocks assets under US jurisdiction of all Iranian banks; also makes it clear that both the departments of treasury and state are expected to enforce the sanctions absolutely," she said.

S2
01 Apr 12,, 19:02
By Stephen McGlinchey and Jamsheed K. Choksey, this excellent article with multiple linked sources to George Washington University's National Security Archive discusses the parallel rationales by both the Pahlavi regime and Ayatollahs for pursuit of a nuclear capability-

Nuclear Amibitions Under The Shah And Ayatollahs-McGlinchey & Choksey, March 30, 2012 (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/iran%E2%80%99s-nuclear-ambitions-under-the-shah-and-ayatollahs)

As valuable as the discussion, the sourcing leads to equally valuable nuggets. A very worthy read.

Mihais
01 Apr 12,, 19:30
Good one.I didn't studied the Shah's nuclear program,although I knew about it.It offered some interested insights.

Fact is we'd pretty much prefer the Shah to the Ayatollahs.And since the Shah is gone and dead,we'd rather have somebody different than the Ayatollahs to run the place.This is the eternal issue of ''if you can't beat them,join them''.Iran will try to move to a better place in the sun regardless of the leadership.

But I think this was talked somewhat on WAB.

S2
01 Apr 12,, 20:05
Unfortunately, the Shah and the Ayatollahs have markedly differing ideas about that "...better place in the sun...".

Mihais
01 Apr 12,, 20:14
That's most unfortunate.There are 2 ways to skin this cat.Either work on the place in the sun,or work on the Ayatollahs.Big dilemma.

We live in interesting times,so we'd better get used to such things.

Double Edge
02 Apr 12,, 20:23
The article doesn't go into US reasons for denying the Shah the same rights as other NPT members.
The history of Iran's nuclear energy program (http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/op-eds/the-history-of-irans-nuclear-energy-program)

From the longer version, think its best i post the entire article.

A Brief History of U.S.-Iranian Nuclear Negotiations | Jan/Feb 2009 | The Bulletin
William Burr


William Burr is a senior analyst at the National Security Archive at George Washington University where he directs a documentation project on nuclear weapons. He has written for the Journal of Cold War Studies, Diplomatic History, and is a regular contributor to the Bulletin. He thanks Malcolm Byrne and J. Samuel Walker for comments on an earlier version of this paper.


Long before their current nuclear crisis, the united States and Iran overcame concerns about proliferation and sovereign rights to negotiate a nuclear accord. Can they do it again?

Despite the attention given to recent Iranian nuclear activities, Tehran's interest in nuclear technology stretches back more than 30 years. It began in the years preceding the 1979 Islamic Revolution when Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi sought a “full-fledged nuclear power industry,” with the capacity to produce 23,000 megawatts of electricity, as part of his ambition to turn Iran into a powerful modern state. Yet even in its early stages, Iran's nuclear intentions were unclear and raised serious concerns about nuclear weapons proliferation.

While the Shah professed not to want nuclear weapons, he was steadfast in Iran's “right” to the full complement of nuclear fuel cycle technologies. The newly created Atomic Energy Organization of Iran concluded nuclear deals with France and West Germany, but its dealings with the United States progressed slowly: Tehran proposed to purchase eight light water reactors from such U.S. suppliers as General Electric and Westinghouse, while the U.S. government encouraged the Shah to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a U.S.-based uranium enrichment plant being proposed by the Bechtel Corporation.

From the very beginning, the U.S. negotiations were complicated by proliferation concerns. The 1974 Indian nuclear test had caught President Richard Nixon's administration by surprise, and when Gerald Ford became president shortly thereafter, his administration began to focus on the possibility that the Indian test might encourage other countries to go nuclear. The administration reasoned that a world with more nuclear powers would be more unstable, the danger of nuclear war would increase, and U.S. influence would ebb as nuclear weapons gave “nations a sense of greater independence.” Nuclear proliferation “would also provide increased opportunity for subnational theft and blackmail.” The fact that India had produced weapon-grade plutonium from a Canadian-supplied nuclear reactor meant that nuclear power exports could never again be considered as simply commercial propositions. As national security adviser and secretary of state to Nixon, Henry Kissinger had treated nuclear proliferation as a relatively low priority problem; in light of these considerations, however, he began to think otherwise. Before he left office in 1977, he was a true believer: “We should move heaven and earth [to curb proliferation]. Even if we can buy only a decade [it is] worth it to prevent it.”1

The Nixon administration had aligned itself closely with the Shah, his dictatorial rule and human rights abuses notwithstanding, so it did not help matters that only weeks after the Indian test, the Shah made statements that raised questions about Iran's nuclear intentions. When asked whether Iran would pursue nuclear weapons during an interview with a French journalist, the Shah was quoted as saying, “Certainly and sooner than one would think.”2 Iranian officials quickly denied the statement, suggesting, “[His Imperial Majesty] actually said Iran is not thinking of building nuclear weapons but may revise its policy … if other non-nuclear nations do.” The Shah later confirmed this position to a Le Monde reporter, when he ridiculed the nuclear arms race and observed that if other nations in the region acquired nuclear weapons, “then perhaps the national interests of any country at all would demand the same.”3

The U.S. ambassador to Iran and former director of central intelligence, Richard Helms, was satisfied with these corrections. In a cable to the State Department, he wrote, “I want to emphasize to you personally that there has been no change in Iran's declared policy not to acquire nuclear weapons.”4 But Defense Department and CIA officials were not certain about what the future held. Officials at the Pentagon's Office of International Security Affairs observed that in light of the Shah's “caveats” about changing circumstances, “It is inevitable that some in the press and the public will interpret an agreement to supply nuclear fuels … as assistance toward a nuclear capability.” CIA analysts further suggested, “[I]f Iran has a full-fledged nuclear power industry and all the facilities necessary to make nuclear weapons , and if other countries have proceeded with nuclear weapons development, we have no doubt that Iran will follow suit.” Later accounts confirmed these suspicions. The diary of the Shah's minister of court, which was published in 1993, recounts that the Shah “has a great vision for the future of this country which, though he denies it, probably includes our manufacturing a nuclear deterrent.”5

To limit the likelihood that a close ally such as Iran would develop a nuclear weapons capability, Washington wanted to create significant constraints on any commercial or technical nuclear assistance that it provided. Today, the international community is most concerned about Iran's effort to enrich uranium, but in the 1970s, the U.S. government and others were most concerned about the Shah's interest in a domestic reprocessing facility.6 At that time, reprocessing did not have significant commercial potential, but it did enable scientists to recover plutonium from nuclear fuel once it had been used in a power reactor, and that plutonium could be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.


[b]Trying to balance nonproliferation concerns with the priority of maintaining good relations with the Shah, U.S. officials favored a position that was not so “strong” that it would encourage the Shah to buy nuclear technology elsewhere, but not so “weak” that Congress would reject it.

During fall 1974, by which time Ford was president, senior U.S. officials recommended a general approach to nuclear negotiations with Iran. Trying to balance non-proliferation concerns with the priority of maintaining good relations with the Shah, they favored a position that was not so “strong” that it would encourage him to buy nuclear technology elsewhere, but not so “weak” that Congress would reject it. Of the four options for negotiating with Iran, State bureau chiefs recommended that Kissinger approve the second toughest, which would provide Washington with “veto rights” on how Tehran would deal with U.S.-supplied nuclear spent fuel, allowing the United States either to insist on “external processing and storage” of spent fuel or to set standards “for internal disposition and possible construction of a multilateral reprocessing plant.” While these provisions might alienate the Shah and other Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories, the officials suggested that Washington could take the position that it was setting a “new standard” for future agreements.7

The idea of multilateral reprocessing centers came out of an interagency review on nonproliferation strategy initiated by the Ford administration. Worried that inhibitions to nuclear proliferation were weakening, Ford's advisers observed that even if it was possible only to delay proliferation, a “partially effective strategy” could nonetheless serve U.S. national security interests. Emphasizing cooperative approaches generally, such as a special conference of nuclear suppliers, the review raised the possibility of “regional multinational plants … offering favorable terms for reprocessing services to smaller countries,” thereby reducing the risks of emerging independent capabilities to manufacture plutonium.8

Kissinger signed off on the recommended option, but it would undergo additional scrutiny before Ford approved a negotiating position. In early spring 1975, before the Shah's scheduled May visit to Washington, Kissinger presided over an interagency review to determine the best possible approach to the reactor sale, one that would optimally balance proliferation “principles and objectives” with the swift conclusion of an agreement and the resulting nuclear exports. Agency representatives saw a “serious dilemma” in dealing with Iran because they wanted to impose tighter restrictions than Washington had required in other nuclear agreements. Recognizing that an “overly receptive U.S. reaction” to Iranian interest in reprocessing “could detract from any … efforts to discourage such developments” in Pakistan and elsewhere, agency officials believed it was important to seek a virtual veto of reprocessing U.S.-supplied reactor fuel. Because U.S. agencies saw the negotiations with Iran as a potential model for future understandings with other countries, they wanted to persuade Tehran to accept restrictive terms and not feel that Washington was abruptly taking a discriminatory approach on reprocessing, a possibility that worried Helms.9

After reviewing a number of options, ranging from a veto over reprocessing to allowing Iran to “perform reprocessing” with adequate safeguards, Kissinger signed a National Security Decision Memorandum on April 22, 1975.10 The initial negotiating position on reprocessing outlined by the memorandum would be firm: “Continue to require U.S. approval for reprocessing of U.S.-supplied fuel,” with the establishment of a multinational reprocessing facility an “important factor” for securing such approval. As a fallback position, the U.S. would approve reprocessing of U.S. material, even if it did not supply the technology and equipment, as long as the supplier was a “full and active participant in the plant,” and the possibility of U.S. involvement should be “open.” Mutual agreement on “safe-guardability” was essential. These positions were consistent with Helms's suggestion that Washington work for a tacit veto by acquiring “a voice in management decisions” in a reprocessing plant.

Negotiations, 1975–1976. When talks between Washington and Tehran began in late April 1975, the Shah's representatives wanted more give on reprocessing. The Iranian negotiators reasoned that if Tehran made a “strenuous” effort to develop a multinational facility, but failed to get a supplier involved, Iran should not be penalized. The U.S. response was that good intentions weren't enough: “The added assurances against [proliferation] which accompany supplier involvement depend on its actually being achieved.”11

The concept of a multinational reprocessing facility continued to meet objections from Tehran. To better explain Iran's concerns, Jack Miklos, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran further analyzed the Shah's interest in nuclear power. He observed that no Iranian official had “satisfactorily explained how Iran expects to absorb 23,000 megawatts-electric of additional power within the next 20 years.” He concluded that the Shah's motives were “not entirely clear,” and he did not rule out the possibility that the “interest in acquiring nuclear know-how and plutonium is, in part, motivated by the desire to preserve [the nuclear option] should the region's balance of power shift toward the nuclear [states].” Regardless of the Shah's nuclear weapon intentions, Miklos argued that Iran undoubtedly wanted to develop uranium enrichment capabilities and to “possess [its] own fuel reprocessing facility.” Iranian opposition to proposals for a multinational reprocessing facility could be a consequence of Tehran's “unwillingness to submit their plants to foreign surveillance.”12


Because U.S. agencies saw the negotiations with Iran as a potential model for future understandings with other countries, they wanted to persuade Tehran to accept restrictive terms and not feel that Washington was taking a discriminatory approach.

Talks held in Vienna during September and October 1975 failed to bridge the disagreement, and Iranian atomic energy chief Akbar Etemad rejected Washington's insistence on a multinational reprocessing plant with U.S. involvement. For Etemad, who spoke for the Shah, U.S. policy was too restrictive because it would “tie [Iran's] hands for 30 years.” Iran would not buy U.S. reactors “unless the United States [was] prepared to base cooperation only on principles of the NPT, and unless it was clear that Iran was not being treated as a second-class citizen.” He insisted that Tehran had to be able to make “the final decision” on reprocessing.13

Not ready to back down, in October, Kissinger asked Helms to explain U.S. motives to the Shah and to make the point that “we are not in any way singling out Iran for special, disadvantageous treatment”; the issues at stake were “directly related to security and stability in the region.” Worried about a “nuclear deadlock” that could hurt U.S.-Iranian relations and deprive U.S. industry of an opportunity, Helms cited the Shah's remarks in a Business Week interview, where he complained that the U.S. position conflicted with Iran's sovereignty: Washington was asking for things “that the French or Germans would never dream of doing.” Given the Shah's nationalistic objections, Helms concluded that the proposal for a regional reprocessing facility was dead and that if Iran insisted on a plant it should be under joint U.S.-Iranian control with “stringent safeguards.” Nevertheless, in November, Etemad objected to “terms of conditions that go beyond [Iran's NPT] commitments if they are dictated by nuclear-have nations.”14

In early 1976, Robert Seamans, director of the Energy Research and Development Administration (the Energy Department's predecessor) traveled to Iran for meetings with the Shah to move negotiations along. Believing that the Shah would not accept an “ultimate U.S. veto” over reprocessing and that a multinational or binational reprocessing facility could also prove nonnegotiable, Seamans suggested the possibility of some level of U.S. “consent” involving assignment of U.S. personnel to a reprocessing facility and a “continuing requirement that we be satisfied the safeguards applied to these activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] are effective.” To increase U.S. “leverage” against Iranian national reprocessing, some State officials were interested in a “buy-back” option to purchase spent fuel rods. Kissinger supported exploring this idea, but if it failed, he wanted U.S. diplomats to try to negotiate other forms of leverage over Iranian decisions on reprocessing.15

Besides negotiating a suitable U.S. agreement with Iran, Kissinger also faced the prospect of Pakistan building a nuclear weapons capability and the consequences of West Germany's nuclear commerce with Iran, which also raised concerns about reprocessing. Believing that the Germans had not taken a tough enough position in their nuclear agreement with Iran, Kissinger told Germany's ambassador to the United States, Berndt von Staden, “We had strongly urged that the [Federal Republic of Germany] not transfer reprocessing to Iran.” Von Staden argued that Germany's agreement included safeguards designed to limit Iran's freedom of action, yet he conceded that the agreement did not prevent reprocessing. This prompted Kissinger to observe, “This agreement is not greeted with enthusiasm by the United States. … [W]e cannot avoid saying that we did not approve of this agreement.”16

The prospect of a multinational reprocessing facility in Iran remained part of the U.S. negotiating position throughout 1976, but by May, Kissinger already had serious doubts about it. While he observed that opposing reprocessing made sense, in his mind, the multinational concept was contrary to U.S. interests and a “fraud.” For example, a multinational reprocessing facility in Pakistan designed to serve countries in the region could be a “cover” for national reprocessing, while the Pakistanis would not want one located in Iran, outside of their control.”[We should] not fall on our own swords to push others into multinational projects,” Kissinger opined. The negotiations with Iran, however, had gone too far to abandon the concept.17

The initial nuclear agreement. Hopeful that it could persuade the Shah to “set a world example by foregoing national reprocessing” as a “major act of nuclear statesmanship,” the Ford administration was more interested in the “buy-back” concept as a fallback to the multinational facility option.18 By May 1976, the two sides appeared to converge on basic principles. Based on talks with Etemad, State and the Energy Research and Development Administration sent the U.S. Embassy in Tehran a draft agreement. The key provisions concerned reprocessing and safeguards.19

In keeping with the U.S. interest in “consent,” the draft stipulated that reprocessing spent fuel obtained from the United States must be “performed in facilities acceptable to the parties.” Before Tehran could consider reprocessing, though, the United States would have the right to buy back spent fuel, with payment in money or in the equivalent value of reactor fuel. Alternatively, Iran could transfer spent fuel to another country or group of nations, as long as it was used for peaceful purposes under mutually acceptable safeguards. The U.S. draft spelled out additional arrangements–above and beyond IAEA safeguards intended to prevent diversion into military applications–to support nonproliferation interests. Additionally, it stated that Washington would have the right to review the design of any reactor or other equipment and devices “determined to be relevant to the effective application of safeguards,” and designated U.S. personnel would have “access in Iran to all places and data necessary to account for … special nuclear material.”


As far as Kissinger was concerned, the crux of any agreement with Iran would be the buy-back option. He was not willing to take any chances that Iran would someday use U.S. technology to reprocess spent fuel.

The agreement included a note designed to address “special” aspects of the U.S.-Iranian relationship. If Washington did not exercise the buy-back option and Iran chose to establish reprocessing facilities, Tehran would be required to “achieve the fullest possible participation in the management and operation of such facilities of the nation or nations which serve as suppliers of technology and major equipment.” Moreover, Iran would invite the United States to “participate fully and actively in [the] management and operation” of the facilities. If Iran's “strenuous” efforts to secure multinational participation failed for “reasons beyond [its] control,” Tehran could develop reprocessing facilities “acceptable to the parties” that followed the agreement's rigorous safeguards.

In Iran's response to the U.S. draft agreement, Etemad rejected a veto of Iranian reprocessing of U.S.-supplied spent fuel: “[Iran] seriously intended to have [reprocessing] performed in facilities established in Iran. … [In] all fairness [Washington should] be prepared to supply Iran with the means to establish all facilities which … constitute [an] integral part of [Iran's] nuclear power program.” He continued, “[Iran should] have the full right to decide whether to reprocess or otherwise dispose [of] or treat the materials provided under the agreement.” Nevertheless, the Iranians left the U.S. buy-back option on the table; if Iran chose not to reprocess, Washington could either provide financial compensation or enriched uranium “equivalent in energy value to the recoverable special nuclear material” contained in the spent fuel.20

As far as Kissinger was concerned, the crux of any agreement with Iran would be the buy-back option. He was not willing to take any chances that Iran would someday use U.S. technology to reprocess spent fuel. In early August, Kissinger met with the Shah in Tehran. While the record of their discussions is not available, Kissinger apparently let the Shah know that Washington could not accept a “purely national” Iranian reprocessing plant and that even a binational plant would not be possible. Indeed, Kissinger later wrote that “we'll insist on processing in [the] United States.”21

Whatever the Shah may have thought about Kissinger's stand on national reprocessing, when U.S. officials traveled to Iran in late August, they found Etemad relatively cooperative; while insisting that Iran would not “accept discriminatory treatment,” he conceded that the key issue for Iran was an “assured fuel supply.” U.S. officials could not make such assurances, but they explained that they wanted the agreement to reflect “U.S. intent to perform” within “practical and legal limits.” “They also stressed that [the] bottom line of [the] U.S. May 31 draft enables reprocessing in Iranian national facilities, thus ensuring that Iran is not foreclosed from every solution to reprocessing problem.” In the ensuing discussion, the Iranians showed readiness to consider the alternatives to the “bottom line,” e.g., the buy back (“fuel exchange”) or third-country reprocessing.22

A shift in U.S. policy. Helms saw these discussions as a “promising basis” for continuing negotiations with Iran. But the domestic pressure of the 1976 presidential elections forced the Ford administration to tighten its policy on reprocessing. Near the end of October, Ford belatedly responded to Jimmy Carter's criticisms about his nonproliferation policy. In keeping with the direction of the ongoing negotiations with Iran, Ford took a restrictive approach toward reprocessing: “[It] should not proceed unless there is sound reason to believe that the world community can effectively overcome the associated risks of proliferation.” To support that judgment, Ford called for changes in domestic nuclear policies, cooperation between nuclear exporters on behalf of “maximum restraint in the transfer of reprocessing and enrichment technology,” and international cooperation to ensure that “customer nations have an adequate supply of fuel for their nuclear power plants,” among other measures.23

Ford's new policy approach raised questions about the Iranian agreement. If reprocessing at home or abroad “should not proceed,” the provisions in the draft agreement allowing Iranian reprocessing under some conditions would likely require renegotiating. In any event, the 1976 presidential campaign put the talks on hold, and the incoming Carter administration's nonproliferation policy review would produce further delay. Carter's likeliness to take a harder line against reprocessing than Ford may have influenced a February 1977 Iranian announcement that Tehran had given up the option of a national reprocessing facility and was, instead, looking at binational and multinational options. In making this announcement, Etemad said that he assumed safeguards would be integral to the Carter administration's approach, but he asserted that no country “has a right to dictate nuclear policy to another.”24


In the first half of 1978, few were prescient enough to anticipate the looming revolution, and the two sides concluded the nuclear negotiations on the assumption that the United States would sell Iran eight reactors. Neither Carter nor the Shah would ever sign the accord.

Officials at the U.S. Embassy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who had been visiting Iran, did not entirely believe Etemad's statements about reprocessing. When Oak Ridge officials received a briefing from Iranian officials about plans for the Esfahan Nuclear Technology Center, they observed that its location reminded them geologically (“between two mountains”) of the U.S. weapons laboratory at Sandia, New Mexico. According to the Oak Ridge scientists, the “unusually large” size of the facility “makes it theoretically possible to produce weapon-grade material (plutonium),” although they were unable to make “categorical statements” and concluded that the facility could just as easily produce “mixed oxide appropriate for reactor cores.” In any event, the scientists concluded that the facility “bears watching” because its plans included a “large hot lab,” which would be capable of supporting the first steps toward reprocessing. The implication of this analysis was that as hard as Washington was willing to work to leverage nuclear sales for non-proliferation ends, Iran might circumvent an agreement and pursue weapons-related activities.25

The Carter administration's policy review took longer than anticipated, but on April 7, 1977 it issued its first official policy statement on nuclear proliferation. The key announcement was the decision to defer “indefinitely” commercial reprocessing in the United States in order to discourage other countries from reprocessing. While acknowledging that nuclear exporters such as France and West Germany had a “perfect right” to reprocess spent fuel, Carter wanted to reach a “worldwide understanding” with them to curb the risks of widespread reprocessing capabilities. To show that Washington would be a reliable supplier of nuclear fuel, he announced that he would submit to Congress “legislative steps to permit us to sign … supply contracts and remove the pressure for the reprocessing of nuclear fuels.” In response to press questions about the multinational reprocessing option that the Ford administration had considered, Carter said that he had not made a decision but that “regional plants under tight international control” were a possibility to explore.26

Carter amplified the new position in subsequent statements, and the tough line on reprocessing undoubtedly shaped his guidance on negotiations with Iran. Carter's ambassador to Iran, William Sullivan, presented his credentials to the Shah on June 18. Not wanting to look too “eager,” Sullivan did not bring up the nuclear negotiations. But the Shah told him that he was ready to resume the talks and expressed hope that the reactors would be sold. The Shah also made a “specific disavowal of interest in reprocessing plant.” Skeptical, an official at the Pentagon's Office of International Security Affairs' Iran desk drew a little picture of a bull next to those words.27

While State officials had hoped that early congressional action on White House nonproliferation objectives would expedite the agreement with Iran, Carter did not sign the Nonproliferation Act that codified his policies until March 1978. Either way, the act did not change anything in the negotiations with Iran because its pro-visions–i.e., the application of IAEA safeguards on nuclear exports and a prohibition of reprocessing U.S.-supplied material without U.S. approval–kept with the direction of the negotiations.28 Indeed, U.S. and Iranian officials had completed negotiations the month before, after a brief conversation between Carter and the Shah in Tehran in late December 1977 had hastened the process.

The final nuclear agreement. During the weeks that followed Carter's visit, riots broke out in Tehran. In the first half of 1978, few were prescient enough to anticipate the looming revolution, and the two sides concluded the nuclear negotiations on the assumption that the United States would sell Iran eight reactors. During that summer, U.S. and Iranian diplomats initialed the accord, signaling informal agreement, although neither Carter nor the Shah would ever sign it.

As in the 1976 draft, the final agreement retained a U.S. veto on reprocessing but did not include options for buy back or a multinational plant. Under Article 6, Iran would not reprocess spent fuel or enrich uranium supplied by the U.S. “unless the parties agree.” The agreement's separate note was more detailed than in the 1976 draft. In addition to including language on physical security, expeditious U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission action on licenses, and international fuel cycle studies, the note provided alternative suggestions for handling spent fuel resulting from both U.S.-supplied fuel and reactors: storage in Iran; storage in the United States; or “storage, processing, or other disposition … in accordance with internationally accepted arrangements.” The latter could involve reprocessing in Britain, France, or “other mutually agreed states and return of recovered plutonium in the form of fabricated fuel to Iran, under arrangements which are deemed to be more proliferation resistant than those which currently exist.”29


Even though the final agreement was premised on constraining Iran's freedom to operate nuclear technology, the Shah and his advisers accepted the conditions as part of the price of the nuclear reactors and, presumably, good relations with Washington.

The bottom line of each of these possibilities was that Iran would not have the option of reprocessing U.S. supplied material. Iran's spent fuel could be reprocessed in Western Europe but only if it was impossible to store the material in Iran, the United States, or Western Europe. During negotiations, Washington wanted reprocessing in Western Europe to be “an option of last resort,” but Tehran wanted it to be an “equal choice” with the storage options. According to a State telegram, the Iranians feared a discriminatory outcome: “[The] United States would strike a deal with others to allow commercial-scale reprocessing subsequent to U.S.-Iran agreement.” To accommodate the Iranians on this point, without sacrificing nonproliferation objectives, Washington agreed to include a separate paragraph in the agreement that spelled out circumstances under which nondiscriminatory treatment would be possible and reprocessing in Europe would be better than a “last resort.” All options would be “subject to U.S. law which includes determination of no significant increase in the risk of proliferation associated with approvals for reprocessing.”30

Even though the agreement was premised on constraining Iran's freedom to operate nuclear technology, the Shah and his advisers accepted the conditions as part of the price of the nuclear reactors and, presumably, good relations with Washington. Whatever the Shah's motives, domestic Iranian instability ballooned during August and September 1978, throwing the nuclear agreement and everything else up in the air. The U.S. Embassy interpreted an editorial on nuclear policy in the prestigious Kayhan International newspaper as a sign that some officials in the government wanted to renegotiate the accord, partly because of the provisions on reprocessing.31

Not long after the Shah initiated martial law under a new prime minister, Jalfaar Sharif-Emami, in August 1978, Etemad resigned his position as atomic energy chief. Major cutbacks in government capital investment programs, the U.S. Embassy reported, had already “paralyzed the decision-making process in both [the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran] and Ministry of Energy on matters nuclear.” Except for the four reactors under construction with the help of Germany and France, “nuclear activity … has come to a halt.” Iranian officials were nonetheless bullish about their country's nuclear prospects telling a local Westinghouse representative that they wanted to work with the U.S. nuclear industry and that “the bilateral would certainly not be scrapped.”32 This attitude proved to be wishful thinking. When the Shah's regime collapsed in 1979, so did the nuclear power program; neither the French nor the Germans finished work on their reactor projects.

The apprehension about nuclear proliferation in South Asia and the Middle East that may have encouraged the Shah to think about a nuclear option did not vanish with his overthrow, however. Significantly, the same nationalism that informed Iran's stance toward nuclear technologies under the monarchy and emphasized Iran's “full right” to reprocess and concerns about “second-class” status foreshadowed Iran's present-day claims about nuclear “rights” under the NPT.33 And ironically, U.S. enmity toward Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution has critically impacted the regime's security calculations, increasing its interest in nuclear deterrence. Understanding the background to Iran's initial quest of nuclear power technologies will not in and of itself create better negotiating positions for today's leaders, but a more comprehensive understanding of the motivations at play is essential if present negotiations are to succeed.

Notes

↵1. Under Secretaries Committee to Deputy Secretary of Defense et al., National Security Council, “U.S. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Policy,” December 4, 1974, enclosing Memorandum for the President from Chairman Robert S. Ingersoll, December 4, 1974 and National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 202 Study, “Executive Summary”; Avner Cohen and William Burr, “Israel Crosses the Threshold,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June 2006, pp. 22-30; Memorandum of Conversation, “Secretary's Meeting with the General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament,” January 6, 1977. This memo along with many of the documents cited in this article can be found at the National Security Archive, The National Security Archive (http://www.nsarchive.org).
↵2. State Department cable 135137 to U.S. Embassy, Tehran, “Shah's Alleged Statement on Nuclear Weapons,” June 24, 1974.
↵3. U.S. Embassy, Paris, cable 15445 to State Department, “Further Remarks by Shah on Nuclear Weapons,” June 25, 1974; U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 5192 to State Department, “Shah's Alleged Statement on Nuclear Weapons,” June 25, 1974.
↵4. U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 5389 to State Department, “Iran's Intentions in Nuclear Matters,” July 1, 1974.
↵5. Memorandum for secretary of defense, “Nuclear Energy Cooperation with Iran–Action Memorandum,” n.d. [ca. June 22, 1974]; Special National Intelligence Estimate 4-1-74, “Prospects for Further Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” August 23, 1974; Asadollah Alam, The Shah and I (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993) p. 353. See also comments by Akbar Etemad in Maziar Bahari, “The Shah's Plan Was to Build Bombs,” New Statesman, September 11, 2008, available at New Statesman (http://www.newstatesman.com/print/200809110030).
↵6. See, for example, U.S. Embassy, Tehran, airgram A-76 to State Department, “The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran,” April 15, 1976.
↵7. Samuel R. Gammon, State Department executive secretary, to Sidney Sober, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and Thomas Clingan, Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental, and Scientific Affairs, “Nuclear Energy Agreement for Cooperation with Iran,” December 11, 1974.
↵8. Under Secretaries Committee to Deputy Secretary of Defense et al., National Security Council, “U.S. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Policy.”
↵9. “Report of the NSSM 219 Working Group, Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with Iran,” n.d. [circa April 1975]; U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 3437 to State Department, “Draft Agreement on Atomic Energy,” April 14, 1975; Deputy Secretary of State Robert Ingersoll to assistant to the president for national security affairs [Kissinger], “Department of State Response to NSSM 219 (Nuclear Cooperation with Iran),” April 18, 1975.
↵10. National Security Decision Memorandum 292, “U.S.-Iran Nuclear Cooperation,” April 22, 1975, signed by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
↵11. State Department Briefing Paper, “Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation,” May 1975.
↵12. U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 5939 to State Department, “Multinational Nuclear Centers: Assessment of Iranian Attitudes toward Plutonium Reprocessing,” July 17, 1975.
↵13. U.S. Mission, Vienna, cable 8210 to State Department, “U.S.-Iran Nuclear Cooperation,” September 25, 1975.
↵14. State Department cable 254826 to U.S. Embassy, Tehran, “Nuclear Agreement for Cooperation,” October 25, 1975; U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 11089 to State Department, “Shah's Interview by Business Week Given Prominent Coverage by English Language Kayhan,” November 13, 1975; U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 11539 to State Department, “U.S.-Iran Nuclear Agreement,” November 16, 1975.
↵15. Memorandum from Deputy Secretary of State Charles W. Robinson to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “Meeting on Nuclear Negotiations with Iran,” April 14, 1976, with memorandum attached from Myron B. Kratzer and Alfred L. Atherton to the secretary, “Next Step in Our Nuclear Negotiations with Iran,” March 25, 1976.
↵16. Memorandum of Conversation, State Department, “The Secretary's Meeting with FRG Ambassador Von Staden on the FRG/Iran Agreement for Nuclear Cooperation,” July 2, 1976.
↵17. Memorandum of Conversation, State Department, “Proposed Cable to Tehran on Pakistani Nuclear Processing,” May 12, 1976.
↵18. Memorandum from National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft to the president, “Letter to the Shah,” n.d. [ca. February 19, 1976]; Memorandum from National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft to the President, “Negotiation of a Nuclear Agreement with Iran,” April 19, 1976.
↵19. State Department cable 132760 to U.S. Embassy, Tehran, “Iranian Nuclear Power Agreement,” May 28, 1976; and State Department cable 135220 to U.S. Embassy, Tehran, “Nuclear Power Agreement with Iran,” June 2, 1976.
↵20. U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 5765 to State Department, “Iranian Views on Non-Proliferation and US-Iran Nuclear Cooperation,” June 7, 1976; U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 7485 to State Department, “Iranian Counterproposals for Atomic Energy Agreement,” July 23, 1976.
↵21. Memoranda from Deputy Secretary of State Charles W. Robinson for Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “Nuclear Negotiations with Iran,” August 13 and 18, 1976.
↵22. U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 7886 to State Department, “Nuclear Energy Discussions,” August 31, 1976, with annotations and cartoon by Pentagon official.
↵23. Ibid.; J. Samuel Walker, “Nuclear Power and Nonproliferation: The Controversy over Nuclear Exports, 1974-1980,” Diplomatic History, vol. 12 (Spring 2001), pp. 235–236.
↵24. U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 1232 to State Department, “Nuclear Power: Comments of Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI),” February 7, 1977.
↵25. U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 1437 to State Department, “GOI/AEOI Plans for Isfhahan Nuclear Technology Center, ENTEC,” February 14, 1977.
↵26. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States Jimmy Carter 1977, Book I (Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1977), pp. 582-584. See also Walker, “Nuclear Power and Nonproliferation,” pp. 237–239.
↵27. U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 5397 to State Department, “Audience with Shah,” June 20, 1977.
↵28. Walker, “Nuclear Power and Nonproliferation,” pp. 239-240. A requirement for IAEA safeguards on all nuclear facilities (“full scope”) in the 1978 law would not apply to the agreement with Iran because it was not to go in effect for 18 months.
↵29. State Department cable 125971 to U.S. Embassy, Tehran, “U.S.-Iran Nuclear Cooperation Agreement,” May 17, 1978.
↵30. State Department cable 226045 to U.S. Embassy, Canberra, “Provisions of U.S. Iranian Nuclear Agreement,” September 8, 1978.
↵31. U.S. Embassy, Tehran, cable 7863 to State Department, “Reassessment of Iran's Nuclear Energy Plans,” August 17, 1978.
↵32. U.S. Embassy Tehran cable 9154 to State Department, “Nuclear Activities in Iran,” September 21, 1978.
↵33. See, for example, Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Iran in World Politics: The Question of the Islamic Republic (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), pp. 76-77; Ervan Abrahamian, A History of Modern Iran (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), p. 195.

Genosaurer
02 Apr 12,, 23:53
If we could assume for a moment that cheap Chinese-made "Mr. Fusions" were available at the low, low cost of $99.99, would the ME calm down? I know it's not all about oil like the mantra says, but some of it certainly is. The specter of a finite energy supply has nations shaking a bit.

I don't think I would want to see portable reactors in people's houses. Too hard to foolproof, and if something goes wrong, yikes!

SL-1 was just a little 3MW plant...

RoccoR
03 Apr 12,, 14:19
Double Edge, et al,

Sometimes I get the impression that, based on what we know now, there should not be a military strike against Iran. And that I am hold a minority opinion.


Clear messaging to Iran — and to Israel, too — is important as the tension mounts over a possible Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear targets. The most direct public message yet came from Dempsey in his appearance on Fareed Zakaria’s show, “GPS.” It’s worth looking carefully at just what the nation’s top military officer said.

“The Iranian regime has not decided that they will embark on the effort to weaponize their nuclear capability,” Dempsey said, thereby offering Tehran a chance to save face in any deal. He argued that because Iran isn’t yet building a weapon, it would be “premature” and “not prudent” for Israel to attack. “A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives,” he cautioned. But he conceded that the U.S. hasn’t yet persuaded Israel to hold off.

(COMMENT)

Exactly!

Most Respectfully,
R

Officer of Engineers
03 Apr 12,, 15:54
It's already too late. Iran got all the parts that she needs to build a weapon. She even got all the research she needed to get to the assembly stage. Now, all she needs is to start producing the materials and start testing. Confidence is very low that she can make a weaponized warhead but she can start trying anytime now.

We were supposed to prevent this stage where she can even try to make one. Now, we shifted the goal post to when she will try to make one.

snapper
03 Apr 12,, 17:00
Stop kidding yourselves Iran is trying to make a bomb and will likely have a viable system early next year unless something changes.

Officer of Engineers
03 Apr 12,, 17:36
The Iranians are good but not that good.

Red Team
03 Apr 12,, 19:28
Interesting article by NY Times, draws a few parellels between the situation in Iran with Iraq.

NY Times: Ghosts of Iraq Haunting CIA in Tackling Iran (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/world/middleeast/assessing-iran-but-thinking-about-iraq.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=iran)

Double Edge
05 Apr 12,, 22:20
About the Bulletin article above...

Around 75-76, the Iranians are pushing for their rights and don't want to be treated as second class citizens. Then the odd suggestion is made that Iran should act statesmanlike and accept the terms as it will create a precedent for others. But they refuse. At the time France & Germany see no reason to treat Iran that way until Kissinger intervenes and puts a stop to it.

Then in 78-79, it seems the Iranians have somehow come around and are receptive because they see there is no alternative and another reason is offered that they don't want to risk good relations with the US (!)

The article then uses this outcome to argue that given during the Shahs's time that Iran was ready to accept no ENR that the Iran of today should do the same as well.

How/Why did the Iranians change her mind :confused:

This bit isn't explained. Its important because it might indicate how to handle the present crisis.

Double Edge
10 Apr 12,, 14:14
"Why ?"

Sanctions are in effect now. They will gain greater effect later this spring/early summer. The U.S. won't require permission of the UNSC to act militarily if need be. Israel surely won't seek nor require such authorization.
Agree though i see Israel having a stronger case at the moment.

Timing matters, this year or the year after I see Israel acting without the US.

Two years and after I see the US maybe getting involved. That will be a completely different ball game.

Should Israel wait until then in the hopes that whatever attack that follows will be much stronger. That would be relying on the US to defend Israel and isn't a given.


"...It would make it quite clear to everybody concerned. The first bit of clarity in this whole saga. It would pave the way for a more uniform levy of sanctions as well..."

Double Edge, it would already be quite clear to everybody beside those blind or willfully determined to perpetuate a deception.
There are no prizes to be had for pulling the wool over your eyes or anybody else for that matter.

The prize is in seeing how defendable a position is or not. That is what i'm trying to do. Construct models to see how well they can hold up. This method is quite good at arriving closer to the truth and a forum is the ideal place in which to do it in.

The beauty is once such positions are identified, it doesn't matter how many disagree, only thing that matters is whether they can counter :)


UNSC 1737 Dec. 23, 2006 (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sc8928.doc.htm)

UNSC 1803 March 3, 2008 (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/sc9268.doc.htm)

UNSC 1929 June 3, 2010 (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/sc9948.doc.htm)

You're a bright guy and google is your friend. Please don't require this from me again.
I'll reply to this point later when i've had time to read them, there's more resolutions in addition to just these.

Using google is easy, its the reading, comprehending, coherently articulating and when queried, substantiating/defending that is challenging.


"...Is it because Russia & China aren't on board yet..."

Excuse me? Do Russia and China have to bomb Iran to convince you they're "on board"? You do know the members of the P5+1?
They're not on board for the latest round of sanctions. Those sanctions remain unilateral, though admittedly this could change in the future.

If you mean wrt to resolutions then there isn't an issue here as they've not vetoed any.


"Or is it something much more basic, cannot condemn what is yet to happen."

Is condemnation required? I'd agree to condemn with honest vigor would require irrefutable proof. Shall we wait for a weapon to issue a pointless after-the-fact condemnation? I rather expect Iran would factor such into their calculation. Don't you? If so, would they care?:rolleyes:
I've seen it mentioned in numerous articles posted that should Iran decide to weaponise that it would be unmistakable and that there would be a long lead time to doing so. Isn't this a valid counter to 'shall we wait for a weapon' or a test ?

Why should Iran care ? If the global opposition unites against them then they are in a weaker position. So long as Iran can divide the opposition they can maintain their current stance.

They don't want to be reduced into a NoK, where they have to negotiate for food. Could this be a strong incentive for Iran not to ever test, weaponise or leave the NPT.


"...That [action taken by threatened parties] is entirely up to them..."

Correct. Afterall, there's la-la land and practical reality. There's also disingenuous obfuscation designed to impede a forthright investigation of Iran's peculiar intransigence. Not just Iran's government, many of its friends and/or enemies of the west appear seeking to muddy those waters with, among other tactics, webs of legalistic entanglements.
My agenda is to get an objective take on BOTH sides of this dispute. In the process of going about it, invariably i'm going to be accused, by both sides, of being disingenious or a shill for the other party. Its an occupational hazard. There's two fronts to defend against. I tend to ignore hardliners of both parties as they have a very fixed view that isn't amenable to change.

To locate defendable positions, arguments from both sides, have to be played off the other party. You've given me two solid points to throw at the pro-iran crowd, but i've only got half a semi-defendable point to throw at you for the moment :redface:

In addition to spin & dissembling there is also those legal entanglements you mention. You say its one sided but i think both parties are engaging in it. I see lots of exaggeration in the vocabulary used amongst western advocates. For instance

- they talk about violations instead of compliance or cooperation. Bolton was talking this way back in 2004.
- they talk about weapons as if Iran is going to get them tomorrow and is actively engaged in doing so.
- they push the supposed irrationality of the IRI regime to the point i wonder whether its them thats being more irrational instead. Gaddafi & Saddam were both rational, perhaps less so when it came to their own people but certainly with respect to other countries. The main distinction between the former two & the IRI regime is that they were reckless as well. This is why they're no longer around. They were unpredictable and best gotten rid off.

So the distinct pattern i can discern is the narrative is one step ahead of reality. The motive is to increase urgency, pressure and build consensus.

Do you just ignore them or examine whether they hold any substance. From your stance it would seem a good knowledge of UN sanctions along with the IAEA reports is all that is necessary to make your case. But IAEA reports aren't invulnerable to spin.

This is a hellishly difficult topic to get to grips with. If it ever enters into your presidential debates then it will become even more politicised than presently. Forget being objective at that point, unless you have a good command of the basics you are blind and open to manipulation.

On to the root issue of enrichment and whether Iran can do so or not. The argument offered is Iran has given up any rights because they have been non-cooperative. This carries the implicit conclusion that Iran never had a right to enrich in the first place. A lot is made about this point from the Iranian side. Is there any substance or not.


This isn't a lawsuit. There will be combat, maybe war, should Iran not submit to adequate verification. The issue reaches beyond the NPT, IAEA and even the U.N. Iran possessing a nuclear weapon or the means to rapidly attain such is unacceptable to, independantly, America's nat'l security and Israel. One, the other or both will certainly act should sanctions fail and Iran refuses to submit.

That, too, will not be put before any court.
I'm not the one that portrayed this dispute as a court case.

if no progress is made then what you say is likely.

S2
10 Apr 12,, 14:52
"...it would seem a good knowledge of UN sanctions along with the IAEA reports is all that is necessary to make your case. But IAEA reports aren't invulnerable to spin..."

The only case I'd make with certainty is that reasonable suspicion to Iran's intent exists now and has for some time. To a great extent this stems from Iran's admitted pursuit of nuclear weapons prior to 2003.

"We've been bad. Now we're good. Nothing to see here." is the mantra, oft-repeated, that we've been given.

That's not adequate. Trust and credibility on this issue has been damaged. Continued intransigence shall make that damaged trust irrevocable.

Iran has not acted in good faith and the stakes are such on this issue that duplicity can't be tolerated.

RoccoR
11 Apr 12,, 00:05
S2, et al,

Yes, this is understood.

Everyone is generally afraid of what Iran might do. The "Rule of Law" doesn't matter. Fear rules, based on incomplete information, of a 'unknown and uncertain" reliability, pertaining to unconfirmed "intentions."


"We've been bad. Now we're good. Nothing to see here." is the mantra, oft-repeated, that we've been given.

That's not adequate. Trust and credibility on this issue has been damaged. Continued intransigence shall make that damaged trust irrevocable.

Iran has not acted in good faith and the stakes are such on this issue that duplicity can't be tolerated.
(COMMENT)

The stakes (as commonly stated):


Undefined interests of a National Security nature to the US.
And a fear that at some date in the future (not further defined), under a Regime of undetermined nature and character, Iran will (unquestionably) launch a Nuclear Strike against Israel.


The Mitigation to the Stakes:


An unannounced attack (Act of War) Iran against a target set to be determined; as a preemptive strike against a possible threat to peace (Iran).





The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

The outcomes and consequences are undetermined and acceptable; regardless of the scope and intensity.

Most Respectfully,
R

S2
11 Apr 12,, 03:49
"The stakes (as commonly stated):
"...Undefined interests of a National Security nature to the US..."

If "...undefined...", as you posit, then you've not paid careful attention or don't care to acknowledge their relevance.

"...And a fear that at some date in the future (not further defined), under a Regime of undetermined nature and character, Iran will (unquestionably) launch a Nuclear Strike against Israel."

The regime is before you now. Do you have a date in the future that might be satisfactory?

Rocco, two questions for you-Iran admitted to a nuclear weapons program in 2003. What was their intent then and what's changed internally in their world view to alter it?

Officer of Engineers
11 Apr 12,, 04:04
Rocco, two questions for you-Iran admitted to a nuclear weapons program in 2003. What was their intent then and what's changed internally in their world view to alter it?Actually, they never did admit anything and to this day, still deny that they had such a program. They even deny that they had warhead blueprints or had fashioned the parts for a zero-yield test device despite the evidence to the contrary.

Double Edge
11 Apr 12,, 09:12
Actually, they never did admit anything and to this day, still deny that they had such a program.
Right, wonder where S2 got that from.


They even deny that they had warhead blueprints or had fashioned the parts for a zero-yield test device despite the evidence to the contrary.
What do you think of the idea that NoK may have tested a device for Iran in 2010 :)

Did Iran Test a Nuclear Bomb in North Korea in 2010? | PJ Media | Mar 04 2012 (http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2012/03/04/did-iran-test-a-nuclear-bomb-in-north-korea-in-2010/?print=1)

Officer of Engineers
11 Apr 12,, 10:32
Did Iran Test a Nuclear Bomb in North Korea in 2010? | PJ Media | Mar 04 2012 (http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2012/03/04/did-iran-test-a-nuclear-bomb-in-north-korea-in-2010/?print=1)Seoul doesn't think so.

YONHAP NEWS (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2010/06/21/45/0301000000AEN20100621006500315F.HTML)

RoccoR
11 Apr 12,, 14:01
S2, et al,

As far as a Nuclear Capable Iran and its relation to a US National Security Threat, that is all debatable. Even Israel's security is becoming an object of debate. But as I've stated in a previous posting, Israeli security is, "politically speaking," a sacred cow. One cannot challenge that premise without expecting to be challenged. The song of Israeli security has been sung for so long, that it has become axiomatic and self evident; requiring no further explanation, yet difficult to explain the scope and nature.





Actually, they never did admit anything and to this day, still deny that they had such a program. They even deny that they had warhead blueprints or had fashioned the parts for a zero-yield test device despite the evidence to the contrary.

Rocco, two questions for you-Iran admitted to a nuclear weapons program in 2003. What was their intent then and what's changed internally in their world view to alter it?
(COMMENT)

Iran has never really suggested that Nuclear Weapons have a place in their National Defense strategy or future policy. In fact, they have consistently made statements to the contrary; despite being militarily threatened by two Nuclear Powers. I am not defending Iran, but I must say, the scope and nature of the threats and being in the shadow of an possible attack at any time, is justification enough for a sovereign nation to seek an equal defense and response against Acts of War and Sneak Attacks.

Relative to the "blueprints," there are actually a couple of events that are not often explained.

The accusation of the discovery of Iranian Nuclear Weapons Blueprints (Critical Nuclear WEapons Design Information - CNWDI) actually originates from the Israelis (counted as Western Intelligence).

In 2004, the Israelis handed the CIA a laptop that they said came from an Iranian Engineer. The CIA, in turn, gave it to the IAEA. It contained:


Test data on High Explosive experiments.
A concept model and rudimentary design concept for a missile (delivery system)
Videos of a SECRET Iranian lab and test facility.


The explosive device, should not be confused with the recent controversy over the computer simulations of the hemispherical aluminium shell (AKA: R265). These are separate and distinct accusations, with one a single point of evidence associated with each.

Nor should we confuse the "blueprint" issue. The "blueprints" off the laptop and the "blueprints" in contention today, are of two different things. One is a very crude exploded view of what might be a very old fusion device; not considered design worthy. The other, is a design for centrifuges. The centrifuge design is really old, but over taken by events. The Iranians have since installed in more sophisticated centrifuges that are capable of enrichment into the HEU range.

The importance here is that issues ---- of 6, 8 and 10 years ago, while sounding and suspicious then, are of no significance now, as they are over taken by events. Again that is the same kind of mistake we made in the Iraq WMD debacle; using old intelligence and accepting it as meaningful and accurate.

This is not to say that there is no reason for suspicion.

Most Respectfully,
R

S2
11 Apr 12,, 14:18
"Right, wonder where S2 got that from."

Out of the thin blue air. Iran has not, to my knowledge, admitted such. I stand corrected.

S2
11 Apr 12,, 15:12
"As far as a Nuclear Capable Iran and its relation to a US National Security Threat, that is all debatable..."

Of course. That's what we do here. That's not, however, what you said. You said those nat'l security interests are undefined. That's not so. They've been defined in the 2010 U.S. National Security Strategy (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/national_security_strategy.pdf). You likely object to the positions promulgated by the U.S. government.

Those positions, however, would not be "...undefined...".

"...Israeli security is, "politically speaking," a sacred cow. One cannot challenge that premise without expecting to be challenged...."

So you object to a rhetorical defense of the rationales for Israeli security? Perhaps you object to the security of the Israeli state altogether and would prefer to see it insecure amidst enemies? Both? Please elaborate.

"...Iran has never really suggested that Nuclear Weapons have a place in their National Defense strategy or future policy..."

Evidently, this is true and I've stood corrected on that measure. Nonetheless, our 2007 NIE Iran: Nuclear Intentions And Capabilities (http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20071203_release.pdf) strongly suggests otherwise-

"We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons."

"...In fact, they have consistently made statements to the contrary; despite being militarily threatened by two Nuclear Powers..."

They've also threatened to close the Gulf Of Hormuz, attacked our soldiers in neighboring countries and sponsored terrorist entities around the world. Their government representatives have also made inflammatory comments suggesting violent intent upon neighboring states.

"... I am not defending Iran..."

Without question, I'd assess you are doing exactly that.

"...but I must say, the scope and nature of the threats and being in the shadow of an possible attack at any time, is justification enough for a sovereign nation to seek an equal defense and response against Acts of War and Sneak Attacks."

There have been no acts of war nor sneak attacks initiated against Iran by America. None. Iran is entirely justified in withdrawing from the NPT at any time and seeking nuclear weapons at its own risk. Until they do so, choosing to "...seek an equal defense and response..." contravenes their voluntarily-agreed obligations under the NPT.

Of course, you know this.

"...The Iranians have since installed in more sophisticated centrifuges that are capable of enrichment into the HEU range.

The importance here is that issues ---- of 6, 8 and 10 years ago, while sounding and suspicious then, are of no significance now, as they are over taken by events..."

So the Iranians have pursued a more sophisticated means of enrichment since 2006?

"...Again that is the same kind of mistake we made in the Iraq WMD debacle; using old intelligence and accepting it as meaningful and accurate..."

Do you allow for the same deceptions and obfuscation from Iran that were engaged by the Iraqis? More of the same also? All that can be easily resolved by Iran permitting full and unfettered inspections. To date they've chosen otherwise.

Of course, you make no allowance that U.S. and other nat'l intelligence entities might be using the most currently available information and collection assets to update their assessments. Why?

"...This is not to say that there is no reason for suspicion."

Your suspicions and reasons would be...?

Aryajet
11 Apr 12,, 18:29
It's already too late. Iran got all the parts that she needs to build a weapon. She even got all the research she needed to get to the assembly stage. Now, all she needs is to start producing the materials and start testing. Confidence is very low that she can make a weaponized warhead but she can start trying anytime now.

We were supposed to prevent this stage where she can even try to make one. Now, we shifted the goal post to when she will try to make one.

Colonel Sir,

While back in one of your posts you mentioned that the blue prints package for CICH-4 warhead which IRI had acquired through Abdul Qadir Khan did not include the research data necessary for assembling a test device. Now you are saying they've already got all the research they need to get to assembly stage.

Where do you think they might have gotten the data? Home grown may be?

Thanks.

rj1
11 Apr 12,, 19:06
Agree though i see Israel having a stronger case at the moment.

Timing matters, this year or the year after I see Israel acting without the US.

I personally think Israel is too weak to act on their own. Sure they can open things up and get in a shot or two but in any prolonged conflict their population is too small and everyone else in the region can say "they started it" and then hop on in a case of 10 countries vs. 1, which unfortunately would be popular globally. And unlike the recent past, they could have an open southern flank due to the recent changeover in power in Egypt.


S2: There will be combat, maybe war, should Iran not submit to adequate verification.

From who?

RoccoR
11 Apr 12,, 19:18
S2, et al,

We, I believe, are actually not that far apart.


"As far as a Nuclear Capable Iran and its relation to a US National Security Threat, that is all debatable..."

Of course. That's what we do here. That's not, however, what you said. You said those nat'l security interests are undefined. That's not so. They've been defined in the 2010 U.S. National Security Strategy (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/national_security_strategy.pdf). You likely object to the positions promulgated by the U.S. government.

Those positions, however, would not be "...undefined...".

(COMMENT)

The 2010 NSS mentions Israel 21 times, and talks about interests relative to a number of ongoing Middle East Issues, it doesn't really define what America gains in the US-Israeli relationship; or, what the US would lose in the event that Israel would disappear. The 2010 NSS makes broad brush stokes like:


The United States, Israel, the Palestinians, and the Arab States have an interest in a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
We will be unwavering in our pursuit of a comprehensive peace between
Israel and its neighbors, including a two-state solution that ensures Israel’s security, while fulfilling the Palestinian peoples’ legitimate aspirations for a viable state of their own.
We will continue to work to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, which has long been a source of tension.
The United States has important interests in the greater Middle East. They include broad cooperation on a wide range of issues with our close friend, Israel, and an unshakable commitment to its security; the achievement of the Palestinian people’s legitimate aspirations for statehood, opportunity, and the realization of their extraordinary potential; the unity and security of Iraq and the fostering of its democracy and reintegration into the region; the transformation of Iranian policy away from its pursuit of nuclear weapons, support for terrorism, and threats against its neighbors; nonproliferation; and counterterrorism cooperation, access to energy, and integration of the region into global markets.
Furthermore, our relationship with our Israeli and Arab friends and partners in the region extends beyond our commitment to its security and includes the continued ties we share in areas such as trade, exchanges, and cooperation
on a broad range of issues.
We have an array of enduring interests, longstanding commitments and new opportunities for broadening and deepening relationships in the greater Middle East. This includes maintaining a strong partnership with Israel while supporting Israel’s lasting integration into the region. The U.S. also will continue to develop our key security relationships in the region with such Arab states as with Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—partnerships that enable our militaries and defense systems to work together more effectively.


In fact, based on the 2010 NSS, Israel is the key controversy around which many of the US interests revolve. Extracting Israel from the equation results in an entirely different Middle East, than what we deal with today. If the US were to extricate itself from the Peace efforts altogether, a paradigm shift might occur that could result in a more stable Middle East/Persian Gulf Region.

But whatever the case may be, left to the GCC to resolve its fate on its own, the true National Security Interests of the United States are not really defined here in this document.


"...Israeli security is, "politically speaking," a sacred cow. One cannot challenge that premise without expecting to be challenged...."

So you object to a rhetorical defense of the rationales for Israeli security? Perhaps you object to the security of the Israeli state altogether and would prefer to see it insecure amidst enemies? Both? Please elaborate.
(COMMENT)

In the US-Israeli relationship, it is heavily weighted in one direction. The US Commitment to Israel’s Security Is Essential --- not the other way around.

A set of valid arguments can be made, as to the positive points the US derives from the relationship.


Military-Industrial economics: 70% of the $3B military aid must be be spent on American military equipment.
The joint ventures like the "David's Sling and Arrow 3 systems" add to the US R&D resulting in a positive multiplier effect for the US.
Israel is an importan Port of Call for our troops, ships, aircraft and intelligence operations. Israel permits the stockpile of arms, fuel, munitions and other supplies the US requires in the region.
And of course, it is often said that Israeli intelligence is critical to gathering information throughout the Middle East/Persian Gulf and invaluable HUMINT about on terrorist organizations and regimes (al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, & Iran).



Nonetheless, our 2007 NIE Iran: Nuclear Intentions And Capabilities (http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20071203_release.pdf) strongly suggests otherwise-

"We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons."
(COMMENT)

Yes, this is a glass half-full and half-empty. It is saying that, Iran had some sort of Nuclear Program; but, NOW it has been discontinued for nearly a decade.

Well, I am not so sure that the information we have today, comports with the 2003 NIE, which was compiled under an Intelligence Analysis Environment which was weak. It may also have been contaminated by Israeli Analysis and evidence that was corrupted. Today, the picture has to be completely re-evaluated; with a fresh eye and an unbiased approach. Look at the most current information against the most current allegations.


"...In fact, they have consistently made statements to the contrary; despite being militarily threatened by two Nuclear Powers..."

They've also threatened to close the Gulf Of Hormuz, attacked our soldiers in neighboring countries and sponsored terrorist entities around the world. Their government representatives have also made inflammatory comments suggesting violent intent upon neighboring states.
(COMMENT)

Yes, this they have done. The Regime has been provocative. It has taken steps much like a Super Power. But let's blame them for what they have done; not make-up charges as we go along.


"... I am not defending Iran..."

Without question, I'd assess you are doing exactly that.
(COMMENT)

I prefer to challenge Iran on firm ground, with logic and evidence on my side. I advocate that others follow my lead.

Let's not start a war over an issue that is designed to stop wars. We cannot approach this like a patient with cancer. In order to stop the cancer, you have to kill the patient. Yes that stops the cancer; but to what end?


"...but I must say, the scope and nature of the threats and being in the shadow of an possible attack at any time, is justification enough for a sovereign nation to seek an equal defense and response against Acts of War and Sneak Attacks."

There have been no acts of war nor sneak attacks initiated against Iran by America. None. Iran is entirely justified in withdrawing from the NPT at any time and seeking nuclear weapons at its own risk. Until they do so, choosing to "...seek an equal defense and response..." contravenes their voluntarily-agreed obligations under the NPT.

Of course, you know this.
(COMMENT)

I am glad you agree with the concept of sovereignty.

But, you have to admit, that Israel is suggesting that it consider an attack and publicly transmit that threat to Iran. In fact, so convincing was this threat, that the US had to ask the rhetoric be toned-down.

And what is the risk ("at its own risk") "any" sovereign nation pursuing a nuclear weapon?

In the nominal world - we call this the "veiled threat."


"...The Iranians have since installed in more sophisticated centrifuges that are capable of enrichment into the HEU range.

The importance here is that issues ---- of 6, 8 and 10 years ago, while sounding and suspicious then, are of no significance now, as they are over taken by events..."

So the Iranians have pursued a more sophisticated means of enrichment since 2006?
(COMMENT)

Yes, fully declared IAW the NPT. While they are capable, at the moment, of enriching slightly beyond the HEU threshold; they are not yet capable of producing weapons grade material (nowhere even close).


"...Again that is the same kind of mistake we made in the Iraq WMD debacle; using old intelligence and accepting it as meaningful and accurate..."

Do you allow for the same deceptions and obfuscation from Iran that were engaged by the Iraqis? More of the same also? All that can be easily resolved by Iran permitting full and unfettered inspections. To date they've chosen otherwise.

Of course, you make no allowance that U.S. and other nat'l intelligence entities might be using the most currently available information and collection assets to update their assessments. Why?
(COMMENT)

What deception. There were no post-1991 WMD activity in Iraq. So there was no real deception.

Iran is a sovereign nation. The US doesn't allow unfettered inspection, it must be inside the interests of national security.

US Intelligence of recent times has consistently said that there is no information that would suggest that Iran has a Nuclear Weapons Program.



New York Times report quotes senior American officials who believe there is little disagreement between Israeli and U.S. intelligence over Iran’s nuclear program, despite calls for a strike by Israeli officials.

Published 08:53 18.03.12
Example Source: 'Mossad, CIA agree Iran has yet to decide to build nuclear weapon' - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News (http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/mossad-cia-agree-iran-has-yet-to-decide-to-build-nuclear-weapon-1.419300)


"...This is not to say that there is no reason for suspicion."

Your suspicions and reasons would be...?
(COMMENT)

Except for the diplomacy at the Director General's level, I have confidence and trust in the IAEA Inspection Teams. They are never satisfied that the were granted enough access, but that is to be expected. They really want the "Additional Protocols to be ratified by the Iranian Central Government. But the West has been so very pushy and discount Iranian sovereignty out of hand. So I don't expect that to come anytime soon.

Ref: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) :: IAEA and Iran (http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/index.shtml)

My suspicions are based on the principle unresolved issues.


From 29 to 31 January 2012, an Agency team held a first round of talks in Tehran with Iranian officials aimed at resolving all outstanding issues. During the talks:

 The Agency explained its concerns and identified the clarification of possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme as the top priority.
 The Agency requested access to the Parchin site, but Iran did not grant access to the site at that time.
 The Agency and Iran had an initial discussion on the approach to clarifying all outstanding issues in connection with Iran’s nuclear programme, including issues to be addressed, initial actions and modalities.
 A draft discussion paper on a structured approach to the clarification of all outstanding issues in connection with Iran’s nuclear programme was prepared for further consideration.

This should be held for another discussion..

Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
11 Apr 12,, 21:24
I personally think Israel is too weak to act on their own.
yeah, if after five years of the PR circus, OOE thinks it amounts to no more than fanyboyism :biggrin:

Doktor
11 Apr 12,, 22:32
The 2010 NSS mentions Israel 21 times, and talks about interests relative to a number of ongoing Middle East Issues, it doesn't really define what America gains in the US-Israeli relationship; or, what the US would lose in the event that Israel would disappear.

USA has signed multiple documents with the state of Israel, besides many things they are one of the original Major Non NATO Allies to USA.
IDK what is to be gained or loosed in high politics, but in my world when one of your allies is not on the map any more, your word is worth nothing.

Officer of Engineers
12 Apr 12,, 01:17
While back in one of your posts you mentioned that the blue prints package for CICH-4 warhead which IRI had acquired through Abdul Qadir Khan did not include the research data necessary for assembling a test device. Now you are saying they've already got all the research they need to get to assembly stage.Actually, I now assessed that the Iran also have pre-1998 Pakistani warhead designs which were more advance than the CICH-4. Also through AQ Khan. The plans were discovered in Geneva through one of the computers of an AQ Khan associate. Through open source material, it was reported that both that AQ Khan and a Pakistani General, whose name escapes me at the moment, confirmed that they have transferred those blueprints.
Where do you think they might have gotten the data? Home grown may be?I don't think they've got the data. What they did was to go through the entire design piece by piece, add in data that they got from somewhere else (read Vyacheslav Danilenko's equations) and came up with the modified designs. Others reading the IAEA report have concluded that Iran has already done a zero yield test. It certainly is very well possible but I have not seen any credible reports of it.

RoccoR
12 Apr 12,, 03:48
Doktor, et al,

You bring-up a very good point.


USA has signed multiple documents with the state of Israel, besides many things they are one of the original Major Non NATO Allies to USA.
IDK what is to be gained or loosed in high politics, but in my world when one of your allies is not on the map any more, your word is worth nothing.
(COMMENT)

Israel is not a "Major Power;" ie self-sustaining. It is a "Nuclear Ambiguous" Regional Power, beyond treaties and the international law.

Yes, there is an argument to be made that, with respect to Israel, that the US has painted itself into a corner. Israel is the albatross around the neck of the US. It has to sustain Israel, no matter the cost - and no matter the cause. It is Israel, right or wrong (Part II, Article 8, Section 2b(viii), ICC).

But regionally, the reputation of the US could hardly get much worse. It is not the voice of democracy, and it is not the voice of peace or justice. So, for the US, it is a lose-lose situation. It must protect the remaining support bases for the hegemony at all cost. If Iran became the Regional Power, and the Dominant Resident in the Gulf, the US would lose the last of its major stations in the region and that portion of the hegemony would collapse.

You have a very good argument. The question becomes, would the US go to war over the dominance in the Gulf. Would the GCC want war to break-out if it might jeopardize oil facilities in the Gulf?

And, what would the US reputation be with the GCC (Oil Producers) if the war hurt GCC members?

Most Respectfully,
R

JAD_333
12 Apr 12,, 06:04
But regionally, the reputation of the US could hardly get much worse.

Rocco:

How do you quantify reputation? Do you have any citations, polls?

Doktor
12 Apr 12,, 06:59
Rocco


Yes, there is an argument to be made that, with respect to Israel, that the US has painted itself into a corner. Israel is the albatross around the neck of the US. It has to sustain Israel, no matter the cost - and no matter the cause. It is Israel, right or wrong (Part II, Article 8, Section 2b(viii), ICC).
I thought USA had it's own remarks on the Rome Statute.


But regionally, the reputation of the US could hardly get much worse. It is not the voice of democracy, and it is not the voice of peace or justice. So, for the US, it is a lose-lose situation. It must protect the remaining support bases for the hegemony at all cost. If Iran became the Regional Power, and the Dominant Resident in the Gulf, the US would lose the last of its major stations in the region and that portion of the hegemony would collapse.
If something can't go worse, how doing or not doing anything is lose-lose situation? I mean, after all, you've hit the bottom. It is only natural to do what is in your (and preferably, your friends) best interest now and sort the situation later.


You have a very good argument. The question becomes, would the US go to war over the dominance in the Gulf. Would the GCC want war to break-out if it might jeopardize oil facilities in the Gulf?
The way I understand it, the countries in the region with firm ties to USA prefer US hegemony over Iranian one. At least for the moment. If the war (as the last resort - as usual) is inevitable would it be better for USA to just give up the region in which they invested so much over the years? All that without a fight.


And, what would the US reputation be with the GCC (Oil Producers) if the war hurt GCC members?
A war in the ME will hurt many countries not directly involved in the process (mine included, or Mexico, or Malaysia while we are at countries starting on "M")

As for the GCC, the price of oil will rise and they will get compensated. As a matter of fact they are already compensated with all this waiting making the stock exchanges nervous. What about the other countries?

Double Edge
12 Apr 12,, 13:36
"Right, wonder where S2 got that from."

Out of the thin blue air. Iran has not, to my knowledge, admitted such. I stand corrected.
There are oblique references by various Iranian leaders that cloud the picture here.

Your SWJ article indicated an interview with the Shah where it could be construed that he would be in favour of them but this perception was denied immediately. The US ambassador at the time stated he had no reason to believe it.

Rafsanjani has said in a sermon that nukes might be useful. The same has also been attributed to one of the ayatollahs, Yezdi Mesbah, (A-Jad's mentor) in a booklet mentioning a 'certain special kind of weapon'.

These are not direct statements by the regime, they require some creative manipulation to create a perception. So I would be of the opinion that Iran has not made any official admissions to this effect.

RoccoR
12 Apr 12,, 18:37
JAD_333; et al,

Yes, it is a valid question. One is experiential. I served in the Middle East/Persian Gulf - 7 out of the last 10 years. I returned last August. There are to levels of reputation.


Official Government relations at the "Ruling Level."
The relationship by the Indigenous Population outside the government.



How do you quantify reputation? Do you have any citations, polls?
(COMMENT)

Now I could answer based on my personal experience; but I suppose that is much to circumspect as biased.

But there are a number of indicators:



These surveys chronicled the rise of anti-Americanism around the world for much of the past decade. Favorable ratings of the U.S. plunged in many countries following the invasion of Iraq and remained low through 2008. In 2009, we began to document a revival of America's global image in many parts of the world reflecting confidence in its new president, Barack Obama.

Exemplar SOURCE #1: Restoring America's Reputation in the World - Pew Research Center (http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1512/restoring-americas-reputation-globally-gains-may-be-fragile)
by Andrew Kohut, President, Pew Research Center
March 4, 2010


In other words, President Bush voiced support for regional democrats and then withdrew it and scuttled back behind the usual Arab authoritarian enforcers. In so doing, he helped bring the United States’ reputation in the Middle East to a historic low point. America’s power and ability to shape events in the region was significantly diminished.

Exemplar SOURCE #2: Middle East Progress » Blog Archive » Understanding bin Laden (http://middleeastprogress.org/2011/05/understanding-bin-laden%E2%80%99s-appeal/)
May 5, 2011
By Matt Duss, AMERICAN PROGRESS PROJECTS



As the very first witness in a 10-hearing series with pollsters and regional analysts told the Subcommittee—“We have never seen numbers this low.”


June 11, 2008
The first of three reports on America’s International Image (covering Decline,
Impact on U.S. National Interests, and Recommendations) by the

SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS,
AND OVERSIGHT of the HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Exemplar SOURCE #3: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/42566.pdf


The ongoing conflict is a major factor in the region’s instability, and American backing of Israel is a reason that many Arab nations distrust or despise the U.S., said Saudi native Zaki Safar, president of the CSU Muslim Student Association.

“(President George Herbert Walker Bush) said (U.S. forces) went into the Gulf War because they wanted to kick Saddam out of Kuwait,” Safar said Monday evening. “But if you look at Palestine, Israel has occupied Palestine since 1967, yet the U.S. is turning a blind eye to that – it’s a double-standard.”

Exemplar SOURCE #4: Rocky Mountain Collegian: CSU Muslim: U.S. policy to blame « ArabianSaudi Blog (http://zakisafar.com/2011/06/15/rocky-mountain-collegian-csu-muslim-u-s-policy-to-blame/)


US Iraq embassy, plotting base in ME
PressTV - US Iraq embassy, plotting base in ME (http://www.presstv.ir/detail/216558.html)
Dec 19, 2011 – The Middle East analyst said the US reputation during Iraq war has been gravely tarnished throughout the Middle East region.

Quasi-Exemplar #5


These are only indicators over time. Now there is an anomaly. The reputation of US Forces among nations has gone "up" (government level) not down.



The Official Home Page of the United States Army | The United States Army (http://www.army.mil) › News Archives Feb 10, 2012 – REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The reputation of the U.S. and its Army stands tall with foreign governments.

Most Respectfully,
R

RoccoR
12 Apr 12,, 19:12
Doktor, et al,



I thought USA had it's own remarks on the Rome Statute.
(COMMENT)

First, came the official remarks, then the US "unsigned" the treaty.


United States and the International Criminal Court — Global Issues
United States and the International Criminal Court (http://www.globalissues.org/article/490/united-states-and-the-iccJul) 1998 – This part of the globalissues.org web site looks at the issue of U.S. resistance to the International ... The unsigned the Rome Statue in May 2002.

WHY UNITED STATES “UNSIGNED” THE ICC'S ROME STATUTE
www.bentleymun.org/backgroundPapers/ICCandUS.doc File Format: Microsoft Word - Quick View
WHY UNITED STATES “UNSIGNED” THE ICC'S ROME STATUTE .... [27] When the Rome Statue was being drafted, many of the negotiating countries were ...


If something can't go worse, how doing or not doing anything is lose-lose situation? I mean, after all, you've hit the bottom. It is only natural to do what is in your (and preferably, your friends) best interest now and sort the situation later.
(COMMENT)

While the reputation cannot get much worse, the security and stability of the region can deteriorate further. Of particular interest is the vulnerability of the oil infrastructure.


The way I understand it, the countries in the region with firm ties to USA prefer US hegemony over Iranian one. At least for the moment. If the war (as the last resort - as usual) is inevitable would it be better for USA to just give up the region in which they invested so much over the years? All that without a fight.
(COMMENT)

It depends on the scope of the battle damage and the impact on the economies:


US domestic economy.
Global Energy economy.



A war in the ME will hurt many countries not directly involved in the process (mine included, or Mexico, or Malaysia while we are at countries starting on "M")
(COMMENT)

I am in complete agreement. But to some degree, the amount of pain and the severity of the damage to international economies can be mitigated.

One might ask, which aspect deserves the greater concern.


The US position on sovereignty relative to Iranian R&D (weapons or energy).
An undefined threat against Israel.
The potential adverse impact on the international economies dependent on the oil flow out of the region. (Potential damage to Oil Production Infrastructure).



As for the GCC, the price of oil will rise and they will get compensated. As a matter of fact they are already compensated with all this waiting making the stock exchanges nervous. What about the other countries?
(COMMENT)

So, is there a possibility the the cost of energy (gas and oil) can go further upward? Or, are we expecting that a regional war will not have a further adverse impact?

Most Respectfully,
R

Doktor
12 Apr 12,, 22:53
Rocco,


First, came the official remarks, then the US "unsigned" the treaty.
There was no way it will pass the Congress as Clinton knew when he signed it (but still did), he even told Bush not to go to Congress with the ratification.
There is a problem with US Constitution and the ICC jurisdiction.
I read your attachment and still fail to find any link with USA "unsigning" it as a sign of support of the State of Israel (your mentioning of Part II, Article 8, Section 2b(viii), ICC).


While the reputation cannot get much worse, the security and stability of the region can deteriorate further.
The way I see it it is a similar situation like in Yugoslavia: you have isolated the bad guys - Iran (Serbs), friendly guys - Israel, KSA, UAE, Bahrain... (Slovenes, Croats, Albanians) and neutrals - Egypt, Jordan... (Macedonians, Bosnians...).
All fared better then the Serbs and now approve US policies on the Balkans during the '90s. Even Serbs are opened to the west now.


Of particular interest is the vulnerability of the oil infrastructure.
The oil infrastructure is not on par with Iranian potential. It should and will be updated by the highest bidder. After the dust will fall of course.

If you are referring to ME infrastructure as a whole, I'd guess most of it will be secured from attacks prior the raids (if any). Hence the increasing military presence in the region.


It depends on the scope of the battle damage and the impact on the economies:


US domestic economy.
Global Energy economy.

How does the current stalemate reflect on the said economies? It's not the only factor, but recently is very popular when the crude oil price is in question.


I am in complete agreement. But to some degree, the amount of pain and the severity of the damage to international economies can be mitigated.
How? We can't influence the events, and we don't/wont receive subsidies to cover the price difference:red:
At the moment the petrol at the gas stations is 60% more expensive over here compared to the prices from 2010 (2 years), while overal inflation is 2%/a.


One might ask, which aspect deserves the greater concern.

The US position on sovereignty relative to Iranian R&D (weapons or energy).
US had no issue to made a surgical strike on a Major ally soil.
Had no problem supporting allies attacking another nation, too. Without Congress approval.
Both occurred under current administration.


An undefined threat against Israel.
How is it undefined? They support terrorist organizations against Israel.


The potential adverse impact on the international economies dependent on the oil flow out of the region. (Potential damage to Oil Production Infrastructure).
You think there will be a disruption in the supply?
Then what's the purpose of strategic oil reserves (every country has them), pipelines, and the armada stocking near the strait?


So, is there a possibility the the cost of energy (gas and oil) can go further upward? Or, are we expecting that a regional war will not have a further adverse impact?
Yep, the costs will go up. But when? The costs of oil went up prior the start of Iraq war in February 2003, and were declining during the operation. In May 2003 they were as low as in Oct/Nov 2002. (20% lower compared to start of the operation). Then hit the roof in July 2008.

At the moment they are going up, up, up, for 3 years in a row and counting all while the troops are going home.

Can you link directly the price of oil with the military operations? I can't.

RoccoR
13 Apr 12,, 05:17
Doktor, et al,

Again, I know that I hold a minority opinion here. But I think it contains points that need to be said.


There was no way it will pass the Congress as Clinton knew when he signed it (but still did), he even told Bush not to go to Congress with the ratification.

There is a problem with US Constitution and the ICC jurisdiction.
I read your attachment and still fail to find any link with USA "unsigning" it as a sign of support of the State of Israel (your mentioning of Part II, Article 8, Section 2b(viii), ICC).
(COMMENT)

The US is not openly going to admit that it cannot sign the Treaty because it would promote the position and give credence to the supposition that Israel is engaged in War Crime activity.

Most Americans don't even know that it is an International War Crime to:


(viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory;

For a US Politician to sign on board with this, would be political suicide. AIRPAC would tear them apart. No, they have to come up with another reason. Constitutionality was that out. And it fits the US Policy perfectly.

Certainly, neither the Administration, Congress or the Israelis want Part II, Article 8, Section 2b(viii), ICC, to become a domestic debate issue; especially around Election time.

As a matter of fact, I don't either. I don't support it for reasons related to the way US Forces are used. They could become subject to the ICC and that would be rather inconvenient.



The way I see it it is a similar situation like in Yugoslavia: you have isolated the bad guys - Iran (Serbs), friendly guys - Israel, KSA, UAE, Bahrain... (Slovenes, Croats, Albanians) and neutrals - Egypt, Jordan... (Macedonians, Bosnians...).
All fared better then the Serbs and now approve US policies on the Balkans during the '90s. Even Serbs are opened to the west now.
(COMMENT)

Yes, I agree. We intervened. And Camp Bondsteel is still there. But your point is well taken.


The oil infrastructure is not on par with Iranian potential. It should and will be updated by the highest bidder. After the dust will fall of course.

If you are referring to ME infrastructure as a whole, I'd guess most of it will be secured from attacks prior the raids (if any). Hence the increasing military presence in the region.
(COMMENT)
Like I said, I was there, in the Region, when a terrorist suicide bomber attacked a Saudi facility. And although it was a complete failure, oil prices did spike.

If a strike is made against Iran, we will be extremely lucky if Iran does not consider it an "Act of War;" extremely lucky. It will have its consequences. And static facilities, even the ones in the Persian Gulf, that are heavily protected, are still vulnerable. They are not invincible and impervious to a concerted effect by a regional power. While Iran is not likely to close the Straits, it can tie-up a considerable number of resources in its defense, while using other assets it has at it disposal, to focus on Gulf oil facilities. It is like a huge professional boxer that can only defend, against an inferior, much small opponent. Given enough tries, a punch is bound to break through. These facilities are in more danger than is commonly believed.



How does the current stalemate reflect on the said economies? It's not the only factor, but recently is very popular when the crude oil price is in question.
(COMMENT)

The stalemate, at least, retards the rate of increase in the price of oil. Given the advanced state of the rhetoric, and the threats of an attack, the price will be gradually driven upward as the belief in an imminent attack(s) becomes more plausible. This cannot be helped, since military action is often used as the means of arbitration; particularly when the US is involved.



How? We can't influence the events, and we don't/wont receive subsidies to cover the price difference:red:
At the moment the petrol at the gas stations is 60% more expensive over here compared to the prices from 2010 (2 years), while overal inflation is 2%/a.
(COMMENT)

I agree. And I don't see any action that the US can take, political, commercially, or militarily, that will improve the economic conditions in cost control. However, if the US allows war to break-out, it can set the conditions for prices to further rise and at an enormous rate. The US can make it much worse than it is; but it is rather questionable if it can influence factors that will improve the conditions and lower prices. We (the US) need to take a lesson and "first do no harm."



US had no issue to made a surgical strike on a Major ally soil.
Had no problem supporting allies attacking another nation, too. Without Congress approval.
Both occurred under current administration.
(COMMENT)

Yes, I agree. Both have occurred. To what end!

I can put forth any number of anecdotal successes in action and policy. But at the end of the day, what is the true nature of the accomplishment? Did America help build a better global economy? Did America set the conditions that showed improvement in Regional Peace? Has the cost of oil improved anywhere in the world? Is the domestic economy any better and has the critical infrastructures improved to any significant degree?

Attack is easy. The consequence and aftermath are much harder to deal with for most Americans. After the parades, the political speeches, the chest thumping, and the news sound-bites; after all the self praising - how much better off are Americans (the middle class) who pays the bills?


How is it undefined? They support terrorist organizations against Israel.
(COMMENT)

[Spoken Softly and Respectfully]: Oh come-on now!

Just about every nation in the Middle East and Persian Gulf has elements within the Regime that support organizations labeled as terrorist. From Saudi Princes, to the Arab on the street (anywhere) support organizations labeled as terrorist, if they are not a member themselves.

There is an aspect here, peculiar to Iran (IRGC-QF & MOIS) that I am concerned about (a concern I've mentioned in previous postings), a very dangerous aspect to their profile.

But as Hamas and Hezbollah goes, they are not hard to find. Hell, they have signs up as to where they are. In many respects, if they are not quasi-governments receiving US Aid, they are considered benevolent social assistance elements by the indigenous populations. If they were really a threat to US interests, we know where to go find them. Oh hell, a blind, rookie, Counterintelligence Agent with a seeing-eye dog, could track them down. They are listed in the phone book for crying out loud. Hell, in the last month, the US held talks with Fatah-Hamas over the aid issue.

No, no, no! Terrorism support, related to these guys is a complicated issue. If you could walk through the al-Bekka Valley, you might get an eye opening.


You think there will be a disruption in the supply?
Then what's the purpose of strategic oil reserves (every country has them), pipelines, and the armada stocking near the strait?
(COMMENT)

Yes, understood. Good point. If the US is forced to open the Strategic Oil Reserves, the price of gas will become UNaffordable by the Middle Class.

Yes, I think if Iran is subject to an Act of War, they will make operations in the Gulf very difficult. They may not close the straits, but in addition to striking oil facilities, they will draw-in so many military vessels in the Straits, that you'll need a damn NYPD Traffic cop to sort-out the tangled mess; or place vessel traffic at risk (further driving prices up).


Yep, the costs will go up. But when? The costs of oil went up prior the start of Iraq war in February 2003, and were declining during the operation. In May 2003 they were as low as in Oct/Nov 2002. (20% lower compared to start of the operation). Then hit the roof in July 2008.
(COMMENT)

Yeh, I would, on occasion, be in a position to watch the tankers roll in to the transfer points. But the Iraq engagement only directly involved Iraq (Iraqi-on-Iraqi). It did not widen the conventional aspect of the conflict to an open war with Iran; although there was an asymmetric component that was driven by al-Maliki and his need for al-Sadr. I was in Baghdad during Easter 2008 for the great bombardment. I recall it the hard way.


At the moment they are going up, up, up, for 3 years in a row and counting all while the troops are going home.

Can you link directly the price of oil with the military operations? I can't.
(COMMENT)

The price of oil is driven by many factors. Military operations is just one of them. But anything that effects "risk" is a factor. I guarantee you, if a strike is made on Iran, the price will spike. If one (just one) oil facility is hit inside the region by the Iranians, the price will spike. If multiple facilities are hit, the cost will be enormous.

Most Respectfully,
R

JAD_333
13 Apr 12,, 05:38
JAD_333; et al,

Yes, it is a valid question. One is experiential. I served in the Middle East/Persian Gulf - 7 out of the last 10 years. I returned last August. There are to levels of reputation.


Official Government relations at the "Ruling Level."
The relationship by the Indigenous Population outside the government.



This interested me, and I wonder if our withdrawal did have a positive effect on our reputation in the ME, although in my opinion, our low rating was more an expression of anger than anything else.


Residents' Views on Actions the U.S. Can Take to Improve Its Image: In 2008, Gallup asked residents in 10 predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa to rate the extent to which various actions might significantly improve their opinions of the United States. In addition to asking about the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, respondents were asked to rate actions related to economic development, technology, poverty, and governance*.

Overall, residents in eight of the countries surveyed are most likely to say the United States' withdrawal from Iraq would improve their opinion very significantly. However, opinions about the different actions vary within the region.

28891

Opinion Briefing: U.S. Image in Middle East/North Africa (http://www.gallup.com/poll/114007/opinion-briefing-image-middle-east-north-africa.aspx)


From another poll, I see that the US remains the favorite destination for immigrants even among ME populations. Just look at how many taxi drivers in Washington, DC, come from the ME. :eek:

In any case, Gallup did a follow-up poll in 2010 showing US image had improved but still was only in the 30% range overall. I don't know of any recent polls; it would be interesting to see whet the numbers are post-Iraq withdrawal.

RoccoR
13 Apr 12,, 16:04
JAD_333, et al,

There is a difference between the reputation America has in terms of life style and opportunity; and the reputation America has as a World Leader driven by policy implementation.


This interested me, and I wonder if our withdrawal did have a positive effect on our reputation in the ME, although in my opinion, our low rating was more an expression of anger than anything else.

From another poll, I see that the US remains the favorite destination for immigrants even among ME populations. Just look at how many taxi drivers in Washington, DC, come from the ME. :eek:

In any case, Gallup did a follow-up poll in 2010 showing US image had improved but still was only in the 30% range overall. I don't know of any recent polls; it would be interesting to see whet the numbers are post-Iraq withdrawal.
(COMMENT)

There is no question that the US Withdrawal from Iraq was a positive step in terms of its reputation. As the rationale for the US Intervention evolved and changed over time, the component that fostered the idea that intervention was necessary to protect the regional neighbors from Iraqi Aggression became less and less valid.

While the indigenous populations might view the US withdrawal in a positive sense, the US still taints it reputation by its military presence in the Gulf; and its threat to use its power to shore-up US Interests. The withdrawal itself will not significantly move the regional populations to a greater approval of America as a World Leader. And the more America comes to believe that Israel is a non-negotiable and essential priority among US Interests, the less the indigenous populations of the Middle East and Persian Gulf will appreciate US Foreign Policy and Intervention.

Most Respectfully,
R

S2
14 Apr 12,, 03:02
"...the US still taints it reputation by its military presence in the Gulf; and its threat to use its power to shore-up US Interests..."

Would you prefer if we maintained a military presence in the Gulf but definitively declared that under no circumstance would those forces be used to "...shore-up US Interests..."?

Or perhaps you'd prefer we withdraw our forces and cede the Gulf altogether to our Iranian friends?:rolleyes:

For the record, I suspect the latter.:biggrin:

RoccoR
14 Apr 12,, 04:28
S2, et al,

This is a very critical point.


"...the US still taints it reputation by its military presence in the Gulf; and its threat to use its power to shore-up US Interests..."

Would you prefer if we maintained a military presence in the Gulf but definitively declared that under no circumstance would those forces be used to "...shore-up US Interests..."?

Or perhaps you'd prefer we withdraw our forces and cede the Gulf altogether to our Iranian friends?:rolleyes:

For the record, I suspect the latter.:biggrin:
(COMMENT)

For the US to be perceived as a positive influence, the indigenous populations of the Middle East and Persian Gulf have to actually see the US act in their best interest and not solely the best interest of the US; even if it cost us something. America has to demonstrate the characteristics of a leader. It must show that America -not only can be courageous - but is courageous enough to act in a fair and honorable way with the entire neighborhood; including Iran. Courage is not simply the use of force, and heroism on the battlefield. America must rebuild the trust of the entire neighborhood. That is where the real authority of American leadership sits; that is how America extends its influences.

Maybe now is not the right time for Iran to be given the responsibility of the Persian Gulf; but, that does not mean that - given the right influences through demonstrated leadership, it cannot be in the future.

The military Force in the Persian Gulf is a deterrent factor, not an enforcement tool. It is there to maintain the "peace" --- not to start a "war."

Most Respectfully,
R

S2
14 Apr 12,, 05:18
"...Maybe now is not the right time for Iran to be given the responsibility of the Persian Gulf..."

Ya think?:rolleyes:

"...Maybe..." leaves some room for doubt though, eh?

"...that does not mean that - given the right influences through demonstrated leadership, it cannot be in the future..."

Oh wow. NOW I've read everything. Why would you even expend the energy to suggest such?

You do appreciate the insidious role Iran has played in Syria? How about its own adventures in Iraq, where the streets have been littered by the bodies of those unfortunate enough to intersect with an Iranian-manufactured EFP? Lebanon and the gentle guiding spirit of Ayaltollah Nasrallah and his merry band of Hezbollans?

The list goes on but here-at WAB, you promote a kinder, gentler, thousand-points-of-light Iranian beacon of hope for all.

It COULD happen.;)

Yeah, and my aunt could grow balls and become my uncle.:eek:

So...tell me, oh wise one-how do those sheep-in-wolves-clothing Iranians get there from here.

Oh! Before answering, you still haven't suggested your preference. Should we unambiguously declare that U.S. forces stationed in the gulf shall never use force in the defense of American interests or simply...withdraw?

Lot of groovy words about "courage" and "honor" and "fair" that you tossed about but I sensed you tap-dancing around my question. I'd love an answer.

Here's hoping that's not asking too much.:)

Parihaka
14 Apr 12,, 08:31
Oh! Before answering, you still haven't suggested your preference. Should we unambiguously declare that U.S. forces stationed in the gulf shall never use force in the defense of American interests or simply...withdraw?

Lot of groovy words about "courage" and "honor" and "fair" that you tossed about but I sensed you tap-dancing around my question. I'd love an answer.

Here's hoping that's not asking too much.:)
he's already stated his preference

Dreadnought, [B]et al,

Please don't think for a minute that we did NOT waste that money. We did!

Not one of those countries is going to come to our aid - in any substantive way, should be need it.



(COMMENT)

None of the Persian Gulf States or Arabian Sea Neighbors wants us there. The Fifth Fleet is there because we wanted a Naval Support Base in the region, assuming our plans in Iraq worked-out. But they haven't. We could save a lot of money if we abandon the entire region and let the indigenous populations settle their own affairs.

That is just my thought,
R

His comments in the rest of that thread are equally interesting

Double Edge
14 Apr 12,, 15:21
Will today's negotiations work ?

Iran talks: Why time is ripe for compromise | CS Monitor Op-Ed | April 13, 2012 (http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/print/content/view/print/495107)

Iran talks: Why time is ripe for compromise

Positive signals from Iran and the United States are encouraging as talks on Tehran's nuclear program get underway, writes a political expert from Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

By Mansour Salsabili
posted April 13, 2012 at 11:00 am EDT
Cambridge, Mass.

The opportunity for a compromise on nuclear and other regional issues between Iran and the United States has never been so ripe as now, when talks resume between Iran and international negotiators in Istanbul this weekend.

The desire for progress on both sides of the table is observable. What can ensure a tangible result?

The answer is an active effort to keep this new engagement continuous and irreversible. Just as nonproliferation is vital to the US, the peaceful use of nuclear technology is valued in Iran as an inalienable right. Hence, an agenda for an ongoing negotiation that balances these two interests must be proposed at the very first meeting to capture the momentum.

The failure of past negotiations is often associated with domestic political rivalry in both Iran and the US. It seems today, however, that both sides have overcome internal divisions.

That Iran agreed to take part in talks without further delay, in spite of sharp critics ranging from military and political officials to the Tehran Friday prayers leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, is a good sign and a momentous decision.

At the same time, the US administration is in an election year. The Obama administration must make a courageous decision considering the criticism that anti-Iranian hardliners will use to foil any credible political deal with Iran. Thus, this is a promising start.

Another encouraging sign is the reappointment of Hashemi Rafsanjani, the symbol of pragmatism in the Iranian body politic, as the head of Expediency Council, the body that advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It was the supreme leader who reappointed Mr. Rafsanjani, despite overt enmity against him expressed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the last seven years.

The leader’s hailing of Rafsanjani for all his endeavors came at a time when Rafsanjani recalled a sensitive letter he drafted to the leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a couple of years before his demise. The letter spoke of the need to resolve relations between Iran and the US and also improve relations with Saudi Arabia, not only for mutual oil policies but also for regional peace and tranquility.

These are important signals from the Iranian side, sent at the highest level.

In the US, President Obama asserts that Iran has the right to peaceful nuclear technology. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton affirmatively reflects on the religious decree of Ayatollah Khamenei against the production and use of nuclear weapons. Mrs. Clinton has urged Iran to translate its religious belief into active government policy – including allowing inspections and exchanging some of Iran's enriched uranium for fuel for its research reactor.

Both signals show a softening of the US position backing the 2006 UN Security Council resolution that demanded Iran “suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development.” The American softening also indicates a readiness for respectful engagement.
At a time when neither suspension of Iranian nuclear activity nor international collaboration with Iran on nuclear technology seems feasible, the one possible step is either a temporary cap on the number of centrifuges or a demonstration of restraint in the level of enrichment – or both – as confidence building measures by Iran.

According to the Iranian News Agency, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran considers the idea of a temporary cap on the level of enrichment a likely path Iran could take. That would allow for the 20 percent enriched uranium required for producing medical isotopes. This leaves the door open for a fuel swap. The idea of a fuel cap was repeatedly affirmed by Mr. Ahmadinajad last summer. Such a position matches the US request for sustainable transparency and meticulous verification, supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

To make these talks a success, the parties must first aim for a win-win negotiation. Each side at the end of each round must have something tangible to show to the public back home.

Second, reciprocity is crucial. Word for word, and action for action, mutual concessions will secure the result, limit expectations, and warrant a continuation of the process.

Third, the promulgation of an initial agreement or statement, expressing the principal positions of each side, can shut the door on those who might be interested in prolonging the crisis. An initial agreement could be in the form of a joint communiqué, to limit disparate interpretations and also to promote the commitment to getting real results from each round.

Finally, as the incoming president of the Non-Aligned Movement, Iran wishes to be treated as a reliable member of the international community. Therefore, a respectful and cooperative atmosphere free from blame and recrimination is necessary for a constructive, problem-solving approach to resolving the nuclear issue as well as other regional issues.

By approaching with compromise, maybe we will be able to see the US high-level delegation as a guest to the nonaligned summit in Tehran this summer.

Mansour Salsabili is a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. A senior political expert on leave from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, he participated in a number of efforts ranging from UN reforms to the Non-Aligned Movement. The views expressed here are entirely his own.

RoccoR
14 Apr 12,, 15:52
S2, et al,

As I said, I know that I hold the minority opinion.


"...Maybe now is not the right time for Iran to be given the responsibility of the Persian Gulf..."

Ya think?:rolleyes:

"...Maybe..." leaves some room for doubt though, eh?

"...that does not mean that - given the right influences through demonstrated leadership, it cannot be in the future..."

Oh wow. NOW I've read everything. Why would you even expend the energy to suggest such?
(COMMENT)

I'm a forward thinker - and look to the future that brings us progress in international relations. I also know that the nature and character of countries change. Iran will not always be as it is today. And there is a growing population within Iran that wants to become more involved and connected with the rest of the world. Just as, when I was younger, the North Vietnamese were the evil threat of the day - and could not be envisioned as a positive regional influence, I was shock to learn how wrong I was. And so now - I believe that Iran will (someday) improve and become a benefit and advantage to the region. I haven't written them off yet.


You do appreciate the insidious role Iran has played in Syria? How about its own adventures in Iraq, where the streets have been littered by the bodies of those unfortunate enough to intersect with an Iranian-manufactured EFP? Lebanon and the gentle guiding spirit of Ayaltollah Nasrallah and his merry band of Hezbollans?
(COMMENT)

Even anti-government and anti-occupation forces evolve. You are only looking at one side of the coin with Hezbollah. They are more than a irregular military force of an asymmetric strategy.


The list goes on but, here-at WAB, you promote a kinder, gentler, thousand-points-of-light Iranian beacon of hope for all.

It COULD happen.;)

Yeah, and my aunt could grow balls and become my uncle.:eek:

So...tell me, oh wise one-how do those sheep-in-wolves-clothing Iranians get there from here.

Oh! Before answering, you still haven't suggested your preference. Should we unambiguously declare that U.S. forces stationed in the gulf shall never use force in the defense of American interests or simply...withdraw?

Lot of groovy words about "courage" and "honor" and "fair" that you tossed about but I sensed you tap-dancing around my question. I'd love an answer.

Here's hoping that's not asking too much.:)
(COMMENT)

As "Parihaka" points out (from the thread: Iran Reiterates Threat To Close Strait of Hormuz If Attacked) , I have discussed this before, and you have expressed your counter-opinion to the concept. I essentially believe that if the Regional Neighbors to Iran believe that Iran has become a security problem, then they (the Middle East/Persian Gulf States) should collectively solve the problem; not the US. They need to stand on their own two feet.

Yes, I agree that Iran is not the ideal partner for peace today, as it could be. And yes, they (Iran) are probably not the right choice today to be the Protector of the Persian Gulf. But really, that is not our (the US) decision to make. It should be the decision of the Persian Gulf States. And the Persian Gulf States should determine who supervises the protection of the Gulf Region, and what the political-military policies should be region-wide.

This brings us back to the discussion on the reputation of the US among the people in the Middle East and Persian Gulf Regions.

Most Respectfully,
R

PS: I understand that you have some objection to improving the nature and character of the US Leadership with the Governments and the People of the Middle East and Persian Gulf States. But "right through might" is (IMO) the wrong approach. Leadership, and the characteristics of leadership, are (much) more than just demonstrated strength. Yes, it does contain the concepts described in the "groovy words about "courage" and "honor" and "fair."

RoccoR
14 Apr 12,, 18:15
Parihaka, S2, et al,

To be fair to S2, there are a number of authorities that believe as he does; although none quite so elegantly. I put them right up there with the "Whiz Kids" and the "PNAC."


he's already stated his preference


His comments in the rest of that thread are equally interesting




We have no choice when faced by threats that, if permitted to go unmet, could result in sacrificing interests on which the nation's economic well-being and the integrity of basic institutions depend. (1) More likely, a threat to access will arise primarily from developments indigenous to the Gulf. (2)
(COMMENT)

The excerpt, supra, states the foundation in a nutshell. The US "Ruling Elite" is essentially afraid to let the Regional Neighborhood of the Persian Gulf make its own decisions. It doesn't have the courage to allow the Regional Parties to come to a solution through democratic processes; for fear the outcomes will not be amicable to US business interests; a position the US holds as paramount above all others.

America acts, almost entirely, in its own self interest. This is the basis for the political-military engagement talks with Iran now. After nearly a year and a half, the P5+1 and Iran have finally broken the ice jam and have begun a positive dialog under a favorable atmosphere. But notice, that the Persian Gulf States don't have a representation in the talks. I am not sure if The Baroness (Catherine Ashton), the EU Foreign Policy Chief, broke the ice herself, but she went a long way to renewing confidence in the talks which is something the US was unable to accomplish. The Baroness has established a rapport with the Iranian Chief Negotiator (Saeed Jalili) which, for now - opened in a favorable climate. No one in the talks, really wants a war. It would be counterproductive for everyone, even those not directly involved in the talks (particularly the Persian Gulf States).

But it still remains somewhat of an enigma that the Persian Gulf States have so little visibility in the talks. What does this mean? Well, some speculate that the Six Powers (US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany) consider there interests as being above those of the Seven other Persian Gulf States (Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq).

This is not the only example of the Persian Gulf States being left out of the critical decision making processes pertaining to the region; but it is a current example of it being done. And in the decision making processes, who looks out and acts in the best interest of the Seven other Persian Gulf States? I suppose they are asking those questions themselves?

Most Respectfully,
R

S2
14 Apr 12,, 21:16
"I'm a forward thinker - and look to the future that brings us progress in international relations...".

No. You are hopeful for Iran's progress (a charitable description). That's a significant difference.

"...I also know that the nature and character of countries change...".

Some would reasonably suggest "the more things change, the more they stay the same...".

There is more than a grain of truth in such.

"...Iran will not always be as it is today..."

True. However, you make no allowance for it possibly becoming worse before matters improve where the Iran envisioned by you emerges. The trend has been decidedly for the worse with no overt indication of it becoming reversed, much less attaining the stature you foretell.

"...And there is a growing population within Iran that wants to become more involved and connected with the rest of the world..."

And there is an internal security presence making the SAVAK look like indulgent grandparents. Were that irresistable force to meet such an immovable object, hell shall be paid between here and there in Iran.

"...Just as, when I was younger, the North Vietnamese were the evil threat of the day - and could not be envisioned as a positive regional influence, I was shock to learn how wrong I was..."

Positive? I'm not much younger than you and remember that entire war rather clearly. N. Vietnam WASN'T "...the evil threat of the day...". They were, instead, a minion of the evil empire as I recall. A (considerably) "lesser Satan", if you will. To that extent, you distort your analogy.

While Vietnam and America have bridged a considerable gap since that war's end, the communists in Hanoi have a considerable distance to yet travel to achieve a regional status similar to what you've envisioned someday (soon?) for Iran.

"...Even anti-government and anti-occupation forces evolve. You are only looking at one side of the coin with Hezbollah..."

I'm not "...only..." viewing Hezbollah from one perspective. The social contributions made by Hezbollah to the shia community of Lebanon isn't the issue. The disdain displayed by Iran towards HAMAS in Syria should have revealed to you the manner in which these organizations are viewed by Teheran.

Hezbollah is a tool of Iranian foreign policy and has a specific role expected of it. So long as that role is fulfilled, so too shall be their financial coffers. Hezbollah can go its own way, but only at risk of crossing Iran irrevocably. To that end, forcibly dominating the internal political milieu of Lebanon while acting as a front-line proxy against Israel is Hezbollah's raison d'être. Some even might reasonably suggest Hezbollah's raison d'état.

"...I essentially believe that if the Regional Neighbors to Iran believe that Iran has become a security problem, then they (the Middle East/Persian Gulf States) should collectively solve the problem; not the US. They need to stand on their own two feet..."

Of course you believe such. It is the fastest and easiest pathway to Iranian regional hegemony. The practical facts of the matter make clear, in the absence of America, that no combination of regional forces can stand in the way of Iran's objective for gulf hegemony.

The true issue, however, reaches beyond regional security and affects nearly every nation on earth-energy security. Only America, right now, can assure the unfettered access of every nation to market-priced energy from the gulf. Were Iran to assume control of that energy we've no reason to believe that pricing would remain based upon market-demand nor access would remain unfettered.

America's presence assures otherwise. That, btw, is decidedly in our interest as a mercantile nation with two oceans on each shore. We (and others) are inextricably linked in the global economy. Their growth is OUR growth. Without such, we wither and diminish.

"...Yes, I agree that Iran is not the ideal partner for peace today, as it could be. And yes, they (Iran) are probably not the right choice today to be the Protector of the Persian Gulf. But really, that is not our (the US) decision to make..."

Ummm...yes, fortunately, it is. Jurisprudence, I'd like to introduce you to Realpolitik. Here is where the paved, smooth-surfaced road becomes dirt, rocks and ruts.

"...This brings us back to the discussion on the reputation of the US among the people in the Middle East and Persian Gulf Regions..."

While thoroughly ignoring the discussion of the wider implications affecting us all. Good cops neither expect nor need cookies left out at doorsteps. When they say "JUMP", they do expect you to ask "HOW HIGH". That analogy is adequate for our purposes here.

Double Edge
14 Apr 12,, 21:33
The US "Ruling Elite" is essentially afraid to let the Regional Neighborhood of the Persian Gulf make its own decisions. It doesn't have the courage to allow the Regional Parties to come to a solution through democratic processes; for fear the outcomes will not be amicable to US business interests; a position the US holds as paramount above all others.
An inter country dispute like this isn't democratic its about power. Always been like that.

Intra-country is different. US has displayed itself to be non-intervening if one considers how the Arab spring came and went. And in the particular case of Libya acting in a way to preserve the regional momentum.


But notice, that the Persian Gulf States don't have a representation in the talks.
In what capacity should the GCC present themselves ?


But it still remains somewhat of an enigma that the Persian Gulf States have so little visibility in the talks. What does this mean?
Don't understand why they should be present. This is about Iran vs the P5+1.


Well, some speculate that the Six Powers (US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany) consider there interests as being above those of the Seven other Persian Gulf States (Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq).
You could spin it that way. But i would say what the P5+1 have in mind isn't necessarily against the interests of the GCC. Not one of the GCC wants a nuclear armed neighbour.


This is not the only example of the Persian Gulf States being left out of the critical decision making processes pertaining to the region; but it is a current example of it being done. And in the decision making processes, who looks out and acts in the best interest of the Seven other Persian Gulf States? I suppose they are asking those questions themselves?
Most recently, the Saudis were upset that their counsel on Iraq wasn't heeded by the US. They are not happy that there is a Shia govt in charge there. Nothing about Iraq has been to their liking as far back as the invasion itself. They fear a militant Shia govt might take over Iraq and in alliance with Iran challenge their interests. Its a big fear.

But here is an even earlier example of the US letting democratic forces come to the fore. Bush was not going to install another strongman to look after Iraq.

RoccoR
15 Apr 12,, 02:59
et al,

The theory that the US (through the P5+1) is acting in the capacity as the World Police. And while it might be, it is the could be the wrong position to take.


GCC leaders are distressed that we ignored their advice about going into Iraq. I have heard that in Saudi Arabia; I've heard it in the UAE; others have heard it in Qatar. These countries are going to resent the United States even more than they do now if we leave disorder and Iranian influence behind, as it seems we are going to do.

These GCC states have also been concerned about Iran's increasing influence in Syria and Lebanon and Palestine; its perceived influence with the Shia Arab communities in the GCC states; its alleged intervention in Yemen in 2009; its obvious influence in Afghanistan; its conventional military forces and potential nuclear weapons. As to influence with Shia populations in the GCC states, this year Kuwait arrested several Shia who were allegedly working with Iranian agents to photograph American military bases, and they were sentenced recently.

GCC states have had a series of generally unsuccessful diplomatic contacts with Iran, even though on occasion Iran has been invited to come over and talk; Qatar invited them to a GCC summit a few years ago. But the GCC states don't have a lot of hope for improvement as long as Ahmadinejad is in the government. We've heard that they could get along with Rafsanjani, they could work with Khatami, but not Ahmadinejad.

The GCC states have criticized U.S. and Israeli military threats against Iran. They criticize economic sanctions. They criticize our diplomatic strategy regarding Iran's nuclear programs. But they're ambivalent about all these tactics. They're uncertain about what the alternatives are, and they are concerned, as Tom said, about military action against Iran. Not only does Saudi Arabia have infrastructure that would be vulnerable, but Qatar has the liquefied-natural-gas trains, and Abu Dhabi has infrastructure. They support sanctions and diplomacy up to a point. And Qatar even voted in favor of two UN Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program. But they are concerned about the military option.

So containing or defending against Iran can rest in part upon what the GCC states continue to see as their essential defense relations with the United States. They have defense cooperation agreements with us; they purchase our military technology. This remains the case, even though they are distressed about our policy and see China and India as more important oil customers and rising world powers. There is concern among some defense analysts in the West that these states may ask China and India to undertake some of the defense responsibilities that the United States has been carrying out. China, however, does not want to do that. It's not capable of doing that; it likes to be a free rider. And India, I think, would rather cooperate with the U.S. military than replace it.

GCC leaders also argue that persuading Iran to forgo nuclear weapons means addressing Israeli, Pakistani and Indian nuclear weapons. They argue that the Middle East should be a nuclear-weapons-free zone, which means Israeli nuclear disarmament.

GCC leaders are concerned to varying degrees that Iran poses a serious offensive conventional military threat, and they all take note of Iran's regular military exercises in and around the Gulf. UAE officials, in particular, regularly put a spotlight on Iran's occupation and militarization of Abu Musa and the Tunbs, which are three small islands lying along the strategic shipping lanes to the west of the Strait of Hormuz. They have the support of the other GCC states in their claim to those islands; Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia just mentioned that issue in a piece he wrote last week.

These states recognize that deniable, covert, asymmetric aggression is more likely than attributable, overt, conventional offensive action by Iran unless Iran is responding to an attack. They all note that they have vulnerabilities. Mohammad bin Zayed, Abu Dhabi's crown prince and deputy supreme commander of their armed forces, has noted that the UAE would be a target of Iranian retaliation.

SOURCE's (The video and transcript of our 66th Capitol Hill Conference)
a. Middle East Policy Council | A Reawakened Rivalry: The GCC v. Iran (http://www.mepc.org/hill-forums/reawakened-rivalry-gcc-v-iran)
b. Middle East Policy Council | A Reawakened Rivalry: The GCC v. Iran (http://www.mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/reawakened-rivalry-gcc-v-iran)



It's become a cliche of presidential debates: Facing any question about Afghanistan or other national security issues, the candidates declare that they would heed the advice of their "commanders in the field." It is striking, then, how willing they are to dismiss outright the opinions of America's national security professionals when it comes to Iran.

At a recent conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Republican candidates played a game of rhetorical one-upmanship in expressing their willingness to take America to war in Iran. By contrast, virtually all of America's most experienced national security leaders have advised caution.

While our best intelligence shows that Iran is developing the capacity to make nuclear weapons, military professionals report that it has not decided to actually do so. They warn that an attack will at best delay Iran's nuclear program, and at worst will encourage it to acquire nuclear weapons to deter further attacks.

The candidates' willingness to ignore the Pentagon's strategic advice is surprising. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently said that while intelligence shows Iran is "developing a nuclear capability," it also "makes clear that they haven't made the decision to develop a nuclear weapon." But Christian Whiton, a senior adviser to Newt Gingrich, accused Panetta of not "telling the truth" about Iran's nuclear program.

Yet Panetta's views are echoed by his immediate predecessor, Robert Gates, who cautioned that simplistic talk of military strikes is counterproductive: "This is, I think, one of the toughest foreign-policy problems I have ever seen since entering the government 45 years ago, and I think to talk about it loosely or as though these are easy choices ... is irresponsible."

In congressional testimony in January, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence and a retired lieutenant general, said that while U.S. officials believe Iran is preserving its options, there is no evidence that it's making a concerted push to build a nuclear weapon. Former Gen. David Petraeus, the CIA director, concurred.

But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) proved as willing as the presidential aspirants to contradict the security professionals. He told Clapper in a subsequent hearing, "I'm very convinced that they're going down the road of developing a nuclear weapon." Is Graham ignoring the best intelligence of the U.S. government?

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said recently that because the Iranian regime is a "rational actor," the current U.S. approach "is the most prudent." But Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum all dismissed his view.

The current policy of careful diplomacy and steady expansion of international sanctions against Iran's nuclear program has its roots in the Bush administration and in long-term assessments of the best way forward. Gen. Michael Hayden, who was CIA director under George W. Bush, summarized the view of that administration's intelligence team by saying "the consensus was that would guarantee that which we are trying to prevent: an Iran that will spare nothing to build a nuclear weapon and that would build it in secret."

We can agree that the Iranian nuclear program represents a major challenge. But overheated rhetoric and glib threats of military action aren't likely to help us address it. Before we launch another major Middle Eastern war, we'd better listen to the advice of our commanders and intelligence professionals.

SOURCE:
Middle East Policy Council | Heeding the Experts on Iran (http://www.mepc.org/articles-commentary/commentary/heeding-experts-iran)


I thought this might be of some interest.

v/r
R

RoccoR
15 Apr 12,, 18:15
S2, et al.

Yeh, it is the old Shia (Hezbollah) 'vs' Sunni (Hamas) rivalry.


[B]"...Even anti-government and anti-occupation forces evolve. You are only looking at one side of the coin with Hezbollah..."

I'm not "...only..." viewing Hezbollah from one perspective. The social contributions made by Hezbollah to the shia community of Lebanon isn't the issue. The disdain displayed by Iran towards HAMAS in Syria should have revealed to you the manner in which these organizations are viewed by Teheran.

Hezbollah is a tool of Iranian foreign policy and has a specific role expected of it. So long as that role is fulfilled, so too shall be their financial coffers. Hezbollah can go its own way, but only at risk of crossing Iran irrevocably. To that end, forcibly dominating the internal political milieu of Lebanon while acting as a front-line proxy against Israel is Hezbollah's raison d'être. Some even might reasonably suggest Hezbollah's raison d'état.
(COMMENT)

Yes, Hezbollah receives funding from Iran; no question. Iran is the "a" source of funding, but not the only source of funding. It is not even the largest block of funding. But its contribution is a significant chunk of the budget use to support anti-Israeli Operations in Southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah's was born out of the need to continue operations even after the PLO was pushed out of Lebanon and regrouped in Tunisia. Hezbollah splintered off from the PLO after Yasir Arafat recognized the right of Israel to exist (with the PLO receiving US funding (significant $'s) in return).

Hezbollah is not a controlled proxy of Iran. Iran does have some considerable influence over Middle East Operations; but, only because that is where the Iranian contribution (approx $100M/yr) is focused. Technically, it is a pro-Iranian militant group; with regional and international assets and operations.

Hezbollah receives fund through contributors from Central and Southern Africa expat contributors, counterfiting activities, drug operations, weapons smuggling, private charities, and royal stipends.

Some unique funding operations have seen unusual successes. For instance, Hezbollah, during the mid 2000's, established an economic financing center in Ciudad del-Este, Paraguay, and a companion station in Argentina.

The IRGC-QF also sponsors training and specialized equipment to the PIJ, PFLP-GC, Hamas, and of course, Hezbollah. The annual training budget in the last decade was $50k-$60K; not including equipment and logistics; this is over and above the annual contribution to operations. It is largely through these training opportunities that the QF maintains rapport with the various asymmetric, non-state actors operating throughout the Middle East and Persian Gulf. Some aspects, for a considerable time, were separately funded through cash streams controlled by Syria. This would include Force-17, a regimented, special operations unit within Hezbollah.

In addition to the array of generalized criminal activity, Hezbollah is believed to derive independent funding from localized operations around the world. One such is call the Tri-Border Area (TBA-H) in South America. It contributes about $10M/yr mainly through the sale of pirated software.

Hezballah is beholding to Iran, no question, but it is not a controlled surrogate, a proxy warrior on command to the Iranian. It is much more than that; much more complex. And we have not even broached the legitimately funded political and social services/programs under the umbrella of Hezbollah.

So, NO, I disagree that Hezbollah has any such "raison d'état" mission. But it is more than correct that it is a confirmed enemy of the Israelis; with the goal of its change in Regime Change and ethnic disassociation as a Jewish nation.

As a proxy, the Iranians have a great influence on the potential for the initiation of operations; but Hezbollah is very independent in the way it pursues tactical goals.

Most Respectfully,
R

JAD_333
15 Apr 12,, 18:42
The US "Ruling Elite"...doesn't have the courage to allow the Regional Parties to come to a solution through democratic processes; for fear the outcomes will not be amicable to US business interests; a position the US holds as paramount above all others.

The extremes of courage are cowardliness and rashness. The appropriate word to describe submission to the democratic process you seem to favor is rashness. That would be casting all doubts to the wind and trusting in goodness of others nations, e.g. Iran.



America acts, almost entirely, in its own self interest.

'Almost' and 'entirely' are mismatched. When push comes to shove, the US acts entirely in its best interest. That is an accepted principle within the community of nations. They would be surprised if the US acted otherwise.


But notice, that the Persian Gulf States don't have a representation in the talks.

Do you have any evidence that any Gulf nation has asked for a seat at the table? In any case, it would be political folly for them. They have their preferences and no doubt the members of the P5+1 are well aware of them.



I am not sure if The Baroness (Catherine Ashton), the EU Foreign Policy Chief, broke the ice herself, but she went a long way to renewing confidence in the talks which is something the US was unable to accomplish.

Well, I am sure the Baroness was perfectly mannerly as there is nothing to lose in being respectful, but if you don't think the US had anything to do with getting Iran to the table, then you don't think sanctions and threats matter.



But it still remains somewhat of an enigma that the Persian Gulf States have so little visibility in the talks. What does this mean? Well, some speculate that the Six Powers (US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany) consider there interests as being above those of the Seven other Persian Gulf States (Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq).

There is no enigma. Who are these 'some" who speculate the obvious? It seems to me the Gulf states have everything to gain if Iran's hegemony is curbed. They couldn't do it alone, could they? In reality their interests converge with those of the US and the P5.

Double Edge
15 Apr 12,, 19:24
In any case, it would be political folly for them.
Agree, it would indispose them vis-a-vis Iran as well as their own people.

Iran could view their presence as a provocation.

GCC would gladly sit this one out me thinks.

RoccoR
15 Apr 12,, 20:23
JAD_333, et al,

Yes, sometimes, my diplomatic-ese and manners tend to trigger and unintended perception.


... ... ...That would be casting all doubts to the wind and trusting in goodness of others nations, e.g. Iran.
(COMMENT)

Oh, I have no illusion in the potential threat Iran could pose, given the latitude of inattention. I don't think anyone is saying that they should yet be trusted. But they are a rational actor that bares watching. And we should treat them as a rational actor.


'Almost' and 'entirely' are mismatched. When push comes to shove, the US acts entirely in its best interest. That is an accepted principle within the community of nations. They would be surprised if the US acted otherwise.
(COMMENT)

The Nuclear Weapons issue is an "optional" stance; and, not a "push comes to shove" situation. We made it a significant event, not the Iranians. We saw it as a "possible flaunt" of US (self-decreed) authority. We expected the Iranians comply, and when they didn't - we had to exerts our influence. Or, as "S2" says: When they say "JUMP", they do expect you to ask "HOW HIGH".


Do you have any evidence that any Gulf nation has asked for a seat at the table? In any case, it would be political folly for them. They have their preferences and no doubt the members of the P5+1 are well aware of them.
(COMMENT)

The GCC doesn't necessarily want to sit at the table. Like I said, they want someone to lookout for their best interest. And they are not sure the US has their back. As it is mentioned in the MEPC Briefing, supra:


This remains the case, even though they are distressed about our policy and see China and India as more important oil customers and rising world powers. There is concern among some defense analysts in the West that these states may ask China and India to undertake some of the defense responsibilities that the United States has been carrying out. China, however, does not want to do that. It's not capable of doing that; it likes to be a free rider. And India, I think, would rather cooperate with the U.S. military than replace it.

We (the US) are lucky that no one else wants to be the Protector. But that does not mean that if the US botches the negotiations, that other members of the P5+1 will not step-in and takeover at the invitation of the GCC (Persian Gulf States); forced to straighten out the mess.


Well, I am sure the Baroness was perfectly mannerly as there is nothing to lose in being respectful, but if you don't think the US had anything to do with getting Iran to the table, then you don't think sanctions and threats matter.
(COMMENT)

Well, you are partially correct. It was Dr Shawn Strom's (an American) team that put it together under the EU Foreign Policy Office. Iran has constantly turned-down bilateral talks with the US. The US have very little to do with arranging the P5+1 Meeting with Iran. The two nations don't communicate directly. However, by happy coincidence, after a meeting with the Baroness, Iran's Chief Negotiator (Saeed Jalili) accepted a meeting invitation from the US Under Secretary's Team.



There is no enigma. Who are these 'some" who speculate the obvious? It seems to me the Gulf states have everything to gain if Iran's hegemony is curbed. They couldn't do it alone, could they? In reality their interests converge with those of the US and the P5.
(COMMENT)

Yes, in general, the GCC and the P5+1 want to mitigate Iranian attempts at a Gulf Hegemony. Having said that, the GCC is very concerned about how the US gets there. And that has troubled them.


The GCC states think that resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict is a means of reducing Iranian influence in the region and Iran's ability to challenge their governments. This is an argument that even President Obama has made, so he understands it. Efforts by Saudi Arabia's king, Qatar's emir and other GCC leaders to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict were not supported by the Bush administration. These leaders are disappointed that the Obama administration is so timid in its Arab-Israeli policy, particularly when Obama and other officials have said that solving this conflict is a vital national security interest of the United States. The GCC leaders support Palestine's admission to the United Nations. Saudi Arabia and Qatar reportedly helped the Palestinian Authority write its draft proposal for admission to the United Nations. Khamenei has recently said he opposes Palestine's admission to the United Nations, although in the past he's been open to the idea of a two-state solution. He hinted very, very strongly at that in Iran's grand-bargain proposal of 2003, but he now evidently thinks this would not be good for Iran, and I agree with him. It would diminish their influence.

GCC states are constructing their own policies to contain Iran, including the purchase of F-15 fighter jets, Black Hawk helicopters and Patriot anti-missile systems. They are even considering nuclear options. But there's more. They've tried to forge Hamas-Fatah reconciliation. They've tried to improve relations between Hezbollah and its rivals in Lebanon. They've tried to engineer a thaw with Syria. They've even tried to mediate between the Taliban and the Kabul government; and they've tried to establish better relations with Russia and China, hoping that they will pressure Iran, independently of U.S. policy.

Don't think for a moment that just because the goal is similar, that the solutions are the same. The GCC feels a bit trapped by the US; like being caught in a 1920's style Protection Racket. But they are planning to make an escape route should it be necessary. In the mean time, much like GEN Hoar implies, the GCC doesn't really want the P5+1 to start a war. If Iran goes nuclear, the GCC is prepared to do the same. And if there is a strike by either the US or Israel, you can pretty much bet that Iran will go all out for a Nuclear Weapons capability to protect its sovereignty.

Most Respectfully,
R

S2
15 Apr 12,, 21:20
"...if there is a strike by either the US or Israel, you can pretty much bet that Iran will go all out for a Nuclear Weapons capability to protect its sovereignty."

I can't address Israel's capabilities beyond provocateur to goad an Iranian reaction. They may be able (with Iran's unwitting assistance) to achieve such. Should the U.S. initiate an attack upon Iran, however, it will be long, punative and debilitating with the parallel goals of forcibly dismantling as much infrastructure-nuclear, then more if necessary while coercing the Iranian government to ceding an inspection regime both rigorous and enduring.

There is no other point to becoming militarily engaged than to bring resolution that thoroughly satisfies our interests. An attack initiated by America signals that we're ALREADY convinced of Iran's determination to seek nuclear weapons. There should be no temporal quality to our intent.

This I seek should talks collapse. Iran has no justification for denying full and rigorous inspections. All their purported objectives can be achieved through such. Anything else meets my satisfaction of their intent to acquire nuclear weaponry and the means to deliver them.

That must never happen.

Double Edge
15 Apr 12,, 22:17
The Nuclear Weapons issue is an "optional" stance; and, not a "push comes to shove" situation. We made it a significant event, not the Iranians.
Agree, the allegation of weapons is the stick used to beat Iran back from its desired position.

The earliest DG IAEA report about Iran's non-compliance is in 2003.

IAEA and Iran (http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/iran_timeline.shtml)

Iran stated their intent in 2002 that they wanted to build more plants.

The issue for them right from the 70s was enrichment. They could not get it then so they went to the black market. Things went silent until 2002 when they stated they wanted to expand. This time they had the tech to do it or at least the necessary parts and with this comes their confidence to push back.

This is when the non-compliance comes in because Iran senses the resistance to their position. So they become less than forthcoming with their NPT obligations. This lack of transparency is construed or rather painted as ambitions if not aspirations to go for a nuke. The IAEA reports serve as the basis for a number of UNSC resolutions on Iran. This goes on for ten years.

Israel pipes in about an attack if Iran does not comply.

But the issue AFAICT has always been about enrichment. Iran has consistently held that line. They get no give and so previous negotiations got no where.

From this pov one expects that Iran will comply if they are allowed to enrich (what % is negotiable but abandonment isn't), the west says they must stop enrichment and comply or else. Basically a sort of penance for getting stuff off the black market that the west would not sell them in the first place. It's an attempt to get Iran to rollback its competence. How that be done is anybody's guess.

The west pushes the focus on to nuclear weapons, Iran tries to pull it back to its rights on enrichment. A contractual dispute.

Does Iran have a right or not to enrichment. I still cannot answer that question.

If a suitable compromise can be worked out this issue should be solved. Otherwise we'll get a standoff of might makes right that I suspect neither party wants to enter into.


The GCC doesn't necessarily want to sit at the table. Like I said, they want someone to lookout for their best interest. And they are not sure the US has their back. As it is mentioned in the MEPC Briefing, supra
Give us more, its not clear to me that the US does not have the GCC's back.


We (the US) are lucky that no one else wants to be the Protector. But that does not mean that if the US botches the negotiations, that other members of the P5+1 will not step-in and takeover at the invitation of the GCC (Persian Gulf States); forced to straighten out the mess.
You've not said it but are you implying that the reason no force has been applied as yet is because the GCC are against it.



Don't think for a moment that just because the goal is similar, that the solutions are the same. The GCC feels a bit trapped by the US; like being caught in a 1920's style Protection Racket. But they are planning to make an escape route should it be necessary.
Which is ?

Somehow i cannot see China + India being upto it just yet unless there is more.


In the mean time, much like GEN Hoar implies, the GCC doesn't really want the P5+1 to start a war.
Ah, you did say it. How do you know that ?


If Iran goes nuclear, the GCC is prepared to do the same. And if there is a strike by either the US or Israel, you can pretty much bet that Iran will go all out for a Nuclear Weapons capability to protect its sovereignty.
Bottomline is the GCC sees a US umbrella as a solution to the impasse here ?

Officer of Engineers
15 Apr 12,, 22:50
The issue for them right from the 70s was enrichment. They could not get it then so they went to the black market. Things went silent until 2002 when they stated they wanted to expand. This time they had the tech to do it or at least the necessary parts and with this comes their confidence to push back.The issue was and is nuclear weapons, or at the very least, the capability of a break out nuke.

Double Edge
15 Apr 12,, 23:16
Thats from the nuke school of thought. The one that goes bomb, bomb, bomb, every five years, iran is going to get the bomb, bomb iran :)

So what about their right to enrichment ?

Officer of Engineers
15 Apr 12,, 23:17
What about their purchase of two warhead blueprints, computer modelling, and the components for a zero yield test?

Double Edge
15 Apr 12,, 23:33
Does not equal a bomb does it.

Officer of Engineers
15 Apr 12,, 23:44
It equals a break out capability.

Double Edge
15 Apr 12,, 23:56
Without a test, what do they have.

Before that should they make preparations to enrich to HEU, there is a long & clearly identifiable lead time.

We've clearly not reached that point yet.

Does Iran have a right to enrichment ?

Show me an Iran that can enrich to LEU but still won't cooperate and you have a stronger case.

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 00:21
Without a test, what do they have.A weapon that Iran would have very little confidence in but we cannot assume that it cannot work, especially when it is capable of being produced en massed. Do recall that Pakistan did not have a confirmed test before 1998 and Israel do not have any confirmed tests.

Double Edge
16 Apr 12,, 00:52
Rocco,

This is an excellent resource you linked here

Middle East Policy Council | A Reawakened Rivalry: The GCC v. Iran (http://www.mepc.org/hill-forums/reawakened-rivalry-gcc-v-iran-0?transcript)

Well worth a read.

Will make a longer post later.

Double Edge
16 Apr 12,, 00:55
A weapon that Iran would have very little confidence in but we cannot assume that it cannot work, especially when it is capable of being produced en massed. Do recall that Pakistan did not have a confirmed test before 1998 and Israel do not have any confirmed tests.
Can we discuss your views on Iran's right to enrich.

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 01:24
Can we discuss your views on Iran's right to enrich.As far as I am concerned, Iran's right to enrichment in privacy has long disappeared. They are subject to the same intrusiveness that every other former nuclear weapons power (South Africa and all the former Republics of the USSR) and Iraq are now obliged to provide.

RoccoR
16 Apr 12,, 02:28
Officer of Engineers, et al,

Good Points.


What about their purchase of two warhead blueprints, computer modelling, and the components for a zero yield test?
(COMMENT)

The blueprints are very minor and well known. We are not even sure this is not untainted or fabricated evidence. In any event, the design work is not critical. It can be derived any number of ways.

However, the computer modeling, the detonator work, and any active testing are thing that need explained.

But the purpose of the safeguards is to discover these discrepancies. Once exposed - then diplomacy takes over. The intent of the treaty is not to use war as a solution, but to prevent war. The entent of the treaty is not to set conditions that will drive Iran to pursue a Nuclear Weapons capability, but to pursue peace uses of nuclear power.

Iran certain has some things that should be explained; but, we have to be cautious as to how we extract this information and responses.

Most Respectfully,
R

RoccoR
16 Apr 12,, 02:32
Officer of Engineers, et al,

Yes, agreed.


As far as I am concerned, Iran's right to enrichment in privacy has long disappeared. They are subject to the same intrusiveness that every other former nuclear weapons power (South Africa and all the former Republics of the USSR) and Iraq are now obliged to provide.
(COMMENT)

Has Iran enriched to uranium to weapons grade level? Has the IAEA even suggested that?

The treaty allow Iran to enrich to any level they wish, below that required for weaponization.

Most Respectfully,
R

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 03:07
Officer of Engineers, et al,

Yes, agreed.


(COMMENT)

Has Iran enriched to uranium to weapons grade level? Has the IAEA even suggested that?

The treaty allow Iran to enrich to any level they wish, below that required for weaponization.

Most Respectfully,
RThe IAEA pretty well flat out stated that Iran had a nuclear weapons program prior to 2003. This entitles Iran to be treated as a FORMER nuclear weapons power (ala South Africa, the Ukraine, Georgia, and the other former Soviet republics). The IAEA has certified that those countries no longer have a weapons program. It is fair that we demand the same of Iran just as we did to Iraq.

Double Edge
16 Apr 12,, 14:46
As far as I am concerned, Iran's right to enrichment in privacy has long disappeared.
You add an extra qualifier here that i was not implying.

Am not saying Iran should be able to do it in privacy. I don't think this is possible otherwise how can it be verifiable.

Am saying Iran wants to be able to enrich to LEU, with safeguards if necessary. And they want to do this domestically.

Does Iran have a right to this under the NPT ?


They are subject to the same intrusiveness that every other former nuclear weapons power (South Africa and all the former Republics of the USSR) and Iraq are now obliged to provide.
Iran has not ratified the additional protocols that those powers presumably have. They are not going to ratify unless they can enrich the fuel they need by themselves.

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 15:02
You add an extra qualifier here that i was not implying.Let me rephrase so that you understand my meaning.

"As far as I am concerned, Iran's right to enrichment IN SECRET has long disappeared."

Double Edge
16 Apr 12,, 15:54
"As far as I am concerned, Iran's right to enrichment IN SECRET has long disappeared."
I don't think any NPT member has a right to enrich in secret. The issue isn't about secrecy or not.

Its about enrichment and Iran's rights under the NPT to do so. The understanding is that the plants where this enrichment takes place will be under IAEA supervisoin so there is no untoward diversion. Everything accounted for.

What is wrong with this picture ?

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 16:08
I don't think any NPT member has a right to enrich in secret. The issue isn't about secrecy or not. You seriously want me to believe that Fordow/Qom would have been revealed had it not been for Western intel efforts?

Double Edge
16 Apr 12,, 17:00
You seriously want me to believe that Fordow/Qom would have been revealed had it not been for Western intel efforts?
Am not sure why you've brought this up wrt to my previous post.

But in specifc answer to your question i think the answer is maybe yes :)

The blog that refers to the below legal analysis on Qom.
The Qom Enrichment Facility: Was Iran Legally Bound to Disclose? | Iran Affairs | Mar 03 2010 (http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2010/03/the-qom-enrichment-facility-was-iran-legally-bound-to-disclose.html)
In the comments a link to ACW about Code 3.1 & modified 3.1 is mentioned


The IAEA's own legal adviser found that the question of providing of design information etc as it differs between new Code 3.1 (the IAEA's questionable position) and old Code 3.1 (Iran's position) is too murky to be judged "non-compliance".

The analysis referred to by the blog
The Qom Enrichment Facility: Was Iran Legally Bound to Disclose? | Jurist | Mar 2010 (http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forumy/2010/03/qom-enrichment-facility-was-iran.php)


Iran argues that its disclosure was perfectly consistent with its legal obligations under its Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA (INFCIRC/214), as implemented through a Subsidiary Arrangements agreement which Iran entered into with the IAEA in 1976.[1] Under the provisions of this Subsidiary Arrangements agreement known as “Code 3.1,” Iran argues that it is only obligated to disclose the existence of new enrichment facilities “normally not later than 180 days before the facility is scheduled to receive nuclear material for the first time.”

In the authors opinion


It is likely impossible for general international observers to make a final determination of the legality of Iran’s disclosure of the Qom facility due to the closed source nature of several of the primary documents relevant to this analysis. However, from an analysis of the sources that are open to general review, and in particular the Safeguards Agreement itself which is the only source clearly comprising legal obligations for Iran regarding the disclosure of enrichment facilities, it is not at all clear that Iran violated any legal obligations incumbent upon it in the timing of its Qom declaration.
:bang:

The jurist article ends with the following..


So what does this legal analysis mean for the relationship between Iran and the West/Israel going forward? It may serve as an illustration of the intelligence and diplomatic savvy of Iranian leaders, and their ability to go right up to the line of Iran’s treaty obligations without clearly crossing over it, and thereby deny the members of the Security Council, and Israel in particular, clear justification to significantly increase economic pressure on Iran or act militarily against it. If Iran continues this strategy of legal brinksmanship, it could even potentially achieve a viable nuclear hedging position without formally breaching its Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Safeguards Agreement legal obligations.

If this is Iran’s intention, the fact that it can do so within its nonproliferation treaty obligations is a cause for concern. Indeed, some have termed this ability of NPT Non-Nuclear Weapon States parties to achieve a nuclear breakout capability, while remaining formally compliant with the NPT and their Safeguards Agreement obligations, a “loophole” in the NPT normative regime.

In the end, however, this “loophole” has much more to do with the fundamentally dual use nature of fissile materials, and the complex reflection of this reality in the grand bargain codified by the NPT, than with poor drafting of the NPT itself. This central tension between nonproliferation and peaceful use, as well as the related tensions between these principles and the principle of disarmament, make for a thoroughly bedeviling issue area for international legal regulation. But that is the nature of the nuclear beast.

That is the problem isn't it.

How many of these so called "loopholes" are there in the NPT :frown:

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 17:04
Am not sure why you've brought this up wrt to my previous post.Western intel had known about this facility since 2002 and the IAEA about 2003. Iran has been asked several times about the facility and not only by us, also by Moscow and Beijing, and continued denial that it's a nuclear facility until we forced the situation by a news conference.

Again, are you telling me that Iran does not seek to enrich to weapons grade in secret?

RoccoR
16 Apr 12,, 18:33
Officer of Engineer, et al,

Yes, there is no question that we knew about the facilities. They were under construction.


Western intel had known about this facility since 2002 and the IAEA about 2003. Iran has been asked several times about the facility and not only by us, also by Moscow and Beijing, and continued denial that it's a nuclear facility until we forced the situation by a news conference.

Again, are you telling me that Iran does not seek to enrich to weapons grade in secret?
(COMMENT)

This is a bit of a contentious point.


[1] Code 3.1 of the subsidiary arrangements to IAEA safeguards agreements specifies when a state is required to declare facilities to the agency. The IAEA originally said that states must declare nuclear facilities six months prior to introducing nuclear material, but modified the code in 1992 to require countries to inform the agency of facilities “as soon as the decision to construct or to authorize construction has been taken, whichever is earlier.” Iran agreed to the modified code in 2003, but reverted to the original version in 2007. The IAEA maintains that Iran is bound by the stricter, modified code.

SOURCE: Iran (http://www.armscontrol.org/print/5040)


I am not sure if the Legal Eagles have determined whether or not Iran is subject to Code 3.1.


Iranian officials and experts have often claimed that under Iran’s safeguards agreement with the IAEA, it is only obligated to disclose nuclear activities six months prior to the introduction of nuclear material into a facility. This is a reference to Article 42 of Iran’s safeguards agreement and a secondary document known as a “subsidiary arrangement.” Language in the Subsidiary Arrangement required notice to the IAEA of new facilities “no later than 180 days before the introduction of nuclear material into the facility, and the provision of information on a new LOF (Location Outside of Facilities where nuclear material is used)…..” Iran is correct therefore, in arguing that at the time, it was not obligated to notify the IAEA of its construction of the Natanz facilities for uranium enrichment.

SOURCE: sis-online.org/publications/iran/irannptviolations.pdf


Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
16 Apr 12,, 18:44
Western intel had known about this facility since 2002 and the IAEA about 2003. Iran has been asked several times about the facility and not only by us, also by Moscow and Beijing, and continued denial that it's a nuclear facility until we forced the situation by a news conference.
When did Fordow become operational ? Jan of this year.
Is it under IAEA supervision today, Josh Pollack says it is.

Operational means the point where UF6 is introduced into the centrifuges.

Now, if Fordow was in operation much earlier, and Iran said nothing about it, your point of clandestine site holds. Common sense for me says the site should be operating otherwise what good is it.

But the argument (http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1468/what-about-the-other-bomb-factory) is made by Lewis that Fordow should have been declared at the time of its construction rather than fuel introduction.

The counter to that argument is here (http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2009/09/acton-borger-wrong-on-irans-second-enrichment-facility.html).


1- Iran didn't "confesss" to the site as Borger claims, because Iran never denied it in the first place. The claim that Iran only "came clean" because it knew that the US already knew about the site, which was otherwise intended to remain a secret, is simply not backed by any evidence.

Who is right here :confused:

OOE i'm glad you brought this up because this clandestine business been bugging me for some time now. I understand why you mentioned it. Yes, there should be no secret sites. The debate is over whether Fordow is secret or not. For that there are two opposing views regarding the interpretation of the subsidiary arrangements.


Again, are you telling me that Iran does not seek to enrich to weapons grade in secret?
This would be for you to prove as opposed to me disproving. So where is the smoking gun ?

Am of the view you have a strong case but not a clinching one as yet.

Treating (sanctions, threats to attack) the symptoms (non-compliance) but ignoring the illness (mistrust & irans rights).

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 19:16
You gentlemen are NOT understanding. The IAEA, Moscow, Beijing, as well as the Western capitals, all ASKED about Fordow. They were told it was NOT a nuclear facility until the news conference.

Both Moscow and Beijing were mighty pissed off when Iran finally came clean. This when they were trying to defend Iran's position.

In short, Iran lied to her allies. If she is willing to lie to her allies, then what makes any of you think that Iran is deserving of trust to enrich as she pleases?

USSWisconsin
16 Apr 12,, 19:25
If there was any truth in the claim that Iran was only going to enrich to 20%, why would they object to inspections? Nuclear power reactors only require 3% enrichment, and commerical designs to use this type of fuel are available. Perhaps they might be working on a nuclear powered submarine, but weapons seems more likely.

Parihaka
16 Apr 12,, 22:54
You gentlemen are NOT understanding. The IAEA, Moscow, Beijing, as well as the Western capitals, all ASKED about Fordow. They were told it was NOT a nuclear facility until the news conference.

Both Moscow and Beijing were mighty pissed off when Iran finally came clean. This when they were trying to defend Iran's position.

In short, Iran lied to her allies. If she is willing to lie to her allies, then what makes any of you think that Iran is deserving of trust to enrich as she pleases?

Precisely.

Double Edge
17 Apr 12,, 14:14
They are allowed enrichment and have been doing so.
That's what i thought several months back but am beginning to have doubts. See, its Iran's constant reiteration of enrichment and their rights thereof that comes up . If it isn't an issue why bring it up.

It will require a study of previous negotiations and at what points they failed. What were Iran's outstanding issues etc.


It is the nature of the enrichment and the verification that is the issue. Yes various parties have demanded they drop enrichment but that is simply part of the too-and-fro negotiations that have occurred since iran began enrichment.
Iran could easily counter such demands by full cooperation with the IAEA.
Yes but they are not cooperating for a reason i'm trying to figure that one out.

There's two schools of thought here
a) they are stalling because they want to build a bomb via fait accompli.
b) there are outstanding issues yet to be resolved to Iran's satisifaction wrt the NPT.

RoccoR
17 Apr 12,, 15:35
Double Edge, et al,

The US and Israel, along with a couple of P5+1 members --- and the EU, are concerned that Iran will eventually become a Nuclear Weapons State (NWS). They seem to think (primarily) along the lines.


With Iran as a NWS, the rest of the Persian Gulf will seek-out the same weapons systems; thus nuclear militarizing the Region.

With Iran as a NWS, Israel is facing an unacceptable risk from a nuclear attack initiated by Iran.

That either the US or Israel will make a preemptive strike against Iran, and open a Regional conflict putting the oil infrastructure at risk.



Yes but they are not cooperating for a reason i'm trying to figure that one out.

There's two schools of thought here
a) they are stalling because they want to build a bomb via fait accompli.
b) there are outstanding issues yet to be resolved to Iran's satisifaction wrt the NPT.
(COMMENT)

A number of proposals, to resolve the threat potential, where put forth in the years 2003 thru 2006. And the P5+1 and the EU3 (France, Germany, UK) have been in discussions and talks with Iran, since that time. But those proposal have been overtaken by events and as Iran's Ambassador to the IAEA (Ali Asghar Soltanieh), said in September of 2011, those proposals are "obsolete."

The enrichment levels has to do with the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) and its refueling and medical isotopes. In one of the 2009 proposals, Russia was going to enrich a 1000+ kg's of Iranian LEU (approx 4%) to the 20% level or 120 kg, for TRR fuel rods. France would then manufacture the fuel rods and deliver them to Iran. But Iran, after consideration, declined and made a counter proposal; which was declined by the West. And in February 2010, Iran began enriching uranium to the 20% level.

That Spring, Turkey and Brazil brokered an agreement with Iran which the Iranians accepted, but then was reject by the US, Russia and France. The US, Russia and France were concerned that Iran's enrichment program was not fully regulated (halted completely).

Because there is no treaty restriction on the enrichment process for peaceful purposes, the US Security Council has taken action. There have been a half dozen (+) UNSC Resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran for it's continued enrichment program.

The concern is that, given the ability to enrich uranium to the 20% level, Iran will develop a Nuclear Weapon as a foregone conclusion. (It is the "smoking pot leads to cocaine use" logic.) It seems that nearly every party believes that Iran's Goal is to acquire a nuclear weapon; and enrichment is a key process towards that goal.

I don't believe there is any legal basis for what is being done. The sanctions and threats are all based on the fear that Iran is too unstable a government, to irresponsible, to even risk having them acquire the ability to develop a weapon.

And that is the reason that we treat Iran differently. It is not treaty based, it is not legally based. We are dealing with insanity. They are too unstable, untrustworthy, and irresponsible as a government to be trusted with (even) the tools that might further the acquisition.

Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
17 Apr 12,, 20:45
The IAEA, Moscow, Beijing, as well as the Western capitals, all ASKED about Fordow. They were told it was NOT a nuclear facility until the news conference.
Do you have any sources stating Iran was questioned about Fordo prior to Sept 25 2009 and denied it ?

Because as i search the only references on the IAEA's site about Fordow date AFTER the revelation (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/25/AR2009092500289.html) was made in Sep 25 2009.

Iran having learnt that there was to be such a revelation made a declaration about Fordow to the IAEA on Sept 21, 4 days earlier.

Why the need for a public revelation if they had spoken to Iran prior ?


In July, Obama and other leaders agreed to "take stock" of the situation by the end of September. The United States, Britain and France did not share their information on the enrichment facility with Russia and China.
This implies that Fordo was kept secret by the west until shortly before Sept 25 2009.


Both Moscow and Beijing were mighty pissed off when Iran finally came clean. This when they were trying to defend Iran's position.
I've been trying to find a source about this sentiment and all i could find was an indirect mention only about the Russians here.

A Russian policy shift on Iran? | BBC | Oct 13 2009 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8305953.stm)


After the US, Britain and France announced last month that Iran had failed to disclose a uranium enrichment facility in Qom, President Dmitry Medvedev signalled a shift in position, saying sanctions were "sometimes" inevitable.

It was read in Washington as a direct reaction to revelations about the covert facility.

"Qom was a giant surprise for the Russians," said one senior administration official.

Asked if they were angry when they were told by President Barack Obama about the facility during a meeting in New York last month, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, he said that would be an appropriate word to describe the reaction.

It is unclear why the Russians did not have any intelligence of their own about Qom.
Exactly.

A 2009 op-ed (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruno-pellaud/iran-botched-nuclear-nego_b_302534.html) i read in HuffPo said it was the Russians, in the first place who tipped off Iran into pre-empting the revelation 4 days earlier.


Tipped by the Russians about the imminent Western announcement of the Qom enrichment site, Iran sends only late September a last-minute letter to the IAEA declaring Qom

author of that op-ed is a former deputy director general at the IAEA.


In short, Iran lied to her allies. If she is willing to lie to her allies, then what makes any of you think that Iran is deserving of trust to enrich as she pleases?
I'm not so sure.

Parihaka
17 Apr 12,, 22:22
The concern is that, given the ability to enrich uranium to the 20% level, Iran will develop a Nuclear Weapon as a foregone conclusion. (It is the "smoking pot leads to cocaine use" logic.)

Well no it's not. By any measure, the costs for Iran to enrich it's own uranium purely for it's research reactor and medical isotopes vs the ongoing and increasing sanctions it suffers as a nation preclude the decision to continue and advance enrichment as a rational decision, by a rational player.

Parihaka
17 Apr 12,, 22:27
That's what i thought several months back but am beginning to have doubts. See, its Iran's constant reiteration of enrichment and their rights thereof that comes up . If it isn't an issue why bring it up.

It will require a study of previous negotiations and at what points they failed. What were Iran's outstanding issues etc.


Yes but they are not cooperating for a reason i'm trying to figure that one out.

There's two schools of thought here
a) they are stalling because they want to build a bomb via fait accompli.
b) there are outstanding issues yet to be resolved to Iran's satisifaction wrt the NPT.

It's the same approach I've taken to this issue from the start: details are important but what is the overall theme?
As I pointed out to RoccoR, I can find no rational reason for the Iranian regime to place it's people and economy under such strict sanctions simply to keep a research reactor going and to acquire isotopes for medical purposes.
The uranium could be easily bought for these purposes at a tiny fraction of the cost of developing the infrastructure they have, as could the building and fueling of power generation reactors.

JAD_333
18 Apr 12,, 00:07
It's the same approach I've taken to this issue from the start: details are important but what is the overall theme?
As I pointed out to RoccoR, I can find no rational reason for the Iranian regime to place it's people and economy under such strict sanctions simply to keep a research reactor going and to acquire isotopes for medical purposes.

So it seems to me, though at times I wonder if we should be making allowances for cultural differences.

My only direct experience with cultural differences in the region was as a traveler in the ME and frequent visitor to Morocco. It was impossible for me, as well as the natives, not to notice how stark was the contrast between our respective social behaviors. And I saw other other interesting behaviors, such as the method of bargaining in the souk. Once I watched a shopkeeper and a customer haggle over the price of an item--I can't remember what it was--and when a price was finally agreed on, the buyer began to slowly count out the money, pause and eye the shopkeeper, and then count out some more, pause again, and so it went for what seemed an eternity until finally the buyer handed the money over to the shopkeeper. I asked my Moroccan host what that was all about. He explained that if the shopkeeper had held out his hand to receive the money before it was counted, the customer would have stopped and started haggling again for a lower price, because by holding out his hand, the shopkeeper would be betraying that he knew he had a made a very good deal and the customer would have known he could have struck a better deal.

The moral of the story is that, while rationality operates the same for all people, different cultures may resolve an issue by reasoning from a premise we would think absurd. Thus, Iran's insistence on refining to 19.75% in the face of western condemnation may stem from a premise alien to our way of thinking--something distinctly in line with their culture. Just a thought.


The uranium could be easily bought for these purposes at a tiny fraction of the cost of developing the infrastructure they have, as could the building and fueling of power generation reactors.

Were you aware the Iranians have bought material up to 20% from other countries, and in 2009 even offered to buy it from the US as a way of opening a dialogue?

Ahmadinejad Offers to Buy Uranium From the US - The Daily Beast (http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/09/22/ahmadinejad-s-nuclear-offer.html) (page 6)


We simply don't have the capacity to enrich at 20 percent for medicinal purposes, of the sort that we have in mind, at this stage. It's only at 3.5 percent. We had been buying this material in the past, but not from the U.S. government. We can buy it from the United States. It doesn't really matter who we buy it from, so we are open to it. But this does not affect the fuel cycle. But still, it seems to me a nice opening, a nice window to look through.

I have no illusions about the sincerity of the Iranians. I worked with Iranians in the land business. They are not known for being the best rug merchants in the world for no reason.

JAD_333
18 Apr 12,, 01:58
Buried in a recent BBC news report. Does this make any sense?



To Iran's government, the demand to surrender its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium in exchange for nothing presents little appeal. But within Iran, there are suggestions that Iran may be willing to sell its stockpile. A sale would be interpreted as a triumph for Iranian technology.

What's more, there are hints that Iran may be prepared to stop further production of medium-enriched uranium. A production halt could be sold to the public as an implied international endorsement of Iran's right to process low-enriched uranium instead.

BBC News - Iran nuclear talks: Will a compromise be reached? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17702151)

RoccoR
18 Apr 12,, 02:26
JAD_333, et al,

This is slightly dated information.




Ahmadinejad Offers to Buy Uranium From the US - The Daily Beast (http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/09/22/ahmadinejad-s-nuclear-offer.html) (page 6)


(COMMENT)

I think that Fereydoun Abbassi, Director, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), has confirmed that Iran enriches Uranium to the 20% Level on an as need basis.

I believe the AEOI indicated that they need 20% material for the TRR and the new reactor under a proposed plan for construction.

Most Respectfully,
R

JAD_333
18 Apr 12,, 02:38
JAD_333, et al,

This is slightly dated information.

Thank you for pointing out what I already said was a 2009 statement.

I was just laying out the fact that at one time Iran had said it would buy 20% material from the US.





I think that Fereydoun Abbassi, Director, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), has confirmed that Iran enriches Uranium to the 20% Level on an as need basis.

I believe the AEOI indicated that they need 20% material for the TRR and the new reactor under a proposed plan for construction.


They have very little, so I have read somewhere...in a recent article.

RoccoR
18 Apr 12,, 03:35
JAD_333, et al,

I have to apologize. I didn't set my comment in the right frame.


Thank you for pointing out what I already said was a 2009 statement.

I was just laying out the fact that at one time Iran had said it would buy 20% material from the US.

They have very little, so I have read somewhere...in a recent article.
(COMMENT)

Between 2006 and 2010, there seemed to be two separate and distinctly different sets of tones coming from Iran. At that time, the proposal was that Iranian LEU would be used by Russia to enrich from an Iranian escrow account, then transferred to France for fabrication into fuel rods.


2009 Oct. 1 – Iran met in Geneva with permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany to discuss Iran's nuclear program. The parties outlined a proposal for Iran to ship 80 percent of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium from Natanz to Russia. The shipment would then go to France for further enrichment and fabrication of fuel rods for the Tehran Research Reactor, which produced isotopes for medical use.

2009 Oct. 19-21 – The early October talks in Geneva were continued in Vienna with the presence of the IAEA, on the transfer of Iran’s low-enriched uranium. A consensus was reached on a draft agreement. The United States, France and Russia approved the agreement, but Iran backed down due to domestic opposition.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a domestic battle, even though it had just secretly started the capacity to produce any quantity of 20% level. It is one of the reasons that Iran rejected the original plan. Iran also felt that the uranium escrow account and dependence on Western production of Fuel Rods would place itself too much at the mercy of the West. Thus, the need for additional centrifuges. Ahmadinejad's suggestion was never made as a proposal in any official negotiation. In July of the following year (9 months later), Iran officially announced the production of a small quantity of 20% material.

Again I apologize for being unclear and appearing to counter your point.

Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
18 Apr 12,, 18:27
It's the same approach I've taken to this issue from the start: details are important but what is the overall theme?
Less than fully cooperative since 2003. Why is the question.

Before 2003 i find no reports from the IAEA so its curious why it started at that particular time. I think its because Iran was ready to expand and hence got into the IAEA's radar. Before that Iran had not yet mastered centrifuges.


As I pointed out to RoccoR, I can find no rational reason for the Iranian regime to place it's people and economy under such strict sanctions simply to keep a research reactor going and to acquire isotopes for medical purposes.
This conclusion is an aggregate of a number of developments. Too general.


The uranium could be easily bought for these purposes at a tiny fraction of the cost of developing the infrastructure they have, as could the building and fueling of power generation reactors.
For 20% enrichment i agree, but the decision to do 20% in the first place isn't clear to me as yet.

Was Iran trying to raise the ante. A pressure tactic of sorts. Negotiations were going nowhere or

PR purposes to show their people their mastery of nuclear science and to portray western opposition as against Iran's development thereby building support across the political spectrum with the public for any forthcoming sanctions.

Both or something else in addition.

As for LEU, an indigenous capacity is more secure than buying from abroad. if the idea is to save oil for exports with a view to increasing nuclear power generation, it would be a major strategic blunder to hold nuclear fuel supplies hostage to western whims.

There is another more technical point i see mentioned often in reports. That its easy to go from 20% to HEU. Why ?

20% is easier than 10%, but it still takes effort and enough fuel to do it. The implication is if 20% is easy then what is 10% or 5%. Maybe its better than Iran not be able to have any indigenous capacity whatsoever to be on the safe side. This is the bomb school of thought and isn't going to work.

This is the reason i'm trying to explore an alternative because the bomb school does not offer any solution here. All it does is emphasise the dangers, exclusively. Its sole purpose is to restrict supply, any supply. No indigenous capacity is to be tolerated.

It is said once Iran becomes more cooperative these restrictions may be relaxed in the future. So the play is, halt enrichment and we will see. No guarantees because its conditional on Iran's behaviour. Its like going to the annual parole board meeting and hoping this year might be lucky. No way Iran will fall for this one because it implies that Iran is guilty of something. Not only that but to agree to such means Iran is actually admitting to being guilty. Cunning move isn't it, can't get Iran to agree there have been violations so what better than to get Iran to confess to them :) This farcical position i suspect is solely for public consumption as well as domestic politics, there will be loads of nuances when the real play starts as well as fall back positions.

The Iran side says, allow enrichment, and then we cooperate.

Cannot fully substantiate further as yet, its an idea i'm chasing but it seems to explain Iran's behaviour to date a little better as well as offering a potential solution.

Double Edge
18 Apr 12,, 19:49
My only direct experience with cultural differences in the region was as a traveler in the ME and frequent visitor to Morocco. It was impossible for me, as well as the natives, not to notice how stark was the contrast between our respective social behaviors. And I saw other other interesting behaviors, such as the method of bargaining in the souk. Once I watched a shopkeeper and a customer haggle over the price of an item--I can't remember what it was--and when a price was finally agreed on, the buyer began to slowly count out the money, pause and eye the shopkeeper, and then count out some more, pause again, and so it went for what seemed an eternity until finally the buyer handed the money over to the shopkeeper. I asked my Moroccan host what that was all about. He explained that if the shopkeeper had held out his hand to receive the money before it was counted, the customer would have stopped and started haggling again for a lower price, because by holding out his hand, the shopkeeper would be betraying that he knew he had a made a very good deal and the customer would have known he could have struck a better deal.
This reminds me of my experience in the grand souk in Istanbul. Pressure sales taken to a fine art. The only way they make a buck is on your ignorance of the price for whatever it is you are buying. There are loads of items, chances that you would know a reasonable price are low. Odds favour the vendor. If he charms you then he's looking to win. Killer charm is just that, deadly.

One way to counter is to let him do his spiel, haggle here and there, agree on the price. Then walk out of the shop. if he stops you just as you exit, then you got some more off. A poker face helps as does little talk. Language is no barrier when its about figures.

About the counting of money, i've got another variation.

Say, you want to sell me a car, after some haggling we get the price down to $5000. Now if i want to get you, to go lower, i start to bring out the wad and slowly count, slow is important as it builds anticipation, watching you at the same time. If i think you're desperate i bring out only 4000 or 4500 and by the end of it tell you that's all i have.

What do you do :)

If you accept, i got another 10 or 20% shaved off without even asking. Cash, here is better than a CC or cheque. Getting the figure right is crucial, it can make or break the deal.


So it seems to me, though at times I wonder if we should be making allowances for cultural differences.

The moral of the story is that, while rationality operates the same for all people, different cultures may resolve an issue by reasoning from a premise we would think absurd. Thus, Iran's insistence on refining to 19.75% in the face of western condemnation may stem from a premise alien to our way of thinking--something distinctly in line with their culture. Just a thought.
I'm not sure whether culture is the main factor here. The harder bit to decipher is the complex interplay between domestic political factions. What makes sense in that scenario might not at all when seen from the outside. That the system is opaque as it is only complicates matters.

Double Edge
19 Apr 12,, 01:04
Here. we go, this pretty much explains the Iranian position over the years. They did come clean in 2004 only to be disillusioned and entered into the current stalemate in 2005 that has endured since. This is the second attempt to course correct.

Nuclear Negotiating Timeline Timeline of Key Events in Iran Nuclear Negotiations (Feb. 2003 - June 2008) | AFPP (http://americanforeignpolicy.org/the-nuclear-file/iran-nuclear-negotiating-timeline)

This chronology covers the key events in Iran's negotiations with the west over its nuclear program during the critical period between the first revelation of Iran's secret nuclear activities in February 2003 and the tabling of the latest P5+1 offer in June 2008, rejection of which led to the current standoff.

It will be seen that Iran cooperated very extensively with the IAEA until the summer of 2005, when it became apparent to Iran that the west had no intention of accepting any enrichment inside Iran for at least ten years. In March 2005, Iran tabled a "framework" for negotiations that contemplated Iran accepting very extensive, nationwide safeguards in exchange for western concessions including acceptance of limited enrichment of uranium in Iran.

Overview
The recent history of Iran nuclear negotiations can be divided into three main stages:
(1) Feb. - Oct. 2003: Iran's secret work is revealed, and Iran responds by covering up. Some information starts coming from Iran in August.

(2) Oct. 2003 - May 2005: Iran comes clean, tries to restore confidence and seeks a deal. Iran acknowledges and discloses its past and present nuclear materials processing activities (without disclosing or acknowledging any past weapons work) and accepts a strong package of enhanced safeguards (including full IAEA safeguards, the Additional Protocol,and the revised code of the Subsidiary Arrangement). Iran enters into talks with the West aimed at securing western acceptance of limited Iranian enrichment in exchange for Iran's acceptance of full (and indeed enhanced) safeguards to assure peaceful use.

(3) May 2005 - present: The deal collapses over enrichment and over questions about the past. The E3 powers table a proposal that contemplates no Iranian enrichment for at least ten years. Iran becomes disillusioned by the West's continuing refusal to contemplate any future that involves Iranian enrichment of uranium (even to low levels under safeguards), which Iran considers its right. Iran comes to conclusion that the West is exploiting Iran's suspension of enrichment by stalling for time, and in August 2005 announces its intention to resume enrichment.

The result is a downward spiral into a stalemate. The P5+1 responds by referring Iran's file to the Security Council for sanctions. Iran responds by suspending implementation of the Additional Protocol and the revised code of the Subsidiary Arrangement. The Security Council answers with three successive resolutions calling on Iran to resume implementing these extended safeguards and suspend implementation, and enacts a package of limited sanctions against Iran.

The United States declares that it will not talk to Iran about its nuclear program until Iran complies with the Security Council resolutions and suspends enrichment of uranium. The European powers, Russia and China offer a package of concessions to Iran that does not include a long-term right to enrich uranium. Their offer stipulates that serious negotiations cannot begin on this package until Iran first suspends enrichment.

Iran declares that suspension of enrichment is off the table and out of the question. Deadlock results.

On a parallel track, Iran continues to answer most but not all of the IAEA's verification-related questions about its nuclear program. Most IAEA concerns are resolved -- until late 2005 when new documents (the so-called "alleged studies") surface, offering new evidence of a concealed Iranian nuclear weapons program through 2003 at least. Iran declares the documents to be forgeries, but maintains that it cannot substantiate its forgery claim without seeing originals of the documents, which western intelligence will not permit.

see the link for a more detailed timeline

JAD_333
19 Apr 12,, 06:56
This reminds me of my experience in the grand souk in Istanbul.

It's not rational or is it? Just different premises, wouldn't you say?


About the counting of money, i've got another variation.

Say, you want to sell me a car, after some haggling we get the price down to $5000. Now if i want to get you, to go lower, i start to bring out the wad and slowly count, slow is important as it builds anticipation, watching you at the same time. If i think you're desperate i bring out only 4000 or 4500 and by the end of it tell you that's all i have.

What do you do :)


I'd say check your other pockets. :)

Double Edge
20 Apr 12,, 22:07
It's not rational or is it?
Don't follow :confused:


Just different premises, wouldn't you say?
Initially but that's always the case. CBM's & reciprocity are necessary to find common ground.

Just read (http://www.isisnucleariran.org/assets/pdf/Iran_Proposal_Mar232005.pdf) what Iran was ready to offer in Mar 2005 but was still rebuffed. Why ?

This just goes to show how much work has to be done to reach the Mar 2005 level. It took from Oct 2003 to reach that level or a year and a half. And then to avoid whatever mistake that caused failure in the second half of 2005. I'd have thought what Iran offered at the time seems like a reasonable compromise but then something got in the way. And then both sides started blaming the other over the outcome later. A-jad enters office and its clear to the Iranian conservatives that negotiations were a path to nowhere. They tried, the west wasn't interested. The UNSC resolutions follow mid 2006 etc etc.

The second half of 2005 to mid 2006 is the key period, where things started to go pear shaped. What happened ?


I'd say check your other pockets. :)
:biggrin:

Double Edge
25 Apr 12,, 17:46
et al,

LTG Gantz seems to have some faith in the sanctions in place, together with the impact it will have on the current negotiations.
Very good, one more Israeli leader to add to the list :)


(COMMENT)

The Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Saeed Jalili, Secretary - Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and the Chief Nuclear negotiator for Iran, and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi are still engaged in discussions that might halt Iran's uranium enrichment program and efforts to bring Iran into compliance with UN Security Council resolutions and obligations under the NPT.
The EU can do nothing unless the US agrees to it. The EU got a similar deal in 2005, Americans baulked and then Iran opted out. And with that began the stalemate that endures to this present day.


While most informed sources seem to attribute Iran's willingness to come to the negotiating table to the impact of the sanctions imposed, the sanction are a strain to both sides of the table.
I don't believe its the sanctions to date but rather the cumulative effect of sanctions in the future that might be a factor in getting Iran to the table. Iran does much more trade with the EU than the US. Consequently if the EU cuts them out the impact will be larger.

What i still don't understand is why both parties seem happy with the outcome of the last meeting. The public statements issued by both sides reveals nothing. There's a lot said behind closed doors that we will never get to know until much later if ever.


The impacts cut both ways and thus, the intervention of the EU (Foreign Policy Office); which is attempting to orchestrate a delicate balance by straining Iran enough to force it to negotiate (in good faith) over the assurance of demilitarization in its nuclear program, inspections regiments, and application of the additional protocols; AND keeping enough oil flowing to avoid a price spike and excessive currency and oil speculation. Some believe that the enforcement of the sanctions have been too wide and too successful.
The west has better be a lot more forthcoming in quid pro quo this time around if there is to be any expectation of progress. We've already been down this path before.

Can Obama can do better than Bush.


There is little question that the sanctions have created some unusual side effects; both domestically within Iran --- and adjacent to Iran (with China and India). The Chinese see a better negotiating position on the oil contracts now in play, the Supreme Leader sees the sanctions a a means to undermine Ahmadinejad, and the Indian Government sees oil-for-grain trades as favorable. By July, it will be interesting to see what other unintended consequences have developed.
I don't see sanctions being lifted before July though this by itself should not be a show stopper. If the US can meet the Iranians in a convincing fashion, there is no reason that this situation cannot be amicably resolved.

RoccoR
26 Apr 12,, 17:38
Double Edge, et al,

Well, I'm not entirely sure I agree.


The EU can do nothing unless the US agrees to it. The EU got a similar deal in 2005, Americans baulked and then Iran opted out. And with that began the stalemate that endures to this present day.
(COMMENT)

Yes, but as the economic crisis increases in Europe, the EU is less and less likely to be agreeable to a US driven policy and domination of issues.

The current negotiation (AKA: EU 3+3 Talks UK, France, Germany, US, Russia, China) are not taken independently; but (as an example) the UK is in a is in a "Double-Dip Recession;" but it effects 17 different countries - and - it is escalating. At some point, these countries are going to have to cut America and its foreign policy loose if energy sanctions aggregate an already bad economic situation. America can not always put itself (selfishly) first and expect the other nations to blindly follow. While Washington's lack of concern for the American Infrastructure (education, energy, scientific research, public utilities, transportation, manufacturing and production) and interest in curbing unemployment and underemployment is secondary to wealthy political elitists, that does not mean the EU Leadership is a complacent. The EU leadership has a genuine concern for the health of their individual economies.


I don't believe its the sanctions to date but rather the cumulative effect of sanctions in the future that might be a factor in getting Iran to the table. Iran does much more trade with the EU than the US. Consequently if the EU cuts them out the impact will be larger.
(COMMENT)

The participants in the talks came to the meeting believing that they were going to sit down with an arrogant Iran. They were effect by the media descriptions over the past 18 months. And, the meeting is not entirely dominated by the US and its policy enforcement. The other nations of the EU, with better statesmanship and diplomatic tradecraft, have encourage Iran to seriously engage; which Iran has.


What i still don't understand is why both parties seem happy with the outcome of the last meeting. The public statements issued by both sides reveals nothing. There's a lot said behind closed doors that we will never get to know until much later if ever.
(COMMENT)

While Iran had been aggressive, defiant, uncooperative, and argumentative, the meetings opened by the Baroness were calm, with positive exchanges; where disagreement was diplomatically projected. The meeting were not chaotic (as some suspected it might be) but, constructive.


The west has better be a lot more forthcoming in quid pro quo this time around if there is to be any expectation of progress. We've already been down this path before.

Can Obama can do better than Bush.
(COMMENT)

I think that the EU Foreign Policy Chief is going to attempt to reset the Sheet of Allegations. Right now, the allegations spread across a decade; some invalid and some overtaken by events. There are so many demands made upon Iran, that it is difficult to tell which are valid any more.

Starting with a clean slate, I believe the EU is going to start fresh with Iran and establish a way in which the IAEA can verify peaceful compliance with a reason verification that there is no military component to Iran's Nuclear Program.


I don't see sanctions being lifted before July though this by itself should not be a show stopper. If the US can meet the Iranians in a convincing fashion, there is no reason that this situation cannot be amicably resolved.
(COMMENT)

Yes. The last of the Article 12 and Article 14 "Grace Periods" end on 1 July, 2012. The sanctions are ratcheting.

Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
26 Apr 12,, 18:36
Yes, but as the economic crisis increases in Europe, the EU is less and less likely to be agreeable to a US driven policy and domination of issues.
The ability to buck the US derives from a position of strength rather than weakness.


The current negotiation (AKA: EU 3+3 Talks UK, France, Germany, US, Russia, China) are not taken independently; but (as an example) the UK is in a is in a "Double-Dip Recession;" but it effects 17 different countries - and - it is escalating. At some point, these countries are going to have to cut America and its foreign policy loose if energy sanctions aggregate an already bad economic situation. America can not always put itself (selfishly) first and expect the other nations to blindly follow.
The EU nations most at risk ie Greece, Spain & Italy aren't even at the table.


While Washington's lack of concern for the American Infrastructure (education, energy, scientific research, public utilities, transportation, manufacturing and production) and interest in curbing unemployment and underemployment is secondary to wealthy political elitists, that does not mean the EU Leadership is a complacent. The EU leadership has a genuine concern for the health of their individual economies.
Is Washington going to be amenable this time ?

I'm still at a loss as to why the US was not the last time back in 2005.


The participants in the talks came to the meeting believing that they were going to sit down with an arrogant Iran. They were effect by the media descriptions over the past 18 months. And, the meeting is not entirely dominated by the US and its policy enforcement. The other nations of the EU, with better statesmanship and diplomatic tradecraft, have encourage Iran to seriously engage; which Iran has.
All the EU is doing is acting as go between between two parties that don't talk to each other. Unless the US agrees, the talks go nowhere, happened in 2005, can happen again.

I think it is HIGH TIME the US & Iran got locked into a room, until they sort this out. Rafsanjani has already mentioned that talking to the US is not necessarily a bad thing. Whether this implies Iran will talk to the US is unknown.


I think that the EU Foreign Policy Chief is going to attempt to reset the Sheet of Allegations. Right now, the allegations spread across a decade; some invalid and some overtaken by events. There are so many demands made upon Iran, that it is difficult to tell which are valid any more.
Iran wants the right to enrich its own LEU along with security guarantees that they will not be attacked. These requirements have not changed.


Starting with a clean slate, I believe the EU is going to start fresh with Iran and establish a way in which the IAEA can verify peaceful compliance with a reason verification that there is no military component to Iran's Nuclear Program.
And what is the west willing to offer in exchange ?

The rhetoric has been so skewed in the last few years that any western concessions are projected as weakness. If that's the prevailing attitude then there will be no progress.

JAD_333
27 Apr 12,, 02:53
America can not always put itself (selfishly) first and expect the other nations to blindly follow.

Rocco:

I find this statement bizarre. For one thing, US and EU interests coincide with respect to Iran, and at times Britain and France have taken the harder stance. Labeling the US as 'selfish' portrays it as alone in its opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions. This seems somewhat disingenuous, since all nations are selfish in pursuing their vital interests. I also don't see anything unusual in regarding the US as first among nations in this case, considering it alone is capable of keeping the sea lanes open, which all EU nations benefit from. I haven't seen any indication that the US expects them to follow blindly.


While Washington's lack of concern for the American Infrastructure (education, energy, scientific research, public utilities, transportation, manufacturing and production) and interest in curbing unemployment and underemployment is secondary to wealthy political elitists, that does not mean the EU Leadership is a complacent. The EU leadership has a genuine concern for the health of their individual economies.

I find it hard to take this seriously. Surely the EU nations understand that US cutbacks in science, education, and so on are not because for lack of concern by Washington, but the result of economic realities. And which EU nation predicates its actions on campaign hype, such as Washington is more interested in "wealthy political elitists" than in "curbing unemployment"?

I don't see any complacency on their part. But, given the tough economic times, not wanting to appear overly gung-ho in the eyes of the public is understandable. In the final analysis, they perceive Iran as a threat to their security. Why would they put their security in second place behind their economy?

Parihaka
27 Apr 12,, 05:29
The EU can do nothing unless the US agrees to it. The EU got a similar deal in 2005, Americans baulked and then Iran opted out. And with that began the stalemate that endures to this present day.


I'm not sure where you got this from. It was the EU3 negotiating, Iran rejected their proposals and began enriching again (http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Iran_Nuclear_Proposals). What am I missing?

RoccoR
27 Apr 12,, 09:09
JAD_333, et al,

Maybe.


I find this statement bizarre. For one thing, US and EU interests coincide with respect to Iran, and at times Britain and France have taken the harder stance. Labeling the US as 'selfish' portrays it as alone in its opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions. This seems somewhat disingenuous, since all nations are selfish in pursuing their vital interests. I also don't see anything unusual in regarding the US as first among nations in this case, considering it alone is capable of keeping the sea lanes open, which all EU nations benefit from. I haven't seen any indication that the US expects them to follow blindly.
(COMMENT)

The US and the EU are close on this subject, in that neither wants Iran to become a nuclear power. Having said that, there are a couple of differences.


The US is willing to go to war over it. The exact thing that the Treaty tries to avoid. The EU is not willing to go to war with Iran over this.
The US arrogance was an obstacle to negotiations. EU diplomacy is more likely to yield tangible results.


Remember, both Turkey and Brazil entered into negotiations with Iran, and nearly reached a "fuel swap" deal with Iran --- which the US promptly sabotaged. The Turkey/Brazil deal would have overcome the need for Iran to enrich uranium to medical isotope levels and TRR needs. It was the US that set the conditions for Iran to break with the negotiations. Also, remembering, there is no prohibition in the treaty against enrichment, at any level. The US motivated UN sanctions are based on fears that have not been substantiated.


I find it hard to take this seriously. Surely the EU nations understand that US cutbacks in science, education, and so on are not because for lack of concern by Washington, but the result of economic realities. And which EU nation predicates its actions on campaign hype, such as Washington is more interested in "wealthy political elitists" than in "curbing unemployment"?
(COMMENT)

I think it is fair to say that the US has forgone US Infrastructure investment, and instead, engaged in foreign combat operations for over a decade; from which their will be no return on the investment. It is a matter of prioritizing the expenditure of capital and credit. If you dump the money (capital and credit) overseas (Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, etc) in black holes for which no return will ever be made, THEN, that money never comes back to circulate in the economy in any form. It's gone forever.


I don't see any complacency on their part. But, given the tough economic times, not wanting to appear overly gung-ho in the eyes of the public is understandable. In the final analysis, they perceive Iran as a threat to their security. Why would they put their security in second place behind their economy?
(COMMENT)

Yes, yes. I understand the cry of "wolf." Iran poses no threat to the US, and given no oversight at all, would not pose a threat to the US for the foreseeable future. Being a nuclear power, and threatening the use of a nuclear weapon against the US is a very dangerous course of action. One SSBN could burn Iran to the ground and move it back to the 11th Century. Iran is a rationale nation.

National Security is a much more expanding platform than Iran. Our economy (and the supporting infrastructure) is much more important national security interest than is Iran and any threat it might pose. And given the situation in the EU, their economies are first, and chief among items each of the 17 nations want to protect. Without an economy, what are we protecting? Without an economy, how would we support weapons of war and foreign intimidation?

Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
27 Apr 12,, 18:38
I'm not sure where you got this from. It was the EU3 negotiating, Iran rejected their proposals and began enriching again (http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Iran_Nuclear_Proposals). What am I missing?
The EU3's offers in 2005 were vague and non-committal and the buck stopped with the US which was not a party to these initial negotiations. The EU wasn't in a position to offer anything tangible, their role is as go-between/matchmaker. The play is between the US & Iran.

Before i begin i want to make it clear that i'm not stating i'm right because i don't yet know. I'm just looking at discrepancies in the narratives. We've got to go to town on this to know more.

There are two points here
- why did Iran reject those proposals
- why & when did iran restart enrichment

Let's get into your link and compare with the timeline I linked (http://americanforeignpolicy.org/the-nuclear-file/iran-nuclear-negotiating-timeline) here ealier.

Your AC.org says..


Several months later [autumn 2003], France, Germany, and the United Kingdom agreed to discuss with Iran a range of nuclear, security, and economic issues as long as Tehran suspended work on its uranium enrichment program and cooperated fully with an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

My (American Foreign Policy Project, AFPP), link says...


Sept. 2003
IAEA Board Resolution condemns Iran's concealment and obfuscation.

Oct 16. 2003
Iran announces decision to provide full information on its nuclear program.

Oct. 21, 2003
Iranian provides detailed letter with very substantial disclosures, a number of which implicitly acknowledge prior misstatements."

Nov. 2003
Iran agrees to suspend enrichment pending the outcome of talks on a permanent arrangement.

So you can see the difference here
- yours says suspend enrichment & cooperate fully
- mine says suspension will be temporary pending the outcome on a permanent arrangement.

By definition a suspension is temporary so there is no difference. But there is the added Iranian condition that it remains that way depending on future progress at the negotiations.

Next, AC.org says...


However, that agreement unraveled the following year [sometime in 2004] when Tehran continued work on uranium conversion, the precursor to enrichment. Iran then agreed with the EU3 in November 2004 to implement a more stringent suspension. Negotiations between the two sides began shortly afterward.

AFPP says..


Dec. 18, 2003
Iran signs and begins voluntarily implementing the "Additional Protocol"to its Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA.

Feb. 2oo4
On request of IAEA Iran extends the suspension of enrichment to include enrichment-related activities (e.g. centrifuge manufacture and testing) and uranium conversion activities as well (though Iran will soon rescind commitment on conversion).

Mar. - Nov. 2004
Talks between Iran and P5+1 proceed.

Nothing has unraveled up to this point. If it did then the Paris agreement would not have been signed.


Nov. 15, 2004
Paris Agreement signed by Iran, three EU Member States (UK, Germany, France) and EU. It is basically an agreement to negotiate. Iran agrees to suspend all enrichment and enrichment-related activity "while negotiations on a long-term agreement are under way . . . The agreement will provide objective guarantees that Iran's nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes." The E3/EU recognize that "this suspension is a voluntary confidence building measure and not a legal obligation. INFCIRC/637 (http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/2004/infcirc637.pdf)"

On the same day, IAEA issues a report detailing both Iran's failures of cooperation in the past, and its more recent record of much better cooperation. The Director General concludes: "Iran’s policy of concealment continued until October 2003, and has resulted in many breaches of its obligation to comply with that Agreement. Since that time, good progress has been made in Iran’s correction of those breaches and in the Agency’s ability to confirm certain aspects of Iran’s current declarations, which will be followed up as a routine safeguards implementation matter."{foonote}IAEA, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran: Report by the Director General, GOV/2004/83, Nov. 29, 2004, paras. 89-105{/footnote}

Between this point and Aug 2005, Iran makes three proposals to the EU3 but they are ALL rebuffed.

AC.org says


January 17, 2005

This Iranian proposal to the EU3/Iran Political and Security Working Group outlined commitments on both sides in general terms.

March 23, 2005

The Iranian proposal to the EU3/Iran steering committee in March provided greater detail into the “objective guarantees” Iran was willing to discuss regarding its nuclear program

April 29, 2005

In April Iran’s proposal repeated some of the items in the March proposal, but focused more on short-term confidence-building measures than long term resolutions

July18, 2005

Iranian Message from Hassan Rowhani, then-Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, to France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Next we come to the EU3's proposal of Aug 2005.

AC.org says..


In August 2005 the three European countries presented their own comprehensive proposal (http://www.armscontrol.org/pdf/20050805_Iran_EU3_Proposal.pdf)for a long-term agreement

AFPP says


Aug. 8 2005
E3/EU letter formally offers a number of "carrots" in exchange for Iran's acceptance of a 10-year moratorium on enrichment. Incentives are broad and vaguely worded and generally non-comittal: e.g., an "expert mission to help identify the requirement for a research reactor in Iran", no impediment to "participation in open market tendering" of fuel-cycle related activity, "cooperation . . . in fields such as radio-isotope production", "develop with Iran a framework which would provide assurance" of "external supplies of fuel [for nuclear reactors]." The E3/EU hold out no prospect of recognizing Iran's right to enrich uranium in the foreseeable future, though they do offer a review of implementation of the agreement in ten years.

This is where we start seeing a divergence and things beginning to unravel.

next, AC.org says


Iran rejected that proposal days later, claiming that it did not recognize Iran’s right to enrichment. Tehran proceeded with uranium conversion, breaking the suspension agreement with the EU3 and ending negotiations.

AFPP says...


Sept. 12, 2005
Iran submits a lengthy and angry letter (http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/2005/infcirc657.pdf) defending its right and need to enrich, denouncing the "politicization" of the IAEA process, critiquing the Director General reports in detail for having failed to accurately reflect the level of Iranian cooperation with the IAEA, and generally defending Iran's stated intention to resume enrichment.

January 3, 2006
The International Atomic Energy Agency receives a Note Verbale from Iran stating that the country has decided to resume Research and Development on its peaceful nuclear energy program beginning January 9, 2006.
This is the point when Iran restarts conversion & enrichment as they judge the negotiations to have failed. Whether Iran should have made this decision at this point is debatable.


Feb. 4, 2006
IAEA Board refers Iran's nuclear file to the UN Security Council.
This was an unwarranted move by the IAEA and amounts to a ratcheting up of political pressure because in Nov 15 2004 it was agreed that...


The E3/EU recognize that "this suspension is a voluntary confidence building measure and not a legal obligation. INFCIRC/637 (http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/2004/infcirc637.pdf)"


Feb. 14, 2006: Iran announces it is suspending implementation of the Additional Protocol in retaliation for the referral of its file to the UN Security Council. Henceforth, Iran will abide by the strict text of its Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA and nothing more. (Perhaps less, because the IAEA and Iran disagree on whether Iran can legally withdraw from the revised version of its Subsidiary Arrangement, as Iran has done, after having once signed it.)
This is a critical point as it indicates Iran's decision as well as rationale to quit the Additional Protocol. The protocol which would have allowed more stringent inspections.


May 31, 2006
The United States offers to join European-Iranian negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program provided that Iran first suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, thereby formalizing the suspension precondition for talks.9
This is when the US, Russia & China enter and the EU3 becomes the P5+1


June 6, 2006
China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States (also known as the P5 + 1) offer Iran a new proposal. Although specifics are not revealed, the proposal requires Iran to suspend all of its enrichment related activities as a precondition of further, more detailed negotiations. However, the proposal does not preclude the future possibility that Iran could eventually develop indigenous enrichment capabilities once all outstanding questions have been resolved and international confidence has been restored in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program. In exchange, the proposal offers Iran a package of incentives. Iran issues a statement saying it will respond to the offer by August 22.
The P5+1 proposal isn't any better than the EU3 proposal. Its clear here that the US does not want to deal.


July 31 ,2006
UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1696 calling on Iran to suspend enrichment and resolve outstanding issues with the IAEA. It contains no sanctions, but notes that subsequent resolutions will be adopted under Art. 41 of the UN Charter that does provide for sanctions.

This resolution should have been delayed as it indirectly signals that negotiations have come to an end and have thus failed. Otherwise why pass such a resolution.


August 22, 2006
Iran submits 21-page response to the June 6 proposal by the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States + Germany). Iran's response points out the vagueness of many elements in the the P5+1 proposal, and particularly objects to the fact that the P5+1 proposal is "mute" on the issue of whether enrichment is included within the scope of peaceful uses of the atom that the P5+1 recognize as legitimate. Iran objects to the Security Resolutions as coercive measures that are inconsistent with the concept of negotiation, and to the vagueness and self-judging character of the west's insistence on "international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program." Iran nonetheless welcomes the prospect of new negotiations towards a comprehensive agreement that recognizes Iran's "inalienable" right to peaceful nuclear energy without discrimination, as acknowledged in the June 12 P5+1 proposal.

October 3, 2006
Mohammad Saeedi, deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, proposes that France create a consortium to enrich Tehran's uranium, saying such an arrangement could satisfy international demands for outside oversight. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggests the international community will have no choice but to impose sanctions on Iran if it refuses to suspend its uranium-enrichment efforts.

Here we see the US demand to halt enrichment, whereas there is no progress in the negotiations. Therefore Iran sees no reason whatsoever to continue its suspension of its nuclear program and proceeds to restart it.

Will leave at that for now :)

JAD_333
27 Apr 12,, 19:54
The US and the EU are close on this subject, in that neither wants Iran to become a nuclear power. Having said that, there are a couple of differences.


The US is willing to go to war over it. The exact thing that the Treaty tries to avoid. The EU is not willing to go to war with Iran over this.
The US arrogance was an obstacle to negotiations. EU diplomacy is more likely to yield tangible results.


I'll back up here if you can show me where all the EU nations have said they are not willing to go to war over this issue.

Frankly, I don't think it matters how you characterize the treaty in terms of
enforcement. While it has no specific enforcement mechanism, it does not rule out enforcement. Choosing which way to go is very much a question of current and future perceived threats arising from a member's suspicious actions and/or violations of it. The view that we wait for the paint to peel before doing anything leaves us without a resolution to what may be a serious violation in the making. We would just have to wait to see what happens. Both sides have to come to a point where there is mutual confidence that nothing sinister is afoot on either side. We've had to force Iran to get there. This explains a lot of US actions.


The US motivated UN sanctions are based on fears that have not been substantiated.

Depends on what you call 'substantiated'. The fears that Iran had a nuclear weapons program is substantiated. The fact that it has not decided whether to build nuclear weapons is substantiated. The fact that Iran has not cooperated with the IAEA in key respects is substantiated. It seems what you mean by substantiated is the discovery of a bomb on a missile.


I think it is fair to say that the US has forgone US Infrastructure investment, and instead, engaged in foreign combat operations for over a decade; from which their will be no return on the investment.

Now you are putting it in either/or terms. That is a far cry from what you said earlier. "While Washington's lack of concern for the American Infrastructure (education, energy, scientific research, public utilities, transportation, manufacturing and production) and interest in curbing unemployment and underemployment is secondary to wealthy political elitists, that does not mean the EU Leadership is a complacent. The EU leadership has a genuine concern for the health of their individual economies."


It is a matter of prioritizing the expenditure of capital and credit. If you dump the money (capital and credit) overseas (Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, etc) in black holes for which no return will ever be made, THEN, that money never comes back to circulate in the economy in any form. It's gone forever.

The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, etc.--It seems your ultra pragmatic view of how we as a nation spend our money would have ruled them all out as well as all future defense.



Iran poses no threat to the US, and given no oversight at all, would not pose a threat to the US for the foreseeable future. Being a nuclear power, and threatening the use of a nuclear weapon against the US is a very dangerous course of action. One SSBN could burn Iran to the ground and move it back to the 11th Century. Iran is a rationale nation.

Threats come in small packages too. I mean those that don't warrant a nuclear response, but are serious enough to warrant strong action. Iran's regional ambitions, for example, if allowed to blossom under their current leadership could pose a serious economic threat to the US. A nuclear force might embolden Iran to resist. Better that we do something now to ensure this does not happen than face it down the road when it's too late.

RoccoR
28 Apr 12,, 03:10
JAD_333, et al,

Let me say, that more often then not, most of the people I know take your position.


I'll back up here if you can show me where all the EU nations have said they are not willing to go to war over this issue.
(COMMENT)

Top US General: "Iran a Rational
Actor", but is US One? - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_iTl_FYNYvc)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_iTl_FYNYvc

There is a difference between "not wanting a war" and "not willing to go to war." The Europeans don't mind a free-ride if America will fight the battle for them.


Europe is depending on the US/Israeli initiation of hostilities, allowing them plausible denial (Checkmark for Europe);
Europe, heavily depend on Persian oil, will continue to doing business with Iran as a non-belligerent (Checkmark for Europe);
If the US/Israelis start and fight the war, Europe will face a minimal disruption in the flow of Iranian oil into their economies (Checkmark for Europe).


But it is not likely that Europe will make any significant contribution unless the US picks up the tab, and that the situation will not develop consequences relative to oil, after the conclusion of hostilities.

Europe is concerned that the opening of hostilities will create a significant increase in oil prices, and disrupt the flow.


Frankly, I don't think it matters how you characterize the treaty in terms of enforcement. While it has no specific enforcement mechanism, it does not rule out enforcement. Choosing which way to go is very much a question of current and future perceived threats arising from a member's suspicious actions and/or violations of it. The view that we wait for the paint to peel before doing anything leaves us without a resolution to what may be a serious violation in the making. We would just have to wait to see what happens. Both sides have to come to a point where there is mutual confidence that nothing sinister is afoot on either side. We've had to force Iran to get there. This explains a lot of US actions.
(COMMENT)

Agreed.

US, NATO, and Israeli military and intelligence officials agree: Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon. It doesn't have a program to make nuclear weapons; and hasn't yet made a decision to pursue such a program.

Each International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA) Report since 2007, and each National Intelligence Estimate (a compilation) has suggested that Iran abandoned its program in 2003; years away from a capability to forge a nuclear weapon.

The enrichment process is designed to make Iran subservient to the western powers by controlling the fuel for its Nuclear Power program. Iran see this as blackmail, just wrapped in a different form. And while there is no concrete overt action by Iran to restart its weapons program, the US is creating an environment to force Iran to pursue such an action to protect itself from US/Israel offensive action.


Depends on what you call 'substantiated'. The fears that Iran had a nuclear weapons program is substantiated. The fact that it has not decided whether to build nuclear weapons is substantiated. The fact that Iran has not cooperated with the IAEA in key respects is substantiated. It seems what you mean by substantiated is the discovery of a bomb on a missile.
(COMMENT)

No, we agree to every point, except the last point. There is so much more to building a dependable and deployable weapon; that it cannot just suddenly appear without the footprint being detected.

Your fear that, at some point, we will all just wake-up one morning and Iran will have a fully deployed, ready to launch, ICBM or Medium Range Missile with a nuclear warhead is rather remote.

The current Administration is not in favor of another March War, on unsubstantiated footing. But that doesn't mean that the US will not get a war. If the current Administration falls, they may yet get to attack in March 2013. All the leading candidates have suggested as much if Iran invokes its sovereign rights.

Iran represents "an existential threat" to Israel.


Now you are putting it in either/or terms. That is a far cry from what you said earlier. "While Washington's lack of concern for the American Infrastructure (education, energy, scientific research, public utilities, transportation, manufacturing and production) and interest in curbing unemployment and underemployment is secondary to wealthy political elitists, that does not mean the EU Leadership is a complacent. The EU leadership has a genuine concern for the health of their individual economies."

(COMMENT)

Not at all. It is a matter of prioritization.


The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, etc.--It seems your ultra pragmatic view of how we as a nation spend our money would have ruled them all out as well as all future defense.
(COMMENT)

Again, I did not say this. The economy is a National Security Issue. And to go to war at the expense of creating exceptionally grave damage to the economy makes no sense. I was talking about this point in time, in this situation. Why go to war:


To protect the nation from becoming overwhelmed by Iran, -- yes.
To protect America from an Imminent Attack from Iran, then -- yes.
To respond to an Act of War by Iran, then -- Yes.



Threats come in small packages too. I mean those that don't warrant a nuclear response, but are serious enough to warrant strong action. Iran's regional ambitions, for example, if allowed to blossom under their current leadership could pose a serious economic threat to the US. A nuclear force might embolden Iran to resist. Better that we do something now to ensure this does not happen than face it down the road when it's too late.
(COMMENT)

Yes, this is the policy of preemption by the hegemony. But the Middle East and the Persian Gulf is not our local neighborhood. The US should not be making these decisions. This is best left to the GCC (Middle East/Persian Gulf countries).


(The Senate "urges the president to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and oppose any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat."

SOURCE: http://www.aipac.org/~/media/Publications/Policy%20and%20Politics/Source%20Materials/Congressional%20Action/2012/BILLS%20112sres380is.pdf



BTW: This document is an excellent reference document on the current list of grievances, worries, and positions that the US is adopting. It is less than 6 pages of content, double spaced, well worth a few moment of you time to read. It supports JAD_333 contentions.

Most Respectfully,
R

Doktor
28 Apr 12,, 06:55
Rocco,

IIRC, in Europe only Greece, Italy and Spain bought Iranian oil. None of them is in a position to wage a war at the moment, don't you think?

RoccoR
28 Apr 12,, 07:53
Doktor, et al,

The oil embargo effects every country in the EU; all 27 countries. If not directly, then indirectly. The oil lost from Iran means that either production has to go up, along with the price, or there will be shortage somewhere.

Southern EU countries are going to need oil regardless; and if they cannot get it from Iran, then they will have to get it from the same suppliers that export to the northern EU Countries. Supply and Demand will take hold.


IIRC, in Europe only Greece, Italy and Spain bought Iranian oil. None of them is in a position to wage a war at the moment, don't you think?
(NOTE)


Over the past few weeks, Iran, due to the embargo imposed upon it, has decided to stop exports step by step to almost all European countries, the latest being Greece and Spain. In parallel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad relayed to the public that his country could easily adapt to a conclusive oil export embargo for up to three years. If that is the case, then hard times are ahead for the E.U. economy. Iran's oil production contributes to about 5 percent of the world output, and an exclusion of this amount from the market cannot be easily replaced by other producers. The price will be driven up.

It is estimated that for 2012 the 27 E.U. member states will have to pay about $400 billion for oil imports alone, which is $40 billion above 2011—a year that was already marked by high prices due to the war in Libya and the Arab Spring. Southern E.U. states are going to be hit especially hard economically.
From Portugal to Greece, local economies are already one step from bankruptcy, with threatens the European Union as a whole. For every increase of 10 percent in the price of oil, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Portugal lose at least 0.8 percent of their GDPs, which already have negative outlooks. Greece experienced a 7 percent decrease in 2011 and is expecting a similar decrease in 2012. Combined with losses in the southern E.U. stock market and the real estate and industrial sectors, increase in oil prices would further deteriorate the E.U. economies.

SOURCE: Iran's Oil Embargo: Impact on the E.U. - Worldpress.org (http://worldpress.org/Europe/3902.cfm)



NEW YORK, March 16 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures rose on Friday, as worries of supply disruption from Iran
resurfaced and the dollar weakened, enticing investors to raise
their bets on the commodity.

U.S. inflationary pressures appeared contained, data on
consumer prices showed, causing the dollar to pause from a rally
as investors now expect lower odds that the U.S. Federal Reserve
would tighten monetary policy anytime soon.

While gasoline prices rose sharply last month, consumers
did not expect the run-up to last very long, the weekly Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan consumer survey showed.

The potential impact of the loss of Iranian oil when the
slated European Union ban of Iranian oil comes into effect in
July again pushed risk premium on oil higher, traders said.

This time, the focus is on Asian oil importers, who are
lobbying for exceptions from the EU embargo to insure deliveries
of Iranian oil shipments.

The importers are asking they be exempted from a provision
in EU embargo that specified a ban EU insurers and reinsurers
from indemnifying vessels carrying Iranian crude and fuel
anywhere in the world.

SOURCE: NYMEX-Crude up on Iran supply worries, weak dollar | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters (http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL2E8EGEC020120316)


The new sanctions kick in in July. We will see how much pain it will cause the EU. If the economy of any one of the southern EU states causes a rescission or depression, a state that might go into default, as Greece did not too long ago, the EU will be in trouble.

How much will the EU sacrifice for this cause? It may be the case that the EU will sacrifice Spain's economy. I cannot help but wonder, what impact that will have.

Most Respectfully,
R

Parihaka
28 Apr 12,, 08:17
The oil lost from Iran means that either production has to go up, along with the price, or there will be shortage somewhere.

R
Production has gone up, Saudi Arabia agreed to up its output in support of the sanctions. The price has gone up because of medium term speculation.

Doktor
28 Apr 12,, 08:30
Rocco,

My comment was wrt to:

Europe, heavily depend on Persian oil, will continue to doing business with Iran as a non-belligerent (Checkmark for Europe);

As a % of total imports in Europe, Iranian oil comes to 5-6% depending on the year (data from memory, if you want to I can search links), while the said countries GDP in EU consists 20%. In my book that's not heavily.

Europe, will suffer the same destiny as the rest of the world.

RoccoR
28 Apr 12,, 10:08
Doktor, et al,

I suppose, from your perspective (which, BTW is consistent with the Washington Leadership) you may be correct. But I'm not of the same mind; again a minority position.


My comment was wrt to:


As a % of total imports in Europe, Iranian oil comes to 5-6% depending on the year (data from memory, if you want to I can search links), while the said countries GDP in EU consists 20%. In my book that's not heavily.

Europe, will suffer the same destiny as the rest of the world.
(COMMENT)

Let's hope we don't have to put it to the test.

The bulk of the sanctions were planned to be imposed effectively in July; giving everyone the opportunity to secure alternative sources. But the Iranian time table is to cut-off Europe (a type of counter embargo) may be put into effect by the end of the month. Hopefuly, the alternative solutions can be put in play by then.

While your aggregate percentage figures are correct, there is another situation.


Greece, Spain, and Italy all depend on oil from Iran. One-third of Greece’s oil comes from the Islamic Republic, Spain receives 15%, and Italy receives 13%. As the EU tries to disentangle itself from the mounting debt crisis, this embargo might end up costing Europe more than it does Iran. It seems questionable as to whether or not Greece can sustain the dissolution of Iranian oil contracts when 30% of its daily consumption is in jeopardy.

The second point is the sustainability of oil production from alternative countries such as Saudi Arabia or Libya. According to OPEC, the EU received 890,000 barrels per day from Iran in 2010. Making up for this difference poses a serious challenge. Currently, Saudi Arabia produces near 10 million barrels per day, but reportedly its maximum capacity is 12.5 million barrels. However, unbeknownst to many, Saudi spare capacity consists largely of heavy crude. This type of oil is undesirable due to its high cost in refining and environmental impact.

SOURCE: Will Iranian Oil Embargo undermine European economy? (http://www.gulfinstitute.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=197:will-iranian-oil-embargo-undermine-european-economy&catid=16:news&Itemid=1)


Your analysis of the situation seems to me to be too simple. The EU, clearly rational, will not allow the economies of Europe to be significantly damaged. As Jessica Koontz says: " The stage has been set and it remains uncertain as to who will derail course first in this geo-political game of chicken." There is no guarantee that the EU can out sustain Iran given the fragility of several key country members.

Iran has the second largest oil reserves in the world, and is the worlds fourth largest oil producer. Even if the EU wins the "the game of chicken," it will not do so without some serious pain. And as Iran has the oil, it has a commodity that will weather all economic conditions. The EU, if it has to pickup the pieces of two or three countries, will be much less resilient; able to spring back into shape after having it economy compressed by the energy sanctions --- and the double whammy of the debt crisis.

This is a dangerous game. The only thing more dangerous would be the outcome of a war, and the danger to the Persian Gulf oil infrastructure. And I don't care how confident we are in winning, the GCC oil facilities will be in grave peril.

Most Respectfully,
R

RoccoR
28 Apr 12,, 10:45
Parihaka, et al,

Yes, this is the promise. I agree.


Production has gone up, Saudi Arabia agreed to up its output in support of the sanctions. The price has gone up because of medium term speculation.

This is another thing I don't really want to see put to the test.


Currently, Saudi Arabia produces near 10 million barrels per day, but reportedly its maximum capacity is 12.5 million barrels. However, unbeknownst to many, Saudi spare capacity consists largely of heavy crude. This type of oil is undesirable due to its high cost in refining and environmental impact.

There is a discussion on how the Saudi's might do this. HERE (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1914f1fe-4010-11e0-811f-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1tKDIRczO) and: C. The oil minister of Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, said that the ... whatever spare capacity they do have consists mostly of Saudi Heavy Crude, ...


NYMEX crude oil hits $139.89 record despite Saudi pledge to .. (http://www.post1.net/lowem/entry/nymex_crude_oil_hits_139_89_record_despite_saudi_p ledge_to_increase_production).This article belongs to the NYMEX crude oil price records story arc. cbsnews.com : Crude oil futures hit a record near $140 a barrel Monday [16 Jun 2008] as ...




Oil Hits Historic High $139.89 Despite 'Saudi Pledge' (http://www.insight-info.com/events/item.aspx?id=4097) Crude oil rocketed to a record high of almost 140 dollars a barrel on Monday despite news that Saudi ... Oil Hits Historic High $139.89 Despite 'Saudi Pledge'
...

No, I'm not sure at all, that it is going to be that easy.

Most Respectfully,
R

Doktor
28 Apr 12,, 10:58
Rocco,

It's my perspective based solely on the numbers. The numbers are clear, speculators and human behavior, while predictable, tend to be weird some times. It is safe to predict that 5% can't and shouldn't be a game changer, unless some panic reaction occurs.

Like it or not, we are testing how Europe will fare without Iranian oil.

Greece is already on test since 3 weeks ago Iran denied delivery to Hellenic petroleum due to their inability to make the payment (they are using Turkish banks :eek:, but EU corresponding banks are voiding the payments to said banks). Looking to Greece, so far there are no shortages of oil, hope to stay that way.
The price of petrol dropped over here for the first time in the last 6 months and we generally buy oil from Hellenic petroleum, not sure how are the prices on gas stations in Greece.

Iran also stopped deliveries to Spain 2 weeks ago and Italians are still confused if they are stopped, too (no surprises there). Next week I will travel to Italy and to tell you the truth, I will fill the tank on the exit from Slovenia, just in case (and it is waaaay cheaper btw:red:).

Considering your numbers... Iran was 4th (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2178rank.html) in the world, behind Venezuela, KSA and Canada wrt oil reserves - unless they discovered some huge oil reserves in the new territories (http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/international-politics/61252-iran-larger-than-thought.html).

Before the sanctions they were also 4th (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2173rank.html) in the world behind (wait a minute) USA! in terms of oil production.

You say you are in minority, but I think we agree on several things, like there will be a huge draining of the world economy, the whole region will get changed, and the people in Iran will suffer for some time if war occurs.

On a side note, Russians and Chinese will be the bad guys, in Iran, too.

Parihaka
28 Apr 12,, 12:11
As I said, SA has been ramping up of some time.
RTTNews) - With gas prices rising (http://www.rttnews.com/1869506/saudi-arabia-builds-up-crude-oil-inventories-pledges-to-ease-prices.aspx?type=cdt&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=sitemap), eyes often turn to leading oil producing regions for help, namely the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is specifically marked as a leader in oil and gas production and plays a heavy role in supply/demand dynamics in the energy industry.

News broke on Wednesday via Goldman Sachs that Saudi Arabia has been building crude oil inventories in "lower domestic demand months" in an effort to challenge the risks of limited effective spare production, according to CNBC.

Moreover, a London think tank said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia is giving assurance that "the kingdom can and will increase crude oil output to dampen prices," according to UPI. The Saudis' commitment to boost output to bring market prices down has gone through "a much-needed overhaul" after earlier government comments drove prices higher on the back of worries over tightening supply, according to the Center for Global Energy Studies.

Goldman Sachs cited a crude oil inventory increase of 35.4 million barrels for the period of December-February, based on numbers from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI).

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said last week that the kingdom wasn't pleased with the record high level of oil prices and was determined to see them come down. The minister also said he is dedicated to working toward that goal, according to UPI.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Global oil inventories (http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-04-27/news/sns-rt-us-eia-report-marketbre83q15u-20120427_1_iran-sanctions-oil-output-sanction-foreign-banks) grew over the last two months despite the loss of further supplies from Iran, according to a U.S. report that gave leeway for the Obama administration to press ahead with sanctions on the OPEC nation.

The Energy Information Administration report, required every 60 days by the Iran sanctions law President Barack Obama signed in December, gave a mostly positive assessment of global oil supplies, which typically build at this time of year.



World oil and motor fuel supplies exceeded demand by 500,000 barrels per day in March and April, the EIA said, allowing consumer countries to build cushions against any potential losses from U.S. and EU measures against Tehran.

Inventories were helped by strong production from Saudi Arabia, which pumped 9.8 million barrels per day, about 900,000 bpd more than it did in March and April a year ago, it said.

"The report provides that comfort level that (the administration) can continue toward implementation of the sanctions without fear that the market is poised to go crazy for them," said David Pumphrey, fellow at Center for Strategic and International Studies and former Energy Department official.

The sanctions aim to choke funding to Tehran's nuclear program by slowing transactions between oil-consuming countries and the Central Bank of Iran. The West contends Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, while Tehran says the program is strictly for civilian purposes.



The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), possessing 40% of proven world oil reserves, have spare oil production capacity now of 2.5 to 3 million barrels per day and are positioned to meet any possible shortfall in supplies to world markets as a result of possible declines in Iranian exports as a result of sanctions, said the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

The IIF is the leading global association of financial services firms with more than 450 member institutions. It expects that average oil prices will be about $114 per barrel through 2012 with GCC oil production this year at 17.3 million barrels per day, after 16.5 million in 2011. The IIF forecasts that the GCC's external current account surplus is likely to rise to a new record of $358bn this year, up from an estimated $327bn in 2011.

So, looks like that particular angle of Europe in crisis if sanctions go ahead just won't fly I'm afraid. After all, it's not like contingency planners having been planning for this scenario for quite some time.

Double Edge
28 Apr 12,, 16:52
This is a dangerous game. The only thing more dangerous would be the outcome of a war, and the danger to the Persian Gulf oil infrastructure. And I don't care how confident we are in winning, the GCC oil facilities will be in grave peril.
When i went through your mepc hill forum talk, the thing that scares the Saudi's the most is an attck on their desalination plants. They have many on their eastern shore at spitting distance from across the Gulf.

Water is very precious to KSA more so than oil for them. Saudi's cannot retreat to the interior unlike Iranians. There is nothing but desert.

That talk brought out a point that i'd not heard before, the GCC's reluctance for a war against Iran. GCC would rather prefer an US umbrella as a counter to a nuclear Iran, should Iran go that far. No pain but instant deterrence. That talk did not get into whether the US would actually agree to such.

RoccoR
28 Apr 12,, 23:46
Double Edge, et al,

Yes, there are a number of political and economic vulnerabilities.


When i went through your mepc hill forum talk, the thing that scares the Saudi's the most is an attck on their desalination plants. They have many on their eastern shore at spitting distance from across the Gulf.
(COMMENT)

Yes, this (water desalination and bulk exchange) is a common user, single client, critical infrastructure vulnerability; with each client state having this same vulnerabilities in common, but not affecting each other. This is different from an integrated vulnerability, where it is an attack against a particular client's infrastructure that would have a farther reaching impact (like oil facilities). It is on the critical list within the vulnerability assessments (SAVES: Security Analysis and Vulnerabilities Estimates) every time. While Saudi Arabia is the world's largest producer (nearly 600 million gallons/day) , its production capacity is sprea-out over more than 30 Desalination Plants. The UAE derives more than 70% of its fresh water through desalination processes. Both Dubai and Kuwait depend on desalination as the primary source of fresh water; although Kuwait has two major aquifers (known as the Kuwait Group and the Damman Group).


Water is very precious to KSA more so than oil for them. Saudi's cannot retreat to the interior unlike Iranians. There is nothing but desert.
(COMMENT)

Agreed. There is a nice, simple article on "How the Gulf is Keeping Water Security at Bay." (http://www.rusiqatar.org/publication.php?id=1&art=14)


That talk brought out a point that i'd not heard before, the GCC's reluctance for a war against Iran. GCC would rather prefer an US umbrella as a counter to a nuclear Iran, should Iran go that far. No pain but instant deterrence. That talk did not get into whether the US would actually agree to such.
(COMMENT)

Yes, --- the Persian Gulf States would prefer not to have a hands-on approach; or get their hand dirty. But that is quite complicated in that --- part of their reluctance is in fear of a domestic backlash that the Ruling Families would rather not aggravate. I have discussed the GCC (Middle East/Persian Gulf States) view on this before; less the domestic component.

Noting, of course, that there is a difference between "not wanting a war" and "not participating in the war." I think everyone is in agreement that they would prefer Iran not be a Nuclear Power. It is a matter of how they effect that outcome.

Most Respectfully,
R

RoccoR
28 Apr 12,, 23:57
Parihaka, et al,

Yes, this is true. There has been a gradual increase.


Production has gone up, Saudi Arabia agreed to up its output in support of the sanctions. The price has gone up because of medium term speculation.
(COMMENT)

While speculation has had its impact. Reserves have gone up because of the speculation; buying low and then waiting for the price to rise --- and then selling the reserve for a windfall profit.

But also, the Saudi added production is in (mostly) heavy crude. The speculators buy and hold the light crude, while letting the heavy crude (which cost more to process) goes to market.

This is a double whammy.

Most Respectfully,
R

Parihaka
29 Apr 12,, 00:22
Parihaka, et al,

Yes, this is true. There has been a gradual increase.


(COMMENT)

While speculation has had its impact. Reserves have gone up because of the speculation; buying low and then waiting for the price to rise --- and then selling the reserve for a windfall profit.

But also, the Saudi added production is in (mostly) heavy crude. The speculators buy and hold the light crude, while letting the heavy crude (which cost more to process) goes to market.

This is a double whammy.

Most Respectfully,
R

Well no, reserves have gone up because OPEC in general and SA in particular has been deliberately outputting more than demand. Read the articles I posted.
Buying low and selling high isn't some sort of recent innovation, it's standard capitalism. They don't literally buy a tanker full of oil, they buy oil currently being or to be pumped, speculating on future demand. Markets buy both heavy and light crude and is irrelevant to future production regardless of whether Iran's flow is cut off or not.

You're grasping at straws I'm afraid.

RoccoR
29 Apr 12,, 06:06
Parihaka, et al,

Well, actually --- in spot oil purchases, they actual buy oil in lots, usually a 100,000 barrels at a time, along with the storage lease.

Most favorable stock transactions are made on the concept of buying low and selling high. I'm well aware of that. But in oil, when the price is a $100 a barrel, about 40% of that is artificial manipulation.

There is a nice video at: Oil Speculation Imposes (http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/oil-speculation-imposes-most-insidious-tax-americans-leo-123627041.html)

The video is obviously one sided and is politically motivated (hidden agenda), but it has a fairly truthful content to it.


Well no, reserves have gone up because OPEC in general and SA in particular has been deliberately outputting more than demand. Read the articles I posted.
Buying low and selling high isn't some sort of recent innovation, it's standard capitalism. They don't literally buy a tanker full of oil, they buy oil currently being or to be pumped, speculating on future demand. Markets buy both heavy and light crude and is irrelevant to future production regardless of whether Iran's flow is cut off or not.

You're grasping at straws I'm afraid.
(COMMENT)

I'm well aware of the difference between a "futures contract" and "commodity hoarding and rotation." These are common practices and both are in common use across any number of product and commodity lines.


President Obama was likely referring to "pure speculators," who buy oil stocks and hoard the supply, waiting for price increases. This is slightly different than the heating oil supplier who maintains huge storage tanks and fills them when oil prices are lower and sells it to homeowners at higher prices. Another example is a giant trucking company that needs diesel oil and stores it or buys it through futures price contracts. A key difference is the "pure speculators" do not consume the commodity.

SOURCE: Are Oil Speculators to Blame for High Gas Prices? - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/oil-speculators-blame-high-gas-prices-182700623.html)


Shifting the supply line will shift the cost. Any number of things can cause the supply line to shift; speculation through commodity hoarding is just one of them.

Inducing risk is another. On 1 July, insurance and indemnification will also have an impact.

I seldom grasp at straws. When I don't understand something, I general say so. I ask a lot of questions and often post information in support of opposing views.

In this case, I am basing my opinion on actual observations made in the Middle East/Persian Gulf. More importantly, I was acknowledging that I understand oil reserves are slowly (but steadily) rising for now; but not entirely because the energy market is in excellent shape. Nor will the increase reserves keep the price down; there are speculation and expectations in the ROI in the reserve stock. I was also acknowledging that I understood the capacity and limitations of the Saudi ability to increase production, and that the increase through the introduction of heavy crude, will also play a part in cost and market sales.

Most Respectfully,
R

Parihaka
29 Apr 12,, 07:39
Parihaka, et al,

Well, actually --- in spot oil purchases, they actual buy oil in lots, usually a 100,000 barrels at a time, along with the storage lease.

Most favorable stock transactions are made on the concept of buying low and selling high. I'm well aware of that. But in oil, when the price is a $100 a barrel, about 40% of that is artificial manipulation.

There is a nice video at: Oil Speculation Imposes (http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/oil-speculation-imposes-most-insidious-tax-americans-leo-123627041.html)

The video is obviously one sided and is politically motivated (hidden agenda), but it has a fairly truthful content to it.


(COMMENT)

I'm well aware of the difference between a "futures contract" and "commodity hoarding and rotation." These are common practices and both are in common use across any number of product and commodity lines.



Shifting the supply line will shift the cost. Any number of things can cause the supply line to shift; speculation through commodity hoarding is just one of them.

Inducing risk is another. On 1 July, insurance and indemnification will also have an impact.

I seldom grasp at straws. When I don't understand something, I general say so. I ask a lot of questions and often post information in support of opposing views.

In this case, I am basing my opinion on actual observations made in the Middle East/Persian Gulf. More importantly, I was acknowledging that I understand oil reserves are slowly (but steadily) rising for now; but not entirely because the energy market is in excellent shape. Nor will the increase reserves keep the price down; there are speculation and expectations in the ROI in the reserve stock. I was also acknowledging that I understood the capacity and limitations of the Saudi ability to increase production, and that the increase through the introduction of heavy crude, will also play a part in cost and market sales.

Most Respectfully,
R
You were the one implying dire economic trouble in Europe stating that



The oil lost from Iran means that either production has to go up, along with the price, or there will be shortage somewhere.

going on to claim that the EU would have to sacrifice Spain, or Italy, or Greece, or some combination thereof. The simple truth as I pointed out is that the GCC has already ramped up production to cover any shortfall created by the sanctions against Iran,citing several sources as evidence, so pardon me if I regard your opinions on the matter as less than stellar.

Double Edge
29 Apr 12,, 12:03
The Energy Information Administration report, required every 60 days by the Iran sanctions law President Barack Obama signed in December, gave a mostly positive assessment of global oil supplies, which typically build at this time of year.
Lets base our discussion around the primary source for the data

The Availability and Price of Petroleum and Petroleum Products Produced in Countries Other Than Iran | EIA (http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/ndaa/)


This report was prepared in fulfillment of Section 1245(d)(4)(A) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, which requires that, not later than 60 days from enactment and every 60 days thereafter, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) "submit to Congress a report on the availability and price of petroleum and petroleum products produced in countries other than Iran in the 60-day period preceding the submission of the report."


It is important to recognize that due to time lags in the collection of production and consumption data, nearly all of the petroleum and petroleum product volumes presented in this report for the 60-day period preceding its publication are estimates rather than actual data.


EIA estimates that global liquid fuels production exceeded consumption by an average of 0.5 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in March and April


Finally, current spare crude oil production capacity, while estimated to be higher than during the 2003 to 2008 period, is quite modest by historical standards, especially when measured as a percentage of global oil production and considered in the context of current geopolitical uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the situation in Iran. With the rise in total global unplanned production outages over the last three months and the likely increase in non-discretionary inventories controlled by Iran, global spare capacity in March and April was estimated to average 2.5 million bbl/d, roughly equal to the average level in January and February.


Spare capacity, which EIA defines as the amount of additional production that can be brought onstream within 30 days and sustained for at least 90 days, consistent with sound business and reservoir management practices, is an indicator of the world oil market's ability to respond to potential disruptions that reduce oil supply. Oil prices tend to rise when spare capacity reaches very low levels, as occurred in the 2003 to 2008 period.

Doktor
29 Apr 12,, 14:47
DE,

Everything about oil's current an future status are estimates, startig from available oil underground, to oil consumption.

I'd be surprised if it was otherwise, and those speculators would have to find another commodity.

Laurinaki
29 Apr 12,, 15:28
When was the last time either of those two stated openly that another country should be "whiped from the earth"? Iran has funded and armed those that attack Israel on a constant basis. Do you really want to see them with a nuclear weapon acting like the racist spanked ass's they already are? If you do then perhaps you should live closer to them knowing that their threats might one day provoke the very thing they threaten with and trust me when I state this...That regime would not survive an exchange and they fully know that.
Well said, i agree with you 100%

RoccoR
29 Apr 12,, 15:41
Parihaka, et al,

I was not shooting for stellar. I was merely expressing a POV that is not an isolated, unique, or unfounded concern; and explained the logic by which I've come to this conclusion.

As a closing point, giving you the last word, I thought I would share these news briefs (links below) with you and the group. Like I said, I hold the minority opinion and bow to your superior position.


... ... ...

going on to claim that the EU would have to sacrifice Spain, or Italy, or Greece, or some combination thereof. The simple truth as I pointed out is that the GCC has already ramped up production to cover any shortfall created by the sanctions against Iran,citing several sources as evidence, so pardon me if I regard your opinions on the matter as less than stellar.
(REFERENCE)


EU agrees unprecedented oil embargo on Iran - Economy ...

EU agrees unprecedented oil embargo on Iran - Economy - Business - Ahram Online (http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/32466/Business/Economy/EU-agrees-unprecedented-oil-embargo-on-Iran-.aspx)
Jan 23, 2012 – Wednesday, 25 April 2012 ... Europe to place a ban on importing Iranian crude while gradually phasing out ... The potential impact on financially stressed nations heavily dependent on Iranian oil, Greece, Spain and Italy, as well as ... "Our sacrifice is really major," said Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, though he reported that alternatives had been found. "We want to show our support to peace and stability," he added. ...


SWIFT cut of services to Iran worse for Spain, Greece & Italy

SWIFT cut of services to Iran worse for Spain, Greece & Italy (http://digitaljournal.com/article/321266)
Spain is one of the biggest importers of Iranian oil in Europe. ... Mar 16, 2012 in World. Comments. By Anne Sewell. Valencia - The sanctions on Iranian oil are more likely to be badly damaging for Spain, Italy and Greece, than Iran. ... be a "huge sacrifice on the part of Spain for the sake of unanimity in the European Union ...



On Old Walls, New Despair - NYTimes.com

www.nytimes.com/2012/04/.../bruni-on-old-walls-new-despair.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/bruni-on-old-walls-new-despair.html?pagewanted=all)?...
Apr 21, 2012 – To comprehend Europe's economic pain, just read what buildings in Portugal's ... Frank Bruni's Blog: Portugal's Pain, in Pictures (April 21, 2012) ... So, to varying degrees, were Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy. Today they're enduring a magnitude of sacrifice, uncertainty and .... Oil's Dark Heart Pumps Strong ...


Will SWIFT ban on Iran strangle Spain? — RT Comments

rt.com/news/iran-sanctions-spain-gasoline-719/comments/ (http://rt.com/news/iran-sanctions-spain-gasoline-719/comments/)
Mar 16, 2012 – Greece is the birth place of democracy, Spain is the original base of ... They don't realize that sacrificing themselves for the sake of a ... by targeting its oil revenues at the expense of Spain, Italy, and other European economies. ... EU is the victim an its leaders are the victimizers March 16, 2012, 20:16 quote ...


Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
29 Apr 12,, 18:54
Everything about oil's current an future status are estimates, startig from available oil underground, to oil consumption.
What is the error margin with these EIA estimates ?

If they compare two months later with their estimates today then we have an idea.

Take these two statements from Pari's article.


World oil and motor fuel supplies exceeded demand by 500,000 barrels per day in March and April, the EIA said


The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), possessing 40% of proven world oil reserves, have spare oil production capacity now of 2.5 to 3 million barrels per day and are positioned to meet any possible shortfall in supplies to world markets as a result of possible declines in Iranian exports as a result of sanctions, said the Institute of International Finance

Throw in the word estimates and it gives a different perception isn't it. But that isn't obvious the way those sentences were phrased.

second, i can find no mention of spare capacity of 2.5-3 millions bbd in the EIA summary. All i see is spare capacity of 2.5 million for Mar & 2.4 million for Apr 2012. In fact spare capacity was above 3 million bbd last year and in 2009 but not 2012.

Spare capacity as of Apr 2012 is 2.4 milion bbd, NOT 2.5-3 million. Rocco states that a shortfall of 5% can result in a price increase of 40%, then one wonders what price difference a 20% shortfall will produce :eek:

Appreciate the concise summary & primer provided by the EIA :)

Parihaka
29 Apr 12,, 21:18
Spare capacity as of Apr 2012 is 2.4 milion bbd, NOT 2.5-3 million. Rocco states that a shortfall of 5% can result in a price increase of 40%, then one wonders what price difference a 20% shortfall will produce :eek:

Appreciate the concise summary & primer provided by the EIA :)

The figures quoted were estimated excluding Iran, as per their brief


This is the second in a series of reports (http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/ndaa/pdf/ndaa.pdf) prepared in fulfillment of Section 1245(d)(4)(A) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, which requires that, not later than 60 days from enactment and every 60 days thereafter, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) “submit to Congress a report on the availability and price of petroleum and petroleum products produced in countries other than Iran in the 60-day period preceding the submission of the report.” As specified by the NDAA, EIA consulted with the Department of Treasury, the Department of State, and the intelligence community in the process of developing this report.
So you don't need to wonder, they've told you

Double Edge
30 Apr 12,, 01:58
Was replying to the underlined part of your article.


The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), possessing 40% of proven world oil reserves, have spare oil production capacity now of 2.5 to 3 million barrels per day and are positioned to meet any possible shortfall in supplies to world markets as a result of possible declines in Iranian exports as a result of sanctions, said the Institute of International Finance
It states 2.5-3 million bpd of spare capacity is available and there is nothing to worry about.

But the EIA report says in Apr 2012 there is only 2.4 mbpd of spare capacity.

That's the ~20% drop i'm referring to. How relevant or not that is remains to be seen.

We are not going to get a 100% block on Iran, its conceivable that some Iranian oil will get out.

Parihaka
30 Apr 12,, 02:09
Was replying to the underlined part of your article.


It states 2.5-3 million bpd of spare capacity is available and there is nothing to worry about.

But the EIA report says in Apr 2012 there is only 2.4 mbpd of spare capacity.

That's the ~20% drop i'm referring to. How relevant or not that is remains to be seen.

We are not going to get a 100% block on Iran, its conceivable that some Iranian oil will get out.

Ah ok. I'd expect quite a lot to get out given that there are many nations who don't have a hell of a lot of direct financial ties with the US. At a discount price of course.

RoccoR
30 Apr 12,, 02:27
It is possible that there will be enough oil to make the sanctions work. It's all about who can out last who on the sanctions. A matter of sustainment.



Was replying to the underlined part of your article.

It states 2.5-3 million bpd of spare capacity is available and there is nothing to worry about.

But the EIA report says in Apr 2012 there is only 2.4 mbpd of spare capacity.

That's the ~20% drop i'm referring to. How relevant or not that is remains to be seen.

We are not going to get a 100% block on Iran, its conceivable that some Iranian oil will get out.

Ah ok. I'd expect quite a lot to get out given that there are many nations who don't have a hell of a lot of direct financial ties with the US. At a discount price of course.
(COMMENT)

My concern with these kinds of estimates is the projection analysis and sustainment. How long can the various economies take the shortage and endure the price increases, and still maintain the sanctions?

The White House clearly says that the world has enough reserves to make the sanctions work. It is one hell'of'a bet. I think initially there will be enough oil, and economic strength for one quarter; but not much longer. The sanctions are timed to apply max pressure during the Summer Months.

Most Respectfully,
R

Double Edge
04 May 12,, 17:54
Can anybody confirm this ?


Natural uranium contains just 0.7% of the fissile isotope U-235, which is the key to both controlled chain reactions in nuclear power plants and uncontrolled, explosive chain reactions in atomic bombs. Enriching this material is a progressively easier process.

For example, if the aim is to produce 90% enriched uranium, reaching the 3.5% level requires some 75% of the work. By the time 20% enrichment is reached -- the level Iran currently achieves -- 90% of the work has been done.

Found it strange that reaching just 20% enrichment involves 90% of the work, yet to go from 20% to 90% enrichment only requires 10% more effort.

I expected it to be linear.

Doktor
04 May 12,, 19:03
I expected it to be linear.

I expected it to be exponential.