The Iran Invasion
I posted these on a sheeple forum, but I thought I might as well post it here since I realized the volume of stuff I covered in my posts:
Quote:Iran - Ready to attack
Source: New Statesman
Published 19 February 2007
American preparations for invading Iran are complete, Dan Plesch reveals. Plus Rageh Omaar's insights from Iran and Andrew Stephen on fears George Bush's administration will blunder into war
American military operations for a major conventional war with Iran could be implemented any day. They extend far beyond targeting suspect WMD facilities and will enable President Bush to destroy Iran's military, political and economic infrastructure overnight using conventional weapons.
British military sources told the New Statesman, on condition of anonymity, that "the US military switched its whole focus to Iran" as soon as Saddam Hussein was kicked out of Baghdad. It continued this strategy, even though it had American infantry bogged down in fighting the insurgency in Iraq.
The US army, navy, air force and marines have all prepared battle plans and spent four years building bases and training for "Operation Iranian Freedom". Admiral Fallon, the new head of US Central Command, has inherited computerised plans under the name TIRANNT (Theatre Iran Near Term).
The Bush administration has made much of sending a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf. But it is a tiny part of the preparations. Post 9/11, the US navy can put six carriers into battle at a month's notice. Two carriers in the region, the USS John C Stennis and the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, could quickly be joined by three more now at sea: USS Ronald Reagan, USS Harry S Truman and USS Theodore Roosevelt, as well as by USS Nimitz. Each carrier force includes hundreds of cruise missiles.
Then there are the marines, who are not tied down fighting in Iraq. Several marine forces are assembling, each with its own aircraft carrier. These carrier forces can each conduct a version of the D-Day landings. They come with landing craft, tanks, jump-jets, thousands of troops and, yes, hundreds more cruise missiles. Their task is to destroy Iranian forces able to attack oil tankers and to secure oilfields and installations. They have trained for this mission since the Iranian revolution of 1979.
Today, marines have the USS Boxer and USS Bataan carrier forces in the Gulf and probably also the USS Kearsarge and USS Bonhomme Richard. Three others, the USS Peleliu, USS Wasp and USS Iwo Jima, are ready to join them. Earlier this year, HQ staff to manage these forces were moved from Virginia to Bahrain.
Vice-President Dick Cheney has had something of a love affair with the US marines, and this may reach its culmination in the fishing villages along Iran's Gulf coast. Marine generals hold the top jobs at Nato, in the Pentagon and are in charge of all nuclear weapons. No marine has held any of these posts before.
Traditionally, the top nuclear job went either to a commander of the navy's Trident submarines or of the air force's bombers and missiles. Today, all these forces follow the orders of a marine, General James Cartwright, and are integrated into a "Global Strike" plan which places strategic forces on permanent 12-hour readiness.
The only public discussion of this plan has been by the American analysts Bill Arkin and Hans Kristensen, who have focused on the possible use of atomic weapons. These concerns are justified, but ignore how forces can be used in conventional war.
Any US general planning to attack Iran can now assume that at least 10,000 targets can be hit in a single raid, with warplanes flying from the US or Diego Garcia. In the past year, unlimited funding for military technology has taken "smart bombs" to a new level.
New "bunker-busting" conventional bombs weigh only 250lb. According to Boeing, the GBU-39 small-diameter bomb "quadruples" the firepower of US warplanes, compared to those in use even as recently as 2003. A single stealth or B-52 bomber can now attack between 150 and 300 individual points to within a metre of accuracy using the global positioning system.
With little military effort, the US air force can hit the last-known position of Iranian military units, political leaders and supposed sites of weapons of mass destruction. One can be sure that, if war comes, George Bush will not want to stand accused of using too little force and allowing Iran to fight back.
"Global Strike" means that, without any obvious signal, what was done to Serbia and Lebanon can be done overnight to the whole of Iran. We, and probably the Iranians, would not know about it until after the bombs fell. Forces that hide will suffer the fate of Saddam's armies, once their positions are known.
The whole of Iran is now less than an hour's flying time from some American base or carrier. Sources in the region as well as trade journals confirm that the US has built three bases in Azerbaijan that could be transit points for troops and with facilities equal to its best in Europe.
Most of the Iranian army is positioned along the border with Iraq, facing US army missiles that can reach 150km over the border. But it is in the flat, sandy oilfields east and south of Basra where the temptation will be to launch a tank attack and hope that a disaffected population will be grateful.
The regime in Tehran has already complained of US- and UK-inspired terror attacks in several Iranian regions where the population opposes the ayatollahs' fanatical policies. Such reports corroborate the American journalist Seymour Hersh's claim that the US military is already engaged in a low-level war with Iran. The fighting is most intense in the Kurdish north where Iran has been firing artillery into Iraq. The US and Iran are already engaged in a low-level proxy war across the Iran-Iraq border.
And, once again, the neo-cons at the American Enterprise Institute have a plan for a peaceful settlement: this time it is for a federal Iran. Officially, Michael Ledeen, the AEI plan's sponsor, has been ostracised by the White House. However, two years ago, the Congress of Iranian Nationalities for a Federal Iran had its inaugural meeting in London.
We should not underestimate the Bush administration's ability to convince itself that an "Iran of the regions" will emerge from a post-rubble Iran.
Dan Plesch is a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies
Libertarian Congressman Ron Paul on the Administration's military initiative against Iran:
Quote:Don't Do It, Mr. President
Source: Information Clearing House
Hon. Ron Paul Of Texas
Before the U.S. House of Representatives 02/06/07
02/14/07 "ICH" -- --
Its a bad idea.
Theres no need for it.
Theres great danger in doing it.
America is against it, and Congress should be.
The United Nations is against it.
The Russians, the Chinese, the Indians, and the Pakistanis are against it.
The whole world is against it.
Our allies are against it.
Our enemies are against it.
The Arabs are against it.
The Europeans are against it.
The Muslims are against it.
We dont need to do this.
The threat is overblown.
The plan is an hysterical reaction to a problem that does not yet exist.
Hysteria is never a good basis for foreign policy.
Dont we ever learn?
Have we already forgotten Iraq?
The plan defies common sense.
If its carried out, the Middle East, and possibly the world, will explode.
Oil will soar to over $100 a barrel, and gasoline will be over $5 a gallon.
Despite what some think, it wont serve the interests of Israel.
Besides-- its illegal.
And you have no moral authority to do it.
We dont need it.
We dont want it.
So, Mr. President, dont do it.
Dont bomb Iran!
The moral of the story, Mr. Speaker, is this: if you dont have a nuke, well threaten to attack you. If you do have a nuke, well leave you alone. In fact, well probably subsidize you. What makes us think Iran does not understand this?
Quote:Originally posted by Magnetonium
Whoa, Shaolin, whoa, that article is quite scary ... I still cant believe American government would seriously consider this operation for so-called Iranian freedom...
Yeah, our foreign policy just got a lot worse. The current doctrine is actually a potential threat to more than just Iran's national security & interest, as the ramifications will mostly likely be felt on a much broader scale. Ah, the good old days... ?
Quote:National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 2
Source: George Washington University National Security Archive
The Contras, Cocaine,
and Covert Operations
An August, 1996, series in the San Jose Mercury News by reporter Gary Webb linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the contras, a guerrilla force backed by the Reagan administration that attacked Nicaragua's Sandinista government during the 1980s. Webb's series, "The Dark Alliance," has been the subject of intense media debate, and has focused attention on a foreign policy drug scandal that leaves many questions unanswered.
This electronic briefing book is compiled from declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive, including the notebooks kept by NSC aide and Iran-contra figure Oliver North, electronic mail messages written by high-ranking Reagan administration officials, memos detailing the contra war effort, and FBI and DEA reports. The documents demonstrate official knowledge of drug operations, and collaboration with and protection of known drug traffickers. Court and hearing transcripts are also included.
Special thanks to the Arca Foundation, the Ruth Mott Fund, the Samuel Rubin Foundation, and the Fund for Constitutional Government for their support.
[*]Documentation of Official U.S. Knowledge of Drug Trafficking and the Contras<>
[*]Evidence that NSC Staff Supported Using Drug Money to Fund the Contras<>
[*]U.S. Officials and Major Traffickers:
José Bueso Rosa<>
[*]Testimony of Fabio Ernesto Carrasco, 6 April 1990<>
[*]National Security Archive Analysis and Publications<>
Quote:National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 28
Source: George Washington University National Security Archive
The Secret CIA History of the Iran Coup
The CIA history of operation TPAJAX excerpted below was first disclosed by James Risen of The New York Times in its editions of April 16 and June 18, 2000, and posted in this form on its website at:
This extremely important document is one of the last major pieces of the puzzle explaining American and British roles in the August 1953 coup against Iranian Premier Mohammad Mossadeq. Written in March 1954 by Donald Wilber, one of the operations chief planners, the 200-page document is essentially an after-action report, apparently based in part on agency cable traffic and Wilbers interviews with agents who had been on the ground in Iran as the operation lurched to its conclusion.
Long-sought by historians, the Wilber history is all the more valuable because it is one of the relatively few documents that still exists after an unknown quantity of materials was destroyed by CIA operatives reportedly routinely in the 1960s, according to former CIA Director James Woolsey. However, according to an investigation by the National Archives and Records Administration, released in March 2000, no schedules in effect during the period 1959-1963 provided for the disposal of records related to covert actions and, therefore, the destruction of records related to Iran was unauthorized. (p. 22) The CIA now says that about 1,000 pages of documentation remain locked in agency vaults.
During the 1990s, three successive CIA heads pledged to review and release historically valuable materials on this and 10 other widely-known covert operations from the period of the Cold War, but in 1998, citing resource restrictions, current Director George Tenet reneged on these promises, a decision which prompted the National Security Archive to file a lawsuit in 1999 for this history of the 1953 operation and one other that is known to exist. So far, the CIA has effectively refused to declassify either document, releasing just one sentence out of 339 pages at issue. That sentence reads: Headquarters spent a day featured by depression and despair. In a sworn statement by William McNair, the information review officer for the CIAs directorate of operations, McNair claimed that release of any other part of this document other than the one line that had previously appeared in Wilbers memoirs, would reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security of the United States. Clearly, the former official who gave this document to The New York Times disagreed with McNair, and we suspect you will too, once you read this for yourself. The case is currently pending before a federal judge. (See related item on this site: Archive Wins Freedom of Information Ruling Versus CIA)
In disclosing this history, the Times initially reproduced only a summary and four appendixes to the original document. It prefaced each excerpt with a statement explaining that it was withholding the main text of the document on the grounds that there might be serious risk that some of those named as foreign agents would face retribution in Iran. Eventually, the Times produced the main document after excising the names and descriptions of virtually every Iranian mentioned.
In posting the main body of the history on June 18, 2000, the Times technical staff tried to digitally black out the unfamiliar Iranian names, but enterprising Web users soon discovered that in some cases the hidden text could be revealed without much technical savvy. The Times quickly pulled those portions of the document and reposted them using a more fool-proof redaction method. The Archive is reproducing the latter versions of the document, even though most of the individuals known to be named in the history are either already dead or have long since left Iran.
The posting of this document is itself an important event. Although newspapers regularly print stories based on leaked documents, they far more rarely publish the documents themselves, typically for lack of space. The World Wide Web now offers a tremendous opportunity for the public to get direct access to at least some of the sources underlying these important stories much like footnotes rather than relying on second-hand accounts alone. The Times performed a valuable public service in making available virtually the entire Wilber history. Its precedent should be a model for future reporting that unveils the documentary record.
Although the Times publication was not without controversy, mainly over the unwitting revelation of Iranian names, fundamental responsibility for their exposure rests with those officials at the CIA who, despite compelling public interest and the filing of a lawsuit, insisted that virtually the entire document had to remain sealed. As Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists put it:
Quote:If the CIA had exercised a more discerning classification policy and had declassified the bulk of the report, then there would have been no "leak" to the New York Times, and no subsequent disclosure of agent names. Instead, through overclassification, [Director of Central Intelligence George] Tenet failed in this case to fulfill his statutory obligation to protect intelligence sources and methods.
As a brief substantive introduction, the Archive is reproducing a preliminary analysis of the document by Prof. Mark Gasiorowski (Louisiana State University), the most prominent scholar of the coup, and a member of the Advisory Panel of the Archives Project on Iran-U.S. Relations. It takes the form of a response to a request for his take on the document from the listserv Gulf2000, directed by Dr. Gary Sick of Columbia University. From June 7-8, 2000, the Archive co-sponsored an international conference in Tehran on Iran and the great powers during the early 1950s, specifically focusing on the Mossadeq coup.
CIA Clandestine Service History, "Overthrow of Premier Mossadeq of Iran, November 1952-August 1953," March 1954, by Dr. Donald Wilber:[list]
[*]Cover Sheet, Historian's Note and Table of Contents<>
[*]I. PRELIMINARY STEPS<>
[*]II. DRAFTING THE PLAN<>
[*]III. CONSOLIDATING THE OPERATIONAL PLAN<>
[*]IV. THE DECISIONS ARE MADE: ACTIVITY BEGINS<>
[*]V. MOUNTING PRESSURE AGAINST THE SHAH<>
[*]VI. THE FIRST TRY<>
[*]VII. APPARENT FAILURE<>
[*]VIII. THE SHAH IS VICTORIOUS<>
[*]IX. REPORT TO LONDON<>
[*]X. WHAT WAS LEARNED FROM THE OPERATION<>
[*]APPENDIX A - Initial Operational Plan for TPAJAX as Cabled from Nicosia to Headquarters on 1 June 1953<>
[*]APPENDIX B - "London" Draft of the TPAJAX Operational Plan<>
[*]APPENDIX C - Foreign Office Memorandum of 23 July 1953 from British Ambassador Makins to Assistant Secretary of State Smith<>
[*]APPENDIX D - Report on Military Planning Aspect of TPAJAX<>
[*]APPENDIX E - Military Critique - Lessons Learned from TPAJAX re Military Planning Aspects of Coup d'Etat<>
Quote:Originally posted by pmoisse
^^ nice posts, Shaolin!
Thanks, now that Ahmedinejad's "wiping Israel off the map" and "holocaust deial" allegations propagated by the mainstream media have been debunked (link 1
, link 2
), I wonder what's next. Hopefully not a false flag operation, like this proposal:
Quote:April 30, 2001
Source: George Washington University National Security Archive
Pentagon Proposed Pretext for Cuba Invasion in 1962
In his new exposé of the National Security Agency entitled Body of Secrets, author James Bamford highlights a set of proposals on Cuba by the Joint Chiefs of Staff codenamed OPERATION NORTHWOODS. This document, titled Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba was provided by the JCS to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, as the key component of Northwoods. Written in response to a request from the Chief of the Cuba Project, Col. Edward Lansdale, the Top Secret memorandum describes U.S. plans to covertly engineer various pretexts that would justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba. These proposals - part of a secret anti-Castro program known as Operation Mongoose - included staging the assassinations of Cubans living in the United States, developing a fake Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington, including sink[ing] a boatload of Cuban refugees (real or simulated), faking a Cuban airforce attack on a civilian jetliner, and concocting a Remember the Maine incident by blowing up a U.S. ship in Cuban waters and then blaming the incident on Cuban sabotage. Bamford himself writes that Operation Northwoods may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government.
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba [includes cover memoranda], March 13, 1962, TOP SECRET, 15 pp.
They generously worded that. You can read the entire document there. The proposals essentially talked about staging state sponsored acts of terrorism which would involve killing Cubans and American citizens
to serve as a provokation which would simultaneously be blamed on Castro's Cuba to manufacture a pretext for invasion. Kennedy personally rejected Northwoods and the proposals sets forth in it which is essetially why it didn't go through. Here's some of the proposals btw:
[*]Attack the American military base in Guantanamo. The operation would be carried out by Cuban mercenaries wearing the uniform of Fidel Castros forces. Several sabotages would be made and the ammunition depot would be blow up. This would obviously provoke material damages and many deaths among the American troops.
[*]To blow up a US warship in Cuban territorial waters to revive the destruction of the US Main in 1898 (266 dead) which caused the American intervention against Spain. . Actually, the ship would be empty and tele-guided and its explosion would have been seen from Havana or Santiago de Cuba so that potential eye-witnesses could say what happened. A rescue operation would then be organized to make it even more real; the passengers list would be published and false funerals would be organized to outrage the American and world public opinion. The whole operation would be carried out when Cuban planes and ships were in the area so that they could be blamed for the attack.
[*]Terrorize the Cuban exiles living in the US by blowing up one of their facilities in Miami, Florida and even in Washington. Then, false Cuban agents would be arrested so that they could confess. Compromising false documents would be then confiscated and given to the press to prove Fidel Castros Cuban terrorists involvement in the attacks.
[*]To mobilize bordering countries to Cuba so that they could prove an invasion threat. A false Cuban plane would bomb the Dominican Republic or any other state of the region at night time. For obvious reasons, the bombs to be used were going to be Soviet.
[*]To mobilize the international public opinion. To achieve this, the destruction of a spaceflight was planned. With the purpose of really touching peoples feelings, the chosen victim would bee the famous astronaut John Glenn, the first American to make a complete flight around the Earth orbit (the Mercury flight).
If all these was not enough to mobilize the international public opinion in support of a military invasion against Cuba, a last provocation was added to the list:
[*]It was possible to fabricate an incident that would convincingly prove that a Cuban fighter plane had attacked and shot down a civilian charter flight departing from the U.S. with destination to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela.<>
Note the common elements. The exagerated threat and fear of communism, or the 'Red Scare,' has been replaced by the exagerated threat and fear of terrorism, so I guess it's fair to say 'Terror Scare.' The Administraion's has lost a fair bit of credibility even in the pubilc mind with the whole WMD & ties to Al-Qaeda myth and invasion of Iraq, not to mention their ever changing stated reason for invasion. As stated, the propaganda meant to paint Ahmedinejad as the next Hitler has been debunked, though not common knowledge unfortunately. When one lie after the next is exposed, not to mention numerous examples of unethical/shameful/unconstitutional behaviour, what other means are left to rationlize their policy in the public mind? Well, a false falg operation is one option they may be considering. The CIA has a long history of those too BTW. In case you're not familiar with the term,
False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one's own.
And it's not Iran doesn't have experience with that in the past:
Quote:The spectre of Operation Ajax
Source: The Guardian
Britain and the US crushed Iran's first democratic government. They didn't learn from that mistake
Dan De Luce, Tehran
Wednesday August 20, 2003
Ignoring international law, Britain and the US opted for the high-risk strategy of regime change in order to pre-empt a volatile enemy in the Middle East. It was not Iraq, however, that was in the firing line but Iran, and the aftershocks are still being felt.
Fifty years ago this week, the CIA and the British SIS orchestrated a coup d'etat that toppled the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh. The prime minister and his nationalist supporters in parliament roused Britain's ire when they nationalised the oil industry in 1951, which had previously been exclusively controlled by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Mossadegh argued that Iran should begin profiting from its vast oil reserves.
Britain accused him of violating the company's legal rights and orchestrated a worldwide boycott of Iran's oil that plunged the country into financial crisis. The British government tried to enlist the Americans in planning a coup, an idea originally rebuffed by President Truman. But when Dwight Eisenhower took over the White House, cold war ideologues - determined to prevent the possibility of a Soviet takeover - ordered the CIA to embark on its first covert operation against a foreign government.
A new book about the coup, All the Shah's Men, which is based on recently released CIA documents, describes how the CIA - with British assistance - undermined Mossadegh's government by bribing influential figures, planting false reports in newspapers and provoking street violence. Led by an agent named Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, the CIA leaned on a young, insecure Shah to issue a decree dismissing Mossadegh as prime minister. By the end of Operation Ajax, some 300 people had died in firefights in the streets of Tehran.
The crushing of Iran's first democratic government ushered in more than two decades of dictatorship under the Shah, who relied heavily on US aid and arms. The anti-American backlash that toppled the Shah in 1979 shook the whole region and helped spread Islamic militancy, with Iran's new hardline theocracy declaring undying hostility to the US.
The author of All the Shah's Men, New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer, argues that the coup planted the seeds of resentment against the US in the Middle East, ultimately leading to the events of September 11.
While it may be reaching too far to link Mossadegh's overthrow with al-Qaida's terrorism, it certainly helped unleash a wave of Islamic extremism and assisted to power the anti-American clerical leadership that still rules Iran. It is difficult to imagine a worse outcome to an expedient action.
The coup and the culture of covert interference it created forever changed how the world viewed the US, especially in poor, oppressive countries. For many Iranians, the coup was a tragedy from which their country has never recovered. Perhaps because Mossadegh represents a future denied, his memory has approached myth.
On yesterday's anniversary, there was no official government ceremony honouring Mossadegh's legacy. Deemed too secular for the Islamic Republic, the conservative clergy never mention him. But at a time when the Bush administration expresses impatience with diplomacy and promotes "regime change" as a means of reshaping the Middle East, the anniversary recalls some unwelcome parallels.
The mindset that produced the coup is not so different from the premises that underpin the current doctrine of "pre-emption" or the belief that the war on terror can justify ignoring the Geneva convention, diplomacy and the sentiments of a country's population.
Veterans of the cold war in President Bush's administration are cultivating relations with Iranian monarchists in exile while Congressmen are calling for a campaign to undermine Iran's clerical leadership. Washington's tough rhetoric and flirtation with the Shah's son are a kind of nightmarish deja vu for the embattled reformists and students struggling to push for democratic change in Iran.
"Now it seems that the Americans are pushing towards the same direction again," says Ibrahim Yazdi, who served briefly as foreign minister after the Shah fell. "That shows they have not learned anything from history."
The reformists allied with President Khatami believe their country now faces another choice between despotism and democracy, and they worry that the combination of outside interference and internal squabbling within their own ranks could once again defer their dream. The more neo-conservatives attempt to pile pressure on Iran, the more ammunition they provide for the most hardline elements of the regime.
Beyond Iran, America remains deeply resented for siding with authoritarian rule in the region. It would be comforting to think "reshaping the Middle East" means promoting democratic rule. But if it merely allows for the ends to justify the means, then the spectre of Operation Ajax will continue to haunt the region.
· Dan De Luce is the Guardian's correspondent in Tehran
As expected, an article from a main stream source doesn't go into some of the uglier details of Operation Ajax which included multiple staged terrorist attacks by bombing mosques, gunning down civilians, staged demonstrations, CIA black propaganda in Iranian papers to defame Mossadew. A prominent Sheiks was home was bombed by CIA operatives and blamed on Massadeq. The weirdest propanganda operation included handing out phony bills during while the choas ensued which read "Up with Mossadeq, Up with communism, Down with Allah."
Anways, ofcourse I'm only speculating here but given the CIA's history in the past five decades, it would surprise me in the least. Keeping in mind the resignations and discharches of many intelligence agency analysts/officers preceding and after the Iraq War who were quite opposed to the NeoCon Administrations policies and agenda, and the more NeoCon friendly appointments that followed, it only becomes easier.
I'm guessing you already know this, but many experts have already stated Iran is years away from being a nuclear power, which varrying estimates. The CIA estimate for Iran's ability to aquire WMDs, specifically a simple A-Bomb, is atleast 10 years from now:
Quote:Iran 'years from nuclear bomb'
By Sarah Buckley and Paul Rincon
BBC News website
Iran has alarmed the international community by removing the seals at its nuclear fuel research sites - but experts say it is several years away from being capable of producing a nuclear bomb.
There are two routes to producing an atomic weapon: using either highly enriched uranium, or separated plutonium, and Iran could pursue either or both routes.
Regarding uranium, Iran has already embarked on the first step of the purification process necessary to ultimately produce weapons-grade material.
It has produced reconstituted uranium - what is known as "yellow cake" - at its uranium conversion facility at Isfahan.
However, the influential London-based think tank The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said in a report in September that this was contaminated and was not currently useable.
Supposing Iran solves this problem, it then needs to embark on the process of enriching the uranium.
For uranium to work in a nuclear reactor, it needs only a small amount of enrichment. Weapons-grade uranium must be highly enriched.
Gas centrifuges are one way of enriching uranium.
Iran already has 164 centrifuge machines installed at its pilot centrifuge plant at Natanz, but that is only a fifth of the total it needs before it is fully operational.
The commercial-scale facility could ultimately house as many as 50,000 centrifuges, according to some estimates.
Quote:NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE
Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow for non-proliferation at the IISS, says Iran has another 1,000 centrifuges dating back to before it temporarily suspended enrichment in 2003. But these have not been tested to ensure they still work.
Mined uranium ore is purified and reconstituted into solid form known as yellowcake
Yellowcake is converted into a gas by heating it to about 64C (147F)
Gas is fed through centrifuges, where its isotopes separate and process is repeated until uranium is enriched
Low-level enriched uranium is used for nuclear fuel
Highly enriched uranium can be used in nuclear weapons
Tehran might possibly have parts for a further 1,000 centrifuges, Mr Fitzpatrick told the BBC News website.
Frank Barnaby, consultant for the UK security think tank the Oxford Research Group, agrees that Iran does not yet have a critical number of centrifuges in place.
"They don't currently have enough centrifuges working - so far as we know - to produce significant amounts of highly-enriched uranium or even enriched uranium. They would need a lot more," he told the BBC News website.
Even if the plant is made fully operational, it is currently configured to produce low enriched uranium (LEU) rather than the weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU).
The IISS estimates that, if Iran decided to develop HEU, it could take it between three and five years to make enough for a single nuclear bomb, assuming that it mastered the technology.
But the IISS also says it could take as long as 10 to 15 years, depending on Iran's ability and intentions.
Dr Barnaby agrees.
"The CIA says 10 years to a bomb using highly enriched uranium and that is a reasonable and realistic figure in my opinion," he said.
Iran could alternatively use plutonium to produce nuclear weapons, but this route is also problematic for Tehran, analysts say.
Plutonium can be produced as a by-product of fission carried out by Iran's Russian-built nuclear power reactor at Bushehr.
The IISS says Iran would need to build a reprocessing plant suited to the fuel used in Bushehr and this would be very technically challenging.
But according to Dr Barnaby, useful reprocessing could be carried out over a short period using a suitably equipped chemical laboratory.
Iran is also constructing a heavy-water research reactor at Arak, which Dr Barnaby says would "very efficiently produce plutonium of the sort that is good for nuclear weapons."
But this will not be ready until at least 2014, and probably later, the IISS has said.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/12 19:44:59 GMT
Quote:Iran Is Judged 10 Years From Nuclear Bomb
Source: Washington Post
U.S. Intelligence Review Contrasts With Administration Statements
By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 2, 2005; A01
A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.
The carefully hedged assessments, which represent consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies, contrast with forceful public statements by the White House. Administration officials have asserted, but have not offered proof, that Tehran is moving determinedly toward a nuclear arsenal. The new estimate could provide more time for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. President Bush has said that he wants the crisis resolved diplomatically but that "all options are on the table."
The new National Intelligence Estimate includes what the intelligence community views as credible indicators that Iran's military is conducting clandestine work. But the sources said there is no information linking those projects directly to a nuclear weapons program. What is clear is that Iran, mostly through its energy program, is acquiring and mastering technologies that could be diverted to bombmaking.
The estimate expresses uncertainty about whether Iran's ruling clerics have made a decision to build a nuclear arsenal, three U.S. sources said. Still, a senior intelligence official familiar with the findings said that "it is the judgment of the intelligence community that, left to its own devices, Iran is determined to build nuclear weapons."
At no time in the past three years has the White House attributed its assertions about Iran to U.S. intelligence, as it did about Iraq in the run-up to the March 2003 invasion. Instead, it has pointed to years of Iranian concealment and questioned why a country with as much oil as Iran would require a large-scale nuclear energy program.
The NIE addresses those assertions and offers alternative views supporting and challenging the assumptions they are based on. Those familiar with the new judgments, which have not been previously detailed, would discuss only limited elements of the estimate and only on the condition of anonymity, because the report is classified, as is some of the evidence on which it is based.
Top policymakers are scrutinizing the review, several administration officials said, as the White House formulates the next steps of an Iran policy long riven by infighting and competing strategies. For three years, the administration has tried, with limited success, to increase pressure on Iran by focusing attention on its nuclear program. Those efforts have been driven as much by international diplomacy as by the intelligence.
The NIE, ordered by the National Intelligence Council in January, is the first major review since 2001 of what is known and what is unknown about Iran. Additional assessments produced during Bush's first term were narrow in scope, and some were rejected by advocates of policies that were inconsistent with the intelligence judgments.
One such paper was a 2002 review that former and current officials said was commissioned by national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, who was then deputy adviser, to assess the possibility for "regime change" in Iran. Those findings described the Islamic republic on a slow march toward democracy and cautioned against U.S. interference in that process, said the officials, who would describe the paper's classified findings only on the condition of anonymity.
The new estimate takes a broader approach to the question of Iran's political future. But it is unable to answer whether the country's ruling clerics will still be in control by the time the country is capable of producing fissile material. The administration keeps "hoping the mullahs will leave before Iran gets a nuclear weapons capability," said an official familiar with policy discussions.
Intelligence estimates are designed to alert the president of national security developments and help guide policy. The new Iran findings were described as well documented and well written, covering such topics as military capabilities, expected population growth and the oil industry. The assessments of Iran's nuclear program appear in a separate annex to the NIE known as a memorandum to holders.
"It's a full look at what we know, what we don't know and what assumptions we have," a U.S. source said.
Until recently, Iran was judged, according to February testimony by Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, to be within five years of the capability to make a nuclear weapon. Since 1995, U.S. officials have continually estimated Iran to be "within five years" from reaching that same capability. So far, it has not.
The new estimate extends the timeline, judging that Iran will be unlikely to produce a sufficient quantity of highly enriched uranium, the key ingredient for an atomic weapon, before "early to mid-next decade," according to four sources familiar with that finding. The sources said the shift, based on a better understanding of Iran's technical limitations, puts the timeline closer to 2015 and in line with recently revised British and Israeli figures.
The estimate is for acquisition of fissile material, but there is no firm view expressed on whether Iran would be ready by then with an implosion device, sources said.
The timeline is portrayed as a minimum designed to reflect a program moving full speed ahead without major technical obstacles. It does not take into account that Iran has suspended much of its uranium-enrichment work as part of a tenuous deal with Britain, France and Germany. Iran announced yesterday that it intends to resume some of that work if the European talks fall short of expectations.
Sources said the new timeline also reflects a fading of suspicions that Iran's military has been running its own separate and covert enrichment effort. But there is evidence of clandestine military work on missiles and centrifuge research and development that could be linked to a nuclear program, four sources said.
Last month, U.S. officials shared some data on the missile program with U.N. nuclear inspectors, based on drawings obtained last November. The documents include design modifications for Iran's Shahab-3 missile to make the room required for a nuclear warhead, U.S. and foreign officials said.
"If someone has a good idea for a missile program, and he has really good connections, he'll get that program through," said Gordon Oehler, who ran the CIA's nonproliferation center and served as deputy director of the presidential commission on weapons of mass destruction. "But that doesn't mean there is a master plan for a nuclear weapon."
The commission found earlier this year that U.S. intelligence knows "disturbingly little" about Iran, and about North Korea.
Much of what is known about Tehran has been learned through analyzing communication intercepts, satellite imagery and the work of U.N. inspectors who have been investigating Iran for more than two years. Inspectors uncovered facilities for uranium conversion and enrichment, results of plutonium tests, and equipment bought illicitly from Pakistan -- all of which raised serious concerns but could be explained by an energy program. Inspectors have found no proof that Iran possesses a nuclear warhead design or is conducting a nuclear weapons program.
The NIE comes more than two years after the intelligence community assessed, wrongly, in an October 2002 estimate that then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was reconstituting his nuclear program. The judgments were declassified and made public by the Bush administration as it sought to build support for invading Iraq five months later.
At a congressional hearing last Thursday, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, deputy director of national intelligence, said that new rules recently were imposed for crafting NIEs and that there would be "a higher tolerance for ambiguity," even if it meant producing estimates with less definitive conclusions.
The Iran NIE, sources said, includes creative analysis and alternative theories that could explain some of the suspicious activities discovered in Iran in the past three years. Iran has said its nuclear infrastructure was built for energy production, not weapons.
Assessed as plausible, but unverifiable, is Iran's public explanation that it built the program in secret, over 18 years, because it feared attack by the United States or Israel if the work was exposed.
In January, before the review, Vice President Cheney suggested Iranian nuclear advances were so pressing that Israel may be forced to attack facilities, as it had done 23 years earlier in Iraq.
In an April 2004 speech, John R. Bolton -- then the administration's point man on weapons of mass destruction and now Bush's temporarily appointed U.N. ambassador -- said: "If we permit Iran's deception to go on much longer, it will be too late. Iran will have nuclear weapons."
But the level of certainty, influenced by diplomacy and intelligence, appears to have shifted.
Asked in June, after the NIE was done, whether Iran had a nuclear effort underway, Bolton's successor, Robert G. Joseph, undersecretary of state for arms control, said: "I don't know quite how to answer that because we don't have perfect information or perfect understanding. But the Iranian record, plus what the Iranian leaders have said . . . lead us to conclude that we have to be highly skeptical."
Researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.
© 2005 The Washington Post Company
Quote:Originally posted by Cyrus King
1)Recently, a second US carrier was brought into the Persian Gulf Area.
2)Israel has stepped up its rhetoric alongside its secret training camps on the land of Gibralter.
3)Khamenei is said to be dieing any day which is a perfect time to strike at a vulnerable power-grabbing internally unstable government.
4)The US has captured control of the Iranian consulate in Iraq.
5)Bush is mentally retarded.
6)Israel is a power-hungry terrorist death machine
all these point to an imminent attack on Iran.
Like I said before.. shit will hit the fan... REAL HARD!!!!!!!
I wonder if they're going to pull another Gulf of Tonkin here:
Quote:Originally posted by shaolin_Z
I'm sure many of you already know about he Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 where an American destroyer was attacked. Well, phone conversation tapes between President Lyndon Johnson and Defence Secretary Robert McNamara realeased by LBJ Presidential Library in 2001 reveal how they were openly discussing using it to expand the War in Vietman after which congress authorized the Tonkin Resolution. In 2005 the NSA declassified it's official history on the Gulf of Tonkin incident which revealed how CIA and intelligence agency officers deliberately falsified intel blaming Vietnamese partol boats for attacking the ship when in reality the didn't eventhough they where being fired on by US forces.
shZ - Minimal Tech Session v2.3
Style: Minimal, Techno, Tech House, Progressive House
Download link: Minimal Tech Sessions v2.3
shZ - Minimal Tech Session v1.3 / The Journey to Here
Style: Minimal, Techno, Tech House, Breaks / Progressive House, Minimal Tech House
Download link: Minimal Tech Sessions v1.3 / The Journey to Here
shZ - Lucid Perceptions (A New Beggining) / Psy Eclipse
Style: Trance, Progressive Trance/House, Breaks / Psy Trance, Goa Trance, Trance
Download link: Lucid Perceptions (A New Beggining) / Psy Eclipse