Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | June 3, 2012

Just a reminder: Iran still closing in on bomb

The flood of recent disclosures about President Obama’s actions in the national security realm has the infosphere abuzz with soundbites like “playing cards” (decorated with terrorist photos, which the president reportedly uses to select drone victims), “Flame,” and that new-old standby, “Stuxnet.” Some conservatives, in particular, are spending time pointing out that the Stuxnet effort was launched by the Bush administration, that “Flame” apparently was too, and that using the playing cards to pick drone victims is just creepy.

I believe we could be doing better things with our time.  I suggest that we let Obama take whatever credit he wants, and focus instead on the things that matter, such as what Iran is doing and why Stuxnet has been all kinds of fun, but hasn’t, on balance, done jack.  Remember what Stuxnet was for: making centrifuges shut down.  And it apparently did manage to make a number of centrifuges shut down.  But it hasn’t slowed uranium enrichment.  One more time:  it hasn’t slowed uranium enrichment.  It may at most have slowed the rate of acceleration in uranium enrichment.  Stuxnet has had its day, and it didn’t put a significant crimp in Iran’s progress.

It’s nice to think there may be other lines of effort out there, things we haven’t heard about or that haven’t been implemented yet.  But I’ll wait to see the usefulness of the effects first.  Since Stuxnet was introduced, sometime in the spring of 2009, Iran’s overall rate of uranium enrichment has continued its acceleration.

A couple of graphs tell the tale.  Graph 1 is a depiction of the total low-enriched uranium (LEU) produced since February 2007, when Iran began enriching uranium hexafluoride (UF6) on an industrial basis.  The numbers are taken from the IAEA reports, which are available here (the latest report from 25 May 2012 is on the ISIS website).

Graph 1: Iranian LEU Production

The average monthly production represented by these figures is displayed in Graph 2. 

The averages are valid for the months prior to the date on which the average is given, which coincides with an IAEA physical inspection of Iran’s LEU stockpile.

In Graph 1, I have reflected marginal uncertainties in some of the LEU totals reported by IAEA (which obviously affect the average production rate).  The IAEA reports describe the reason for these uncertainties, for those who are interested.  The average production rate of 120kg per month between November 2009 and October 2010 may thus have been lower (and the previous rate higher), although probably not by much.  In any case, with the exception of the most recent IAEA report (the 25 May 2012 document), I have used only totals that were verified by physical IAEA inspection.

How accurate they may be, if Iran is concealing activities, is another issue.  Through October 2011, however, I have compared apples to apples, using IAEA data, to produce the graphs.

Graph 2: Iran’s average rate of LEU production

The purpose of these graphs is not to root out month-to-month differences in production rate, but to demonstrate the overall trend Iran is maintaining, which has been positive, with the rate increasing, at the physical inspection points since 2007.

Between October 2011 and May 2012 – if the Iranian-reported total is accurate (the totals have tended to be accurate or to slightly underreport production) – the average monthly LEU production rate between IAEA physical inspections (in this case, since the last inspection in October) has jumped to 212kg per month, or about a 40% increase in the average monthly rate over the previous period (143kg per month from October 2010-October 2011).  The rate of increase had been significantly smaller in the two years prior to November 2011, but still no lower than 16%.

That period, November 2009-October 2011, was the one in which numerous Western media analyses suggested Iran’s production capability was badly damaged and faltering (see here as well).  Perhaps elements of it were, but the reality is that it hasn’t mattered all that much.  The rate of growth in the average monthly production rate slowed, but still remained positive.  And it appears to have recovered.

The amount of LEU declared by Iran through May 2012 is enough to produce five nuclear warheads.  But Iran is close to (or may have passed) a more significant milestone with the “medium-enriched” or reactor-grade uranium being enriched to approximately 20% purity.  This effort was inaugurated in early 2010.  Most of the known work has been going on at the Natanz Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP), but some work has occurred at the hardened, mountainside Fordo site near Qom, which President Obama announced our knowledge of in September 2009, and which Iran declared to the UN, got on the inspection regime, and began operating in 2011.

According to the 25 May IAEA report, Iran estimates having enriched a total of 145.6kg of uranium to 20% purity.  Fordo has produced 36.4 of those kilograms; the balance were enriched at Natanz.  If the Iranian self-reporting is correct, the program now has more than the 140kg of 20%-enriched uranium nominally required for a nuclear warhead.  (This has not been physically verified yet.  IAEA verified 73.7kg of 20%-enriched uranium in September 2011.)

Meanwhile, the report also states that traces of uranium enriched to 27% were detected at Fordo in February 2012.  (See para. 28 of the 25 May report.)  This suggests that Iran may have begun enriching uranium higher than 20%, which would indicate pursuit of a weapons application.

ISIS reported this month that new imagery of the special facility at Parchin shows suspect buildings being razed, along with other work (i.e., earth-moving) that appears related to sanitizing the site where there was formerly a nuclear-detonator testing facility.  As the short-lived Baghdad talks opened in May, IAEA head Yukiya Amano suggested that negotiators were close to a deal with Iran – under discussion since February – to get inspectors to the Parchin site.  It appears the Iranians are not yet satisfied with the results of their sanitization efforts, however, as the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency said five days later that he wasn’t convinced an inspection was necessary.

AP reported back in mid-May on information from a foreign official about the detonator-testing chamber reportedly set up at Parchin (apparently after 2000).  The foreign official had a description from an Iranian source, which yielded a computer-generated drawing of the test chamber.  According to a former IAEA official interviewed for the AP story, the drawing of the chamber was accurate and appeared to match a photo he had recently seen of the test chamber at Parchin.  There is little doubt at this point that there was a detonator-testing chamber housed at Parchin, probably in the building ISIS reported on earlier this year.  And as a reminder, the US provided the original intelligence on a probable detonator test by Iran in 2004.

No reason to take our eyes off the ball here.  Iran continues to make progress toward nuclear weapons, and attempt to throw the wool over Western eyes.  It seems to be working.  How often do you hear from the MSM about Iran’s progress, as opposed to what President Obama is doing about the problem?

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air’s Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, and The Weekly Standard online.

Note for new commenters:  Welcome!  There is a one-time “approval” process that keeps down the spam.  There may be a delay in the posting if your first comment, but once you’re “approved,” you can join the fray at will.

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Responses

  1. […] [Only Graph 2 is reproduced with this post.  To view both graphs, see this piece at The Optimistic Conservative.] […]

  2. I suggest you’re jacking and jilling around pretty heavily and, yet again, ask what it is that you think that we should be doing that you know that we are not doing?

    what balls you have yer eyes on, opticon?

  3. Just a reminder: Iraq is no further away from nuclear weapons than they were when we invaded…..and we have less influence there then we did then… while Iran has a heck of a lot more.

    Iran was a heck of a lot closer to assembling nukes than was Iran when the last group of incompetent cretins elected to invade Iraq. iran was also more clearly associated with transnational terrorism and a damn sight more hostile to the Us and and our allies and our interests.

    So just a reminder, we squandered much, received near nothing and have fewer appealing options in consequence of what we’ve done …. while Iran gained influence and 6 free years.

    So I’ll keep asking…..

    • Denial of facts and historical revisionism do not become you fuster and make discussion unproductive, though they may advance an agenda with the uninformed.

      Are you asserting that Iraq’s current government is as single minded in its pursuit of military power as Saddam was? If not, then Iraq certainly is further away from acquiring nukes than it was under Saddam. Whose nuclear program was ready for quick renewal as soon as the UN sanctions were lifted.

      Hindsight is always 20/20. You’ve characterized Bush’s invasion of Iraq as the work of ‘cretins’, so if we had not invaded Iraq, what would you suggest would have been a successful strategy for dissuading Iran from its pursuit of nukes? What opportunities and options have we forgone?

      • did I say “military power” GB or did I say something entirely distinct?

        ——

        if you’ll be so kind as to give me a straight answer to that, I’ll be obliged and attempt to answer your questions.

        • I used military power as a euphemism for Saddam’s pursuit of WMD’s.

          Prior to 9/11, support for removal of the UN sanctions of Iraq was gaining sufficient momentum in the UN to make the lifting of sanctions a matter of when, not if… There is compelling evidence that Saddam was ready to renew his pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear WMD’s immediately upon removal of UN sanctions.

          So had we not invaded Iraq, we would now have both Iran and Iraq close to achieving nuclear capability.

          Since that is not the case with present day Iraq, we are definitely better off. Is that sufficient clarity for a direct response?

          • Geoff, where do you come up with this nonsense?

            There were no proposals to lift sanctions on Saddam. Neither is there a whit of evidence he was proposing to resume the WMD programme he had abandoned in the 90s. Not a whit.

            The only thing our zillion buck invasion of Iraq accomplished was to kill and mutilate an awful lot of human beings, bring the Iranian-friendly Shias to power, and made sure our allies wouldn’t be quite so quick to believe our cliams in the future. A real tripple whammy.

            • “There were no proposals to lift sanctions on Saddam.”
              There were numerous calls for the lifting of sanctions. “In the spring of 2000 a U.S. Congressional letter demanding the lifting of the sanctions garnered 71 signatures, while House Democratic Whip David Bonior called the economic sanctions against Iraq “infanticide masquerading as policy.””

              “Neither is there a whit of evidence he was proposing to resume the WMD programme he had abandoned in the 90s. Not a whit.”

              “According to the CIA’s report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons.” Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) – Congressional Record, October 9, 2002

              “In the four years since the inspectors, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capability to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan? So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.” – Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) – Congressional Record, October 10, 2002

              “[It] is Hussein’s vigorous pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, and his present and potential future support for terrorist acts and organizations, that make him a terrible danger to the people to the United States.” – Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Congressional Record, October 10, 2002

              “We must eliminate that [potential nuclear] threat now before it is too late. But that isn’t just a future threat. Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose real threats to America today, tomorrow. … [He] is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East. He could make these weapons available to many terrorist groups, third parties, which have contact with his government. Those groups, in turn, could bring those weapons into the United States and unleash a devastating attack against our citizens. I fear that greatly.” Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) – Congressional Record, October 10, 2002

              “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction. But information from the intelligence community over the past six months does not point to Iraq as an imminent threat to the United States or a major proliferator of weapons of mass destruction.” – Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Remarks at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, October 27, 2002

              United Nations Resolution 144I, approved unanimously by the UN member nations. which clearly established that Iraq had WMD.

              “ December will mark three years since UN inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue and Saddam is doubtless using cover of an illicit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.” a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry and others on Oct.9, 1998

              “There’s no question Saddam Hussein is a threat and has chemical and biological weapons, as far as we know, is actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn’t have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we.”—Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002

              From the Iraq Study Group’s “Regime Strategic Intent”;

              “The former Regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after sanctions. Neither was there an identifiable group of WMD policy makers or planners separate from Saddam. Instead, his lieutenants understood WMD revival was his goal from their long association with Saddam and his infrequent, but firm, verbal comments and directions to them.” [my emphasis]

              “Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability — which was essentially destroyed in 1991 — after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability — in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks — but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.” (key findings, “Regime Strategic Intent”)

              “Iraq Survey Group (ISG) judges that events in the 1980s and early 1990s shaped Saddam’s belief in the value of WMD. In Saddam’s view, WMD helped to save the Regime multiple times. He believed that during the Iran-Iraq war chemical weapons had halted Iranian ground offensives and that ballistic missile attacks on Tehran had broken its political will. Similarly, during Desert Storm, Saddam believed WMD had deterred Coalition Forces from pressing their attack beyond the goal of freeing Kuwait. WMD had even played a role in crushing the Shi’a revolt in the south following the 1991 cease-fire.” (key findings, “Regime Strategic Intent”)

              “Throughout the 1990s and up to OIF (March 2003), Saddam focused on one set of objectives: the survival of himself, his Regime, and his legacy. To secure these objectives, Saddam needed to exploit Iraqi oil assets, to portray a strong military capability to deter internal and external threats, and to foster his image as as Arab leader. Saddam recognized that the reconstitution of Iraqi WMD enhanced both his security and his image. Consequently, Saddam needed to end UN-imposed sanctions to fulfill his goals.” (key findings, “Regime Finance and Procurement”)

              “Iraq’s decisions in 1996 to accept the Oil-For-Food program (OFF) and later in 1998 to cease cooperation with UNSCOM and IAEA spurred a period of increased activity in delivery systems development. The pace of ongoing missile programs accelerated, and the Regime authorized its scientists to design missiles with ranges in excess of 150 km that, if developed, would have been clear violations of UNSCR 687.” (key findings, “Delivery Systems”)

              “In 1995, Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law Kamel Hussein defected. He had been in charge of the bioweapons program and revealed to UNSCOM that there was a vast arsenal of weapons they had failed to uncover, including biological weapons, and described how the Iraqis were hiding them. This was a breakthrough for the inspection teams, and they continued their work until 1998, when Iraq blocked further access and expelled UNSCOM.”

              “as early as 1996 the IAEA concluded that “the know-how and expertise acquired by Iraqi scientists and engineers could provide an adequate base for reconstituting a nuclear-weapons-oriented program.”

              Nuclear physicist and Iraqi defector Khidhir Hamza agrees. He told FRONTLINE that Iraq did not relinquish certain critical components of the nuclear program to the inspectors, and that it retains the expertise necessary to build a nuclear weapon. ”

              If all of the above does not constitute sufficient ‘evidence’ then your obtuseness is really intentional denial in support of your agenda.

          • yes, that was clear.

            “Are you asserting that Iraq’s current government is as single minded in its pursuit of military power as Saddam was?”

            ——–

            as we’re now clear that we’re talking about pursuit of nuclear weapons at the time of our invasion………………………..

            my answer is that there is nothing to indicate that Saddam was working on them then and I’ve no reason to think that this govt is working on them any more or any less.

            when you phrase your question with an incorrect assumption or two it pots some difficulty in way of making a valid comparison.

  4. […] [Only Graph 2 is reproduced with this post.  To view both graphs, see this piece at The Optimistic Conservative.] […]

  5. Undoubtedly the Iranians are diligently pursuing uranium enrichment. They have the right to do this under the NPT. Trick will be whether they will agree to limit their enrichment activities to a smaller number of inspectable facilities at the upcoming conference in Moscow.

    The Moscow meeting is the tipping point, if there is no agreement there, the strike option with all it’s consequences is the only one realistically left to induce Teheran to alter its position. Yet another major regional war will then be unavoidable, (there is also a good chance that we will see some strange lineups and surprises in the opposing sides). I would prefer to see the Muslim states doing all the fighting and dying among themselves this time around, but I don’t think I’ll get my wish, yet.

    The Secretary of State is in the South Caucasus and Turkey this week. Aside from keeping a lid on the simmering Caucasian pot and energy supplies, there will at least be discussion on Iran strike contingency planning between some of the Parties as well.

    • Iranian attendance at the upcoming conference in Moscow is another delaying tactic. Iran is committed to achieving nuclear weapons capability, it’s a non-negotiable, religious and cultural imperative.

      Israel is the only country with the will to exercise the strike option but lacks the means and is faced with severe economic sanctions if it strikes despite its insufficient resources.

      If the German newspaper Der Spiegel’s report that Israel is arming submarines supplied and largely financed by Germany with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles is accurate, that indicates that Israel is bowing to US pressure and will not attack Iran and will rely upon the deterrence of M.A.D., IMO a fatal miscalculation.

      It is a miscalculation because it ensures the eventual destruction of Israel.

      Iran’s acquisition of nukes inevitably and unavoidably precipitates nuclear proliferation throughout the region. Once that happens, sooner or later, nukes will gravitate into the hands of Hamas and Hezbollah. Due to demographics, just one nuke detonated in Tel Aviv eliminates Israel.

      When religious fanatics welcome martyrdom, reliance upon the “Samson option” is national suicide by any other name.

      • GB, I am not viewing this from an Israeli perspective. I fully understand your view that the Iranians will not negotiate away achieving nuclear weapons capability. They will be impelled or compelled to abandon their position regardless of what they want, even if the outcome is a major war.

        Iran in possession of nuclear weapons is in the interest of no one, you believe Russia has no problem with Iranian nukes, I don’t. We disagree on that point.

        Yes, it will end up being a delaying tactic if Teheran refuses to alter its position at the conference. Nevertheless, It is the tipping point for US policy vis a vis Teheran for the reasons you point out. We will have to do something for our own narrow interest or we will have a serious credibility problem opposite friend and foe alike. Teheran’s nuclear weapons won’t just threaten the Israelis, but our energy supplies, European allies and trading partners as well.

        Side notes
        Even though I believe the US should carry out a strike (if it comes to that, and with some assistance you would consider unlikely) on Iran’s facilities, who would sanction Israel if it theoretically carried out the strike on it’s own?

        Existing Israeli Dolphin class submarines already posses cruise missile capability you mentioned. Nuclear tipped cruise missiles are not ballistic missiles. The new AIP Dolphin’s displacement is 2300TNs, hardly a “Boomer”. Not really a platform to base M.A.D. doctrine on. There are a host of other flaws in an attempted M.A.D. based defense in the Israeli case that you touch upon. So I agree, it would be foolish and fatal for the Israelis to do so.

        Have a good evening.

  6. jgets,

    I hope you’re right but see little reason to believe Iran will be “impelled or compelled to abandon their position”. Sanctions won’t do it and Obama will not attack Iranian facilities.

    It’s the Russian’s behavior that persuades me that they want Iran to gain nuclear capacity. More than any other country, Russia is facilitating Iran’s nuclear programs. Assuming that Putin is so foolish as to believe that Iran only wants nuclear power plants for their electrical generating capacity is taking naivete to a dangerous level. IMO, it is far more likely that Russia is manipulating Islamic terrorism in a covert campaign of aggression against US interests with the goal of greatly reducing US influence in the region.

    “who would sanction Israel if it theoretically carried out the strike on it’s own?”

    The Obama administration, would certainly sign a UN resolution condemning Israel for launching an attack upon Iran and work with the UN to impose severe economic sanctions upon Israel. If official US policy led to near permanent condemnation of Israel it would make its pariah status complete. Under such an eventuality, the Obama administration would attempt to freeze aid to Israeli and even seize Israeli assets.

    It seems certain that this is the ‘deniable’ threat from the Obama administration, that has been communicated to the Israeli’s, which is contributing to them choosing a defunct MAD policy, rather than a certain-to-be ineffective strike at Iranian nuclear facilities. As Israel lacks the conventional resources to mount the needed air campaign to derail Iran’s nuclear programs and a preemptive nuclear strike is a political non-starter.

    • Cash starved, impoverished Yeltsin era Russia had few competitive hard currency earning products to sell on the world market GB. Nuclear technology was one of them. It is regrettable that the dream of many Russians of integration into the West wasn’t pursued more vigorously over the past twenty years. Instead, a narrow minded focus on rolling back the bear prevailed. Well now the bear is starting to feel hemmed in and the “West” is a hardly recognizable shadow of its former self. Good opportunity to finally start bridging the culturally similar two halves of the same whole.

      OK Putin is Putin, whatever he is, no one can accuse him of naivete. Islamic terrorism is a problem for him as well. We have discussed this on previous occasions. It is not in their interest to proliferate nuclear weapons to the like of the Chechen as well. And the case can certainly be made that the opposite to “Russia undermining US influence in the region” is also true, viewed from a Russian perspective of course.

      As for any US administration sanctioning Israel, I find it next to impossible under any prevailing political conditions, short of Israel attacking US targets. History has shown even that wasn’t enough.

      • What was true during the Yeltsin era hasn’t been true for over a decade. Russia is flush with oil wealth, so economic imperatives cannot suffice to explain Russia’s facilitation of Iran’s desire for nukes.

        The lack of progress in integrating Russia into the West is due to Putin’s disinterest at least as much as the West’s lack of vision. The West’s “hemming in” of Russia is entirely defensive and supportive of self-determination for those nations on Russia’s borders.

        Were Russia a nation of laws and exhibited a modicum of civilized behavior, rather than its norm of ‘thuggishness’ it would have found a warmer welcome within the community of law-abiding nations. To date, it remains a nation whose governance is entirely ruled by the ‘principle’ of “might makes right”.

        At first glance, it would certainly appear that facilitating the spread of nukes is not in Russia’s interest. Yet that is exactly what they are doing. And reality always trumps theory.

        Whenever someone appears to violate their own self-interest, look to the secondary gain they acquire or retain by engaging in behavior that violates what only appears to be their primary self-interest. In such a case, the secondary gain is in fact their primary self-interest because of psychological dynamics beyond their conscious awareness.

        Just as the junkie’s use of drugs is ultimately self-defeating, yet chooses the temporary high despite the price they must pay. So too do groups and nations engage in choosing short term gain, in service of an ‘embedded’ agenda, that supersedes what otherwise would be in their best long term interest.

        Ego coupled with denial and a sense of victimization are the psychological drivers of the criminal mentality, which seeks to dominate as psychological compensation. Those dynamics do not allow cooperation in relationship, preventing Putin and his power structure (who are criminal thugs) from true allegiance with the West. Instead he seeks to dominate and because he’s the weaker, he resorts to subterfuge, seeking to gradually weaken the US.

        That psychological dynamic; the ‘need’ for ever greater power in order to emerge as the unquestioned “king of the hill”, ensures that Putin and his cronies will always seek to place reducing the power and influence of the US, (whom he sees as his primary rival and obstruction to greater power) over any other consideration. That rationale is the only coherent explanation of Putin’s behavior that fits the empirical evidence.

        The Obama administration and the left is actively hostile toward Israel but is currently constrained by the historic support Israel has enjoyed from the US. That support is gradually weakening as the left uses its organs of propaganda; academia and the media to erode that public support, especially among the young, continually condemning Israel’s actions, seeking to establish Israel as a pariah nation, just exactly as the apartheid government of South Africa became characterized.

        An attack by Israel upon Iran would be used to further that perception. Obama will characterize such an attack as unprovoked and use that characterization to provide the needed ‘cover’ to abstain from blocking UN resolutions and sanctions against Israel.

        That in turn would lay the groundwork for a second term Obama to respond to any future Israeli response to Islamic aggression as ‘disproportionate’. That characterization, certain to be supported by the MSM, would allow Obama to ‘temporarily’ cut off aid to Israel in order to, “persuade Israel to return to the restraint that civilized nations exhibit”.

        Once the precedent has been set, a ‘temporary’ cut off of aid can be more easily be transitioned into a de facto permanent cut off of aid.

        The Obama administration is firmly supportive of the view that Israel is the main impediment to peace (a complete denial of reality) and entirely willing to push for ‘concessions’ that would ultimately result in the destruction of Israel, an eventuality that “in their heart of hearts”, they fully support.

        • Thank you for a very clear reply. I found it enjoyable and thought provoking. I do maintain some amicable dissension, but I’m not going to nitpick or detract from your excellent post.
          Now if some people in Moscow could read it as well, maybe we could finally get on with the business of furthering our common interests.
          On the Iran strike Israeli angle, again I don’t view things from an Israeli perspective first, but only as it affects the greater US interest. I’ve never liked turning US foreign policy issues into partisan political topics, although sometimes this is unavoidable. So while very interesting, I’ll have to politely pass on commenting on your Obama/Israel Iran strike assessment.

  7. Most likely, Dagan as head of Mossad, had operational control of Unit 8800,
    and he used Stuxtnet’s progress as a fait a compli, life is never that simple.

  8. […] In spite of the annoying impediments created by the international community, Iran continues to expand her uranium-enrichment operations and to deny IAEA access to suspect facilities.  The program of multilateral talks with Iran merely […]

  9. […] In spite of the annoying impediments created by the international community, Iran continues to expand her uranium-enrichment operations and to deny IAEA access to suspect facilities.  The program of multilateral talks with Iran merely […]

  10. […] In spite of the annoying impediments created by the international community, Iran continues to expand her uranium-enrichment operations and to deny IAEA access to suspect facilities.  The program of multilateral talks with Iran merely […]

  11. […] do know, however, in our little universe of known knowns about the Iranian nuclear problem, is that the uranium enrichment curve has continued to accelerate.  It may have accelerated more than we know, but it has accelerated at least as much as we […]

  12. […] do know, however, in our little universe of known knowns about the Iranian nuclear problem, is that the uranium enrichment curve has continued to accelerate.  It may have accelerated more than we know, but it has accelerated at least as much as we […]

  13. […] who’s up for another round of graphs showing that Western diplomacy, sanctions, and technology have yet to out-maneuver Iran in the […]

  14. […] who’s up for another round of graphs showing that Western diplomacy, sanctions, and technology have yet to out-maneuver Iran in the […]

  15. […] who’s up for another round of graphs showing that Western diplomacy, sanctions, and technology have yet to out-maneuver Iran in the […]


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