Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Iran To Go Nuclear In Six Months?

Its possible says IAEA chief Mohamed ElBarade in a recent interview...

From the Middle East Media Research Institute:

If It Wants To Produce Nuclear Weapons, Iran Would Have To "Leave The NPT, Expel The IAEA Inspectors, And... It Would Need At Least Six Months to One Year"

Mohamed ElBaradei: "If Iran wants to turn to the production of nuclear weapons, it must leave the NPT, expel the IAEA inspectors, and then it would need at least... Considering the number of centrifuges and the quantity of uranium Iran has..."

Interviewer: "How much time would it need?"

ElBaradei: "It would need at least six months to one year. Therefore, Iran will not be able to reach the point where we would wake up one morning to an Iran with a nuclear weapon."

Interviewer: "Excuse me, I would like to clarify this for our viewers. If Iran decides today to expel the IAEA from the country, it will need six months..."

ElBaradei: "Or one year, at least..."

Interviewer:"... to produce [nuclear] weapons?"

ElBaradei: "It would need this period to produce a weapon, and to obtain highly-enriched uranium in sufficient quantities for a single nuclear weapon." [...]

That goes a long way towards explaining Israel's recent war games However ElBaradei warns against a preemptive strike at this point noting that such action would cause Iran's nuclear program to go into high gear with popular support.
ElBaradei: "Much worse, because a military strike would mean, first and foremost, that even if Iran does not produce nuclear weapons today, it would implement a so-called 'crash course,' or an accelerated plan to produce a nuclear weapon, with the agreement and blessing of all the Iranians - even the Iranians living in the West."
Israel however is interested in seeking to prevent even the testing of a nuclear weapon. Which definitely adds a sense of urgency to the situation. As a result we and our Middle Eastern allies are preparing for Iran's response to such an attack...

Possible scenarios include:

A terrorist attack on the Saudi oil port of Ras Tanura, an export point for oil bound for Asia. Saudi and American officials have in the past disrupted Al Qaeda plots on the facility, such as an attack on the Abqaiq oil processing plant near Dammam, Saudi Arabia, that killed two guards.

A naval assault on the U.S. 5th Fleet in the Persian Gulf. Iran still has warships equipped with Russian-designed Shkval torpedoes that it could fire at American vessels. Another possible attack would be suicide boat sorties similar to the one that bombed the USS Cole.

The commencement of a new round in the war between Hezbollah and Israel, with Hezbollah firing its Shihab missiles into Haifa and possibly the northern suburbs of Tel Aviv.

Hezbollah or Iranian intelligence terrorist operations on soft targets, such as shopping malls and community centers, in third countries and possibly even America.
A renewed effort to stir an uprising in Iraq through Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army or the special groups controlled by Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
Its becoming apparent that our ten year time line for Iran having nuclear weapon capabilities is getting shorter. We need to seriously ramp up international diplomacy and sanctions against Iran if we are to succeed in preventing military actions against Iran.

With the presidential elections less than five months away this should be a major issue to consider when choosing a candidate because should such an attack be carried out on Iran the war in Iraq could suddenly take a sharp turn for the worse and gas prices will very likely skyrocket possibly sending the US economy into a deep recession. McCain's promise to continue our current policy towards Iran gives me cause for concern. After all when the last time you settled a disagreement with someone by not talking to them?

I swear if I could cherry pick from McCain's and Obama's positions I could build a perfect candidate.

Thanks to Center Face for linking to this post.