...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

August 24, 2006

Iran Already Has The Bomb

Is the big surprise, which the Iranians are planning within the next few days, an announcement that they already have the bomb?

Read this chilling interview with former Danish agent Regnar Rasmussen in Front Page Mag. He says the Iranians already got three warheads from Kazakhstan back in the nineties.

In autumn 1991 Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Khazakhstan, sold three nuclear warheads to the Iranians. The Iranians wanted to use them as a prototype for their own bomb manufacturing. The price was said to have been 7.5 billion USD. Whether this amount is true or just the fantasies of a less paid government official, I cannot verify. The amount was to cover all bribes and kick-offs and military protection during transport. Every country involved had demanded their fair share of the deal.

Anyway, the warheads were removed from a military depot somewhere in Kazakhstan and transported by train down to Makhachkala in Daghestan. Here they were reloaded onto huge trucks and then taken through the Caucasian region and into Turkey. In the city of Dogubeyazit the Iranians met the convoy and took over. The three vehicles were then driven by Iranian drivers down to the border post Bazargan, where they entered Iranian territory.

The warheads were brought down to Teheran and parked in the military campus Lavizan. Here they were seen by a soldier who later defected to Israel and told the story to the Israeli intelligence services who at that time were unable to verify the matter further. Various rumours have been circulating ever since. Some stories say two bombs, some say four. The correct number, however, is three.

He also speculated whether Pakistan's recent nuclear test was actually a proxy for the Iranians. I think Rasmussen's story is plausible, and he's not the only guy who's been whispering it.

The Wall Street Journal again reminds us that a nuclear Iran would be a bad thing.

“A nuclear-armed Iran would likely embolden the leadership in Tehran to advance its aggressive ambitions in and outside of the region, both directly and through the terrorists it supports—ambitions that gravely threaten the stability and the security of U.S. friends and allies,” says the House Intelligence report. With a nuclear arsenal that they felt protected them from retaliation, the mullahs would also be more likely to use conventional military force in the Middle East. The domino effect as Turkey, Egypt and the Saudis sought their own nuclear deterrent would also not be “stabilizing,” to cite the highest value of our Middle Eastern “realists.” And don’t forget President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vow that “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
As if any thinking person needs such a reminder. Yet, incredibly, some people are still in denial. And it's funny that those are often the same people who think we need to get out of Iraq immediately. As I've said before, one often overlooked result of a nuclear Iran will be that the United States will be forced to stay in Iraq indefinitely -- and to deploy intermediate range nuclear missiles there for the purpose of deterrence. I promise you, I'm not wrong about this.

h/t Regime Change Iran & Protein Wisdom

Posted by annika, Aug. 24, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


Nukes in Iraq, interesting...today I feel like we should give Europe alot of shit. I mean it is their continent which'll likely get hit, besides Israel, from an Iranian missle. Yet these fucks can't even put troops on the groun to help out in Lebanon. I don't understand why Leftist politicians want to die.

Posted by: Scof on Aug. 24, 2006

"I don't understand why Leftist politicians want to die."

I do.

They feel guilty for having lived an easy life and reaping the benefits of a civilized and free culture without having to work too hard.

Instead of blaming terrorists and their like for their own circumstances, they blame themselves (the west). If punishment is death by nuclear incineration, so be it. We "deserve" it.

They're that stupid.

Posted by: Rob on Aug. 24, 2006

There are an awful lot of people determined to ignore the true nature of Iran, Hezbollah, and our other enemies. The psychology was captured by Arthur Koestler in a chilling metaphor which I excerped here.

Posted by: david foster on Aug. 24, 2006

You make an excellent point about cold war deterrence in your post, David. We did come close to nuclear war with the Russians on multiple occasions. When those breakdowns in MAD occurred, we were able to avert disaster precisely because our opponents, at the very least, still wanted to live. We were able to talk to each other.

What if our nuclear opponents in the next war don't care about dying? What if they actually want martyrdom? It's a completely different situation.

Iran CAN NOT be allowed to go nuclear.

Posted by: annika on Aug. 24, 2006

That dave foster dude is one smart brainiac. The Photon Courier is kewl.

As for MAD working, and being on the brink of nuclear exchange... you must be thinking about movies, because it never happened in the real world. Please point out the error of my ways.

Your conclusion however is correct. We must defeat the forces of evil.

Posted by: Casca on Aug. 24, 2006

Why thank you, Casca.

I can think of at least two cases where we came far too close to nuclear war. (1)A Soviet warning system picked up the sun reflecting off various structures in the American Midwest, and interpreted it as a large number of simultaneous Minuteman launches. Apparently, it was only one cool-headed Soviet officer who kept things from getting out of hand. (2)Shortly after the American BMEWS (radar+computer) system was installed, it picked up the moon, and reported it as Soviet incoming missiles. (Apparently, the extreme range of the radar system had not been understood.) This wasn't as serious as incident (1), since the computer part of BMEWS noted velocities not consistent with missiles, but still, Cheyenne Mountain went on alert while the situation was sorted out.

Of course, there was also the Cuban missile crisis.

Posted by: david foster on Aug. 24, 2006

I saw a profile (on 20/20 i think) of that Russian officer. It was apparently "this is not a drill" time, and it was up to him to turn the key, but luckily he saved the world on a hunch! He lives in obscurity now, by the way.

Posted by: annika on Aug. 24, 2006

Mythology, particularly the "Cuban Missle Crisis".

Only the President has the authority to launch/use special weapons. I'm sure that the Soviets has a similar system. No mere Colonel is going to "launch".

The Cuban situation was entirely a question of Maritime Power Projection. Read Mahan, the Soviets didn't have a blue water navy.

Posted by: Casca on Aug. 24, 2006

Iran is never going to admit they have the bomb, unless some great sea-change in political affairs occurs. Their whole public stance, both domestically and internationally, is that they want to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, that this is their right under the NNPT, that the "forces of world arrogance" want to stop the technological development of the Iranian nation in order to maintain hegemony, that the supreme leader has issued a fatwa banning WMDs, etc., etc.

Posted by: mitchell porter on Aug. 24, 2006

The bomb is useless unless, A) people know you have it so it can affect their behavior towards you (c.f. Israel), or B) you use it on somebody (c.f. USA).

Posted by: annika on Aug. 24, 2006

Israel's public policy is neither to confirm nor deny that they have nukes, but everyone presumes that Israel has them, perhaps several hundred, and so they have a deterrent. Iran's public policy is to deny that they even want nukes, but clearly they are not very far from having them if they want them, and so a similar potential for deterrence from ambiguity exists. I don't know what their actual strategic thinking is, but meanwhile, the Iranian government is accumulating domestic political capital from nuclear nationalism, framed as an issue of energy, technology, and sovereignty. Also recall that their tactics against Israel are political as well as military. They will neither abandon enrichment, nor do anything to deliberately indicate that they are actually building a bomb; they have way too many other tactical options to want to play that card in the foreseeable future.

Posted by: mitchell porter on Aug. 24, 2006

Presumably, the Soviets had a system in which political leadership had to approve any launch; however, given the very short time windows for making the decision, the manner in which the situation was framed by the military, and their recommendation, would likely have a determining effect. If the message is "the Americans have launched dozens of Minutemen and we need to respond" the outcome is likely to be very different from "we're seeing strange patterns from America and think it is probably a technical problem."

Posted by: david foster on Aug. 25, 2006


My understanding of the situation in Cuba was that the local commander had the authority to use field nukes if we invaded. McNamara attested to this in his book and admitted that at the time of the decision nobody on our side was aware of fact that the field nukes were even in Cuba. I'd rather not say who but i have had conversations with a player at that table.

Posted by: strawman on Aug. 25, 2006

Having spent a little time inside Cheyenne Mountain, I need to correct Casca a bit. That is, unless things have changed in the last five years or so.

When a launch is detected anywhere in the world, there is a short period (just a few minutes)in which they can determine from the ballistics exactly where the weapon is headed. A Bird or equivalent is on site at all times

There is a Four Star within minutes of Cheyenne who heads into the command center and within yet a few minutes more they have the President and the Prime Minister of Canada on the telephone.

It's been a while, but I think the whole sequence is @20 or 21 minutes. Then, I believe it takes both the President and the Prime Minister to jointly approve retalitory launches.

I always wondered what the Four Star would do if the President ordered the attack and the Prime Minister didn't agree.

Posted by: shelly on Aug. 26, 2006

"Having spent a little time inside Cheyenne Mountain." Was that Cheyenne Mountain the porn star? I assure you Shelly, as you know, most 4-stars know who they work for.

As for McNamara, the man is a fucking liar whose every utterance is a defense of his craven incompetent behavior as SecDef. He's got a lot of blood on his hands, and he knows it.

A lot of the cold war nuclear hand-wringing was based on cultural misunderstanding on both sides. Once Stalin was out of the picture, the Soviets entered the world of modern bureaucracy, and while they had an interest on playing on the world stage, like all professional militarys, they had no interest in actually turning the cold war hot in a big way.

Posted by: Casca on Aug. 26, 2006


Are you talkingto me?

I agree he is a man of perfidy and deceit ( I would also venture that were you and I to have the opportunity to hang him it would be for two completely different bills) but the facts of the Cuban situation I mentioned were not put into evidence by him. He was responding to recent documents that the russians released and Bill was only cementing your opinion of himself by admitting "I had no idea....." the field nukes were there and that they were to be used.

Posted by: strawman on Aug. 27, 2006