Monday, February 13, 2012
The Mullah's Nuclear War
As this article shows well enough, the open war against the mullahs and their nuclear program is in full swing and nothing is off the table. What I do appreciate is how it is been conducted.
That and a network of assets from the community at large who seriously want rid of the mullahs and you have a soft underbelly to the nuclear program.
It appears that the program has been very successful and has bought
a large chunk of time while
not provoking popular support for the mullahs.
In fact internal resistance can even steal credit for the operations. Israel
The real truth is that no one thinks that the mullahs can continue to hang on. Their fall will be likely sudden and perhaps they will be even hunted into extinction. It would be amusing if the successor government establishes Zoroasterism as the state religion. This may seem far fetched, but the antipathy earned by the mullahs is profound.
In dealing with the threat of a nuclear
Obama has not merely kicked the proverbial can down the proverbial road; he has
actually aided and abetted
in its quest for military nuclear capabilities. Iran
Such a grim assessment of Obama’s Iran policy is unavoidable in light of his inaction against Iran for its capture of the RQ-170 stealth drone in December of last year; his silence over Iran’s initiation of 20% uranium enrichment at the underground Fordo facility near Qom; his reluctance to send U.S. aircraft carriers into the Persian Gulf through the Straits of Hormuz; his hesitation in approving immediate sanctions on Iran’s central bank and energy sector; his silence as Hugo Chavez allies with Iran to develop terrorist and missile bases in Venezuela; his secret attempt to influence Congress to soften US sanctions; and his secret letter of appeasement to Iran. These inactions are incomprehensible and unforgivable because they have allowed
to reach the threshold of
becoming a nuclear threat to the entire world. Iran
What can now be done? All the options are bad. Sanctions have slowed
progress but not stopped it. Bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would
certainly inflict crippling pain and would set back Iran’s WMD quest by a year
or so; but this course of action brings with it risks of regional upheaval and
war, global economic disruption, and Iran-sponsored terror attacks on US and
Israeli targets anywhere in the world. On the other hand, not stopping Iran
from bringing the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust has obvious
consequences of an even more dire and perilous nature. Iran
How can any country, any national or international leader, dissolve this Gordian knot of similarly evil alternatives?
may have the answer, without
an airstrike. Israel
Since 2005 various parts of the Iranian nuclear project have been hit by a series of disasters, which Iran blames on the West, and especially Israel.1
In April 2006, two transformers blew up and 50 centrifuges were ruined during
first attempt to enrich uranium at Natantz. A spokesman for the Iranian Atomic
Energy Council stated that the raw materials had been “tampered with.” Iran
Between January 2006 and July 2007, three airplanes belonging to
Revolutionary Guards crashed under mysterious circumstances. Some reports said
the planes had simply “stopped working.” Iran
“Stopped working” was also the Iranian explanation for two lethal computer viruses that penetrated the nuclear project’s computer system in 2007, knocking out a large number of centrifuges.
In January 2007, several insulation units in the connecting fixtures of the centrifuges, which were purchased on the black market from suppliers in
Eastern Europe, turned out to be flawed and unusable. Iran concluded that some of these suppliers were
actually straw companies that were set up by ’s enemies to outfit the
Iranian nuclear effort with faulty parts. Iran
In January 2007, Dr. Ardeshir Husseinpour, a 44-year-old nuclear scientist, died under mysterious circumstances. The official announcement said he died in a “work accident,” but Iranian intelligence blames Israel.
Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a particle physicist, was killed in January 2010, when a booby-trapped motorcycle parked nearby exploded as he was getting into his car. Some analysts harbor the suspicion that Mohammadi was killed by Iranian agents because of his support for the Iranian opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi, but
Iran blames . Israel
In June 2010, reports surfaced that the computer system operating the uranium enrichment site of Natanz had been infected with a new and more powerful cyber-weapon, a deadly virus known as “Stuxnet.” A highly sophisticated, incredibly invasive, but surgically refined virus, Stuxnet infected 59% of Iran’s computers but targeted only those using the Siemens SCADA software used by Iranian nuclear facilities. Contrary to Iranian denials, analysts confirmed that this cyber-attack delayed Iran’s WMD progress by at least several years and forced 984 centrifuges off-line.
On Nov. 29, 2010, motorcyclists blew up the cars of two senior figures in the Iranian nuclear project, Majid Shahriari and Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani. The motorcyclists attached magnet bombs to the cars and then sped away. Shahriari was killed by the blast but Abbassi-Davani, although injured, managed to escape with his wife before his car exploded. This attack prompted the Time Magazine 11/30/2010 article “Is the Mossad Targeting Iran’s Nuclear Scientists?”
In July 2011, a motorcyclist ambushed Darioush Rezaei Nejad, a nuclear physicist and a researcher for
’s Atomic Energy Organization,
shooting him as he sat in his car outside of his house. Iran
In November 2011, a huge explosion occurred at a Revolutionary Guards base 30 miles west of
Satellite photos showed that almost the entire base was obliterated. Brig. Gen.
Hassan Moghaddam, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ missile-development
division, was killed, along with 16 of his personnel. This was the military base
where the long-range (10,000 km) missiles were being developed for
deployment against the Tehran Western Hemisphere. Israeli
experts suggest that it was a “work accident” resulting from
improperly handled munitions.
And this “work accident” was soon followed by “Duqu” (aka “son of ‘Stuxnet’”), a cyber-weapon which invaded Iranian nuclear facility computers in December 2011, and created secret “back doors” so that the computer programs could be seized and manipulated later to alter networks, create destructive programs, or even destroy the entire networks themselves.
On Jan. 11, 2012, Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, a deputy director at the Natanz uranium-enrichment facility, was killed when motorcyclists attached a magnet bomb to his car, in downtown
find these assassinations reprehensible, others acknowledge the need to do
what it takes to stop Tehran
from becoming the world’s next nuclear enemy. Iran
Current assessments suggest that
will not be able to
manufacture a deployable nuclear weapon before 2015, thanks in large part to
the clandestine efforts summarized above.2 Iran
But even these successful covert operations, and perhaps another Stuxnet somewhere in the offing, cannot succeed forever, and at best they merely slow the progress of the current Iranian government, so ferociously committed to nuclear confrontation with the Sunni world and the West. So this approach, successful though it has been, is just a different iteration of kicking the can down the road. Even combined with the most stringent of sanctions, it only pushes the problem further into the not-too-distant future.
But there is a way, and it may be the only way, to achieve a long-term resolution to the Iranian nuclear threat: regime change. Iranian anti-Mullah sources, inside Iran and abroad, suggest that the Iranian people are ready for a more pro-Western regime to replace the Mullahs. The MEK (People’s Mujahedin of Iran)believe that such a change could occur within one year, and some Israeli leaders concur.
But instead of supporting regime change from within, Obama has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. When Obama turned a blind eye to the massacre of unarmed protesters in
in 2009, he supported the
Mullahs and encouraged their quest for WMDs. When he turned a blind eye
to the massacre of unarmed protesters in Syria, ongoing since early 2011, he
handed Iran another victory by allowing the Iranian puppet government in Syria
to prolong its stay in power, and thus to serve Iran’s interests, support
Hezbollah and maintain proxy control over Lebanon. Iran
Now Obama is trying to pressure Israel to commit to not mounting a conventional weapons bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.3 Is that because he wants the blame to settle squarely on Israel, and Israel alone, if Israel does bomb Iran, so that his hands can be clean, prior to November 2012, of any blame for whatever catastrophes such an attack might cause; or is it because Obama really believes that a nuclear Iran will be better for the world’s health?
In either case,
does not trust Obama, and is not bowing to his pressure. But
neither is Israel about to launch a conventional bombing attack on Iran. Israel Israel’s clandestine attacks have successfully
delayed Iran’s nuclear
ambition for at least several years into the future: plenty of time for regime
change, in Iran or in the in
November 2012. USA
1. Except as otherwise noted, the summary list which follows utilizes material from Ronen Bergman’s “Will Israel attack
?” New York Times,
January 25, 2012 athttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/magazine/will-israel-attack-iran.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all; and
2. For assessments see:
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iran/nuclear_program/index.html; and http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/world/middleeast/08israel.html; andhttp://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/07/us-iran-nuclear-israel-idUSTRE70612X20110107; and http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/outgoing-mossad-chief-iran-won-t-have-nuclear-capability-before-2015-1.335656; inter alia.
3. For examples see: http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/02/panetta-believes-israel-could-strike-iran-this-spring/; andhttp://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2106071,00.html; andhttp://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/02/west-making-case-to-israel-dont-attack-iran/; and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2095799/West-scrambles-avoid-Israeli-attack-Iran-come-months.html; inter alia.