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An Inside Look At Iran's Nuclear Program

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the glowing-reviews dept.

Power 528

NotBornYesterday writes "On April 8, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited his country's secretive nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz for a photo op. What came out of this visit is a series of photos which have caused a fair amount of interest among western scientists. Shown in the photos are not only some of the inner workings of the plant and current generation of enrichment centrifuges, but also key components to newer generations of more effective centrifuges. Analysts are 'intrigued' not only by the technical revelations in the pictures, but also because Iran's Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar accompanied Ahmadinejad through the facility."

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Enough... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23286900)

Just nuke them already.

Captcha: tyranny

Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23286910)

Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran!

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (4, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23286916)

We have a choice:

Risk the death of 100,000 people and do nothing.

Ensure the death of 100,000 people and bomb Iran.

You morons!

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (1)

sadgoblin (1269500) | more than 6 years ago | (#23286936)

Violence creates more violence.

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287020)

Violence creates more violence.
Quite interestingly, so does XML.

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (4, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287260)

I wonder if you'd say the same thing if I killed (and raped, before AND after) your daughter and you have the choice of informing the police or staying silent.

Remember, before you answer : violence only creates more violence. You obviously know the police will use violence against me.

So ... do you hide my crime ?

Peace man. Where do you live ? Is your daughter pretty ?

(this post is fiction, obviously, and only meant to illustrate the utter stupidity of this fake "pacifism", the fake "salvation" that non-violence supposedly provides).

Violence against Iran may prove to be a VERY good idea, it may prove to be a very bad idea. We don't know.

One thing is for sure however, Iran is using heavy water reactors, less efficient and more complex than light-water reactors. They make this uneconomical decision for a reason ... because they can make bombs with it.

Do they want bombs for defense ? Why don't you answer this question for yourself. Is it reasonable to assume they need deterrence ? Or do they want to attack ? (little detail : like they've done before, with MASSIVE casualties, they lost 500.000 people, most of them children in an attempt to expand into Iraq)

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (2, Interesting)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287450)

Everything belongs in context. In this context it's not about individual violence. A better description than the really over-the-top example you used would be:

You daughter gets raped and murdered. The crime gets reported. The person who is suspected of doing the crime lives in a run down apartment building that everyone knows houses nothing but criminals. Instead of arresting the suspect at work (imagine they know where he works, and no he hasn't ducked out) they decide instead to organize a SWAT raid on the whole building. During the raid the police enter 12 seperate residenses and make 18 arrests for other crimes (drug possesion that sort of thing). The police during the raid injure 9 people (2 placed in ICU) and one person is fatally wounded. During the confusion, no one manages to arrest the murder/rape suspect. In fact he's wasn't home at the time of the raid, he was at work. Later, in a press release, the Chief of Police explains to the press that the raid was done to catch the man suspected (photo given out, if you know his location please call (bet you money he skips town at this point)) and they show a photo of the girl that he supossedly raped and murdered. And the photo of the concerned father. You live a mile from the location of the raid.

Now, that's a better analogy, and if it were up to me I'd prefer that instead of what I just outlined that they arrest him at work.

Do you get it yet?

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23286960)

Fair enough. We'll start with your family.

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23286972)

The question becomes: which nation winds up having the most people die in each scenario?

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23286976)

What makes you think that they are a threat at all? Just because they have a nuclear program doesn't make them dangerous.

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23286984)

What makes you think that they are a threat at all? Just because they have a nuclear program doesn't make them dangerous.
That's exactly my point. I would rather take the "risk" of death rather than convert it into a certainty and commit yet another genocidal act in the middle east.

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (1, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287326)

We're geeks here. So let's compare their options. They don't just have "a" nuclear program. There are many nuclear programs a country can pursue.

Specifically they built heavy water reactors and built cascades of over 3000 centrifuges.

There are also simpler, more efficient "light water" reactors, requiring very little if any enrichment. They know this, and specifically chose against them ...

Why does one build heavy water reactors (and Ahmadinejad knows this, as he's a civil engineer), because you can build "heavy isotopes" with it. They want to use them to "cure aids" and stuff. Right.

But the part about heavy isotopes is true. Why do you want heavy isotopes ? Since these days we have a simple neutron-producing device, making small (okay... utterly tiny) amounts of medical isotopes is much simpler and much cheaper and flexible using alternative methods.

You want these reactors to produce large amounts of heavy isotopes. Which ones ? There's exactly one that's of any use : plutonium. There's exactly one thing those centrifuges produce : weapons grade purity uranium and plutonium. And there's one use for it : bombs.

Do they want bombs to avoid being nuked themselves ? Does Iran today need deterrence to avoid being bombed ?

There is only one conclusion with this course of action : they're making weapons, and they're making them because they want to attack (not necessarily with said nuclear weapons, but they want to attack, who and what is not clear, they want the bombs to prevent retaliation)

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287056)

Ensure the death of 100,000 people and bomb Iran.
Yeah, but... they wouldn't be American or Israeli [flickr.com] , so.... yeah....

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287098)

Yuck

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287070)

How does the laser-guided precision bombing of a military target ensure the death of 100,000 people? It is easy to call us morons when you live on the other side of the world. I live in Isreal where we are faced with the thought of total annihilation. If you were faced with such a delima -- I wonder if you would also consider bombing.

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (2, Insightful)

gibbsjoh (186795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287120)

No, you live in Israel where you're the only nuclear power in the region. If I lived in any of the Arab cities Tel Aviv could target with its medium-range weapons (and at one point I did), I'd be pretty pleased if we had something to fight back with. Hezbollah/Hamas/The Syrians have rockets and some decrepid MiGs (with shit pilots) and you have F-16s and (at a conservative estimate) 75 nuclear warheads.


See this? It's the world's smallest violin, playing just for you. Feel special yet?

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (1, Insightful)

drmerope (771119) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287204)

If you seriously believe that Israel would use nukes in a first-strike scenario , you've been horribly mislead by propaganda. Get a grip. The anti-Israel propaganda that pervades Middle-Eastern life is a subterfuge in support of the corrupt and autocratic governments in Iran and Syria and to a lesser extent those of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

The anti-Israel position has become a point of nearly complete cultural blindness.

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (5, Insightful)

linumax (910946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287298)

If you seriously believe that Israel would use nukes in a first-strike scenario , you've been horribly mislead by propaganda. Get a grip. The anti-Israel propaganda that pervades Middle-Eastern life is a subterfuge in support of the corrupt and autocratic governments in Iran and Syria and to a lesser extent those of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

The anti-Israel position has become a point of nearly complete cultural blindness.
If you seriously believe that Iran would use nukes in a first-strike scenario , you've been horribly mislead by propaganda. Get a grip. The anti-Iran propaganda that pervades the American life is a subterfuge in support of the corrupt and autocratic government in United States.

The anti-Iran position has become a point of nearly complete cultural blindness.

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (-1, Troll)

Just Another Poster (894286) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287344)

How many years have you been mentally ill?

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287350)

That's like a +1 Insightful, +1 Funny, +1 just plain sad because it's so damn true.

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287416)

If you seriously believe that Israel would use nukes in a first-strike scenario
Israel will do whatever they decide is in their best interest.

What makes you think that the government of Israel would not use their nukes?

The evidence I see supports the notion that the Israeli government is as ruthless and values the lives of foreigners about as much as does the US government.
Would you disagree with this statement?
If so, why?

"Precision bombing" leaves the wrong picture (2, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287206)

Some of the sites are buried and hardened to the point that trying to destroy them with conventional weapons might not work. Planners have been drawing up plans to use B61-11s, nuclear bunker busters. Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh had a source tell him "...whenever anybody tries to get it [the use of nuclear weapons] out they're shouted down." [newyorker.com] .

A groundburst is the most fallout-inducing thing you can do with a nuclear weapon. There are dozens of sites involved, all with people living downwind.

Re:Bomb, bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287106)

While we're at it why don't we just turn the place to glass? You know from Jordan all the way to Afghanistan. We can drill through the glass and still get to the oil. This plan has the added bonus, that we could use the whole region as a big telescopic mirror to study the universe. Whats more, we will solve global warming, because the earth's surface being large and reflective over that region, like the ice at the poles will reflect sun light back into space. Everybody wins!

Then we can let the Russians do it to the Chechnyans, the Chinese to the Unghars. This is such an awesome plan! Solve global warming, terrorism, world hunger (there will be a lot fewer people in the world). Nobel prize baby! mrbluze! you are a genius!

Here the propaganda machine starts again (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23286914)

You know what? Fuck you, seriously, fuck you.

Way before the invasion of iraq we heard alot of how bad iraq was with their WMD:s and their connections to terrorism. And now what? No WMD:s no connection what so ever to al'quaida and what is the answer now? It was to bring democracy to Iraq.

And now it's irans turn, well you know what; this is a war that america can't afford. The dollar isn't worth salt so just turn the fucking propaganda machine of again.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23286922)

chicken!

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (-1, Troll)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23286986)

Given the choice of a world without a USA - or a world without an Iran?

A world without a USA would be more peaceful and habitable and more moral by anyone's measure.

When Americans talk about freedom, how can anyone listen, without breaking a sad smile? This is a country with 1% of its ENTIRE POPULATION in prison or jail. This is an acheivement never before equaled in human history.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (4, Funny)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287036)

Now to be fair, we Australians will probably hold the record for highest number of convicts per capita forever..

Nyah, nyah!

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287148)

Is hard as it would be for an Aussie to stomach the idea, the perspective to look at this is as a percentage of the United Kingdom's population, at the said time. ;-)

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287190)

Is hard as it would be for an Aussie to stomach the idea, the perspective to look at this is as a percentage of the United Kingdom's population, at the said time. ;-)
Of course, at said time, there were already half a million people in Australia, but point taken.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (3, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287058)

When Americans talk about freedom, how can anyone listen, without breaking a sad smile?

Americans are unfortunate, for the populace has no control of its government or its destiny. It rests almost entirely in the hands of the financiers and moguls on Wall Street whose marching step follows a beat that most Americans are unaware of.

There is no congruity between the stated reasons for America's foreign policy and the facts as they stand.

There is no doubt in my mind that America will attack Iran, even though Iran poses no threat to any American citizen.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (2, Informative)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287066)

>>A world without a USA would be more peaceful and habitable and more moral by anyone's measure.

A pathetic statement on so many levels it's difficult to know where to begin. Are you completely ignorant of modern history? Have you no knowledge of international trade?

Without the USA, the world would starve. You are aware of the volume of US food exports, aren't you?
Without the USA, international charity would collapse. The USA is the most charitable nation on earth?
Without the USA, the United Nations would close up shop almost immediately. Who do you think funds MOST of the UN activities?
Without the USA, REAL fascism of the variety demonstrated across Africa and the Middle-East would rapidly spread into and take root Europe.
The economies of Europe would rapidly collapse, seeing that we have effectively been their guardian for the past 50 years, allowing national budgets to be repurposed for things like extravagant social welfare programmes.

I could go on and on, and I could link to facts and figures but you know what -- there's no point. There's no use continuing because I'm quite certain your smug little mind is closed and decided and no amount of reasoning will reach you. So, in closing, go fuck yourself.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (2, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287122)

Hope you got a wax for free, with that brainwashing.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287166)

Jerimiah, you had me intrigued. No facts, however- kinda fatal for arguments you know. Care to elaborate?

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (1)

firstojune (1085843) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287288)

There's exactly the same proven facts on Jeremiah's message than on its parent, that is, none. But at least Jeremiah is intelligent enough not to blabber like a butthurt patriot.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287268)

So basically without the US the world is doomed? Should we all bow down to our saviors the United States of America? Get a fucking grip. I bet ill-informed retards were saying the same thing about the Roman Empire.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287424)

WITH the US, we were able to instill OUR OWN fascist leaders, like Saddam Hussein. And then... oh wait.. now we don't like him anymore. DOWN WITH SADDAM! The US needs a revolution, because our country is nothing more than starbucks/abercrombie fiends being tooled over by big money controlling media, politics, and your ability to make progress (credit). Open your eyes, dipshit. America isn't what it used to be.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (5, Informative)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287442)

Without the USA, the world would starve. You are aware of the volume of US food exports, aren't you?
According to this article from 2004 [washingtonpost.com] , 2005 was expected to be the first year when the US did not have a net agricultural surplus, i.e. it imported as much as it exported.

Without the USA, international charity would collapse. The USA is the most charitable nation on earth?
I believe it's true that Americans give more of their income to charity than other countries do, but much of that stays within the USA. In terms of foreign aid, the USA is quite far down the list [globalissues.org] .

Without the USA, the United Nations would close up shop almost immediately. Who do you think funds MOST of the UN activities?
No single country. The USA funds about 25% of the UN budget.

I don't think your other claims can be tested against data.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287072)

Not entirely fair. A good portion of that 1% are not actually Americans: we have a substantial illegal immigration problem at the moment. You've also made a completely unsubstantiated claim. Not saying you're wrong (simply because I'm not motivated enough to do any research) but your obvious anti-American slant makes anything you say suspect. And I don't know how you can say that the world would be more "moral" without the U.S. Are you saying that the likes of China, Russia, any number of African countries are more "moral" than the United States? Do you have the slightest idea what you're talking about? No? I didn't think so.

I wish you idiots would realize that not all Americans are the same, that not all Americans look at our government through the same eyes. If one of us tried to paint your country with such broad strokes I guarantee you'd take offense.

Learn a bit more about a nation first before deciding that everyone in it is not sufficiently "moral" by your standards, or would be better off dead. I will make you come off as less of a complete asshole.

So let me finish my remarks with a hearty "fuck you". You certainly do live in a glass house, my friend.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (1)

Jzanu (668651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287218)

No US does not mean the citizens should all be dead, simply that the concentration of power and the decrepit regulations on use of that power are inappropriate for the modern world. It in fact poses a danger to everyone. China is close yes, but it has more efficient control of its resources and strict regulation on all exercises of power. Why had China not been in war after war after all? Its an actual rational state.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (0, Flamebait)

firstojune (1085843) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287334)

I wish you idiots would realize that not all Americans are the same, that not all Americans look at our government through the same eyes. If one of us tried to paint your country with such broad strokes I guarantee you'd take offense.
Anyone can paint your country with the same broad strokes you paint China, Russia and any number of African countries. It would seem you don't know what you're talking about either! XOXO.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (3, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287100)

"A world without a USA would be more peaceful and habitable and more moral by anyone's measure."

OH BULLSHIT! sure america isn't perfect, but it's legal to beat your wife if she "dishonors" you in iran. which society do you think is more moral?

your just another mindless sheep following the let's hate america because it's cool crowd.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287356)

Which society has killed the most children in the last 200 years?

Which society has invaded other countries since it's inception?

The USA is a war mongering society... just accept it - whilst the rest of the world jokes about your fat arses.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287128)

Given the choice of a world without a USA - or a world without an Iran?

A world without a USA would be more peaceful and habitable and more moral by anyone's measure.
Guess you didn't get the memo. Crack is bad mmmkay? Don't smoke it.

When Americans talk about freedom, how can anyone listen, without breaking a sad smile? This is a country with 1% of its ENTIRE POPULATION in prison or jail. This is an acheivement never before equaled in human history.
Yeah there's freedom. Freedom to make choices. Choices have consequences. The consequences of some choices are negative. Like going to jail. 1% of the entire population in jail? Guess that means roughly 1 in 100 people makes some really bad, stupid choices that result in going to jail.

In your hypothetical world without the USA mentioned above you'd have a lot fewer choices to make. But you'd still have some choices that led to negative consequences. And jail would be a very minor negative consequence compared to the some of the other ones. Things like "reeducation camps," "psychiatric hospitals," and the ever popular "gulag."

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287136)

Given the choice of a world without a USA - or a world without an Iran?

A world without a USA would be more peaceful and habitable and more moral by anyone's measure.


Only if you follow Shiite Islam.

When Americans talk about freedom, how can anyone listen, without breaking a sad smile? This is a country with 1% of its ENTIRE POPULATION in prison or jail. This is an acheivement never before equaled in human history.

Ummm, no. It is 1% of the adults. Learn to read.

And why is that bad? There still are a lot of criminals who don't get caught.

Does that mean the USA has more people committing crime? Or that the USA is better at catching criminals? Or the USA is better at convicting them? Or they spend more time in jail?

Compare with France, which still has gangs of "youths" roaming the streets burning cars, and the police are scared of them.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (1)

folstaff (853243) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287258)

Pathetic. A world without U.S. would have meant what for Europe in 1941?

A land where people can choose what they do with their life is bound to have a percentage who choose to screw up. If that is the price for freedom, so be it.

A world without the U.S. is a world under Sharia law. A world without liquor, homosexuality, and SI swimsuit issues. Sounds like hell.

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (1)

Jzanu (668651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287436)

That they would have had to wait for the Soviets to defeat Nazi Germany?

Re:Here the propaganda machine starts again (0, Troll)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287382)

Democracy was only a way to get to the oil...

Needs additional tags (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23286920)

Just a thought, you might want to ad government propaganda to the tag list below.

Is history no lesson? (0, Flamebait)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287000)

Neville Chamberlain was unavailable for comment.

If Iran wants nukes, Bush WILL GIVE THEM NUKES !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287162)

If Iran wants nukes, Bush WILL GIVE THEM NUKES up the ass nukes !! Or Israel if they don't pussy out again !!

Re:Is history no lesson? (1)

HeavensBlade23 (946140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287188)

Iran is not going to launch a nuclear strike on Israel. Even the most rabid antisemites in Iran would be given serious pause by the thought of the the response from Israel's arsenal. Their population center would be destroyed within minutes of the launch.

Re:Is history no lesson? (1)

folstaff (853243) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287282)

You should know that Iran's whack-job President thinks he will see the apocalypse and Iran will be a part of it. Feel safer now?

Mutually Assured Destruction doesn't apply (1, Insightful)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287302)

Mutually Assured Destruction doesn't work with people who WANT TO DIE. Besides, it's easy to make such a substantial gamble with other people's lives.

The fundamentalists running Iraq have stated time and again that they wish to accelerate the return of the 12th Imam (the "hidden Imam") which will signal the end of the earth. This divine saviour ("Mahdi") will appear at the End of Days. Only after chaos and global war will the Mahdi lead Muslims to an era of universal peace.

In other words, the sooner they get on with global war, the sooner they can reach paradise. The Iranian government is trying to acquire the means to carry out this insane vision. They have stated clearly this is their intent, yet the Western world ignores them. Just as we Ignored the words and actions of Germany's socialists until it was too late.

Whistling past the graveyard, people.

Re:Mutually Assured Destruction doesn't apply (1)

HeavensBlade23 (946140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287390)

Really now? You think everyone in Iran is ready to die, and for their country to be wiped off the map? No one would have any objections? Despite their propensity for using the tactics of a suicide bomber, Arabs (and in this case Persians) aren't stupid.

Re:Is history no lesson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287330)

So that means Israel is safe. After all, we've never encountered anyone willing to commit suicide in order to kill someone else, have we...?

O RLY? (0, Flamebait)

linumax (910946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287238)

If you are so intent on learning from history, then go learn from the Iraq WMD lies (and all the other lies of this corrupt administration).

Funny you should ask... (4, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287378)

Funny you should mention Chamberlain. People tend to assume that he avoided going to war with Hitler because he was a wimp. Thing is, when Hitler first emerged as a threat, the UK was in no position to challenge him. On top of that, there was a lot of anti-war sentiment that didn't go away until Hitler showed his true colors — several times. By playing the wimp, Chamberlain bought the Allies time to rearm. Of course, they squandered that advantage when the war actually started, but that's another issue.

There's also the little detail that many leading politicos in Chamberlain's Conservative Party considered Hitler a hero. These were the guys in the House of Commons who booed Churchill the first time he entered the House as Prime Minister. Eventually, they became politically irrelevent, but until they did, any Conservative PM who had gone against Hitler would have been out of office faster than you can say "jackboot".

Now, we don't have a lot of Islamists in U.S. politics, but aside from that, we're pretty much in the same spot now the Brits were then. It's true our armed forces are way better than theirs were, but between our global committments and the Iraq tarbaby, we've nothing to spare. Even if we did have the troops to spare, we've gone and used up all our credibility with our recent fuckups. Starting another war would turn us into absolute pariahs.

And here's one thing that really bugs me: how can we tell Iran that they can't have nukes when we have thousands. Which we are not only making no move to draw down, we are actually planning to increase

One other thing: are you willing to pay all the extra taxes it would take to cover a third war? It's true that we've been running the first two on credit, but that's playing bloody hell with the value of the dollar. So I think we should assume we're at our credit limit.

So don't bash poor Neville. At least he knew his limitations.

Re:Is history no lesson? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287400)

What I find telling is that the Defense Minister was present. Why would he care about nuclear facilities that were meant for peaceful power generation?

Of course, we all know Iran is working towards nuclear weapons. The question is what to do about it.

I am intrigued by concern trolls (1)

Ranger (1783) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287034)

That NotBornYesterday seems to think that we were born yesterday. He wanted to make sure we knew that Iran's Defense Minister went on tour of the facility with Mahmoud. What I also find intriguing is that Iran wanted to turn the visit to a top secret facility into a photo op. Would President. Bush want to turn a visit to Area 51 into a photo op?

New rule. Before we start another war, we need to finish the first one. OK?

Re:I am intrigued by concern trolls (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287094)

What I also find intriguing is that Iran wanted to turn the visit to a top secret facility into a photo op.

What better way to make idiots thing they're not hiding anything than by selectively showing us things. I could "prove" that the USA had no ICBM's with a few photo-ops in empty siloes - especially if I were willing to redecorate the siloes a trifle between photos to suggest that I'm showing ALL of them, rather than just three of them....

Re:I am intrigued by concern trolls (1)

Jzanu (668651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287176)

What is your evidence for implying that their purpose is anything other than power generation?

Re:I am intrigued by concern trolls (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287420)

What interest does the Defense Minister have in a civilian power facility? Yes, it could be completely innocent, but it's the military's job to be suspicious of things like that.

Re:I am intrigued by concern trolls (1)

TropicalCoder (898500) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287426)

What is your evidence for implying that their purpose is anything other than power generation?

Maybe this [wikipedia.org] ?

"Iran claims to have the world's third largest reserves of oil at approximately 136 billion barrels (21.6×109 m3) as of 2007, although it ranks second if Canadian reserves of non-conventional oil are excluded. This is roughly 10 percent of the world's total proven petroleum reserves. Iran is the world's fourth largest oil producer and is OPEC's second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia."

You tell me why Iran needs nuclear energy for power generation? They could invest all that money in clean oil burning technologies and still have plenty left over to advance a very broad range of research on industries that would diversify their economy. It makes no sense at all for them to invest so much money in nuclear energy, unless perhaps it's not really nuclear energy that they are after?

Re:I am intrigued by concern trolls (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287194)

And to such a tour, which is to prove that you built those nuke silos only as shelters in case some terrible terrorist bombs you away, you take along your DOD head honcho along with key missile designers, and you put them prominently into the picture so they can't be missed?

This can only mean one of two things: Either you're insanely stupid, or you want the rumors about your alleged missile program to fly high and have everyone in fear and awe of your (alleged) missile power. Which would be smart, you could keep the world shaking in their boots and won't even have to build a single missile. They'll still believe you have some. Just deny that you do and everyone will believe you are able to cause a nuclear winter singlehandedly.

You may decide now whether Ahmedi..whatever is dumb or smart.

Re:I am intrigued by concern trolls (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287274)

What I also find intriguing is that Iran wanted to turn the visit to a top secret facility into a photo op.

What better way to make idiots thing they're not hiding anything than by selectively showing us things. I could "prove" that the USA had no ICBM's with a few photo-ops in empty siloes - especially if I were willing to redecorate the siloes a trifle between photos to suggest that I'm showing ALL of them, rather than just three of them....

Or maybe the Iranians are trolling.

Re:I am intrigued by concern trolls (2, Insightful)

TekPolitik (147802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287220)

He wanted to make sure we knew that Iran's Defense Minister went on tour of the facility with Mahmoud.

More to the point, that's not even something that ought to raise suspicion. In a region where terrorism is a real, daily threat, you want the military to be looking after security issues at an enrichment plant even if it is only being used for civilian purposes - you want them to be making absolutely sure that the facility is not open to abuse by those who would use it for more nefarious purposes.

That's not to say this is evidence that the enrichment plant is not being used for military purposes, it's just that the presence of the Defence Minister is not evidence for or against.

Re:I am intrigued by concern trolls (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287448)

Very astute observation.

Re:I am intrigued by concern trolls (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287256)

New rule. Before we start another war, we need to finish the first one. OK?
Counting Afganistan there are actually two on the go at the moment, so, yes. I agree,

Re:I am intrigued by concern trolls (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287444)

I'm sorry, and people can mod me down all they want for this, but you're an idiot. It IS relevant that the Defense Minister was there. Everyone with half a brain knows that Iran is working towards having nuclear weapons. They figure that once then have them everyone will be afraid to touch them.

People can blather about how it's ok for us so it's ok for them and engage in the normal moral relativism that is so rampant today, but I for one don't want to see a theocracy that condones suicide bombings to have THE BOMB. If you do then you really are even more of an idiot than I initially stated.

Even they're getting out of oil... (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287042)

They're a net exporter of oil so they are the least susceptible to peak oil. Yet even they're not foolish enough to sit back and rely on it.

Occam's razor still applies (-1, Flamebait)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287096)

It's not about energy, people. These sand ticks are sitting on one of the ten largest oil deposits in the world.

It's about acquiring nuclear weapons with which they can force their will upon others through threat or action. They have stated time and again they wish to obliterate Israel. Why do you not take them at their word?

Re:Occam's razor still applies (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287116)

It's not about energy, people. These sand ticks are sitting on one of the ten largest oil deposits in the world.

Why would you want to power your country on oil? Stupid, dirty technology.

Why do you not take them at their word?

Whose word? Whose (mis)translation?

Re:Occam's razor still applies (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287130)

Acquiring nuclear weapons with which they can force their will upon otehrs through threat or action?

You mean like the United States?

The illegal military actions of the United States against soverign nations that pose no threat to them (Iraq, Panama, etc.) is a stark example of which nation, Iran or the US, is more violently out of control.

Re:Occam's razor still applies (2, Informative)

jjh37997 (456473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287140)

Because Iran has not attack any of it's neighbors for hundred of years.

Re:Occam's razor still applies (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287230)

Uhhhhh...I guess that whole Iran vs. Iraq war must have been Iran attacking (and being attacked by) some OTHER neighbor then... (unless you were being sarcastic?)

Re:Occam's razor still applies (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287380)

Iraq started that war by invading Iran on Sept. 22, 1980.

Re:Occam's razor still applies (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287180)

Because it's hard to take them at their word and blame America for it at the same time.

Lies, Lies, Damn Lies (1)

linumax (910946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287208)

These sand ticks are sitting on one of the ten largest oil deposits in the world.
Who gave you the authority to tell other countries what they can and can not use as their energy source?!! If Iran can sell more oil by reducing domestic consumption then they have every right to.

It's about acquiring nuclear weapons
Proof please? Word of a Bush Administration wouldn't count as history has proven.

They have stated time and again they wish to obliterate Israel.
Proof Please? If you mean the Iranian president's speech which was nothing but a mistranslation and a hoax spread by MSM:

The Guardian's Jonathan Steele cites [guardian.co.uk] four different translations, from professors to the BBC to the New York Times and even pro-Israel news outlets, in none of those translations is the word "map" used. The closest translation to what the Iranian President actually said is, "The regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time," or a narrow relative thereof. In no version is the word "map" used or a context of mass genocide or hostile military action even hinted at.

Iran has always since 1979 stated their desire for government of Israel to go away, and be given back to whoever people of whatever religion or race who lived there before the state of Israel was created, but never intended the people to die.

Re:Lies, Lies, Damn Lies (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287316)

the Iranian president's speech which was nothing but a mistranslation and a hoax spread by MSM:
Being ambiguous is a great way to troll in an argument. I think the Iranians knew that their statements would be translated that way.

Re:Occam's razor still applies (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287286)

It's about acquiring nuclear weapons with which they can force their will upon others through threat or action. They have stated time and again they wish to obliterate Israel. Why do you not take them at their word?
They must know that using nukes against US interests equates to suicide. They are short on reliable delivery systems and development facilities. At best they could take out one city before retaliation.

Re:Occam's razor still applies (4, Insightful)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287446)

This is a little silly on the face of it. There is little doubt that Israel could obliterate them right back and that is BEFORE we chuck a MIRV or two in their general direction. Israel has reliable delivery systems and there is very little doubt they have nukes of their own. And more than one or two nukes. It's probably more like 30. Israel can annihilate the cities of any Middle Eastern state of their choosing and still have a stick to wave afterwards.

One Defense Intelligence Agency estimate puts the number of Israeli nukes at 65 to 85 weapons.
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/ [fas.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction [wikipedia.org]

If Iran were so foolish as to attempt to "obliterate" Israel, Iran would cease to exist within hours of the attempt.

Middle Eastern leaders talk of destroying Israel because it plays well to the masses and the Iranian leadership are crazy like foxes in this regard. These leaders themselves live comfortable privileged lives and will not act like the young suicide bombers they employ as cannon fodder. The mad-dog Arab who will do anything is a propaganda tool meant to scare the shit out of the West. And it works.

another unarticle unrelated to slashdot (1)

woods01 (1259134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287124)

Why do these articles continue to be popping up? Slashdot is described as this "Source for technology related news with a heavy slant towards Linux and Open Source issues." Now what in the world does irans nuclear program have to do with Technology? Unless SlashDot is designed around talking about warfare technology, another wasted post.

Inside information on the facilities can be found (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287132)

at http://www.debka.com

Threat? (4, Interesting)

NuclearError (1256172) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287142)

I once attended a lecture where the speaker said that the best thing to do with Iran was to force them to produce uranium in a consortium. Europeans do this by sharing the same enrichment plant, and it lets them keep tabs on how enriched each country is making its uranium. With Iran's new centrifuge technology, I'm sure they would be welcome at an international plant, especially if it allayed fears about a weapons program.

A consortium won't solve a thing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287226)

I doubt the US want Iran to check their uranium enrichment plans. And neither the other way around. So a middle east consortium would be the at least thinkable solution. Now, do you think the US will tolerate or even trust a middle east consortium to act as a device to ensure no weapon capable uranium is produced?

Re:Threat? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287296)

I once attended a lecture where the speaker said that the best thing to do with Iran was to force them to produce uranium in a consortium.
Great idea. Lets ring the North Koreans.

So what? (1)

Jzanu (668651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287154)

Processing uranium is an integral part of the procedure to utilize nuclear energy. Stated aims are for nuclear power generation. What is the problem with that? There is no evidence that this is being used to produce weapons of any kind or that it will ever be used for that purpose.

This is nothing the IAEA hasn't seen already (4, Insightful)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287174)

Signatories to the NPT are allowed to enrich Uranium as part of a civilian program. Perhaps if Iran had not been the target of US sanctions since 1979 (when they overthrew the brutal western-backed Shah and his CIA-trained SAVAK secret police), they would be more trusting about getting their nuclear fuel from outside. As it is, they have a mentality of being as independent and self-sufficient as possible.

Iran is not in violation of the NPT, but the major nuclear powers are, since they have not disarmed and have no intention of doing so. In fact new nuclear weapons systems are being developed right now. Why then does the media not focus on the NPT violations of the big 5? Perhaps people feel the big 5 are so responsible that it's ok for them to posses them, but frankly the historical record does not back that up. Hiroshima and Nagasaki aside, Richard Nixon is on tape suggesting a nuclear strike on North Vietnam and before the Iraq war, UK Minister of Defence Geoff Hoon threatened Iraq with a nuclear strike (crazy I know).

The big 5 want to maintain a permanent nuclear apartheid whereby they keep their weapons (and threaten others with them, explicitly or implicitly) while preventing any other country from developing them. It's not a sustainable situation. You can't wave your gun about and then expect everybody else to refrain from acquiring guns of their own. It is the major powers themselves that are putting us all in a huge amount of long term danger due to their failure to disarm. That should be the real focus of media attention.

Re:This is nothing the IAEA hasn't seen already (1)

Trax (93121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287242)

Please spare me your diatribe about the Shah and SAVAK -- compared to the Mullahs of today many Iranians were better off during the Shah's reign than today. Thanks to the religious, educational, and job discrimination pervasive in Iran, many of its minorities including Assyrians, Armenians, and Jews have been forced to seek refuge outside of the country.

The Mullahs compared to the Shah are much much worse.

Re:This is nothing the IAEA hasn't seen already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287310)

Please spare me your diatribe about the Shah and SAVAK
Spare the rest of us by not ranting.

Re:This is nothing the IAEA hasn't seen already (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287414)

False dichotomy. Besides, Iran would be moving towards a more progressive and democratic society if some countries stops fueling the radicals. And between an autocratic regime run by compatriots and a puppet regime subservient to former colonial powers, I'll take the former anytime.

Open Source Nuclear Enrichment Facilities? (1)

RKBA (622932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287200)

Well gee, do you suppose maybe the Iranians are simply building the enrichment facility to fuel a power plant as they've been saying all along? Duh.

Something to consider (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287222)

Could an innocuous non-weaponized nuclear program actually be more harmful to the west than the doomsday-device-building vision that the US is attempting to portray?

Ahmadinejad is no fool, and knows that any evidence of "actual" nuclear weapons would spell doom for his nation.

He's playing his cards, and seems to be coming out on top, and making his opponents look like absolute idiots...

Double standards (5, Insightful)

xquark (649804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287232)

Iran like any other signatory of the NPT has a right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. They also have a right to develop, purchase and sell said technology freely and without any hindrance as long as they abide by the NPT. Iran unlike other countries such as India, Pakistan and Israel (which are not signatories of the NPT) intends to use its nuclear technology for generating energy as a way to decrease dependence on oil exports (as any sane country should be doing now).

When other nuclear powers (lead by a country where its own president can't even pronounce the word nuclear properly) get in the way of this process it sends a clear message to other countries that are signatories of the NPT they it may not be as easy as they think to develop peaceful nuclear technologies within their own countries. As a result black-markets start popping up making ratifying the NPT all that more difficult.

If the US and UK just abide by the terms of the NPT then the majority of problems they are now seeing will all but disappear.

Ok, let's get this straight (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287292)

The president of Iran visits a top secret (!) nuclear facility, taks his defense minister along, and everything they do there (give or take...) is photographed and published.

Umm... am I the only one that wonders about the only question worth asking? I.e. why?

He is not dumb. Doing a tour to an uranium enrichment plan with your minister of defense and going public about it is not really what you do if you have a nuke program running and want to keep it secret. The very first reaction is, well, the reaction it caused. That's a no brainer. So the only logic conclusion is that this reaction was wanted.

And that again starts another round of asking why.

There are now two possible reasons. First, there is a nuke program and they are trying to create some sort of deterrent for an immediate strike, to show that they are able to retaliate. Second, there is no nuke program, but they want everyone to think there is one. Now, there is no strike planned (at least none that I know of), so the first reason makes little sense.

The second starts another round of why.

Personally, I could see a plan. The US will start a new ralley for nuke inspections in Iran, finally Iran will grudgingly agree, they will poke and prod and find nothing, and Iran can do another finger pointing at the US as some aggressor, which only thinks the worst of any country they can't control, discredit the US internationally.

And then start a nuke program. Who'd call for inspections?

The power of public relations (2, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287346)

When things like this come out, it is hard to know how much of it is real. We can recall that the old USSR was masters of such public relations, convincing every organization on earth that they remained a player, costing the US taxpayer trillions in unneeded expenditures. In an older example the british empire managed to continue the façade of a world power well into the 20th century using such tactics.

I believe they are taking a page out of the N. Korean playbook, taunting the world with images and tests, and then laughing when the world, particularly the US, can do nothing about it. Of course nothing can be done about it because they probably do have something, and any force would be risky. Compare this to Iraq where there was little risk as iRaq has little, and unlike the some other countries in the region, apparently had relatively little influence in global events.

Of course if the US like, like the British empire in it's waning day, had not deployed it's forces so willy nilly, and has not spent itself to the brink of bankruptcy, there might be something we could do with Iran and N. Korea. As it is we can't even take care of the real and present threat, Afghanistan and Pakistan, so little else matters.

In the end though I think it is just PR. Just because you have the toys does not mean you know how to use them. And, unlike the end of WWII, two or three big bombs, with threats of more to follow, it not enough to win a confrontation. In any case, one can hardly argue that fanatical religious states with nuclear weapons are inherently dangerous. Israel, which ranks very low in freedoms granted by the modern state, and appears to be controlled by fundamentalism as any country in the region, has had nuclear weapons for years with little negatve effect.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

InSovietRussiaTroll (1282606) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287402)

...the party bombs you!

Iran : Crazy Conspiracy Theory (3, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23287428)

There's a lot about this fabled US vs Iran rivalry that does not add up and it almost makes me think that to a large degree the Bush Administration is covertly fostering the rise of Iran as a middle eastern superpower.

Motive
1. Geopolitically, US foreign policy is to create regional checks around the globe so that she can use her weight so swing a balance of power one way or the other but without having to be overtly committed. A strong Iran creates enormous problems for Russia and China both. China has no domestic oil whatsoever, and Russia is well within range of Iranian missiles.

2. Money. We often talk about the US petrodollar as a product of Saudi Arabia, but what's often overlooked is that the USA still possesses a fairly sizable proved reserve of oil in her own right. In essence, the dollar is not just backed by US influence in the middle east but also by the USA's own oil reserves. Yes, the USA does not pump enough of its own oil, but, if we were to throw the environment into the dumper, we could drill Alaska, drill offshore, grind up all the shale in Colorado, convert to coal to liquids, drill the Bakken, and we'd wind up with trillions of barrels of the stuff. So, in the long run, high oil prices benefit the United States, because ultimately, the USA has that money in the bank. Let's put it this way: ANWR alone is worth a trillion dollars.

Supporting Evidence
1. Whose benefited. Everything the Bush Administration has done has benefited Iran from a security perspective. The Iranian foreign minister even pointed this out on NPR. Bush knocked off Iraq and Afghanistan both, and neither regime supported the USA. On the flipside, the high oil prices that exist partially because of the war in Iraq and the bellicosity with Iran actually are proving to be lucrative for nearly every traditionally Republican constituency. Oil men, miners, agribusiness, chemical, even US manufacturers have all benefited from rising oil prices and a devalued dollar. If Iran and the USA are enemies, both sides are laughing all the way to the bank.

2. History. Republicans, in particular, despite their bellicosity with Iran, have a long and fabled history of actually dealing with the Iran in pragmatic terms "behind the scenes". Ronald Reagan was nearly brought down because of a complicated deal which actually saw the USA supply weapons to Iran during the Iran - Iraq war. I mean, while Democrats talked rapproachment with Iran, Republicans were already making deals with them and hiding it.

Later on, administration officials from both Reagan and Bush I would both admit that they did, in fact, have a back door in communications to Iran. It's reasonable to think that a Dick Cheney who was an integral part of all of those administrations might actually have a back door to Iran himself. We do know, right away, that the government we work with in Iraq travels to Iran rather frequently. It's almost inconceivable that the USA would not be using the Iraqi leadership as the most covert sort of conduit.

3. Careful rules of engagement. The USA rightfully complains about the Iranians funding and helping anti-American insurgents in Iraq, but at the same time, the USA is also helping anti-Iranian insurgents in Iran. This is a sort of a standoff. Despite proclamations against Iranian leadership, the Administration has bent out of its way to say, for the most part, that Iranian leaders are not directly implicated in this and they actually might not be.

4. A total pass on WMD proves cooperation. The USA had absolutely no problem launching a unilateral war on Iraq because of WMD that didn't even exist, but Iran has 9000 centrifuges spinning and there's not been a shot fired. Even the claim that the Iraqi invasion has weakened the USA abilities to conduct airstrikes doesn't wash. The Navy and Air Force are certainly not tied down. The USA has, since the invasion of Iraq, conducted airstrikes in Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan... rumoured to have conducted airstrikes in Oman and a number of other places. A flight of cruise missiles takes Natanz out... but, it's still going on.

the bottom line is, Iran is what is today because the Bush administration sees it is ok. All of this war mongering stuff is just a big old ruse to amelioriate the masses in both countries. At the end of the day, there is a working partnership in the middle east between the USA and Iran, the goal of which is to place the middle east under the Iranian umbrella as a counterweight to Russia, the EU, and China...

Baby steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23287430)

How to prepare the public mind for an unjustified war in two sentences within three easy steps ...

1. "One surprise [surprise!] of the tour was the presence of Iran's defense minister, Mostafa Mohammad Najjar. His attendance struck some analysts [gotta love weasel words] as odd [seriously, very odd .. oh wait where's the prime minister?] given Iran's claim that the desert labors are entirely peaceful in nature[the fuckers, now we have proooffs!!1!]. In one picture, Mr. Najjar, smiling widely, [oh shits, he was having a fantasy on worlds domination!!1!!] appears to lead the presidential retinue."

2. ??

3. Get screwed by your government and get thousands killed and displaced.
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