Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Report Claims Iran Has Data To Build a Nuclear Bomb

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the don't-tell-cheney dept.

The Military 630

reporter writes "According to a startling report just covered by the New York Times, 'senior staff members of the United Nations nuclear agency have concluded in a confidential analysis that Iran has acquired sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable atom bomb.' In 2007, American intelligence erroneously concluded that Tehran in 2003 stopped further research into designing a nuclear bomb. This conclusion was contradicted by German, French, and Israeli intelligence. Recently, London also concluded that the American assessment is incorrect. So, here we are. The Iranians have the knowledge to build a nuclear bomb and have been working relentlessly to perfect its design. Tehran is apparently able to create the components (e.g. enriched uranium) that can be assembled into such a weapon. Meanwhile, Jerusalem is communicating with the Kremlin about a list of Russian scientists it believes are assisting Iran's efforts to develop the bomb."

cancel ×

630 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

More proof (2, Insightful)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634259)

More proof that the overt cold war ended, but the covert battle continues.

from the same (1)

markringen (1501853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634271)

from the same guy who created the iraq reports? which had an amazing knack to disappear every time you needed evidence of fraud.

Not the first middle east nuke (4, Insightful)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634273)

Should we really be so shocked? Haven't nuclear weapons been present in the middle east for over 3 decades now, in Israel [fas.org] ?

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634353)

Should we really be so shocked? Haven't nuclear weapons been present in the middle east for over 3 decades now, in Israel [fas.org]?

Yes, but Israel deserves a much higher level of trust than Iran. Even in the 1973 war, when Israel was facing defeat - and a defeat would have meant, literally, annihilation - Israel did not use its nukes (and it almost certainly had them by then).

Iran, on the other hand - a country which has a president that denies the Holocaust while inviting the world's most well known Holocaust-deniers and general racists to visit for conferences, a country which rigs elections in such an obvious way that even its own citizens are aware of it, a nation whose people are taken away and never seen again should they say anything to challenge the president or "Supreme Leader" - cannot be trusted to not use its nuclear weapons.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (5, Insightful)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634399)

Yes, but Israel deserves a much higher level of trust than Iran. Even in the 1973 war, when Israel was facing defeat - and a defeat would have meant, literally, annihilation - Israel did not use its nukes (and it almost certainly had them by then).

So by that logic, a nuclear power that uses its weapons cannot be trusted, right? Who gets to choose which countries can be trusted? Have you spoken with anyone from Nagasaki about this question?

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634457)

Who gets to choose which countries can be trusted?

The UN, hopefully. And hopefully they'll realise Iran shouldn't be.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (1, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634525)

That's part of why the Soviet Union developed nukes, because without the ability to retaliate, they felt themselves to be at the mercy of the US.

But fast forward to today. Considering (a) the huge number of nukes available, and (b) the successful treaty organizations which ensure that an attack against almost any developing or developed nation would bring into play a nuclear-armed nation, there's only one reason that any nation would want to obtain nukes themselves: to use them, consequences be damned.

This goes double for Iran, whose leaders are driven in part by religious ideology and irrational hatred of Israel, and for North Korea, whose leader is outright bat-shit insane.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (4, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634643)

What a load of crap.

Iran has signed, to my knowledge, a treaty about nuclear arms reduction, granting them the fricking right to use nuclear material for peaceful purposes.

Germany has not, and as the German comedian Volker Pispers is apt to say: After all, it was Iran who was responsible for two World Wars, unlike Germany who has such a great track record.

Basically, we are breaking the contract here. So what if Iran knows how to build them? As long as they do not, they are keeping their end of the deal, whereas we are all out breaking it just because we don't like their faces, or some such.

Our being afraid is good enough reason to force our wishes upon them? And you fucking wonder why the Arab nations like us westerners so much?

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (-1, Troll)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634737)

I'm guessing you weren't alive in 1979 when the US Embassy in Iran was overrun and everybody inside taken hostage.
For roughly 400 days they Iranians held those hostages. Why? Nobody remembers why, but they did it - and if nobody remembers why, it must not have been a very memorable reason (if any.)
Let them build nukes and they can take entire nations hostage.

They've shown they will do it - that's not the question.
The question is whether we will let them - in the same way we don't let Japan or Germany rebuild a formidable military. Pretty simple math, if you ask me.

That said, it's not rocket science, merely advanced physics. Surely I'm not the only person walking the streets that has a firm understanding of the fundamentals and given access to the right materials could build one.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (2, Insightful)

Daemonax (1204296) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634559)

As for which countries can be trusted. Ones with secular governments that keep religion out of government policy and decisions.

The EU, America, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and others I think can be trusted.

Of course the previous American government was pretty worrying. Hopefully American citizens have learnt their lesson, and hopefully the republican party will fix themselves. They've been catering to the loons, and that's dangerous for everyone.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (3, Interesting)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634657)

I'd agree with Australia and New Zealand... but are you fricking out of your mind about the others?!

America has proven to be untrustworthy repeatedly. So has Israel, war mongering bastards that they are. Being surrounded by EU countries, let me tell you that I trust them as far as I can bloody throw the lot of them.

If it's a matter of trust, frankly I trust no single country to have nukes. I want OPPOSING forces to have nukes in order to generate a stalemate. That's the only security there is.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (4, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634731)

As for which countries can be trusted. Ones with secular governments that keep religion out of government policy and decisions. The EU, America, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and others I think can be trusted. Of course the previous American government was pretty worrying. Hopefully American citizens have learnt their lesson, and hopefully the republican party will fix themselves. They've been catering to the loons, and that's dangerous for everyone.

America has a colorful and long history of overturning small nations because their dictator or democratically elected government has displeased us. If I were a small nation that disagreed with America's ideology (which does include stuff like assassinations and coups in order to help spread business interests), I don't think I'd trust America. Israel frequently claims to be halting settlement of Palestinian-majority areas followed by revelations that they're funding and encouraging that settlement. I wouldn't trust them either. In military matters I do feel that I could trust the EU, NZ, and Australia.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (5, Insightful)

lepidosteus (1102443) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634757)

Yeah, the USA would never use religion as a motivation to go to war

George Bush: 'God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq' [guardian.co.uk] (another source [independent.co.uk] )

George Bush has claimed he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, ...

Palin: Iraq is a task 'from God.' [thinkprogress.org]

Sarah Palin (R-AK) addressed the graduating class of commission students at the Wasilla Assembly of God church. During that address, Palin portrayed the Iraq was as a quest decreed by God, and said that U.S. soldiers were carrying out "God's plan"

I'm sure we could find the same kind of thing for every country you listed, these were just the ones I could remember from the top of my head

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634437)

Okay, how many nukes were captured by the enemy of Israel in 1973? I guess not too many ;).
And please remind me who won the 1973 war?
Nukes can't be trusted in anyone's hands. End of story. Should other countries have nukes? That can be argued.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (0, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634523)

Do you understand that the only country by far that has used nuclear weapons is USA? And it wasn't anywhere near the last defence mechanism - it was just to show off (and then killing millions of people).

Bullshit! (-1, Troll)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634583)

Go read some goddamn history fool! The world was killing each other by the millions. Enough was enough.

Re:Bullshit! (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634655)

"We did so because other did so too."

In retrospect, I glad you - USA - haven't copied what Hitler did.

Re:Bullshit! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634767)

I don't know, if the USA had killed all of their jews and homosexuals then they'd be a long way behind the rest of the world scientifically, so their military wouldn't be such a threat to small countries, and fewer people would want nukes. Mind you, they'd probably have lost the cold war, so things might not be better overall...

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (5, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634697)

it was just to show off (and then killing millions of people).

Umm, no.

The USA used the Bomb to avoid killing millions of people. Instead, we killed a couple hundred thousand between the two Bombs (we killed more people bombing Tokyo than both Bombs killed), and saved a few million of our own people (sorry, in the calculus of war, casualties on your side count for more than casualties on the other side).

As well as saving the millions of Japanese that would have been killed if we'd invaded the Home Islands. Not, I think, that we had nearly as much interest in saving Japanese civilians as in saving the lives of the American soldiers who would've died in an invasion.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (1)

zmooc (33175) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634527)

And now... just for fun ... make a list of middle eastern countries that started a war recently and go see where the countries you mention are in the list.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (2, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634593)

Yes, but Israel deserves a much higher level of trust than Iran. Even in the 1973 war, when Israel was facing defeat - and a defeat would have meant, literally, annihilation - Israel did not use its nukes (and it almost certainly had them by then).

In that war, Israel threatened to use nuclear weapons as a last resort, causing the US to send aid to make sure the war didn't reach that point.

Iran, on the other hand - a country which has a president that denies the Holocaust while inviting the world's most well known Holocaust-deniers and general racists to visit for conferences, a country which rigs elections in such an obvious way that even its own citizens are aware of it, a nation whose people are taken away and never seen again should they say anything to challenge the president or "Supreme Leader" - cannot be trusted to not use its nuclear weapons.

I don't like Ahmadinejad, and I don't like many recent Israeli leaders either. There are stupid fuckers on both sides who'd like to kill people for having a different religion. Read about the Qibya massacre [wikipedia.org] , and tell me Sharon was any saner than Ahmadinejad.

Israel is a rogue state too, has in the past been prevented from using nuclear weapons pretty narrowly (and only by a superpower doing exactly what it was told), and could easily elect another genocidal nutcase.

Personally, I'm not sure any human can be trusted with nuclear weapons, but Israel seems to be a greater danger than most other nuclear states.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634733)

Israel is a rogue state too, has in the past been prevented from using nuclear weapons pretty narrowly (and only by a superpower doing exactly what it was told), and could easily elect another genocidal nutcase.

"Rogue state"? Israel is a secular democracy, the only one of its kind in the middle east. Whether or not it was "prevented" from using nuclear weapons is debatable, at best. And electing "another genocidal nutcase" would require it to elect a first genocidal nutcase.

Compare the comments coming out of Iran recently, to those coming out of Israel, and tell me which nation is full of genocidal nutcases. Also tell me who locks away anyone who disagrees with the Supreme Leader, who steals elections, and who threatens to wipe other nations off the map.

What a bizarre definition of "rogue state".

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634743)

In that war, Israel threatened to use nuclear weapons as a last resort, causing the US to send aid to make sure the war didn't reach that point.

They certainly suggested that they'd use their nuclear arsenal if needed.

But, the aid the USA sent was meaningless, except as a morale booster. The Israelis shot away more ordnance in the first few hours of the war than we were able to send them in the way of "aid".

Yeah, if the war had gone on for a few months, we could have (and would have) sent them enough aid to sink the entire country. But what we actually sent before peace was declared was a few planeloads of ordnance (and you fight wars with shiploads of ordnance, not planeloads).

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (3, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634391)

Should we really be so shocked? Haven't nuclear weapons been present in the middle east for over 3 decades now, in Israel?

True, but not really relevant. Israel had significant help from France, an existing nuclear power, and apartheid South Africa, which was presumably closer to nuclear weapons at that point (the apartheid government destroyed its warheads shortly before it left power, and subsequent governments have shown no interest in rebuilding them). It seems improbable that the West is currently helping Iran.

Of course, while it doesn't have a bearing on how easy it is to build them, Israeli nuclear weapons do cause other countries in the area to want nuclear weapons, and provide then with an excuse.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (1, Troll)

Brian Stretch (5304) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634611)

That's like saying that if the reasonably sane and responsible fellow is allowed to own firearms then why isn't the violent and mentally unbalanced crackhead, played by Ahmadinejad this week?

Seriously, Israel has a tiny sliver of land and is surrounded by neighbors who have repeatedly tried to exterminate them. The Iranian theocracy has made it abundantly clear that they want to nuke Israel. Given that a) Israel is already a nuclear power, b) Tehran's geography is an ideal nuclear kill zone, and c) the Iranian theocracy thinks it's possible to induce the return of the "twelfth imam" and the end of the world, maybe it would be a bad idea to let Iran's suicidal dictatorship get nukes?

Personally I'd like to see the Iranian pro-democracy dissidents succeed and overthrow the mullahs but since the theocrats have all the guns and no qualms about using them it doesn't seem likely. Too bad, it looks like Iran is about where the Soviet Union was in their final years, a brutal but wobbly government hated by its people. We need another Reagan but we've got another Carter.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (1)

tukang (1209392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634683)

Whether or not Israel deserves a higher level of trust is arguable but it's irrelevant because if there's one region in the world that should be nuke free, then it's the middle east. The fact that Israel has introduced nukes to the mideast is unacceptable because history has shown that the introduction of nukes inevitably leads to an arms race because countries want to make sure they have a deterrence. Just look at what Pakistan did when India got nukes or how they test their nukes in sync. Israel needs to get rid of their nukes so Iran does not have a legitimate reason (deterrence) to pursue their own program. Just as we believe Iran is not trustworthy, the Iranians believe Israel is not trustworthy (and "unbalanced") - and Israel owns nukes. Think about that for a moment.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634747)

Whether or not Israel deserves a higher level of trust is arguable but it's irrelevant because if there's one region in the world that should be nuke free, then it's the middle east. The fact that Israel has introduced nukes to the mideast is unacceptable because history has shown that the introduction of nukes inevitably leads to an arms race because countries want to make sure they have a deterrence. Just look at what Pakistan did when India got nukes or how they test their nukes in sync. Israel needs to get rid of their nukes so Iran does not have a legitimate reason (deterrence) to pursue their own program.

Just as we believe Iran is not trustworthy, the Iranians believe Israel is not trustworthy (and "unbalanced") - and Israel owns nukes. Think about that for a moment.

nice logical argument. Not sure what that has to do with Iran. Do you really believe Iran would not have attempted to build nuclear arms if Israel did not have nukes? I totally disagree. I would also disagree that North Korea is just building nukes because China has them too.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634761)

Imagining Iran as pre-fall-of-communism Russia is like comparing my garden with a 480 acre farm.
In other words, unless you are my next door neighbor, my garden should be none of your concern.

Re:Not the first middle east nuke (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634669)

India and Pakistan [bbc.co.uk] also have nuclear weapons, and their relationship is even more volatile than that between Iran and Israel. Why should the rest of us (especially those in countires without nuclear weapons anyway) care what weapons Iran develops?

Zionist propaganda? (0, Troll)

trendzetter (777091) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634275)

Low on substance. High on unreliable sources. This is not news for nerds.

Re:Zionist propaganda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634395)

Low on substance. High on unreliable sources. This is not news for nerds.

Therefore it's "Zionist propaganda"? If it quotes "unreliable" sources, does that make it so different from all other news articles? Your post is a perfect example of "low on substance", with a bit of bigotry thrown in for good measure.

Internet access (5, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634277)

Doesn't that just proof that they have Internet access?

Re:Internet access (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634325)

Good point, but flawed.

Building a nuke from say... wikipedia entries is kinda like writing the Linux kernal from scratch by reading man pages

Re:Internet access (5, Informative)

type40 (310531) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634387)

Right, because nukes are so impossibly hard to build that a layman, say a truck driver, couldn't possibly figure out how gen 1 atomic bombs were constructed.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/12/15/081215fa_fact_samuels

Re:Internet access (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634407)

It's not as if Iran doesn't have it's own physicists, engineers and explosives experts who can fill in the gaps.

Re:Internet access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634499)

Not necessarily - they could have gotten the plans from a BBS. Though if so, may God bless their souls if they try to build one. Compared to the how-to files of dubious origin that made their way from BBS to BBS in the old days, even Wikipedia looks more stunningly accurate than Heisenberg allows.

Re:Internet access (2, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634551)

Doesn't that just proof that they have Internet access?

No. It proves they don't If they did have internet access, you know their geeks would be surfing porn and playing WoW instead of building bombs.

Geeze.

Yeah yeah, everyone has that data (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634283)

Wiki nukes - The nuke building resource that anyone can edit.

Kim_Jong_il (Reverted edits by Ali Khamenei (talk) to last version by Sadr-e-Mumlikat)

US Intelligence (4, Insightful)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634295)

How reliable is US intelligence today? I mean, they were wrong (or lied) about Iraq, and now they are seemingly wrong about Iran.

I cannot make up my mind which is worse, them being wrong or them lieing...

Lies, thats worse...

But them being (apparently) wrong on this makes me wonder how often they are wrong with intel regarding the The War On Terror (TM)

Re:US Intelligence (2, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634339)

Do you seriously believe intelligence work is the same as what you see in Mission Impossible?

Re:US Intelligence (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634495)

you mean it isnt? Dont tell me they dont speak 50 languages (mm, that was jason bourne), that they don't keep doing synchronized stunts day long, over and over with people semi flying in the air to save the world from doom every day with cute gadgets like invisible cars (mmm, that was james bond)?

man, I'm so disappointed... what are they going to say next? if people keep at this rate, soon they're gonna say santa claus doesnt exist!

Re:US Intelligence (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634543)

How did you get from my post that I think intelligence work is like what I see in Mission Impossible?

I have not even SEEN mission impossible.

I did read "See No Evil" written by Robert Baer though. Good read.

Well woopty-doo... (2, Funny)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634591)

I DID stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night!

Re:US Intelligence (1)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634347)

It's Probably a ploy not to go to war, at the moment the USA is extremely pacifistic about war now that its in 2 different countries. going to a 3rd wouldn't make popularity of war any good.

though any country who doesn't want Iran with nukes should declare war... its like the time before ww2 all over again... just without nukes

so is Iran going to use them? well unlike alot of different countries, Iran is active saying they would attack different countries, or make threats (like to the USA and Israel) additionally the fact that the government doesn't represent the people only gives reinforcement to that.

Re:US Intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634411)

The U.S. intelligence departments were gutted a couple of decades back when more reliance was to be placed in "technology" instead of human resources. What a bright idea that was!

Now they can't use harsh interrogation methods, and are threatened with prosecution for past practices. I don't blame them for failures; I blame Congress.

Funny how when other intelligence agencies agree with ours, most of you don't think they're right. And when they disagree with ours, you agree with them. Make up your minds!

Re:US Intelligence (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634557)

Did you read See No Evil? Good book that.

I did not agree or disagree with either side, note my abundant use of "apparently" etc.

Re:US Intelligence (3, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634435)

I think that people have some kind of idea that intelligence is supposed to be perfect. It never is. At best it can give you general information about what somebody is up to, and it can also give you misinformation if the aversary is clever enough to feed it to you carefully.

Intelligence is a good way to supplement policy, or military strategy. It can't replace other factors, such as strong negotiating power or a strong military. It must still be used with caution.

IMHO, the world is playing a very dangerous game with Iran. It seems like people are under the impression that it is fine to just wait to the last minute to commit to a particular course of action. If people are waiting for some unambiguous piece of intelligence before they decide to take action on Iran, I suspect that they're going to be still waiting when the first test detonation goes off.

On the other hand, I can understand US reluctance to take action. Everybody seems to love to poke at the US for taking unilateral action (granted, Iraq certainly didn't help here). However, Iran isn't just a US problem. The US would be better off trying to become less dependant on oil from the middle east, and let the Europeans deal with Iran (they're the only ones in range of their missiles right now). Then the US press can sit back and take pot shots at European leaders when they make mistakes... :)

Re:US Intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634441)

In 2007, the news was that the National Intelligence Estimate was saying that Iran had stopped working on the bomb [washingtonpost.com] . Now, the news is 180 degrees the other way from the same source.

Which report we chose to believe, if any, depends ultimately on what makes sense to us as individuals. With the Iranian Parliament chanting "Death to the USA", I tended to disbelieve the 2007 spin.

Re:US Intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634469)

I'd say very reliable. You can always rely on US intelligence to present a pretense for war.

Re:US Intelligence (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634473)

How reliable is US intelligence today? I mean, they were wrong (or lied) about Iraq, and now they are seemingly wrong about Iran.

They weren't really wrong about Iraq; they presented what they had to the white house, and the white house just suppressed everything that didn't support their neocon worldview.

Re:US Intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634513)

You generally don't hear about the intel successes.

Re:US Intelligence (1, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634521)

How reliable? Hard to say. There have been no further attacks since 9/11. The same people who cry about the poor iraqies are the ones who cried about the poor kurds when they were gassed and right now people who protest Iraq are demanding the worlds intercedes in Darfur and ask why the world allowed rwanda to happen.

Remember, that everyone who reports on these issues has an agenda and that includes the intelligence agencies.

And one of their agenda's is that it is NOT in their intrests to tell everyone what they know.

To get an idea of how hard intelligence is, you should watch the movie Tora Tora Tora! It shows the japanese and american actions before the attack on Pearl Harbour. If you don't know your history that well, you might think at one point that the american have cracked it. A major alert is send out that the japanese WILL attack Pearl Harbour and the entire base is put on full alert. On novermber 31st (forgive me if the date is not exact). The real attack happened of course on the 7th of december. The US intelligence had cracked the code, analysed the enemies actions and correctly predicted their plans. Just got the date wrong.

The result? A cry wolf situation. To many "false" alerts, so that when the final one came, it came to late.

Conspiracy theorists, they are listening in on your line, right NOW!

The japanese had none of these problems, they knew the entire time what day they would attack, they only had one thing to worry about, would they be spotted or not?

The defender always has the thougest job. The attacker only has to be lucky once, the defender every single time. A goalie ain't remembered for the ones he stopped but for the ones he let through.

Iraq was one that got through, how much of it was bad luck, bad judgement or policy, that is very hard to say.

In many ways, I think Iraq was a case of american "arrogance". Americans are raised entirely in their own culture. When I grew up in holland, if you wanted to watch a second tv station, you watched either the brits, belgians or germans depending which was closests. Americans have none of this. Their cultural view is really that everywhere outside america "there be dragons".

They thought that they would simply go into Iraq, topple the leadership and everything be fine. They couldn't comprehend that the oppresive regime had been the lid on a boiling pot of tribal resentment. That there were groups who were NOT waiting to taste the american way of life.

I think someone made a phib, they wanted saddam gone, they knew he had used gas in the past and had been looking for other mass destruction tech and so combined the most dangerous bits of info into a very lethal combo that made the worsed case scenario of a worsed case scenario seem like it was happening right now.

We all do it. "If we don't replace the server TODAY, it will BLOW-UP" is often the only way to get management to move. Only in this case, management was the goverment and armies moved.

How much of all this was pre-planned and how much was bad judgement calls depends on your level of belief in the ability of people to govern (I don't believe goverment is clever enough for big conspiracies, incompetent enough to screw up badly however...)

To get back on track, we know that Iran has backed themselves into a corner. They current powers in Iran need a scapegoat, a boogyman to allow them control all activity in Iran (which is making those in power very rich). They know that invading a nation is certainly possible and Iran is a lot less capable then Iraq was. So, they can't afford to take things to far (Israel has bombed them before and can do so again) but they also can't afford to back down.

Nuclear tech ain't all that hard, building a nuclear bomb you can put on a missle is slightly harder but not impossible. Iran would have to be playing some extreme bluff poker if they weren't at least trying. But so what if they got a bomb? It would put them in an impossible situation. Israel has far more and far more capable. Iran could destroy Israel with a luck shot but they would be blasted into oblivion themselves by Israel and very likely the US. If they fired and MISSED...

And if they had a rocket with a bomb and Israel knows this (and Israeli intelligence is everything US intelligence isn't) then they have just basically forced Israel's hand without any real means to do anything about. Another succesful Israelie strike would make the Iran goverment look extremely silly. (and if the bomb goes off during the strike they couldn't even play innocent).

I think what is happening is something similar to what happened in Iraq. We got a case of bluff poker going out of control and all sides desperately trying to salvage the situation but not sure who they can trust.

It was easier when it was just soviets vs americans. Both sides were just big and bristled but stayed on their own turf because actual fighting would be silly. This is more a case of a rottweiler vs a lapdog. The rottweiler would get a trashing if it just swallowed the lapdog but at the same time, the lapdog is in a prime position to bite the rottweilers nutts.

It will be very intresting to see what happens. Iran might well be digging its own grave. Sometimes by becoming powerful, you only force those more powerful to take you out. I don't think the US wants another front right now, but neither do they want a rogue nuke sitting in the middle east.

Re:US Intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634529)

How reliable is US intelligence today? I mean, they were wrong (or lied) about Iraq, and now they are seemingly wrong about Iran.

I cannot make up my mind which is worse, them being wrong or them lieing...

Lies, thats worse...

But them being (apparently) wrong on this makes me wonder how often they are wrong with intel regarding the The War On Terror (TM)

They weren't wrong. It's just a case of a single typo causing a large misunderstanding.

Re:US Intelligence (1, Insightful)

Daemonax (1204296) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634571)

As far as I know, American intelligent was not wrong about Iraq. The Bush administration instead ignored the stuff that they didn't want to hear, and the report that they released to the public had been heavily edited to make it sound like Saddam was a threat.

Re:US Intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634681)

makes me wonder how often they are wrong with intel regarding the The War On Terror (TM)

Read this:

A Truly Shocking Guantanamo Story: Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions

http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2009/09/30/a-truly-shocking-guantanamo-story-judge-confirms-that-an-innocent-man-was-tortured-to-make-false-confessions/

Anyone else consider it ironic (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634299)

that the Iranians are trying so hard to get access to discoveries primarily made by American Jews?

MOD UP! (1)

type40 (310531) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634409)

Dude, I totally see why you posted AC, but bang F@$k on man.

this frustrates me (1, Troll)

hydrolyzer (1637811) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634313)

I'm not a fan of nuclear weapons in any way shape or form, but if you're going to have them yourself, you cant complain about others wanting them as well. This level of criticism should've been directed at the united states in 1945, not at iran in 2009.

Re:this frustrates me (0, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634537)

Exactly. And this is modded -1? It's insightful. If USA can have them, why not other countries?

Perfectly Legal (4, Insightful)

xquark (649804) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634321)

As a member of the NPT Iran is well within its rights to posses the outlined technologies. The article clearly omits the fact that such capabilities can also lead to better yeilds from civilian/peaceful uses of nuclear technology.

I believe the adage of "it takes one to know one" can be attributed to people claiming Iran intends to use such technologies for aggressive non-peaceful purposes.

Re:Perfectly Legal (1)

t00le (136364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634383)

Iran has a very long history of keeping their word on International matters. Let's not also forget their glowing history with their prisoners (civilians) and that whole pesky voting fraud thing.

Whether they like it, somethings about to give based on the assorted leaks from the Intelligence communities. If the UN doesn't do something quickly, those pesky Jews that Iran hates so much may help "slow" their nuclear goals.

Re:Perfectly Legal (3, Insightful)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634487)

Can you please list the countries Iran has attacked? Talking about history and all...

Re:Perfectly Legal (1)

t00le (136364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634605)

Post-Revolution I can only think of the Iran-Iraq conflict and we know who the US funded. My comment referred to their history of keeping their word, not their hungry desire for spilling the blood of the infidels. Nukes have a long history to act as a deterrent to invasion, which complicate things in the middle east (especially for the Israelis).

Re:Perfectly Legal (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634443)

yes because they are in such dire need of a new energy resource...

Re:Perfectly Legal (2, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634505)

As a member of the NPT Iran is well within its rights to posses the outlined technologies. The article clearly omits the fact that such capabilities can also lead to better yeilds from civilian/peaceful uses of nuclear technology.

Clearly this is a weakness in the NPT. No question that it isn't clear that Iran has violated this treaty.

I believe the adage of "it takes one to know one" can be attributed to people claiming Iran intends to use such technologies for aggressive non-peaceful purposes.

Yup. Perhaps it would be more fair if the Iranians were allowed to develop nuclear weapons. I for one am not interested in fairness on the battlefield, however. It is in the interest of every first world nation to put a rapid stop to Iranian nuclear enrichment efforts. If Iran has complaints about being embargoed or bombed by most of the members of the security council they can file an appeal with the security council.

The balance of terror that currently exists with nuclear weapons is hardly ideal. However, right now it is at least a fairly stable situation (granted, issues with Russia's early warning systems have made things less stable). Dictatorships like Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan tend to destabilize the situation quite a bit. Now, the other two nations lack ICBM capability and only have a few weapons, so that lowers their strategic impact (except for South Korea, Japan, China, and India). Iran is much closer to Europe and everybody is dependant on the Middle East, so they're potentially a lot more dangerous. Plus, Iran has tended to be a bit more flamboyant with regard to rhetoric. NK isn't much better, but China tends to hold them in check since they've very dependant on them.

The world seriously needs to become less dependant on oil. All this blustering in the Middle East would go away pretty quickly if that happened. The region would just turn into another Central Africa where the various parties fight it out and nobody hears about it aside from the occasional relief mission...

Re:Perfectly Legal (3, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634665)

Yup. Perhaps it would be more fair if the Iranians were allowed to develop nuclear weapons. I for one am not interested in fairness on the battlefield, however. It is in the interest of every first world nation to put a rapid stop to Iranian nuclear enrichment efforts.

It's in the interest of every nation to deny every other nation the right to weapons. That doesn't make it right.

Echoing what dustyshadow has said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634509)

Iran has a lot of natural gas. Why use nukes and piss off the west?

I'm not saying they don't have the right to build a nuclear power plant for civilian use, but I don't believe their intentions. Not with the way they've been acting.

Hey! You know who else has that tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634333)

North Korea.

Apparently, no one dares to dream about invading THEM since they got themselves one of those "toys for the big boys".
Gee... I wonder why would Iran work on such technology?

Hey... Such is the world today.
You want to be free to spew your ideological/religious/economic nonsense at the world? Nuke up!
Worked for USA.
Nobody stepped up to challenge Bush for stealing the election, open aggression on two countries without any real evidence of their involvement in an attack on the US, blatant violation of human rights, screwing up flying commercial airlines for everyone in the world and destroying world economy.

Nukes work. Plain and simple.

So does everybody (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634337)

It's perfectly possible to design a basic nuclear weapon with freely-available information today. Any country large enough to have competent physicists and engineers could do it.

Obtaining raw materials is the problem.

There was a project in the US, the name of which I forget (could someone furnish us with a link?), in which a group of scientists with no background in nuclear weapon design and no access to classified information were asked to design a nuclear weapon. They then had experts with access to nuclear test data and so on to analyse the plans and determine whether they would work. The results were classified, but so were the plans, suggesting they worked.

Re:So does everybody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634471)

India and Pakistan and North Korea did.

Many are sick of past lies - Proof of WMD anybody? Knowing and doing are entirely different concepts.

Given US knew in 1942, so after *67* Sixty Seven years or so a few third world countries have closed the gap, and other smarties with an internet connection can too. Russian and China only needed 10 years - which says something.

So it is really a bloody good effort to keep them in the dark this long, and by sending out scientist assassination squads, hopefully one can buy a few more years.

But like the horse and cart, progress will march forward. Any preemptive strikes or attacks will be the perfect excuse for all the other non-nuclear states to gear up. Tricky problem.

So have I (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634343)

And, as mentioned above, pretty much everyone with an internet access and a curious mind.
Even without it, with a little help from a Finite Element Analysis software and the most basic equation from Particle physics and theoretical chemistry, pretty much anyone can aquire the Data to build the bomb.
The Manhattan project used punchcard analog computers and human calculators (google it) to derive the necessary data, every desktop computer has much more calculating power.
However this is not the issue. The issue is how to apply this knowledge, this is what eats up all the budget of most Nuclear programs. Its not enough to know how to separate the uranium isotopes with a gas centrifuge, you have to build it, actually several thousands of them, and even then it will take years.

IMHO its not about the Data we should be worried, its about whether or not they have the necessary hardware to apply this data.

Re:So have I (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634549)

for anyone who has taken enough physics and chemistry classes, or can read wikipedia, accessing the knowledge about how a nuclear weapon works is not any great feat. The hard part was accomplished by thousands of physicists and chemists in the late 30s and early 40s.

The HARD part as you mentioned is building the equipment required to gain the raw materials. Given how tyrannies such as Iran work, it's not manpower that is the problem, so they have access to thousands of people to do the work - the problem is building quality tooling capable of machining the equipment required to refine the fissionable material. They could build a crude device like "little boy" but Iran would take years to produce enough fissionable material for just ONE of those devices, and delivering that one would ensure their nation is turned into a sheet of glass. In order to do real harm they need many smaller, multi-megaton weapons AND the means to deliver them quickly and accurately. Without help from the USA (HA!), Israel (HA!), Russia (possibly. . .) or China (more likely but not probable given how devastating the response would be) they (Iran) are likely decades away from achieving their goals.

Well duh (3, Insightful)

mario_grgic (515333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634351)

Almost anyone could make an A-bomb if they had sufficient amount of weapons grade uranium 235, or plutonium. The real challenge is extracting the uranium 235 isotope from uranium ore.

Even Wikipedia has enough detail on both purification and bomb building to give you a good head start. I don't think the challenge is the lack of theoretical knowledge or the process, but technology to do so. Those centrifuges are not easy to make (they spin up to 90,000 RPM) and something as a fingerprint on one of them will make it shatter when it's spinning that fast.

But these days, almost any country that really wants to (and does not care about political or economic repercussions) could develop nuclear technology.

Re:Well duh (1)

jmv (93421) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634587)

Almost anyone could make an A-bomb if they had sufficient amount of weapons grade uranium 235, or plutonium. The real challenge is extracting the uranium 235 isotope from uranium ore.

Actually, anyone can build a Uranium bomb given the Uranium and anyone can extract Plutonium. The tough part with the Plutonium bomb is not to extract the plutonium, but to make a bomb that achieves critical mass quickly enough.

Why shouldnt Iran have a Abomb in the first place? (0, Troll)

muuh-gnu (894733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634405)

The only way to use the A-bomb is to kill civilans en masse. Theres no military use of an A-bomb without 99% civil casualties.

So, supposed we dont want Iran to be able to kill civilians en masse, why should we allow _anybody else_ to be able to kill civilians en masse? What is the precise reason the US/UK/ France/Russia _need_ to have an A-bomb but Iran doesnt?

Re:Why shouldnt Iran have a Abomb in the first pla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634479)

It's a pretty simple answer, considering Iran's clear intentions to "Wipe Israel off the map".
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/27/israel.iran

Re:Why shouldnt Iran have a Abomb in the first pla (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634541)

Theres no military use of an A-bomb without 99% civil casualties.

This is an utterly ridiculous thing to say. The standard US warhead, the W88, has a yield of 475 kilotons. That gives it a third degree burn radius of only nine kilometres.

Do you really think it's impossible to deploy a weapon with a nine kilometre radius of effect without causing 99% civilian casualties? Really? Of course it isn't. That's not to say that they wouldn't, in most scenarios, be deployed against urban areas and cause huge civilian casualties, because they would. But huge civilian casualties isn't a property inherent to the weapon itself! It doesn't spawn a few hundred thousand civilians ready to be incinerated, you have to fire it at an area full of civilians!

Re:Why shouldnt Iran have a Abomb in the first pla (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634561)

If you mean, "Why is there a nuclear arms race?"

It's because Eisenhower fired Patton.

The only way to win is not to play (1)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634423)

I bet they can't wait to join the lets-pay-huge-amounts-of-money-to-maintain-dormant-stockpiles-of-useless-weapons club.

Nuke knowledge probably widely available (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634425)

If any country doesn't have plans for at least a 1940s-era bomb, it's for lack of trying.

Having blueprints and having the means to build a bomb are two very different things.

Besides, a lot has changed since the 1940s - it's very hard to hide the very-large-real-estate/very-high-power-demand technology the Manhattan Project used to enrich uranium.

Did you ever wonder why... (5, Insightful)

aGuyNamedJoe (317081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634427)

One thing about being part of the "Axis of Evil" is that it tends to make one feel insecure. Sometimes other countries threaten to invade and/or talk about bombing back to the stone age... and then one notices that they don't talk that way about countries with nukes...

just sayin..

Re:Did you ever wonder why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634563)

And yet Obama has gone to extreme lengths to "engage" Iran, and that hasn't helped much either, has it?

Re:Did you ever wonder why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634579)

Reliable reports say US talked that way to Pakistan (which is known to have nuclear weapons) after 9/11.

Eheh (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634597)

That is the US logic about gun ownership. If you own a gun, criminals (with guns) will stay away from you.

Sure... because no criminal would ever just shoot you if they think you have a gun and just take your money of your corpse.

Iran doesn't want to be invaded so it develops weapons of mass destruction... That worked REALLY well for sadam didn't it (people forget that Saddam might have had any, but constantly pretended that he did).

Sorry, but your logic falls flat in the real world. Countless nations don't have nukes and don't invaded at all.

Re:Eheh (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634691)

Countless nations don't have nukes and don't invaded at all.

Because either they don't have any resources that a military power might care about (ie. most poor countries) or they're buddy buddy with a nuclear state (ie. most wealthy countries).

Re:Eheh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634739)

All that shows is pretending you have a "gun" doesn't work, as sooner or later folks notice you painted over the little orange bits of plastic on that watergun you've been waving around.

New war in Middle East (1)

velja27 (1427879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634451)

seems inevitable right now and America must protect it's territory or they will be endangered by Iran in no time(or just a little bit of time).

Re:New war in Middle East (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634517)

I think it's that kind of attitude that makes sure that countries WANT to have nukes.

Iran wants to protect his territory as well, don't they have the right to protect themselves?

I think US confused Irak and Iran. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634455)

You were right that they were developing WMD, it was just Iran, not Irak. Blame it on the autocorrect :p

ZOMG!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634477)

Iran has acquired sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable atom bomb

You mean their scientists have a grasp on basic chem and physics? O NOES!!

Somone slept during the geography lessons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634497)

Some people seem not to know what the capitals and the seat of governments are for some countries. The capital and seat of government for israel is tel aviv. Everyone should know that as they just recently celebrated the city. Jerusalem is disputed and illegally annexed according to every state on this earth and UN. Even USA (incl. during Bush) to recognize jerusalem in any other terms than disputed and annexed territory.

And Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634507)

If you RTFA you'll see that it's highly qualified to the effect that "we really don't have good intelligence."

I remember watching Colin Powell at the UN showing aerial slides that I couldn't figure out that he said were mobile chemical weapons plants.

I remember thinking to myself, "Well I think this WMD business is bullshit, but if the whole Bush Administration is going to put themselves on the line over it, then maybe there's something to it. If they're lying, Bush will lose the next election."

Anyone who unskeptically believes the government is stupid.

The Genie is out of the bottle. (3, Insightful)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634535)

The Genie is out of the bottle.

Further, it is the height of arrogance that we sit on an arsenal of thousands of nuclear weapons and sit on high and tell the rest of the world, "No, you cannot have nuclear weapons."

I thought "Do as I say, not as I do" was stupid when I was a child, and I still do as an adult.

If I were in charge of a nation and any nation with nuclear weapons tried to tell me I could not have them I would tell them to come back when they have no nuclear weapons themselves.

But, given the nature of American diplomacy today, where we will invade anyone without the bomb in the name of "democracy and freedom", if I were in charge of a nation without the bomb I would make it my nation's highest priority to obtain it so that I would not be the next nation who has American "democracy and freedom" brought to me on the tip of a sword.

dimona anyone? (3, Insightful)

jt418-93 (450715) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634553)

as soon as dimona is opened up for inspection, the isralis can whine all they want, until they sign off on the ntp and all ow inspections, they need the seiously stfu.

Data is simplistic (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634581)

Skill is a bit harder to come by.. You have to go buy/threaten an ex soviet scientist for that.

Iran sells crude oil for euros not dollars,btw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634585)

Total coincidentally, of course. They switched over a whole year ago [reuters.com] now, and of course americans don't have an attention span long enough to allow them to build up an excuse to attack Iran. Oh no.

The country people *should* be bombing the fuck out of is Saudi Arabia. They're seriously evil bastards.

1940s tech (1)

cirby (2599) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634589)

Just remember, "building a nuclear weapon" requires technology from 64 years ago.

"Building a thermonuclear weapon" requires technology from 55 years ago.

"Compact thermonuclear warheads" (deployable on medium-sized missiles) requires technology from 47 years ago.

On the engineering and manufacturing side, the hard part is creating metal parts with really, really fine tolerances. Which requires machining equipment you can buy for under a hundred thousand dollars nowadays.

The only hard part about building a nuclear weapon is getting the materials...

So does everybody else. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29634667)

Any competent physicist who can get the tools and materials (that's the hard part) can do it.

Big surprise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634705)

...an U235 device (like this one [wikipedia.org] ) kan be built on the kitchen table by anyone.

The only real challenge in the project is getting your hands on enough U235.
If you didn't learn it in school, you may read how to do it in "The Fourth Protocol" by Frederick Forsyth...

Engineering consent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29634729)

Elections on my TV. Obama at the UN saying, "No," to nukes. Media telling me Iran might have nukes. Iranian president gives hateful speech at UN. Conflict with Israel.

Me thinks they're getting ready to start a war.
And they're engineering consent.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?