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Nuclear Training Software Downloaded To Iran

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the round-up-the-usual-suspects dept.

Security 470

SixFactor sends in word of a theft of training software for a nuclear plant. An ex-employee of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, in Arizona, allegedly downloaded training software to his laptop while he was in Iran. The software was downloaded from a Maryland-based contractor to the nuclear plant. It contained information about the Palo Verde facility: control rooms, reactors, and design. It was used to simulate situations for training at the site. Why the ex-engineer downloaded the software is not known. What is troubling is this person's ability to access the software after his employment at the site ended.

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Yawn. (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837193)

Got to make sure everyone is scared of the Iranians, so there won't be an outcry when the bombing starts.

Re:Yawn. (5, Informative)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837219)

from TFA:

Federal authorities have said the incident did not pose a security risk, and there is no evidence the Iranian government was involved. The information contained on the software was not classified or top-secret, APS officials said.

Well, then I'm not too scared. They did a pretty crummy job of whipping me into a frenzied lust for Iranian blood if they're also telling me that it was just crap that he got ahold of. And that he wasn't neccessarily working for the Iranian government.

Re:Yawn. (5, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837369)

Speaking of which, did you know in the 1970s the US was actively assisting [blogspot.com] Iran in developing nuclear power, including bringing their nuclear scientists over to train at MIT? Those scientists now form the backbone of Iran's program. Given the stagnation of nuclear power science and technology since then (especially in the US), that knowledge is still very pertinent.

None of which is to say I'd like Iran to go nuclear, nor do I believe their claim of only being interested in power generation (after watching what happened to their neighbor, there's simply no way Iran could not want that protection).

Consider the time, though. (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837543)

Well, that's really not too hard to believe -- up until 1978, when the current bunch of crackpots took over, Iran was a fairly strong U.S. ally in the region. Which isn't to say that the Shah was exactly a nice fellow that you'd want to invite over for dinner, but that GE and Westinghouse were working to sell nuclear-power stuff there isn't as untoward as it might sound. It's just like U.S. corporations doing business in China right now. Sure, they may be a bunch of despicable despots, but they're despicable despots allied with us.

The Iranian Revolution is a little before my time, so I'm not sure exactly what the zeitgeist in the U.S. was when it happened, but it certainly seems like we got caught with our pants down -- I mean, we had all those people in the embassy that got caught, because we didn't pull them out before the shit hit the fan; I don't know if that was just the Carter administration being typically asleep at the switch, or if nobody suspected things were deteriorating that quickly, but in either case, it explains why, a few years previously, nobody was really thinking too hard about selling them crap (particularly not when it would have brought a few billion bucks to the U.S, which at the time was seriously rusting). Plus, anything to keep them on our side instead of going over to the Soviets for their nuclear needs -- it's not as though they would have had (or have had, since) much compunction about selling reactors to anyone with the hard currency to buy them.

When viewed in the context of the period, the U.S. actions may have been a little shortsighted, but they're not as bald-facedly hypocritical as some people today like to make them seem.

Ultimately, the critical mistake of U.S. policy during the latter part of the 20th century was to think that the enemy of our Enemy (and that's how we really seemed to think about it; Enemy with a capital 'E,' that's E that rhymes with C and that stands for Communism) was our friend. In time, I think we're going to look back on the halcyon days of the Cold War with nostalgia, when we had an enemy who was basically rational and we could sit down over a negotiating table and talk to, or pull out a map and point at.

Re:Consider the time, though. (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837617)

Just to clear the air about Iran, It wasn't a matter of the enemy of the enemy. We have always had some relationship with the area, but the most noticeable interaction was WW1 and the fall of the ottoman empire. The winners took it upon themselves to redistribute the areas based on some old boundaries and each these territories were divided among different allied countries to maintain peace and establish a workable country from the ashes. This was the mandate of the league of nations and cause israel (with the balfour declaration) to happen well before WW2 were most people try to place the blame.

This is how the British and french got involved in the middle east and eventually pulled America with them. The french got Vietnam too and there were several other parts to note. It is strange but most of the problems areas we have faced in the end of the last century were problems we were trying to fix at the beginning.

But you are right in that we had a big problem with siding with people just because they were against our enemy. Our involvement with Iraq was one issue were at the request of Kuwait we helped Iraq defend Kuwait from Iran. Before this, we didn't care for Iraq and favored Iran until they revolted into what they are today.

Re:Consider the time, though. (3, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837673)

While I'm no great fan of constructive engagement with China, engaging middle eastern despots doesn't seem unreasonable, especially in the context of the cold war. In fact, given that attempting to bring democracy to the region has failed in Iraq and they have a shared enemy in the form of Islamic radicals, I think the US will go back to doing this once Bush has left office.

And the good people at the UN have decided in the Non Proliferation Treaty that every state has the 'inalienable right' to develop nuclear power, as current Iranian president Ahmacrazyguy never tires of pointing out. The idea was that in return for signing it, the nuclear powers would help them with non proliferating power stations, under IAEA supervision. All of which is utterly laughable given the way India, Pakistan and now North Korea and Iran have stayed in the NPT long enough to build up a domestic nuclear industry and then quit just before detonating their first bomb.

Looking at the Shah's program, he would probably have pulled the same trick. As some expat Iranian pointed out to me, the Shah wasn't very nice, but he also wasn't stupid.

Re:Consider the time, though. (1)

xquark (649804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837751)

The reason why the US was late in pulling its people out was because
after supporting the Shah and then seeing him grow the brass balls
needed to ask for more than $30 per barrel the US began supporting the
revolutionary movement that was beginning to grow in Iran and which
was being controlled by Khomeini in Paris - with the hopes that by
destabilizing the current regime they could bring about another regime
that might be more friendly or more brainless or both towards their
oil and gas negotiations.

My guess is the Carter administration thought that the friendly smiles
and winks they were getting from the "new kids on the block" was going
to last indefinitely.

Re:Yawn. (5, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837579)

So what if he was?

Playing the devil advocate - I would rather have them manage their nuclear stations safely correctly and being properly trained then having yet another Chernobyl. So if their nuclear espionage stays within the limit of nicking our safety training software for a nuclear plant I would say: Spy more please. And do it more successfully. Please. Pretty please...

Let's tone down the hysteria a notch or two (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837607)

By 'yet another Chernobyl' I assume you mean the second one.

Yeah, that would be the devil's advocate. (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837645)

Playing the devil advocate - I would rather have them manage their nuclear stations safely correctly and being properly trained then having yet another Chernobyl. So if their nuclear espionage stays within the limit of nicking our safety training software for a nuclear plant I would say: Spy more please. And do it more successfully. Please. Pretty please...

True, but if the reactor in question is a Pu breeder, like the Iraqi one the Israelis blew up at Osirak, then I'd much rather they didn't learn how to operate it safely. (That's kinda like saying "gee, I hope those guys know how to operate that gas chamber safely, I sure wouldn't want them to accidentally inhale some by mistake.")

If all they're doing is building light-water power reactors to keep the lights on, by all means I wish them, and the workers there, well. But I really don't think that's what they're up to. Anyone with half a brain can tell that they desperately want a bomb -- and probably if I were in their shoes, I'd want a bomb too. But that doesn't mean that as a Westerner and an American, that I want them to have one, because frankly I think there's too great a chance it might end up going off in my front yard.

All things considered, I'd much rather they melt it into a (radioactive) smoking hole in the desert.

Re:Yeah, that would be the devil's advocate. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837749)

Readers, take note. This is likely the smartest way possible to say something stupid.

Re:Yawn. (0)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837223)

It is well timed, isn't it?

Which bombing? (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837241)

Do you mean the nuclear strikes on Isreal? Or the UN and/or US bombing of Iran that will never happen, even after the aforementioned bombing occurs?

"Yawn" is ironically right - You need to wake up to what a nuclear equipped Iran means to the world. I don't think we should attack them either but to act unconcerned at them aquiring nuclear weapons is a particularily odd form of madness in its own right, just as mad as Iran willing to "burn" as they said they would to get rid of pesky Israel.

After all, we'll all be breathing the dust that floats over from a nasty nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel.

Re:Which bombing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837303)

What does a nuclear Iran mean that a nuclear Russia didn't mean in the 1940s, or a nuclear China in the 1950s, or a nuclear Pakistan and India in the 1960s?

None of them were bat-shit insane (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837365)

All of the governments you listed had fair doses of common sense. They knew that if they were to use said weapons in attack, retaliation would be pretty bad and much of the country would be destroyed. Nucelar weapons for them were for defensive posturing so no-one would try and attack them.

Iran however seems to relish the scenario of massive retaliation and would by the words of the current leader love to be obliterated, because the ideals they are fighting for would live on in the region only without Israel around to bother them any longer.

Now the people of Iran are quite different than the leader, they are rational and fine people indeed. But it only takes a handful of guys to press that magic button. Attacking them is not the right solution (and I don't really see anyone making moves to do so). But letting them get nuclear weapons is not the right answer either. How you solve those contradctory needs I have no idea.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837405)

So this is why North Korea has been invaded already right? Oh wait, it hasn't. Threatening non-proliferation enforcement is just a big bluff.

Belief not effect (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837447)

So this is why North Korea has been invaded already right?

I don't quite understand why this is a response to my message. I said nothing about it working or not, just why the various countries sought to hold nuclear weapons - even if it wasn't effective the belief was it was a deterrent by the powers theat held them. They did not seek to aquire said weapons with intent to use them ASAP caring not if the country would be annihalated in the process. Again, the aquistion was traditionally made in order to keep a country intact from perceived outside threats.

Re:Belief not effect (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837467)

It's a response to your message because Kim Jong Il is the definition of bat-shit-insane.

Fact is, the only way to prevent a nation from getting "the bomb" is to infiltrate their development program and sabotage it from within over an extended period. That's exactly what Mossad is doing, so don't worry about it, ok?

Israel won't let Iran get the bomb.. at least not under their own steam. If another nation was to give Iran a bunch of premade nukes, that might be a different story.

Re:Belief not effect (1)

kikta (200092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837531)

Fact is, the only way to prevent a nation from getting "the bomb" is to infiltrate their development program and sabotage it from within over an extended period. That's exactly what Mossad is doing, so don't worry about it, ok?

Damn. Wish I had paid more attention at that classified Mossad briefing we were all at last week.

Thanks for the reminder. We'll all go back to letting it be someone else's problem.

Re:Belief not effect (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837575)

We'll all go back to letting it be someone else's problem.
What in the world makes you think it is your problem?

Talk about overestimating your own significance.

Not insane as in self-immolation (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837535)

It's a response to your message because Kim Jong Il is the definition of bat-shit-insane.

Yes that is true, but not the sort of insane where getting blown up for firing off a nuclear weapon is his idea of a good time. It would seriously mess with his colection of gold-plated iPods or whatever the hell else he's been importing.

Fact is, the only way to prevent a nation from getting "the bomb" is to infiltrate their development program and sabotage it from within over an extended period. That's exactly what Mossad is doing, so don't worry about it, ok?

That's a good plan, and it'll probably delay things for a while - but information wants to be free, you know? I don't know if they can stop it that way forever.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837705)

Your aware of the concept of deterrence, right? Once they have nukes it's too late to attack them.

Actually, the US will never attack North Korea, even if they didn't have nukes. They have enough artillery to destroy Seoul in a couple of hours, missiles that can hit Japan, and probably some kind of Chinese backing to back them up should they get attacked. Plus the South Koreans don't like the idea even of peaceful reunification, since it would bankrupt their country.

So they didn't actually need nukes to deter the US, not that they somewhat autistic ruling clique can understand this.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (4, Insightful)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837469)

Eh? Where are you getting this idea that Iran's leadership is insane? I have yet to read a credible [economist.com] source [fas.org] that gives me any particular reason to think Iran would be stupid enough to initiate nuclear attack. The mullahs are religious, Ahmadinejad hates on Israel—so what? Plenty of Israeli politicians still want to see the Palestinian Authority wiped out. Frankly, maybe a nuclear-armed Iran is exactly what Israeli moderates need to get their government to stop pissing off its neighbors in the Middle East with such impunity.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (2, Insightful)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837547)

Where are you getting this idea that Iran's leadership is insane?

Well, let's start with hosting an international symposium on "The Holocaust myth is a vast historical conspiracy perpetrated by Jews who want everybody to feel sorry for them so they can take over the world without anyone noticing".

Plenty of Israeli politicians still want to see the Palestinian Authority wiped out.

And plenty of US politicians want Al-Qaeda wiped out, for precisely the same reason: they kill innocent people to instill terror. Maybe you should read up on Arafat's public declarations of what their goals are: "destroy Israel". Sound familiar?

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (4, Insightful)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837633)

You have to separate rhetoric from hard-nosed pragmatic reality. American foreign policy in recent years (particularly, I hate to say it, since the present administration began replacing knowledgeable experts in Middle Eastern policy with morons with little understanding of regional nuance, culture, or even language) seems to mistake the populist bluster of Islamist politicians for real intent to obliterate Israel. This is rubbish. Iran is not suicidal. Its leadership is not composed of fools with death wishes.

You want a nation with nuclear capabilities that actually is run by a psychopath, you'll have to look outside the Middle East [google.com] for that.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837717)

You have to separate rhetoric from hard-nosed pragmatic reality. American foreign policy in recent years (particularly, I hate to say it, since the present administration began replacing knowledgeable experts in Middle Eastern policy with morons with little understanding of regional nuance, culture, or even language) seems to mistake the populist bluster of Islamist politicians for real intent to obliterate Israel. This is rubbish. Iran is not suicidal. Its leadership is not composed of fools with death wishes.

You mean, how they listen to what people say in public and take them at their word? And insist that they not say one thing to the U.N., and then turn around and say something completely different to the people in the street, who are actually the ones that need to get the message? What a ridiculous concept!

In terms of "hard-nosed pragmatic" assessments, I think what some Arab leader is saying to the hoi polloi carries a lot more weight than what he says to a bunch of diplomats over hors d'oeuvres at a summit meeting.

Talk when only a few people are listening is cheap. Talk when you are speaking to your nation is expensive; that's what counts.

The current Arab leadership seems to be trying to play both sides against the middle, and it's not going to happen.

MOD this guy up (2, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837743)

Hardliners, hawks, extremists, neocons in the US and Israel are the only one's who are interested in attacking Iran. [p] Maintaining a state of constant never-ending 'war on terror' benefits these individuals in obvious ways. [p] Now, if the US and Israel were all of a sudden forced to negotiate on a more level playing field, calmer minds may yet prevail. [p] Nuclear weapons have done wonders for Pakistan and India negotiations, EVEN taking into account mutual and frequent terror attacks against one another... atleast they haven't had another war. [p] Is this a troll? No, its the pathetic reality of our current world we live in. A world where you only count if you can 'back up your words with nuclear weapons'.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837539)

Iran however seems to relish the scenario of massive retaliation and would by the words of the current leader love to be obliterated, because the ideals they are fighting for would live on in the region only without Israel around to bother them any longer.
Yawn.

Got to make sure everyone is scared of the Iranians, so there won't be an outcry when the bombing starts.

First Saddam was the Crazy, Crazy Psychopath of the desert with WMDs, --- oops, he wasn't. Then Kim Jung-Il was the Crazy, Cracy Psychopath of North Korea shooting off WMDs because he's CRAZY -- oops, it was really about the US forcing all international banks to freeze north korean accounts. Now Iran is the Crazy, Crazy Psychopath of the desert with WMDs with suicidal tendencies.

There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again.

Speeches (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837563)

Yes except that in the case of Iran we have some pretty virulent speeches by its leader telling us exactly what he'd love to do with a nuclear weapon.

You are like the guy who stopped listening to the boy who cried wolf. That's fine for a while, but eventually there is actually a wolf, you know?

Re:Speeches (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837625)

Yes except that in the case of Iran we have some pretty virulent speeches by its leader telling us exactly what he'd love to do with a nuclear weapon.
You mean like the one where he says that Iran will wipe Israel off the map and for which people like Bolton are calling for him to be charged with inciting genocide in the world court?

That one (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837681)

You mean like the one where he says that Iran will wipe Israel off the map and for which people like Bolton are calling for him to be charged with inciting genocide in the world court?

Plus the bit where he mentions not caring about Iran being cleansed by fire, yeah.

If you don't want to believe his stated intent, fine - but you have to at least realize there is a chance he means what he says, and a few million lives hang in the balance.

I'm sure there were people like you back during the cuban missile crisis as well.

Re:That one (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837723)

Plus the bit where he mentions not caring about Iran being cleansed by fire, yeah.
Thanks for confirming your ignorance. You've just proven that you do not apply any critical analysis to the propaganda about Iran, because that whole hullabaloo about "wiping israel off the map" was total crap - that's an American idiom with no counterpart in Farsi. It was a deliberate misinterpretation used to make the exact same justifications for bombing Iran as you are making today. If you want informed people to take your claims seriously you need to do your homework a little better than that.

If you don't want to believe his stated intent, fine - but you have to at least realize there is a chance he means what he says, and a few million lives hang in the balance.
But is there a chance that he means what Bush et al say he says? You don't lack for credulity, do you?

I'm sure there were people like you back during the cuban missile crisis as well.
And I'm sure there were people like you back during the days of the Iraq invasion to stop WMDs, waaaay to many of you. If you have to go back to the pre-neocon days to come up with an example of an actual threat, you are not being particularly relevant. Today's world is a whole lot different from 45 years ago, for one thing our leaders this time around are a lot less trustworthy.

Re:Speeches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837639)

Yes except that in the case of Iran we have some pretty virulent speeches by its leader telling us exactly what he'd love to do with a nuclear weapon
 
 

No we havent.
 
He has never made anything of the sort. You have been watching too much FOX.

Re:Speeches (1)

tomatensaft (661701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837665)

Where are my mod points?.. :( I'd definitely mod it as +5 Insightful. There was already a talk about it, and indeed what the Iran's leader said wasn't quite what the Western news outlets reported it was...

Re:Speeches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837721)

He said soon Israel would no longer exist -
 
It would collapse just like the U.S.S.R did.
He never mentioned nuclear war. Anywhere. In ANY of his speeches. Either criticize Iran or dont, but dont add lies to the argument.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (1)

OdinOdin_ (266277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837573)

SuperKendal, if you have no idea, then you have to step aside while those with an idea take action. There are those that know that taking no action is not any form of resolution so in their eyes some action must be taken. So until you have an idea yourself your comment is worthless.

No idea is some idea. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837613)

Saying I have no idea is letting people with ideas step forward - ideas for a non-nuclear Iran that is.

Being totally unconcerned with Iran gaining nuclear weapons abilities however is equally a non-idea, only a more dangerous one - for it's basically espousing that we should let Iran have nuclear weapons if they wish. I am saying that's a Bad Idea, and am perfectly willing to let people propose ways for that not to happen. So I have some idea of a result I would like, just not a path to it.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837591)

All of the governments you listed had fair doses of common sense. They knew that if they were to use said weapons in attack, retaliation would be pretty bad and much of the country would be destroyed. Nucelar weapons for them were for defensive posturing so no-one would try and attack them.

Iran however seems to relish the scenario of massive retaliation and would by the words of the current leader love to be obliterated, because the ideals they are fighting for would live on in the region only without Israel around to bother them any longer.

Now the people of Iran are quite different than the leader, they are rational and fine people indeed. But it only takes a handful of guys to press that magic button. Attacking them is not the right solution (and I don't really see anyone making moves to do so). But letting them get nuclear weapons is not the right answer either. How you solve those contradctory needs I have no idea.
I'm not very comfortable with the idea of Iran getting nuclear weapons but I don't really think that the leadership is as nearly as unpredictable and irrational as the west makes them out to be.

I mean realistically, what actual irrational actions have they taken? Rhetoric doesn't count, lots of governments do that, especially ones under threat of attack. As for actual actions all I can think of is trying to cause instability in Iraq, but from the perspective of the Iranian government that is a completely logical objective. First the US has made no secret of its desire to invade Iran and overthrow the government, by messing up Iraq they can both send a message that the US shouldn't mess with them and make it a lot harder for the Americans to justify an invasion of Iran. Second a strong democratic Iraqi government backed by the US isn't a good neighbour to Iran, the Americans hate Iran and Iran really wants to cement itself as the boss of the Middle East, Iraq included. Besides the Iranian government is secure enough, and has enough control over the different groups that they're not very worried about the instability spilling outside of Iraq.

As to them trying to obtain a Nuke I really doubt that any of those nukes will be used. First they know if they ever use any of them on Israel the US will push the button as well, and then the US will invade and make sure they kill every member of the regime they can find to set an example. Open Nuclear conflict isn't in Iran's interest anymore than anyone else.

As to giving the Nukes to a terrorist group I can't imagine the Iranians trusting the terrorists enough to give them a Nuke as the terrorists have their own objectives and might decide to use it on the wrong target. Also, although I don't know if this is true, I believe you can tell from which Nuclear plant the uranium used in a nuclear bomb was obtained from, in this case the Nuke would be directly traceable back to Iran and they could be assured of a counterattack.

Either way Iran has very good motives to want a Nuke, first to avoid direct invasion. Second, the only way Nukes do get in a situation where terrorists can get a hold of them is in a region of high instability (ie Russia). Iran is making sure that the Americans don't try to destabalize the government through passive means, otherwise they might lose control of the Nukes and they'll end up with terrorists. None of these reasons involve Iran using these nukes.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837657)

I mean realistically, what actual irrational actions have they taken?

Carting british sailors off was one thing that wasn't particularily rational, at any stage of the operation. In the end it gave them some very positive media results but it could have gone very badly very quickly just as easily.

As to them trying to obtain a Nuke I really doubt that any of those nukes will be used. First they know if they ever use any of them on Israel the US will push the button as well, and then the US will invade and make sure they kill every member of the regime they can find to set an example. Open Nuclear conflict isn't in Iran's interest anymore than anyone else

I think if someone says they really don't care if someone destroys them, as long as thier ideals are promoted, you have to take them somewhat seriously when they mix those words with nuclear weapons I'm not 100% sure they would use them but I think the likleyhood is honestly grater than 50% because it achieves many long-term goals.

I am ever more sure that if there is a limited exchange between Iran and Israel there will not be any attack from the US or any other country in response. Why would there be when those countries had lready pounded the heck out of each other? In that sense it seems like we wouldn't need to be concerned if you were a total isolationalist, but even then you have to be concerned about the effect on the climate and just sheer human suffering if nothing else.

Your comments about terrorists I generally agree with, the real danger is in more direct use of them by the current government.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (1)

tomatensaft (661701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837693)

Um, Russia is a region of high instability?.. =8-) Wow, that's big news! Why haven't I heard about it, living 200 km from its border? :))

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837735)

Um, Russia is a region of high instability?.. =8-) Wow, that's big news! Why haven't I heard about it, living 200 km from its border? :))
Sorry bad wording :)

The point I meant to make was that Russia went through some instability when the USSR disolved, as a result a lot of the Nuclear weapons that the USSR had spread around are no longer properly guarded and could potentially be siezed by a group such as a terrorist organization, admitedly I don't know much about this topic (I think this risk is much more prominent in other former states of the USSR then Russia itself).

If Iran does develop a sizeable Nuclear arsenal then it's very much in the wests interest to stop the Iranian government from collapsing the way the USSR did and leave those Nukes unguarded in a country with a number of powerful terrorist organizations who would be willing to use a Nuke.

Re:None of them were bat-shit insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837729)

pakistan has had numerous coups and can't even guarantee it's territorial integrity. parts of the country aren't even governed by the govt. and of course they helped create the taliban and gestate al qaida, both of which are openly present in pakistan and are quite popular.

let's not forget that the current govt. still funds terrorists and has been caught red handed selling nuclear technology to libya and north korea. one would have to be grossly stupid or ignorant to suggest that freaking pakistan is a safer wielder of nukes thank iran. jesus christ, and you people wonder why you're in iraq.

Re:Which bombing? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837339)

The way I see it, nuclear bombing the US would be good for everyone concerned.

Re:Which bombing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837353)

The bombing McCain was talking about when he sang "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran"

Re:Which bombing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837359)

Last time I checked, Israel is not a part of the USA. Why on Earth that has any bearing on our foreign policy is beyond me.

Our men and women do not need to die for Israel or any other country. They can take care of themselves.

Re:Which bombing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837387)

Israel was created because the jews had no-where to live, because no-one wanted them.

It continues to be proped up to this day for exactly the same reason.

Re:Which bombing? (1, Interesting)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837421)

Last time I checked, Israel is not a part of the USA....They can take care of themselves.
As much as I agree the US needs to stop worrying about what happens to Israel, I think you might not understand why we do. Israel is a US/UN holding in the middle east. Israel was formed for the exact purpose of the US and other allied nations to have a base of operations in the middle east. Israel was artificial established (they did not establish themselves but were rather set up by foreign powers). Israel doesn't actually exist without US or other foreign involvement. So in actuality if the USA does not defend Israel then Israel doesn't exist, so there really is no way for the USA to not defend Israel. I know it seems like circular logic, but it's the truth none the less.

Re:Which bombing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837549)

You and this superKendall character should get together to form a political party - the crackpot party.

Re: formation of Israel, read up some history. The US didn't have much to do with Israel's creation - look to Britain and Europe instead.

Re:Which bombing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837603)

Except for the little fact that they said 'no' when Europe wanted to dump the jews in the US.

On the other hand, the Japanese offered to take all the jews in Europe, but the rabbis said 'no'. Why? Cause they knew that they would be under-foot in Japan.. and if they held out they'd get some assistance to take back the holy land.

All because they can't accept an equal place in society.

They gotta be on top.

After all, they're the chosen people.

Re:Which bombing? (2, Insightful)

yndrd1984 (730475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837757)

Why the US defends Israel:

1. Israel has a western culture and a western religion. For comparison, Iran has a very different culture, a less well-known religion and funny skin colors. On top of that, historical abuses (WWII, middle ages) of Jewish people means that they have a bit of a sympathy vote. Plus there's the antisemitism angle, for which there's no Palestinian equivalent.

2. Given that the US has a high concentration of Christians, there are plenty of wackos here that think that Israel's rebirth is part of God's plan. Supporting Israel for some of them is tantamount to obeying God's commandments and hastening the day of Christ's return. Since Middle Eastern Muslims generally don't like Israel, they must be allied with the Anti-Christ/Satan.

3. Israel runs a massive lobby to keep US politician pro-Israel. (I might be wrong, but I've heard it described as the largest and most well funded political lobby in the US.)

By contrast Europe has had more contact with Muslims, tends to be more secular, and without the UN veto and military dominance, there's less reason to put political pressure on the EU. That's the main reason Americans have a positive impression of Israel, just like they see Great Britain and Australia, while the rest of the world ranks Iran and Israel down at the bottom, below North Korea.

Re:Which bombing? (4, Insightful)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837381)

You need to wake up to what a nuclear equipped Iran means to the world.
What, that there will be one more country free from the threat of US invasion. Guess I don't see the down side. The only country to ever use nuclear weaponry is the USA, and no mater how insane we may thing other world leaders are, the out cry that country such and such would be a threat if they had nuclear capability has yet to come true. It might also mean that certain countries stop wasting resources on the defense of an artificially established nation.

Re:Which bombing? (2, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837521)

What, that there will be one more country free from the threat of US invasion. Guess I don't see the down side. The only country to ever use nuclear weaponry is the USA, and no mater how insane we may thing other world leaders are, the out cry that country such and such would be a threat if they had nuclear capability has yet to come true. It might also mean that certain countries stop wasting resources on the defense of an artificially established nation.

Downside is a highly religiously motivated nation with nukes. One nutcase and we then have potentially a few million lives at risk. What ever you think of isreal. It's there, it's been a few generations and almost all the nations of the middle east are artificial constructs. With borders and governemnts defined and propped up by third parties. Legitimacy comes through force of arms. Either yours directly or your friends. Isreal can hold their own and beat most of their neightbors. Most of their neighbors harbor delusions of saladine and wish to smite Isreal. Some have made peace with the fact that it's there and will not be moved without force.. force they don't have yet.

At this point evicting Isreal is just as evil an act as the jewish mobs evicting some of the native arab "palastinians" in the arab-isreali war(1948). The majority of the palastinian "refugees" were not part of this expulsion. They fled willingly from civil war with the idea that their arab neighbors would go in an massacre the jews amd then they could return home. Apparently their neighbros were less compitent then they thought and we have the current situation.

Re:Which bombing? (-1, Flamebait)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837545)

Downside is a highly religiously motivated nation with nukes.

What, you mean like the US under the Bush Admninistration?

Re:Which bombing? (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837565)

If I could do it, I'd disarm the US as well. But the button is controlled by more then an empty headed muppet, and there are still good non-nutcase people in power in the US. While the non-nutcases were rounded them up and imprisoned them during the iranian revolution. Now it's nutcases up top with good people cowering in fear.

Re:Which bombing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837553)

Downside is a highly religiously motivated nation with nukes. One nutcase and we then have potentially a few million lives at risk.

Do you mean the US and Bush?

Re:Which bombing? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837661)

Nukes cannot stop a country from invading. To be effective on the invading forces, it would poison and destroy the land you are defending. Iran doesn't have anything capable of hitting out shores so this statement is totally misleading.

and to be honest, If we ever did think Iraq could produce a weapon of this caliber, and invasion is more then called for because the only way they would be effective at the stages they are at is to be used by suicide terrorist. Make no mistake, the idea of not invading North Korea isn't because they posses nukes, It is because China gets nervous and kicks our asses out. The nuke deal is just code for not pissing china off too much.

"Limited" Nuclear War (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837383)

You are correct that fallout would spread fairly far in and Iran-Israel exchange. But what may be of greater concern is the floatup. The carbon content of cities can be lifted quite high when the Sun heats the soot aeorsols. This means prolonged global cooling with substantial effects on growing seasons http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/06121 1090729.htm [sciencedaily.com] . An India-Pakistan-size exchange could lead to famine around the world. Presumably at least one side has that kind of fire power in the Iran-Israel situation.

Not as sure about that... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837423)

Wasn't the whole nuclear winter thing kind of discredited some time back? Though that paper you linked to is much more recent... And I'm sure some people are thinking right now "Hey, that'll offset global Warming!". Yipe.

Basically I'd love not to find out either way. Instant climate change to an unknown state is not a fun expiriment.

Re:Not as sure about that... (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837463)

So far as I know, nuclear winter is the consequence of a full thermonuclear exchange http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_winter [wikipedia.org] . The more recent work looks at the cooling from a more limited nuclear exchange.

Re:Not as sure about that... (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837473)

I should add that I'm not sure how carbon rich the targets would be. It is soot from the firestorm rather than dust which had the prolonged effect.

Whoa - AC flood! Oh the humanity. (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837407)

Why not respond to all the cowards at once?

Basically attacks on Israel upset me as a person who finds the instant deaths of millions in any country (Iran or Israel) disquieting. If you are an environmentalist you should be concerend with all the radioactive dust coating the planet. If you are a libertarian you should be concerned because a nuclear exchange in the middle east means big-time ramping of of miltary spending across the planet. If you are an international foreign policy wonk you would have to be concerned about total disruption to the middle east.

But to go back to the first point, if you are a human being with any emptahy at all the thought of any use of nuclear weapons against anyone, no matter how seemingly bad to you currently, should be unthinkable. Shame on you if you think otherwise.

Re:Which bombing? (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837481)

I think if they get a single bomb online I wouldn't mind Isreal doing a pre-emptive strike on the nuke site. Chances are Iran will eventually threaten with nuclear war unless isreal retreat to pre 1967 borders and so on. A massive air compaign or a single nuclear strike on all iranian nuclear facilities and suspect labs would curb that... and start a massive arab isreali war perhaps. I know arabia isn't full of evil devils but the ones in power there are not the best of people to get nukes. An iranian could be a good person but I can't imagine the theocrats as good people. I'd vastly prefer open war in the middle east then a theocrat with a nuke.

that's exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837485)

...what's going on. The media is being saturated with propaganda psyops pieces (using the "big lie" theory of preconditioning) spin stories, being passed off as "leaks", etc. In addition, they are indoctrinating their soldiers that their next big false flag operation (following the outstanding success of the 9-11 reichstagg fire operation and coup, and the iraq invasion based on total lies) will be coming from "the terrorists", jumping between iranians and "al queda". The "nuclear terrorist attack wargames" actually begin today, and run through april 27th and are called "Noble Resolve 07".

Re:Yawn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837533)

You haven't heard? oh jeeezzz.
This was today's song of the day at Natanz

Just sing it to 'Barbara Ann' by the Beach Boys

Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran,
Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb... Let's Bomb Iran!
Let's take a stand and Bomb Iran!
They're Evil-doers yes it's true, there's nothin' left to do,
But Bomb Iran, Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran!

Went to Iraq, caught lotsa flack,
No turnin' back so while we're there let's just attack,
And Bomb Iran! Bomb Bomb, Bomb... Let's Bomb Iran!
They're a threat to me and you, there's nothin' left to do,
But Bomb Iran, Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran!

Troops will have to see, a tour of duty 3,
They may get the shaft and you know we'll have to draft,
To Bomb Iran! Bomb Bomb, Bomb... Let's Bomb Iran!
They got the nukes you know it's true, there's nothin' left to do,
But Bomb Iran, Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran!

Bombed Afghanistan, but gave up the Taliban,
Hey at least this rhymes with "stan" and that's enough to make a plan
To Bomb Iran! Bomb Bomb, Bomb... Let's Bomb Iran!
You're a commie if you doubt and my time is running out,
To Bomb Iran, Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran!

Training on the loose (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837227)

Seems to me that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty basically requires the sharing of nuclear know-how. This is not the method to do it, but sharing the way to run a plant should be pretty basic under the treaty. The trouble is that everyone feels so threatened by the prolifereation and the lack of serious progress on arms reductions that the fabric of the treaty is very frayed.
--
Sun Beams for Peace: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]

We lose... (1)

Snatch422 (896695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837237)

As the New World Order accomplishes one mission after another transparently and throw the area of Chaostan into further oblivion news items like this become more common place. The press is going to constantly remind us of confrontation with Iran so that invasion will seem inevitable soon. This should be disturbing to any males reading Slashdot under the age of 35 not to mention John Murtha swearing he will get the draft back soon...

9/11 Hijackers and FLight Simulator (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837251)

The 9/11 hijackers used Flight Simulator to train themselves to fly a commercial airliner. I imagine this could be a similar situation, if, in fact, that is what these people are up to.

Uhh... (3, Informative)

paulius_g (808556) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837263)

You probably meant UPLOADED to Iran. Or, downloaded FROM Iran.

Re:Uhh... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837285)

He was in Iran and downloaded it, from the US, to his laptop.

Re:Uhh... (2, Interesting)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837323)

So this post is downloaded from my computer?

Re:Uhh... (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837425)

From the perspective of the Slashdot servers, in absolute terms, yes. We just don't talk about that lot.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837477)

It was SENT to Iran, but not UPLOADED to Iran. Sending != Uploading. Send/Receive refers to source/destination, but Up/Down refers to the server/client status of endpoints.

A helpful analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837689)

The internet is a lot like a clothes line, the Hill's hoist [wikipedia.org] style to be more precise.

It is a series of steel tubes which support wires on which you can hang your clothes. Documents and articles on the internet are like the clothes - to put them on the clothes line you need to lift them up (think uploading), to use the clothing (read the article) you need to take it down from the line (think downloading).

Hope that clarifies the situation.

it's ok as long as (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837307)

they don't download porn.

Why can't my younger brother get a job there? (0, Offtopic)

Essequemodeia (1030028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837311)

I suppose Iran doesn't consider sandwich artistry a particularly vaulted profession.

Comment about Freshman Democrat Mitchell (4, Insightful)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837355)

It disturbs me that this politician is being quoted as saying that Iran is dead-set on developing a nuclear weapon when there is absolutely no proof that is happening. That would be like saying that Iraq had weapons of mass destructions.

Re:Comment about Freshman Democrat Mitchell (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837507)

You mean you think they're not?

Re:Comment about Freshman Democrat Mitchell (2, Insightful)

clark0r (925569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837703)

How can you call that Flamebait? It's very true that we have no concrete proof that they're building a nuclear bomb. Don't believe what you're told by mainstream media it's mostly propaganda and lies. Remember old Rummy telling us they knew exactly where Iraqs WMD were? Wasn't it something like 'in the areas north, south, east and west of Tikrit somewhat'. I can't remember the precise words, but see how listening to statements like that and believing them lead us into a war we shouldn't be in. The same is happening here with Iran. I don't think it'll matter how many inspectors they let into their plants, or how much negotiating goes on - they'll always be considered enemies because they're Islamic and don't like America.

What's REALLY troubling (1)

The Mutant (167716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837357)

"What is troubling is this person's ability to access the software after his employment at the site ended."

This all could have been avoided if they'd locked access down to specific IPs ONLY. As in domestic US only.

Re:What's REALLY troubling (3, Insightful)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837371)

You're oversimplifying the situation. What about US proxies or remotely connecting to another machine in the US. Maybe there was a VPN connection and his access to that wasn't removed. No, this could not have been avoided by locking this down to US IP addresses.

Re:What's REALLY troubling (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837465)

Why can such software be downloaded at all?? It should be running on machines with no net connections.

This is idiotic. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837615)

The DoD switched to using public key encryption as an authentication scheme for virtually all their networks, what, gotta be four or five years ago now. I was finishing a contract position with SPAWAR at the time they started the migration. The encryption keys are unique to each individual and are embedded on their ID card. You couldn't so much as enter a building, log into a terminal or access your e-mail without using your personal digital certificate and personal encryption key.

In short, the DoD has all the infrastructure it needs to prevent unauthorized access without having to ban specific IP addresses. They simply invalidate the public key and certificate for whoever leaves. No more problems. I did say they had the infrastructure, but do they have the cognisance? Apparently not. The DoD failed their recent IT security inspection, if I remember the recent Slashdot story correctly -- would someone mind telling me HOW you can screw up a perfectly standard PKI-based authentication system so badly that (a) an entire department can get a failing grade, and (b) a person who has left for some time still has active certificates in the database?

Look, we all know that bureaucrats are total nutters, but do they all have to be so hellbent on being the nuttiest? Why not place Captain Sensible in charge of the DoD - he can't really do much worse, if the current lot aren't even following their own rules and regulations on IT security.

Theft? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837401)

Sorry, the term you're looking for is copyright infrigement. Copyright infrigement is not theft since when a copy of a file is made, the owner isn't stripped of the original file. (queue some more inane Slashbot babble about copyright and `information should be free')

Why did the server... (1)

Tavor (845700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837415)

Why did the server even accept the connection from the Iranian ISP? Can't be that hard to block out connections from rouge countries.

Re:Why did the server... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837471)

Rouge countries? Communists??!?

Oh, that's simple. Tubes. (1)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837577)

Somebody mislabelled the Iran tube, leading to the prudent but perhaps unnecessary blocking of all ISPs from Guam.

Dang tubes. They'll get you every time. Why they had to build the internet out of 'em in the first place will never make much sense to me.

Because every topic must have at least one post making fun of the fact that an 83 year old man doesn't understand the internet... sorry, Ted!

Fascinating! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837631)

The prototypical dumb US-american with his simple solutions.
What are those "red" countries you're talking about anyway, moron?

Re:Why did the server... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837745)

But the current terrorist threat level was only yellow, not rouge...

Which one? (4, Funny)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837445)

Would it be Nucular or Nuclear? If it's the first, then I'm not worried.

Re:Which one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837513)

Either one is correct, apparently you haven't looked it up in a dictionary...

Big Deal! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837493)

The software is non-classified & publically available, as reported on PBS.

Iranian government *is* involved (1)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837501)

They are trying to convince the world, their nuclear program is for electricity only.

so Iran DOES have a nuclear program (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837505)

I knew it all along. Bush knew it all along, Iran lied about developing nuclear technology for power plants and instead intends to make WMD's!! Oh wait what. . ? Other way around? Iran might have been telling the truth the whole time? Shouldn't this be "good" news?

The USA propaganda wheels are spinning. (1, Insightful)

ZoOnI (947423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837523)

The big question. Is there any way to stop an out of control US government. I can see it now. A small nuclear blast hits Africa (CIA scurry away). US blames Iran. US tells citizens if we don't stop them we are next. Defence manufactures raise champagne glasses in back rooms as the bombing of Iran starts. Money starts flowing to over seas bank accounts, relatives companies get rich. Welcome to the modern day capitalism.

Security issues (1)

HanoverFist (1090151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837551)

Keep in mind all their internal response measures have been compromised. That doesn't seem safe at all.

Contradictory statements (4, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837569)

From this article and another [kpho.com] article it appears that the media and officials are saying two different things. At the beginning of the article I linked it says that he downloaded designs for control rooms, reactors, etc, but later in the article a statement from public officials says that only training software was taken. There is a HUGE difference between designs and training software. The beginning paragraph is extremely misleading and overstating the problem. I don't see how getting a hold of training software will get Iran any further along in developing a nuclear reactor.

This is from the article I linked. "The investigation has not led us to believe this information was taken for the purpose of being used by a foreign government or terrorists to attack us," said Deborah McCarley, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Phoenix. "This does not appear to be terrorist-related." AZCentral is more concerned with reactions from politicians think about something they know no more about than any of us.

Why is AZCentral interviewing politicians about this case and not people involved in the investigation? AZC doesn't even mention that Palo Verde has already changed their system to not let anyone gain access to any files after they are no longer employed by them. This story really isn't a big deal. If he was able to steal classified information on designs of a nuclear reactor, that'd be one thing, but this is just another case of the media trying to make it a bigger deal than it really is.

Re:Contradictory statements (1)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837737)

Hell, for all we know the guy was the technical writer who authored the document and he wanted to copy some footnotes.

Downloaded To Iran (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18837685)

I get it, they are a backwards country....

troubling (4, Insightful)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837713)

"What is troubling is this person's ability to access the software after his employment at the site ended."

Sure, he shouldn't have had access anymore. But how much more secure would that have been. If you're employed there, you can download it. And you would still have it after your employment ends.

People are overly concerned with security, to a degree that it is becoming rediculous.
If people can read it, hear it or see it, it can be reproduced to a non-secure form anyway.
Sure, you must have ways to make it more difficult/near impossible to get there without inside help, but don't get silly.
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