Nuclear Iran Unlikely to Tilt Regional Power Balance – Report By Jim Lobe and Joe HitchonReprint WASHINGTON, May 18 2013 (IPS) - A nuclear-armed Iran would not pose a fundamental threat to the United States and its regional allies like Israel and the Gulf Arab monarchies, according to a new report released here Friday by the Rand Corporation.
Entitled “Iran After the Bomb: How Would a Nuclear-Armed Tehran Behave?“, the report asserts that the acquisition by Tehran of nuclear weapons would above all be intended to deter an attack by hostile powers, presumably including Israel and the United States, rather than for aggressive purposes……..
The report reaches several conclusions all of which generally portray Iran as a rational actor in its international relations.
While Nader calls it a “revisionist state” that tries to undermine what it sees as a U.S.-dominated order in the Middle East, his report stresses that “it does not have territorial ambitions and does not seek to invade, conquer, or occupy other nations.”
Further, the report identifies the Islamic Republic’s military doctrine as defensive in nature. This posture is presumably a result of the volatile and unstable region in which it exists and is exacerbated by its status as a Shi’a and Persian-majority nation in a Sunni and Arab-majority region……. the report concludes that Tehran is unlikely to extend its nuclear deterrent to its allies, including Hezbollah, noting that the interests of those groups do not always – or even often – co-incide with Iran’s. Iran would also be highly unlikely to transfer nuclear weapons to them in any event, according to the report.
The new study provides the only available scientific predictions to date about what a nuclear attack in the Middle East might actually mean. Dallas, who was previously the director of the Center for Mass Destruction Defense at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is quick to point out that the study received no U.S. government funding or oversight. “No one wanted this research to happen,” he adds.
Who Will Drop the Next Nuclear Bomb? We ignore the ever-growing global arsenal of nuclear weapons at our peril. The Nation, Nick Turse May 13, 2013 “……. Iranian cities — owing to geography, climate, building construction, and population densities — are particularly vulnerable to nuclear attack, according to a new study, “Nuclear War Between Israel and Iran: Lethality Beyond the Pale,” published in the journal Conflict & Health by researchers from the University of Georgia and Harvard University. It is the first publicly released scientific assessment of what a nuclear attack in the Middle East might actually mean for people in the region.
Its scenarios are staggering. An Israeli attack on the Iranian capital of Tehran using five 500-kiloton weapons would, the study estimates, kill seven million people — 86% of the population — and leave close to 800,000 wounded. A strike with five 250-kiloton weapons would kill an estimated 5.6 million and injure 1.6 million, according to predictions made using an advanced software package designed to calculate mass casualties from a nuclear detonation.
Estimates of the civilian toll in other Iranian cities are even more horrendous. A nuclear assault on the city of Arak, the site of a heavy water plant central to Iran’s nuclear program, would potentially kill 93% of its 424,000 residents. Three 100-kiloton nuclear weapons hitting the Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas would slaughter an estimated 94% of its 468,000 citizens, leaving just 1% of the population uninjured. A multi-weapon strike on Kermanshah, a Kurdish city with a population of 752,000, would result in an almost unfathomable 99.9% casualty rate. Read more »
Has such absolute insanity infected the minds of the Western powers to such a degree that they actually would attack Iran, and in so doing destroy the entire Gulf State region, further irradiate the entire planet and themselves, and quite possibly set off World War III? Or is it all just smoke-and-mirrors, scare tactics and rhetoric, and saner minds will in fact prevail?
Let us all hope and pray for the latter.
Good-bye Dubai? Bombing Iran’s Nuclear Facilities would leave the Entire Gulf States Region virtually Uninhabitable By Wade Stone Global Research, May 11, 2013 “…….Think “Fukushima x 10”: Fukushima is, without question, the world’s worst nuclear disaster to date. In fact, many scientists believe, and with good reason, that the Fukushima incident, which is far from over, is the world’s worst
“While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than
those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, which resulted in almost one million deaths (New Book Concludes – Chernobyl death toll: 985,000, mostly from cancer” Global Research, September 10, 2010. For a full account of Fukushima, see “Global Research Online Interactive Reader Series, Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War, The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation (Michel Chossudovsky, editor).
Now imagine several large nuclear reactors (Iran’s Bushehr reactor output, for example, is 1000 megawatts, compared to Fukushima Daiichi’s largest reactor which had an output of 784 megawatts), along with several uranium enrichment plants, and certainly military storage sites and quite likely even uranium mines, all bombed to dust within a matter of days. Read more »
U.S. Army vet reveals 1950s nuclear secret, Rapid City Journal 12 May 13, “…… As impossible as it seems, Shuck said Operation Tumblesnapper involved exploding atomic bombs over the desert in an effort to study and better understand the effects of nuclear radiation.
“Our clothes and shoes were found to be contaminated with radiation, and we were ‘decontaminated’ with an air blower after Shot Charlie,” said Shuck, who drives the Disabled American Veterans bus throughout the Black Hills area.
“We were issued no special or protective clothing. We did wear film badges, which were to measure our exposure to skin radiation. Some personnel were required to shower until skin contamination was lowered to zero, and then put on clean clothing. I was never decontaminated beyond an air blower blowing the sand off my clothing.”
Some of the live animals used in the tests didn’t fare as well, said Shuck. Like the sheep and rabbits that were burned to a crisp on one side, and virtually untouched on the other…….
A stripped B-52 nearby broke right in the middle.
Shuck says he took part in four blasts altogether: Shot Charlie, the 31-kiloton bomb dropped from a C-50 aircraft flying over Yucca Flat; and Shots Easy, Fox, and George, three tower drops. During Shot Charlie, Shuck and his group were stationed about three miles away from “Ground Zero,” and watched the dust storm and fire ball approach and pass over the trenches.
After the blast passed, Shuck’s group marched in formation toward “Ground Zero” within half an hour after the detonation.“On the tower shot, I noticed the sand looked like burnt glass, as if the sand had been melted,” says Shuck.
After the tests, they had to bury the equipment, and not much more was said, Shuck said. “They just wanted to test the bombs and find out more about the effects of radiation. We were guinea pigs.”
Since then, as the dangers of radiation have become more publicized, Shuck pointed to a book called “American Ground Zero: The Secret Nuclear war” which details alleged health, crop, livestock, and private property damage as a result of these and other atomic tests. He and his Army group weren’t the only ones affected, he says.
Shuck, who is currently retired, said that out of that group, only half are left alive.“Many of them have died of cancer or leukemia,” he said, “which are probably effects of the blasts.”….. apidcityjournal.com/news/local/communities/belle_fourche/u-s-army-vet-reveals-s-nuclear-secret/article_1e32b6ef-93b5-5769-9ff4-b48d8db27c7e.html
If the United States reduced its intercontinental ballistic missiles from 500 to 300, it would save $80 billion over the next ten years
How to Stop Nuclear Proliferation, HUFFINGTON POST, 05/10/2013 The nuclear imbroglio with North Korea has cooled off considerably, and the nuclear issues with Iran remain on the back burner. At home, however, there is a new nuclear concern that involves the removal of 17 Air Force officers in April 2013 assigned to stand watch over nuclear-tipped Minuteman missiles at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. In a blunt memorandum, the deputy commander of the missile unit described a “crisis” that involved “rot in the crew force.” In view of the lack of career opportunities for Air Force officers in the missile field, it should not be surprising that there has been loss of discipline, sloppy performance, and even the intentional violation of nuclear safety rules.
This incident raises serious questions about the need for the intense alert status at the missile base where two officers are on constant alert at all times inside an underground launching control center, ready to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) upon presidential order. Read more »
Preventing use of nuclear weapons, Japan Times Editorial 10 May 13 Japan recently refused to support an international joint statement which stressed that “It is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances.”
The Japanese government’s failure to sign the statement is regrettable in view of the simple fact that Japan became the first nation in history to suffer from the use of nuclear weapons through the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. In addition, a nuclear catastrophe happened at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, causing great hardship to residents of Fukushima Prefecture.
Some 150,000 people from the prefecture are still forced to live away from their homes because the homes are located in areas contaminated by radioactive substances from the plant.
The Japanese are among the few on Earth who have experienced the dread of exposure to radiation whether it is from a nuclear weapon or from a nuclear power plant accident. Many Japanese citizens will not accept the government’s decision not to sign the statement, which was supported on April 24 by 74 countries at the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in Geneva.
The joint statement said in part, “It is a shared responsibility of all States to prevent the use of nuclear weapons.” It also said, “The only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons will never be used again is through their total elimination.” It would not be far-fetched to say that by not supporting it, Japan has negated its own hard experience it could use to accelerate moves toward the elimination of nuclear weapons…… http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/05/11/editorials/preventing-use-of-nuclear-weapons/#.UY68JqJwpLs
America’s New 30,000-lb MOP Bomb Is Specifically Geared For Iranian Nuclear Site BUSINESS INSIDER< ROBERT JOHNSON, MICHAEL KELLEY4 MAY 2013
Adam Entous and Julian Barnes at The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report that not only has the MOP been refined for an Iranian strike, but it’s also being used to assure Israel the U.S. can keep Tehran from acquiring a nuclear bomb….. http://au.businessinsider.com/mop-bomb-massive-ordnance-penetrator-modified-for-iran-fordow-nuclear-site-2013-5
Getting a global, nuclear Navy WP, Tom Z. Collina, May 5 Walter Pincus wrote that the Navy faces a tough choice: It can buy 12 nuclear-armed submarines or it can maintain a global fleet, but not both. As a vice admiral put it, budget pressures could force the Navy down to “200 ships, at which point we may not be considered a global navy” [“Budget cuts could reshape the country’s ship supply, official says,” Fine Print, May 2].
The answer is to buy fewer nuclear subs. If the Navy buys eight Ohio-class replacement subs instead of 12, it could save $15 billion over 10 years and still deploy 1,000 nuclear warheads on submarines, as planned…… http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/getting-a-global-nuclear-navy/2013/05/05/6d1de0b0-b437-11e2-9fb1-62de9581c946_story.html
Is Japan Developing a Nuclear Weapons Program? By Peter Symonds Global Research, May 07, 2013 Huge reprocessing plant could be used to stockpile plutonium for the future manufacture of nuclear weapons.The Wall Street Journal published an article on May 1 entitled “Japan’s nuclear plan unsettles US.” It indicated concerns in Washington that the opening of a huge reprocessing plant could be used to stockpile plutonium for the future manufacture of nuclear weapons.
The Rokkasho reprocessing facility in northern Honshu can produce nine tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium annually, or enough to construct up to 2,000 bombs. Read more »
France Isn’t Aiming for Nuclear Zero | The National Interest, Frank Klotz May 8, 2013 The French government finally unveiled its long-awaited livre blanc on defense and national security last week. As expected, the white paper contains grim news for the French military, capping spending at current levels and calling for substantial personnel reductions over the next five years. But one aspect of the French defense posture emerged virtually unscathed. Despite earlier reports about possible cuts in order to save money, the white paper reaffirms long-standing policies on the fundamental purpose and composition of French nuclear forces. While many officials and observers in the West discount the role of nuclear weapons in national security strategy now that the Cold War is over, the French government clearly takes a different view…….. Read more »
Nations at nuclear meeting say too many on alert http://news.yahoo.com/nations-nuclear-meeting-too-many-alert-171900328.html
By JOHN HEILPRIN | Associated Press – 8 hrs ago
GENEVA (AP) — More than 100 nations concluding a round of global nuclear talks Friday expressed alarm that many nuclear weapons are kept at a high-alert level and are still being modernized, despite a promise to get rid of them.
The statement was, in effect, a complaint about — and by — some of the most powerful members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, since the U.S. and Russia were included in it. They are known to possess most of the world’s hundreds of launch-ready ballistic missiles that can be ordered to quickly deliver their payload, a nuclear warhead. Read more »
“Although this is a big step forward, the campaign must continue until there is a clear guarantee that there will be no more test firing of DU shells in Scotland at any point in the future.”
This is a major victory for our campaign and one that reflects the increasing global opposition to depleted uranium.
CADU campaigners plan to hold a public meeting in Dumfries at the end of May to discuss further plans with local residents. More details will be released on their website
Ministry of Defence back down over test firing of depleted uranium munitions in Scotland, Occupy News Network, 1 May 13
- Parliamentarians and campaigners claim this as a ‘major victory’
Last week Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, told Katy Clark, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, that the MoD will not fire depleted uranium (DU) as part of the current Life Extension Programme. This is the first time the MoD have bowed to public and political pressure and not fired depleted uranium as part of the life extension programme (LEP) of CHARM3. Read more »
“It’s what in Washington we call an iron triangle,” ” you have an alliance between the private sector, the defence contractors, the executive branch, in this case the Pentagon, and the legislative branch.”Everyone benefits from expensive procurement projects – the Pentagon gets weapons, defence companies get to make profits, and politicians get re-elected by funding armaments that generate jobs for constituents and campaign contributions from defence companies.
The result… is a defence budget “that is packed to the gills with weapons we don’t need, with weapons that are underestimated in their future costs”.
America’s War Games How the Obama administration is redefining the US military’s strategic priorities with far-reaching consequences, Aljazeera, 27 April 13 The United States’ military expenditures today account for about 40 percent of the world total. In 2012, the US spent some $682bn on its military – an amount more than what was spent by the next 13 countries combined.
Now that the war in Iraq is over and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan will be complete in 2014, the stage might therefore appear to be set for a decrease in US defence spending. Even in Washington DC, many have argued that the defence budget can be cut substantially and the resulting “peace dividend” could be diverted to more pressing domestic concerns, such as dealing with the nation’s continuing economic problems.However, a battle to ward off cuts to the Pentagon’s budget has begun and the way things are going, it seems likely that the US will have the smallest drawdown or reduction of the military budget after a period of conflict since World War II – in comparative terms, smaller than after Vietnam, Korea and the end of the Cold War. Read more »
The elite nuclear race, Khaleej Times, Eric S. Margolis (America Angle) / 28 April 2013 While the United States beats the war drums over North Korea and Iran’s long-ranged nuclear armed missiles –which they don’t even possess – Washington remains curiously silent about the arrival of the world’s newest member of the big nuke club – India. Read more »
America’s War Games How the Obama administration is redefining the US military’s strategic priorities with far-reaching consequences, Aljazeera, 27 April 13 “……. William Hartung, from the Center for International Policy says that Pentagon contractors have “for years used the jobs argument to revive weapons systems that have been cancelled. To push for things that even the Pentagon itself has not wanted.” For months, a study has been circulating in Washington, underwritten by the Aerospace Industries Association, a major defence industry trade group. It claims that a million jobs would be lost as a result of sequestration cuts to defence spending.
Hartung, who has analysed the study, says it exaggerates the potential job loss number by a factor of three, and that many of those jobs will be replaced. He points out that spending on education, health care, and infrastructure “can create 1.5 to 2 times as many jobs. So the economy would be much better off spending on things other than the Pentagon.”
Several recent reports examining ways to cut Pentagon spending call for changes in the US nuclear weapons posture. They claim that it would produce hundreds of billions of dollars of savings in coming decades, and the Obama administration is reportedly considering nuclear weapons cuts. But they will be difficult to achieve.
“People are still mired in Cold War thinking and they feel like the more nuclear weapons we have the better,” Hartung says. “And in addition to that the nuclear weapons industry has some of the biggest strongest companies in the military industrial complex.”
Lockheed Martin builds submarines, launches ballistic missiles, and runs the nuclear weapons laboratories; General Dynamics builds nuclear subs; and Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin are all hoping to build the next nuclear bomber……http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2013/04/2013424113558268754.html
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