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What if Iran Got the Bomb Redux


Y’know, the idea that there are meaningful similarities between the rhetoric used to describe the Chinese nuclear program in the 1960s and the Iranian nuclear program of the last decade is kind of interesting… or at least it was six months ago, when I wrote about it at Foreign Policy. Just sayin’.

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  • van

    Great article. Despite all the rhetoric, the Iranians don’t seem all that crazy to me. Sure they say crazy threatening things about us( like our leaders do about them). And they support “terrorists” like Hezbollah( not like we’ve ever supported extra-national armed groups). But they hardly seem suicidal. Also any nukes they develop will be more along the lines of our WW2 era nukes, and their missile technology will be decades behind ours. By the time they could be much of a threat to us( or Israel) they will probably have totally different people in power.

  • shirt

    And that’s all what it is: Rhetoric. Its sole purpose is to advance our own military industrial complex. It is all frakking BS. If Iran got the nuke its biggest fear would be a clandistine nuke attack on Isreal. (Syria? Pakistan? India? N. Korea? A former soviet satilite like Frag’emallistan).

    Our Military industrial (paranoid) complex is in it for the short term but the Iranian gamesters are in it for the long term, and they are better at it too.
    Their objective is to bleed us; slowly, carefuly and completely.

  • jpwf13

    The regime in Iran is pretty loathsome, but they’re not crazy, not irrational, and they care deeply about survival- if containment works on North Korea (whose leadership is just batsh!t insane by any measure) it will work on Iran.

    WRT 1960s China, my wife and her entire family is from China, I’ve met people from China and I’ve read a lot about China- China in the 60s, during the cultural revolution was indeed crazy, irrational and paranoid- and yet they did not use their nukes.

    The “nuclear attribution” problem is simple- I suspect that if any “terrorist” or non state group gets their hands on a bomb or bomb material the powers that be will blame Iran and ask questions (if any) later, much later- The Iranian Government should probably wonder if that is a situation they want themselves to be in- their best bet if they want to have the bomb and not be bombed- is to not test and to not declare- but I suspect that for their own reasons- they are going to both test and declare at the earliest opportunity, no matter what else is going on at that moment.

  • ajay

    Iran’s still not reprocessing spent reactor fuel to derive Pu, it’s not enriching U past 20% in the Natanz cascade, and it’s not diverting fuel to another enrichment facility somewhere else to be enriched to HEU. (No such facility, as far as anyone can tell, exists; Iran is known to be constructing a second enrichment cascade at Fordo, but this has not yet come on line.) Nor is there any evidence that it has imported, or is importing, Pu or HEU from any other country.

    There are only two known ways to build nuclear weapons: using Pu and using HEU. Iran has none of either and is not manufacturing any of either.

    Conclusion: Iran is not at present building nuclear weapons.

    • DocAmazing

      Next you’ll be telling us that Iraq has no biowarfare program.

  • So what are you saying? that the NY Times has a bunch of lazy journalists? Come on, don’t beat around the bush. You know it’s true.

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