More details are coming out about the newest report on Iranian nuclear development. Once again, it appears that Iran is further along than we’d thought. From The New York Times:
“In their first appraisal of Iran’s nuclear program since President Obama took office, atomic inspectors have found that Iran recently understated by a third how much uranium it has enriched, United Nations officials said Thursday.
“The officials also declared for the first time that the amount of uranium that Tehran had now amassed — more than a ton — was sufficient, with added purification, to make an atom bomb.”
What we have, though, is a massive international economic crisis that is taking attention away from this critical development - just as the Great Depression took attention away from the growing militarism in Germany and Japan before World War II. Will we suffer the same fate?
“’It’s worse than we thought,’ Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, said in an interview. ‘It’s alarming that the actual production was underreported by a third.’
“The political impact of the report, while hard to measure, could be significant for the Obama administration. Mr. Obama has said that he wants to open direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program. But starting that process could take months, and the report suggests that Iran is moving ahead briskly with its uranium enrichment.”
By the time they arrange “talks,” the Iranians may just have the bomb. What does Mr. Obama do then? Propose more talks?
“On Thursday evening, an Obama administration official who had reviewed the new report said, ‘There is a steady timeline of improvement, especially in terms of mastering the efficiency of the centrifuges,’ meaning that Iran has been able to increase its output of enriched uranium.
“The official acknowledged that there were longstanding suspicions that Iran could have additional uranium enrichment sites that the inspectors had not seen or heard about. ‘Everyone’s nervous and worried about the possibility of Iran pursuing a clandestine capability,’ he said.”
Pathetically, unbelievably, UN officials were still defending their inspections, which is what UN officials do. Some of them tried to downplay the discrepancy between what Iran originally reported about enrichment and the latest data:
“The officials dismissed suggestions that the discrepancy meant that Iran could smuggle enriched uranium out of the Natanz plant for processing at a secret location. ‘We’re sure that no material could have left the facility without us knowing,’ the senior United Nations official said. But he admitted that the inspection teams do their own inventory just once a year. ‘It’s only at that moment,’ he said, ‘that we have our own independent data.’”
Oh, now they tell us. Impressive. So impressive. We still are not taking this seriously enough. The story above appeared on page 12 of The New York Times. It apparently wasn’t important enough for the first 11 pages. After all, we don’t want to seem like those neocon alarmists, do we, darlings?
One nuclear device sailed into an American harbor in a freighter, and set off by a suicide squad, could produce more fatalities in a few moments than in all of America’s wars put together.
The late military theorist, Herman Kahn, for whom I worked, called it “thinking about the unthinkable.” We really should start.
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