Monday, March 23, 2015

Like It or Not, Obama's Nuke Deal Will Give Iran the Bomb and Worse..

In order to have an effective nuclear weapons program there needs to be three elements.

First, the program must be capable of producing 90% uranium isotope U-235 in large enough quantities to build a bomb by using gas centrifuges.  Or, be capable of producing the platinum isotope PU-239 by operating a heavy water nuclear reactor.

Second, the program must include the development of a detonation device that is compact enough and limited in its weight to be put atop a ballistic missile. 

Third, the program must create a viable delivery system such as a ballistic missile.

In the case of Iran's nuke program, we know they can enrich uranium to 20% U-235 because they have already done so.  Many experts believe that given the current number of centrifuges, they could breakout to weapons grade U-235 in just two to three months if left to continue producing large quantities of 20% U-235.  Also, they are building a heavy water reactor in Arak that is quite capable of producing weapons grade PU-239.  Additionally, Iran has an active ballistic missile program.  Whether or not any of those currently developed missiles are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead is anyone's guess since that program is highly secretive.  Some, who have looked at satellite images of the launch site, believe the missiles are too lightweight to actually carry a bomb.  But, what is known, is that their latest missile has a long enough range to hit Europe.

That brings us to the detonation device.  It has long been suspected that Iran has already built and tested a nuclear detonation device at its Parchin military complex.  This is probably true since, to date, they refuse to allow UN weapons inspectors any access to the Parchin site.

Throughout the negotiation process, the sole focus has been on Iran's enrichment program; leaving them  free to keep developing improved missile delivery systems and detonation devices.  In terms of enrichment, the currently known "deal" would allow them to continue to enrich uranium to the 5% level. Existing 20% material would have to be either chemically neutralized or exported to an existing nuclear country.  Of course, if that is Russia, there's no guarantee that Russia, sometime in the future, couldn't just ship that material right back to Iran without the world knowing.  Especially, if trading sanctions are lifted.  Also, the neutralization of the 20% U-235 is reversible.  There may also be down-scaling of the Arak reactor site to slow the production of PU-239.

The bottom line is that the final agreement will only slow Iran's bomb making program; and, only that part of it that is related to enrichment.  No way will it dismantle it.  The Obama Administration has already admitted that the intent of the agreement is to extend the 2 to 3 month breakout time for enrichment to weapons grade material to a one year time frame. So, essentially, the President is saying that Iran can have its bomb in the future.  It just might take a little longer. A fact that won't sit well with either Israel or their neighbors in the region that see Iran as a threat, such as Saudi Arabia.  This, then, may leave them and others with no other choice but to build themselves a bomb as a deterrent to Iran's possible threats.

If a nuclear arms race develops in the Middle East, it will definitely sour Obama's legacy of having achieved a deal with Iran.  Think about it.  A nuclear arms race in the most unstable and war-prone part of the world.  That will be President Obama's real legacy.


Fact Sheet: Iran's Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs:

AP Exclusive: Draft agreement cuts Iran's nuclear hardware [extends breakout time to one year]:

Iran signs agreement with IAEA to allow broader inspections of nuclear sites [but not Parchin and other sensitive military sites]:

Prince Hints Saudi Arabia May Join Nuclear Arms Race:

Bolton: Middle East Nuclear Arms Race Is Already Underway:

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