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Monday, January 30, 2012

Panetta admits Iran will be nuclear within a year

In an appearance on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday night, US Secretary of Defense LeonLink Panetta admitted that Iran will likely have nuclear weapons within a year, and the means of delivering them within a year or two after that.

Of course, Panetta claims that the US will do 'whatever it takes' to stop Iran.

Let's go to the videotape.

I have two issues with what Panetta said. First, don't we have evidence now that they are developing a nuclear weapon? Didn't the IAEA admit that in November? Note also that he won't utter the words "including military action," and instead he just says that 'all options' are on the table.

Here's more from YNet.
In a report issued in November, the International Atomic Energy Agency said intelligence from more than 10 countries and its own sources "indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device."

It detailed 12 suspicious areas such as testing explosives in a steel container at a military base and studies on Shahab-3 ballistic missile warheads that the IAEA said were "highly relevant to a nuclear weapon program." Iran rejected the dossier as based on forgeries.

The Islamic Republic has come under unprecedented international pressure since the publication of the report, with Washington and the European Union targeting its oil sector and central bank.

In his State of the Union message Tuesday, Obama said a peaceful outcome was still possible with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, but he declined to rule out the military option.

"The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent," Obama said.

"Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal," the president declared, triggering a standing ovation.
What could go wrong?

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At 3:10 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

Clearly the US has known this for a very long time. 2013 was THE date bandied around 5 or 6 years ago. Obama is quietly telling Iran not that it knows it's either already at the precipice or soon will be, but that it doesn't not support Iran having a nuclear device test before the November election. Once Obama's lame duck presidency begins in Jan 2013, he's telling Iran they are free to do whatever they like.

'Common wisdom' says Iran would at that point be 2-3 years from engineering a deployable weapon on a missile but this assumes that nuclear weapons tests are for engineering reasons and not political ones. Last week Turkey announced it had, for no clear reason, developed bigger IRBM missiles with even longer range models in the pipeline. What this translates to is a tradeoff between distance and throw weight. An Iranian bomb, even a physically large and inefficient one, could be mated to a longer range missile as long as it didn't have to go very far, say as far as Riyadh, Tel Aviv, Athens, Nicosia. That's the trade off you get - half the distance for twice the weight. And please don't forget that the US never worried enough about the design of the Hiroshima bomb to test it first either. Trinity was a test of the far more sophisticated Nagasaki bomb. Hiroshima was a 'war emergency' design thrown together in case Trinity didn't work.

Clearly Washington has known this for a very long time, and every time they decried Israeli estimates, that now, are entirely in line with their own estimates, they were lying for Obama's political gain.


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