Iran Goes Nuclear, But Does Not ‘Need’ Atomic Bomb

by | Feb 11, 2010 | Headline News | 9 comments

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    As the western powers anxiously awaited an Iranian announcement that was sure to ‘punch’ and ‘stun’ the world, we asked Does Iran Have a Nuclear Weapon?

    Speculation on what Iran would announce was broad, with contributors on this web site suggesting a variety of possible scenarios, including:

    • Iran finally enriched and built an operable nuclear weapon
    • Iran built a missile with longer range and better targeting capabilities, but no nuke
    • Iran had a dirty bomb ready to be deployed in the Strait of Hormuz
    • Iran would only sell oil to the west for gold or other commodities
    • Iran would announce the grand opening of a Hooters in Tehran

    For a day or so, we also speculated that perhaps the Iranian upper-cut was their announced plans to shut down Google’s email.

    It turns out that we were close on the nuclear issue. Iranian President Ahmadinejad announced that their nuclear facilities are now capable of enriching uranium for the production of energy.  According to Ahmadinejad  they also have the capability, if they so choose, to manufacture a nuclear weapon:

    Via Reuters:

    When we say that we don’t build nuclear bombs, it means that we won’t do that because we don’t believe in having it,” he said. “The Iranian nation is brave enough that if one day we wanted to build nuclear bombs we would announce it publicly without being afraid of you.

    Right now in Natanz (enrichment complex) we have the capability to enrich to more than 20 percent and (also) to more than 80 percent, but because we don’t need to, we won’t do so.

    Ahmadinejad also said Iran had produced its first batch of 20 percent-enriched atomic fuel, two days after it announced the start of the project.

    Iran denies Western accusations that its nuclear energy program has military goals, saying it only seeks to generate electricity so that it can export more of its oil and gas.

    We can be confident that if the Iranians did have the cahonas to manufacture a nuclear weapon, the last thing they would do is tell western powers about it. This would, in the eyes of Israel and perhaps even the United States, be a pretext for launching a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

    Of course, what President Ahmadinejad says and what Iran does are two different stories, so it is still possible that they are attempting to manufacture the bomb.

    Either that, or President Obama’s administration and the military believes that they may be manufacturing the bomb, in which case a preemptive strike may still occur.

    Other than a “wag-the-dog”, what reason would the President have for mobilizing Patriot missile defense batteries and the US Navy to the Gulf region last week?

    When President Bush launched the second Gulf War it was because of Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction. It worked once, and perhaps the Obama administration is thinking that the same excuse will be enough to convince Americans to get engaged in a third, or fourth if you count Pakistan, middle eastern country.


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      1. China is building 20 nuclear reactors, and owns enough US currency and treasuries to destroy the US without firing a shot. When are we going to start addressing real threats to our security instead of  worring about the over sensationalised comments of Ahmadinajad.   

      2. Patrick, my landlord and I recently discussed our Chinese debt, and he also brought up the question of what would happen if we just flat out defaulted on the Treasuries…. With the stroke of a pen, we could, as Denninger noted, make “every bond the Chinese Government holds is worthless.”

        I suspect that would really piss the Chinese off and there may be serious ramifications. I remember several Chinese generals and Communist members back in the late 90’s or early 2000’s suggest that any sort of trade protectionism would be considered an act of war. I wonder what they’d say if we stopped paying what we owe.

        In my view, something like this could lead to a global war. But, would the Chinese be willing to go nuclear over this? Interesting question and a bridge I hope we never have to cross.

      3. Mac – IMO, there is absolutely ZERO chance of any legitimate nation state starting a nuclear war.  They all know for a fact that any nuclear strike on the US or its interests will result in a full retaliation.  It’s simply jawboning as leverage to get something they might want.  It might be legitimate to  worry about “Imadinnerajacket” in Iran, but no way China or Russia or anyone like that nukes us.  Just never gonna happen.

        As for al-Q, or some other contrived terro entity, yes, someone could feed them a weapon, but that would simply be another small-ish scale event, intended to allow the global banksters to ram through more legislation to usurp our Constitutional rights and people’s liberties.  But make no mistake, the banksters do not want, and will not allow a global thermonuclear war… that ruins their money and their future.  Armed conflict?  Yes, they love it and have been creating it for 100+ years.  World War?  Maybe.  But definitely not a global nuclear Armageddon… no way.

      4. Most people just don’t get it.  When you don’t pay up, your loan shark will shake you down.  U.S. and UK have been doing it to the Latinos for yrs for not paying their debt, the irony, now the table’s been turned.  Bottomline, pay up or shut up, that’s how commerce works in the real world.  All these talk of strategic defaults won’t fly on the international scale.  Most people talk so confidently until the SHTF like having their power/water shut down for weeks/months.  Heck, imagine being forced to live in a Detroit ghetto against your will because you haven’t paid your bills???  Advice to all people, live within your means, pay promptly on your promises, take care family/kids, the world will work itself out, no need for heroes or world improvers.  Iran can have its nukes but they know the reaction from Israel eventually.  People always talk about oil disruption, so be it, we should have planned for this decade ago just in case.  If North America was self sufficient, there would be no need to get involved w/ any of these evil backward thinkers/nations they represent (Iran, China, India, Russia, etc).

      5. Damn it!!!  I lost a$20.00 bet that there was going to be a Hooters…. very disappointed that they decided to spend the money on enrichment of uranium instead of building a Hooters…. :(   lol
        On another note I don’t think China would attack us since they basically own the U.S., and  I am 100% sure that if the Goverment wrote off the bonds, Chinmart, oops I ment Walmart would go out of business… and that would mean higher unemployment and Barry wouldn’t like that…  Oh well what does the world have instore for us tomorrow… 

      6. Patrick, I checked out the link you refeered to, interesting perspective yes. I also looked at the link on Chinese,  Russian, and Iranian ss-22 Sunburn cruise missles that take out ‘ Those” ( aircraftcarriers) at a fraction of the cost with no known countermeasures. They travel at excess of mach 2. I think the idea of US symetrical military superiority may be in question.These missile systems are to fast for Aegis.

      7. I don’t buy the “no known countermeasures” argument.  That’s the same fatalistic thinking that led Bob Chapman to say it was the end of the world and if you weren’t out of the market by May 2009, you’d be roasted alive and be penniless… uh, yeah, not so much Bob!  lol  🙂

        Those missiles are 50 year old technology that the USSR stole/received/bought from us.  You can bet your last FRN$ we have very effective means of defeating such weapons.  If one thing is for sure, it’s the ability of the military industrial complex to develop amazing things with the trillions the govt steals from us.  Think about SR-71 Blackbirds flying around at Mach 3 back in the early 70s… did anyone at that time even think that was possible?  No.  Even beyond conventional defenses against incoming missiles, I would be willing to bet there are laser-based, and/or directed-EMP weapons that can immediately immobilize any device on a moment’s notice… and and whole host of other things that none of us have even dreamt of yet.  It’s an interesting proposition, but I don’t see the Chinese ever going to war with us directly.  And even if they did, I agree with Mr Denninger, no foreign entity is ever going to come ashore into the US.
        Good discussion!

      8. Actually, I thought anything was possible when I looked out of the window of the plane I was on as it rolled up next to an SR-71 BLACKBIRD at Clark Air Force Base in the Phillipines in October of 1970. And in broad daylight ……….

        Sorry I don’t have any photos of that event but we were warned that we would spend twenty years in prison if we took a picture. I didn’t want to push that envelope.

        As for going to war with the Chinese: why would they want to do that? Someone has to support their economy by buying their goods, and thats US. I would worry about China if I lived in Taiwan, or the “Rice Bowl” of Southeast Asia, or the virtually virgin, resource rich areas of Mongolia and Siberia.

        Chinas first aggression will probably be Taiwan. When no one does anything about that, (remember Poland 1939?) then they will look to the Rice Bowl to feed their people, or west to central Asia for oil and gas as they have built a new highway and pipelines following the Silk Road to those countries. They will probably continue to support Iran as Iran has just recently discovered two more commercially viable O&G fields.

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