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Old 04-06-2011   #1
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Default Iran, Nukes and Diplomacy 2011-2014

Note this new thread is for discussions in 2011. Iran and nuclear weapons has come to the fore again. I have started this 2011 thread and moved a small number of posts added in 2011, in a moment the previous thread will be closed and locked.

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An IISS Strategic Comment on the impact on Iran's civil nuclear programme, which I knew existed, but not in any detail and worth reading:http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...clear-rethink/
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Old 05-07-2011   #2
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Default Meir Dagan on possibility of Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities

Former Mossad chief: Israel air strike on Iran 'stupidest thing I have ever heard'

In first public appearance since leaving post as Mossad chief, Meir Dagan warns of regional war if Iran is attacked; says fall of Assad regime would benefit Israel.

By Yossi Melman

Haaretz, Published 18:52 07.05.11

Quote:
Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan referred to the possibility a future Israeli Air Force attack on Iranian nuclear facilities as "the stupidest thing I have ever heard" during a conference held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem on Friday.

Dagan's presentation during a senior faculty conference was his first public appearance since leaving his former role as chief of the Mossad at the end of September 2010.

Dagan said that Iran has a clandestine nuclear infrastructure which functions alongside its legitimate, civil infrastructure. It is the legitimate infrastructure, he said, that is under international supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Any strike on this legitimate infrastructure would be "patently illegal under international law," according to Dagan.

Dagan emphasized that attacking Iran would be different than Israel's successful air strike on Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981. Iran has scattered its nuclear facilities in different places around the country, he said, which would make it difficult for Israel to launch an effective attack.

...

The IAF's abilities are not in doubt, Dagan emphasized, but the doubts relate to the possibilities of completing the mission and reaching all targets.

When asked about what would happen in the aftermath of an Israeli attack Dagan said that: "It will be followed by a war with Iran. It is the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end."
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Old 05-24-2011   #3
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Default Axis of Evil: much smoke

Quote:
...you might have missed the most important development in months surrounding Iran's nuclear program: Zimbabwe's emergence as a key enabler of the Islamic Republic's march toward the atomic bomb.
Link:http://www.realclearworld.com/articl...day-newsletter

Not much detail on this prospect at the Zimbabwe end in the article, although it has been reported upon in the UK over a month ago and this has some detail:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...be-regime.html

After a search it appears that there is potential and no capacity to produce anything. Given Zimbabwe's economy Iran clearly has the capital to invest. Within the cited Daily Telegraph article was:
Quote:
...One metallurgist with knowledge of the deposit said it would take two to three years of development before it produced uranium and it would be exhausted in about five years.
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Old 06-30-2011   #4
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Quote:
LONDON (AP) — Iran has conducted covert tests of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads in addition to a 10-day program of public military maneuvers, Britain alleged on Wednesday.
*

Quote:
Britain believes Tehran has conducted at least three secret tests of medium-range ballistic missiles since October, amid an apparent escalation of its nuclear program and increased scrutiny from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
http://news.yahoo.com/uk-iran-conduc...GlvbnM-;_ylv=3
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Old 09-29-2011   #5
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Quote:
The French envoy to the UN has warned Iran that it risks a military strike if it continues pursuing its nuclear program.
"If we don't succeed today to reach a negotiation with the Iranians, there is a strong risk of military action," Ambassador Gerard Araud said on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the UN’s New York headquarters, AFP reported.
http://rt.com/news/military-strike-iran-france-567/
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Old 11-09-2011   #6
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Default Iran, Nukes, Diplomacy and other options:catch all thread 2011

Iran and nuclear weapons has come to the fore again. I have started this 2011 thread and moved a small number of posts added in 2011, in a moment the previous thread will be closed and locked.
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Old 11-09-2011   #7
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Default playing Persian Incursion, a board game of a hypothetical Israeli air campaign

Hat tip to FP Blog for a glimpse into the possibilities of an Iranian-Israeli conflict:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...sian_incursion

Quote:
Persian Incursion is basically two games in one. There is a highly detailed military game of a seven-day Israeli air offensive in which Israel plans and executes its strikes while the Iranian air defenses try to stop them. But there is also a political game that unlocks the military aspect...

...As U.S. history has demonstrated for the last 65 years, before you blunder into a war, it's best to figure out exactly how you're going to win. Although Persian Incursion is a war game, destroying or protecting Iran's nuclear sites is only a means to victory -- not victory itself. The real prize is political. If Israel or Iran can knock down the other's morale enough through military or political action, it wins. Part of the goal, then, is to score points on "political tracks," which measure public opinion and morale.
Nowhere does it say who sells the game, sorry Rex!

The first review of the game I found:http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/7...sian-incursion
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Old 11-10-2011   #8
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A few comments on the capacities and probabilities involved in an Israeli strike on Iran...

http://www.cfr.org/israel/israeli-st...FY1S4god4FZd1g

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/..._raas_long.pdf

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...nt_attack_iran

Would be curious to hear what the ME watchers here think of the arguments made.
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Old 11-12-2011   #9
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Default Israel vs Iran: the regional blowback

Professor Paul Rogers has written a short article, which opens with:
Quote:
The prospect of an Israeli military assault on Iran's nuclear assets is growing. The scale and impact of any attack would be far greater than most observers expect.
Quote:
It is the link between the weapons research and two other factors that makes the case for revisiting Iran's nuclear ambitions....The first is the programme of uranium enrichment...The second factor is the Iranian construction programme, which includes several major underground facilities.
This part intrigued me, partly as I do not recall reading about this aspect:
Quote:
But Israel cannot guarantee effective results by operating from its own territory alone; it needs local allies. Here, Kurdish (northeast) Iraq and Azerbaijan are important. Israel has assiduously developed close relations with both. In the latter case, this has meant taking sides with a Muslim country locked in a frozen conflict with (Christian) Armenia - in turn supported by Iran - over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Kurdish Iraq and Azerbaijan would not necessarily offer Israel forward operating bases for strike aircraft; but their numerous support functions could include the insertion of special forces into Iran; search and rescue; overflying by tanker aircraft; and, above all, launch sites for some of Israel's many and potent armed drones.

In short, an Israeli operation against Iran will be comprehensive and will use regional facilities to inflict maximum damage on Iran's nuclear programme. But the moment it starts, the political dynamics change.
There's more on the link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-ro...ional-blowback
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Old 11-14-2011   #10
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Quote:
An Iranian physicist was gunned down yesterday near his home in south Tehran, according to Iranian media reports. According to the reports, based on police sources, Darioush Rezaei, 35, was shot dead by two gunmen firing from motorcycles. Rezaei's wife was injured in the attack and rushed to hospital. This is the fourth attack on an Iranian nuclear scientist in the past year. In the previous cases, Iranian media outlets and spokesmen accused the Mossad, the CIA and MI6 of being behind the strikes.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition...ehran-1.374898

Quote:
An explosion at a Revolutionary Guard base in Iran killed a senior commander in charge of the country's missile development programme, the authorities have said, prompting speculation Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service was involved. Brigadier General Hassan Moghaddam was said to be "responsible for industrial research aimed at ensuring self-sufficiency of the Revolutionary Guards' armaments", a coded way of confirming reports that he was responsible for its missile inventory.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...explosion.html
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Old 11-14-2011   #11
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There is a historical thread on 'Covert Action in Iran':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=6736
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Old 11-14-2011   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Professor Paul Rogers has written a short article,
Paul Rogers has been been issuing predictions of an imminent attack on Iran at regular intervals for at least a decade, maybe more. Who knows, if he keeps on he might even be right... someday. Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.
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Old 11-14-2011   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Paul Rogers has been been issuing predictions of an imminent attack on Iran at regular intervals for at least a decade, maybe more. Who knows, if he keeps on he might even be right... someday. Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.
Yeah, and I love these two sentences:

Quote:
The prospect of an Israeli military assault on Iran's nuclear assets is growing. The scale and impact of any attack would be far greater than most observers expect.
It's growing by what metric? who are "most observers?" I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this kind of lazy "analysis" since it seems to be the norm these days.
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Old 11-23-2011   #14
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Quote:
November 23, 2011
The U.S. and its allies announced coordinated sanctions against Iran on Monday. In a speech at the Brookings Institution Tuesday, White House national security adviser Tom Donilon argued that it is "undeniable" that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons capability, and that sanctions are working.
http://www.npr.org/2011/11/23/142710...-is-undeniable
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Old 11-24-2011   #15
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Quote:
An influential Iran parliamentarian has said that the country has arrested 12 agents of the American Central Intelligence Agency, the country’s official IRNA news agency reported.
Quote:
This current announcement follows the unravelling by Lebanon’s Hizbollah of a CIA spy ring in that country. Hizbollah reportedly works closely with Iran.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...programme.html

See also
http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=14599
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Old 11-27-2011   #16
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Default Israel vs Iran wargame compendium

I've assembled a compendium of recent (2009-present) public-domain wargames on a possible Iranian strike against Iranian nuclear facilities here.
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Old 11-28-2011   #17
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"Accidents happen".


http://www.businessinsider.com/hmm-a...-today-2011-11

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...Iran-city.html
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Old 11-29-2011   #18
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Default IISS Strategic Comment

An IISS Strategic Comment 'IAEA report: death knell of Iran diplomacy?' that opens with:
Quote:
An evolving crisis over Iran's nuclear programme escalated this month as an IAEA report detailed evidence of Iranian R&D work on nuclear weapons, mostly before 2004, and the United States and its allies invoked the harshest sanctions yet. Yet amid renewed talk of unilateral Israeli airstrikes, Iran showed no sign of backing down.

The IAEA report released on 8 November was widely seen as a watershed. A 15-page annex provided detailed evidence collected by the IAEA on Iranian nuclear-weapons R&D dating from the late 1980s. The comprehensive assessment indicated that Iran had established a dedicated programme to pursue all the key technologies involved in developing an implosion-type nuclear weapon.
The point of 'No Return' for Israel:
Quote:
The IAEA reported that Iran was moving ahead with installing centrifuges at the Fordow enrichment facility inside a mountain near Qom, for the stated purpose of producing 20% enriched uranium. Iran had said it would also be installing a few hundred advanced centrifuges at Fordow, but this work has yet to commence. Once centrifuges are operating at Fordow they will be nearly invulnerable to conventional military attack. For Israel, therefore, the Fordow installation represents a certain 'point of no return'.
Link:http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...ran-diplomacy/

The Comment's title alone suggests one option is not available as neither side are willing to talk and listen.
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Old 12-13-2011   #19
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"Oops"

Eight killed in mysterious blast at Iranian steel plant

Explosion occurred in Yazd, a city where reports have indicated the existence of covert nuclear facilities.

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/N...aspx?id=249105
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Old 12-20-2011   #20
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Default General Dempsey to CNN: Iran Shouldn't "Miscalculate Our Resolve"

General Dempsey to CNN: Iran Shouldn't "Miscalculate Our Resolve"

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