The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear weapon

A little nuclear sanity

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“For me, it is a different world”
—Mohamed ElBaradei (Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency)

Ikata Nuclear Power Plant

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This is change. And very good news.

I never have quite understood the logic of the USA’s stockpiling enough nukes to destroy the world six times over while insisting that nukes are bad and no one else should have them.

Nor have I understood how countries who sign treaties allowing  development of nuclear power stations have to endure threats of missile strikes from the USA or Israel for building them.

Good news is that it looks like Mr. Obama has decided fair deals and keeping our promises might be good policy, along with tightening up the rules by which all of us play.  Here’s what he’s proposed in Europe:

clipped from www.nytimes.com
Mr. Obama was embracing a concept that the Bush administration had repeatedly rejected: That to counter proliferation, the United States could no longer simply ignore the fact that some countries — like Iran — were signatories to international treaties and could correctly claim a “right” to produce their own nuclear fuel.

SHARM EL SHEIKH/EGYPT, 19MAY08 - Mohamed M. El...

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Mr. Bush’s approach was to declare that some countries could simply never be trusted.

Mr. Obama’s approach is to tighten the web of treaties, and amend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to make it harder for nations like Iran to limit inspections or refuse to answer questions about suspect documents.

Mr. Obama even embraced two controversial treaties that many in Congress will oppose because of the limits they put on American nuclear strategy: One would ban nuclear testing, they other would cut off production of new fissile material.

“For me, it is a different world,” Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian-born director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told a visitor to his office in Vienna on Monday, as Mr. Obama was finishing up his trip.

“When was the last time you heard a president talk about moving toward zero nuclear weapons? Or fixing a nonproliferation system that is clearly falling apart?”

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Indeed.

Showing some exemplary restraint of our own while putting some teeth into the mutually-agreed rule of law, might just be a step toward a world of greater sanity.

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Why bombing Iran won’t work

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And a few things that just might.

Tehran
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“You can’t bomb knowledge,” said Robert Litwak, Director of the Division of International Security Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars […]

[B]ombing … Iran’s nuclear sites will not deter future technological developments […]

US military action … would only trigger major responses worldwide, … a worsening of the fragile state of Iraq and “a rally around the flag effect in Iran.”

Washington will need to recognize that “what is politically serious in Washington is politically insignificant in Tehran.” What the US has previously viewed as a big step toward normalization, such as allowing the importation of pistachios and carpets, has little weight in Iran […]

Pres. Obama and other political figures have not recognized the need to use sensitive language when dealing with Iran. Iran has expressed its disdain for phrases such as “carrots and sticks,” that the US has repeatedly used […] [T]his mistranslates to say that the US plans to deal with Iran as a donkey, either reward it with carrots or beat it into submission. “This will backfire on us,” … stated Robin Wright, journalist, author and public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Clipped from niacouncil.org

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Written by Monte

March 3, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Iran’s enriched uranium ready for bombs? Not by a long shot.

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Iran does not have the capability of making weapons-grade enriched uranium.

I know, you heard that there was more enriched uranium there than previously thought. But there are, apparently, many grades of enriched uranium, and bomb material is far cry from what Iran has.

Here’s U of Michigan Prof. Juan Cole:

clipped from www.juancole.com

Pie-graphs showing the relative proportions of...

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Iran Nuclear Program Hyped again

Note to mainstream media:

Iran cannot construct nuclear bombs with uranium enriched only to less than 4%.

It needs to be enriched to something like 90% to make a bomb. Iran is not known even to have that capability, and no it cannot be done in 2 months (try a decade), assuming they were trying to do it, which our $40 bn. a year intelligence agencies say they are not.

So all the silly articles on Friday about how iran now has enough enriched uranium to make a bomb are just illiterate.

Moreover, the report in question actually says that Iran is slowing its enrichment activities.

h/t Jay McDonough.

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Reason for panic? Threat to world peace? Justification for a strike from Israel?

Hardly.

Why is it “reasons for war” stories are so rarely true?


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