Thursday, February 02, 2006

Iranian Atomic Update

From Barcepundit: The Daily Telegraph reports the IAEA is infiltrated with Iranian agents.

EU Referendum has an interesting analysis of the state of preparedness of the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
However, what is interesting is that the Iranians have opted for a uranium rather than a plutonium bomb, which means that they can refine the material without recourse to a nuclear reactor (the latter being the only source of Plutonium). The down-side of this is that a uranium bomb is heavier (and also produced a lower explosive yield).
. . . . .
Clearly, such a crude weapon could not be delivered by an intermediate-range missile like the Shahab 3, which has a maximum payload of a ton and serious dimensional limitations.

To enable missile delivery, the Iranians would have to produce a much more compact implosion device, which could be engineered to fit the limited warhead space of their missile.
. . . . .
he technology required to produce this bomb is fearsome, not least the highly complex array of conventional explosives needed to trigger it, and to produce it would stretch Iranian capabilities and resources to the limit. Furthermore, such is the complexity that the Iranians would at least on live test to prove the design.

Even then, there have been doubts expressed as to whether the warhead dimensions of the Shahab 3 are sufficient even to accommodate a lightweight bomb, which raises further questions about Iranian preparedness.

Despite Rafi Eitan's concerns, therefore, an Iranian nuclear strike - or the acquisition of deliverable bombs - may be less than imminent, which raises questions as to why Eitan has gone public with his fears.
Who is Rafi Eitan? Read the rest of the article to find out why his opinion matters. By the way, while the author may argue with the analysis concerning the progress of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, he agrees as to the direction and goal of that program.

From Barcepundit: CIVILIAN USES, my ass: