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Iran Says It's Planning a Surprise Regarding its Nuclear Program

From the Jerusalem Post:

A senior official in Teheran said Wednesday that in the next few days, a "surprise" was expected regarding Iran's nuclear program, Al-Jazeera reported.


Teheran's apparent refusal to suspend uranium enrichment set the stage for a showdown at the UN Security Council later this month.

This business about a possible Iranian nuclear surprise is even more disconcerting when we hear that some within the Bush Administration and the Republican Party are concerned that our intelligence community is downplaying the threat Iran poses to the US. From tomorrow's New York Times:

Some senior Bush administration officials and top Republican lawmakers are voicing anger that American spy agencies have not issued more ominous warnings about the threats that they say Iran presents to the United States.


Some policy makers have accused intelligence agencies of playing down Iran's role in Hezbollah's recent attacks against Israel and overestimating the time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran doesn't have to make a nuclear weapon. It can buy one:

The consensus of the intelligence agencies is that Iran is still years away from building a nuclear weapon. Such an assessment angers some in Washington, who say that it ignores the prospect that Iran could be aided by current nuclear powers like North Korea. "When the intelligence community says Iran is 5 to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon, I ask: 'If North Korea were to ship them a nuke tomorrow, how close would they be then?" said Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives.

Let's hope that's not the surprise.

Dan Riehl also notes a connection between the JPost and NYT articles.

Update: Israel just purchased two nuclear capable subs. At first blush, this seems reassuring, but I agree with Allah. A different enemy would see this as a deterrent, but not Iran.


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Comments (23)

If NK were to ship them a n... (Below threshold)
James:

If NK were to ship them a nuke tomorrow, I'd hope we could find out about it and intercept it on the way.

While I'm well aware of the... (Below threshold)
kirktoe:

While I'm well aware of the danger that Iran poses to the US and that this guy running Iran is a nutcase, sometimes nutcases make hollow threats. We've already had one threat/surprise that was supposed to happen yesterday (the 22nd). Nothing. Then all of a sudden they want to "talk". And let's not forget that despite the MSM/Hezzbolah spin, Israel did quite a number on the Hezbo's.

Call me crazy, but looking at this from afar, Iran's actions remind me of someone who is backed into a corner and is trying something/anything to get out of the situation. I think they fear Bush and his "cowboy" diplomacy. You'll never hear that from the MSM but I imagine Iran got the message loud and clear when Bush gave Israel the green light against Hezzbolah (whether Israel carried it to it's full conclusion or not). No President in recent times has done that.

And another point: Bush' invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam was not only the correct call but proved that we would do that if necessary and may do it again if needed.

Of course it could all be as simple as Iran seeing the President's approval nunmbers going up since the Wallace interview proved they follow those things closely.

Or maybe the surprise is an endorsement of Ned Lamont. You just never know.

When I first started readin... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

When I first started reading the article, I started wondering if they could have bought a few from Korea and will allude to have the capability.

Just read that Israel has p... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Just read that Israel has purchased some more nuclear capable sub's. Iran had better hurry or they won't get more than one missile off the ground before there is no more Iran. The U.S. should save them the price of the sub's and destroy Iran right now. I'll be happy to push the button.

N Korea and Iran are probab... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

N Korea and Iran are probably operationg from the same set of blueprints for a nuclear weapon. These are the plans for Pakistan's weapon, (already tested in May 1998) developed by Dr. Khan that turned up in Iran. North Korea doesn't need to ship an entire weapon, only the fissionable material, which is far more portable and more easily hidden than a complete device.

If and when N. Korea detonates their first test article, they can claim it is an Iranian device. There were credible reports of Iranian scientists present at N. Korea's recent missile tests, and it isn't much of a stretch to figure they will be there when they conduct their first nuclear test.

My guess is this is the nuclear surprise. The timing fits what is going on in N Korea now.

Hezbollah won points with e... (Below threshold)

Hezbollah won points with everyone in the Middle East, except of course, Israel. All of those countries dislike the U.S. It does not matter if you approve or disapprove of our government's unconditional support of Israel. This will be our Achilles heel either way.
If it continues as it is, our connection with Israel will not allow the Middle East to achieve peace. And if we ever dissolve the relationship, Israel will find itself in yet another conflict and unleash everything it has on surrounding nations.
What situation will the world be in then? It would be nice if someone in addition to Italy, would step up and participate. Love us or hate us, the good old USA is always stuck cleaning up the mess. God Bless the Troops.

I concur with Corky Boyd. ... (Below threshold)

I concur with Corky Boyd. The North Koreans are desperate to make something happen which will force - in their minds, at least - the US to negotiate directly with them and make concessions.

The reason they withdrew from the multi-party talks was that we cracked down on their international money laundering scheme. The PRK's major industry is counterfeit American currency, which they had been using to gain other hard currencies in exchange. We pressured the Asian nations and banks they were using, most notably in Malaysia, and cut off their supply of foreign exchange capital cold.

The Iranians, of course, have plenty of hard currency from the high price of oil the last couple of years, so the PRK could "kill two birds with one stone" by testing a nuke and selling fissionable material to Iran.

Its a crazy world when the ... (Below threshold)
Steve Savage:

Its a crazy world when the United States, a nation that has 12,000 nuclear weapons, 135 intercontinental bombers, 95 nuclear submarines, 12 aircraft carriers, 1875 attack fighters, and 65 million tons of chemical weapons would ever be scared of a country like Iran.

I guess the Republican propaganda has succeeded. I mean after all, the Bush Administration has managed in the past to scare us all over Iraq, claiming it was a threat.

If it was a threat, why was it handily defeated in war in about 2 weeks?


How about some common sense here folks.

Wow, I never thought of tha... (Below threshold)

Wow, I never thought of that. We have more nukes than Iran could possibly have! That means WE WIN!

Okay, folks. Time to calm down. Iran having nuclear weapons isn't important because we have lots of them and even if the "death to America and Israel" psychos start something, we'll be able to finish it.

It's probably not going to be *your* city that glows so who cares? WE WIN.

Hm... maybe we could convin... (Below threshold)

Hm... maybe we could convince them to take out Miami Dade Airport. That would be a WIN/WIN. Whoot!

2008 : Newt + Condi = Lands... (Below threshold)
Headzero:

2008 : Newt + Condi = Landslide

2012 : Relection 63 - 30

2016 : Condi + whomever = 75 / 25 to landslide depending on VP

Personally would rather have Condi run for 2008 but I think the incline is to steep even tho if she did I would give her my vote and be out there campaigning for her. Reality tho, is a much different beast than what I want.

Still, when the Neo-cons cr... (Below threshold)
Syntax:

Still, when the Neo-cons criticized Condi Rice by calling her "weak" and "ineffective" and claimed she wasn't doing enough to "support the Neo-conservative agenda", what did Bush do? He gave Rice full authority and power to negotiate the cease-fire with Neo-con himself, John Bolton keeping is hands in his lap and his mouth shut. There may be hope for Bush yet. (Who am I kidding)

As far back as Richard Nixon, Republican Presidents always believed that having Iran as an ally would benefit stability in the Middle East and help further good diplomatic ties. Reagan/Bush (41) did business with them with the Iran/Contra affair and despite numerous warnings from Reagan's top advisors about how he was emboldening a future enemy, he still chose to do nothing against them when Iran's proxy committed terrorist attacks against our interests. Reagan had tunnel-vision against the Soviet Union and his empowering Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Iran was not a concern to him despite the obvious that everybody else was seeing. Bush is the first Republican President who feels that spreading democracy to Iran would further stability despite the obvious fact that Iran is already a democracy.

So what to do, impose sanctions? 60 to 70% of their oil get exported to India, China and Russia. Think they're gonna let that happen and watch their price of gas skyrocket and their economies get slammed? Don't hold your breath on that one as China and Russia will block the sanctions for their own economic stability and India will just go along happily. Since many of our corporations have re-located high end production facilities to India, having them have a healthy economy benefits our economy so there already is opposition to sanctions here in corporate America.

Maybe we can bomb them like Shock and Awe? Oh yeah, sounds really juicy huh? And the enemy can sit safely out in the desert and watch us kill innocent civilians just like they did in Iraq. How many millions of dollars did we spend on killing innocent civilians in Baghdad while the enemy sat on a hill watching and waiting? Brilliant idea there. Worked swimmingly well in Iraq with the whole "Missions Accomplished" banner on the carrier while the enemy giggled and watched. Are you absolutely sure you want these "rocket-scientists" morons to start another war? We can bomb the hell out of Iran but the enemy won't be there and it will waste a lot of money.

I know...lets NUKE 'EM!!!! Wait a tick.....I don't think the neighbors will appreciate the fall-out. Contaminated water supplies, severe and longterm humanitarian conditions and massive disruption of global economies. I'm willing to bet we may get a few warheads lobbed back at us for that. And besides...can't dirty up the oil supply since we may need it someday. I'll tell you this much, George W. Bush will not have the enemy sit out in the desert safely while watching and giggling. If we use nuclear weapons, they sure as hell won't be giggling thats for sure because Ol' Dubya is tough like that! Scratch that one.

I know...we'll commit a massive ground force to the region. Send in all the troops and start combing the country side. First, we need troops! Going to have to deal with these pesky record low military enrollment numbers. Draft? Guess so! Then we can deploy these troops into a massively large region (Iran is huge) that they are completely unfamiliar with and engage in guerrilla warfare with the enemy just like we did in Vietnam or like the Soviets did with the Mujhadeen in Afghanistan. Brilliant! This is so exciting!!! Wait a tick......I think this may very well be what Iran wants. Oh gosh yeah! They'll unite the Islamic state or the Shia Crescent and we can commit our troops to fight Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, Qatar and Lebanon and even Iraq. All the Shia Jihadists can make the pigrimage to the region to take up the Jihad against the infidels and we can have our troops be outnumbered massively in a region they're not familiar with fighting a guerrilla war against an enemy that justs keeps coming and coming and coming and coming. Maybe we can have the Sunnis and the Shia unite because there is an old expression, "I hate my brother but I hate my brother's enemy even more." Then we can have Al Qaeda and all the Sunnis Jihadist making the pilgrimage to the Shia Crescent region to take up the Jihad against the infidels after all, they all showed support for Hezbollah against the Israelis including all our allies (except Pakistan). Fun stuff huh??!!??!! Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and the Imigrates. All those Jihadists taking up arms and making the pilgrimage to the region to take on the dwindling low number of troops available for the war against Iran. Hey....think we can get the 175,000 troops we have in Iraq out of there safely before the Shias all turn on them? Doesn't matter because we'll have the international community on our side like Britain and maybe...Britain and .......well.........we'll have Britain. Yep...we're on our own while the Jihadists will have Russia, India, China, North Korea secretly on their side because we all just know how China would love to capitalize on this for their economic superiority. Their attack subs already outnumber ours on a 5 to 1 ratio so...well......ya know what, we'll be fine! China can have all the oil! We have blogs.

Opining from the comforts of your computer desk does not classify any of you to be intelligent enough to put other people's lives on the line for your fantasy-land ideology. Iraq and Afghanistan were countries that didn't have what it takes to defend themselves where as Iran may very well be able to defend herself with a little help from her friends. Hezbollah's recent aggression against Israel was not for Israel's benefit, it was for ours. They're ready! This will be a very long, very bloody and very expensive war. It will cost us trillions of $$$. It will massively effect our economy and we may very well be facing an opposing force larger than we ever faced in history. We may win but can we survive afterwards or will the rest of the World like China and Russia and India capitalize? Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it!

Opining from the comfort... (Below threshold)
Nahanni:

Opining from the comforts of your computer desk does not classify any of you to be intelligent enough to put other people's lives on the line for your fantasy-land ideology

You really have to quit looking in the mirror when you write your 10 pounds of shite in a 5 pound bag posts, honey.

Wow, just when you think yo... (Below threshold)
LJD:

Wow, just when you think your read something really stupid:

'Its a crazy world when the United States,.. would ever be scared of a country like Iran.
I guess the Republican propaganda has succeeded. I mean after all, the Bush Administration has managed in the past to scare us all over Iraq, claiming it was a threat.'

Um, no. Actually it is the libtards selling the story that we have a 'broken force' (which is completely untrue BTW). Nice try though. Move along.

and then:

'And the enemy can sit safely out in the desert and watch us kill innocent civilians just like they did in Iraq. How many millions of dollars did we spend on killing innocent civilians in Baghdad while the enemy sat on a hill watching and waiting? '

Ah, wrong again. We decimated what was left of the Iraqi Army. There are no 'safe zones' in 'the hills'.

'...the enemy giggled and watched'

Yeah, because 500 lb bombs are so 'funny'.

(Following excessive rambling on the use of ground troops) 'Opining from the comforts of your computer desk does not classify any of you to be intelligent enough to put other people's lives on the line for your fantasy-land ideology.'

Well, I would have to say your knowledge of our military and its capabilities and tactics is severely lacking. You might want to read a few books, or perhaps get some first hand experience, before launching on your tirades. And/or you could just take your medication like you're supposed to.

Syntax, you made some good ... (Below threshold)
UncleZeb:

Syntax, you made some good pts until u lost it with the Iraq comments. Nice try.

Hmmmm.1. A "surpri... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

1. A "surprise" eh? Would it be out of line of me if I hope it involves cake?

2. There's an estimated 100+ Russian made nuclear artillery rounds missing from the Ukrainian armories when the former communists were in control of that republic. It's entirely possible that Iran has a nuclear weapons program to produce domestic nuclear weapons, but that doesn't preclude their having bought nuclear weapons from someone else.

3. The North Koreans, to my knowledge, have made many intimations that they're going to conduct a nuclear test, but they have yet to do so. Or at least I cannot find any example of such. So it may be premature to assume that the NK have nuclear weapons at all. They do have mature missile technology, which they have sold to anyone and everyone possible, but that doesn't mean that the NK also have nuclear weapons since they are considerably more difficult to engineer.

4. I'd rather open a vein than vote Newt into the White House. He was somewhat effective in Congress, and then blew it all out of his ass. Since then he's been an opportunistic gadfly using any situation to promote Newt, but not providing anything substantial in terms of intelligent discourse or solutions.

5. Condi Rice is responsible for this atrocious "ceasefire" in south Lebanon that has all the hallmarks of being just as completely and utterly ineffective as every other "ceasefire".

Rice was supposed to reform the State Dept., but has yet to show that she either has the backbone or the ability to do so. She's been in office for quite some time, and yet there are no reforms of that obnoxious federal agency in sight.

I frankly have very very little confidence that Rice has the executive ability to operate effectively in the White House. And I think it's absurd to even consider someone for either the President or VP position for someone who has never *once* held any elective office. I think it's more than absurd to consider Rice for the White House when she has yet to show any competence or ability as a top executive.

Rice has a history as someone who can take orders. It's a significant question as to whether or not she has the ability to be the one giving the orders. And the last thing that this country needs, regardless of politics, is someone in the White House who hasn't shown a clear and significant history of being able to fill that position.

So go ahead and dream your dreams of Rice as President or VP. It ain't going to happen. People like her, for whatever irrational reason, but that doesn't translate into confidence. I like my local grocer, but I wouldn't vote him into the White House.

6. As for Iran. It helps if you understand that Iran doesn't have domestic oil refining capacity. While Iran produces crude oil, it imports gasoline and other refined petroleum products.

Bomb the facilities Iran uses to import those necessary products and the country completely shuts down.

Does that help?

The world is sleeping and I... (Below threshold)
Joe:

The world is sleeping and Iran is laughing! And the clock is ticking...
We better wake up before Ahmadinejad starts using his "secret weapon". Check it out at http://www.technonllc.com/blog

1. A "surprise" eh? Woul... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

1. A "surprise" eh? Would it be out of line of me if I hope it involves cake?

You like your cake...yellow?

Nahanni, I used big words a... (Below threshold)
Syntax:

Nahanni, I used big words and for that, I apologize. Maybe Santa will bring you a dictionary (book with words). 8>)~

LJD and the rest, I have read a quite a few books and even attended a symposium or two in my day when it comes to global affairs. I don't read right-wing books because you'll get right-wing lies and I don't read left-wing books because you'll get left-wing lies. Thomas PM Barnett is a great place to start.

I try not to underestimate the might of our military but we did recently invade two countries that did not have what it takes to defend themselves against our "might". One country we're barely hanging onto while the terorist leaders are making relatively decent production quality propaganda videos at their own leisure and usually with a quick enough turn-around to keep up with current events. The other country is border to border chaos. Many people claim that they "support our troops" without considering or even caring that alot of our boys are on the fourth and fifth tours of duty because there isn't squat for revolving troops. 4 and 5 tours of duty people! How much combat do you think a human mind can take? Does anybody truly care when they claim they "support our troops"? The $1.99 yellow ribbon magnet I guess is more than enough. I don't question the might of our military, I question our military's leadership. Completely incompetant! If our military was truly mighty, you wouldn't need a stop/loss program at all.

Big 500 lbs bombs!!! Then why are we still there? If our 500lb bombs were so effective, please explain our presence and the amount of soldiers that have been killed since we dropped those 500lb bombs you hold in such high regard. Didn't we drop an even bigger bomb than that on Zarqawi after three years of looking for him? How long did it take for the Al Qaeda to replace him after our three year search? Three days. If we don't have a broken force, why do we need a stop/loss program? Why do we have men and women on their fourth and fifth tours of duty? Why can't we find the top levels of the Al Qaeda? Why do we have a threat with Iran and North Korea with both countries thumbing their noses at us and we are stalling and doing nothing but spewing out completely ineffective threats and rhetoric. Sure we decimated the Iraqi army, sure could use them now huh? Again, not a very good strategic decision. Nah...we'll start from scratch with a bunch of unskilled natives, most of who we can't trust. Now we have militias in Iraq committing crimes against humanity just as bad if not worse than Hussein's secret police. Great stratergy!

Ed, you are dead right when it comes to Condi. Ineffective and pretty much weak just like the Neo-cons labeled her. Problem is, Neo-cons are idiots! Iraq was there war and look what they did with it. Two-dimensional dullards. You won't ever see Rice as President because she is pro-choice and at her age she's still not married or doesn't have a partner...possible lesbian. None of us knows for sure but the Christian right won't take any chances. She's doomed on pro-choice anyways.

Rambling. Idiot. ... (Below threshold)
LJD:

Rambling. Idiot.

Make false claims. Move the goalposts.

(Chuckle)

[email protected] James Cloni... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

@ James Cloninger

You like your cake...yellow?

Would it be out of line if I say I'd rather have a angel food bundt cake with a fresh cut wild loganberry center?

I think Ms. Manners would disapprove of bringing "yellowcake" to a dinner party, unless of course it's hosted by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Sorry LSD...I almost though... (Below threshold)
Syntax:

Sorry LSD...I almost thought you were an intellectual. You're a child and my five year old has invited you to her blog so you can learn things.

The United States has the b... (Below threshold)
Wordtodawise:

The United States has the biggest military budget of all countries combined. This phenomenon undoubtedly shapes our foreign policy at the expense of astute diplomacy. When such power falls into the hands of unschooled, unskilled and shortsighted demagogues typical of the current administration, the country is in serious trouble.

The war in Iraq and the ones planned for Iran and Syria are desperate acts by neo-cons who are determined to achieve their sinister objectives at the expense of the rest of America. They believe this is the only window of opportunity to carry out their mad plans, being aware that at no time in the future will there ever be a president as weak and dumb as G.W. Bush.

The policies pursued by this administration have been reckless, ineffective, wasteful and outright dangerous. This inept administration has exposed the underbelly of the United States, emboldened its adversaries and set progress back 100 years.

The Middle East clearly is a catastrophe of indefinable measure. Some one should pour ice water on the faces of these neo-cons and the president to wake them up from their delusions to see the light. Stated in plain terms, this is a lost course. This war is lost. There can be no victory and the reasons are clear for intelligent minds to comprehend.

The principal reason for failure in the Middle East is the unwise position taken by the US not to impartially arbitrate peace between Palestine and Israel. The US can duck this issue all it wants; it's like cancer that won't go away. It is the one issue that will either preserve or destroy Israel and sink the US too. No amount of military hardware, software and man ware will change a thing until sincere effort is made to broker peace between the Jews and Arabs.

Next, every one who is not comatose knows that other than advancing Israeli course, the other reason for being in Iraq is oil. Forget about the nonsense talk of democracy. It doesn't matter what form of government exists, dictators et all, so long as they can deal oil biz, the US will play. Why should Russia, China, France and Germany give up their rights of free play in the region. Common, they had it good with Sadam and why not. By bursting the game for everybody, naturally you are going to make people mad. Of course, the folks the US displaced are not going to wish the US well and why should they? Forget the lip service, get it in your thick skulls people, these other folks are just waiting for the US to exhaust itself and pull out so they can feed again without the hassle of dealing with uncouth Americans. Now there's the temptation to hang in there for as long as there's no serious agitation from the docile American public. That's OK except that the longer the stay, the harder the fall, the steeper the price. Smoke that.

Then there's this little matter of the axis of evil where Iran is a prominent member. Tell me, if you were Iran, would you allow an enemy who plots your destruction to park comfortably in your back yard? Won't you do every thing possible to stick, prick and route that enemy. Too easy, it doesn't even require common sense to comprehend that.

Its costing Americans billions in funds and precious lives to wage this useless war. Guess what, the Iranians are defending themselves in pennies. They have a virtual army in Iraq and they are doing just fine. Now, that's what you call strategy and you thought they are stupid. Well, it's not enough to call names if you are outsmarted at every turn. So I will say, take a bow for the little man with the grey jacket in Iran.

It's obvious that part of the master plan of the war in Iraq was to use it as a launch pad to vanquish Iran. That's why Bush is doing every thing possible to buy time hoping against hope that his plan will materialize and Iraqi military will ally with US forces in the invasion of Iran. Line up the flying pigs.

In a round about way, I have explained why America can't win the war in Iraq. The front is numerous, the opposition is overwhelming, the enemies are determined and resourceful, America is divided, the clock is ticking, the sun is setting fast, its time to pull the tents and send the boys home. To do otherwise will be foolish and history will judge President Bush very harshly. Take a lesson from past fallen empires and their over ambitious and blind leaders. Wake up America, this country needs help badly.

Wordtodawise




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