Monday, December 05, 2005

Storm Clouds

Dark storm clouds are gathering on the horizon, and so far the S. S. Iran is steaming full speed ahead into the maelstrom.

This could get bad. Very bad. Iran has publically called for the destruction of Israel and the United States. Israel has said they will not tolerate a nuclear armed Iran (for obvious reasons). Israel is estimated to possess between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads. Presumably at least some of those are mounted on their short- and medium-range missiles, many if not all of which can reach Iran. The rest would probably be in the form of aerial bombs.

Both Israel and now El Bardei have said that Iran is mere months away from a nuclear weapon. Israel has said they will wait for diplomacy to take its course, but if it can't solve the problem before it's too late (and I seriously doubt it can, the way Iran is behaving) then they will take matters into their own hands.

How it pans out depends on two things - how well they time it and whether the US get involved. Assuming they strike before the first weapon is completed, they will have to mount a campaign of air strikes, probably lasting for at least a whole night, possibly several days. It will be much easier and more effective if the US helps.

If the US helps (and I think they must) there will be an incredibly intense night of strikes, knocking out every possibly nuclear facility in Iran. If I were them, I'd follow them up with an armoured dash from two directions (Iraq and Afghanistan) to all the hardest targets - underground facilities, etc. - ensure their destruction and get out.

I don't see any way that this situation can get anything but bad. I hope Hamidreza, a commenter here and at Fourth Rail/ThreatsWatch, will be OK. I'm not sure if (s)he currently lives in Iran or not. For that matter, I hope that all the Iranian citizens come out of this OK. But if their leaders continue on their current course unthinkingly, I'm afraid for their safety.

UPDATE: It now seems as if El Bardei's comments have been miscontrued; he said the would have a bomb within months of resuming production. Still, it seems as if a showdown is looming. It would be folly for Israel and the US to wait until Iran probably has produced at least one bomb before taking strong action (diplomatically or otherwise).


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