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Monday, February 13, 2006

Iran's Little Atomic Gadget Misadventure

August 2nd 1939, Albert Einstein wrote to President Roosevelt that the Germans were attempting to purify uranium-235. Six years later after that letter was sent we tested "the Gadget" and the first atom bomb exploded in Northern New Mexico. J. Robert Oppenheimer said, "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

Over half a century ago, with what would now be considered primitive equipment, it only took six years, from a scribbled notion to the release of the first atomic bomb.

Public estimates today is that Iran will not be able to produce a bomb by 2009. This prediction, appears to give us some leeway to act, but are they really that far off from their first bomb? Since 1960, Iran has been working on and off in development and research. It would be naive to expect with a full effort now, that they would not be able to beat that prediction.

Today the telegraph.co.uk is reporting:

"Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb."

The predicted time line is that this plan is two years down the road at least. The telegraph further reports:

The White House says that it wants a diplomatic solution to the stand-off, but President George W Bush has refused to rule out military action and reaffirmed last weekend that Iran's nuclear ambitions "will not be tolerated".

Sen John McCain, the Republican front-runner to succeed Mr Bush in 2008, has advocated military strikes as a last resort. He said recently: "There is only only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option and that is a nuclear-armed Iran."

Will the United States spin their wheels in involved diplomatic talks? I doubt we really have that much time.

To read all of our posts on Iran go here.

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