The West says the plant [near Qom] is tailor-made for a secret weapons programme and proves Iran’s claim that its nuclear programme is intended only for peaceful purposes is a lie. The plant is designed to hold 3,000 centrifuges — enough to produce the material needed for one bomb a year.
Iran’s conduct over the next few weeks will determine whether the West continues its new dialogue or is compelled to increase pressure with tougher United Nations and other sanctions.
Ephraim Sneh, a former Israeli deputy defence minister, warned that time was running out for action to stop the programme. “If no crippling sanctions are introduced by Christmas, Israel will strike,” he said. “If we are left alone, we will act alone.” [continued…]
Editor’s Comment — The Sunday Times has amazing intelligence sources!
Not a single IAEA inspector has set foot in the Fordo facility or seen its plans and yet we know that it is “tailor-made for a secret weapons programme”.
Right! I suppose you can argue the fact that it’s a deeply concealed structure makes it “tailor-made” for such a purpose, but that would seem to be a case of inferring that something is certain because it is unknown.
That might be so in the mind of a Sunday Times reporter, but I for one, have yet to observe such a quasi-mystical correspondence between the known and the unknown.
As for yet another Israeli threat — I’m sorry, but the more often they are made, the more implausible they become, at least to me.
The U.S. military is developing technologies, including a new generation of “bunker-busting” bombs, that could destroy facilities like the one near Qom.
But there are doubts about the effectiveness of those weapons, prompting current and former U.S. officials to say that a military effort aimed at crippling Iran’s nuclear program would require dozens of missile strikes and possibly even the insertion of U.S. troops.
“If you’re going to have an effective campaign to go in and throw [Iran’s nuclear program] back years, you’re talking about a massive, massive effort,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official who was involved in examining such scenarios.
“This is not an Iraqi reactor or a Syrian reactor,” the official said, referring to Israel’s strikes in 1981 and 2007, respectively, on above-ground nuclear facilities in those countries. “This is a different game.”
The official and others spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing millitary planning.
President Obama said shortly after taking office that he was prepared to use “all elements of American power to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.” Last week, he reiterated that he would not “rule out any options when it comes to U.S. security interests.”
The increasingly difficult nature of upholding that pledge through military strikes, however, became clearer last week when U.S. officials described the newest Iranian site, believed to be a uranium enrichment which plant which could furnish fissile material for a bomb. [continued…]