Saturday, August 10, 2013

"Plan B" From Outer Space: The Hype Over Iran Continues

Nearly identical headlines from The Telegraph on February 26, 2013 and The New York Times on August 8, 2013

The following is the 79th update to my comprehensive, ongoing compendium of constant predictions and prognostications regarding the supposed inevitability and imminence of an alleged Iranian nuclear weapon, hysterical allegations that have been made repeatedly for the past three decades.

As predicted, tautologies based upon the speculative allegation that Iran is "pursuing a parallel track to a nuclear capability through the production of plutonium" are rapidly proliferating, just in case a deal is struck between Iran and the United States that alleviates concerns over Iran's enrichment of uranium.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, master-alarmist Amos Yadlin, former head of Israeli Military Intelligence and current director of Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, repeats the tired talking points that we've heard again and again by now.

In an article entitled, "Iran's Plan B for the Bomb" - a headline swiped almost verbatim from the Telegraph's February 26 report called "Iran's 'Plan B' for a Nuclear Bomb" about the same exact thing - Yadlin and a colleague write that, according to the IAEA, "Iran already has enough low-enriched uranium to produce several nuclear bombs if it chooses to further enrich the fuel," adding that "Western experts like Graham T. Allison Jr. and Olli Heinonen estimate that if Iran decided to develop a bomb today, it could do so within three to five months."

In fact, a recent article by Graham Allison in The Atlantic demonstrates exactly the type of disinformation, conventional wisdom and faulty assumptions that passes for expert analysis in the Western debate over the Iranian nuclear program.

Yadlin also cites a recent ISIS study, which "estimates that at the current pace of [second-generation centrifuge] installation, Iran could reduce its breakout time to just one month by the end of this year. The report also estimates that at that pace, by mid-2014 Iran could reduce the breakout time to less than two weeks."

Using the recent overwrought reporting on Iran's nascent Arak reactor, Yadlin explains, "Some American and European officials claim that Iran could produce weapons-grade plutonium next summer" which he says means "Iran is making progress on this alternative track." Yadlin goes on:
A functioning nuclear reactor in Arak could eventually allow Iran to produce sufficient quantities of plutonium for nuclear bombs. Although Iran would need to build a reprocessing facility to separate the plutonium from the uranium in order to produce a bomb, that should not be the West’s primary concern. Western negotiators should instead demand that Iran shut down the Arak reactor.
Hilariously, Yadlin then proceeds to try and justify the cause for concern, writing without irony, "Of the three countries that have publicly crossed the nuclear threshold since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty entered into force in 1970, two — India and North Korea — did so via the plutonium track."

Catch the operative word there? Publicly.

Everyone knows that Israel crossed that very same threshold decades before India, Pakistan or North Korea. Yadlin is also clever enough to note 1970 as the beginning of his timeline, since Israel already had a fully-functional, undeclared nuclear weapons program by the late 1960s - a program still unacknowledged and unmonitored.

Yadlin concludes by demanding the United States continue its useless policy of "sanctions and a credible military threat" and warns that the "moderate messages" emanating from the Iranian leadership since the June election of Hasan Rouhani "should not be allowed to camouflage Iran's continuing progress toward a bomb."

For Israeli officials past and present, when it comes to Iran the lies never stop.


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