Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In The News: Iran

Iran seems to be the focus of today's news, for a variety of reasons:

National security experts have expressed alarm over the announcement by Iran that it will position its warships off the coast of the United States, from where they could launch a nuclear warhead to explode at high altitude to create an electromagnetic pulse.

That could knock the American electrical grid out of commission, disrupting supplies of energy, food, communications, fuel and more for a long period.
These experts agree that there would be no warning and that the U.S. missile defense system would not be able to respond in time to prevent the high altitude nuclear explosion. They also believe that if such a missile were launched, it would not be from an Iranian warship but from a commercial vessel sailing along the East Coast or in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It shows they could put a weapon on a boat or freighter, and if Iran has ballistic missiles it could put it anywhere on the U.S. coast,” said John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and currently a senior fellow at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute.

Bolton said that the Iranian exercise is more of a training mission to show that it can sail across the Atlantic and come up to the U.S. coast.

“What if they covertly erect and launch a nuclear armed ballistic missile from near our coast?” Cooper asked. “And actually, I am more concerned that they could do this from a more conventional vessel than a warship – perhaps while we are watching the few warships and ignoring the hundreds of commercial vessels.”
Cooper, who is a member of the newly formed EMP Coalition headed by former Central Intelligence Director James Woolsey and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has expressed concern about America’s exposure to any missile launches from the south.

 Iran said Monday it has “successfully tested” two missiles on the eve of the 35th anniversary of its Islamic revolution, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran’s ballistic missile programme has long been a source of concern for Western nations because it is capable of striking its arch-foe Israel.

“The new generation of ballistic missile with a fragmentation warhead, and a Bina laser-guided surface-to-surface and air-to-surface missile, have been successfully tested,” Defence Minister Hossein Dehgan said.

He said the new ballistic missile could “evade anti-missile systems” and was capable of “great destruction.”
The other missile can be fired from a plane or a boat to strike military targets with “great precision,” he added.

Iran has announced it has successfully test-fired two ballistic missiles capable of “great destruction” ahead of new nuclear talks with world powers. However, the so-called defense-related “red line” is not expected to be discussed at the meeting.
“The new generation of long-range ground-to-ground ballistic missile with a fragmentation warhead and the laser-guided air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missile dubbed Bina [Insightful] have been successfully test-fired,” state television quoted Defense Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan as saying.

Dehqan said that one of the weapons tested is a long-range missile with radar-evading capabilities, designed to cause a “great destruction.”

“The Bina missile is capable of striking important targets such as bridges, tanks and enemy command centers with great precision,” he said.

Iran’s military already possesses surface-to-surface missiles with a range of up to 2,000 kilometers, capable of reaching a number of possible targets in the region – including Israel.

It would have been the 103rd birthday of Ronald Reagan, an American president known for his frankness, and for possessing the courage to confront those countries who would threaten the freedom and security of the United States and her allies.
Thursday (Feb. 6) was an auspicious occasion, then, for EMPact America's latest symposium, entitled “American Security and the Iranian Bomb: Analyzing Threats at Home and Abroad.”

Gaffney, an renowned expert on national security affairs, kicked off the gathering by briefing those in attendance on the nature of the threat. In a grim but poignant assessment, he explained the various ways in which an Electromagnetic Pulse weapon (or even a naturally-occurring solar storm) would most likely devastate our nation's energy infrastructure, leading to death tolls projected in the millions - as many as 9 out of every 10 Americans.
“This is a catastrophe that we can not fix after it happens,” said Gaffney, “...the good news is that we can prevent it.”

He went on to explain the various ways in which the United States could “harden” its electrical grids against attack or natural disaster. Indeed, Henry Schwartz, prominent New York-based entrepreneur and founder of EMPact America, raised this very issue, maintaining that EMP countermeasures are neither a recent development, nor are they out of America's financial reach.

Referring to such technologies as “affordable,” he announced that “our government has been using EMP protection within the military and its continuity plan since the Cold War. The President and his men are well protected against EMP, including when traveling in Air Force One … however, you, and your loved ones, and the things you depend on to live, are not protected.”

While Iran's nuclear agenda, and the threat of an EMP attack do not appear to be at the top of the Obama administration's list of priorities, the EMPact America conference nonetheless demonstrated that there are those in the House, the Senate, and the intelligence community, who recognize these as top priority issues, and will continue to sound the alarm until the U.S. commits to a decisive and meaningful response.

Iran Claims New Generation Of 15-Times-Faster Centrifuges

Iran’s nuclear chief declared that his country has developed a new generation of centrifuges 15 times more powerful than those currently being used to enrich uranium, and said it might resume enrichment to 60% if necessary.

“We unveiled a new generation of centrifuges that surprised the Westerners,” said Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday. “This new machine is 15 times more powerful than the previous generation,” he claimed, according to Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB.

In a recent interview with The Times of Israel, former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren warned that Iran was continuing to develop its centrifuges, and that more sophisticated models would enable it to speed more quickly to nuclear weapons if it chose to try to break out to the bomb. “If the talks break down,” he warned, “and you [the Iranians] quickly install your additional 9,000 centrifuges, among them the IR2s, which really give you [the equivalent of] about 24,000 centrifuges. And you have a stockpile [of enriched uranium]. And maybe you’ve done some research and development, that actually gives you some [centrifuges] closer to an IR3, which has an even higher rate of accumulation than the IR2s, how long is it going to take you [to break out]?”

Also see:

Iranians Take To Streets To Celebrate 1979 Revolution

PA Minister: Western Wall Must Be Under Our Rule

Anti-Drone Activist Kidnapped In Pakistan Before He Was Due To Testify In Europe

Global Warming Update: Signs Of Cooling Are Evident On A Global Scale


Scott said...

Matt - its not worth getting into that right now. There is no correlation and its not biblical - we can let it go at that

Unknown said...


You do not need to post this, but it is interesting you deleted my comment and yet let date setting continue. It is my opinion that date setting should not be allowed in the rules for posting in this forum. Sends wrong messages to people who read this blog and would be really easy for people to attribute this website to something like Harold Camping. Just my two cents.

Scott said...

Matt - we had a big long discussion over this topic about a week or two ago. I choose not to control the comments section and most here generally agreed that the comment section isn't a reflection of the blogsite. I may just discontinue the comments section alltogether - I don't have time for it