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April 9, 2006

US to Nuke Iran?

By Guest Poster: Gentle Cricket

Telegraph News is reporting that the US is planning to use Nuclear weapons to shut down Iran's capability to develop nuclear weapons. Seymour Hersh, who broke the Abu Ghraib story, is making the claims.

Hersh claims that one of the plans, presented to the White House by the Pentagon, entails the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. One alleged target is Iran's main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, 200 miles south of Teheran
It should be noted that the B61-11 is a so called "bunker-buster", designed to penetrate deep into the earth (at least a few dozen feet, up to 100 ft) before detonating, thus sending the brunt of its power into the earth, demolishing underground facilities (click here for video). The explosion would not be the typical Hiroshima style expolosion, though a significant amount of radioactivity would be expelled. The article says that this type of device may be needed in order to actually inflict damage.

Also stated in the article is that Russia will likely veto any such plans at the UN. This is no surprise.

I am torn on the issue of preemptively striking Iran. While Iran with a single nuclear weapon is startling enough, considering Pres. Ahmedinejad's anti-Israel remarks. However, Israel is heavily armed with nuclear weapons, and I think it is doubtful that Ahmedinejad is stupid enough to actually fire their only such weapon at Israel, considering the response that would commence. Nonetheless, I do think that seeking martyrdom is within his range of possibilities, and thus, not a single weapon should be allowed to be built.

On the other hand, there is talk that Iran may have already purchased up to 250 nuclear warheads from Ukraine. If this is the case, a preemptive strike may lead Ahmedinejad to fire his weapons (if they are operable).

We all hope that it does not come down to a preemptive strike, but while most European capitals, as well as Russia seem okay with appeasing a tyrant by potentially sacrificing Israel, I'm glad our country is bold enough to leave the option on the table. Let's just hope that's where it will stay.

Cross posted at 123beta

Posted by Butch at April 9, 2006 1:10 AM

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