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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

John Bolton is Wrong-Israel Does Not Have to Attack Iran This Week

John Bolton is banging the drums of war in the name of Israel. said today on Fox News, that the moment Russia starts loading the nuclear fuel into a Iranian reactor scheduled for August 21, Israel's window of opportunity to attack the Iranian weapons program closes.
"Once it's close to the reactor ... the risk is when the reactor is attacked, there will be a release of radiation into the air," Bolton told "It's most unlikely that they would act militarily after fuel rods are loaded."

Earlier Tuesday, Bolton told Fox Business Network the Israelis will have to move in the "next eight days" if they want to attack the Bushehr facility -- a reference to the window between when the start-up was announced last week and the loading date. Bolton said Tuesday that the date has fluctuated, but he described the start-up as the ultimate deadline.
"What this does is give Iran a second route to nuclear weapons in addition to enriched uranium," Bolton said. "It's a very, very huge victory for Iran."
The only problem with Bolton's analysis is that it is wrong, it does not close the window to an attack. First of all if Israel were to attack within the next four days there would be no element of surprise hurting the chance of the actions success.  Israel always says the same thing when it comes to dealing with threats, "We will handle it at a time of our choosing." Israel will not attack until they feel that there is an imminent threat of Iran gaining a nuclear weapon and when Israel feels that its military abilities are at its highest.

The Bushehr reactor would probably be a tertiary target at best, they would probably go after where the nuclear fuel is refined, the  uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz, the formerly secret enrichment site at Qom, after that would be the "brain center" of the Iranian operations, the nuclear-research center at Esfahan,

How am I so sure that Israel does not believe that time is now? There is too much noise, the Bolton push comes right after much discussed Jeffry Goldberg article claiming that Israel is nearing the point of no return about Iranian nuclear weapons (he says it will happen before next spring).

Israel just doesn't work that way, they do not announce their intentions in the press, or to former UN Ambassadors.

It doesn't broadcast or leak operations like this before they happen. The attack on Iraq's nuclear plant in 1981 was a total surprise, so was the destruction of the North Korean reactor in the middle of the Syrian desert.  Heck when the reactor in Syria was destroyed it took a year to figure out what was destroyed and how it happened.

The more you see news reports starting that "sources say" or claims such as Israel's window is about to close, the less likely that something is going to happen soon. Also don't believe reports about Israel "asking the US for permission."  When your very existence is in jeopardy, it is much easier to say you are sorry than asking for permission. If Israel attacks Iran's nuclear program it will be doing so at a time of its own choosing, and she won't be announcing it four days before it's planned to happen in the media.


Shtuey said...

Bolton's assertion that Israel should bomb the reactor before fuel is present is correct. The fuel rods are arriving on Saturday. The seals will be removed by the IAEA and the rods will be stored there until they are injected into the reactor. The Islamic Republic News Agency has stated this will take place on September 16th.

To say that Bushehr is a tertiary target is to assume that Iran is going to accept this fuel from Russia and continue with its agreement to send the spent rods back to be reprocessed so that it cannot extract the plutonium. This notion also operates under the assumption that Iran will continue to remain a signatory of the NPT.

We are dealing with two players that cannot be trusted. Russia said it would not deliver fuel to bring Bushehr online until 2011. Iran began construction of a second uranium refining operation in secret, and just announced the construction of a third. Its ultimate goal is to build 10.

Why so many if the plan is to acquire rods from Russia?

If Iran were to pull out of the NPT and break its agreement with Russia, the Bushehr plant, according to the Nuclear Control Institute, could produce a quarter ton of plutonium a year...enough for 30 atomic bombs. Now in order for that to work the rods have to be changed about every 4 months. The Russians certainly wouldn't consent to this. But if you are refining your own uranium and manufacturing your own rods who cares?

Considering the players, it would be plain stupid to not assume that Bushehr's true purpose is to serve as a plutonium factory in the guise of a power plant. It should be considered a primary target, along with Natanz and Qom. To hit it while it's clean makes a lot more sense.

Should Israel attack this week? It should have taken care of this problem 5 years ago.

Unknown said...

It would be interesteing if we suddenly found out that the fuel rods could not be inserted because the facility (or the fuel rods themselves)had been sabotaged. This would be a lot better than bombing the plant and would fit better withthe need for secrecy. Also, it would be better if Iran did not realize it until the facility would just not work.