[ RadSafe ] "Countdown to Zero" disarmament movie
Brennan, Mike (DOH)
Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Aug 16 13:38:34 CDT 2010
I think we did not have a meeting of minds, in that I think what you think I said is not what I thought I said. I will try to be clearer:
1) I do not believe it will be as easy for Iran to develop an nuclear explosive, let alone an nuclear warhead, let alone a nuclear warhead that can be launched on a missile.
2) I do not believe there is an inevitable link between Iran having an operating nuclear reactor and them producing nuclear weapons.
3) I believe that adequate international oversight of Iran's reactor operations, and the rest of their nuclear industry, should ease concerns about them developing nuclear weapons. Conversely, if Iran refuses to allow independent international oversight, that is a data point that they are developing nuclear weapons.
4) Should Iran succeed in developing a nuclear warhead that can be delivered by ballistic missile, Iran becomes a credible threat to any country they are at odds with. This is because they have already demonstrated the ability to launch ballistic missiles from ships (it isn't very hard.) While making a missile that can hit even a city-size target from a 1,000 km is very hard, making a missile that can put a package over a continent is relatively simple. The electromagnetic pulse of such a device would be devastating. The retaliation would be worse.
5) I do not see any viable paths for the United States and the rest of the international community to pursue, other than continuing to pressure Iran to allow international oversight. I do not believe that military action has a high likelihood of succeeding, and would have negative consequences on the attacking country's relationship with the rest of the world.
6) I do not believe that there is any set of circumstances in which the Iranian government could use a nuclear weapon and "win", in that I believe that should they use such a weapon the one or more of the countries with many more and much more sophisticated nuclear weapons would consider themselves to be in a "weapons free" situation, and Iran as a political unit would cease to exist. I am not convinced that the current Iranian leadership completely accepts this premise.
If I had a suggestion about what should be done about Iran, I'd make it, but at the moment I'd be satisfied for all parties just to acknowledge the world as it is, rather than as they think it should be.
From: Franz Schönhofer [mailto:franz.schoenhofer at chello.at]
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 10:54 AM
To: Brennan, Mike (DOH); radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
Subject: AW: [ RadSafe ] "Countdown to Zero" disarmament movie
If, should,...... Is this a reasonable reason to start all kind of
Come on! Anyone, who - like me - knows a little about nuclear bombs, about
the problems to deliver them over tens of thousands of mile, can only
bitterly laugh about the US propaganda.
Why is this propaganda still deliverd? Why does the USA still use these
falsified informations? And in this context much more imporatant: Why is it
distributed on RADSAFE?
Everybody, not only in Austria, but also in the USA should know, that news
are manipulated (very polite version of "falsified") and this should be
taken into account - also at RADSAFE and especially RADSAFErs, who
distribute hearsay like recently distributed by a few.
Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
Von: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] Im Auftrag von Brennan, Mike
Gesendet: Montag, 16. August 2010 18:53
An: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
Betreff: Re: [ RadSafe ] "Countdown to Zero" disarmament movie
Actually, should Iran be able to obtain or produce a nuclear warhead
capable of being launched on a missile (a seriously non-trivial
technical achievement, even when compared to the difficulty of making a
nuclear explosive device), Iran becomes a credible threat to the United
States. Iran has developed the ability to launch ballistic missiles
from ships (not a particularly difficult task, particularly if your
targeting parameters are "east-ish"). A single very high altitude
nuclear explosion over the continental US would produce an EMP whose
effects are almost impossible to calculate.
That being said, we are nothing like at a place where panic is the best
option. As we as a community have been telling the general public for
years, nuclear reactors do not equal nuclear bombs, either as reactors
exploding or spent fuel being easily turned into nuclear weapons.
International oversight of Iranian reactor operations should be able to
spot if materials and facilities are diverted for weapons use. If the
inspectors are kicked out, that will be an important data point.
As for more direct action; at this point I don't see any realistic
options. Any type of preemptive military action would be difficult to
accomplish, and have serious international ramifications. Speaking as
someone who was out at the pointy end during the Cold War, saber
rattling seldom improves things.
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Steven Dapra
Sent: Sunday, August 15, 2010 7:17 PM
To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] "Countdown to Zero" disarmament movie
The Europeans can fight their own battles. Iran poses no
threat to the United States.
At 04:44 AM 8/15/2010, Demetrios Okkalides wrote:
>Of course. The US had to use everything at its disposal to win the war
>the first obligation of any president is to his own people.
>My remark referred to a reality not to a moral view. That is why, as
>I would hate to see an Iran with a nuclear weapon which could threaten
>Europe, I still see their point of view. It is this principle of
>deterrence that drives them since now they feel vulnerable against
>the US. If things come to that, they know that they can not deter a
>I quite agree with your "bottom line". The nukes are here to stay and
>up to all of us to make them as safe as possible since they are
>for the well being of modern societies. The solution to humanity's
>does not lie in the past but in the future with new, better, safer
>technology. Of course there will be risks but we have to deal with
>THEAGENEION Anticancer Hospital
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