Iran an Imminent Nuclear Threat?
Jude Wanniski
August 4, 2003


Memo To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: More neo-con baloney

A reporter for the Los Angeles Times spent three months investigating the possibility that Iran is secretly working to develop a nuclear weapon – although it is signatory to the non-proliferation treaty and insists it is only making nuclear power plants. Lo and behold, Douglas Frantz, the reporter, finds his three months has not been wasted, advising LAT readers that yes indeedy, Iran, a charter member of the “Axis of Evil,” is CLOSING IN ON ABILITY TO BUILD A NUCLEAR BOMB!

The dispatch from Vienna begins thusly: “After more than a decade of working behind layers of front companies and in hidden laboratories, Iran appears to be in the late stages of developing the capacity to build a nuclear bomb.”

Because almost no reporters in the major media know anything about nuclear weapons, I turned to Dr. Gordon Prather for guidance on the Frantz bombshell, which some people believe rattled the stock market this morning. He advises that no matter what the Pentagon intellectuals and the LAT say, Iran AND North Korea are probably years away from even testing the kind of atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, “a Little Boy gun-type highly-enriched uranium (HEU) nuke -- which takes about 120 pounds of HEU. And the whole thing weighs at least a ton, too heavy for most missiles -- much less Pakistani-like HEU-implosion boosted nukes.”

Prather finds a few dozen glaring errors in the Frantz three-month effort, the most glaring to me being his assertion that Iran would be the first Islamic power that is an enemy of Israel to join the nuke club. As Dr. Prather notes: "Not to worry about Iran developing the ‘Islamic’ nuke to counter the ‘Jewish’ nuke; Pakistan did that 6-7 years ago. President Bush scared the gee-whiz out of Iraq-Iran-DPRK -- the "Axis of Evil" -- threatening to pre-emptively strike them if he suspected they were developing nukes. He has driven the IAEA-NPT-NSG Safeguarded regime out of Iraq and DPRK. Will Iran be the next NPT-signatory to kick the IAEA-NPT-NSG Safeguards regime out?"

What he means to say, folks, is that as long as the international safeguard systems are in place there is no way the Axis of Evil regimes can secretly develop a nuke – and that the net result of the Bush administration policies has been to discredit the international agencies. The President's team is decreasing our national security, not increasing it! Nobody has explained that to Mr. Bush, one supposes, but it is undeniable. The problem gets worse when the LATimes runs an article advising that no matter what the safeguards, Iran is closing in on getting a nuke. We can be sure the White House neo-cons served up the article with the President's breakfast. Bombs away?