Monday, March 12, 2012

A Military Strike on Iran is Inevitable

Recently Iranian President had made a bitter statement regarding West sanctions:

“They say all options are on the table. Let your options stay on the table until they and you rot together,” he said.

The following analysts will give their independent insights on what is happening in Iran in relation to West…

 Vladimir Dvorkin , Dmitry Ryurikov , Peter Stegny ,Andrew Cherkasenko

For the first time after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ...

Like many speakers, I am not a nuclear scientist! On the argument - whether or not Iran has nuclear bomb - I would like to cite two examples.

The Soviet Union took four years to test its first nuclear warhead RDS-1 August 29, 1949. In the most severe post-war conditions it was created as quickly as possible. Created by the fact that Soviet intelligence was accurate about the parameters of the U.S. atomic bomb. Academician Yuli Chariton, even decades later, when someone tried to exaggerate the heroism of Soviet scientists flatly denied any initiative on its part in the first phase of developing warhead. Moreover, he said that he chastised scientists and engineers who were trying to experiment and not to follow the clear instructions given by Soviet intelligence. It's a thought.

The second example. The experience of the Soviet Union was repeated unsuccessfully by Muammar Gaddafi. There are two phases of the Libyan nuclear program. In the 70 years Jamahiriya took serious progress in this direction, but operated largely independently. Only sanctions in 1988 prevented it to create ingenious full nuclear fuel cycle. In the second stage - in the late 2000s, Gaddafi ceased experimenting. After this Pakistan obtained Chinese technology of nuclear weapons - about 10,000 centrifuges (according to some, much more) and about two tons of uranium hexafluoride, which would be enough to produce at least one nuclear weapon. Given the size and scope of Libya's policies, I think that for the first phase that was enough. In 2004 the Libyan leadership as a result of strong pressure exerted by the NATO countries, has completely stopped the program.

Indeed, Tehran originally developed nuclear power with the help of the United States since 1967. The Iranians have created almost a full nuclear fuel cycle, including power for the isotopic enrichment of uranium. According to the World Nuclear Association, an underground facility in Natanz is planned to install 54,000 centrifuges, has accumulated a large amount of enriched material.

My personal opinion - nuclear weapons Iran has.Perhaps it was obtained from North Korea or Pakistan, and for a long time. And the program, which now sells Tehran, including in terms of sanctions, with a tolerance of IAEA experts - is, in general, the legalization of nuclear weapons. I watched almost the same approach to build a nuclear power plant in Bushehr. In principle, NPP "Bushehr" could start much earlier. And this is not the fault of Russian nuclear scientists, who really made the impossible possible, adapting "Siemens" technology of thirty years ago and bringing it to modern requirements conforming to Russian technology. But Iran's position was to delay the launch indefinitely, and test the response of the international community to the appearance of the country's first nuclear power plant.

Conclusions suggest themselves already...

First, regardless of the extent of the likely regional conflict, it is possible that after the first bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this conflict will involve a certain amount of fissile material.In what form is, of course, one can argue.

Secondly, it is obvious as the more time passes, the more Iran will accumulate this material, the harder it will be to solve the problem.

The third conclusion is related in general to the problem of nuclear energy. March 11 will celebrate the first anniversary of the accident at the nuclear power plant "Fukushima". In the past year marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Today we are again confronted with the global crisis, which is based on nuclear technology. I think it's time to rethink the world's attitude to nuclear energy, nuclear technology, the control system in this area. This could be the subject of a separate discussion in the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.

Andrew Cherkasenko ,
CEO of NP "Group" Atompromresursy ", a board member of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs

How early will be Missile Crisis

I agree with those who pointed out that the situation is urgent. If we apply the usual diplomatic methodology is the best scenario for future development, it is quite obvious that the three main options: military action, political and diplomatic settlement, or maintaining the status quo is more or less long term.

It seems that to design a political-- diplomatic regulation for Iranian problem according to the acting diagrams, including size “five plus one”, in the immediate future is hardly realistic. But in the logic of the "Arab Spring" political aspect, Iranian problem boils down to receive the right to exist as Shiite model, or even leadership in the Islamic world. It is important to take into account the fact that the balance of the rational (the right to "peaceful atom") and irrational (the rhetoric against Israel) in Iranian politics is not conducive to finding compromises. For the political settlement it is necessary to search for additional resources.

Maintaining the status quo, that is, the use of sanctions to pressure at the same time discrediting the "Iranian expansionism" by the alignment of Arabs around the Turkish Sunni model is also hardly possible. Although, one must not ignore this transition period of revolutionaries who give birth to new ideas in this Arab world. And after Iraq and Afghanistan, financial issues are major aftermaths. The actual disengagement of Americans from the active phase of the Libyan operation shows that both they and the Europeans and NATO - all now have to count money. This also applies to oil producing Arab countries, who have always paid for everything that happens in the region, including the first and second Gulf War (and previously funded, Iraq, Iran during the Iran-Iraq war). All in all, they shared morally faulty policies. But now they are unable to do so for two reasons.

First, you need to buy indulgences triggering billions of dollars in social programs. And pay the costs of the revolutionary processes in other Arab states which no one will undertake now. Second, developments in the region occur against the backdrop of deepening global crisis, which has a very obvious link with the destabilization of the situation in the Middle East. All of these factors generally do not give grounds for believing that the status quo with Iran can take a long time.

Also, and this is probably the main thing, in the West, and in Israel it is widely presented that the Iranian leadership tactics are for delaying the negotiations - a way to buy time to complete nuclear weapon program.

Hence, unfortunately, we have to state the high probability of a military scenario in the foreseeable future.

I would like to support those who drew attention to the danger of a nuclear component involvement in regional conflict with Iran. First of all, in terms of unintended consequences, which would strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. I have a feeling can be very subjective, which in many respects put us somewhere on the early stage of the Caribbean crisis.

But in the continuing escalation of tension (though with elements of the irrational logic of inter-civilizational conflict) decisions must be based on worst-case scenario. If only because, at that time will be guaranteed to be ready and to the other, milder variants.

Calibrated line initiative pursued by Russia in various stages of the crisis around Iran, clearly confirmed the justification of our approach to the settlement of regional crises. But now, when the stakes are high, it's time to take action in a crisis-response mode.

The search for compromise solutions may lead to other fruitful schemes. The main thing is that we don't seek to end dialogue with all parties involved, especially with the Americans. In general, today's rampant raging Middle East can become a convenient platform for building crisis between Moscow and the interaction of the Obama administration and the Europeans.

Peter Stegny ,
Russian Ambassador to Turkey and Israel

War will be bad if happens

First of all they incorrectly reported on the threat to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Ahmadinejad said the following: Imam Khomeini said that the regime occupying Jerusalem must be erased from the pages of history. Yes, indeed, he said - is erased, but feel the difference: to erase from the pages of history - this is not the same thing as the state of Israel should be wiped off the geographical map of the world. This is fraud for a long time, since the utterance of Ahmadinejad. Not the best of his performance, but also we don't have to lie.

Falsified translation of phrases - a pretext to commit aggression against Iran is worst. Because an attack on Iran is not motivated from the standpoint of international law - there are no legal grounds to attack Iran, no. Neither this alleged threat to destroy Israel, or the threat of nuclear weapons.

There are a lot said about the Iranian nuclear weapons, but let's remember what I said recently, U.S. Secretary of Defense: "The Iranians do not have it." What if they build it or already have! But all this is a problem, this is a purely hypothetical situation, which in no way can serve as a basis for either starting a war against Iran, nor to have very specific threats to strike on its nuclear facilities. These threats are themselves illegal, according to rules of international law.

I would like to emphasize that possibilities of war against Iran in general are very many... And all this could lead to a situation where the war begins, because this is profitable to known financial, economic, military industrial circles, this is profitable to those, who builds geopolitics against China, to the politicians of different countries.

I agree with the speakers colleagues that the war against Iran is considered by many players profitable. But the consequences are very serious in terms of geopolitical and (forget what) in terms of environmental, wind rose and the fallout will spread thoroughly throughout the world and, incidentally, Russia will be seriously affected. There is some evidence to that effect.

Men absorbed in considerations and calculations, who would give green signal to war will make the biggest blunder. After war everything will go bad to worse. It is worth to think about what that will happen to region(Iran) and the world. In my opinion, no one is currently doing what is necessary from a moral point of view to prevent the war, and it is very unproductive and alarming.

Dmitry Ryurikov ,
Senior Fellow, Institute of Contemporary International Studies at the Diplomatic Academy Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, formerly - presidential aide

Moscow time to be determined

I would like to thank all the speakers and the speakers are already in discussions for a very interesting comment. I can not ignore the position of Sergey Dmitry Ryurikov , who, as always, spoke very clearly, in his usual paradoxical manner. I agree with his main conclusion, but I can not agree with the premise, which asserts that all except the Chinese are interested in the war.

Moreover, I see a logical contradiction between the premise and conclusion. If all (even excluding China), according to Sergey, want war, then by definition this war can not be prevented. About any new sanctions, anything else would be impossible to negotiate. Of course, in all countries is the so-called party of war, which operates on the principle "the worse the better", but the political leadership responsible for the security of their countries and citizens, which is largely dependent on stability in international relations, especially in hazardous regions, the war is unacceptable by definition.

China is not interested in a military solution to Iranian nuclear issue. Beijing, despite the official rhetoric, objectively benefit the EU embargo on imports of Iranian oil, as this will allow him to increase the amount of oil purchased at lower prices. But I believe that the U.S. nor Israel nor the European Union or Russia are interested in war. The Obama administration does not need a war on the eve of the presidential election, which would complicate the already difficult position of president split the electorate, will trump cards in the hands of enemies. For Israel the war - an extreme, spam measure. Israeli attack on Iran would cause a storm of indignation, and would strengthen the anti-Israeli sentiments in the world.

Assertion of Sergey of that war in Iran is considered as a deterrent to economic growth in China, is too exotic and expensive measure. There are objective tendencies that are independent of the EU. First of all, its political system, which comes in the contradiction with the imperatives of economic modernization. But it is quite another matter.

I agree with the thesis sounded here that, in general, it is time for Moscow decision because it is impossible to be constantly present between heaven and earth. This will ultimately harm Russia itself, its international reputation. Russia is increasingly perceived by the international community as a weakness, unable to put pressure on Iran. It seems that it must be defined in the direction of joint action with the West - the United States and the European Union. Iran works on the principle of "divide and rule", so it will oppose a unified position.

In this regard, I am sincerely surprised by our response to European Union sanctions against imports of Iranian oil. I remember how in the past, we quite rightly criticized EU countries in that they want to solve the Iranian issue by clotting Russian trade relations, in particular the Bushehr project.. Then we have rightly said: "If you want to do anything about Iran, then please enter sanctions to defeat the Iranian oil." And finally, the EU made the decision, and adopted it even in a very difficult period for Europe... during the economic crisis. According to the approved plan by July 1, 2012 all members of the EU who buy oil in Iran, will have to completely stop its imports from that country. The EU sanctions include a ban on new oil contracts concluded with Tehran. In addition to the ban on imports of Iranian oil, new measures include the freezing of any contacts with the Iranian Central Bank, through which all oil transactions are made. Russia has opposed unilateral sanctions of the European Union, which in fact did what Russia demanded.

In general, Russia's position on sanctions against Iran is hard to understand. Following the decision of the EU's Foreign Ministry leadership has stated that Moscow would not support the strengthening of sanctions against Iran beyond those already adopted by the Security Council. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly emphasized that Russia has consistently advocated the position that the sanctions do not work, and in some cases are counterproductive. But if sanctions do not work, by definition, why Russia has supported four UN Security Council resolution to impose sanctions against Iran?

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, it is obvious that in this case we have a frank pressure and desire to "punish" Iran for intractable behavior. It was rightly pointed out that a solution to the problem of Iran's nuclear program by military means is invalid. But it is an alternative to sanctions and a military solution of the conflict over Tehran's nuclear program.

In our community of experts expressed fears that Iran will block the Strait of Hormuz that the jump in oil prices, which will hit everyone including EU. In fact, the rise in oil prices does not frighten us, and the threat of Iran shutting the Strait of Hormuz - another bluff. But it was after the announcement of the EU arms embargo, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the first time since the beginning of the conflict intensifies, said that he was ready to resume talks with international mediators on the nuclear program.

The conclusion is clear: after all, the sanctions can be useful, even such one-sided and partial, as adopted by the EU. It seems that the more severe sanctions, including the threat of the introduction of a full embargo on Iran would have a much greater impact. Russia always looks at China, which is very cleverly leading its game, not looking at others and skillfully using the conflict between Russia and the West. It is no accident, after working with Russia to veto a resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council, China has intensified its contacts with the U.S. and the EU. Only a united position of members of the Security Council can prevent a new war in the Persian Gulf.

Hope Arbatov ,
Doctor of Political Sciences, Head of European Policy Studies IMEMO

Too much is at stake

Firstly how long it will it take for Iran for creating nuclear explosive device or nuclear warhead after the adoption of the political decision: year, one-and-a-half or are more. But no nuclear state has never before had not announced the adoption of such solutions. This fully applies to the leadership of Iran. The construction of a nuclear warhead can be designed in any design organization is not directly related to nuclear infrastructure. No access to IAEA inspectors or similar organizations. That is why they cannot give their verdict, because Iran has not ratified the Additional Protocol to the NPT in 1997, which allows you to conduct inspections on any undeclared facility.

The second comment. I agree that Iran is quite pluralistic society. But it is united in support of its nuclear program and is not particularly versed, what part of this program, civil, and or military.

Now how to solve the Iranian nuclear crisis.

On the possibility of U.S. military operations, Israel and other NATO countries against Iran is more than enough information and it is contradictory. This is quite understandable. The overall situation in the U.S. and Europe are least favorable for a new military operation. However, U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta said that there are two red lines that the United States will not allow Iran to go: blockade of Strait of Hormuz and the creation of nuclear weapons. Blockage of Strait of Hormuz by Iran is unlikely on a preventive basis. Therefore, the cause of the military operation may be sufficient reliable information about Iran's second move of the red line.

One can endlessly discuss the situation with Iran, further decisions of the Security Council in connection with the positions of Russia and China, although China's position is evolving. The Prime Minister of China, recently visited the Gulf region for the first time sharply stated that China is firmly opposed to attempts by Iran to possess nuclear weapons. This was the first such harsh criticism. Beijing reaffirms its readiness to tighten the sanctions and the fact that apparently, China is looking for alternative sources of oil in the Middle East.

Among other things Israel actions are of paramount importance.. More recently, it was reported that Israel had warned the U.S. that America's leaders will be notified 12 hours before Israel's attack on Iran and the United States can do nothing to prevent it. If that happens, Iran will likely respond and counterattack... the Americans always support Israel.

Earlier, a group of military operators and specialists on the Middle East, analyzed the various options for a military operation against Iran. Most are two possible scenarios. The first - the U.S., Israel along with other NATO aircraft start series of missile strikes against Iran's nuclear infrastructure, but the goals will necessarily be objects of air defense, missile launchers, command centers, the formation of the Revolutionary Guards, etc. This will cause the strongest protest reaction in many Muslim countries, will lead to intense terrorist acts in many states, it can mobilize the people of Iran on the material sacrifices to accelerate in the future nuclear weapons program. It is important that inspections from the IAEA will end, Iran is likely to come out of the NPT.

A more likely scenario - a prolonged military operation like war in Yugoslavia, without the introduction of troops. The course of the operation may be different, can stop with the presentation of an ultimatum to the authorities of Iran. If you followed the refusal, the operation will resume. In the end, will be destroyed not only military but also civilian industry of the Islamic Republic.

There are the detailed results of the reaction of the Middle East, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Arab countries, the republics of the Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, and the consequences associated with the tens and hundreds of thousands of refugees. Sometimes heard allegations that the people of Iran will not cross borders, and the rush of the cities in provincial areas. It is unlikely that this will be a large displacement, because even if we look at the map of Iran, in its little provincial boundaries that are suitable for the refugees, mostly are desert areas. In general, the consequences of military operations can be catastrophic. Just as in the first scenario, to a large extent activated by terrorists, especially the Hezbollah and Hamas.

This repeatedly raised the question about what is worse. Such are the consequences of long-term chaos in the region and beyond, or Iran with nuclear weapons with the imminent collapse of the regime of nuclear non-proliferation, the emergence of new nuclear states in the region and beyond, with quite likely the real use of nuclear weapons.

It seems to prevent the military operation and the possession of nuclear weapons by Iran, until it is too late, you can consolidate the sanctions, even more stringent than those that have already implemented the U.S. and Europe. And this is possible, in full compliance with Article 41 of the Charter of the UN Security Council decision. Obstacles are known and are mainly associated with the position of Russia. It is hard to imagine that the Russian leadership, which is always softened even symbolic sanctions the UN Security Council agrees with such harsh sanctions that would be more unilateral decisions of the West. But too much in this crisis is at stake: an extremely strong pressure on Iran to address the UN Security Council can prevent both Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and military operations. For Russian leadership this is time to make a choice!

Vladimir Dvorkin ,
Chief Scientific Officer, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Major-General


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