Iran, population 68 million, is the 4th largest oil exporter in the world.
Israel population 6.3 million, already has nuclear weapons (perhaps 200).
Preemptive attacks have a long history dating from 1625
On June 7,1981 Israel attacked and destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in Baghdad .Of course this was done to prevent Iraq from acquiring nuclear waepons. The story of this raid was detailed in a book called "Two Minutes Over Baghdad" by Amos Perlmutter, Michael Handel and Uri Bar-Joseph which was published in 1982. .
Iran wants to destroy Israel
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday (08/03/2006) [that] the solution to the Middle East crisis is to destroy Israel. In a speech during an emergency meeting of Muslim leaders, Ahmadinejad also called for an immediate halt to fighting in Lebanon between Israel and the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah.
Iran is supplying Hezbollah with $100 million per year & C-802 missiles
In the closed world of spy satellite photo analysis, it's called "crate-ology": the science of identifying a weapon or some other key component by the size and shape of its box.
1. They could buy nuclear weapons from North Korea, Pakistan or Russia.
The current government of Pakistan is friendly to the US and thus it seems unlikely that they would sell nuclear weapons to Iran, but much of the population is muslim and hates Israel and the US. So if President Pervez Musharraf loses power in 2007, we may see an anti-US government which might be willing to sell weapons to Iran. Russia would not intentionally sell nuclear weapons to Iran because they recognize that Iran is a very unstable country. However, there are plenty of loose nuclear weapons in Russia and probably many gangsters who would be quite willing to sell them to Iran. The greatest worry is that North Korea will sell nuclear weapons to Iran. Kim Jung Ill is desperate for money and he doesn't care about anyone but himself.
2. They could build their own nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons technology is not nearly as complicated or secret as the government would like people to believe. President Musharraf of Pakistan pardoned Abdul Qadeer Khan, the "father of the Islamic bomb" for selling nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea in one of the greatest proliferation scandals in history. According to the IAEA, he sold gas centrifuges, used in enriching uranium, as well as nuclear blueprints and designs. He employed an empire of middlemen, who operated in Germany, the Netherlands, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. Malaysia said yesterday that it would investigate a company controlled by the Prime Minister's son for its alleged role in supplying components to Libya's nuclear programme. Hundreds of millions of dollars changed hands. Khan is a very rich man but does he feel any guilt over his treachery?
Above from: Pakistani Nuclear Secrets for Sale
Iran is building a complete Uranium enrichment and reprocessing industry.
In January 1995, Russia and Iran signed a contract under which Russia would provide one VVER-1000 [aka WWER-1000] 950-1,073 MWe (electrical) light water reactor at Bushehr. The VVER-1000 reactor would be similar in configuration to Unit Four of the Russian Balakovskaya plant at Balakovo, Saratov. The Russian reactors will be installed in the original structures designed for the German 1,200-1,300 MWe reactors. Since the horizontal VVER-1000 steam generators are larger than the original German design, the project will require an enlargement of the existing reactor building, though the finished reactor dome will still resemble the German design
Natanz - uranium enrichment plant (gas centrifuges)
Satellite imagery made available in December 2002 indicated that Natanz may be used as a gas centrifuge facility for uranium enrichment. Iran subsequently invited IAEA inspectors to visit the facility under construction at Natanz in early 2003. During a February 2003 visit, Iran advised IAEA chief Mohamed El-Baradei of the near-completion of a uranium pilot fuel enrichment plant (PFEP) and continuing construction of a large fuel enrichment plant (FEP). Upon completion, the pilot plant will house approximately 1,000 P-1 gas centrifuges
Arak - heavy water plants
Arak is the site of two planned heavy water facilities. The first is a heavy water production facility, the existence of which was disclosed by an Iranian opposition group in August 2002. When IAEA inspectors visited the site in February 2003, Iran claimed that it planned to produce heavy water for export to other countries. Three months later, Iran clarified that it intends to use the heavy water to moderate a prospective heavy water research reactor in Arak. The second facility is a 40 MW heavy water reactor, which Iran announced its plans to start building in 2004. This plant may present a serious nonproliferation challenge when completed. The Arak heavy water reactor will use uranium dioxide and enable Iran to produce plutonium suitable for nuclear weapons assembly. Some estimate that this plant will be able to produce 8 to10 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium every year, a sufficient amount to build one to two nuclear weapons annually. The Iranians claim the plant is for peaceful purposes only and is intended for medical research and development.
Many other Iranian nuclear facilities - detailed here
Here is a bumper sticker (3" x 10") to emphasize the seriousness of the problem.
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