It is also unclear whether the president has been briefed on the number of troops or other details in the plans. On Monday, asked about if he was seeking regime change in Iran, Mr. If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake.
Some senior American officials said the plans, even at a very preliminary stage, show how dangerous the threat from Iran has become. Others, who are urging a diplomatic resolution to the current tensions, said it amounts to a scare tactic to warn Iran against new aggressions. European allies who met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that they worry that tensions between Washington and Tehran could boil over, possibly inadvertently.
More than a half-dozen American national security officials who have been briefed on details of the updated plans agreed to discuss them with The New York Times on the condition of anonymity. Spokesmen for Mr. Shanahan and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. The size of the force involved has shocked some who have been briefed on them.
The , troops would approach the size of the American force that invaded Iraq in Deploying such a robust air, land and naval force would give Tehran more targets to strike, and potentially more reason to do so, risking entangling the United States in a drawn out conflict. But two of the American national security officials said Mr. Several oil tankers were reportedly attacked or sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, raising fears that shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf could become flash points.
Trump said on Monday, asked about the episode.
Emirati officials are investigating the apparent sabotage, and American officials suspect that Iran was involved. Several officials cautioned, however, that there is not yet any definitive evidence linking Iran or its proxies to the reported attacks. In Brussels, Mr. He did not speak to the media, but the European officials said they had urged restraint upon Washington, fearing accidental escalation that could lead to conflict with Iran. The Iranian government has not threatened violence recently, but last week, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would walk away from parts of the nuclear deal it reached with world powers.
Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement a year ago, but European nations have urged Iran to stick with the deal and ignore Mr.
It was held days after what the Trump administration described, without evidence, as new intelligence indicating that Iran was mobilizing proxy groups in Iraq and Syria to attack American forces. As a precaution, the Pentagon has moved an aircraft carrier, B bombers, a Patriot missile interceptor battery and more naval firepower to the gulf region. The uppermost option called for deploying , troops, which would take weeks or months to complete.
The New Iraq, An Iranian Nuclear Bomb! [Mohamed Siddig] on ydujasuzeh.tk * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In March the U.S. invaded Iraq under. They do not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require vastly more troops, officials said. with President Barack Obama's withdrawal of troops from Iraq in The new intelligence reports surfaced on the afternoon of May 3, Mr. in , and currently does not have enough to make a bomb.
Shanahan; Mr. The reduction of forces in the Middle East in recent years has been propelled by a new focus on China, Russia and a so-called Great Powers competition. The most recent National Defense Strategy — released before Mr. Bolton joined the Trump administration — concluded that while the Middle East remains important, and Iran is a threat to American allies, the United States must do more to ensure a rising China does not upend the world order.
As recently as late April, an American intelligence analysis indicated that Iran had no short-term desire to provoke a conflict. The new intelligence reports surfaced on the afternoon of May 3, Mr. Shanahan told Congress last week. As the gas flows through each centrifuge, the rotors are turning at about 60, rpm, forcing the heavier U molecules towards the outside and leaving the lighter U closer to the middle.
The slightly enriched uranium gas is drawn out from the center and fed into the next centrifuge in line. Hundreds or even thousands of centrifuges are linked together in cascades to achieve the desired enrichment level. The same centrifuges that are used to enrich uranium to low levels for nuclear power reactors can easily be made to produce HEU for weapons. This process will likely take between six months and a year. Iranian officials say the facility would be used to supply fuel for the Bushehr reactor, but Albright and Hinderstein estimate that the FEP could produce roughly kilograms of weapon-grade uranium annually.
A basic gun-assembly uranium bomb, similar to that used at Hiroshima, requires about 15 to 25 kilograms per weapon. With a fully functioning Natanz plant, Iran could theoretically produce enough highly-enriched uranium for 20 to 30 nuclear weapons a year. In the ISIS report, the authors lay out a worst case estimate for how quickly Iran might produce its first nuclear weapon.
Based on the components that Iran is known to possess and past rates of production, it is estimated that they could have 1, — 1, centrifuges by the end of At this rate, without any major complications, Iran could construct a weapon in The official national intelligence estimate on Iran is more pessimistic, or realistic, depending on your point of view.
As reported by the Washington Post, it estimates that if Iran went all out for a nuclear weapon it could not produce the material for one until sometime in the next decade.
One of the reasons Iran refuses to accept guaranteed nuclear fuel from Russia is the fear of becoming energy dependent and thus subject to the whims of the fuel providers. However, as discussed above, Iran does not have sufficient uranium ore reserves to secure energy independence for any significant amount of energy generation. A complete domestic fuel cycle is not a requisite for having a strong and efficient civilian nuclear program. In fact, although 31 countries are currently operating nuclear reactors and 56 countries have research reactors, only 8 countries enrich uranium on an industrial scale.
Most countries buy their fuel from these fuel-producing countries. It does not make economic sense for any nation to invest the billions of dollars needed for indigenous fuel fabrication unless the national infrastructure consists of 20 or more nuclear reactors.
Iran has yet to begin operation of its first reactor. Its original plans detailed the construction of 7 reactors by Only when this economic fact of nuclear life was pointed out by critics of the Iranian program did officials quickly revise their plans to include 20 reactors by It appears that Iran, unlike Iraq or Israel, does not have a dedicated crash program to build a nuclear bomb. Iran seems to be following the Japanese model, trying to acquire all the capabilities necessary to build nuclear weapons should it make a decision to do so sometime in the future.
The fact that the NPT allows states to acquire these duel-use capabilities is one of the greatest weaknesses of the current non-proliferation regime. Iran is now exploiting this legal loophole. Thus, Iran may not be conducting any weapon-specific research now, for fear that discovery of such activity would, as the United States hopes, bring united international condemnation, a cut-off of all nuclear assistance, and economic sanctions. But is is doing everything short of that. Now that its clandestine program has been disclosed, Iran is trying to minimize embarrassing disclosures of past weapons-related activities, persist in its fuel production activities, and force the rest of the world to accept a fait accompli.
First, start with an accurate threat assessment. If we have learned anything from the ill-fated Iraq War, it should be that worst case assessments should never form the basis for government action. There is time to attempt diplomatic solutions, as the Bush administration is now correctly attempting. Second, we should try as best we can to depoliticize the issue at home. Democrats are now trying to get to the right of the administration, blasting officials for failing to stop Iran.
Although it is true that this administration missed several opportunities over the past five years to improve and perhaps permanently change relations with Iran, so did the previous administration. Third, we must realize that the military option is a last resort. An air strike against a soft target, such as the uranium conversion facility at Isfahan, would inflame Muslim anger, rally the Iranian public around an otherwise unpopular government, and jeopardize further the fragile U. The strike could momentarily delay the program, but the Iranian government would almost certainly recover and speed up its efforts, newly convinced that only a nuclear weapon can protect it from what it would see as U.
Fourth, the key to solving the problem is to keep the UN Security Council united. The Bush administration is now playing its relatively weak hand well. This unity has brought in its wake the support of the so-called nonaligned states, which joined them in a 27 to 3 vote with five abstaining at the IAEA board. This result shocked the Iranian government and surprised much of the public, who thought the rest of the world also opposed what the Iranian government portrayed as a new western colonialism.
The trick will be to slowly ratchet up the pressure. This is precisely what the administration and its allies seem to be planning through a series of Security Council resolutions that would move from urging Iran to suspend its program, to requiring that suspension, to possibly imposing targeted sanctions.
Fifth, diplomacy should be augmented by the realistic potential of economic sanctions targeted on the Iranian government, not the Iranian people. The goal should be to widen the gap that exists between a generally pro-Western public and a theocratic government. These sanctions could prohibit private and official travel by Iranian officials, restrict foreign bank accounts, and include targeted bans on investment into Iran that would be imposed by all countries, not just a few.
Sixth, the United States should build on the positive incentives offered to Iran in the comprehensive proposal tabled by the European Union negotiators last August. The EU has linked settlement of the nuclear issue to agreement on a new trade and cooperation agreement. But Europe cannot give the carrot most desired by Tehran: assurance that it will not be attacked or subverted by the United States. The Bush administration should be prepared to give Iran the same deal it offered Libya and has offered North Korea, that is, resolution of the nuclear issue can lead to diplomatic recognition and an end to hostilities.
The United States need not disavow political support for democratic reformers in Iran; rather it should do as it did with the Soviet Union: pursue nuclear negotiations while concurrently championing reform. Stability in Iraq and the broader region therefore require cooperation, or at least shared rules of the road, among Iran, Iraq, the Gulf Cooperation Council states, more distant neighbors, and, of course, the United States.
To remove pressures for proliferation of nuclear and chemical and biological weapons in this region, progress needs to be made in constructing a regional security system. A regional security dialogue should be convened to facilitate this process of communication and regional rule making. To buttress Iran-specific initiatives, an effective nonproliferation strategy should also include steps elaborated in the Carnegie Endowment study, Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security.
States should work to clarify that nuclear cooperation with any state for which the IAEA cannot provide sufficient assurances regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear program should be suspended. The UN Security Council should adopt a new rule making clear that if a state withdraws from the NPT, it remains responsible for violations committed while still a party to the treaty.
The Council should also establish that if a state withdraws from the treaty—whether or not it has violated it—it may no longer make use of nuclear materials, facilities, equipment, or technology that it acquired from another country before its withdrawal. Such facilities, equipment, and nuclear material should be returned to the supplying state or dismantled under international verification.
Another area of ongoing lie debunking , one that almost exactly parallels the buildup to the attack on Iraq, is the relentless false claim, including by candidates in for US President , that Iran has not allowed inspectors into its country or given them access to its sites. However, Iran or the United States might use this as an opportunity to buy time. Khan network and beginning negotiations for the covert import of the equipment and technical assistance necessary to enrich uranium. The loss of that oil would devastate the global economy. European countries promised to protect trade as best they could, but most companies preferred to sacrifice deals with Iran rather than risk losing business in the American market. Give us feedback.
Furthermore, the Nuclear Suppliers Group should establish a rule that all purveyors of nuclear technology require contracts that specify that if a state receiving such technology withdraws from the NPT, the provided nuclear supplies may not be used or transferred. More broadly, it should be instituting through relevant international bodies a general rule that no new uranium enrichment and plutonium separation facilities should be established on a national basis in non-nuclear weapon states.
This rule must be set up and applied immediately in Iran, but it should become a universal standard.
This does not absolve Iran of its obligation to reassure its neighbors and the world that it will not seek nuclear weapons, but it makes it incumbent on the five permanent members of the Security Council to intensify efforts to create of a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, a policy the United States has long supported but done little to implement.
This should be backed by dramatic reductions in both the massive U. Search Issues.