April 9, 2006

ATTAC Report This Week

Iran’s Russian Nukes

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Iran is closer to making its first nuclear bomb than we thought, and western leaders seem helpless to stop it. Is there a way out of the crisis — before Iran “goes ballistic”?

Hello. I’m your host, Boruch Ellison, and this is “ATTAC Report This Week” for April 9th, 2006.

Recent news reports say that Iran is now on the verge of purifying uranium, the metallic fuel for nuclear weapons, into bomb-grade material. Any day now, engineers are likely to feed uranium hexafluoride gas into a series of centrifuges, equipment that is used in the purification process. And that means Iran could build its first nuclear bomb in as little as three years.

Western nations have known about the Iranian nuclear program for over a decade, yet today we seem almost helpless, even paralyzed, in trying to do anything to stop it. Even now, American and European officials say they don’t know what they can do, if anything.

How did we arrive in this growing crisis?

The revolutionaries now running Iran certainly aren’t reinventing nuclear technology from scratch. It’s a matter of public record that their facilities, equipment, and know-how are coming from Soviet Russia, which involves tens of thousands of Soviet technicians, many of them on site in Iran building and installing several entire reactors and enrichment facilities. Meanwhile, hundreds of Iranian engineers are being trained in Soviet Russia. The Soviet aid dates back to the 1980s, when it was originally a top-secret program.

But other Communist Bloc regimes are helping, too. Red China has supplied uranium fuel, and large numbers of North Korean military advisors are in Iran to help design nuclear warheads.

Then there’s the matter of how to launch a nuclear weapon once it’s produced. Again, the same Communist regimes are taking care of everything. Soviet Russia, Red China, and North Korea have all been caught repeatedly working with Iran to build ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear warheads thousands of miles to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, and beyond. The Communist Bloc militaries are supplying the technology, the engineering oversight, and even the missile components.

So to stop the Iranian nuclear program, it is the rulers in Moscow, Beijing, and Pyongyang, the capitals of those Communist nations, that must be dealt with. But ever since the United States uncovered Iran’s nuclear efforts, our leaders have chosen to delay action and allow the technology transfer to continue.

The Clinton administration repeatedly looked the other way, stalled for time through negotiations with the Soviets, and even covered up some aspects of the Soviet program from Americans. The Clinton policy chose to build “warmer relations” with Soviet Russia rather than treat it as an enemy.

But the Bush administration isn’t acting very differently. Just three years ago, top officials let on that the president was considering warming up to Iran. And Bush’s cabinet is entirely united in trying to work closely with Moscow and Beijing, just like Clinton before him.

President Bush has been handling the nuclear issue through the United Nations Security Council. But on the Council are representatives of Soviet Russia and Red China, precisely the two major sources of Iranian nuclear technology, and they’ve constantly used their authority to delay action on Iran and to support its nuclear program. Under an agreement with Soviet Russia and Red China, the Bush administration deliberately waited until last month even to bring up the issue at the UN, thus buying more time for Iran and its Communist Bloc sponsors.

Iran’s nuclear capability serves strategic goals. Nuclear blackmail would be a powerful way to force Israel to disarm, and to paralyze the governments of Israel, Turkey, and other targeted nations in their response to terrorism.

And even if America would ever force Iran to abandon nuclear weapons, the Soviets would simply re-install them any time they choose. So there’s no solution without taking on the Soviets and Red Chinese directly.

Thank you for listening. From all of us at ATTAC Report, good-bye.

(“ATTAC Report This Week” is available at www.ATTACReport.com.)