UPDATED RE-RELEASE, February 5, 2005

THERMONUCLEAR ACCIDENT

by Emanuel A. Winston
Mid East analyst & commentator

Even the Europeans, well known for artful avoidance of facing approaching calamities are frightened by Iran's dash at break-neck speed in developing a nuclear capability. The U.S. , Israel and, surprisingly, the slackers at the U.N. appear to be half opening their eyes at the risk in Iran's development activities. There are several problems - each important on its own.

The possibility of Iran obtaining operational nuclear warheads with the capability of mounting them on modified North Korean, Chinese or Russian missiles has been well explored.

Since I wrote this article in mid-November, we have learned that North Korea, like Pakistan, has shipped nuclear material to Iran. Add to that the secret transfer of nuclear-capable missiles from Ukraine to Iran.

Another risk is equally as important. Iran is speeding the process of developing a nuclear fission device. We have seen what happens with poor technological development , even when it comes out of purported technologically advanced nations, such as the Soviet Union/Russia.

We all remember with horror the Chernobyl accident meltdown which spread its contamination across parts of Russia, Finland, Sweden and even crossed the Mediterranean where Israeli scientists found contamination on the hills of the Carmel Mountain.

Iran is rushing forward with numerous technologies obtained from different nations which makes the probability of a nuclear accident highly probably. In order to hide their nuclear development, they have spread their nuclear-making facilities across 330 sites. As any manufacturer of highly complex technology can tell you, things must be unified, controlled with excellent communications. This is not common in the Arab world. So, as the Iranians dash forward in the most risky technology on the planet, they could too easily create a Chernobyl, even dozens of Chernobyls, spreading nuclear contamination well beyond their borders. Such an event would shock and endanger all the nations on the continent and beyond.

There are some hopeful thoughts that Israel, in her own self-interest, will attack Iran's nuclear installations. Then, the world can blame Israel - as they did when Israel bombed Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear plant in 1981 before it was operational.

Should there be such an accident, the U.N. - having artfully avoided an embargo of fissile material, technology and scientists - will be fully to blame. Naturally, the suppliers such as Pakistan, Russia, China, North Korea, France and many others would try to deny their role as nuclear proliferation enablers. In predictable embarrassment, they would, of course, cease shipping while denying complicity and pull back their scientists but, it would be too late.

The U.S. would, of course, establish a blockade of all shipments into Iran.

Let us hope that Iran's rush to atomic bombs first accident causes them to pull back and cease their craving for an Islamic Nuclear Bomb. Perhaps the too little - too late United Nations will act before a first accidental release of Iranian nuclear contamination into the atmosphere as happened from Chernobyl.

For those who though Chernobyl has come and gone...you are wrong! The grass is still coming up in Sweden, Finland, Russia and is still leaching Strontium 90, among other radioactive stuff. Their cows eat the grass; their milk, cheese and meat carries the radiation. In Russia, loads of vegetables are checked for unacceptable levels of radiation and, if too high, the load is mixed with non-irradiated produce, so the average radiation is somewhat lower but is deemed acceptable "to their bureaucracy".

Chernobyl will be with us for years to come. Chernobyl children are still being sent abroad to be treated of their disease-causing radiation saturation. Many of those children are being hosted and medically treated in Israel, funded by humanitarian organizations. Cancers in the countries mentioned will rise exponentially as the years pass, depending on how dense the fallout in their area.

I will not depress you with the full life span of various radiological materials from an accidental release. It get even worse when it comes in the form of a Nuclear Bomb. Let us hope that Iran's first accident is small or better yet, not at all.

John Loftus, interviewed on FOX NEWS November 28th at 6:30 PM Israel time, was asked if the U.N. could trust Iran in its negotiations to stand down their manufacture of nuclear devices. Part of the FOX interview was about the centrifuges which Loftus explained emitted a static electricity which could be detected by certain satellites. Iran claimed it wanted to maintain at least eight experimental centrifuges operating, merely as a cover for the many centrifuges, since electronic discharges of the few would mask others. He also spoke of a secret tunnel being dug to by-pass facilities which the U.N. had never bothered to set foot in to inspect. The full story was released in the German journal Der Spiegel November 29.

Emanuel A. Winston is a member of the Advisory Board and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.


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