Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 27, 2013

The (temporary) Nuclear Deal With Iran – Horrible or Divine? Don’t Believe the Hype

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Arnold Bogis on November 27, 2013

To listen to commentary, the recently concluded short-term agreement between major Western powers and Iran over that nation’s nuclear program is either the greatest diplomatic victory since the Treaty of Westphalia or the worst since “Munich.” (The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank has a great piece throwing cold water over the reflexive nature of the later crowd.)

Personally, I think the deal is positive and a great start, however it cannot be fully judged until (and if) a long-term agreement is eventually reached.

Regardless, the homeland security angle to this continuing story is second or third order — primarily in the supposed threat that Iran would either give or lose control of a nuclear weapon (when it actually develops one) or the material to Hezbollah or other terrorists. (Or that an Iranian nuclear capability will spur proliferation in the region…also leading to the theft or gift of nuclear weapons to terrorists.)

However, as this story has the potential to fuel water cooler talk in many homeland security circles, I would like to point to a resource for clear and balanced analysis.

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, recently launched “Iran Matters.” The website includes original analysis from the Center’s experts, including former high level White House, State Department, DOD, Intelligence, and IAEA officials.  There are also fact sheets, videos, Q & A’s, etc….all the trimmings of a thorough policy-orientated website.

Among the experts there are those that served President Obama, as well as in the Bush and Clinton Administrations. Viewpoints are shared by nuclear technical experts, professional diplomats and intelligence operatives, as well as nonproliferation experts and “big picture” political scientists.

Among the current offerings:

  • Graham Allison on the best “thumbs-up” and best “thumbs-down” assessments of the nuclear deal.

  • Gary Samore discusses what has to happen in the next six months to get to a permanent deal.

  • Former State Department Under Secretary Nicholas Burns answers “three good questions” about the nuclear deal.

  • Former IAEA deputy director general Olli Heinonen analyzes the devil in the nuclear details.

  • Professor Matthew Bunn explains why the deal makes sense.

  • Senior Fellow Will Tobey on ways to test Iran’s seriousness.

  • Mark Wallace and Matan Shamir on the risk to sanctions.

  • Senior Fellow Chuck Freilich on the view from Israel.


Again, if you are interested, the website is: http://iranmatters.belfercenter.org


And just because this song has been stuck in my head after listening to too many cable news pundits on this topic…

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Comment by William R. Cumming

November 27, 2013 @ 8:03 am

Thanks Arnold and the Belfer site a huge source! By the way the Belfer’s made their money in the energy industry! The largest corrupter of American politics in the 20th Century and probably the 21St IMO!

And my source an Iranian-American rug dealer with many relatives still living and working in Iran. He was former Iranian air force under the Shah! About my age –71!

His take! Iran can largely destroy Israel with CW. No real need for nukes now! The trick! Avoid Israel”s retaliation.

The Iranian strategy–salami tactics–a slice at a time.

What does the agreement mean for the USA! A fig leaf
to cover the fact that the American polity is tired of preventive war and wants resources diverted from the bankers and the military.

Who knows but my guess is we [US] have not seen the end of war.

And the vacillation and uncertainty created by American FP is continuing to be a factor in a globalized world where the USA wants to be dominant in both hard and soft power! This will not be but few American politicians are willing to say so.

Comment by Claire B. Rubin

November 27, 2013 @ 8:19 am

I like the idea of an important topic getting a web location which can serve as a central place for intelligent discussion. Thanks for Harvard for doing that.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

November 27, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

“Washington officials are planning to upgrade the B61 nuclear weapons that are stored in Europe. The new B61-12 will replace the older types 3, 4, 7, 10 and 11 and B83. The new weapon is to replace bombs that are already 90 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima (Der Spiegel, Nov. 6, 2013). Hans Kristensen described it as an “all-in-one nuclear bomb on steroids.”

This new bomb is designed to be deployed from German Tornado fighter planes. The multinational version of the Joint Strike Fighter will also have inbuilt capabilities to carry and deliver these weapons. Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey have already committed to purchasing these aircraft. The new B61 bomb will be the most powerful and deadly nuclear weapon ever deployed in Germany and other nuclear sharing nations.

How naive is America to entrust this immense firepower to nations that so recently—and throughout history—have proved to be enemies of the free world!

Tactical weapons are usually carried by short-range delivery vehicles like cruise missiles or fighter/bomber aircraft with ranges under 850 miles. They are not capable of intercontinental launch—but they are small enough to be shipped wherever needed in the back of a truck!

Another horrific consideration to contemplate: These smaller devices are at risk of theft by rogue nations or terrorists. These are immensely powerful weapons! Can we really trust other nations with such firepower?

Right now, Germany seems to be an ally of the United States. But what if this nation—our archenemy in World Wars I and II—turned against us in the next war?

We want to trust Germany, but history screams that we shouldn’t! Yet, not only do we equip the Germans with our weapons, but we train their air force on American bases such as Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

What the U.S. is doing is absolutely condemned by the Bible. Why? Because it is trusting other nations rather than trusting God”

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 28, 2013 @ 4:02 am

There is absolutely no reason the entire EU and Eurozone should not be a nuclear free zone this Thanksgiving!


Comment by William R. Cumming

November 28, 2013 @ 4:03 am


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