US Nuclear Expert: No Threat of Nuclear Weapon from Iran

LaRougePac
January 17, 2012

The former dirctor of U.S. programs for production of nuclear materials and components for nuclear weapons, Clinton Bastin, sent an open letter to President Obama the morning of January 13, explaining that there is no weapons threat from Iran’s fully safeguarded nuclear power and research programs. A copy of the letter, which the nuclear scientist also sent to the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, was made available to 21st Century Science & Technology magazine yesterday. It is reproduced below in full.

Bastin, who has served in leading positions in government since the 1950s, laid out the case on Iran in greater detail in an interview with 21st Century Science Nov. 18, 2011. The interview, which devastates the arguments for an Iranian nuclear weapons threat, is available at the 21st Century Science and Technology website.

To: Iran Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee to the United Nations Subject: NUCLEAR IRAN

Dear Mr. Ambassador:

THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE SENT TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA THIS MORNING IS BASED ON EXPERIENCE-BASED KNOWLEDGE

There is no weapon threat from Iran’s important, fully safeguarded nuclear power and research programs.  Sanctions based on false claims of a threat have disrupted Iran’s economy and Iranians’ day to day lives, preclude effective negotiations with Iran to resolve problems and increase world dangers.

The ultimate product of Iran’s gas centrifuge facilities would be highly enriched uranium hexafluoride, a gas that cannot be used to make a weapon. Converting the gas to metal, fabricating components and assembling them with high explosives using dangerous and difficult technology that has never been used in Iran would take many years after a diversion of three tons of low enriched uranium gas from fully safeguarded inventories.  The resulting weapon, if intended for delivery by missile, would have a yield equivalent to that of a kiloton of conventional high explosives.

Drawings of weapons found in Iran by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors are fakes, prepared by dissidents to harm Iran.  Any drawing for a nuclear weapon program would be stored in a top secret vault and never seen by inspectors.

Please share this information with your cabinet, Members of Congress, all Americans, and leaders of other nations, and the United Nations; end sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programs and support strengthening Iran’s economy.

(Clinton Bastin directed U.S. programs for production of nuclear materials and nuclear components for weapons and the successful U.S. nonproliferation initiative with India.  He was a consultant to U.S. national security agencies on proliferation threats in other nations and a leader in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign.  He reviewed in detail 1970 U.S. and Iranian plans for nuclear cooperation, and has maintained cognizance of Iran’s plans since that time.)

MR AMBASSADOR, PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHERS AT UN AND OTHERS AS APPROPRIATE, AND LET ME KNOW OF ANY SUGGESTIONS OR COMMENTS.

BEST WISHES!

I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE HELP FROM YOU AND OTHERS CORRECTING THIS GREAT WRONG.

CLINTON BASTIN

Chemical Engineer/Nuclear Scientist,

U.S. Department of Energy (Retired)

The New York Times Is Lying About Iran’s Nuclear Program

by Robert Nayman
Truthout
January 8, 2012

It’s deja vu all over again. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is trying to trick America into another catastrophic war with a Middle Eastern country on behalf of the Likud Party’s colonial ambitions, and The New York Times is lying about allegations that said country is developing “weapons of mass destruction.”

In an article attributed to Steven Erlanger on January 4 (“Europe Takes Bold Step Toward a Ban on Iranian Oil”), this paragraph appeared:

The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at Israel, combined with a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear program has a military objective, is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign. [my emphasis]

The claim that there is “a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear program has a military objective” is a lie.

As Washington Post Ombudsman Patrick Pexton noted on December 9:

But the IAEA report does not say Iran has a bomb, nor does it say it is building one, only that its multiyear effort pursuing nuclear technology is sophisticated and broad enough that it could be consistent with building a bomb.

Indeed, if you try now to find the offending paragraph on The New York Times web site, you can’t. They took it down. But there is no note, like there is supposed to be, acknowledging that they changed the article, and that there was something wrong with it before. Sneaky, huh?

But you can still find the original here.

Indeed, at this writing, if you go to The New York Times web site and search on the phrase “military objective,” the article pops right up. But if you open the article, the text is gone. But again, there is no explanatory note saying that they changed the text.

This is not an isolated example in the Times’ reporting. The very same day – January 4 – The New York Times published another article, attributed to Clifford Krauss (“Oil Price Would Skyrocket if Iran Closed the Strait of Hormuz “), that contained the following paragraph:

Various Iranian officials in recent weeks have said they would blockade the strait, which is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, if the United States and Europe imposed a tight oil embargo on their country in an effort to thwart its development of nuclear weapons [my emphasis].

At this writing, that text is still on The New York Times web site.

Of course, referring to Iran’s “development of nuclear weapons” without qualification implies that it is a known fact that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. But it is not a known fact. It is an allegation. Indeed, when US officials are speaking publicly for the record, they say the opposite.

As Pexton noted on December 9:

This is what the US director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March: “We continue to assess [that] Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.

US agreed to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets

Telegraph
February 4, 2011

Information about every Trident missile the US supplies to Britain will be given to Russia as part of an arms control deal signed by President Barack Obama next week.

Defence analysts claim the agreement risks undermining Britain’s policy of refusing to confirm the exact size of its nuclear arsenal.

The fact that the Americans used British nuclear secrets as a bargaining chip also sheds new light on the so-called “special relationship”, which is shown often to be a one-sided affair by US diplomatic communications obtained by the WikiLeaks website.

Details of the behind-the-scenes talks are contained in more than 1,400 US embassy cables published to date by the Telegraph, including almost 800 sent from the London Embassy, which are published online today. The documents also show that:

• America spied on Foreign Office ministers by gathering gossip on their private lives and professional relationships.

• Intelligence-sharing arrangements with the US became strained after the controversy over Binyam Mohamed, the former Guantánamo Bay detainee who sued the Government over his alleged torture.

• David Miliband disowned the Duchess of York by saying she could not “be controlled” after she made an undercover TV documentary.

• Tens of millions of pounds of overseas aid was stolen and spent on plasma televisions and luxury goods by corrupt regimes.

A series of classified messages sent to Washington by US negotiators show how information on Britain’s nuclear capability was crucial to securing Russia’s support for the “New START” deal.

Although the treaty was not supposed to have any impact on Britain, the leaked cables show that Russia used the talks to demand more information about the UK’s Trident missiles, which are manufactured and maintained in the US.

Washington lobbied London in 2009 for permission to supply Moscow with detailed data about the performance of UK missiles. The UK refused, but the US agreed to hand over the serial numbers of Trident missiles it transfers to Britain.

Professor Malcolm Chalmers said: “This appears to be significant because while the UK has announced how many missiles it possesses, there has been no way for the Russians to verify this. Over time, the unique identifiers will provide them with another data point to gauge the size of the British arsenal.”

Duncan Lennox, editor of Jane’s Strategic Weapons Systems, said: “They want to find out whether Britain has more missiles than we say we have, and having the unique identifiers might help them.”

While the US and Russia have long permitted inspections of each other’s nuclear weapons, Britain has sought to maintain some secrecy to compensate for the relatively small size of its arsenal.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, last year disclosed that “up to 160” warheads are operational at any one time, but did not confirm the number of missiles.