Israel today issued a strong warning about the possibility that Iran could have enough uranium within a month to produce a nuclear bomb.


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Another day of reckoning looms: Israel today issued a strong warning about the possibility that Iran could have enough uranium within a month to produce a nuclear bomb.

“We have made it crystal clear – in all possible forums, that Israel will not stand by and watch Iran develop weaponry that will put us, the entire Middle East and eventually the world, under an Iranian umbrella of terror,” Danny Danon, Israel’s deputy defense minister told USA TODAY.

This is not good. For Israel, Iran is a real and present threat. They have made it repeatedly clear that they wish to destroy Israel. Soon, very soon, they will have the capability. For Israel to stand by and let them get that capability would be insane.

What Israel can do, however, is unclear. As strong militarily as Israel is, it does not really have the ability to invade Iran and destroy its developing nuclear facilities. I fear that the only choice it might have is to use its own nuclear arsenal to hit Iran first.

As I said, this is not good. The options before us are truly frightening.

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7 comments

  • Pzatchok

    The very sad fact is that even if Israel can and does shoot down any Iranian missile before it reaches Israel were is it going to come down?

    If its ANYTHING like the typical scud style long range missile they have in the middle east the motor will be destroyed and the warhead stands a very good chance of falling to earth and detonating.

    What country is between Israel and Iran? And will they stay on the sideline?
    Would they join Iran and attack Israel or join Israel in an attempt to keep the middle East relatively peaceful?
    Could they even stay on the sideline? Their very own people could revolt until they attack Israel and join in with Iran.

    And tactically a nation with just one nuclear bomb is just a danger to itself first and its neighbors second.
    One bomb means nothing to its enemies.
    Of course it would be devastating to the recipient and a terrible tragedy but tactically not worth a dang.
    If fact its use would only anger the world and raise the chances other nations would unite against the user of the weapon.
    The target nation would lose all inhibitions and be fully capable of total absolute war. Something we have not seen since WWII. Think Dresden or the Tokyo raids.

  • Tom Billings

    Your first point is something that became evident in the *first* Gulf War, when all we had were the original Patriot missile, with some changes in its software. That was because for 10 years, between 1975 and 1985, my Senator, Mark Hatfield, kept inserting in DoD funding bills a legal ban on spending one thin dime on making a Patriot what it could have been, a truly effective anti-Short Range Ballistic Missile system. Between 1985 and 1990, all they could do was the software mods. So, Patriot’s warhead was the same as it used against aircraft, a fragmentation warhead, that was really good at shooting down things that flew with wings in the air. Since the warheads of ballistic missiles are *already* falling to the ground, this did little to stop them at all. All they could do was to give political cover to ME governments, …that *something* was being done. That part worked!

    After Desert Storm, work began on the Patriot Advanced Capability program. It started with even more software mods for discriminating between warheads and the missile bodies, and then began adding Hit-to-Kill warheads to the Patriots, and in PAC-3 added a new motor to give it greater range, by the time we went into Iraq, again, in 2003. All this *could* have been done in the 10-15 years lost to Senator Hatfield’s obsessions with keeping ABM tech from looking good, at *any* level. The Patriots deployed in Israel have even more improvements.

    The key question is the Arrow system up to it, especially if used in tandem with the Aegis/Standard system the US Navy has in the Mediterranean, and the deployed Patriots inside Israel?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_%28Israeli_missile%29

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegis_Ballistic_Missile_Defense_System

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIM-104_Patriot#MIM-104F_.28PAC-3.29

    Arrow has what is called a “directed” explosive fragmentation warhead. The Israelis believe that will work against what they face better. I hope they are right, …and they *have* tested it against missiles coming in as fast as the Shahab-3s will be. The Aegis/Standard missile has a Hit-To-Kill warhead. The warheads, in either case, should be vaporized by the impact energy.

    As to:

    “What country is between Israel and Iran? And will they stay on the sideline?
    Would they join Iran and attack Israel or join Israel in an attempt to keep the middle East relatively peaceful?
    Could they even stay on the sideline? Their very own people could revolt until they attack Israel and join in with Iran.”

    Syria and Iraq are between Iran and Israel. They will both keep their heads *down*, since they cannot do anything useful to help either side. However, Hezbollah, in Lebanon, funded by Iran, whose “volunteers” are fighting in Syria’s Civil War today, are expected to launch as many of the 50,000 artillery rockets they have as they can, as soon as they can, before the IAF destroys them. Those cannot carry nukes, however. The system used against them will be Iron Dome inside Israel.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome

    Iron Dome is successful against artillery rockets, so far. Whether the Israelis have enough to do much against the Hezbollah artillery rocket launchers remains to be seen.

  • Tom Billings

    “And tactically a nation with just one nuclear bomb is just a danger to itself first and its neighbors second. One bomb means nothing to its enemies.”

    Actually, everyone in the ME knows Israel is the “exception that proves the rule”, in your above rule. This is because of the concentration of Israeli citizens in the Tel-a-Viv/Jaffa Metro area. Over half of the Jewish population of Israel is concentrated there. Yes, Israel still could and would retaliate, but 1-3 weapons, depending on their size, would destroy what is certainly the economic heartland of Israel, as well as half their people. 10 nukes getting through before people could get to shelter could kill 90% of Israel’s population.

    As to that retaliation: The Ayatollahs openly proclaim every few years that losing the entirety of Iran would be worth the destruction of Israel, because it is run by Jews. Remember that almost every mass atrocity like this in the 20th Century was openly advocated long before the event *by*those*who*did*it*, from Stalin and the “Kulaks”, to Hitler and the Holocaust, to Lon Nol and the educated of Cambodia.

    The only way the 21st Century will be different is if we spend the effort to *make* it different!

  • ken anthony

    Can an American even imagine living under the threats that Israel faces as normal? Good job on your post Tom. All the posturing has got to come to an end some day. It looks like that day is close.

    It took one bullet to start WW1. An atomic bomb is a big match/fire starter. Who can predict the eventualities?

  • JohnHunt

    “As strong militarily as Israel is, it does not really have the ability to invade Iran and destroy its developing nuclear facilities. I fear that the only choice it might have is to use its own nuclear arsenal to hit Iran first”.

    Could Israel knock our Iran’s air defense systems, establish a protected airbase in Iran’s central desert, and then systematically destroy the Iranian Republican Guard and military thereby making it vulnerable to regime change in case Iran decides to continue with its nuclear program?

  • It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? In reality, this is likely not to work. For one thing, “systematically destroying the Iranian Republican Guard and military” isn’t that easy, just because you have an airbase in Iran. Second, invading Iran in any manner will not likely make the present regime weaker. It will more likely make it stronger, as the Iranian public will probably unite against the invader.

  • Pzatchok

    All Israel can do is sit back and defend.

    Any offensive move and the world look on them badly. All their neighbors could start turning on them actively.
    I know their neighbors don’t actually like them now, but for the most part they are not doing anything about it. In fact until the new government took over a while ago, Egypt could almost have been looked on as friendly. Now I don’t know.

    If I was Israel I would not feel good about having to rely on a defense system against ballistic missiles that has not actually been proven yet. Well at least in more than controlled tests.

    But in the end an insane Iran could choose to detonate the bomb on the ground in a truck or cargo ship and just use the missiles as a diversion.
    If they choose that tactic what would the most likely targets be? Not necessarily the most valuable but the most likely. The easiest to hit with a value. More than likely an emotional value only target. Something that might only effect the moral of Israel negatively and at the same time raise the moral of Iran’s Muslim allies.

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