The showdown over Iran’s nuclear program is likely to accelerate in 2013 as sanctions tighten, Israel threatens military strikes, and the centrifuges keep spinning. While most attention will be focused on the two most oft-discussed sites of uranium enrichment — Natanz and Fordow — a third site on the gulf could prove to be this year’s most dangerous nuclear wild card.
For all the years that the world has focused on the confrontation between Western nations and Iran, oceans of ink have been spilled over many aspects of its nuclear program — the quantity and quality of its enriched uranium, various UN Security Council resolutions, the number of Iranian centrifuges, IAEA safeguards, compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, diplomatic negotiations, red lines, U.S. and Israeli attack scenarios, possible Iranian responses, the impact of a nuclear Iran, and so on.
Between President Obama’s stern warnings toward Iran and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bomb diagram at the United Nations, there’s plenty of talk of attacking Iran’s nuclear sites. But Khosrow Semnani, an Iranian-American scientist and philanthropist who lives in Utah, warns a military strike against Iran would kill thousands and expose many thousands more to toxic fallout. On Monday, Semnani joins us to talk about human cost of a military option in Iran.
“This paper is not a political paper, this paper is not a scientific endeavor, it is … really a humanitarian attempt for us to highlight and point out the degree of devastation that Iranians will suffer if there is an attack,” Semnani said.
As you can tell by the title, this 61-page paper, The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble, is not Tehran-friendly. The report, released in September, is the product of Khosrow B. Semnani, an Iranian-American industrialist and philanthropist with, according to his bio, “extensive experience in the industrial management of nuclear waste and chemicals.” I’m in the midst of reading it in its entirety.
With the study Semnani endeavors to scientifically prove something which seems obvious: attacking nuclear facilities in Iran could have devastating effects on possibly hundreds of thousands of Iranians who would be exposed to highly toxic chemical plumes and even radioactive fallout. Case studies were conducted on the Iranian cities of Isfahan, Natanz, Arak, and Bushehr. In Isfahan, a military strike on the nuclear facility there could be compared to the 1984 Bhopal industrial accident at the Union Carbide plant in India.
One day after the 11th anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan, let’s turn our attention to that nation’s neighbor to the west — Iran.
Iran is kind of hard to ignore, really, especially here in Tampa, where a good number of people in the headquarters of U.S. Central Command are busy looking at the threats from and to that nation.
The University of Utah’s Hinckley School of Politics and Omid for Iran conducted an extensive year-long study of the impacts of a western military attack on Iran. Led by Iranian-American environmental engineer Khosrow Semnani, a panel of nuclear engineers, scientists and senior U.S. military officers found:
Pre-emptive military strikes…whether using nuclear or conventional means, would result in devastating human, political, and environmental consequences upon both Iran and the region.
When protests broke out in Iran this week over the devaluation of the nation’s currency, Khosrow Semnani saw the possible start of a solution.
Change Iran from within and you have a better chance of ending its nuclear weapons program than you ever would from a military strike, he said.
That is, of course, easier said than done. Groups within Iran have tried this before, but the Arab Spring seems always to wither under the foot of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Lost in the debate on Iran is the human cost of a strike against the country’s nuclear sites, according to a new report published by an Iranian-American with a background in industrial nuclear waste and chemicals. Khosrow Semnani argues in “The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble,” that striking Iran’s nuclear facilities, where the IAEA has verified an inventory of 371 metric tons of uranium hexafluoride, could have devastating effects on tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of Iranians, who would be exposed to highly toxic chemical plumes and even radioactive fallout.
The catastrophic aftershocks of such a strike will not be limited to the borders of Iran, the paper maintains. “An attack on the Bushehr nuclear power plant would pose a grave environmental and economic threat to civilians in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.”
It also dismisses claims that destroying the Iranian nuclear sites could be as simple and effective as the strike on the Iraqi nuclear site at Osirak in 1981.
The University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics announces the release of a new policy paper written by Khosrow B. Semnani, The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble: The Human Cost of Military Strikes Against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities, which argues that the humanitarian rights of innocent civilians should forestall any military strike against Iran by Israel and/or the the U.S.
In an interview with Radio Radia, Khosrow Semnani talks about his book, the Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble.
According to Semnani, “while much talk has been devoted to the likelihood and efficacy of such strikes, absent from the greater conversation has been the very real massive human casualties and chemical / nuclear fallout that will inevitably follow.”
As Western negotiators struggle to find a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear challenge, the threat of Israeli military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities cannot be discounted. While much talk has been devoted to the likelihood and efficacy of such strikes, absent from the greater conversation has been the very real massive human casualties, and chemical and nuclear fallout that will inevitably follow.
Dans The Ayatollah Nuclear Gamble (“Le pari nucléaire des ayatollahs”) publié par l’institut de politique Hinckley de l’université d’Utah (États-Unis), l’industriel et philanthrope Khosrow Semnani chiffre à plus de 80 000 le nombre d’Iraniens qui pourraient être les victimes directes (décès) et indirectes (blessures et contamination) d’un bombardement aérien israélien.
Iran may be on the firing line, but President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was as calmly combative as ever Sunday, dismissing Israel’s military threats and predicting that nothing will happen in the nuclear talks until after the U.S. presidential elections.
For months, Israel has threatened to strike Iran’s nuclear sites. The United States has urged restraint. If such an operation were launched, how might Tehran react?
Hamid has been awake since midnight, when Israeli bombs struck the Tehran Nuclear Research Center in nearby Amirabad. The boom reverberated throughout the city nearby, sending plumes of smoke into the night. Sirens punctuated the hours till the gray-pink dawn. With the Internet down, Hamid crouches before Radio Tehran, which reports that key nuclear sites at Arak, Natanz and Isfahan have also been hit.
For months, Israel has threatened to strike Iran’s nuclear sites. The United States has urged restraint. If such an operation were launched, how might Washington react?
President Obama is enjoying a quiet dinner with Michelle, Sasha and Malia at the White House residence on a Thursday evening in October when he gets the call.
Two dozen Israeli fighter jets have just entered Jordanian airspace, apparently en route to Iran, chief of staff Jack Lew tells him.