Human rights, religious tolerance and democracy have not been a part of the nuclear agreement, but, going forward, Congress must make them part of everything else we do with Iran.
Congress can get tougher on Iran by channeling Reagan, not Netanyahu. It correctly senses that it needs to be tough with Iran but misses an opportunity to take a principled stand that would really make a difference.
Consider that Iran is the only nuclear nation that is not part of the Convention on Nuclear Safety negotiated after the Chernobyl disaster. Its facilities are still mainly watched over by Iran’s own inspectors, who are more beholden to the nation’s rulers than to independent science.
Khosrow B. Semnani presented sobering findings from his ground-breaking report, “The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble: The Human Cost of Military Strikes Against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities,” at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC on Oct. 12, 2012. His report takes on a largely overlooked issue in the public debate in the U.S. and Israel over the wisdom of using military force to try to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Several studies have attempted to estimate fatalities from an airstrike. The best known, produced in September by the University of Utah and Khosrow Semnani, a former U.S. hazardous waste magnate, predicts total fatalities of 3,500 to 5,500 people working at the three nuclear sites most likely to be targeted, and about 12,000 to 70,000 civilians in the surrounding areas.
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.
What would the war look like? Israel’s surgical strikes on Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007 are not good guides. These attacks were on single, isolated nuclear sites, both of which were “cold” – that is, not in operation. Iran’s program has many sites and the key ones are “hot.”
About consequences of military strike against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities. Semnani appeared with Vice Admiral Richard Gallagher and former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett.
The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble: The Human Cost of a Military Strike Against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities
It is close to a decade that Iran’s controversial nuclear program has been at the forefront of foreign policy debates. The U.S. has considered an array of options such as threat of a military strike, diplomatic efforts and most recently tightened sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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.
Last month a Washington D.C. think tank released a paper about what a strike on Iran’s nuclear facility could look like, and to follow it up another report predicts how many Iranian casualties would follow a U.S. led air strike.
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.