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.