Monthly Archives: June 2012

India’s DAE Info

If you want a good summary of developments concerning India’s nuclear power program, I would strongly recommend the Department of Atomic Energy’s “parliament questions,”: which contain information that the DAE has submitted to the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha concerning its nuclear program.

I would be remiss if I omitted reference to “these two IDSA compilations”: of DAE information submitted to parliament.

Yet More on the Iranian Nuclear Fatwa

Probably the last on this for a while. Probably.

“This entire interview”: with the Head of the Research Center for Fiq’h Affairs in Iran’s Parliament is worth a read, but this portion really jumped out at me:

bq.. Q: One of the questions over the leadership fatwa banning nuclear weapons is if the statement is in fact Taqqiya (minor or benign falsehood in a matter of life and death). They say since Taqqiya is permitted in Shia Fiq’h, Islamic Republic of Iran has issued the statement, contrary to its real intention, only in a bid to defend itself against the enemies and it is possible that Iran violates the fatwa once it gains enough power.

A: Islam approves Taqqiya under some special conditions and has particular limitations. But the issue of weaponry competition is so clear that it is not subject to Taqqiya.

Hence the answer is that: A Taqqiya fatwa is acceptable when the issue, for which a fatwa is issued, is changeable, while the dangers of nuclear weapons will never change. This is a perfect and complete fatwa and not a Taqqiya fatwa. A Taqqiya fatwa is limited and can be changed but when a fatwa is issued in the international arena, the opposite cannot be proved to be right otherwise Shia fiq’h is questioned.

p. I can’t speak to the accuracy of this, but it’s important to read what the Iranians say about it.

Pakistani-Iranian Joint Reprocessing

It was an idea way back when, according to “this”: April 1976 account of a meeting b/t SecState Kissinger and Pakistani Ambassador Yaqub-Khan.

After Kissinger explained that “[m]ost of my preoccupations these days have to do with avoiding criminal charges,” the ambassador handed him a letter from the Pakistani prime minister which included an offer to multilateralize Pakistan’s reprocessing facility.

When Kissinger asked “What countries would you have in mind?,” the ambassador replied: “Iran.”

Even more remarkable, from my point of view, is Kissinger’s follow-on suggestion:

bq. How about Israel? You would get a lot of Congressional support if you would invite Israel to participate. Let me study this further.

Israeli and Indian Centrifuge Programs

An astute reader points out that “this 1975 document”:, about which “I blogged”: earlier, contains a chart on p. 7 (in original) which documents the “nuclear activities of selected countries.”

Among other interesting bits of information, the chart indicates that both India and Israel had centrifuge programs in the research phase.

Interestingly, the chart indicates that Israel did _not_ possess an operating reprocessing facility, but _did_ have an enrichment program based on a technology other than centrifuges or diffusion.

Two Things That Go Together

“This post”: from A Wellerstein, whose blog is always amazing, has a great account of Shot MIKE of Operation Ivy – AKA, the world’s first H-Bomb test. His account of the associated press leaks is fascinating, but I was also struck by the fact that MIKE wasn’t so much a “weapon” as a “device”:

bq. There was no “operational” reason for keeping the MIKE test a secret, except for the fact that, well, it wasn’t actually really ready for prime-time, as far as weapons went. MIKE was a big, clunky cryogenic test apparatus that weighed over 50 tons. *It had been designed (by Dick Garwin) to prove a point,* not to fit on an airplane.

That portion jumped out at the when I recently re-read “this 1975 memo to holders”: of a 1974 NIE. The memo discusses the prospect of a state developing an un-weaponized nuclear explosive device for a variety of political and military purposes. Take a look.

Iran Nuclear Fatwa Date

There’s something I don’t quite understand about the nuclear fatwa: two Iranian officials have said that the fatwa was issued in November 2004, although one of those same officials apparently mentioned it in October 2003.

“This”: December 2006 statement from Iran’s then-PermRep to the UN cites a _Kayhan_ article from November 2004. And the Rowhani “interview”: about which I have “previously”: “blogged”: also indicates that Iran’s Supreme Leader issued the fatwa in November 2004.

But an October 25, 2003 IRNA story (sorry can’t find it online) also mentions the fatwa. Its title?

bq. “Iran: Rowhani Says Khamene’i Considers Attempts To Access Nuclear Weapons ‘Religiously Illegal ‘ ”

Not sure I understand why this is the case, but there it is.

Pakistan Naval Strategic Force Command

“This May 19 announcement”: from the Pakistani government
explains that

bq. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila today inaugurated the newly constructed Headquarters of the Naval Strategic Force Command (NSFC).

The Chief said that the occasion marked “the formal establishment of the Naval Strategic Force Command of Pakistan.” That might not be terribly remarkable, but I am intrigued by the description of the Strategic Force as

bq. the custodian of the nation’s 2nd strike capability

Not quite sure what that means…