Monthly Archives: July 2012

Iraq WMD….About 10 Years Ago

The anniversary is next month, but whatever…

bq. Simply stated, there is *no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.* There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. And there is no doubt that his aggressive regional ambitions will lead him into future confrontations with his neighbors — confrontations that will involve both the weapons he has today, and the ones he will continue to develop with his oil wealth.

— “August 26, 2002”:

bq. On the nuclear question, many of us are convinced that *Saddam will acquire such weapons fairly soon*. Just how soon, we cannot really judge. Intelligence is at best an uncertain business, even under the best circumstances. This is especially the case when you are dealing with a totalitarian government that has made a science out of deceiving the international community.

— “August 29, 2002.”:

DIA Report on Iran

“J Lewis”: and “G Thielmann”: have already commented on the “2012 DIA report”: about Iran. But I thought I’d point out what it said about the IAEA DG’s November 2011 “report”:

Much has, of course, been written about that report, but the DIA’s take isn’t terribly alarming:

bq. [The report] provided extensive evidence of past and *possibly ongoing* Iranian nuclear weapons-related research and development work.

That’s consistent with what the intel community has been saying.

More on 2012 Iran POE Report

I blogged the report “the other day,”: but didn’t say anything about it.

A couple of things jumped out at me. One is the extensive discussion about “the role of carbon fibre in the Iranian nuclear programme and as a target for procurement.” The information about the general use of carbon fiber in centrifuges, as well as its particular role in Iran’s program, can be found elsewhere, but it’s nice to have it in an official UN document.

The second item is the discussion of Iran’s attempts to procure uranium – a substance the country does not have in abundance. According to the report, “Iran is believed by a number of Member States to be seeking new sources of uranium ore to supply its enrichment efforts,” adding that “Member States have informed the Panel that emerging suppliers are potential targets for attempted acquisition” of uranium by Iran.

The report does say that “no procurement attempts have been reported
to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006)” and that “the Panel is not aware of any confirmed cases of actual transfers.”

Out of town for a little more than a week, so read something else.

Iran’s Proposals to P5+1

A bit late to the party on this one, but a few days ago Fars News “published”: “the full text of a power point file presented by the Iranian team of negotiators to the representatives of the world powers in the recent talks in the Russian capital, Moscow, on June 19-20.”

I haven’t seen anyone mention this, but, if accurate, the presentation is also an account of the P5+1 offer. Iran’s explanation regarding the right to enrichment under the NPT is also worth examining.

*Update:* I should have mentioned that Laura Rozen “published”: a “copy”: of a similar presentation given July 3 by Iran’s Mission to the UN.

Export Controls in the 1980s

I found “this Sept 1991 document”: while looking for something else. It’s an unclassified summary of a White House report to Congress “on the international export to Iraq of nuclear, biological, chemical and ballistic missile technology.”

It states that

bq. throughout the 1980’s many countries, especially in Western Europe, “were key suppliers of chemical equipment, chemical precursors, and technical expertise for Iraq’s chemical weapons program.” Similarly, Iraq’s “nuclear, missile and biological weapons program also benefited from foreign sources, mainly in Europe.”

More interesting, to me, is the summary’s function as a pretty good, if U.S.-centric, history of multilateral efforts to control WMD-related exports. Take a look.

ISIS vs. Nile

I think “ISIS”: may be the “Nile”: of non-pro think tanks.

To wit:

May “report”: from ISIS:

bq. ISIS Analysis of IAEA Iran Safeguards Report: Production of 3.5% Enriched Uranium Increases Significantly; Iran Continues to Increase its Stock of 19.75% LEU; Rapid Installation of Large Numbers of IR-1 Centrifuge Outer Casings Not a Prelude to Dramatically Increased Centrifuge Deployment at Natanz or Fordow; Advanced Centrifuge Program Still Troubled But Makes Some Progress

Nile song titles:


“Invocation of the Gate of Aat-Ankh-es-en-Amenti”

“Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual in the Abandoned Towers of Silence”

“Chapter of Obeisance Before Giving Breath to the Inert One in the Presence of the Crescent Shaped Horns”

“Libation Unto the Shades Who Lurk in the Shadows of the Temple of Anhur”