New Iran N-bomb evidence emerges: will the West get tough now?

December 14, 2009 2:03 pm

Author:

Share this Article

Nuclear Iran

By Luke Bozier / @luke_cb

Just under two weeks ago, I suggested in a piece for LabourList that Iran had sent a wake up call to the West on its hostile foreign policy and alleged nuclear weapons programme. Today, evidence has surfaced to suggest that the world should indeed be alarmed at Iran’s nuclear plans, and places the military option firmly in the minds of Western politicians.

The Times has supposedly obtained confidential documents which outline a multi-year plan to test a specific component required to trigger an atomic explosion, the “neutron initiator”. If it weren’t for the seriousness of the escalating stand-off over Iran’s nuclear programme, perhaps we would find it amusing that gadgets which would sound outlandish even in a James Bond film are making headlines in our major newspapers. Worryingly though, if this evidence is credible, it points to solid plans by the Iranian regime to develop nuclear weapons in the immediate future.

According to David Albright, a respected American physicist interview by The Times, there isn’t a use for the neutron initiator device except to trigger the explosion of a nuclear bomb.

Western powers have been patient and lenient in their approach to Iran. The past few years have seen round upon round of fruitless negotiation, and a concerted effort by the government in Tehran to hide their efforts to build a weapon. This isn’t the first time that new evidence has surfaced to contradict Iran’s claims to be building a peaceful nuclear programme; just a few months ago intelligence showed that a secret uranium enrichment plant had been constructed near Qom, some 200km from Tehran. So far it would seem, the Iranians have been skilful in taking advantage of relative weakness in the US, the UK and other major powers, due to the collective reluctance to intervene so soon after tiring efforts in Afghanistan & Iraq, and with an ongoing war in Afghanistan drawing on the resources of Western armed forces and finance ministries.

As I said in my previous piece, it’s time for Washington DC and London (and in an ideal world, Paris, Berlin, Beijing & Moscow) to pay more attention to this developing situation, and now in light of this evidence, to step up the effort to contain Iran’s nuclear programme. It’s looking less and less likely that the programme is for peaceful energy use only, and surely it’s better to be safe than sorry. I for one don’t want to wake up in a few months to breaking news that a nuclear bomb has been tested by one of the world’s least trustworthy countries, which has openly stated its hostility to other countries in the region.

Let’s hope that despite his recent “pre-emptive” Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama realises that now is the time to get tough on Tehran.

<!–

tweetmeme_style = ‘compact';

// –>

Comments are closed

Latest

  • Comment East Coast: Why privatisation is not the end of the line for rail reform

    East Coast: Why privatisation is not the end of the line for rail reform

    I am writing this article on board what the Conservative Party hopes is one of the last publicly run trains in Britain. On Sunday, East Coast will be privatised. The nation’s stake – its share in the East Coast Main Line company – will be sold to Stagecoach and Virgin Trains for a meagre £11 million. The East Coast livery will be quietly replaced by a new brand, as if the last five and a half years never occurred. Why […]

    Read more →
  • News Dugher criticises Cameron for “ideological sell off” of East Coast ahead of privatisation tomorrow

    Dugher criticises Cameron for “ideological sell off” of East Coast ahead of privatisation tomorrow

    Tomorrow, East Coast Main Line will be taken over by private companies Virgin and Stagecoach.   Ahead of this, Michael Dugher, Shadow Transport Secretary, will give a speech in Leeds in which he’ll outline how Labour would allow public sector companies to “take on lines and challenge the private sector on a genuinely level playing field.” They’d do this, he says, within the first 100 days of government.  . Dugher is expected to say: “The end of East Coast Trains will […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Why we should loudly support Rachel Reeves’ right to maternity leave

    Why we should loudly support Rachel Reeves’ right to maternity leave

    The reactionary howls that greeted Rachel Reeves’ maternity leave plans remind us that, in some quarters, although we have come a long way, there is still just as far to go on when it comes to recognising that (1) women have babies and (2) women can have babies and hold down jobs too. And while we might expect these attitudes in the Conservative party, we shouldn’t be complacent about rooting them out on our side of the political divide either. Of […]

    Read more →
  • Comment An Irish Labour Party activist is proposing a new way forward on Northern Ireland

    An Irish Labour Party activist is proposing a new way forward on Northern Ireland

    The Irish Labour Party will hold their Annual Conference this weekend. One motion in particular is of interest. Motion 94 proposes that the Irish Labour Party organises in Northern Ireland. The idea has been mooted before, but this motion proposes that the party form a joint entity with the UK Labour Party and that members in N. Ireland would be members of both the Irish and UK parties, similar to the National Union of Students/Union of Students in Ireland (NUS/USI) […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Why Labour should welcome health devolution to Manchester

    Why Labour should welcome health devolution to Manchester

    This week’s surprise announcement from George Osborne that £6 billion of health and care spending would be devolved to Greater Manchester has caught Labour (and many in the NHS) off guard. All the details have yet to be agreed, but – based on the revelations in the Manchester Evening News, it is clear the proposals represent a big offer to the northern powerhouse. Whatever the outcome of last year’s Scottish referendum, the result was always going to lead to a political debate about […]

    Read more →
lablist-logo mark-ferguson maya conor coffee-cup
Everything Labour. Every Weekday Morning
×