Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter here explodes a few myths about the revelation of Iran's secret nuclear plant.

Iran has not broken the rules, it has not broken the law.

The plant takes Iran "no closer to producing a hypothetical nuclear weapon".

Still under construction, it would take "months" for the plant to produce enough material for a single nuclear device, to which the international community would immediately be alerted by the IAEA, which oversees Iran's nuclear stockpiles.

So can we stop talking about bombing them, now, please?


 It is a useful contribution to debate, John. But Ritter acknowledges that the Qom plant is not configured for civilian use and that it is located on a Republican Guard base. If one considers this evidence alongside the Iranian President's denial of the holocaust, his determination to eradicate the 'Zionist entity' and his hostility to reform within Iran, it is not irrational to conclude that Iran poses a potential threat.  I would be appalled if military action became necessary, but the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.    

... but the fact that a media furore has erupted around this, meaning any reasonable person could easily believe, as many did with Iraq, that Iran has, or has the capability to produce, nuclear weapons in secret.

Neither is true, but the ratcheting up of speculative bomb-talk (if further measures, yet to be implemented, fail) is extremely worrying.

I'm only saying that it's very early to talk about military intervention, when there are other countries in the region with proven nuclear capability, in defiance of the IAEA, who surely pose as much of a threat to stability and peace as Iran.

Only weeks ago, the IAEA adopted a resolution ('GC(53)/RES/17') stating that it was concerned by "the proliferation of nuclear weapons" in the Middle East, calling upon Israel to "accede to the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards".

No-one is talking about sanctions on Israel, or bombing their facilities, and rightly so, because it is a preposterously myopic response to the threat. Diplomacy is needed, and this is similarly the case with Iran.

You'd think that the last ten years would have scarred in people's minds enough ill-begotten escapades in the Middle East to make them a bit warier of sticks. Sadly, though, it looks as if carrots are still off the menu

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but hasn't Iran, in a move to compensate for their hidden projects, promised to hand over all enriched uranium thus far?


That's not something I've seen mentioned, can you link to a source for it?

 Iran didnt say they would be OUTSOURCING the uranium to the UN...they actually stated they would OUTSOURCE the uranium if the UN deemed they were unstable to enrich the uranium.

Sorry - my memory let me down...but I believe the point I was trying to make remains - that Iran is still a nuclear threat, and is not denying they have WMDs or the ability to make WMDs...

I will link two articles - the first quotes M.Ahmadinejad saying they will simply outsource the uranium, the second is a commentary on a was publish in the NYT just 4 hours ago.

That IAEA leak seems to (tentatively) suggest they have the know how for a nuke. I think the most important thing to remember though is that, as all their stockpiled are accounted for by the IAEA, they couldn't begin the long process of manufacturing one without almost immediately alerting the international community to it.

The Anti-Hype: Iran and no bomb