New satellite imagery of Iran’s nuclear sites – now on Google Earth

Via a Reuters report today, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) has released new commercial imagery of Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities taken by DigitalGlobe just a few weeks ago. The images are in a PDF report by Paul Brannan and David Albright, the latter an ex-UN arms inspector and nuclear proliferation expert. (ISIS, whose motto is “Employing science in the pursuit of international peace” has impeccable non-partisan credentials.)

The PDF is fascinating, but the main images lack easy historical comparisons. Luckily, Google Earth already has very high resolution imagery of both the Natanz and Isfahan sites from a few years ago, also taken by DigitalGlobe. What I’ve done is repurpose the images from the PDF, which are annotated, as overlays on Google Earth, so that we can see the progress in the construction at both sites over the past few years.

Here is the KMZ file.

The best way to compare Google Earth’s base imagery with the overlays is to play with the transparency slider at the bottom of the Places panel.

There are two sites covered. Isfahan is where uranium is first processed and where a storage facility is being built underneath a mountain. Here is what it looks like in Google Earth, from a few years ago:

isfa-goog.jpg

And as of March 23, 2006, courtesy of ISIS and DigitalGlobe:

isfa-isis.jpg

Once the uranium is processed into UF6, it is ready to be enriched at Natanz, 130km to the north. Here, two “cascade halls” have been progressively buried under successive layers of concrete and earth. These facilities are where the thousands of centrifuges are expected to be located that will increase the concentration of the uranium-235 isotope, which is the component needed for both nuclear energy and nuclear bombs. (A concentration of 3.5% is sufficient for nuclear energy. 80% is required for a nuclear bomb.)

Here are the facilities in Google Earth, from a few years ago:

natanz-goog.jpg

And here they are, on February 25, 2006:

natanz-isis.jpg

ISIS’s PDF report also shows smaller images of these halls being covered up progressively over the past few years.

Both these sites will be military targets if diplomacy fails to steer Iran away from its nuclear weapons program — either for US missiles or, failing that, Israeli planes. The spectre raised by the Seymour Hersh article in last week’s issue of the New Yorker is that the US may be thinking of using tactical nuclear weapons to get to the facilities.

Some honest questions, then: Couldn’t the underground facilities at Isfahan be rendered inoperable by three deftly aimed conventional missiles at each of the tunnels? So what if the stuff inside is intact, if nobody can get to it? And as for the 8 meters of rubble and concrete over the centrifuge halls in Natanz (as reported by ISIS) — it looks like conventional weapons can easily deal with that: The US military’s GBU-28 deep penetration bunker buster bomb is advertised as being able to penetrate such depths. There is therefore no need to progress to depleted uranium bombs or tactical nukes. In any case, centrifuges are very fragile; shake them up too much and you can start over.

So, thank you ISIS and Google Earth for providing the transparency that lets the public ask informed questions that governments now need to answer if they want their version of events to be credible.

[New to Ogle Earth? Here is some more recent content you might like:

What if New York had the world’s tallest building?

Sweden plays hide and seek with maps]

[Update 2006-04-21: This IHT opinion piece by Michael Levy has essentially the same analysis.]

95 thoughts on “New satellite imagery of Iran’s nuclear sites – now on Google Earth”

  1. No second chances. Any mission strike will be predicated on success. As in no return visits. Iran’s lil nuke party ended without any questions. No ifs ands or Jessica Alba posteriors.

    Whatever is required to do the job, will be employed. By whomever shall pick up the hammer. Be it a conventional hammer. Or one with a little more throw weight. This ain’ no disco, this ain’ no fooling around.

  2. Uh.. 1. There is no evidence that Iran is creating nuclear weapons. 2. they have every right to nuclear power as anyone else does. 3. Britain has announced they will have no part of any military attack, 4. the current administration had lost so much credibility at this point noone is going to sanction a military strike and 5. they’re on their way out as the country is swinging back left after 6 year of complete and utter failure. So tone down the John Wayne nonsense – you sound like a jerk.

  3. Netmonger, I think you are mistaking descriptive language for normative language.

    I think using nuclear weapons would be a big mistake. And I also think that the most likely scenario is that the US will attack these facilities if diplomacy fails, if only because if it doesn’t Israel will.

    Now, how does that make me a jerk exactly?

  4. Actually, USA has the opiton to strike several times. First, shut them down. Then see what happens. If it seems that they are trying to rebuild or rescue, strike again. It is possible to hide (or drop periodically) seismic sensors in the surrounding area and find out if they are digging in.

    They have only 164 centrifuges inside the bunkers. They need 50000 of them to make enough for a nuke. Rest of them will be below the reach of tactical nukes anyhow. Below big rock mountain etc. Forthcoming attact is just delay that unifies the nation of Iran. 10-25 years of now: THERMONUCLEARWAR.

  5. Netmonger, you are showing your stupidity. To begin with, there is no such word as “noone”. You sound illiterate, like most of Hollywood, who never went to college.

  6. “they have every right to nuclear power as anyone else does”

    Really huh? You think a country that has openly stated that they want to wipe another country off the map has a right to getting that close to anything that could make their hopes and dreams come true?

    Here’s my take on the entire thing. I think Iran is a terrorist supporting country that will eventually use this technology for a nuclear weapons program. At which point some anti isreal terrorist nutjob will conveniently “find” a fully assembled, working nuclear devise at his disposal to use on isreal.

    If it did happen i dont think we should spend three seconds debating who did it and how they got the weapon. Instead we should point a crapload of our nukes at these towelheads and blow them off the map.

  7. Israel took out Saddam’s nuclear power plant at Osirisk on their own accord. Don’t be surprised if they do it again… it’s not like anybody will be able to stop them.

  8. No body says why Israel is allowed to have A-bomb. This is funny thou, cuz i am againt nuclear weapons to but it seems nobody is objecting to whatever Israeil ‘s doing

  9. Oh dear Mike… your post just smacks of ignorance, I’m guessing you believe every word your president says, “for the good of the country”.

    Let’s take your first two paragraphs. Everything you said there can be applied to the US; Bush has previously said he was “told by the will of God to go to war” i.e. basically destroy the Iraqi way of life. They already have a nuke weapons programme, of course.

    And your last paragraph “Instead we should point a crapload of our nukes at these towelheads and blow them off the map”… if you paid attention, no-one but the most senior officials don’t wear a turban (thats a towel for simpletons like you). Secondly, you’re just as bad as the Iranian president with the “blow ‘em off the map” statement.

    Iran deserve the right to have nuclear power, even if they started a weapons programme for it they deserve to have it. Why? Well, they have a pissy neighbout called Israel; the “holy” land, who are a bit tetchy and like to blow stuff up now and again for no good reason. That’s why.

    You probably wouldn’t understand, Mike. Back to the farm!

  10. Iran has virtually unlimited supplies of oil reserves. Clearly they don’t need any nuclear power plants. Only a moron would defend a rogue nation while they illegally pursue building nuclear weapons.

  11. No, Iran DOES have the right to develop nuclear energy. Its codified in the NPT treaty (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Non-Proliferation_Treaty)

    and while Iran is not in violation of that treaty, the USA is.

    India never signed the NPT treaty, but as of this spring, President Bush, in direct contradiction to the spirit of the first pillar (non-proliferation)of the treaty, agreed to share nuclear development technologies with that state. Iran HAS signed the NPT treaty, yet Bush seems bent on denying that state the technology they deserve and are owed! This is hypocritical statesmanship and further reflects the realpolitik irresponsibility of the current American regime.

    Before you think of attacking Netmonger, or the innocent civillians of Iran for that matter, perhaps Americans would be wise to question their own media and government and look a little harder for the information.

    Oh, and the last comment about “most of Hollywood, who never went to college” is just rediculous. Going to college makes you better? Last time I looked, most of the higher-ups in the governments and corporations of the world did in fact go to college and it doesn’t seem to be slowing them down one bit in being avaricious, warmongering, incompetent war-criminals.

  12. I really don’t quite know where to begin. France and Germany played diddleme with Iran, for two whole years. No joy for them, but Iran still ever so proudly has another stiffie in hand. Raring to be serviced by even more Western dhimmies.

    The level of derangement present in Moo Moo Ahmadinejad cannot even be caluclated. Head of state or no. Their nuke program has been ongoing, such that Moo Moo has taken a little flak for taking all of the credit. Some of which his predecessors feel should have gone to them.

    Taqiya and Hudna are not pigments of my eemagicnation. The moment that Iran can deploy a device, is the very same millisecond Israel ceases to exist. Not mere specualation. Reality whole.

    It is no game. There is no joy. What has changed is the willingness. The willingness to end the madness. Iran has had every chance. Iran does as they please. So too will the west. Whom so ever first decides the approach is too near. Or the consequences of waiting any further, are too great.

    John Wayne? Whaddevuh … I could waste my time posting Twenty links about Moo Moo’s activities in merely the last twenty four hours. To show his level of understanding about events unfolding and soon to transpire, as being non existent. Trying to ascribe rationality to him is childlike wishful thinking (I guess you admire his golden glowing aura too?)

    He holds his own destiny in his hand. Unfortunately all he can do is keep playing with it. The world is not amused. A hard rain IS gonna fall. Glowy, not glowy. It no longer makes much of any difference.

    The long war has begun.

  13. Napps- wake up to the 2000’s dude… India ALREADY has nukes. The treaty the US just signed with India essentially binds them to the exact same regulations as the NPT did with everyone else. We trade a little bit of tech know-how to make sure India won’t sell anything to the country of _______ (insert whatever 3rd world country name here).

  14. You know what’s funny, Iran can legally have a nuclear program for civilian purpose. It’s stated in the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty you know what it is right?). They also have no proof that Iran has any nukes (just like Iraq). You know what else is funny, North Korea claims that they have nukes, but what did the world do?????

    If nukes are bad, why won’t America, the peace loving country trying to promote democracy first heavily reduce their nukes than tell others to…

    http://www.time.com/time/columnist/karon/article/0,9565,217126,00.html

    “Make peace not war, condoms are cheaper” Whoever created this phrase is a genius who ever

  15. Fascinating that you justify killing hundreds of innocent civilians to stop a country from using the nuclear energy it has every legal right to use under international law (remember, these are binding agreements that your country has entered into under previous, more intelligent, administrations and ignores completely time and time again..)

    In the civilised world you don’t just go about blowing people up because you don’t agree with them. There is such a thing as diplomacy, and I don’t mean militarily enforcing sanctions to punish innocent citizens, I mean coming to an agreement for the COMMON GOOD.

    And yes Iran no doubt does have access to limited sources of highly polluting non-renewable energy, the kind that most other countries are trying to cut back on while your own goes on a warmongering quest to control as much as they can rather than moving with the times to remove their dependance on it. This is what Iran’s doing and you say it’s obvious they want to make nukes to attack the US!?!

    The rest of the world really does have REAL PEOPLE in it, they’re not animatronic dolls you can blow up at a whim – they’re the same as you you know… people…. they’re not somehow inferior because they’re not born in the “land of the free, home of the brave” (what a joke that is – you allow your freedoms to be eroded at every step and you talk of nuking less-developed countries for wanting to advance – that’s PURE cowardice)

    Really, the world doesn’t work like this and only the US’ media-blinkered, insular and highly xenophobic society would ever even consider it. Sometimes I think you all believe your tv shows like 24 etc. are based in fact, where everybody who’s not an American is some evil plotting mercenary hell bent on destroying the USA.

  16. There are so many things that people seem to miss. So many people have predicated their entire position on the idea that everyone should have access to nuclear power, this argument holds absolutely no water anymore. That argument stopped being valid the second that Iran declined a benevolent offer from the Russians to give them fissle matterial to run their nuclear powerplants provided that it was only of nuclear power grade, and not of munitions grade. The other stipulation to the deal was that Russia would take the material back when it was spent; thereby disallowing any further enrichment by the Iranians, and giving them a clean bill of health with the international community, the US included. Well I’ll bet you’d never guess that the Iranians declined this generous offer, showing that this never has been, and never will be about nuclear energy.

    The second thing that people seem to miss is that striking Iran does not mean going to war with Iran. There is a very big difference between going to war to replace a regime, and simply keeping an existing one in line. We could have leveled Iraq, and been out of there in just a few weeks, but the power vaccuum that that would’ve left would’ve made our efforts for naught. In this case the only thing that really needs to be done is to remove the capabilities of the Iranian regime to enrich uranium as much as is possible. This can be done with surgical strikes with bombers that can take off from, and land in the midwest.

    Is there a terrible, and oppressive regime in Iran currently? Yes. Is it our responsibility as the last remaining superpower to fix it? Maybe. Is now the time? No. The biggest question that America faces today is what its place on the world stage should be, there is a delicate balance to be struck between advancing freedom and human rights, and trying to be the world’s police force.

    Oh, and one more thing, the one thing that has absolutely no place in this debate is racism. Nothing kills your credibility like calling them “towelheads”, or refusing to differentiate between a nation’s regime and its people. Not to mention it just further entrenches the world’s view of Americans as racist warmongers, which helps no one’s cause.

  17. No one has the “right” to do anything. It is about who has earned privilege. Regardless of how badly the Bush administration has handled things, the US has proven itself to be a relatively compassionate and responsible citizen of the world, and is the lesser of countless evils that roam this earth.

    Those who lead Iran have earned nothing and clearly deserve to be policed. Who will keep rogue nations such as this at bay before they develop capabilities of destroying the free world?

  18. Iran has every right to build nuclear energy. And if United States or Israel attack, then pack your bags boys because you are being drafted to the military. Imagine suicide bombs going off every half an hour. I don’t think anyone can survive that. I hope It dosen’t come to an attack because if it does all you neo conservatives will slap your ass and say “Why am I such a stupid redneck?”

  19. Theirs no proof that Iran is creating nuclear weapons, so theirs no point in invading yet another country under false pretenses. The people of America will not fall for the same con twice, and if they do they should be held responsible for not regulating their own government. Even if Iran does create nuclear weapons, why shouldn’t they? I’m against nuclear proliferation either way, but why should America be allowed to have nuclear weapons and no other country? American and the EU just want nuclear supremacy, which is why they got angry when India and Pakistan created nuclear weapons.

    They say that Iran is more susceptible to leak nuclear weapons to Terrorists, but do critics fail to realize that in the history of humanity – only America has used nuclear bombs in war (and they dropped 2 nuclear bombs, not 1). The KKK is a terrorist group within America (as cited by the UN) – so with these terrorists within the borders of America, who’s to say that they won’t rally and take hold of one of America’s nuclear weapons.

    Fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice shame on me – american sentiments

  20. Iran doesnt have the right to build nukes specifically due to the fact its president wants to “wipe isreal off the map”… lets hear a response to that plz

  21. why does an oil-rich nation have such an urgent need for nuclear power? if saudi arabia were pursuing a nuclear program, everyone would be suspicious as well.

  22. For f#$% sake, read some quotes from the Iranian president. This guy says it’s his objective to destroy Israel, and that his country is a nuclear power and will not be stopped.

    how naive must you be not to read the whole picture?

    i don’t think any other country in the world openly declares that it’s going to abolish another country from the face of the earth.

    dunno if that’s the US’ probelm, but that sounds like a declaration of war to me. Israel, mind you, has no conflict with Iran, and has no wishes to destroy any other country.

    Try opening the TV and hear a LEADER OF A UN MEMBER saying he wants to wipe your country, your family and you from the face of the earth, while denying what hitler did just 60 years ago to your ancestors. This is all fact, and all quoted from stuff he said in the past couple of months, not speculation. And it’s really scary.

  23. Some people are suggesting that:

    “The Iranian nuclear program is entirely peaceful because they need to develop an alternative energy source and they don’t have any intention of developing nuclear weapons with any of the reprocessed material”

    When appeasement monkeys fly out of my nether regions – then I will believe it is for peaceful purposes – until then we can see exactly what the Iranians are up to.

    These same people whine that:

    “It is far more important to prevent war in the Middle East than prevent the Iranians having nuclear weapons, so if the price of preventing war is allowing the Iranians to acquire nuclear weapons then we should allow it in the name of peace”

    Right – like allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons is going to make the world safer?

    This project allows us to see EXACTLY what the Iranians are up to.

    Now make your own mind up – and stop listening to the whiny chattering class appeasement monkey moaning in the media and ask yourself ONE question:

    Why would a country like Iran, which holds oil reserves of approx 132.5 billion barrels – roughly 14% of the world’s oil reserves, and which also holds 812 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves — 15.8% of the world’s gas reserves – choose to develop nuclear energy as an alternative power source – with the huge expense, environmental risk, and danger of political fallout?

    If you have an answer to that then maybe you can convince me that the Iranian nuclear program is for “peaceful purposes”.

  24. Maynard, your post is about the only balanced, well-presented post I read in this list. I would like to also emphasize a point that a few other comments addressed: Iran has a stated, public goal of completely destroying one of their close neighbors (Isreal). The prospect, then, of a nuclear armed Iran is very scary. Does this mean that the United States should invade Iran? Or that Israel should be allowed to continually turn a blind eye to the NPT? Or that we should just ignore North Korea? No. What it does mean, however, is that world should pay close attention and not allow Iran to hide its intentions behind the facade of nuclear energy.

  25. This is an incredibly hard issue. Iran does have the right to its energy. But you cant help but feel anxious about nation like Iran. Personally I have no clue how to resolve without encroching on Irans rights. But its not my job to know I can only hope…

  26. Iran does not want to consume it’s oil, Iran wants to SELL it’s oil and bolster their economy. The more nuclear power they generate, the less oil they use domestically.

    The Iranians are no crazier than the Israelis, and Iran signed on to the NPT. Israel holds nuclear weapons in Iran’s backyard but the world says nothing. They have every right, we give them every motivation, and I hope they get their nuclear weapons sooner rather than later.

  27. Dont the above pictures have the same resolution and detail as the ones that “proved” Iraq had WMD! Post a few pictures and get the American hillbillys riled up to kill people they dont know of the name of freedom. Kudos to napps

  28. A nation that has supported terrorists for a generation, that has a leader openly advocating the annihalation of another country, and that is run by a theocracy is a grave threat to the world. The Iranians may have the right to develop nuclear power, but they are openly attempting to develop nuclear weapons. What the hell are their leaders speeches about?

    Should we sit and wait for Tel Aviv or Washington to disappear in flames? Quite honestly, what evidence are you folks expecting the Iranians to show before they detonate a warhead?

  29. Iran does not want to consume it’s oil, Iran wants to SELL it’s oil and bolster their economy. The more nuclear power they generate, the less oil they use domestically.

    Yeah, right… That’s why it is ILLEGAL in Iran to talk about nuclear energy, and plants are built in bunkers.

    The Iranians are no crazier than the Israelis,

    I believe that a regime that says it aspires to wipe out another country is crazy or plain evil. Israel does not want to destroy Iran.

    Israel holds nuclear weapons in Iran’s backyard but the world says nothing.

    a. they are very far from each other.

    b. Israel never had any conflict with Iran. It’s Iran that threatens Israel.

    c. Israel is a democracy, albeit with major flaws and problems. Iran is a radical islamic country that openly supports global terror. Spot any difference?

    They have every right, we give them every motivation, and I hope they get their nuclear weapons sooner rather than later.

    Try living under Iran’s threats to destroy your country for one month and let’s talk then, K?

  30. Iran’s leader says he wants to destroy Israel and obviously Israel is not going to let that happen. Israel acted with impunity last time they blew up Arab nuke facilities and they’ll do it again because they can.

    Arab leaders can scream racist crap about Israel all they want, but they can’t really do anything about it except brainwash their youth into blowing themselves up like idiots.

    Saddam talked tough too, and now look how disgraced he is.

    Personally I have no respect for non-democratically elected leaders, nor their people for allowing it to continue.

  31. At this point in time, I do not think Iran will do any harm to any country (especially Israel). I do not think that any country (except US) has the guts to do so. Why is the US Government so paranoid of Iran’s nuclear developments?

    Suppose you are the leader of Iran (or any arab country). Will you even try to attack other countries knowing that the US government can destroy your whole country in return? I don’t think so! The US is just making this a BIG ISSUE because they have their own agenda.

    The US Government is often waging wars for the sake of “democracy”. Americans believe that democracy is the answer to everything. This reminds me of the crusades. They move in similar fashion.

  32. Boom!!! That is the sound of a 2,000 pound JDAM hitting Mohammad Khatami’s gay country. Better yet we should just nuke them and send all to meet their maker. Yee haw we’re going to Tehran to bomb the living s#$# out of those losers.

  33. Here is a thought. We (meaning the U.S.) clean up our mess in Iraq, as that is the right thing to do, and then come home. That part of the world has been fighting one another for millenniums. I doubt very seriously if God, Mohammad, Jesus, Budda, *insert religous icon here* can’t get them to stop, that we (again the U.S.) can. Let Iran do what they will. If they ever threaten a country then let that country do with them what they will. It is really that simple. Thank you and have a nice day.

  34. I say let de US do it alone and use nukes. In doing so they have

    (1) a fair chance at destroying the Iranian ayatollah government, which is good,

    (2) they are gonna prematurely drive up the oil price way above 100$ which, at this stage of peakoil and global warming, which is not very comfortable for us consumers but in the long run – good and finally

    (3) it is gonna destroy the US as a superpower, rid us of the cancerof unbridled neoconservatism, capitalism, globalization and liberalism as idologies (like communism died around 1990) – which is very good.

    So Bush is the undertaker, hitting three birds with one stone, killing whatever vile ideologies he is standing for.

    I say let em try it. To bad about all the people who are gonna die in the process.

  35. Uhm… lets not be so hasy… Iran has threated to bomb 29 Coalition targets if we hit their nuke stuff… and I happen to be sitting at one of them right now, so lets just hold off a few more months so I can leave first.

  36. Let’s drop the big one.

    We’ll save Australia.

    Don’t want to hurt no Kangaroo.

    We’ll build an All American amusement park there

    They got surfin’ too.

    Boom goes London, boom Paree.

    More room for you, more room for me.

    They all hate us anyhow

    So let’s drop the big one now,

    Let’s drop the big one now.

    (With apologies to Mr. Newman)

    What so many of you fail to recognize or admit to yourselves is how much the United States truly restrains itself from going out and killing them all, and letting the gods sort them out. If you don’t think it could happen then you don’t know your history. We exist in a savage, brutal world with an extremely thin veneer of civility. Keep prodding the bear and he will tear your lungs out. If the U.S. went totally mad who would stop them. The french? The Iranians? The Chinese? Until the cycle turns over and the next empire rises, watch yourselves.

    Pax America

  37. i’m against nuclear weapons fully so anyone else aquiring more of them is bad. but i have noticed no one has touched on why this muslim nation wants to destroy israel in the first place?

    could it be religeous, probably is since this morning i been speaking to a muslim friend who assures me that it is all about their holy book, nowonder so many people are willing to strap bombs on themselves, well can’t blame them as i would also be willing to die for a place in heaven, but @ the cost of innocent people i don’t think so!

    now if these people consider all of israel incl. suvilians as targets, how can you trust such people with wmd’s or with the potential to create them, they wanna go to heaven and the only way you are assured of this is by dying in a jihad, and you guys think they won’t use nukes

    they’ll use them even if it kills them.

    by theway i ain’t american or ever been there, frankly don’t give a damn what they do.

    all iknow is that is that if iran gets even one nuke people will die, we know who’s first & second but even china & russia don’t wanna guess who’s next

  38. Nothing to see here folks move along …… just those cute lil jihadis, doing their usual slaughter and rain of blood. Iran with the bomb? Yep, absolutely nothing to worry about. Not a thing. Everything is fine. Hey, did you see the latest Fry’s ad? 37″ LCD for only $1097! Is that cool or what.

    (severe sarc on)

  39. The crusads started two hundred years before they claim. It was started by the moors when they invaded southern europe.

    This is no religion of peace, its just another religion based on mind control. You get a place in heaven and shit loads of comely virgins if u take this here bomb now kill those khafir.

    Noone deserves nuclear power, or nuclear weapons. The human race deserves nothing. Not while we still believe in crap like islam, christianity and any other religion that allows us to claim we did it for god.

    Hey… heres a thought why dont you preachers and politicians go blow yourselves up for the cause of Allah or peace. They wont ever do this because they are too busy getting the mindless filth to do it.

    What will happen is that those sites get wiped out by Israel and the god botherers in Iran will have conveniently placed innocent people at the plant as human shields.

    All this was predicted by Simon Pearson in Total War 2006.

    The future of the human race depends on us… shame that too many people like Arminejad, bush and the dwarf of North Korea want to play risk.

  40. The US is the only nation to have used nuclear weapons in anger. The US has not only failed to stop proliferation, they have continued to expand their own arsenal.

    Iran getting ‘the bomb’ is a terrible outcome, but the USA has the least credibility of all the countries on Earth when it comes to demanding that Iran shuts down their nuclear program.

    Iran has as much ‘right’ to nuclear power as any other nation. It is not for Americans to tell them to run down their oil supply instead, or to risk their energy security by relying on Russia or China for the enrichment stage.

    If the tables were turned, there is no way the USA would accept being told what to do. For all those Americans who think their nation’s bullying is acceptable because they are the ‘good guys’ – you need to consider a few things:

    1. The Iranians think they are the ‘good guys’ too, as did the Nazis, and the Swedish and everyone else.

    2. The rest of the world is very worried about the lack of democracy in the USA (black box voting, nepotism, congressmen in the pockets of lobbyists, erosion of civil, legal and constitutional rights, illegal spying, Gauntanamo Bay, Abu Graihib, depleted uranium weapons…)

    3. The current administration has stuffed up just about everything it has attempted, even by its own measures, due to arrogance and a refusal to accept that reality doesn’t change just because it doesn’t suit their agenda. Where is Osama bin Laden? How well is Afghanistan going (drug production returning, Christian convert to be executed, fighting continuing…). Iraq – you can even see the mess there on FOX news, so you know how much worse it must really be on the ground.

    From an impartial point of view, the USA has been an aggressor for decades, attacking and invading whoever it feels like. It ignores humanitarian problems (Rawanda, etc) and goes after the economic interests (Iraq and Iran) under the pretext of ‘protecting the world from the axis of evil’. No wonder other nations feel the need to build a nuclear deterrent.

    The USA is the cause of the problem, not the solution.

  41. I have to say, I am a bit tired of the racism, and the stereotypes of conservatives being hillbillies. I am conservative, and I am proud of it, and I am not a redneck. First of all, let me remind you people that we did not go into Iraq and take saddam had weapons. we went in after saddam failed to let us look for supposed weapons, a part of the cease-fire he AGREED to that ended the gulf war. And you people that keep saying we are losing the war, you need to get you facts straight. First of, we are fight rogue groups of terrorists, we are not in a war with a nation. These people want a killer, terrorist state. Explain to me how any one of you liberal, linguine spined people could be for that? You bitch and moan, and call Bush a terrorsit, and not once say anything about the ottrocities that saddam has committed, or the insurgents that are fighting our soldiers in Iraq, attacking INNOCENT peoplein Iraq. And now we have the Iran situation. The guy is quoted saying he wants to take over Israel, and you idiots think they are just trying to make power? It would be a scary place to live if idiots like you were in power. Thank God you are not. Talk about Hypocrites, look at the American left and you will see more flip-flops than a beach foot wear store. Get a life.

  42. Money and power, politics and religion are all in bed together in this situation. Oil means control. Iran had it, Iraq has it, the rest of the world wants it. The number of lies to be told about WMD’s, Wheat kickbacks, coelitions of the willing ( when the people of each of those countries was given no choice in the matter)is irrelevant. The powers that be, want the power and the power is oil. Make money, leave a mess, blame it on religious bigots and get the hell out of there. We are all terrified of the possible consequences but we must not allow our minds to be manipulated into hatred against this group or the other. If we do, we are allowing ourselves to be at the mercy of those that seek control. The United Nations was established to set up rules to aid peace and stop war mongering nations from expanding.We need to support this ideal and vote democratically at our next elections for which ever political party we believe will deliver an honest government that will adhere to UN protocol.

    In my country we are all worrying about the ethics of a company breaking the UN rules regarding the oil for food program with Iraq

    ( media/political spin), when the government of this same country totally broke with ethical protocol and went against the UN and invaded Iraq. When comparing these two indescretions, which is worse. The giving illegally of several million dollars as kickbacks to secure trade or the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives on all sides to gain control of oil and gas supplies? Oh but we aren’t doing that are we? We are protecting the world from those infamous WOMD’s which have simply disappeared. Now we are thinking about doing a similiar thing to Iraq because maybe they are building something!!! Forty years ago I huddled in bed next to my mother terrified that the world was about to end as Kennedy ordered his troops into another country using the same excuse. Perhaps it’s time they stop selling us a pack of lies and start telling the truth. We are running out of oil and time and the big boys need to line their pockets and disappear.

  43. Most of the comments here make me very worried and scared. I am astonished at the lack of knowledge among people in USA of what is done in their name.

    Someone earlier posted that they don’t have any sympathy for non-democratically elected leaders of aggressive states. I agree. Bush stole the US election twice and leads the most agressive nation on the planet. USA has invaded more countries over the last quarter century than any other country on Earth.

    Someone decried theocracies in general as dangerous. I agree. The USA has removed the constitutional separation of church and state. It is now a theocracy. Very scary. Some high-ranking people in the administration (including Bush) have even spoken of bringing on Armageddon — the end of the world — as if it was a good thing.

    Yes it is a worry that Iran wants nuclear weapons, but it is not hard to why they would want to.

    Iraq wasn’t invaded because of Saddam Hussein, or because of weapons of mass destruction. Does anybody seriously think that they would have been invaded if their national export was light bulbs? It was the oil.

    Why does Iran’s leader want to destroy Israel? Could it be because of their illegal activities in Palestine and holding an entire islamic nation in what amount to concentration camps? I am no fan of Iran (or Iraq, or Israel, or Palestine, or the USA). I have friends who escaped from Iran after the US’s puppet Shah was deposed and it degenerated even further. But you have to see the Iranian leader’s point, even if he is being stupid, dangerous, and extreme. He knows the US has it’s eye on Iranian oil and he wants to safeguard his country. I don’t think nuclear bombs will make him safer, but he obviously thinks they will.

    Unfortunately for us all, if the US bombs or invades the place it will just make it all even worse. We have got to this point through constant meddling and use of force. More is not going to make it better.

    So all you folks who just want to spout the latest propaganda from FOX news or gleefully want to bomb “towelheads”. Grow up and go out and learn something. We in the west are becoming the evil empire and we need to stop before it is too late. It scares me that it might already be too late when I hear ignorant savages clamoring for the blood of men women and children… whether the savages are in Iran or USA or Israel they are still savages.

  44. Some of these “anti-USA/Israel posts” make my stomach turn.

    I am British & proud to be a close friend/ally of the USA.It seems fashionable of late(since the start of the Iraqi conflict to be precise)in blaming the US for every conceivable thing going.

    Have people forgotten Iraqs’invasion of Kuwait,or 9/11,or the various arab-government funded suicide bombers?

    Countries like Iran,Iraq etc. cannot be trusted

    with any type of facilities which would aid them in creating nuclear weapons.They would certainly be a threat to the West-correction-they already are.Israel are surrounded by such hostile,primitive nations,who,should Israel drop her defences,would(and have in the past)attack without hesitation.Who can blame Israel for having some of the most effective armed forces in the world.

    Finally,a note to our American friends.We in Britain will always be your allies,as you have been for us…Its all too easy to forget the American lives sacrificed in WW2,so that Europe could be free from the Nazis.

    The very people who live in a free,democratic society-due to the US/GB fight against evil-are the very ones who criticise and pour scorn on their own nations…Traitors,each and every one.

  45. It amazes me how people turn a complex quagmire into a simple black-and-white, with-us or against-us battle. I am not anti-US or anti-Israel. Neither am I anti-Iran or any group. To condense millions of people to a single character is a stupid mistake — exactly the kind of error that has got us to this predicament.

    I condemn the use of nuclear weapons by anybody. Iran should not have them and neither should USA, or Pakistan, or India, or any of the nuclear club. If the US uses force on Iran then it will worsen the problem. To suggest otherwise is simply not to learn from history.

    Every time we let harebrained “leaders” use force in these situations it just digs us a whole new level of deeper problem. To recognise this is not traitorous. However, to turn your back on humanity and applaud the wholesale destruction of men, women and children in the name of greed and expediency is as close to evil as you can get.

    I much prefer to live in the West with its (rapidly diminishing) freedoms and would not like to live under a muslim, christian, or any other theocracy. I would fight to preserve my freedoms, but I am ashamed of those who fight for greed and religion. That isn’t any way to hang onto a free way of life — but it is a way to bring our freedoms to an end.

  46. Don’t the Iranians know they are down-wind of Israel? Wouldn’t the West Bank, Jordan, Saudis have something to say about this? Or would they just dance on their sand until their glowing appendages fell off?

    Perhaps just nuke the Vietnamese because it is safer? They hate communists too, right?

    You want to do something pre-emptive to protect this planet? WE NEED TO DESTROY ALL ORGANIZED RELIGION!!! Hunt down the priests, bomb the synagogues, strip off the burkas, hang the monks, burn the buddhists (really!), let all of them get sorted out by their respective gods. Isn’t that why they are here, to help us with the afterlife? Well, we won’t need that “service” anymore, so see ya! After that, unite this frickkin’ rock of a planet and figure out a way to get off of it and go rape another world of its natural resources somewhere else. Humanity is a virus and there is no stopping us. Let’s roll!

  47. I think all of you should remember the fact that the terrorists who took out the trade towers on 9/11/01 were trained in and most were from Iran. I am from Kentucky so I can proudly proclaim to be a hillbilly and a redneck, but I am not racist. Iran is not a peaceable country and they have nothing but hate in their hearts to use the nuclear program for, if it were only for energy that would be fine but I cannot believe that a country that breeds terrorists and hatred worse than the Nazi regime or the skinheads or kkk could be believed to be building a nuclear reactor for peace.

    AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MAKE FUN OF HILLBILLIES AND REDNECKS PLEASE READ THESE FEW LINES….

    You might be a redneck if: It NEVER occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, “One nation, under God.”

    You might be a redneck if: You’ve never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

    You might be a redneck if: You still say “Christmas” instead of

    “Winter Festival.”

    You might be a redneck if:You bow your head when someone prays.

    You might be a redneck if: You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem.

    You might be a redneck if: You treat Viet Nam vets with great respect,

    and always have.

    You might be a redneck if: You’ve never burned an American flag.

    You might be a redneck if: You know what you believe and you aren’t

    afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

    You might be a redneck if: You respect your elders and expect your

    kids to do the same.

    You might be a redneck if: You’d give your last dollar to a friend.

  48. Well Redneck, your “you might be a redneck if” list was interesting, but I don’t buy it. Of course I’m offended by the phrase “one nation under god” and by christian symbols in government (taxpayer-supported!) spaces- the US was founded largely on the principle of religious freedom after all. The US IS NOT a Christian theocracy, as much as some would like it to be. Things like saying Christmas, bowing your head when others pray, and putting your hand to your heart are just along the lines of “when in Rome”. Simple repsect and tolerance for others’ beliefs, and their right to have them. I have great respect for veterans, even if I don’t agree with the war. The soldiers are the victims of a misguided administration. Every time I see a “Support Our Troops” magnet on a car, I wantt to wwrite in after that “Bring Them Home”.

  49. Well at least this list of comments goes to show that the narrow minded view of world politics is not just limited to the US..

    Countries are not ‘evil’

    America is not just going to bomb Iran whenever they feel like it, it may seem to many of you after what happened in Iraq that they can, but Iraq and Iran are very very different circumstances. If you don’t understand this then you need to read something else other than the Mirror

  50. To all of the US haters out there lets just remember history a little bit.

    Yes, the U.S. has used nuclear weapons (on cities) twice. This does not make the U.S. hypocrites. We understand the destructive power of these weapons and realize that they must be used as a last resort. While the deployment killed a great many people (civillians included). It is pretty much common fact that this action ended the war and saved millions of lives (it is tough to argue that saving millions of lives is bad, but I’m sure there is some kook explanation floating around out there from people that hate the U.S.) It also should be stated that the U.S. was reacting in WWII and not the agressor. If preemtive action would have been taken against Hitler history might have been much different but everyone including the U.S. was apathetic. Does that sound familiar? (Hint: It should to all of you people just wanting to appease Iran).

    The U.S. has problems just like any other nation, but most rational people around the world realize that we are not evil.

    If the criminals in Iraq would stop killing and blowing thing up, I would argue that not one more life would be lost – so why does everyone seek to justify this behavior and not blame the criminals.

    We are NOT occupiers, I would argue that every U.S. national in Iraq would come home the first second they could.

    Appeasing terrorists does NOT protect your citizens from radical Muslims. Ask Spain after they were attacked – left Iraq like cowards – didn’t they just stop another Muslim bomb plot against Spain?

    This is personal opinion, but if the U.S. left the region and every Jew in Israel left and gave the land to Muslims, radical Muslims would find some other problem with the West and continue their pointless Jihad.

    I do not hate Muslims, the World, liberals, or even rednecks.

  51. Thanks for the overlays, a great example of the usefulness of Google Earth.

    Not surprising that this spawned an argumentative string comments!

    One thing I’d like to add: Iran is full of beautiful places and lovely people, as nicely documented on this Iranian’s flickr photostream:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/horizon/

    Just as Google Earth helps us see the world, Flickr can help us see the people.

  52. The theocracies of the world are leading us to a scary future. Those theocracies include my own country of the United Stupid, Ignorant Hicks of America. I question our presidents goals. Are we planning to attack Iran for the right reasons? Or are we protecting a religious Evangelical/Christian Zionist belief that by protecting Israel we will be fulfilling some biblical prophecy? Bush clearly demonstrates his ignorant beliefs with some of his remarks,”told by the will of god to go to war.” Iran of course is no better, but military action should be reserved for the right and logical reasons. Not the right wing whims of an ignorant REDNECK and his followers that reside in the uneducated pastures of our once great nation. We have lost the respect of the world and though we cannot credit Bush with this entirely, Bush and those like him, whether they be in the US, Iran, Iraq, Israel, etc. need to stop making decisions based off of fundamentalist religions (whatever those religions maybe) and START THINKING logically about how their actions will benefit or destroy the fragile balance of our planet and the people on it.

  53. The world should be policed. Not by America alone (or by America at all under its current regime of ignorance), but all of the people of the world should take part in moving towards global enlightenment, away from our current mess of fundamentalists, right-wing conservatives, terrorists and corrupt politicians. There are great evils that go greatly ignored in Sierra Leone, Liberia, North Korea, etc…… Do we rely on OIL so much that wars should be started to seek control through puppet governments given power in the name of freedom which as been so greatly abused. No one is free; we are all a slave to someone or something. Let us get our heads straight, out of “BOOKS” of ignorance that tells us what our morals should be and use common sense. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the UNIVERSE and is the greatest potential for energy. We already have cars that can run on Hydrogen as a source of fuel so why not. Take the militaries out of the Middle East and send in teachers of common sense. Send them to the White House and the Bible Belt while we are at it. Then use our militaries to stop the ATROCITIES that go so largely unnoticed.

  54. Let’s let Israel and Iran destroy each other. That way, the US could get rid of two enemies. Let’s face it, all Israel does is buy our politicans to advance their own cause and steal secrets from our corporations.

  55. more bs by the bush adminstration and the US is falling for it agian…what can ya` do?

  56. Silly Iranians. Why build a nuclear facility with arrows and boxes explaining what ‘s inside? Too bad Iraq didn’t have the same policy — ‘THIS IS A MILK TRUCK’ would have saved a lot of trouble.

  57. To Freedom Fighter…. No the US is not a Christian Theocracy as you say, but you have to remember this nation was founded over 200 years prior to now. Statements such as One Nation Under God are built into our history and are the principals that this country were founded upon, The part of religious freedom was to protect people from persecution of their beliefs.. I do agree with you though that the troops should be brought home, this war in Iraq is nothing more than a way for the US to test its new weapons.

    As for idiots like disenchanted they are to stupid to realize that ignorant REDNECKS are what protect the freedoms of this country. As for BUSH, he is not a redneck by any means of the name, just an ignorant man trying to finish up his fathers shortcomings from his term in office.

  58. Both Bush and Ahmedinajad seem like maniacs to me. I’m scared as fuck.

    But in Hersch’s article there was an interviewee that said something which kinda fucked me up. He said something to the effect of, ‘hundereds of thousands of Iranian youth are enamored with all things American, from fashion to hollywood to music. If there were a “charm offensive” we could inspire a generation of Iranians to topple Ahmedinajad’s government organically and peacefully.’

    How come, short of country music stars being paid to make propaganda songs about the bomb (see atmoic soup), I’ve never heard of an actual charm offensive.Immagine if we hired all the best directors singers rappers fashion designers with the explicit intent of creating cultural bridges to the middle east, of creating an explicit global dialogue. It seems like the global dialogue, if existent at all, has painted itself into a corner. It sounds something like, make ‘one move and we’ll fuck you up’ and ‘were waiting to see if they really do move, then we’ll decide how to fuck em up’.

    Imagine if the US were suddenly, extremely explicit and dead serious about peace. Immagine if we told the global community that we’d no longer spend money on war, that we were more interested in the survival of the human race and had spent all that cash thats gone down the drains in Iraq, on peace plans, like actual building of schools, feeding of the starving, etc. etc. where would your suicide bombers be then???

  59. Here’s what I don’t get. Iran is sitting on one of the most plentiful supplies of fossil fuels. They have lots and lots of oil.

    They could build oil burning power stations for much, much cheaper than nuclear facilities, and basically have a very cheap supply of fuel….

    So why go to all of the trouble building nuclear facilities for power generation only?

    Just wondering…

  60. DEATH TO AMERICA!! DEATH DEATH DEATH!!!

    12. WAR BY OTHER MEANS

    Method: Abandon conventional warfare. Go nuclear, descend into terrorism, or both.

    Upside: Everybody’s doing it.

    Downside: Going nuclear is expensive, destabilizing, dangerous. Terrorists lack secure bases, logistics, traditions, esprit de corps; “masterminds” hard to distinguish from deranged amateurs. American social, economic, cultural pressures irresistible. Your war may devolve into reading Noam Chomsky while sipping Coke.

    13. WAIT IT OUT

    Method: Wait for US to get careless, go broke, forget, sell out, and/or collapse from inherent contradictions of postindustrial capitalism.

    Upside: Easy. Basically indistinguishable from giving up.

    Downside: Capitalist democracy has buried many competing systems. Top challenger blatantly suicidal and feared by all. Huge American sums spent on space strengthen US economy by creating Tang instant orange drink and heat-trapping pizza delivery bags. US will commodify your discontent, sell it back to you on DVD.

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.04/strategies.html

  61. The European nations would join in the fun if they could. Unfortunately, they lack a military and therefore try to avoid the shame by playing the role of a peace advocate.

  62. The European nations would join in the fun if they could. Unfortunately, they lack a military and therefore try to avoid the shame by playing the role of a peace advocate.

  63. The only country ever known to use nuclear weapons against another country is america. Another thing

    is in case some of you missed gradeschool, Iran is

    not a terroristic towel headed slosh pit you might

    think it’s aryan (probably moreso then most americans) and ancient… Iran is not arab like

    Iraq… btw Iranians are passive people, they are

    artistic and highly logical… Yes they would rather

    America and Israel no longer exist, but they really

    have a reason behind it. That’s because America

    manipulates and damages other countries governments.

    They won’t act on it and even if theres a slight

    possibility they do they have the capability of

    knowing exactly when a weapon has been made and

    can -then- act on it.. Iran isn’t threatening to

    attack… that’s Korea…

  64. The world isn’t America’s playground. You don’t hold the absolute truth. So for you, the Americans that actually want to kill MILLIONS of people because your government tells you something : Try to respect other cultures and don’t believe everything they say.

    You do know that every thinking person in Europe hates you? You’re the most hated country in the world. No Islamic country, the USA.

    Maybe the sign that you’re doing something very, very wrong.

    And the last thing: Israel is innocent? Come on ! Ever heard of Palestina? You know, the people that were CHASED away by Israel and trying to get their country BACK ?

  65. This is just, like Iraq ( Where are the mass destruction weapons??? )

    Stop Bush Now!!! Please, just american people can do it. We can’t vote against him.

    Greetings from spain.

  66. Funny thing is the countries of europe hate US but when their ass is put in the fire they screanm like little bitches asking for our help… Damn shame people forget their own history, maybe next time a holocaust happens it will be to the idiots that think america is bad.

  67. I’ve been to Iran for 6 weeks in september 2001. This is what I’ve learned from the people in Iran.

    Why is Iran against Israel? Because Israel is at war with Palestine, and Iran, just like anyone with a little empathy wants this unjust war to end before all Palestinians are dead.

    Why is Iran teasing the USA with this nuclear programme? Because the Iranian regime fought against Iraq, when Iraq was being helped by the USA and Saddam Hussein was a friend of the (Far)West.

    The Iranian people are oppressed by their regime. They want to live like americans, they love Coke and Rock and Roll and Hollywood etc. They would like the US to free them from their regime. But they don’t know that a US-led regime would be worse (just like in Iraq). The civilian casualties resulting from the “liberation” of Iraq has risen up to more than 100.000 deaths. Innocent people. Killed by US liberating forces, not Saddam! Think about it! And try to vote for peace-making decision makers.

  68. Barry:

    I believe that a regime that says it aspires to wipe out another country is crazy or plain evil. Israel does not want to destroy Iran.

    Haha, I’m from Israel, and believe me, the people and the regime DO want to destroy Iran, long before this nuclear stuff came to speak.

    Israel holds nuclear weapons in Iran’s backyard but the world says nothing.

    a. they are very far from each other.

    No, they are not!

    b. Israel never had any conflict with Iran. It’s Iran that threatens Israel.

    That is not true! Israel has threatened Iran many times, this is never discussed however for some reason.

    c. Israel is a democracy, albeit with major flaws and problems. Iran is a radical islamic country that openly supports global terror. Spot any difference?

    Israel is a democracy on paper, Iran is a democracy on paper, no difference. Israel is in war, Iran is not. Iran has NEVER supported global terror openly, what is your source for that? Iran faught against terrorists in Afghanistan when USA sponsored Bin Laden.

    This kind of ignorance makes really upsets me. Realize that every single word you wrote was false. If people start believing these ignorant sentences? That really frightens me… You should at least have some a little bit of knowledge before speaking…

  69. About your little Holocaust-reference and all.

    1. Yes, in the WW we needed your help and you came finally, after a few years of killing. Oh yes, you came when you were attacked. That’s right. Not because you wanted to help us. Anyway, you did a good job against Nazi-Germany. That’s a fact.

    But are we supposed to keep living in the past. France helped you in your war against England a few hundred years ago and you never thank them. No, the stereotype of France isn’t very positif in the USA, now is it ?

  70. And something else, every single war or attack from you after WW 2 was wrong.

    Korea,

    Guatemala,

    Indonesia,

    Cuba,

    Peru,

    Vietnam,

    Lebanon,

    Libya,

    Iran,

    Panama,

    Iraq,

    Somalia,

    Sudan,

    Afghanistan,

    and so on… and so on…

  71. And something about history, because it really bothers me that you said that, is: I know more then you’ll ever know about history. I probably know even more about your country’s history.

    Oh yes, by the way, about your o so well-known history, how are the Indians?

  72. Every thinking person in Europe hates the U.S.? Doubt it. How else can you explain David Hasselhoff’s German stardom?

    But I digress. Everyone can chill because ultimately Iran isn’t going to be Bush’s problem. It will be one or two leadership changes from now (another benefit of our great government).

    The fact that everyone is defending Iran’s ability to develop even Nuclear energy is laughable considering that Greenpeace is against all forms of nuclear energy (even though it is a viable alternative to the fossil fuel energy that they hate so much – but that is another discussion).

    Doesn’t anyone understand that by ‘standing up’ against the U.S. it only validates Iran that much more? Is that really the side you want to be on….did you ever think that if everyone was against Iran doing this that they might stop?

  73. DVB your arrogance is astounding and to be honest pretty much confirms the stereotype that Europeans hold of Americans thinking that they’re God’s gift to humanity. The comments made in relation to WWII about America’s late involvement were quite correct. America came along when it suited you and when your own interests were threatened. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s how all countries operate (just look at your Middle East policies. Human Rights?! Hmmmmm could it possibly be because you’re the most oil hungry nation on Earth and the Middle East is one of the largest producers?). Drop this stupid arrogant and utterly dismissive attitude you’re displaying: “I probably know more about your own country’s history”??? Jesus! What an arse you are!

  74. There have been several posts rightly challenging Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments about wiping Israel off the map, suggesting that this is proof (or at least compelling evidence) that the Iranian regime wants nuclear weapons – presumably to attack Israel.

    This needn’t be the case. Wanting another country wiped off the map does not necessarily mean military destruction. In the past many countries have been ‘wiped off the map’ in other ways such as:

    Coups – quite common in African states over the last few decades resulting in the country being renamed.

    End of WW1 – The map of Europe was redrawn by the victors replacing Austro-Hungary and The Ottoman Empire with new states.

    And lets not forget that the creation of the state of Israel wiped Palestine off the map.

    Israel could also be democratically wiped off the map. Birthrate figures in suggest that (including the occupied territories) in 20 years there could be more Muslims/Arabs/Palestinians than Jews – if that happens we could see a democratic return to a Palestinian state.

    The Iranian regime appears to want to restore the state of Palestine. This doesn’t mean nuking Israel – it would be a pyrric victory – how could you found a Palestian state on uninabitable land? Not to mention that Jerusalem is one of Islam’s holiest sites.

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be a ‘hard-liner’ but it’s very unlikely that he is a crazy/deranged madman. Remember, although Iranian democracy is far short of the West’s definition of the term he was directly elected by the people of Iran.

    One last little thought. I’m sure Mahmoud Ahmadinejad didn’t say he wanted Israel wiped off the map. He’ll have said something similar to that in Arabic. It wouldn’t be the first time that something was lost in translation.

    Now, before I get flamed let me say that I don’t necessarily subscribe to the above, but i definitely do think it bears considering.

  75. Hello people,

    Don’t know much about Middle East history and politics (though i studied diplomatic relations), but i just want to add a few thoughts.

    (1) “The way to hell is paved with good intentions”. The US e.g. needs oil to “survive” (!!!), but they don’t “trust” the Middle East countries to provide it at a low/fair price, so it is logic the US wants some control over the sandbox (not to insult, just to show that politicians are just like big children) and is even willing to wage ware for it. This is simply the “if you don’t trust someone, you’d better be stronger”-logic. The Jihad however is from a different order, but still very logic. Muslims taking Jihad literally (real muslims?) believe that fighting the non-Allah-believers is a good thing to do. So it is logic they want to fight. And it is even more logic that others will fight back. Israel feels threatened by Iran (they don’t “trust” Ahmadinejad and the other ultraconservatives), so it is logic they want to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

    (2) “acknowleding” that people’s good intentions preceding war are most often acts of short-term self-interest is easy, “believing” that most people’s ultimate or long-term self-interest converges to one another is difficult….. but worth trying!!!

    Greetings from an earthling

  76. As an American, I know that the Iranian people are oppressed by their regime. It is true that they want to live like americans, they love Coke and Rock and Roll and Hollywood etc.

    I also know that Israel is good for sturring up a lot of trouble and paying off our politicians to engage in a war. 10 Years ago it was estimated that the US had given so much aid to Israel that was the equavlent of $10,000 per Israeli citizen. This is insane, especially when we are in debt.

    We definately need to back away from Israel. However, we need to find a solution for ridding the world of nukes. I don’t think any country should have them.

  77. Iran hasn’t broken any “laws”. They are operating within the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    And what’s the big deal about the threat to Israel? Israel has nukes on subs. They can take care of themselves.

  78. DVDB you are a F@%king moron, if you know your history so well you know that the french did not come to our aid. They were protecting their own assests in this country (The Louisianna Purchase) from the British. And yes I know we took our sweet time stepping into WW2 but that was because we needed not step in unprovoked. As for you knowing more about history I highly doubt it but then again your an arrogant ass anyways.

  79. Iran has every intention of delivering suitcase nukes to Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and other groups fighting Israel. When the cities start to vaporize in Israel and the US we will wish we had stopped them. There will be no one to blame but some rat infested ghetto tribes and no one to blast with 1000 ICBM’s. We will be helpless.

    Our only option now is to play whack-a-mole with Iran’s nuke factories; but some day they will succeed.

    We have to start holding out some carrots to the Muslims of the world before they Whack us. What if we had spent $800 billion building new industies in the Middle East instead spending the money on a failed military intervention?

  80. List of nations that have tested a nuclear bomb…

    -USA

    -USSR

    -UK

    -FRANCE

    -CHINA

    -INDIA

    -PAKISTAN

    The United States developed the first atomic weapons during World War II out of the fear that Nazi Germany would first develop them. It tested its first nuclear weapon in 1945 (“Trinity”), and remains the only country to have used nuclear weapons against another nation, during the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    Why are they able to openly exercise their rights to engage in nuclear testing and yet Iran is denied this right????!!!

    Clearly, the USA is politically motivated and up to its same old dirty tricks. Bush cannot seem to get through a day without viciously lying about something or another in his endeavor to rule the world and destroy the moral fabric of society.

    Bush- you cannot blame us for getting you confused with ‘Satan’ himself!!

  81. It is true about the growing numbers of nations with nuclear weapons, but each new source of weapons does not make the World safer for anyone. What if two hundred countries have nuclear tipped missiles? Will they all be more safe or less safe? It could be argued that the US is less safe with nukes because a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the will of the people could backfire into the start of a nuclear World War.

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