The drawing of the red line: In his UN speech, Netanyahu drew an actual red line with a marker on a chart symbolizing Iran's uranium enrichment program, and explained that Iran must be told that if it reaches enough uranium enriched to the 90% level in order to make a nuclear bomb, it will be attacked.
The reaction of the Obama administration: It remained indifferent after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the United Nations and restated that the President would not set “red lines” for Iran. Obama had earlier too rejected the idea of placing “red lines” for Iran during a phone conversation with Netanyahu several weeks ago, and received backing from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who said that red lines “are kind of political arguments that are used to try to put people in a corner.” Obama likened Israeli pressure on him to draw a clear “red line” over Iran's nuclear ambitions to "noise" he tries to ignore. In an interview for "60 Minutes" on CBS, Obama said, “When it comes to our national security decisions – any pressure that I feel is simply to do what's right for the American people. And I am going to block out -- any noise that's out there.”
What is the purpose of the 90% redline: Netanyahu’s speech strategically is a clear warning by putting red lines to stop Iran from Iran’s stockpile of twenty percent enriched Uranium to 90 percent, the purity needed to make an atomic bomb.
Why Iran warrants 'The Red Line:' The crisis of confidence and conflicting messages. In Iran’s case, the United Nations sanctions and the increasing global anxiety have been provoked by indication that Iran has pursued the manufacture of nuclear arms despite its denials and a decree by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that such weapons are prohibited in Islam.
Amir Mousavi, a former advisor to the defense minister, said in a report on Al-Alam TV dated July 23, that Iran has the necessary know-how to enrich uranium to the 50-60% level needed to fuel nuclear ships and submarines, but added that it was prepared to discuss Western demands if the West recognized its right to develop civilian nuclear technology. Majlis speaker Ali Larijani was interviewed by the Financial Times on September 22, 2012. Asked about Iran's decision to build nuclear submarines, which require enriched uranium beyond 20%, he said, "If the IAEA allows us to have some products for peaceful technology and under its supervision, then we can do it. But for now, we do not need it. If the IAEA had met its obligations and had provided the Tehran nuclear reactor with fuel plates, we would not have produced [even] 20% enriched uranium.
Yet, on the other hand the Iranian president acts as a loose cannon that attracts prospective wrath by his self-consuming devastatingly morose state of mind that defies any cleverness to protect his strategic interests. In New York last week and on 26th October 2005, President Ahmadinejad declared 'Israel to be wiped off the map.' If he is serious in enrichment and designing the bomb, the last thing is to go about under the nose of an undeclared nuclear power and claim parity and elimination. He does not realise that imprudent statements are going to be calamitous for the Iranian nation. The West believes that Iran wants to build up the uranium for the prospective atomic bombs, while Iran is adamant it wants only to fuel civilian reactors. The confrontation has gone on for two decades, with the geopolitics and technical issues all meshed together.
What is Uranium 90% enrichment: Until now, the uppermost reported stage of uranium enrichment by the Iranians has been 20 percent. Uranium fuel for most reactors is enriched to around 4 percent purity. Iran began producing uranium enriched to 20 percent since last two years, saying it was for a research reactor in Tehran. The Iranians appeared to be functioning solidly to preserve a steady, unwavering productivity of low-enriched uranium. The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty makes no restrictions on levels of uranium enrichment, only excluding nations from turning their civilian efforts into nuclear weapons. Twenty percent enrichment is a small scientific step to 90 percent, the purity needed to make an atomic bomb. If this 20% enriched fuel is re-fed into the centrifuges it is just matters of week that weapon grade 90% can be achieved this is where Netanyahu drew the red line. The centrifuges at Fordo are currently producing uranium enriched to 19.75 percent, which is used for medical purposes, according to the Iranian government. Any HEU can be useful to a weapons program, but to really be considered efficient enough for use in a warhead, uranium must be enriched to about 90 percent - what is considered weapons-grade.
Tom Z. Collina and Daryl Kimball of the Washington-based Arms Control Association said the common assumption is "that if Tehran were to decide to 'break out' and race to build a bomb, it would try to do so by using its still small stock of 20-percent enriched uranium."
Why all this recent urgency of bombing and talks for big attack: The latest mid quarterly report, by the International Atomic Energy Agency, an arm of the United Nations based in Vienna, alleged that its inspectors had taken environmental samples at a uranium-enrichment plant in a mountain bunker and revealed purities up to 27 percent. The atomic agency said that samples “further corroborates” its analysis that Iran might have performed experiments related to the design of nuclear arms at Parchin, a sprawling military complex 20 miles southeast of Tehran. Much of the 27 percent enriched uranium DNA that the IAEA found in Iran by taking environmental samples is consistent with material produced in Pakistan. Pakistan fissile-material production facility employ gas centrifuge enrichment technology to produce Highly Enriched Uranium [HEU].
Pakistan in 2004 confirmed that the former head of its nuclear weapons programme, AQ Khan ex- Urenco, gave centrifuges for enriching uranium to Iran who the US alleges is the "biggest proliferator" of nuclear technology. Dr Khan in 2004 took full responsibility for proliferating nuclear weapons to Iran, Libya and North Korea. Dr. Khan is an uncontrolled and narcissistic scientist who widely disseminated nuclear secrets and sold extremely classified gear. His simple motive was: insatiability. A.Q. Khan's network thrived for more than fifteen years, mainly avoiding considerable inspection. Until mid-January 2004, Iranian officials were firm that they acquired sensitive centrifuge drawings and components through "intermediaries," and that they did not know the identity of the original source of the items. Iran acquired drawings of a modified variant of an early-generation Urenco centrifuge built by the Netherlands. Based on the design's materials, dimensions, and tolerances, it is a modified precursor to the Dutch M4 centrifuge. Inspectors noticed that someone modified the design in distinctive ways. In addition, the original drawings had their labels in English, not Dutch or German. Intelligence information, the design resembles one built by Pakistan in the 1980s and early 1990s that is sometimes called the P1. In addition, the centrifuge components Iran bought match those bought by Pakistan. It can be the case of cross contamination from Pakistani centrifuges.
While the report suggests that the finding could be a mild abnormality, it is potentially significant because it moves Iran’s uranium enrichment closer to bomb-grade purity, even as world powers were in the midst of intensive negotiations with Tehran to go in the opposite direction. Iran had wanted to explain the spike, found in February at its once-secret Fordo enrichment plant near the holy city of Qum, as possibly resulting from “technical reasons beyond the operator’s control.” But the report also said inspectors were doing more inspection. Diplomats and nuclear experts said the rise appeared in fact to reflect honest technical missteps rather than evidence that Iran had embarked on secret enrichments at higher purities. “It’s definitely embarrassing but not nefarious,” David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington research group that tracks the Iranian nuclear program, said in an interview.
A senior Obama administration official agreed that “the most likely explanation” for the discovery was technical. If the energy agency had found uranium enriched to 30 percent or 60 percent, the official said, it would be greater cause for concern. In Vienna, a diplomat, speaking about the enrichment increase on the condition of anonymity, said that “there’s a decent chance that it’s an operator error.” The atomic agency is still assessing Iran’s explanation for the enrichment spike and that inspectors earlier this month had taken “further environmental samples from the same location where the particles in question had been found.” The disclosure of uranium particles enriched up to 27 percent came less than a day after Iran and a group of six world powers ended a round of difficult talks in Baghdad on Iran’s nuclear program. In late August 2012, international nuclear inspectors reported that Iran has already installed three-quarters of the nuclear centrifuges it needs to complete a deep-underground site for the production of nuclear fuel.
Further unanswered questions beyond Uranium enrichment and alleged bomb design that complicates the issue: Iran has effectively shut down a probe of a site suspected of being used for work on nuclear weapons development while doubling the number of machines it could use to make the core of nuclear warheads at an underground bunker safe from airborne attack, the U.N. nuclear agency said in a report Thursday. Senior diplomats familiar with the International Atomic Energy Agency's latest report called both developments troubling, while cautioning that it was unclear how many of the more than 2,000 centrifuges now installed at the Fordo site were operational. They noted that agency inspectors did not have access to check their inner workings.
I.A.E.A. report issued in February 2011 listed seven outstanding questions about work Iran apparently conducted on warhead design. The documents in the hands of the agency raise questions about work on how to turn uranium into bomb fuel, how to cast conventional explosives in a shape that can trigger a nuclear blast, how to make detonators, generate neutrons to spur a chain reaction, measure detonation waves and make nose-cones for missiles.
The May report gave new details for all seven of the categories of allegations. The disclosure about the atomic trigger centered on a rare material — uranium deuteride, a form of the element made with deuterium, or heavy hydrogen. Nuclear experts say China and Pakistan appear to have used the material as a kind of atomic sparkplug. The report said it had asked Iran about evidence of “experiments involving the explosive compression of uranium deuteride to produce a short burst of neutrons” — the speeding particles that split atoms in two in a surge of nuclear energy. In a bomb, an initial burst of neutrons is needed to help initiate a rapid chain reaction. Harold M. Agnew, a former director of the Los Alamos weapons laboratory, said the compression of uranium deuteride suggested work on an atomic trigger.
The agency’s disclosure about Iran’s alleged use of uranium deuteride also suggests another possible connection between Tehran’s program and Dr. Qadeer Khan, who sold nuclear information. A famous photograph of Dr. Khan, whom Pakistan has released from house arrest in Islamabad, shows him in front of the schematic diagram of an atom bomb on a blackboard. A pointer to the bomb’s center is labelled uranium deuteride. The May report also gave fresh charges on the design of missile warheads. Documentary evidence, it said, suggested that Iran had conducted “studies Mr. Amano’s quarterly report documented that Iran was indeed turning some of its growing stockpile of 20 percent uranium into fuel for the reactor.
Iran may be most unfortunately as close to a nuke as Saddam was: i.e. It is too far. Yet, Iranian mullahs' grandstanding vis-a-vis their arch ideological rivals and allies to achieve credibility amongst her enemies and continue the knack to punch above their weight may cost Iran very dear. I hope some sagacity prevails soon and Iranians are spared of undeserving treatment that it does not in any way merit. Nuke bombs never make a nation politically stable, look at USSR! Nuke bombs are great responsibility and are not toys to be dangled as tools of intimidation. You cannot demand 'merg bey Israel' and have a nuke bomb too, if you do that, the one you want 'merg' off will hit hard before you achieve the capability.
The logic of 'Why Nuclear weapons in the hands of ideologues like 'Iran' is a no go area:' It is all together a different ball game with psychopaths. Honour among thieves means "we must treat the insiders, the other thieves with honour." The meaning of "honour among thieves" is the idea that lying thieving bastards can trust each other. Nuclear nations are no friends of humanity but peace has been kept with the foregoing indulgent understanding of honour amongst thieves as cornerstone of global nuclear strategy. Nuke is a deterrent as far as 'worldly wise version' of collateral damage is maintained, even in rogue business of dispensing extreme mass death there is certain quantity of common sense required. There has to be two realistic parties for nations to maintain deterrence and live with MAD.
The nuclear equation pivoted on 'balance of terror' is a very altered equation when it is in the hands of someone for whom life becomes insignificant here, and any sacrifice here is promised to be fully rewarded in the next. 'Propensity of usage' in such a case for a psychopath ideologue who believes in expediting the 'Day of Judgment' and chaotic conditions in the world for 'Mahdi' to appear will be inclined to multiply bedlam at any cost. If someone who believes in 'Rapture' like Juhaiman/Ahmadinejad had an access to a nuke, they will resolve to utilise it, it is not a deterrent in their hands, it is a 'holy means' for propagation of the message that they think it is ordained for today.
Israeli logic to maintain the unilateral status of Nukes in the Middle East: Jewish people in general believe that statements emanating from Iran reflect that Iran's leadership has genocidal aspirations in mind for the Jewish people. They simply do not have the means yet to realize them but once they will the threat should not be dismissed as mere rhetoric. The issue of Iran's 'having a nuke' will change the unilaterally 'imposed balance of fear' by Israel in the area. An Iranian nuke will dent and minimize Israel's tactical prime directive i.e. Israel's present capacity to compel its directives and political resolve at will. Israel's tactical principle is straightforward: no regional power is to be permitted to get to the point of tactical equality.
Moreover, Iranian nukes will hypothetically give rise to a survivability hazard to Israel. This is what worries Israelis the most. Israeli freedom of action within the region is under danger from likelihood of Iranian nukes. With one-sided nuclear supremacy in the Middle East, Israel tactical dominance and existence is assured in the region. This is Israel's cornerstone strategy. The word is the father to the deed. Jews take Iran's anti-Semitic and anti-Israel obsessive preoccupation very seriously. How would Mullahs feel if the Jewish leadership in power declares Iran to be obliterated? Nukes are an enormous liability and not a tactical asset. It is a weight on the conscience of any realistic, peaceful, logical nation. Nukes cannot be dangled about as a sign of masculinity. Rather their ownership is a precursor of heightened answerability to ethics incorporated as part of our universal human social contract.
The Red Line and the neighbours: Saudis as the major voice of Islam do not seem to be too concerned with Israeli nukes but they are very concerned with Iranian nukes. Iranians on the other hand want to achieve that equivalence to establish themselves as the primary powerbrokers of the region ahead of Saudi Kingdom. Iranian nuke is a two edged sword, it will lead to comprehensive dilution of Israeli diplomatic and strategic muscle on the one hand and compromise the demographic authority of Saudi regime acutely on the other. Shiite predominance in demographics and numbers from Basra down to Oman is a tinderbox that Iranians will wish to ignite, the will to export Islamic revolution has not died in the heart of Imam Khamenei. Wiki Leaks classified cables highlighted that Saudi Arabia are keen to see Iran's nuclear sites neutralised. U.S. State Department documents showed that Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa indicated to Gen. David Petraeus in 2009 that Iran's nuclear program should be stopped, saying, "The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it."