As the impasse over Tehran’s nuclear program worsens, those most likely to be directly effected by an Iranian bomb are showing greater alarm. While the media fixates on Israel and its possible reaction, other regional players have no less at stake.
Despite Riyadh’s long-held advocacy of making the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, there has been much speculation in the last two decades about the possibility of its acquiring or developing nuclear weapons should Tehran obtain the bomb. In the words of King Abdullah: “If Iran developed nuclear weapons … everyone in the region would do the same,” a sentiment echoed by Prince Turki al-Faisal, former head of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate. Has Riyadh decided to go down the nuclear road, or is this bluster a desperate bid to stop Tehran’s nuclear program dead in its tracks?
Tag Archives: Bomb
Former IDF intel chief says Tehran will be able to break out to the bomb this summer; calls for drastic increase in sanctions
Iran has essentially crossed the “red line” set by Israel for its nuclear activity, and the coming few months will be a crucial period, Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, a former head of IDF Military Intelligence, said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a security conference in Tel Aviv, Yadlin said that “for all intents and purposes, Iran has crossed Israel’s red line… in the summer, Iran will be a month or two away from deciding about a bomb.”
The Korean crisis has now become a strategic threat to America’s core national interests. The best option is to destroy the North Korean missile on the ground before it is launched. The United States should use a precise airstrike to render the missile and its mobile launcher inoperable.
President Obama should state clearly and forthrightly that this is an act of self-defense in response to explicit threats from North Korea and clear evidence of a prepared weapon. He should give the leaders of South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan advance notice before acting. And he should explain that this is a limited defensive strike on a military target — an operation that poses no threat to civilians — and that America does not intend to bring about regime change. The purpose is to neutralize a clear and present danger. That is all.
The regime feels safe in striking out along the maritime boundary because the two sides have repeatedly skirmished in the area in the past 15 years. But President Park, determined to show backbone, dispatches on-alert F-15K fighter aircraft armed with AGM-84E SLAM-Expanded Response air-to-ground missiles to destroy the North Korean installations responsible for the latest assault. For good measure, they also bomb a North Korean mini-submarine pier as belated payback for the sinking of Cheonan. North Korean soldiers and military officers are killed in the attack. Pyongyang vows a merciless response and launches a risky salvo of rockets into downtown Seoul, in hope of shocking the Blue House into seeking an immediate cessation of fighting. But far from ending the tit-for-tat attacks, North Korean actions have now triggered the Second Korean War.
In a rare interview, the man dubbed “the father of Iran’s nuclear programme” tells how the project began under the Shah, who wanted to leave the option for a bomb open.
Now in his 80s, Akbar Etemad remembers all too clearly the pressure the Americans tried to apply to him when he was head of Iran’s nuclear programme between 1974 and 1978.
Mr Etemad was the president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation and it was under him that the country’s nuclear project began and flourished.
The Shah of Iran had announced that he wanted to build nuclear power plants in the country, a plan supported by the United States. The goal was for Iran to produce 23,000 megawatts of electrical power. But Mr Etemad says the US soon tried to impose conditions.
The Americans, he recalls, were initially supportive “because they thought they were going to be a partner of Iran in the application of nuclear technology.
The new direct threat from North Korea of a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the United States – while not surprising – suggests, experts say, the rogue nation actually now is close to placing a bomb aboard a three-stage missile, which is capable of reaching the western United States.
While some analysts still don’t believe North Korea has mastered the ability to mount a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile, other experts believe North Korea made the threat of a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the United States because its Feb. 12 nuclear test proved to be a success toward the miniaturization of a nuclear weapon to be placed on its long-range missiles.
It took time, from the test until now, to analyze the data. The rogue nation is known to have conducted nuclear tests, as well tests on multiple stage rockets.
On the most important measures of this rate, China is now in the flashing-red zone. The first measure comes from the Bank of International Settlements, which found that if private debt as a share of GDP accelerates to a level 6% higher than its trend over the previous decade, the acceleration is an early warning of serious financial distress. In China, private debt as a share of GDP is now 12% above its previous trend, and above the peak levels seen before credit crises hit Japan in 1989, Korea in 1997, the U.S. in 2007 and Spain in 2008.
The second measure comes from the International Monetary Fund, which found that if private credit grows faster than the economy for three to five years, the increasing ratio of private credit to GDP usually signals financial distress. In China, private credit has been growing much faster than the economy since 2008, and the ratio of private credit to GDP has risen by 50 percentage points to 180%, an increase similar to what the U.S. and Japan witnessed before their most recent financial woes.
Mathematician Ian Stewart’s recent book “In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World” takes a close look at some of the most important equations of all time.
A great example of the human impact of math is the financial crisis. Black Scholes, number 17 on this list, is a derivative pricing equation that played a role.
“It’s actually a fairly simple equation, mathematically speaking,” Professor Stewart told Business Insider. “What caused trouble was the complexity of the system the mathematics was intended to model.”
Numbers have power. In this case, people depended on a theoretical equation too seriously and overreached its assumptions.
Without the equations on this list, we wouldn’t have GPS, computers, passenger jets, or countless inventions in between.
You can find the book here.
In the comment section at Business Insider, I trashed the Black-Scholes equation. It is an equation with a bomb waiting to blow up society. The danger is very great and very subtle too. The equation requires an assumption at the very beginning, and this assumption contains a bomb. It assumes that people behave like random particles all working independently. This assumption actually works most of the time, until there is a crisis. When a crisis hits the people all move in unison. The independence assumption goes out the window and the equation blows up. The net effect is a 1 in 200 year event that actually hits about every 20 years or less. When it hits, then things blow up.
If 2012 turned out to be the year of the “Cliff Hanger,” what will 2013 bring? This column has written about the fiscal, strategic and civility cliffs. Alarmingly, the worst may yet to come: Consider the “Iranian cliff.”
As Iran continues to enrich uranium and economic sanctions persist, a point of no return is fast approaching if the latter doesn’t prevent the former.
Worse, that point may be determined by a small Israeli minority and not by the United States or other powers. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sees Iran’s nuclear ambitions as an existential threat to his nation. Should Iran cross the so-called red line by enriching enough uranium to construct a bomb, Netanyahu has threatened an Israeli strike.