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WMD deja-vu: Iran replaces Iraq

Published time: November 16, 2011 06:52
Edited time: November 16, 2011 16:38

A picture dated October 26, 2010 shows the reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran, 1200 Kms south of Tehran (AFP Photo / MAJID ASGARIPOUR)

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America’s whipping up hysteria over the Iranian nuclear program, with the same figures that used to accuse Iraq of possessing chemical and nuclear weapons now repeating themselves with frenetic conviction.

­Iran has long been a hot topic in the West and anti-Iranian sentiments are at a high right now, so – with a little help of some dubious “expert” analysis – it could follow in Iraq's footsteps.

Many remember Senator John McCain giggling “Bomb Iran… bomb, bomb, bomb…”

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney also signed in, saying “The gravest threat that America and the world faces and faced is a nuclear Iran.”

But it has heated up since last week's report from the UN’s nuclear watchdog IAEA, sparking fears Iran was pursuing atomic weapons.

­“The mystery Russian scientist ”

“The IAEA claims a “high explosives initiation system” was developed with the help of a “foreign expert”, CNN reported.

That foreign expert is called “the mystery scientist “, and “Russian” by some Western Media, even though the IAEA report does not name him.

What the IAEA could not find out was easily “revealed” by American media.

The Washington Post and CNN both reported the name, Vyacheslav Danilenko, and what exactly he was doing – designing not only the initiation system for the nuclear explosion device, but also helping to build a hideout for future tests of that system.

Needless to say, none of those statements is supported by documentary proof.

Nobody mentioned either that the scientist Vyacheslav Danilenko is a Ukrainian citizen.

­Bad nessanger David Albright

­The expert who joined CNN and explained Danilenko’s “Iranian job” was none other than former Weapons Inspector David Albright.

Albright is notorious for vigorously advocating the existence of weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He gave countless interviews to all the US major TV Channels, confirming that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons. Today everyone knows that was a lie.

But in 2002, just before Iraq was invaded, he said that “In terms of the chemical and biological weapons, Iraq has those now. How many? How could they deliver them? I mean, these are the big questions,” proclaimed Albright nine years ago, helping to get closer a devastating assault on Iraq.

Then, backtracking to the LA Times once no weapons of mass destruction were discovered in Iraq, he said “If there are no weapons of mass destruction, I’ll be mad as hell. I certainly accepted the administration's claims on chemical and biological weapons. I figured they were telling the truth.”

Albright talked up the scientist Danilenko's nuclear credentials on CNN, outlining what exactly was explained to the Iranians.

“He showed them how to build a thin hemispherical shell with holes in it and where the detonation happens and you simultaneously set off explosive pellets in a series of holes in that aluminum shell and those explosive pellets ignite the high explosives underneath and in a very spherical way it compresses the core and then you get a nuclear explosion,” David Albright claimed.

Except that, although Vyacheslav Danilenko is a scientist, he is not a nuclear specialist.

In Ukraine, Vladimir Padaklo who is a former co-worker of Danilenko, gave his comments to RT.

“Danilenko did work in a federal nuclear facility, but not every person who does is a nuclear specialist. He is actually trained to construct airplanes. And it's not the IAEA that is questioning him now but journalists,” Padaklo laughs.

Nevertheless, David Albright accuses Danilenko, who specialized in nano-diamonds in Iran, of “Working with Iranians to help them miniaturize a nuclear warhead so they can put it on top of one of their missiles so it can be fired.”

And some US politicians think non-truths could be repeating with Iran.

“I’m afraid what’s going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that we saw against Iraq and you know they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction,” reminded Congressman Ron Paul.

But there were enough official reports implying otherwise.

­Experts do not buy the story

RT talked to a research fellow of PIR Center (the Russian Center for Policy Studies) Ivan Trushkin in Moscow, who swept aside the possibility of a Russian nuclear specialist working abroad as nonsense.

The matter is that all Soviet and Russian scientists working on delicate, i.e. dual capable, research always had secrecy access that varies in each and every case. Such person simply cannot leave the country for years without the knowledge of authorities.

Furthermore, accusations against Iran modeling nuclear warheads on computer are also groundless, because Iran simply does not posses the super-computers needed to perform 99 per cent plus simulations of nuclear devices.

“Being under the scrutiny of the world’s major intelligence services and IAEA inspectors, Iran wouldn’t be able to simulate nuclear warheads – that implies possession of high-performance data centers – unnoticed,” Ivan Trushkin told RT.

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov has already proposed a plan to put Iran and its opponents again behind a negotiation table, but the West has chosen the policy of constant pressure put on Tehran, which has brought no fruit so far.

“Some [Western] countries are not ready to just sit behind a negotiation table with Iran and start a constructive dialogue. There is a hard road ahead but we need to walk it,” Ivan Trushkin concluded.

The IAEA knows that Russia really gave shoulder to Iran in its peaceful nuclear program, particularly constructing the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

But, as the research fellow stressed, no military secrets were handed over, because “all Russia-Iran scientific nuclear contacts were made under supervision of the IAEA.”

Jamal Abdi, policy director at the National Iranian American Council, asserted that “In terms of the report there is limited information. A lot of the reason it’s limited is because it’s most likely that Iran does not have – well it is the case – Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program outright.”

­While RT has been hearing concerns over the supposed prep-work for a move on Iran, Middle East expert Professor Sasan Fayaz-Manesh says America is using any excuse it can find to pressure Iran and prepare the ground for a potential invasion.

“The individual [Vyacheslav Danilenko] has actually denied that he has any expertise in nuclear physics,” the professor says.

“The claim is that he was actually giving lectures in Iran to nuclear scientists and helping them with development of nuclear weapons. The [IAEA] report is, of course, a confidential report. I do have it and it is ‘for official use only’. But this report actually appeared on the website of ISIS [the Institute for Science and International Security]. That is very strange. How do these restricted and official reports appear on websites before being restricted?” questions Sasan Fayaz-Manesh.

“It appears to be a precursor to making a war against Iran and the whole regional powers are already involved,” he concludes.


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