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Airstrike Against Iranian Nuclear Facilities Could Kill 100s of North Koreans and Russians

As the drums for direct military intervention to derail Iran’s purported covert military nuclear weapons program beat louder in both Jerusalem and Washington, an overlooked issue is the possibility of international “collateral damage,” to use the Pentagon’s favourite euphemism for civilian casualties.

On 14 November South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo stated, "Hundreds of North Korean scientists and engineers are working at about 10 nuclear and missile facilities in Iran, including Natanz, The North Koreans are apparently rotated every six months." Russian technicians also remain at Iran’s first nuclear electrical energy facility, Bushehr. So, any aerial strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities could result in significant numbers of dead Russian and North Korean specialists as “collateral damage,” with all the diplomatic uncertainties that might ensue from Moscow and Pyongyang as the body bags start arriving home.

The https://www.cia.govwebsite, which listed the report, describes the Chosun Ilbo website as “conservative in editorial orientation -- strongly nationalistic, anti-North Korea, and generally pro-U.S.”

For those looking for more smoking guns, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reports that among the Iranian sites the North Koreans have been involved in are three research centres carrying out simulations of how to trigger nuclear weapons.

The news complicates the situation for advocates of a “clean” surgical strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

History seems to be repeating itself. The world has in fact lived with an “Islamic nuclear bomb” for the last thirteen years, when on 28 May 1998, a few weeks after India's second nuclear test, Pakistan detonated five nuclear devices in the Chagai Hills in Balochistan’s Chagai district. Pakistan began focusing on nuclear weapons development in January 1972 under the leadership of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who famously declared seven years earlier in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry. But we will get one of our own.”
 
On 18 May 1974, Bhutto’s, by then Prime Minister, worst fears were realized when India’s first nuclear test, Pokhran-I, was conducted in Rajasthan.

It took Pakistan 14 years to match New Delhi’s effort, breaking India’s south Asian nuclear monopoly. South Asia is now effectively in nuclear stasis, as both India and Pakistan both possess nuclear armaments.
 
Why this diversion into Islamabad’s nuclear policies?
 
Because Pakistan’s top nuclear scientist, Dr. Abdul Kadeer Khan from Pakistan’s Kahuta nuclear establishment helped Iran develop its uranium-235 centrifuge enrichment program.

Contributing to Tehran’s concerns about its nuclear endeavours, Iran’s uranium centrifuge cascades have recently been subjected to a series of sustained cyber attacks, first by the Stuxnet computer virus and more recently, by the Dugu computer virus. In January The New York Times reported that the U.S. and Israeli intelligence services collaborated to develop the Stuxnet computer worm to sabotage Iran's efforts to make a nuclear bomb. As for the Duqu computer virus, Iran’s civil defense head, Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali told IRNA news agency, "The software to control the (Duqu) virus has been developed and made available to organizations and corporations." Interestingly, North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency state media outlet reported Iran’s Duqu computer virus attacks.

On 12 September Iran brought its first nuclear power plant in Bushehr online, connecting the 1,000 megawatt plant to the country's electrical grid, bolstering Iran’s claims to develop civilian nuclear power use under the terms of the Non Proliferation Treaty, of which Iran is a signatory, unlike Israel.
 
Israel is a de facto nuclear weapons power, Iran at best an incipient one. The question lurking in the drawing rooms of Washington and Europe is whether a military strike will irrevocably or only temporarily sustain the status quo, and if the possible cost is worth the ultimate risk.
Do the mullahs in Tehran have more nefarious objectives than generating electricity?
 
The jury’s seemingly still out, but one thing as clear – if Israel and/or the U.S. shortly decide to mount an aerial assault against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, the “collateral damage” now will not be limited to Iranians, for all the international consequences that might ensue after Moscow and Pyongyang begin receiving their dead technicians.

By. John C. K. Daly of Oilprice.com




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Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on November 17 2011 said:
    Something is wrong somewhere. Mr Obama was in Australia a few days ago and announced that up to 2500 US Marines would eventually be training with the Australian military.Perhaps the president should stop his posturing and look at a map. There is absolutely no logical reason to reinforce the 150 American servicemen now on duty in Australia. More important, if a man who believes that remote Australia needs American military assistance is left in position to decide whether nuclear premption is to take place in the Middle East, then the only thing I can say is that the next election cannot arrive soon enough, so that this Democrat can vote Republican.The Pope once declared that diplomacy and dialogue were needed to solve the Libyan 'problem' instead of guns and planes. The same is the case here,
  • Anonymous on November 17 2011 said:
    Russia and Korea are likely to react far more strongly to Israel's murder of their civilians than the United States did when Israel murdered that aid worker from New York in international waters last year.
  • Anonymous on November 17 2011 said:
    iran is a chinese buffer state. china reacts badly to attacks on buffer states unless they're the ones attacking. china is downwind of iran and would take any radiological artifacts.reinforcing aus threatens chinese links with african economic colonies and hinders chinese response by inferring us will intervene for israel.no other way for china to interpret it but as a warning to stay chilly when weapons go hot. this is not likely.
  • Anonymous on November 17 2011 said:
    [quote name="mr_falbo"]iran is a chinese buffer state. china reacts badly to attacks on buffer states unless they're the ones attacking. china is downwind of iran and would take any radiological artifacts.reinforcing aus threatens chinese links with african economic colonies and hinders chinese response by inferring us will intervene for israel.no other way for china to interpret it but as a warning to stay chilly when weapons go hot. this is not likely.[/quote] Iran is the last 'spigot' the US has to turn to shut off Russia and China from having access to foreign oil during the "upcoming" war. This is a complete re colonization of the Middle East and Africa. It will lead to a real war, not some occupation.
  • Anonymous on November 17 2011 said:
    [quote name="Fred Banks"]Something is wrong somewhere. I'm just wondering what kinds of missiles our bases there have or will have soon. I believe the US is building up to WW3 and insanely thinks it can win it. My only hope for this country is that we can prevent a war with Iran long enough for Ron Paul to get elected and end this insanity. Otherwise our prospects look very very bad.
  • Anonymous on November 18 2011 said:
    Explain to me again why Russia needs access to foreign oil? Aren't they one of the biggest oil producers in the world? As for the collateral damage just issue an ultimatum. If the Russians and North Koreans don't get out then they have nobody to blame but themselves.
  • Anonymous on November 18 2011 said:
    To paraphrase anothr website (Stratfor.com); 'the US has extreme power but is NOT omnipotent.' Americans esp. dumb politicians have believd for 60+ years that the US WAS omnipotent. Now a 'bunch of ragheads' in Iran have over 10 years proven quite the contrary. The American establishment is hurting from a deflated ego and a natural Xenophobia that equated 9/11 with the 'End of the World as We Knew It'. Iran (and possibly Russia) could be seen as the initial masterminds behind 9/11. So the US wantsd to hit back in desperation after 10 years of futile occupation in Iraq/Afghan. The Iranians have the US/West by the nether regions with the capability to shut down or at the very least interfere dramatically with the world's oil flow at Hormuz. In the present economic state of things just one damaged tanker would send prices and rates sky high. The formerly 'omnipotent' US is between a rock and a hard place and is ego hurting badly.
  • Anonymous on November 18 2011 said:
    I dont like this 'thing' taking place between the US, Iran and Israel. I dont like it because maybe people have forgotten what a real nuclear war will entail. They need some of the information we were getting in the US before they started electing people like George W. and Obama.And if all parties got this information things might change. When I was stationed in the US Army in Germany, there was a lot of talk from the Germans about taking things back in Eastern Europe. One night some Colonel came into the Fire Direction Center of the 35th FA Group during a very large exercise called APPLE HARVEST, and had me calculate and plot the firing of a simulated nuclear missile toward a simulated Russian army that had broken through the Fulda Gap and was just outside Nuremberg. A month or so later I heard that that gig had been leaked to movers and shakers in West Germany, and as a result they changed their minds about starting World War #3. Maybe History will repeat itself.
  • Anonymous on November 18 2011 said:
    I am sure any sensible person can see that Iran would only be too well aware that to attempt to threaten to use or actually use nuclear weapons on Israel would be total suicide, (and those of us with an education know full well that Iran never threatened to wipe Israel off the map at all) so it would not even bother to try to develop them, and in any case Iran already has extremely powerful thermobaric bombs that can perform the same as nuclear weapons can, though a great number of them of them are needed to accomplish that effect, making such research completely superfluous. The false allegation of Iran starting a nuclear arms race in the Middle East is also utterly ridiculous, as the hundreds that Israel and Saudi Arabia (Israel's ally under sham Muslim royal family) have already done what they can to precipitate such an event in any case.
  • Anonymous on November 18 2011 said:
    Furthermore, it is disgusting that since Israel has indeed covertly stockpiled an immense number of nuclear bombs, it is utter hypocrisy and shameless hysterical war mongering to carry on casting such faLse allegations at Iran. I suppose whatever Iran does in retaliation for the inevitable forthcoming genocide against her people will be seen by the media as an attempt to 'wipe Israel off the map' and then Israel shall indeed have created her own excuse to unleash the 'Samson Option' as she has several times threatened to do, to destroy the entire planet if she feels she is facing destruction, and of course, if Iran does so much as lob a couple of hand grenades over the fence into Israel after being attacked, this will immediately constitute an attempt to wipe Israel off the map and be seen as sufficient justification to completely destroy Iran.
  • Anonymous on November 19 2011 said:
    Judging from my and Fred's comments to this with their dose of realism, whoever consistantly votes us down is plainly both a Zionist and a '(not-so-Cold)War warrior' who would prefer to see the world go up in flames rather than see US 'interests' damaged. I feel sorry for people like thst. They have obviously never been in a war, and have no comprehension of the visceral horrors, esp. of a nuclear exchange.And I mean real war, like WW2 and Korea (tanks, artillery, aircraft on both sides, bombardments lasting days, repeated mass infantry attacks by thousands of crazed conscripts), not the futile attempts to put down 'the ragheads' of the last 10 years. Some people esp. in the US still fondly imagine that war is just a video game...And that there are winners and losers...when there are really just losers...
  • Anonymous on November 19 2011 said:
    Dear Les McfallsRussia doesn't need access to foreign oil; she does need the potential to deny access to oil to third parties as a strategic gambit. Russia and Iran have been in cahoots for decades; it is rumoured the KGB was instrumental in putting Khomeini back in Iran. Khomeini was apparently very pro-Soviet/Russian. It was probably a Russian/Iranian plan that carried out 9/11, and that got the US sucked and suckered into Iraq. The Iranians got the US to get rid of Saddam for them. Then while the US was tied up in those vfutile conflicts the Iranians and Russians 'resurged' to a point where they have become permanently strategic- ally established to take advantagre of Western weakness. And the West can do little about this ij the present economic climatr without perhaps fatally endangering itself. They have us by the proverbials...
  • Anonymous on November 20 2011 said:
    When I get voted down to -100 then I may take it that my remarks are bothering the kind of people I mentioned in #11 who love anonymous voting. I shall therefore continue in this vein. Thank you those people for agreeing to disagree with me... :lol:
  • Anonymous on November 20 2011 said:
    The other thing that occurs to me is the apparently huge effort that certain counries (US and Israel prime suspects) put into trying to scupper the Iranian nuclear programme. This Stuxnet is a particcularly nasty creature that could well be turned against its makers eventually. In the meantime it has put Iran nukes back a while...which is intending to put a spanner in the Iranian works, but has asctually achieved very little in stratrgic terms. Irans nukes are almost the biggest red herring. Iran has no intention of using nukes because it is employing 'other means' far more effectivrely to achieve its aims.
  • Anonymous on November 20 2011 said:
    It is only the ever paranoid Israelis who believe in the nuclear angle. Others can see the bigger picture. Iran is not after destroying the influence it has taken decades to devllop in the ME through nuclear folly. Israel can't take on iran on her own except as an act of desperation. The US will not do so for fear of catastrophic economic consequence. So they invented Stuxnet for wanbt of any better option. And have some special forces operating out therer. However, judging by the continuing dearth of 'actionable intelligence' on Iran, even those SF are not apparently having much success. This is the other reason for lack of action on Iran. Noone knows exactly where many of the facilities are, beyond red herrings and general disinformation. There is also the news that they are being dug in ever deeper to avoid bunker busters... No easy options on Iran, not even a good chance of 50/50 success.

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