Iran has now made it very clear that it has no intention of backing down from its decision to build nuclear weapons. The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization acknowledged that Iran’s previously-hidden nuclear facility was purposely placed inside the base of a mountain so it “would be protected against aerial attack” (see first link below). The facility is also guarded by a “military compound of the Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s most powerful military force.” This statement makes it very clear that this Iranian nuclear facility near Qom is a military nuclear project. Iran protects it by a military force, and it fully expected that such a military nuclear facility would be attacked so they built it deep under a mountain where conventional weapons couldn’t reach it. There was no pretense that this nuclear facility was civilian in nature. Today’s USA Today also has a similar story on p. 6A.
A previous blog cited North Korea as one of the nations, along with Russia and China, as helping Iran with its missile programs. North Korea is also known to be expert at hiding its own nuclear facilities underground so North Korea likely helped Iran locate and build this underground nuclear site. Building key military facilities underground serves another purpose: US spy satellites will never be able to see what is going on in underground sites. This underground facility was designed as a military nuclear facility from the beginning, so it is obvious that all of Iran’s previous assurances that its nuclear program was “peaceful” were phony from the beginning. The Israelis sensed this all along, but Iran knew that gullible diplomats in the USA and Western Europe would be easily deceived by their own wishful thinking.
The second link below details a report that British intelligence has discovered five more nuclear facilities hidden in Iran, all of them “buried deep inside the mountains of north Iran” (see second link below). This revelation means that the West really has no idea how advanced or extensive Iran’s nuclear weapons program really is. It also raises another, even more serious issue. If Iran could so successfully hide underground nuclear facilities from the West for so long, what military facilities have Russia, China, North Korea and other nations also hidden from the West’s intelligence services? A blog I did long ago documented that Russia has military bases hidden deep inside the Ural Mountains, and China has many mountainous regions in which it can hide secret weapons and research facilities. Indeed, Iran may the most important parts of its nuclear program hidden in the facilities built under its mountains, and its above-ground nuclear facilities may simply be serving as credible decoys that are considered “expendable” to Israeli/western attacks.
You can decide for yourself whether this makes military action against Iran more or less likely (the first link discusses this question). I do know this much: Iran has said it intends to “wipe Israel off the map” and it is developing the nuclear weapons to do exactly that. I also am certain that the Israeli government has chosen to take whatever action it needs to take to make sure the Israeli nation survives. Personally, I don’t think “sanctions” have any chance of stopping Iran’s nuclear program. If such sanctions do get imposed, Russia and China can be expected to bypass such sanctions and help Iran avoid much pain from them. At some point, the USA and the West will have to find their backbones and either join an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities or the Israelis will have to act alone.
Let’s discuss the unthinkable, shall we? I doubt whether any media outlets will discuss this next option. If the Israelis (and/or the West) decide that Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons and conventional weapons will not be sufficient to attack the underground facilities, a strike with tactical nuclear weapons might be the only way those Iranian nuclear bases hidden inside mountains can be hit with a reasonable assurance of knocking them out of action. That would cause all kinds of grave political/diplomatic and military reactions. Let’s hope such an option doesn’t need to be used, but with Iran’s nuclear facilities hidden deep inside mountains, there may be no other way to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
One last thought. If ever there was a time when the USA and the West needed tough-minded, experienced leadership, it is now. Russia, China and Iran all have tough-minded leaders who know what they want and they are determined to obtain their goals. The USA and the West are now led by a “Community Organizer” from Chicago whose oratorical skill with teleprompters got him elected President. We will soon see if President Obama has the stomach for tough international decisions or not. Vice-President Biden previously proclaimed he was sure Obama would be “tested” soon after he took office. Biden was right. The “test” is now here. Obama can’t simply vote “present” this time.