Iran’s actions of the last several days poured more fuel into the rabid war hysteria of the war-mongers in the United States. Several things happened: Iran declared that they were closing the Ormuz Straits in response to the threat of sanctions; then the Iranian Navy declared that three missiles were launched and hit their targets successfully; and finally, a technological breakthrough in the area of nuclear fuels, a uranium rod of industrial grade produced from Iran’s own uranium deposits. Iran’s claims and threats for the last several years have been many, and they are usually met by another round of irrational war propaganda here in the US, which refuses to hear the opinions of the intelligence and foreign policy experts, both in the US and in Israel.
No one really believes that Iran will carry out their threat of closing the straits, and European leaders – usually very timid when it comes to sanctions – defied Iran’s threats and agreed to oil sanctions. A White House press secretary said in a press conference that Iran’s position is a position of weakness, and pointed to the fact that the Iranian currency dropped 20% and the Iranian people are frantically buying gold. Experts on foreign policy at The Wall Street Journal comment that Iran won’t proceed with closing the straits, first, because of the shakiness of its own economy, and second, because it will only move the US to strike at its nuclear program., and the Iranian leadership is afraid of that.
As far as the Iranian missile tests are concerned, Michael Singh, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says that there are clear signs that the clips and the pictures the Iranian military published online are photoshopped to look impressive. In addition to it, the bragging of Iran’s official propaganda that they “can hit any target, any time, if necessary,” is baloney: the missiles were tactical missiles with maximum range of 125 miles, which in naval engagement is considered tactical, not strategic range. The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain is now about 150 miles from Iran. There is no information if the missiles really hit the targets; experts like Singh describe Iran’s muscle-flexing as “posturing” and “gamesmanship.”
Neither is there any information whether the nuclear fuel rod was really developed by Iranian scientists. The information suspiciously comes at a time when the regime in Tehran needs some propaganda line to feed to its own population which is scared by the prospect for international sanctions. In itself, the information means nothing and it doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion that Iran has the capability to produce nuclear weapon. A fact that is often unknown to the general public – and concealed by our war-mongering politicians – is that industrial-grade uranium fuel can not be used as a weapon, and is not even close to be used as a weapon. The industrial-grade concentration of U-235 (the radioactive isotope of uranium, the true nuclear fuel) in U-238 (the natural, low-radioactive isotope) is supposed to be about 3-4%, maximum 9%. The technology to get to 9% from the natural concentration of 0.7% is fairly widespread. But weapon-grade uranium requires concentrations of U-235 of over 85%, preferably 90-95%, if a critical mass of U-235 is to be reached within a reasonably small warhead that can be carried by a missile. The technology to achieving such high concentration from the natural concentration of 0.7% is very expensive, and there is still no data that Iran has achieved it. And even if Iran has a nuclear weapon, all the foreign policy and intelligence experts – American and Israeli – agree that the threat of their cities being incinerated by an Israeli nuclear attack will force the Iranian leaders to act rationally.
None of this, of course, will change the war-mongering among the majority of the American politicians. If politicians ever learn something from history, it is that scare tactics can dumb populations down enough to make them willfully surrender their liberties. Hitler’s propaganda was based on the lie that the Jews were out to destroy Germany; the Communist propaganda was based on the lie that the West is out to destroy the Soviet Union; and the American liberal and neoconservative propaganda is based on the lie that the Iranian leadership is out to destroy the United States, when intelligence data clearly shows that the Iranian regime has only one concern: its own survival. A population paralyzed by fear is an easy tool in the hands of the establishment. The experts will be ignored as long as the fear tactics works here in the US.