Monday, February 27, 2006

Russia Helps The Mullahs Build Nukes

Russia is actively helping the Mullahs build nuclear weapons, and if the US doesn't stop them, they risk inflicting nuclear war on the middle east and Europe. And themselves.

Here's the deal Putin has offered the Mullahs:

Iran and Russia agreed in principle Sunday to establish a joint uranium enrichment venture, a breakthrough in talks on a U.S.-backed Kremlin proposal aimed at easing concerns that Tehran wants to build nuclear weapons.

But further negotiations on the details lay ahead, and it was not known whether Iran will entirely give up enrichment at home, a top demand of the West.

Actually, all this does is reduce the number of centrifuges the Mullahs need to build enough weapons to wipe Israel off the map.

Here's why:
  • Uranium ore contains about 0.7% of the U235 isotope needed for fast reactors and bombs.
  • Light water reactors need that enriched to 3% - 5%.
  • Experimental reactors need enrichment to 12% - 19%.
  • Bombs need enrichment to 85% - you can use less, but the weapon gets much heavier and harder to initiate.
Since the Mullahs have emphasized that they're researching nuclear power, the Russians will probably offer them 20% enriched Uranium.

So instead of having to enrich from 0.7% to 85% (a factor of 120), the Mullahs need only enrich from 20% to 85% (a factor of 4.25). If they need a centrifuge array of 50,000 to enrich uranium ore to bomb grade, they'll need just 2,000 centrifuges starting from 20%.

Building and hiding 2,000 centrifuges is way easier than hiding 50,000, and since the Mullahs successfully hid their entire nuke program for 20 years until dissidents blew their cover, they're experts.

This twisting and turning by the Mullahs and their Chinese and Russian allies suggests that, whatever happens at the UN, the Mullahs will get their nukes.

Russia presumably calculates that it's at no risk from the Mullahs - it has ample nukes to deter them. So that leaves a nuke armed Iran sitting astride the West's oil supply, which will push up prices to Russia's benefit.

But that assumes that the Mullahs are rational, which they are probably not. In which case they'll use their weapons to advance the cause of Islam - that includes avenging the Chechens that Putin has so vigorously ethnically cleansed...