The Russian struggle to protect Iran's nukes has become desperate.
As previously noted, the US can destroy the Iranian nuclear program with no collateral damage and no risk to American lives with a few dozen Trident missiles tipped with non-nuclear bunker busters.
Building and fitting the warheads will cost under $100 million. Fellow-travelers in Congress have tried to block the work, so it'll be being run as a Black program.
The Russians are scared (my ellipsis and emphasis):
...in...Fairbanks, Rumsfeld met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Ivanov. They discussed the situation in the Middle East and in Afghanistan as well as Russian concern about an announced U.S. plan to remove nuclear warheads from some Trident long-range missiles aboard submarines and replace them with conventional warheads for potential use on short notice against terrorist targets.I bet that made SecDef chortle - Russia wants the US only to use weapons they can shoot down! The Tor M1 system Ivanov is installing in Iran right now has this capability (my emphasis):
"I would like to stress this point: These are preliminary (U.S.) plans and for sure these plans raise Russian concern," Ivanov said during a joint news conference with Rumsfeld... "There can be different solutions" to the problem, such as using cruise missiles in that role, he added.
Kill probabilities for later versions are quoted as:I hope the Tridents are ready soon - if the Dems control congress after November, the Israelis will have to do the job themselves. With nukes.
0.92-0.95 against aircraft
0.80-0.96 against helicopters
0.60-0.90 against cruise missiles (with an effective range of around...3 miles
0.70-0.90 against precision munitions (LGBs, glide bombs, etc.)
0.90 against UAVs