Plan B For Iran

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If the nuclear negotiations go bad, the U.S. has a backup: Obama can drop the MOP, the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb.

President Barack Obama’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran may yet fail. On Tuesday, exactly one week before a June 30 deadline for an agreement, Iran’s Supreme Leader delivered his latest in a series of defiant statements, setting conditions for a deal—including immediate relief from sanctions, before Iran has taken steps to limit its nuclear program—that Obama will never accept. Secretary of State John Kerry warned last week that the U.S. is prepared to walk away from the talks. And even if a deal is reached, the story is not over. The Iranians may break or cheat on an agreement, and try build a nuclear weapon anyway.

That’s why, at least three times in the past year, a B-2 stealth bomber has taken off from an Air Force base in Missouri and headed west to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. For these missions, the $2 billion plane was outfitted with one of the world’s largest bombs. It is a cylinder of special high-performance steel, 20 feet long and weighing 15 tons. When dropped from an altitude likely above 20,000 feet, the bomb would have approached supersonic speed before striking a mock target in the desert, smashing through rock and burrowing deep into the ground before its 6,000 pounds of high explosives detonated with devastating force. Continue reading

Nuclear talks in jeopardy: Khamenei orders Rev Guards to mass-produce missiles – regardless

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threw a large spanner in the works of nuclear diplomacy Sunday, May 11. Less than a week before the next round of talks with the six powers, he said: “The Revolutionary Guards should definitely… not be satisfied with the present level [of missile production]. They should mass produce.”

Referring to Western concerns that Iran is designing missiles able to carry nuclear warheads, Khamenei said: “They [the West] expect us to limit our missile program while they constantly threaten Iran with military action. So this is a stupid, idiotic expectation.” Continue reading