back to article US stealth bombers finally get nuke-nobbling super bomb

Long-delayed plans to equip American stealth bombers with super-heavy penetrator bombs – similar to those employed by British bombers against hardened Nazi targets in WWII – have finally been completed, offering the US a possibly timely option to destroy deeply buried nuclear weapons factories. The Massive Ordnance Penetrator …


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  1. Tom Chiverton 1

    90 meters

    You only have to collapse the entrance tunnel, vent shafts and the like...

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Which can then be dug out in short order to regain access to the untouched goodies within. Presumably said goodies are worth the effort and risk, as there wouldn't have been much point in putting 'em in a collossally expensive hardened bunker deep underground otherwise.

      You need to knock out the bunker and its contents, not just block the door for a few days.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Easy enough...

      ...if you knew WHERE they were all located. But what about if the opponent took that into consideration and used hardened or reinforced shafts, included redundancies to allow for one or more of them to collapse, or even included facilities to allow for being cut off from the outside for a time—say, long enough for the outside to get a new opening made?

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: 90 meters

      Digging out entrance tunnels isn't a great problem. What would be much more of a problem for the Iranians would be the shockwave that would be transmitted through the rock to the underground bunkers, and would probably trash most of the high-tech kit like centrifuges without needing to actually penetrate the rooms. To increase the effect, the Septics could use the old "smash 'n' trash" trick used by tanks against thick concrete defences - AP round to crack the surface, followed by an HE round to break it apart. In this case, a MOP strike could be followed up by something like several 5000Lb GBU-28 penetrators to literally break the mountain apart. Both can use GPS or laser guidance to ensure the second attack hits the area of mountain already fractured by the MOP. Or, if the Yanks are feelling brave (and the Iranian air-def really is "puny" and could be suppressed), they could follow up the MOP with a GBU-43/B MOAB dropped from a very unstealthy Herc!

      But of course, the handwringers will still be telling us the immense trouble and cost of digging bunkers under a mountain is all a part of the Iranian civillian nuke power scheme.....

      1. Xenobyte

        Actually it is fairly simple to significantly amplify the effect of such weapons - just make them dirty weapons. Make the heavy outer shell from an allow with semi-depleted uranium or pack in some highly radioactive nuclear waste and presto! - After detonation the entire area is deadly radioactive and the Iranians cannot prove that is wasn't their own facility that leaked radiation.

        1. Aldous

          Think they do this already with cobalt jackets they can place on normal muntions. It goes bang and spreads radioactive crap everywhere. not particularly lethal (at first) but a real pig to clean up and can deny access to a huge area

        2. Tchou
          Black Helicopters


          Can't you feel something is wrong with this approach?

        3. JaitcH

          Iranians cannot prove that is wasn't their own facility that leaked radiation

          Nuclear material has trace eements that can be used to determine the source.

          For example, the Israeli nuclear material, which they continue to lie about, was traced to a U.S. laboratory in California.

          It seems that Reg readers are overlooking the fact this is yet another act of war.

          The Chinese and Russians have stated they will oppose UN action against Iran because Britain, France and the USA exceeded the action authorised in Libya.

          The question that remains unaswered is: When is Israel going to submit to the same inspections that the Iranians are asked to submit to. Little wonder the US isn't trusted and little wonder why Americans are disliked in most of the world.

          1. ian 22


            When is Israel going to submit? Likely never as it has never signed the Nonproliferation Treaty as Iran has.

            Iran engages in nuclear willy-waving with threats to destroy Israel. Israel refrains from such threats, and doesn't even admit to having atomic weapons. Which is the more prudent?

        4. Zippy the Pinhead


          Except that all radioactive material carries different "signatures" which can tell you where it was produced.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        If Israel keeps threatening to destroy the nuclear programme, even if it's civilian they will want to protect it. They may have oil but they can't refine effectively - and they increasingly need more power and don't want to rely on anyone for their nuclear material (sanctions / embargoes could put out their lights).

        Have you found those WMDs in Iraq yet ? Some people never learn.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Cost effective power gen

          Iran can build hydro power stations, cheaper, easier, with no possibility that people think there for obtaining weapons material.

          When you look at the number of centrifuges they are rumoured to have, it becomes clear that it is not a civilian programme being done despite cost due to a lack of viable alternatives

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: 90 meters → @Matt Bryant

        Exactly, it will not take a lot to throw all active centrifuges off their axis which is equivalent to putting a hand grenade in a bucket of toxic Uranium HexaFluoride. Definitely not fun to cleanup. The shockwave from 2.5tons attached to a 13 tons of steel should be more than enough to do this job.

        Similarly, knocking out the supply on a working centrifuge installation will lead to the same result. Centrifuges which run at that speed use magnetic "bearings". Turn off the power and the whole thing goes flying all over the place once again with UF6 leakage and so on.

        By the way, the same goes for an Israeli attack. If they can knock out the power supply properly or "shake" the install it is as good as dead. They have done it before - the strike at the Iraqi reactor was an example of such "surgical engineering by high explosive". I would not discount them outright now.

        So even 90m will not help Iran. They need 900. I am surprised they have not put the kit in a disused salt mine or something (they have a few).

    4. Mike Richards

      Seems a bit of a lot of hard work

      Centrifuge plants require a lot of power to work. Bomb the power plants if you can't get to the 'fuges themselves.

  2. David Wilcox

    Looks like a Buff not a Spirit in the photo...

    1. The First Dave

      So what?

      Test firings generally do occur from the least expensive platform, doesn't mean that a B2 cannot carry the same weapon, the main point of this test was to prove that the weapon itself worked.

  3. TeeCee Gold badge
    Black Helicopters

    "...hits with even greater force and can penetrate deeper..."

    Hmm, I see that and immediately think of scramjet powered cruise penetrator missiles. Scream in low from range and loop up to dive on the target at Mach 8+ in the final seconds.

    I wonder if there's already a top-secret research project to ma..........*&&^$#^%&^&


    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Am I the only one

      Who thought for a second that the last part of the comment was going to be an off topic rant on the state of the UK's Navy?

  4. TRT Silver badge

    Brings new meaning...

    to pencil pushing.

  5. NogginTheNog

    Moral high ground

    "You must not build terrible weapons! We will build our own reasonably terrible weapons with which to stop you doing that!"

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Between the MOP and the Nuke I know which one I would rather have dropped on my home town....

      .... as its Swindon - the Nuke.

      1. Bill B

        Sorry Gordon

        The first nuke is reserved for Slough

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You must not build terrible weapons, while simultaneously preaching about erasing a nation from the map, training terrorists to make IEDs, generally being hostile and provoking other nations.

      Whatever you think of Israel and I'm not its biggest fan, by a long shot, the Israeli people do not deserve to be wiped off the map.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      So, you go on the assumption that you have to consider the justification for your own self defense, or for your offensive operations, to be either equal to or inferior to those of your enemy? Sorry, but that's a load of horseshit. There may be times when the west has made mistakes - perhaps even numerous ones - but trying to pull the, "Well, maybe Gaddafi isn't such a bad guy; we should really maybe just have pistols and pitchforks instead of F22s..." is absurd.

      Building better weapons than your adversary isn't hypocrisy, it's sanity. Not to Godwin the whole thing (which I guess I'm not as WW2 was already mentioned in the article) but what if we'd taken the same line with Germany? "Who are we to say who's right! If we develop better bombers, tanks, and ordnance then we're just as bad as they are. No sir - we'll just sit tight, stick with mid-30s-era equipment, and it'll all come out right in the end."

      Yuhhh -huh.

  6. FredScummer
    Paris Hilton

    C'mon UK!

    Iran will be looking for a supply of new tin hats to protect against these bunker busters, so here's our chance to get a few bob out of Iran.

    Paris because it might be sensible to wear a certain type of hat when trying to damage her bunker, though tin might not be the best material for that job.

  7. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Similar weapons were used by specially modified Lancaster heavy bombers during World War Two: the "Tallboy" and "Grand Slam" penetrator superbombs. These were dropped by the elite crews of 617 Squadron RAF – the special unit formed to carry out the Dambuster raids and other priority missions"

    Barnes Wallis is one of the most under-appreciated geniuses of WW2. His single minded brilliance shortened the war in Europe by at least a year and potentially saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

    1. Brian Morrison

      And I have the privilege of...

      ...driving to work on Wallis Way every morning as I pass by the airship sheds at Cardington (well actually Shortstown if you're being picky). Wallis was the designer of the R100, the successful one of the R100/R101 pair which was based at Cardington after its construction and testing at Howden.

      I shall also turn on the pedant in me by saying that it was not only 617 squadron that dropped Wallis' earth penetrating bombs, they were also accompanied by IX squadron for many raids including those on the Tirpitz. As a result the Tirpitz bulkhead liberated from the hulk after the war has regularly changed hands between the two squadrons since they have never agreed as to which squadron finally laid the ship to rest.

      And, to remember the men of the wartime 617 squadron, one phrase from Paul Brickhill's book The Dam Busters has never left me, "No 617 crews were lost in those three weeks, the longest holiday that death ever took on the squadron."

    2. Jerry

      Bouncing Bomb?

      The Barnes Wallace bouncing bomb was an abysmal failure.

      It killed many air-crew in the raid and hundereds (thousands?) of slave workers below the dams, and overall it had little or no effect on the German war effort.

      1. juice Silver badge

        I wouldn't agree with that. It may not have had a huge direct impact on the German war effort (though it severely affected German agriculture), but it did have several important indirect effects:

        1) It significantly boosted morale in the UK

        2) It boosted the UK's standing among it's allies (America, Russia)

        3) It showed that precision-bombing attacks could be effective (rather than just carpet bombing everything in the area)

        4) It paved the way for Barnes Wallis to produce his tallboy/grand-slam bombs (the bouncing-bomb came about because he initially couldn't get anyone to sign-up to his "earthquake bomb" strategy) - and these arguably had a far bigger impact on the war, being used to take out railways, bridges, V2 bomb factories and the V3 site.

        (for more details, see )

      2. Mike Richards


        You can argue that the rebuilding of the Ruhr dams consumed so much material and manpower that it prevented the Germans from reinforcing the Atlantic Wall, and so made the Normandy landings possible.

    3. Matthew Smith

      Theres no doubt that BW is a great man. But hes not unappreciated. He has many statues and buildings around the UK named after him, not least the students union building at Manchester Uni. I'm told that theres even a golf swing named for him for bouncing your ball across water. Plus he rightly made it into the BBC's top 100 Britons. The notion of him being unappreciated is, happpily, a myth.

  8. nichomach

    Listed improvements upon Grand Slam and Tallboy

    "boasts precision guidance", eh? - We've got your precision guidance right here...

    1. graeme leggett

      Indeed and also

      And lets not forget the "Black Welshman" Willie Tait DSO and three bars, DFC and bar who succeeded Cheshire as C/O 617

      Although recommended for the VC after being retired from active combat at 101 ops he got the third bar instead.

      And for the IT angle he worked for ICL

  9. Arnold Lieberman

    I can feel the heat already

    Waiting for "Destroy All Monsters" to get all spitty and angry, and the other moral relativists to pop up in defence of Ahmedinnerjacket and his bunch of loonies.

    1. Jonathan Samuels

      Yeah not as if christian nutjobs arent running the US military after all.

      Personally we should sell Iran nuclears and guarantee there won't be a military conflict there

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You don't understand - It's alright for the Iranians to execute homosexuals, stone women to death because they've been raped and have government sponsored miltia on the streets brutally repressing protests. (The sort of things that would never be tolerated in other countries.)

      I have yet to work out why, but it appears that these things are all acceptable, possibly because Iran doesn't like America, therefore they must be ok, mkay? because a lot of people who comment here seem to think that America=bad. Black and white, not shades of grey.

  10. andy 45

    @Lieberman -- what's that, a pre-emptive strike?

    Everyone knows American is the most dangerous, aggressive nation in the world.

    Does it make you feel good that they just got more dangerous and will probably soon get even more aggressive?

  11. andy 45


    Another pre-emptive strike? Strange...

    Iran doesn't really have a problem with America. I think Iranians would be happy to be left in peace.

    Unfortunately America (and Israel) know absolutely nothing about Peace and are intent on ruining another country, killing hundreds of thousands of inccocent civilians and bombing it back to the dark ages with depleted uranium weapons which will cause untold problens to the people of those nations for generations to come.

    I could go on...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Iran doesn't have a problem with America?

      Are you for real? Seriously? Iranian government types call America "The Great Satan" and the UK "The Little Satan" do you think that they reserve that kind of language for people they like?

      The standard chant of "Death to America" at rallies, that's friendly also.

      In case you haven't noticed the USA and UK et al seem to be going to extremely large lengths not to go to war with Iran - Do you think that any other country would get away with taking the naval seamen of another nation hostage in open waters, without a massive shoot-out?

      I could also go on...

  12. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge


    Just drop a large enough rock from space.

    No new secret plot, just lift it from 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress'.

    Seriously, Mass and Gravity can do wonders in taking out a target.

  13. Nigel 11
    Thumb Down


    If the opposition has been smart, they'll not just have constructed their facility a mile underground, accessed by tunnels (multiple) going sideways into a mountain with blast doors and several changs of direction. They'll not just have stocked it with enough supplies to wait out having all the entrances collapsed. They'll also have put it in a massive concrete shell, decoupled from the rock of the mountain by air bags.

    Unless you can generate enough of a shockwave to cause the mountain to move by more than the width of the airbags, they'll completely decouple the precision quipment from any shockwaves travelling through the rock. Methinks your chances of damaging such with conventional explosives are infinitessimal, and your chances of managing to do so with half a megatonne of nuclear explosion are slim.

    Is USA SAC HQ still under that mountain in Colorado? If so, they think like I do.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Airbags

      "......They'll also have put it in a massive concrete shell, decoupled from the rock of the mountain by air bags......" Yeah, please do supply details of a Western installation of such tech, seeing as it is highly unlikely even with our level of capability, and very, very unlikely with Iran's generally poor level of engineering capability. Then consider that air only suppresses shockwaves when it is not compressed - using it to hold up a "massive concrete shell" will mean air under considerable pressure, which will actually transmit shockwaves quite well (for example, go read up on pneumatic drills).

  14. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    But please explain - what exactly would be the problem with Iranians having developed a nuke? I mean not the difficulties it will create to Israeli and US foreign policies but the actual threat?

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @Vladimir Plouzhnikov -- Seriously?

      Because the Iranians will actually use the nuke?

      Because the Iranians support state sponsored terrorism?

      Because even without a nuke missile, there are things like dirty bombs that would be hard to detect and could be used by terrorist groups?

      Yes, the threat is real.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge


        ...because the Iranian government and clergy seem not just willing but EAGER to witness if not START Armageddon.

        Talking about Eternal War or the 12th Imam (essentially Islam's version of The Second Coming) leads one to suspect that deterrence will not affect such a mindset. Even MAD won't sway them—to them it would be a WINNING scenario.

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


          "Because the Iranians will actually use the nuke?"

          Why would they do that. Please explain. I'd like to know.

          "Because the Iranians support state sponsored terrorism?"

          And nukes have what relation to that? You do realise that nukes can be traced back to manufacturer much more easily than conventional explosives, don't you? And that it eliminates the only reason for using terrorists as agents - deniability.

          "Because even without a nuke missile, there are things like dirty bombs that would be hard to detect and could be used by terrorist groups?"

          Why haven't they already done that - you certainly don't need enriched U or Pu for that kind of thing, just spread out some powdered yellowcake on Oxford street?

          Please also name to me one single case of two nuclear possessing countries going at war with each other (not counting minor border skirmishes or colonial wars-by-proxy).

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

            @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            I think you need to really do a better job of studying history.

            The fact that multiple countries have the bomb and have yet to use it means we're lucky with the world leaders not getting itchy trigger fingers. (You do realize that the nuke doomsday clock is still pretty close to midnight, right?)

            The problem is that there are countries that will push their agenda to the point of using WMD.

            Iran has already shown how they have funded and sponsored terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, etc ...

            The more countries that have nuke capabilities the greater the chance for its use.

            1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

              @Ian Michael Gumby

              "The fact that multiple countries have the bomb and have yet to use it means we're lucky with the world leaders not getting itchy trigger fingers. (You do realize that the nuke doomsday clock is still pretty close to midnight, right?)"

              Lucky or not, the nukes are not going to go away and we'll either have to learn to live with them or die.

              "The problem is that there are countries that will push their agenda to the point of using WMD."

              That's a highly questionable statement - to my knowledge there is not a single country in the world which is driven by desire of self-destruction. Incompetence leading to an accident? May be, but killing themselves to prove a point? Please cite some specific example.

              "Iran has already shown how they have funded and sponsored terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, etc ..."

              May be they have, but how is that relevant to the nuclear argument?

              "The more countries that have nuke capabilities the greater the chance for its use."

              That's a very simplistic argument. Yes, if you give nukes to everybody, inevitably some small-time African dictator will eventually use it to sort out some cattle farming dispute or a tribal succession issue (and no one in the West will give a damn about it) but, clearly, to Iran any actual use of a nuke is a guaranteed suicide - so why would they do it?

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                RE: @Ian Michael Gumby

                "....Lucky or not, the nukes are not going to go away...." Your logic is flawed, it presumes that all people armed with nukes would behave the same way. It's like saying the guard in a prison for the criminally insane has a gun, so all the violent and disturbed prisoners should also be given guns because you say they are just as likely not to use it as the guard. Obviously, if you were in the room with one of those prisoners, and I gave him a gun, I doubt if you would be so happy that he wouldn't use it. Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn't, but you'd be gambling with your life. People are not all the same, they don't all follow the same processes, have the same beliefs, or think and act the same way. You presume they do. If you are wrong, millions people could die. You so sure you want to take the chance? You might think the prisoner may be in there for another reason and not actually be violent. Would you still be comfortable if I told you the prisoner had told kids it was their Islamic duty to walk into a minefield and told them they'd go straight to heaven if they exploded a mine? Kinda sets the tone, doesn't it?

                "....That's a highly questionable statement...." Saddam did have both chemical and nuke weapon programs ( He did use chemicals against his own people and Iran, and it's higly likely he would have used a nuke against US bases in Saudi Arabia if he had had one to hand. Only UN sanctions stopped vital elements (such as the trigger circuits seized at Heathrow in 1990, getting to Iraq. Plenty of people assured us Saddam was just as unlikely to use either before the evidence of the use of chemical weapons at Halabjah and in the Iran-Iraq war broke. I suggest you try asking the Kurds if they think that, if we could go back in time, Saddam should be given the benefit of the doubt again.

                " my knowledge there is not a single country in the world which is driven by desire of self-destruction...." We're not talking the whole country, but we are talking a large number of the people in power in Iran, that do seem to belive in the Twelfth Imam. Try reading up on the Basij, of which Ahm-mad-in-a-dinnerjacket is the leading light. He was also reputedly involved in the plastic keys idea outlined above, which shows he is either pretty fanatical, ruthless and/or exploitative. Still so sure you want him to have access to nuke weapons?

                You should also have noticed two facts - the Iranian rulers think constant confrontation with the West is going to unite Iran and prop up their unpopular regime; and they think war with Israel will unite the common Arab on their side. As historic background, the Islamic Revolution in Iran was struggling up until the Iraqis invaded. The country united behind the Imams to fight Saddam's forces. Ever since, the Imams have painted every disagreement with the West/UN/World as some big conspiracy in an attempt to forge the same "all Iranians standing as brothers" attitude. Or as some Jewish conspiracy. Or both. The language Ahm-mad-in-a-dinnerjacket uses is all the same - Iranians must stand together to stop the West/Jews imposing this, that or the other and siezing Iran's oil, etc, etc, etc. The same language comes from the Ayatollah Khamanei, only even more strident. Throughout the Mid East, governments use Israel as a bogeyman in an attempt to weld their citizens with a common cause. Iran is no different, only they have taken demonising Israel to heights even the Arab regimes are impressed by. The trouble is somewhere in the game of brinkmanship the Iranians are very likely to either strike Israel directly, or give one of their puppets (probably Hezbollah) the means to. What happens if a nuke-tipped Scud is launched into Israel from Lebanon? Would you like to take the chance that could not happen, especially as the Iranians have shown no qualms at giving Hezbollah (and Hamas) rockets to deliberately fire at Israelli civillian targets?

                But that's all considering it as nice and far away in the Mid East, and the only victims would be those awful Jews, yes? What if Iran gave a nuke to a terrorist group? They're currenty giving plenty of money and training to terrorists in Afghanistan to kill Westerners. But Iran has a history of striking far further afield, especialy through proxies, such as the AMIA bombing in Argentina or the El Descanso bombing in Spain. What happens if that nuke could be shipped to your town, and it's you and your family and friends that could get vapourised? Still so sure you want to take the chance? After all, you're so sure they'd act responsibly, just as if they'd had the same upbringing and values as you, but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't plant a bomb in a Spanish resteraunt, would you?

                Like you say, the genie is out of the bottle, but that doesn't mean we should let everyone have the genie. We can always make it difficult for those that might wish for bad things, and Iran signed up to the Nucleur Non-Proliferation Treaty but haven't kept to their commitments under it, which means they shouldn't be allowed to play with the genie. In fact, they have been shown to want to own the genie themselves and brag about the bad wishes they have in mind. Are you really sure you want to take the chance? I'm not.

                1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                  @Matt Bryant

                  You raise multiple points, some of which I agree with, some not, but they can all more or less be boiled down to the main thing: will they or won't they use the nukes if they had them?

                  I think the answer to that is already in your post: "we are talking a large number of the people in power in Iran"

                  People in power do not want martyrdom. Period. Otherwise they would not have been in power in the first place.

                  And another: "the Iranian rulers think constant confrontation with the West is going to unite Iran and prop up their unpopular regime"

                  If they wanted to be blown up in the blaze of glory there would be no point for them to try tp prop up their regime.

                  And a corollary: all the current US and EU sanctions do is propping up the Iranian regime.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                    RE: @Matt Bryant

                    ".....People in power do not want martyrdom....." Agreed, they usually want more power. But, it's just like the guy who likes speed and ends up going too fast on his bike - they may chase power too hard and end up with a nucleur crash! The guy on his bike didn't set out intending to crash and kill himslef, he just waned to go faster miscalculates. Those power-hungry Imams in Iran also seem to believe that attacking Israel will make them heroes in the eyes of other Shia groups and possibly Sunnis as well. Maybe they think that having nuke bombs would mean they could then manouvere against "friendly" countries like Saudi Arabia or Bahrain more openly, believing that nukes would allow them to ignore the UN, the West, and/or Russia and China. What happens if they miscalculate and make a nucleur error?

                    What happens if they decide they can nuke Israel with impunity, because they think the UN is too weak to retaliate? What would be the UN's course of action if a first strike by Iran did knock out Israel's own ability to retaliate, would you then be happy for a UN force to enter Iran and remove the remaining Iranian nukes and put the Iranian regime on trial? What if the UN Security Council agrees but Muslim countries in the UN General Council decline to assist in punishing Iran? What if the West decides to go it alone and invades Iran anyway, against the wishes of those Msulim countries? So then we have millions of dead Israelis (and Israeli Arabs in that number) possibly plenty of irradiated Arabs in neighbouring countries, and then probably hundreds of thousands killed in any invasion of Iran.

                    Seems a lot more sensible just to make Iran stick to the treaty obligations they have already signed up to but are deliberately flaunting, stop them developing nuke weapons, and avoid several million deaths. Iran has zero reason to need nukes, the fact that Israel already has them is immaterial as Israel has had them for decades, and not used them even against Arab neighbours intent on wiping them out (such as Syria). There is also zero chance of a neighbour mounting a land invasion of Iran, and if they did so then Iran would have the right as a full UN member to insist on UN assistance to repell any invading force (which is what happened with Kuwait when Saddam invaded).

                    "....all the current US and EU sanctions do is propping up the Iranian regime." Wrong! Apart from stopping them having an easy time developing nukes, it is suppressing Iranian economic development. It is telling that Iranians protesting in Tehran this year were pointing out the fact that neighbouring countries with better international relations (such as Qatar) had a much higher standard of living than Iran. The more the Iranian government supprsesses the protesters the more disatisfied the people get, the more likely it is that the government will fall. The Obumbler probably hopes he can trigger an "Orange" revolution in Iran without needing to risk US troops on the ground, but he probably woun't like the idea that the Imams might have a last resort of trying to start a major Mid East war by launching a nuke strike on Israel or Saudi Arabia.

                    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                      Disagree on both points

                      The Iranians know that Israel also has nukes and won't hesitate to use them. If Israel won't the US will, even Russia will not object in that case. Whatever you may think of the Iranian ideology those people are not stupid, they know exactly what game they are playing.

                      Of course, the balance of power will shift immediately - the West won't be able to play the war card anymore. But I don't think it will be a bad thing, all in all.

                      And the sanctions, yes they are suppressing economic development - such sanctions make it really easy for the existing regime to maintain its power over its people. They make the regime look as the only salvation against an existential threat. They justify the regime to apply extreme repression against any opposition. The opposition loses public support because it is seen as the fifth column of the enemy.

                      The present Western policy towards Iran does not have an end-game. It's untenable because the sanctions can only resolve itself with an all-out war and neither the US nor Europe can ever afford such a war. The use of Israel as a proxy is not feasible either - it will either have to lead to denunciation of Israel or, again, to an all-out war. This time not only with Iran alone but with the whole of the Middle East.

                      The sooner Iranians will demonstrate they have a workable nuke the better it will be for everyone, mark my words.

                      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                        RE: Disagree on both points

                        "The Iranians know that Israel also has nukes and won't hesitate to use them....." Would the Israelis get the chance? A first strike could knock out the Israeli nukes, or maybe that's what the Iranians might bank on. Israel is a tiny country. And what if a nuke-tipped Scud was launched from the Lebanon by Hezbollah, do you really think the US or Russia would give the green light for a return nuke strike by Israel? If so then you've been missing a lot of news over the years.

                        ".... They justify the regime to apply extreme repression against any opposition...." Which would make an ounce of difference if the Iranians government hadn't already been oppressing their political opponents and minorities. Just ask the Iranian Kurds and the Sunnis (for starters) if sanctions made the regime any more violent.

                        "....The present Western policy towards Iran does not have an end-game...." Yes it does. All Iran has to do to stop the current confrontation is stick to the terms of the Non Proliferation Agreement they had already signed up to. In short, Iran needs to stop lying and do as it promised.

                        "....the sanctions can only resolve itself with an all-out war...." No, Iran could back down and accept that it doesn't need nuke weapons, then allow IAEA inspectors to get on with ensuring Iran gets proper civillian nuke power without any doubts or distrust. You know, like they promised to do when they signed the NNP Treaty? Oh, I see, the problem is you really don't know.

                        "....This time not only with Iran alone but with the whole of the Middle East....." Why would the rest of the Mid East get involved? The Saudis have already urged the Yanks to smack Tehran and have said they would not object to an Israeli strike. Let's not forget, the Saudis turned a blind eye when Israeli jets flew through Saudi airspace and bombed Saddam's nuke station in 1981, and Saddam was a lot less of a threat then to Saudi than a nuke-armed Iran would be. Syria? Probably, but they're busy having their own little civil war just now. Egypt is busy trying not to have a civil war. The Lebanon would be a mess, as the nutters in Hezbollah would happilly turn their own country into a slaughterhouse if Iran asked, but that could be contained. Jordan is too dependent on US aid to risk getting involved. And the rest of the Gulf states are pretty much lined up against Iran since Iran started agitating amongst their Shia populations. In short, Iran would stand alone, probably apart from some loony encouragement from North Korea and idiots like Robert Mugabe. I'm sure you have forgotten that Saddam launched Scuds against Israel in an effort to break up the alliance between the West and his Arab neighbours, and it failed.

                        ".....The sooner Iranians will demonstrate they have a workable nuke the better it will be for everyone, mark my words." If you really belive that then you are ignoring all the facts. The US and Israel would be MORE likely to launch a strike if Iran demonstrated a working nuke weapon in defiance of the treaties Iran has signed. The argument would be simple - stop them now before they make more and perfect a delivery system. Nothing would do more to guarantee the invasion of Iran.

      2. mhenriday

        Mr Gumby seems to conveniently forget

        that 1) the United States is the only nation hitherto to have used nucear weapons in war, and 2) the United States (and inter alia, its favourite satrapy, the UK) and that dog-wagging tail, Israel, have been supporting and waging state terrorism these last six decades and more....

        The threat is indeed real - but it originates with other lands than Iran....


        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: Mr Gumby seems to conveniently forget

          Mrhenriday seems to have forgotten history, fullstop.

          "....1) the United States is the only nation hitherto to have used nucear weapons in war...." A war started by the other party (Japan), and the dropping of the nukes was to END the war to avoid the millions (of mainly civillian Japanese) that would have died in the otherwise necessary invasion of Japan. It also wasn't the deadliest attack of WW2, the firebombing of Tokyo being more destructive and killing more people, but that is forgotten as it was "conventional" weapons.

          ".....2) the United States (and inter alia, its favourite satrapy, the UK) and that dog-wagging tail, Israel, have been supporting and waging state terrorism these last six decades and more...." <Yawn> So do all the superpowers, it was how they fought wars by proxy to AVOID having a full-blown nuke war. It's obvious that your rabid anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism blinds you to some very simple truths.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

            @Matt Bryant


            Actually no, I didn't forget. My uncle who recently passed away was supposed to be leading a platoon in the second wave of the planned invasion of Japan. He always said the day the bomb was dropped, he knelt down and kissed the tarmac. Yes, the bombs generated huge number of casualties, but as you point out, the number of dead in just civilians alone would have been staggering. Looking at the civilian suicides on Okinawa alone was enough of a reason to drop the bombs.

            And to add one last thing...

            One of the reasons America is no longer an isolationist country like some wanted pre-WW2, was that when waiting for the wars to come to your shore is too late. Lessons learned from WW1 and WW2 combined showed just how much we all lose when there is total all out war.

            The proliferation of nukes and fissionable material is probably the worst thing that could happen. It would be great if India and Pakistan didn't have the bomb. But unfortunately the genie is out of the bottle and its one more potential threat against Western countries.

  15. Steve Brooks

    Look everybody knows all you have to do is to fire your misile down the unshielded vent that leads straight to the heart of the Dea.....oops sorry, wrong film!

  16. jake Silver badge

    ::hmmm:: Dropped from high enough to hit termina velocity ...

    A workable variation on "rods from God" (kinetic bombardment), then? Low attrition, effective, low cost ... How un-military-like. Where's the catch?

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      @jake (RE: Dropped from high enough...)

      Apparently, I wasn't the only one thinking of dropping rocks... FROM SPACE.

      Mine's the one with the teleportation control panel built into the arm sleeve.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @J. Cook

        Uh ... No.

        40,000 feet isn't exactly "space", thus my phrase "workable variation" ...

        Good luck with the coat with gizmos built into the sleeves.

  17. david willis

    90 meters of stone - a bomb too far ?

    617 sq dropped Tallboys & Grandslam bombs during WWII (after the famous dam raids),

    tallboy = 12,030lb,

    grandslam = 22,000lb (10 tons)

    These were dropped from Lancaster Bombers (empty weight 36,828 lb) from a height of 15-20,000 feet (service ceiling of a Lancaster is 23,500 ft)

    On the 7th June 1944 several Tallboy bombs were dropped from 10,000 ft onto the Saumur Railway tunnel in France - most landed round the tunnel mouth creating craters 100ft across, one missed the tunnel mouth by 60 yards, and after penetrating 21 meters of rock and clay exploded in the middle of the tunnel. The resulting "earthquake" shifted an estimated 10,000 tons of rock and clay, completely blocking the tunnel.

    On the 14th March 1945 a Grandslam bomb was dropped on the Bielefeld viaduct , it missed by 30yards. It is estimated that it penetrated mud and clay to the depth of 30m, blasted a massive subterranian cavity and 100 yards of the viaduct simply vanished into the hole.

    On 27th March 1945 grandslams were dropped on the U-boat Pens at Farge near Bremen, they went through 4.5 meters of solid reinforced concreate, before exploding.

    I'm always surprised that a "dambusters" follow up film was never done, 617s sqds exploits with impossibly large ordinance and their almost pinpoint accouracy (considering propeller driven planes and fairly rudimentary bomb sights) certainly deserve mention.

    So could a 15 ton bomb penetrate 90m of rock if dropped from 40,000 feet, more importantly, would it need to?

    1. graeme leggett

      Disney Bomb

      The British designed Rocket Assisted bomb was also used on submarine pens, and in comparative tests postwar.

      based around a armour piercing naval shell shape and with its impact velocity boosted by 17 3-inch rockets to about 1,500 ft/second. Two (one under each wing) could be carried by a Flying Fortress and were used by the USAAF.

      The bomb could penetrate about 14 ft of reinforced concrete.

  18. toxicdragon

    Nights dawn trilogy.

    Kinetic Harpoons anyone? Ok launched from inside the atmosphere but still.

  19. annodomini2

    2500 kg of explosive

    So if there's enough room for 2500kg of explosive I'm pretty sure a tactical nuclear warhead would fit in the same space!

  20. YARR

    Nukes 4 all = Freedom 4 all

    We should give nuclear weapons to Iran, and for that matter every other country in the world, then we can all be equal. It would be a cheaper way for the US, Russia and other nuclear powers to reduce their stockpile of weapons. Then the Iranians could spend all their money on improving their standard of living.

    Once every country has nukes, there will be no more war, and all countries will be able to participate in international relations on an equal footing. Finally we will have real freedom and independence from the power mad NWO puppet masters!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You sir are at best sadly misinformed.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Nukes 4 all = Freedom 4 all

      You are rather naively projecting our Westernised concepts of wanting to pretect our own, onto a group of people with a quite different outlook. As an example, these are the people that decided the best way to clear minefields in the Iran-Iraq war was to use children as mine detectors - not give them tools and training to find mines and defuse them, but herd them onto the suspected minefields to clear the way by sacrifice. The children were given little plastic keys (mass imported from Taiwan) and told that it would "open the gates to Heaven" for them should they successfully find a mine.....

      MAD only works when both sides want to avoid a the total destruction of their own country. Unfortunately, some in Iran seem to believe that provoking a war with Israel and America is the route to their religeous salvation, so MAD is simply not going to work.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        @Matt Bryant

        "Unfortunately, some in Iran seem to believe that provoking a war with Israel and America is the route to their religeous salvation"

        I am not quite convinced that they do. Why are you?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: @Matt Bryant

          Because I have actually lived, worked and travelled in many parts of the Mid East. It is quite telling that even the Egyptians in Cairo, despite their often blaming all types of ills on the "devil" Israelis, don't think they would use atomic bombs to attack Egypt, but are seriously worried at the idea of Iran getting nuke-tipped missiles. Same goes for the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, even the Cypriots I spoke to this year.

          /everything-go-glowy icon, natch.

  21. greensun

    "it is dropped from significantly higher up so that it hits with even greater force "

    Are you sure ? The Tallboys did not reach terminal velocity ?

  22. TerryG

    @Yarr: Nukes 4 all = Freedom 4 all?

    Good idea. And then we can solve the problem of gun crime by giving everybody an AK-47.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Grrrrr! I accidentally downvoted this post, but there's no way to cancel. El Reg! Make a 'retract' option for users of seven inch tablets!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I wasn't planning on voting, but I upvoted it to cancel your downvote. I...I'm not sure whether anyone's keeping score, though it's probably improved my karma.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          If you upvote it cancels your downvote... and vice-versa.

  23. Knochen Brittle

    Lies, damned lies and filthy pro-war-criminal propaganda

    "Last week the UN reported that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon capable of striking Israel"

    No, that's an outright lie. In fact, the new IAEA-DG, US-boot-shine Amano, who was only inserted into the position for this specific purpose, published as an annex to the regular report [certifying Iran's continuing compliance with its NPT obligations], a collection of aged innuendos long being pimped in powerpoint 'briefings' by the US-Pentagovernment as evidence of an Iranian 'weaponization program' to provide a propaganda backdrop for increasing sanctions pressure and ultimately Iranian 'regime change'. This is the same 'alleged studies laptop' material rejected as unsubstantiated by Amano's predecessor El-Baradei and denounced by the Iranians as 'obvious forgeries'.

    The scenario is similar to, but an amplified version of, Bush's infamous 'Uranium from Africa' forgeries which helped grease the mental skids of his dull-witted fellow-racists to launch the warcrime of aggression against Iraq.

    But that doesn't stop moral bankrupts like Page from lending themselves to disseminating these scenarios of hum-drum, work-a-day warcrimes as part of an orchestrated campaign of misinformation and propaganda massaging the general populace of 'Western' nations to acquiesce in the destruction of those who prefer their own freedom rather than the Pentagovernment-dictated kind.

    I sincerely hope, Mr Page, if your perverse fantasies of a fresh war-crime of aggression are actually played out, that before it's over at least one clear-minded and resolute Iranian will make it his business to seek out and 'reward' you personally in the manner most befitting for your wantonly mendacious contribution to an historic disaster for humanity.

    No impunity for war-criminals, nor their scribbling pole-greasers!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Mr. Brittle, I view your assertions with, shall we say, extreme skepticism. While you are broadly correct in your condemning Mr. Bush as a dipshit, the rest of your post ranges from outrage to full-on tin foil hat "I'm gonna tell you what they don't want you to hear" paranoia.

      All of that, however, is offset in spades by your use, in the same post, of "mendacious", "work-a-day", and - best of all - "scribbling pole-greasers!"

      I had considered upvoting your post solely for writing style when I noticed "pentagovernment", a term whose use instantly removes all credibility from the user. I mean, really? What's next, 'Military-industrial-complex'? And this from someone who busted out "greased the mental skids of his dull-witted fellow-racists". Weak, man.

      So, there you go - a tongue sharp as an xacto and a brain that's spent thirty seconds too long in the microwave. Lose the paranoid, reflexive, anti-America bias and you can write for web sites with black text on white backgrounds. Put your brain in for another minute on 'popcorn' and you'll have a fine future penning furious screeds for web sites with -red- text on -black- backgrounds.

      Or you can stay just the same, which will do Reg readers a service - righteous to some, incomprehensible to others, and a brilliant vocabulary lesson for us all.

      1. Knochen Brittle

        @David W.

        1. Re. scepticism: ~ Fair enough, I didn't provide references for the facts stated because, firstly, the disputed report has not yet been made public and, second, the post was shaping up to be lengthy enough already. However, if you are interested in checking, here's a snifter of my sources:

        Amano ~

        History ~

        Powerpoint propaganda ~

        El-Baredei and political aspects ~

        How Warmonger's Eat Yellowcake ~

        2. This is not about Bush [the unindicted war-criminal, not dipshit]: ~ In this post I am specifically castigating Mr. Page, who knowingly participates in a campaign of spreading propaganda lies designed to lead to massive crimes against humanity. Without multitudes of such little lube-monkeys assiduously bending the public mind and building an atmosphere of pre-emptive impunity, a Bush or similar gutless freak will lack the courage to risk his neck. i.e. Page and his ilk, as witting enablers, are an integral and (from a moral standpoint) equally culpable part of the war-criminal's system.

        3. I am not a politician and don't work for votes, am, however, glad that style is still appreciated and only hope it doesn't blind to the substance.

        4. 'Pentagovernment' is a term I coined to compactly describe the true nature of the current US political system, which IMHO since WW2 has become ever more militarised to the point where >=50% of the State's budget is captured, or ordinarily rendered, and it's now practically overt that all real decisions are made at the Pentagon and transmitted to the parlimentary puppets for rubber-stamping. In any case, it has become inconcievable that a US President would make any decison in defiance of the will of the Generals. I wish this were incredible, but it's sad reality you can find spelled out between the lines in the NYT, who, needless to say, have turned 180 from their Pentagon Papers heyday and now proudly conspire with the powers-that-be to destroy any latter-day Ellsberg who would pop his head above the parapet.

        5. Re. paranoid, reflexive anti-America bias: ~ Permit me to point out the slight hypocrisy here, as this phrase is itself a classical rhetorical device used by those lacking reasoned argument but hedging hopes to cheaply chill legitimate critique of a psychopathic system for which they allow propaganda-induced exemptions. So on this front, Doctor, heal thyself before writing prescriptions. I am not biased against US-Americans in general - in fact, they have my sympathies. However, I certainly oppose the politics and criminal actions of that contingent which controls the deranged behemoth remorselessly engaged in a doomed project to secure planetary domination, in the course of which desperate flight forward to escape the consequences of past crimes they are prepared to plunge the great majority of its inhabitants into an even more miserable existance than they currently suffer. My motivation is not paranoia, but a collective self-defence of the interests of the vast majority of humanity.

        6. Re. concern for my brain ~ you are too kind ~ but I am intrigued to know if you so quickly doubt the sanity of those who aid and architect war-crimes of aggression at the expense of untold human lives? If not, I'd say worry about yourself first, my friend.

        In any case, thanks for the feedback and best regards!

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Lies, damned lies and filthy pro-war-criminal propaganda

      Please do supply details on exactly how many other peaceful, civillian, nuke power reactors or centrifuge plants are built or are being built under mountains, which would seem a very expensive method of containment compared to the good, old, concrete containment vessel. And please do supply some argument as to what benefit that would provide over traditional construction methods in order to offset the massive added expense. I suggest you get a crowbar to losen your tinfoil hat a bit first, though.

      1. Knochen Brittle

        @Matt Sycophant

        1. I note you have no defense for the lies of Mr Page, just a pathetic stab at diversion.

        2. If your workplace were threatened with bombing by terrorists from above, where would you prefer it were built, Muppet?

        3. Are you truly so obtuse as to not grasp that the mountain is a bomb-shelter, not containment?

        4. Don't worry, that last was a trick question, to which the answer is that I'm sure it's simply more likely your inbred imperialist racism riles you to willful blindness at the temerity of the Iranians, who, forgetting their proper place as Untermensch Rag'Eds, have taken the intolerable liberty of protecting themselves from the White Man's Ordnance Burden and also calmly informed that he'll be getting his already-prolapsed jacksie packed with no end of it if he bothers starting any shit.

        5. Just on the off-chance you should ever tire of appearing as a reactionary colonial throwback, seek help from a non-NATO psychologist for that massive superiority complex you're nursing.

        Yours truly, with a big wet slobbery kiss, KB

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "2. If your workplace were threatened with bombing by terrorists from above, where would you prefer it were built, Muppet?"

          Ooh, ooh, can I answer this one?

          "Smack under the personal offices of the Koch brothers".

          Do I get a gold star?

          ...I still disagree with you on a lot of stuff, but hell, that was funny.

          1. Knochen Brittle

            Fun is a function of perspective

            If such gutless wonders as Hardon Page and Reacharound Bryant lived under permanent threat of aerial bombing, their pulsating war-boners would shrivel to a singularity quicker than you can say "Duck'n'cover".

            But alas, from the relative safety of the swamps these moral midgits infest, they feel brave enough to mutually overstroke their tiny puce members and spray us all with the resulting jets of vile jizzolm.

            Naturally, as is evident from their non-response, these racist holdovers mired in the imperialist ideology of yesteryear don't like it up'em ~ and are probably off now spluttering up an apopleptic fit, or compensating by hatching an improved scheme to slaughter recalcitrant Sand-Niggers wholesale.

            A proper pair of unmitigated cnuts!


            PS: Yes, go on then, have a star.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              RE: Fun is a function of perspective

              "If such gutless wonders as Hardon Page...." Lew Page has a previous career as a Royal Navy officer, including mine and improvised explosive device disposal, which makes it a fair bet he has far more guts than yourself. True, he does post the odd article of complete nonsense (IMHO), but he can at least claim to have been "at the sharp end". As to myself, I'll just smile, as I'm not telling. Please do explain what great feats of daring you have accomplished, in whatever passes as a "tough time" for you (throwing a fire-extinguisher of a roof at policemen, maybe?).

              ".....from the relative safety of the swamps these moral midgits infest...." I also travel regularly to areas where terrorism is a daily threat (no, not just Birmingham, I'm talking the Mid East), which means I do often live with the (slim) chance that someone is going to try and blow me up. I'm guessing the greatest danger in your life is crossing the road to the sign for your unemployment cheque.

              "....these racist holdovers mired in the imperialist ideology...." If anyone is mired in anything it is your feeble brain, and it is mired in very outdated ideologies not seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall (well, outside of the ivory towers of academia anyway). By the way, the anti-imperialists built the Berlin Wall to keep the East Germans in the supposed "Workers' Paradise", not "imperialist" NATO out, which just about sums up the complete failure of the ideals you seem to hold so dear.

              I really hope that you are just some aged and bitter ex-activist, clinging to old copies of Socialist Worker in a vain attempt to find comfort, and seething through your final years in furious denial of the failure of your ilk. It would be really tragic to discover that you actually are a young mind blighted by such foolishness. What a waste that would be.

              1. Knochen Brittle

                @ Bomber Bryant

                1. I am gratified to learn you are less than amused, but stang, by my words.

                2. You are confused ~ I never mentioned airbags ~ try Bulgaria or calm down and have another stab at concocting a rational-sounding excuse for evading my point.

                3. Are you claiming the contested statement by Page is true? I provided an informed and reliable source [Payvand] refuting his ludicrous propaganda, but if you cannot tolerate to read any deeper than Debka and thus prefer to swallow such lies at their bare-faced value, well, more fool you. Anyone with half a political wit and not purblind with prejudice will understand why Page cannot cite his polluted sources ~ revealing them is inexpedient to bending the public mind with misinformation. Anyway, the worthless script he feigns to quote should be published shortly, you can then confirm the lie yourself.

                4. What's an "innocent" industry, Judge Dredd? Conversely, you imply there are "guilty" industries. Please furnish a list of each category and an algorithm for auto-switching the classification according to the mean skin-tone, religion or relative conformity of the host country to US-diktat. Take all the time you need.

                5. You are hilarious, producing a parody of yourself beyond my modest talents, but surely the best way to save yourself weakly parroting these threadbare agitprop pretexts for a war-crime of aggression, would be if the Iranians would pre-emptively blow up their own nuclear programme? Yes, that's brilliant, Bryant ~ fax this solution immediately to Ayatollah Khamenei ~ he awaits with bated breath fresh diktats from the Burdensome White Man!

                6. That LOL had a rather hollow ring to it, as you're a tub-thumping racist, Bryant ~ we're talking well past the point of just peeping out of the closet here ~ so why should it irk you that someone bluntly points this out? Would you prefer that I tickle your hypocrisy by pretending otherwise? Don't delude yourself with vain hope that by running with a large enough pack no-one can pick you out and say "Hello, Lemming!"

                7. Congratulations on the supreme unintended irony, Bryant! Whilst trumpeting your ignorance in that triumphalist tone which screeches "Haha, gotcha snookered!", you have inadvertently posed an excellent question which neatly pokes one of Page's 'penetrators' through your purposefully paranoiac propaganda pillbox ~ here's how ~ presumably by "civilian levels" you mean apx. 5% LEU as fuel for a traditional LWR such as that now operating at Bushehr. Now, in your mercy, do you concede that manufacturing medical radioisotopes is a civilian purpose, even for Untermenschen, i.e. Iranians? Either way, this is done at the Tehran Research Reactor, using U235 enriched to 20%, which you insinuate is a level greater than that needed for any civilian purpose. But did you know that when this reactor was supplied to the Shah in 1967, it ran on 93% U235? That's literally weapons-grade uranium fuel, supplied by USA to a pet dictator under 'Atoms-for-Peace', for civilian purposes. Nor did you know that Iran, with the help of Argentina, in 1993 converted this reactor to use the lower grade fuel. Therefore, if the Iranians really had the ambition to enrich uranium to weapons purity, would not the need to keep the unmodified TRR running have provided a perfectly legitimate civilian cover within the NPT to also attain the theoretical military objective? Indeed it would, but Iran avoided this route and, having been again denied by the interference of USA any external re-supply, is now producing its own 20% fuel. So wherein lieth your whinge with that? You should be delighted, yet persist with the tantrums and tossing of toys from the pram.

                8. "Please don't feel the need to reply" ~ What's that? I've a tin ear for pleas.

                9. Describing you pair as 'gutless wonders' was a reference to the robot bomber predicted in fiction by Kurt Vonnegut ~ woosh, straight over your head. Hence the alternate moniker 'Bomber Bryant' has been crafted to give you another chance. Given his previous [sadly not ballistic] trajectory, Page at least can rely on the 'damaged goods' defense for being a perennial, priapistic warmongler. What's your excuse?

                10. Yes, your unbounded bravery in the service of the Bankrupt Banana Empire has been noted and a deck of medals is being minted as we speak. The only possible way left to earn another one is by attaching yourself as a strap-on to the first cruise-missile launched into Iran. You know you want to.

                11. Achtung Strawman ~ regardless who built or knocked down any particular wall, Imperialism exists and you are a typical example of its noxious effects on the mind of an overeager adherent. Again, don't be so afraid of accurate language, you cannot hope to hide behind euphemisms and propaganda your whole life.

                Finally, of course, with you [and Page] it's not about facts, rationality, legality or even [fantasy] nuclear weapons, is it? It's all about your desperate ideology and its last flight forward into the Sick White Man's warmonglering wet-dream of PNAC'er world domination, even as the Empire is dying on its feet of clay. But it's never too late to wake up to the reality that these war-criminal liars you idolize, who arrogate themselves as Gods on Earth, are not administering justice but a busted flush.

                If you'd like to continue without us taxing this forum, contact me on warmonglers.welcome [AT] spambog [DOT] com

                1. jake Silver badge

                  @Matt Bryant & Knochen Brittle

                  You're both kooks. Take it to email, or get a room.

                  1. Anonymous Coward


                    What?! Take it to email? This is the best part of the article! For god's sake, gentlemen, have at it! Not only that, neither of you are right but both have significantly reasonable pointz, which makes it all even -better-!

                    I mean, really... El Reg ought to be running his stuff as a leader.

                    "1Take it to email." I -never-.

                2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                  RE: @ Bomber Bryant

                  Ah, too funny for words!

                  "I am gratified to learn you are less than amused, but stang, by my words....." No stinging, just the amusement. I've had harder debates with a five-year-old.

                  "....You are confused ~ I never mentioned airbags..." True, that was another member of the sheeple posting in this thread. I must apologise to him that I should grant you any original thought, especially seeing as it must have been quite a strain for him to come up with that one. On the other hand, I did ask you to disprove Mr Page's article, which you failed to do.

                  ".....I provided an informed and reliable source [Payvand] refuting his ludicrous propaganda...." Nope, Page's article is based around the weapon (are you contending that does not exist?) and it's likely uses given the recent UN report (or are you denying that report exists or its contents?). Your sources disprove nothing. A Wikileaks cable suggesting Amano is US-friendly does not disprove the UN report one iota. You also didn't read your own Christian Scientist article, because right at the bottom it says the technical nature of the report would make it hard for any bias on Amano's part to make any difference! The Wiki page for the Iranian nuke program includes the simple statement "The IAEA Board of Governors has found Iran in non-compliance with its NPT safeguards agreement", and then you quote an Iranian article about El Baradei's problems with US policy, neglecting to mention that the same article mentions Amano only hardened his tone over time! Please do tell how Mr Payvand is somehow a greater authority than the IAEA? In short, you have disproven nothing, only shown the shallowness of your case. "Asano is pro-American, therefore the whole UN report can be ignored!" Major fail!

                  "....What's an "innocent" industry..." Why aren't petrochemical plants required for Iran's top export - oil - being built under mountains? After all, if those nasty Yanks/Brits/Jews want to hurt Iran, they're bound to bomb the oil infrastructure, isn't that what the Ayatollah claims?

                  "....You are hilarious...." What's so hilarious about suggesting the Iranians should abide by their NNP Treaty obligations, allow inspections, and site their nuke power sites in the open where they can be checked by satellite? Oh, I see the funny bit - the chance the Iranians would agree! Especially as you're so certain they have nothing to hide, so why don't they allow the inspections? Of course, it couldn't be that Iran is looking at North Korea and seeing how they are making an income out of weapon programs, and fancy exporting nuke weapons to all those other not-so-nice dictatorships even Russia and China wouldn't sell them to...

                  " you're a tub-thumping racist...." Ah, slander and all! Please do point out any racist comment I have posted. By the way, Iran is a country, Iranian is a nationality, and Muslim is not a race either, so I'm pretty sure you're going to be on a hiding to nothing with any claim you make there, but please do try and make them all the same! I'm also pretty sure the forum moderator would block a racist post. So it looks like more evasions from you - losing the argument, can't answer the questions, just claim racism! Yet another fail.

                  " you concede that manufacturing medical radioisotopes is a civilian purpose...." You don't need the massive number of centrifuges being built by Iran to make the tiny number of medical isotopes required by Iranian medical research or hospitals, you could do that as you say with the existing equipment. In fact, you could openly buy any extra isotopes on the international market for a tiny fraction of the cost of all those centrifuges, let alone the immense cost of building nuke plants and centrifuges under mountains. That was less than weak, that was downright childish. Yet more fail!

                  "....Iran, with the help of Argentina, in 1993 converted this reactor to use the lower grade fuel...." They had to - no-one was willing to give them high-grade material, not even the Russians. But, your point is even more damning - if they can run on low-grade fuel, why do they need to process to a higher level at all, surely all they need to do is pay the Russians for a licence and build more low-grade stations? Then you can have one common design and all the power you need, without the West or anyone else getting alarmed. Oh, but then you couldn't make proper nuke weapons, only low-grade dirty bombs. Sorry, you fail again!

                  "....predicted in fiction by Kurt Vonnegut...." Really? And I though all your post was an original work of fiction! Bit sad that you're ripping off old Vonnegut, did you get an adult to read it to you? Me, I spend more time reading real World news and events and history, it helps with that whole grasp on reality thing you have problems with. Please do enjoy your works of fiction, just don't post your fiction here and think the rest of us will see them as anything more than fairytales.

                  "....Yes, your unbounded bravery..." I see you haven't supplied any details of any worthwhile action on your own part. By the way, I'm trying real hard to look surprised, honest!

                  "....regardless who built or knocked down any particular wall...." Hey, you started with the label-gun, don't expect others to not point out the stupidity in your chain of half-thought if you starting spraying labels all over the place!

                  "....Imperialism exists and you are a typical example of its noxious effects on the mind...." Now that is the genuine paranoia you get from Iranians, the leap to thinking that everyone is just itching to take over Iran and impose some form of Imperial slavery upon the poor Iranians. It has always made me smile, the number of even educated Iranians I work with that insist that Britain is desperate to regain imperial rule over Iran. To be honest, if the Iranians wanted to keep themselves to themselves I'd be quite happy to let them have all the low-grade nuke stations they could want. Even if they stayed being the beligerant, ranting, paranoid child of the Mid East, I'd still not begrudge them low-grade nuke stations as it could only improve their lives, and nothing is more likely to bring an end to the rule of the Ayatollahs like a bit of economic development. But I'm just not keen on them having access to nuke weapons. Nothing to do with imperialism. That's just you leaping to pat conclusions due to your own preconceptions, probably tainted also with more of the "can't win the argument so start the name-calling" reflex. So, just more fail on your part.

                  So, in summary - you haven't disproven anything in the article; the "sources" you supplied counter your own arguments; and you can't write a paragraph without wandering off into what looks like Robert Mugabe's fantasyland of imperialist whiteman's plots. You, sir, are the pinnacle of fail! You really are quite comic! I'm not surprised you want to take the discussion off-forum seeing as you have given so little in any form of argument here. To put it simply, put up or shut up, just try and include some facts in your next post.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: @Matt Sycophant

          Aw, that was almost amusing! Not bad, about the par for the typical, pre-grad, treehugger. Hopefully a few years in the real World may grant you more insight through experience.

          "....I note you have no defense for the lies of Mr Page, just a pathetic stab at diversion...." Nope, I expressly asked you to back up your rediculous idea of airbags, which I note you have not been able to do. Who's trying a bit of diversion now? Besides which, you haven't exposed any of Mr Page's piece as a "lie" at all. Please try harder.

          "....If your workplace were threatened with bombing by terrorist...." Strange, no other bulding is being buried under a mountain. Why aren't the Iranians - if they're so worried about attacks on "innocent" industries - burying anything else? Could it be they really don't care about the civillians that work in other "innocent" industries, just the ones that work in the "innocent" nuke power arena? Gee, I wonder why that is?

          "....Are you truly so obtuse as to not grasp that the mountain is a bomb-shelter, not containment?...." Surely the best way to ensure your civillian nuke program would not be bombed would to be to allow the IAEA inspectors the unhindered access the Iranians are actually bound to provide by the Non-Proliferation Traety they signed up to? Or, if your design was the innocent civillian nuke station you claimed it to be, surely having it out in the open where it could be independently verified would be the best idea? Of course, burying it under a mountain stops satellites taking shots of your military nuke program.....

          "....your inbred imperialist racism..." LOL! The start of a very predictable rant, replete with the usual empty accusations of white, racist mendacity! I haven't seen so much bilge in one paragraph since I read a translation of Mao's Little Red Book - what a hoot! Please, call me a "running dog lackey of the imperialists", just to really set the tone. To say you have patently lost the argument is demonstrated by your retreat to myopic presumptions and accusations.

          Simple new question for you - why not ask yourself why have the Iranians ALREADY refined uranium past the levels required for civilian nucleur power? I'm guessing you'll have just as evasive an answer as you did for the rediculous airbags idea. Please don't feel the need to reply, even though I'm sure it would be just as amusing as your last attempt, just spend the time more fruitfully in a little reading. You seem to have a lot to catch up on. Try some new titles outside the "I hate the US too much to see past my hatred" political arena, you will find it enlightening.

  24. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Yet more calm, rational behaviour from Tehran.....

    'Cos they are just all lovely, cuddly, misunderstood types, right? Must have been a different group of Iranian MPs voting to lower diplomatic ties with the UK then:

    "....Iranian radio reported some MPs chanted "Death to Britain" during the vote...."

    Yeah, I feel real happy at the idea of these people getting nuke weapons - NOT!

    /"All your infidel disco infernos belong to us!"

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