By Ismail Salami – Tehran
With over 2000 highly operational nuclear weapons already in the world, it seems ridiculously ironic to try to attribute global insecurity to Iranian nuclear energy program which the US, Israel and some western countries claim to include military purposes.
In a recent report, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) has published satellite imagery which it claims indicates ‘pink colored material’ covering a building at a sensitive military site in Iran which UN inspectors wish to visit. They claim the tarp at the Parchin military complex may be an effort to hide clean-up work. This think tank institute is run by David Albright who garnered extreme notoriety over the lies he spread about Iraq’s alleged WMDs.
In fact, it is widely believed that Mr. Albright’s ubiquitous lies infernally contributed to the outbreak of the US-led invasion of Iraq, wreaking a humanitarian havoc upon the country and claiming the lives of over one million Iraqis. In other words, Albright paved the way for US military aggression and an ongoing violence in Iraq. Crowned with duplicity of first water, Albright is now at the helm of a shadowy institute which works under the cloak of a think tank.
Prior to the outbreak of US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Albright held a string of interviews with different western media and argued that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. Several months before the war, he said in an interview with PBS, “I personally believe there's plenty of evidence for biological and chemical, and there's sufficient evidence to believe that there's a reconstituted nuclear weapons program. As an inspection attitude, I think you have to assume that they have more than what the evidence suggests, and that it's very important for inspectors to go in there with a very skeptical attitude and insist that the Iraqis prove them wrong.”
In another interview with CNN in 2002, Albright said, “In terms of the chemical and biological weapons, Iraq has those now. How many, how could they deliver them? I mean, these are the big questions.”
Unfortunately, Albright’s fictitious reports were deliberately and systematically cited in different western media which afforded Bush administration an excuse to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Now Albright is working as the president of an institute of a misleadingly sonorous name known as Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) which is more reminiscent of Pakistan intelligence agency (ISI). Clad in a different cloak, Albright is once again pursuing the same path of mischief he followed regarding Iraq.
These facts aside, what should really agitate international mind and perturb sensible people should include the states in possession of the myriad nuclear bombs across the world.
According to arms control website, these nuclear states are as follows:
• United States: Approximately 5,000 total warheads: 1,737 deployed strategic warheads, approximately 500 operational tactical weapons (some 200 deployed in Europe), and approximately 2,700 reserve warheads (active and inactive) in storage.
• Russia: Approximately 5,500 total warheads: 1,492 operational strategic warheads, approximately 2,000 operational tactical warheads (not deployed), and approximately 2,000 reserve warheads in storage.
• China: About 240 total warheads.
• France: Fewer than 300 operational warheads.
• United Kingdom: Fewer than 160 deployed strategic warheads, total stockpile of up to 225.
Add to the list India, Israel, and Pakistan which have never joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and have constantly refused to sign any related treaties whatsoever.
In addition to the aforementioned report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed in June that at the start of 2012, “eight states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel—possessed approximately 4400 operational nuclear weapons. Nearly 2000 of these are kept in a state of high operational alert. If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possess a total of approximately 19,000 nuclear weapons.”
According to the SIPRI, Israel possesses 80 highly operational nuclear warheads.
Israel, which follows a policy of nuclear ambiguity, never comments on its nuclear capabilities. However, they are widely known to possess 300 to 400 nuclear warheads with 80 of them in high operational alert according to SIPRI, that is, they are ready to fire. On the other hand, Germany has generously helped Israel develop its military nuclear capabilities. In fact, they were largely paid for by the German government for reasons only known to themselves. According to Spiegel, a German shipyard has already built three submarines for Israel in the northern German city of Kiel, and three more are planned. Israel is reportedly arming the submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. Funny enough, the German government has been aware of Israel's nuclear weapons program for years and commenced delivering the submarines in the full knowledge that they would equip them with nuclear missiles.
The idea that there are over 2000 highly operational nuclear weapons in the world is some beyond imagination. The definition of highly operation is that they can be shot at any desired time.
Given the destructive power of these nuclear weapons and the fact that they can easily bring the world to the brink of destruction if not to total chaos, the idea of a safe world is but absurdly grotesque. Even more grotesque is the fact that a number of the so-called international bodies lie through their teeth about Iran’s nuclear energy program which Iranian leaders vehemently enunciate are meant for only civilian purposes and shut their eyes to the potentially apocalyptic horror these weapons can unleash in the hands that hold them.
An inquisitive mind may ask: Why should Iran bear the brunt of nuclear crucifixion while there are already over 2000 highly operational nuclear bombs which are capable of plunging the world back into a state of the pre-creation cosmic blob?
- Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian writer, Middle East expert, Iranologist and lexicographer. He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his articles have been translated into a number of languages. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.