Iran can easily smuggle nuclear uranium into the US through these busy shipping ports

The Iranian government has a consistent record of lying at every opportunity, according to Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

They have been hiding a clandestine fledgling nuclear weapons program for twenty years and have lied about its existence year after year. Even now, when faced with irrefutable evidence, they continue to lie about their nuclear development.

It is much easier to build a nuclear bomb with uranium than plutonium, so uranium is much more likely to be the material of choice by terrorist countries, i.e. Iran.

Uranium is comparatively easy to mine in its natural form, U-238. The problem is that to build a bomb, you need U-235, a very rare isotope that has to be separated out of the U-238. Less than one percent of the uranium you pull out of the ground is U-235, and that makes it very difficult to purify, or enrich it. Enriching uranium is a daunting, technologically difficult problem.

Uranium enrichment

Unfortunately, Iran has solved this problem. They have built centrifuges that are used to separate the heavier U-238 from the U-235, thus enriching it to weapons grade uranium.

Iran frequently claims that they are merely enriching uranium to use in their nuclear power plants and for cancer treatment. That is total hogwash, because enriching uranium for power plants and for nuclear weapons is the same procedure, using the same centrifuges. It is a wonder that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can even say it with a straight face, since Iran has admitted to deceiving nuclear inspectors for 17 years.

For years the Islamic regime of Iran has been blatantly operating a uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But the Isfahan facility has now been eclipsed by two nuclear plants in central Iran, one in Arak and one in Natanz, which were disguised as “anti-desert erosion plants.” They are actually the heart of a secret nuclear weapons production program.

The Arak plant is a heavy water reactor which is being used for plutonium production. The uranium enrichment facility at Natanz site is a large gas centrifuge plant which is being used to produce weapons grade uranium. The Natanz site is a particular concern, because it has been in operation since 2006 and has nearly 8,000 working centrifuges.

iran nuclear weapons
The Natanz facility has been in operation since 2006 and has nearly 8,000 working centrifuges

The Natanz plant was built underground, like the new uranium enrichment facility near Fordo. The Fordo centrifuges are more efficient and are producing 20% enriched uranium, which is much easier to convert for weapons grade nuclear warheads.

Weapons grade uranium is 90% pure.

The Fordo centrifuge laboratory is basically a hardened tunnel deep underground, surrounded by air defense missile batteries. The facility is shielded from satellite surveillance and protected from airstrikes by 300 feet of solid rock. Fordo was a top secret installation in Iran until its discovery by intelligence sources in September 2009.

How many other secrets is Iran hiding?

Negotiating with Iran

In 2005, a new type of roadside mine was killing US and British soldiers serving in Iraq, even penetrating armored vehicles. It was discovered that these mines were manufactured exclusively in Iran.

President Bush sent a private warning to Iran to stop this behavior immediately. Iran rather boldly responded that they would stop killing our soldiers in Iraq if we would let them continue unabated with their nuclear enrichment program.

The counteroffer was ignored, and Iran made it clear that if it was attacked, Iranian allies in Iraq would keep killing our soldiers. President Ahmadinejad afterwards made a speech in which he declared that “nuclear power is our absolute right!”

Soon after, the British government refused to endorse American policy or any military action against Iran.

In 2006, the US offered Iran the unspeakably stupid concession of “centrifuges for research.” As we know, enriching uranium for bombs and for “research” is the same process. Ahmadinejad was initially against the proposal, suspecting a trap. The two sides came together in New York during the UN General Assembly.

Iran would agree to temporarily suspend enrichment, and the western powers would agree to temporarily suspend sanctions. But Ahmadinejad arrived in New York with much pomp and circumstance, announcing at the General Assembly that there would be absolutely no compromise. Iran proceeded with its uranium enrichment program, and the west proceeded with its laughable sanctions.

Bunker busters

In 1981, Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor to stop Saddam Hussein from developing nuclear weapons.

In 2007, Israeli forces took out a Syrian nuclear reactor. Israel officials have said that defense forces are already practicing for a strike on the Iranian plants. Israel purchased 500 special “bunker buster” bombs in September of 2004. But it is doubtful that even these specialized bombs can puncture the 300 feet of solid rock protecting the Iranian centrifuge labs at Fordo.

GBU-57BIn January 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon has requested a 30,000 pound bunker buster, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator.

This bomb is designed specifically to deploy against these Iranian centrifuge labs.

About $330 million has been spent on the project so far, and the Pentagon has requested an additional $82 million for improvements, because it is doubtful if the bomb in its current form would have any effect on the Fordo labs. They are simply too deep and well protected.

Delivery systems

Missiles of Iran
Missiles of Iran

Iran has also developed the missiles necessary to deliver their nuclear weapons. On January 2, 2012, Iran proudly announced that they had successfully test-fired two long range missiles in the Gulf.

Israel suspects that Iran now has a missile with a range of 6,000 miles- long enough to reach the United States.

On February 3, 2012 Iran launched a satellite into orbit which now circles the earth 15 times a day. The major concern is that the missile which carried the satellite into orbit, the Safir, could also be used as an intercontinental ballistic missile.

[Tweet “On February 3, 2012 Iran launched a satellite into orbit which now circles the earth 15 times a day. #SHTF”]

Mother of modern terrorism

Iran has been called the “mother of modern terrorism.” Since they took control of Iran in the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iranian Muslims have killed more Americans in terror attacks than anyone besides Al Qaeda.

The 911 Commission Report found clear links between Iran and Al Qaeda. Iran financially supports a variety of terrorist cells, most notably Hezbollah, which trained Al Qaeda operatives during the 1990’s.

Porter Goss, former CIA Director, believes that Iran is still harboring Al Qaeda fugitives today.

Terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda have access to nuclear bomb materials through a variety of terrorist-friendly sources including Iran and Pakistan.

If they could gather about 60 pounds of enriched uranium to make one crude nuclear device, it would be relatively easy to sneak it across the porous borders of the United States.

That bomb would have about the same disastrous effects as the one dropped on Hiroshima. It would wipe out an area of nearly two miles across in a microsecond, and would begin dropping radioactive fallout almost immediately. If the terrorists chose New York City, for example, the bomb could easily kill a million people and turn the site into a radioactive wasteland.

enough.boatIt would be easy to smuggle highly enriched uranium (HEU) into the United States through these busy shipping ports. If the HEU were hidden in a lead pipe with lead caps on each end, the radiation detectors at normal settings would have to be a couple of inches away to even detect it at all. If the detectors were set to extremely high sensitivity, there are a variety of common goods which would continually cause them to give false alarms, including ceramics, ores, stones, biological materials, televisions, chemical products, kitty litter, and many others.

It doesn’t take much HEU to make a nuclear weapon- 25 grams, about the size of a grapefruit. So all a terrorist would have to do is place 25 grams of HEU in a lead pipe and hide it in a shipping container full of kitty litter.

It may very well be that simple.

One Reply to “Iran can easily smuggle nuclear uranium into the US through these busy shipping ports”

Comments are closed.