Iran should give up the mistaken belief that they will be allowed to get a nuclear bomb.
The countries that oppose Iran developing nuclear weapons have strengthened their alliance.
Iran hopes that Biden wins the election and that Joe restores looser terms and lifts sanctions.
Israel Can Hit Iran Without Midair Refueling if Basing From Bahrain
However, there is large economic and military capability in the normalized bloc with Israel, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and soon Saudi Arabia. The group could deliver prolonged airstrikes to stop Iran’s nuclear program even without US military support.
Israel would have significant logistical problems sending bombing runs to Iran. There would be airspace access issues and the need for refueling. The fuel issues would limit the duration that planes could stay over Iran.
Israel would be in combat range of Tehran if they could operate out of Bahrain or Dubai. The F15E Strike Eagle has a combat range of 792 miles. The F16I Sufa has a combat range of 851 miles. Iran’s nuclear facilities would mostly be less than 600 miles away.
The logistics and the combined military and economic forces will be able to defeat Iran in the event of actual military engagement. The normalized economic bloc will have superior economic growth. Over time Iran will continue to lose ground economically. The economic sanctions speed up the shrinking of Iran’s relative economic size compared to its middle east opponents.
Recent Damage to Iran’s Nuclear Facilities and Infrastructure
The US and Israel have used cyberattacks, economic sanctions, bombings and assassinations to derail the Iranian nuclear program.
In July, 2020 the Iranian Natanz nuclear complex was damaged by a powerful bomb. This was likely an Israeli operation. The damage at the nuclear fuel enrichment site has delayed Iran’s nuclear program by several months.
There have been dozens of events in Iran. There have been fires at industrial complexes, powerplants and warehouses in Iran.
There was an explosion at a missile production facility.
Iran’s Economic Situation
Iran’s currency is at its lowest value ever against the US dollar. It has fallen 30% since June amid severe U.S. sanctions imposed on Tehran. Money exchange shops traded the Iranian rial 262,000 for a dollar. Iran’s currency was at 32,000 rials to the dollar in 2015 when they had the nuclear deal.
The economic sanctions have brought Iran’s GDP from about $600 billion to $410 billion.
Iran is exporting around 600,000 barrels of oil per day. This is down from over 3.5 million barrels per day when sanctions were lifted in 2015.
Platt Analytics projected that Iran would get back to 1.8 million barrels per day at the end of 2021 if Joe Biden becomes president of the USA. It is expected that Biden would restore a nuclear deal.
If Trump wins a second term, analysts believe that Iran would give up within a year or two and negotiate a new deal that would lockdown their nuclear program.
Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US and other oil-producing countries will not make it easy for Iran to win back any oil market share even if sanctions are lifted.
SOURCES- Sp Global, NY Times, Wikipedia
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
82 thoughts on “Middle East Endgame With Iran Contained”
The Stanford Prison Experiment was a fraud.
There is an answer to nuclear proliferation. The US and any other country who will follow should announce that any new country that shows it has a nuclear weapon will the nuked into oblivion. I stated to colleagues that the US should nuke North Korea fourteen years ago. If it had been done they would not be a threat to anyone now. This would make sure Iran would comply and then sanctions could be removed.
wow the start of that article is in the style of current propaganda. was kinda hoping this site was going to stay more neutral then that.
I've seen no evidence that Brian is for assassinations, but even so, isn't killing a leader of your enemy better than killing thousands of mostly innocent soldiers? Lives being worth something and all that….
More bad news for the ayatollah. Despite strenuous government efforts to make the Iranian currency stronger, it has fallen to a record low value compared to the U.S. dollar; 262,000 rials per dollar. Back in August 2019 Iran issued new currency that was supposed to deal with the enormous inflation and the bad reputation the rial had acquired. For example, in August 2019 it cost 120,000 rials to buy a dollar. The new currency, the toman, made that 12 toman to the dollar. The toman was what some Iranian currency was called for a long time, until 1925. Many Iranians still use the term. The exchange rate has since gotten worse. Now you need over 26 toman to buy a dollar. Back in 2015 a dollar could be had for 3.2 toman. The current foreign exchange crises is largely due to exporters of non-oil goods keeping about half the money they receive outside the country. That is a good business decision because that money is safer from government corruption if it is kept in foreign banks.
I like how you completely ignore Iran's actions. Ignore away all you want. The days of the Ayatollahs are numbered. Rant against the US, blah, blah, blah. In the end the Iranian people will rise up and overthrow the mullahs!
The Soviet Union lasted 72 years. Their East European client states lasted 44. Interestingly, the USSR didn't face significant opposition from its own people until they opened the door to democracy. OTOH, the mullahs in Iran have been around for 41. Course they would have been out of power by now if they respected their own electoral process. Same with Maduro. Instead they rig the votes and shoot anyone who protests. They are hated more and more each day by their own populace. And you think that these two regimes are going to last? Time is on my side. all I have to do is sit back and let the corruption and tyranny of these two regimes do my work for me. Like all tyrannies they will eventually collapse of their own incompetence and cruelty.
Ah yes, the so called Arab Peace Initiative which Oslo Agreement negotiator Joel Singer said after the Beirut Summit "the major problem with it is that it called upon Israel to do a series of things and there was no call upon the Palestinians to stop terrorism". My favorite part was that which would have required Israel to allow the "right of return" of millions of muslim arabs. Of course there was no reciprocal offer of right of return to all the Jews that got thrown out of the Arab states in the 50s. And both Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran all rejected the initiative. So in other words, not a peace initiative but rather just more lies and subterfuge.
Iran has never invaded anyone since the 1800s???? Then what are doing in Syria and Yemen? Why are they funding Hezbollah and Hamas? Why are they still calling for the destruction of Israel?
The US has invaded tens of them? Ah yeah, we invaded France in 1944 to liberate it from the Nazis. We fought our way across the Pacific to defeat Japanese aggression. We defended Korea from a communist invasion. Liberated Kuwait from Saddam, then got rid of him and helped Iraq build a democracy. Bad, bad US – how dare we fight for freedom and democracy!
You know good Arabs? Regardless of whether Arabs are good or bad, the palestinian struggle to destroy the state of Israel is a crime against humanity. So is the Iranian Regime. Call me any name you want. It doesn't change the facts.
Has any one ever wonder how North Korea got nukes? Well, it was pretty easy. They got a small reactor build, bought some enriched uranium to operated the reactor. And then extracted the Plutonium.
This is why I know the Iranians are not interest in nuclear bombs. They are going about it the hard way. What the Iranians want is nuclear power, not bombs. If they want bombs they would just do what North Korea did. There are plenty of place to hid small reactors where the US and Israel can bomb them like under a girls sleep away school. And plenty of countries to buy enriched uranium from like Russia, China, and India.
See, the question should be determined by UL, not gov.
He just apologized, so I'm backing off the poor guy.
Janov observed years ago, after I was libertarian BTW, that people who had succeeded in Primal Therapy had a "live and let live" attitude, and were competent at meeting their own needs. I'm sure he had no idea of libertarian at that time, as it was 1970. Also, mystics, power addicts, theocrats, glad to not be like that, quite satisfied!
I'm sure the acting secretary must mean they use the scientific method instead of sticking their finger in the air to see which way the political winds are blowing. Which is the proper way to decide such things. /s
Why are you so satisfied? Inquiring minds and all that …
NK has not been attacked not because they have nukes but because their sponsor is right next door and would strenuously object.
You don't need to take all of Iran to get their oil. Their oil fields sit right next to Iraq.
Sure, they sell oil to china.
A democrat administration would greatly increase the risk of a war with Iran before or after sleepy joe abdicates.
Yes, the US has been nuking countries all over the planet for decades. I can't wait until we drop the next few. Google Pax Americana. The US has been THE stabilizing factor for the planet since 1945. You may not like the outcome, but irrational it is not.
Iran has a theology around the 13th Imam that compels them to create mayhem and bloodshed. The Imam will only appear during an apocalyptic scenario. A nuke could create the scenario they are waiting for. Rational people make rational decisions. Much of the Islamic faith is not rational. Would you blow yourself up for 72 virgins? The funny thing is, there is nothing in the Koran which says you get 72 virgins for suicide bombings. Irrational theology and irrational people plus nukes don't go well together.
Israel has used Arab airspace in the past with and without their permission. These countries give tacit approval to Israel if they agree with the military objective. They can always condemn Israel after an airstrike to placate their own people. With the new climate I would guess this kind of approval will still occur.
That may be an amelioration, but not a *cure*, by any means. I don't disagree with your idea, it is just on a different time scale than power addiction or theocracy/mysticism. I regard these as one thing, from the move from clans to tribes until now, just adding more tools with "when and where" language, then, even worse, writing. Without removing the repression, it is still there. History, for example. Not all that good!
Eh, I'm still saving the popcorn for when Turkey bumps up against Iran.
The cure for oppressive political states is for the free world to start placing high tariffs (15 to 100%) on all imports from nations that are not free and democratic and who abuse human rights (China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.). This should be coupled with extremely low tariffs (1% to 10%) on imports from nations that are free and democratic and who respect human rights.
Lecturing nations about human rights abuses while continuing full and free trade with them is simply hypocrisy. And it almost always comes back to haunt you!
Nothing like a death cult having nuclear weapons eh?
I don't get the sense that Brian's anger over CA is because of his wallet. Rather he appears to have legitimate concerns about the way the state has mismanaged its energy system and its forests. One has only to look at the satellite pics of the state to see that something is definitely amiss there.
The days of the Ayatollah Regime in Iran are numbered. They are Nazi's in mullah garb. Maduro and his thugs are the same, except they are communist totalitarian autocrats instead of religious totalitarian autocrats. I look forward to you coming back here again and again so we can both celebrate when they get overthrown by their own countrymen.
What palestinian group has ever offered Israel a peace deal? Pls cite the person and/or organization he/she represented and the year it was offered. I distinctly remember the 1990 Oslo Accords which the Palestinian Authority destroyed when they launched a wave a terrorist attacks on Israel.
Why are Arab dictators afraid of Iran? Simple, Iran is attacking them. They are a threat to every Sunni country in the Middle East and to any democracy. A threat to democracy in Lebanon. They are ethically cleansing Sunnis in Syria. They are arming and financing the Shiite side in the war in Yemen. Which by the way is launching rockets into Saudi Arabia. They are also trying to form Hezbollah like terrorist militias in Iraq. they've certainly attempted to control the Iraqi government and have shot Iraqi protestors.
I am definitely thinking with my head. It's not hard to follow the facts.
Like I said, the issue is 232 contamination. Not only is it co-produced with 233, just sitting there on the shelf, (Or in the bomb pit!) some of the 233 will turn into 232 spontaneously.
It's not that the 232 prevents the 233 from working as a bomb. But it has such a short half life (And so do most of its daughter products.) that it makes the 233 too radioactive to work with directly, it has to be handled with remote manipulators.
How about talking to the average Iranian citizen. You know, the ones on the street protesting the regimes rampant corruption and incompetence?
Perhaps if the regime wasn't exporting jihad in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip they wouldn't need to be freaked out.
Also, I would be freaked out too if I felt so insecure that I had to murder my own citizens who are protesting govt tyranny and corruption, and steal elections by disqualifying anyone who doesn't buy the "Shiites Shall Rule the Earth" ideology
In 10-20 years the ayatollahs will be kaput.
1) You mean those palestinians dedicated to genociding Israel?
2) If so, then why have they cut funding to Hezbollah and their mercs in Syria?
"Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department
of Health and Human Services, also said without evidence that the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention was harboring a “resistance unit”
determined to undermine President Trump." NYT. That's also hilarious, as are a lot of socialists' rants, right wing or left, to a libertarian such as myself.
Trump's Middle Eastern policies are a– clear victory– for Russia, China, Syria and Iran. So Trump's policies are effective only if you consider Trump as an agent for Russia, China, Syria and Iran.
The Iranian leadership considers Trump to be– pretty much insane (just like a majority of the American people and the majority of people in the free world). So they obviously won't be making any new deals with the US until Trump is out of office.
Shia Iran doesn't need nuclear weapons to protect itself from Israel or its hostile Sunni neighbors (Sunni fanatics have committed most of the terrorist acts in the world– not Shia Muslims). Iran just needs a whole lot of– commercial nuclear reactors– distributed practically all over the country in order to make attacking it untenable.
So any hostile neighbors that dared to attack commercial nuclear reactors in Iran would be viewed by the region and the rest of the world as endangering the regional environment and the environment of the world (the Chernobyl Syndrome).
With strong allies in China and Russia, Iran should be making deals with China and Russia to start building commercial nuclear reactors in Iran– on a massive scale. This will allow Iran to move from a fossil fuel economy to a nuclear economy that produces domestic carbon neutral electricity and carbon neutral synthetics fuels that it could export to the rest of the world.
Trump should sell Israel bunker buster bombs that Bush refused before he leaves office.
Revolutionary Iran delenda est.
Wow, Lukka, without you I would have never known Trump was a liar, an idiot and a failure. Keep up the good work.
Too many mis-assumptions and projections in there to try to unwind. I'll let you play with those.
Netanyahu is a war pig.
Iran is sitting there, looking at the US bowl over Iraq and Afghanistan, looking at rising Israeli power, looking at the Saudis…if you were in their position, you'd be freaked out as well, wanting some form of protection for your country.
An alt-right blog? No kidding. For a science and tech site, it's just bizarre to deal with . But NBF isn't really the former, it's just a 'whatever it takes to protect my money' conservative finance site masquerading as a science/tech site. Look closely, especially at the Califoria ranting, Brian only cares about his wallet.
I mostly agree, although I suspect that Saudi Arabia already has access to the Pakistani nukes if they need them. They have had a very cozy military relationship for decades – and money talks. No need to develop indigenous capability when you have a reliable, deniable access.
I guess Obama just didn't have the stones to make it happen.
It remains very satisfying to be a lifelong libertarian.
My thesis is that Trump has a slightly higher chance to win than Biden. I think that betting odds are better than polls to predict the outcome.
Polls are paid for by someone, betting odds are not. If the betting firm are "off" in *either* direction, it looses money statisticaly speaking. Not so for the polster.
Do you understand?
Well… not that anyone has admitted to, anyway.
They're not short on U235. They were nominally limited on how much they could enrich the uranium, but I say 'nominally', because without feet on the ground there wasn't any way to enforce that.
U233 would actually complicate things for a variety of reasons, such as contamination with U232; You'd have to isotopically separate it anyway, and it would recontaminate itself over time.
So I expect they'd just go with a U235 bomb.
Do you not understand that the last three paragraphs of your comment have no bearing on the election? In modern politics, facts don't matter.
As to the arguments in your first paragraph, except for the first sentence specifically about Biden, everything else you said applied equally well in 2016, didn't it? Remind me how that election came out.
You make it sound like there is a massive difference between Biden getting elected or Trump. But, in both cases, they are assuming a deal that stops the development of a bomb by Iran.
There could be a deal in either case. However, I highly doubt the bomb development will actually cease…it will just move underground…out of reach. I suspect half the stuff Israel blows up is mock-ups designed to look enticing in satellite images.
But even if they had it, it would not be used unless things change is some very dramatic way.
Trump is seriously asking for Biden to have a drug test before the debate. Trump cannot form a complete sentence, his previous debates revolved around one liners. He just tosses around folksy sayings because his supporters eat it up. If you gave them a complex argument with actual numbers and facts they just give you a blank stare than repeat one of his anecdotes.
Somewhere, at sometime in the past, the Conservatives pretended to care about national debt and deficit spending. The last 6 presidents, only one was an actual fiscal conservative, Bill Clinton, a Democrat. Starting with Bush 2 we began a debt climb, Obama in his second term actually was managing to reign it in. Obama could have pulled the same junk as Trump to spur the stock market, but managing debt was a higher priority for him. Plus the GOP managed to reduce GDP growth by nearly 0.5% under Obama when they forced Government shutdowns to force what they wanted because SCOTUS shut them down on the ACA.
Almost every time the GOP resorts to scare tactics once a Moderate Democrat is selected to run. They claim the sky will fall and it never does. In fact, when really bad stuff does happen, its always the GOP in charge.
The economy is most stable (since Eisenhower) when the US has a Democrat as president, a Democrat Senate and a slightly Republican House. Republican control leads to a quick boom and bust. This is fact, just look at deficits and GDP growth and who is controlling what over the last 60 years.
Well, North Korea has been behind the "shield" of China so anyone trying to seriously bomb them would have to deal with their "protector". This is not true of Iran.
China doesn't want North Korea to actually launch nukes on anyone, but the do want North Korea acting crazy enough to keep USA distracted while they keep expanding into the local area..
How do betting odds support you possition? Could not find a poll that told you want you want to hear?
And how do you know to what degree the clergy is driven by self interest and by religious fervor? You seem to think that they are just playing a charade to get money. But how do you know? Could it be 50/50? Or 80/20? Or 20/80?
Why do you need to "go down the fusion rabbit hole" to miniaturize?
A ball of 17 cm diameter suffices for U-235, which is what Iran is enriching for their "civilian" program. Bigger than a softball but smaller than an american football.
So lets say you need 40 cm diameter with explosives to keep the uranium from getting too hot while waiting for the deployment.. Do you seriously think this is too big for a missile?
You dead wrong about the computer power. All Iran needs to do is to smuggle a handful of Nvidia graphics cards into the country, and they have all the computational power they need. For a couple of thousand bucks they would get a 36 terraflops  GE RTX 3090. Sure, double precision is much worse, but you still get terraflops.
For comparison, the most powerful computer in the world 2002 could manage 35.6 terraflops…
Obviously, computational power is not an issue here…. Unless you believe that the US military keeps track of every graphics card on the planet….
That's pretty stupid…
Iran has 84 million inhabitants. Nobody will want to invade them, nukes or no nukes, since occupying Iran would be a pure nightmare. Probably tens of thousands of suicide bombers.
And if you don't want to occupy them, why would you want to invade them? Destroy infrastructure? Well, you can do that by bombing, right?
Miniaturization can be accomplished with tritium boosting, sure. But the smallest pure fission bombs are quite possible to launch on rockets these days.
And if all you want to do is smuggle a bomb into a foe's capitol in pieces, and detonate it at ground level to turn the place into a radioactive mess? A simple gun type fission bomb is all you need.
"Iran", or more accurately, the people who make up the Iranian regime, have a complicated set of wants. Top of their list is to maintain their personal lives and positions of authority and privilege. They play a high-tension chess game while trying to figure out which moves place themselves at greatest risk.
We wish. Try googling "nuclear artillery".
I like that. Do you have citations you can provide?
I believe that what could functionally be described as a "power addiction" =can be= a "mental illness" (in the sense of neuro-chemistry, funky wiring or bad code). I also believe that "normal" human psychology has room for what might be called "power addiction". Exercising power is pleasurable to many people. Monkey-brain will to dominance is pretty much wired in. The Stanford Prison Experiment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment) showed that it's right below the surface. At the same time, I believe that it should be fairly clear to most people that taking pleasure from being abusive toward others is at minimum an "ethical illness". However, apparently a large percentage of the voters in the US have not figured that out.
The upshot being you need to at least go down the fusion rabbit hole if you want to miniaturize your warheads and if you want warheads that can fit onto a delivery vehicle then you need to miniaturize them.
Fusion bombs need testing, at least for countries that haven't got enough testing results available to verify their models.
Fission bombs are so dirt simple nobody has ever failed to get one to blow up on the first try.
Trump's middle east policy has proven so effective, that you now have Democrats talking about how the Nobel Peace Prize should be discontinued. That's hilarious.
In the long run, Primal Science will destroy them all, leaving only libertarians and mental incompetents.
The cure for power addiction, esp theocracy, is known. Primal Therapy. Otherwise, until the power addicts are seen by most, and their children in particular, as mentally ill, things will continue as they have for 7 million years. The one best effective *excuse* for removing a power addict is the realization s/he is mentally ill. A knowledge that is now both certain and 50 years old.
No, you can't have a nuclear device without buliding it and testing it, even if you had computational power (which Iran obviously does't have).
There were never theocracies in Europe, except the Papal states and some small and short lived exceptions. Examples from Middle ages don't count anyway. You can go just that far against the grain. Sooner or later it will blow.
At that point it makes no sense for Iran to pursue nuclear warheads. They must be out of their heads to do so.
It is charming how USA politicians and more concerned with potential nuclear ambitions on the other side of the globe, while they have very unstable trigger-happpy red psychos developing nukes under their noses.
If North Korea can build it then so can Iran.
Iran has demonstrated a proven technological capability in building military equipment. Do note that atomic weapons are 1940s tech.
Both of those. Nobody's totting up the odds on invading China or Russia. India and China conduct their border skirmishes with fists and sticks, just to make sure nobody gets the wrong idea.
First off, technology has improved enormously since the Manhattan project. You can simulate explosives that are used to compress the fissile material. Most likely, you don't have to perform any experiment what so ever. I think any industrialized nation could do it pretty easily once it would have highly enriched uranium/plutonium.
Second, you are very naive about regimes falling because "20th century". All we know is that democracies *can* last at least a few hundred years. We also know that theocracies *can* last several hundred years (catholic church in Europe). So we have secular democracies, theocracies and secular dictatorships in the world. Who is to say which of these will fall and which will prevail in the long run?
Exactly what stupid things do you think would be prevented by Iran having nukes? Israel invading Iran…? USA invading Iran…? Please elucidate us..
You write as if the Biden election was a done deal. I don't think so, even though I have to admit that Biden has a fair chance. The odds are – literally – on Trump to be re-elected . If Biden is forced to participate in a live debate then it's game over for his presidential run. We will see if they manage to hide Biden until after election day…
Once Iran gets the bomb, the Saudis will soon follow:
"It is not known to have attempted to develop nuclear arms on its own but has reportedly invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects.
In 2013, Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, told a conference in Sweden that if Iran got the bomb, "the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.""
What is the evidence that Iran still tries to obtain nukes? You know, it is slow process, requires a lot of experimental BOOOMS! and facilities, much more than uranium enrichment. See N. Korea for example.
Just saying "Iran wants the bomb" is not convincing. It would be political suicide for them and the regime. Nor China, nor Russia will like it. Makes no sense at all.
I think it is pretty clear that Israel and SA are trying to involve USA in their local spats, using false pretexts. The regime in Iran is on decline anyway. It should either fall after the dead of the current ayatollah or reform. It is too 20th century now.
Uhh China already has the bomb.
You better hope Biden wins. The sooner Iran gets their hands on a bomb the better off everyone will be. Nothing like a nuke to keep irrational people from chronically doing stupid things.
Iran wanted the bomb they'd have it by now.
Israel plans for bombing Iran nuclear facilities are based mostly on the Jericho 3 precise massive ballistic missile with a new warhead chemistry. As far as using fighter jets they don't wait for the gulf state to join or their approval to use their airstrips, not even their air space. Israel has developed its own refueling in the air capabilities and plans to fuel its fighter jets once they reach cruising height still in its own airs apace.
Biden will make a deal with Iran once he gets elected, but the terms will be better, maybe even reasonable, as Iran is in a worse position that it was at the time of the last deal. Hopefully that will be the end of it. Netanyahu in his long tenure never went to a big war.
Well yes Biden will put the old agreement back in place and Iran will only be 6 years from getting the bomb (under the terms of the original agreement).
"Iran should give up the mistaken belief that they will be allowed to get a nuclear bomb". It is easy to make such a statement regarding Iran. Replace Iran with China and imagine how stupid this may sound.
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