Blogger John Galt picks up this story from the Austrian newspaper Wiener Zietung:
North Korea detonated two secret tests of atomic warheads with highly enriched uranium in 2010, according to a German press report. The newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported with reference to western security circles, as some secret services assumed that the government in P’yongyang at least one of these tests had carried out for the Iranians. This would mean that Teheran, with North Korean aid, has constructed and already tested an atomic warhead. According to the newspaper Welt am Sonntag, this assumption is based on data of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
Nothing but nothing will get Iran’s media and academic apologists to admit that the mullahs are pursuing a nuclear weapon. Their newest semantic trick is to post up on the word “building” and insist that the Iranians aren’t physically constructing a bomb, which is silly inasmuch as of course it’s true. They’re merely building all the parts that go into creating a nuclear weapon – detonators, warheads, highly enriched nuclear material – and when those are finished, then they’ll assemble them all together.
But the apologists are part of a coordinated campaign to downplay the Iranian threat. They’ve got their talking points, and they’re going to push them. And – when Iran does go nuclear – these self-styled experts will transition seamlessly to insisting that Iran will never use the nuclear weapons that they said Iran was never going to build.
Meanwhile, the administration is misleading the public about Iran’s hegemonic intentions and regional posture, according to the inside-baseball security bulletin NightWatch:
The U.S. spokesman said there was nothing particularly noteworthy about the latest deployment of the warships. That statement is not accurate because the Iranians showed they are prepared to use military power, such as it is, in support of their allies. That is not a trivial demonstration of intent. The navy’s execution seems to have fallen short, but the leadership’s intention is clear, which is backed up by the decision to cut crude exports to France and the UK. Iranian threats look serious, never mind that they also are potentially suicidal.
The hope, of course, is that the administration is just being disingenuous. The president’s bumbling diplomacy has resulted in an Iran that’s able to deploy warships on behalf of allies and a regional situation amenable to same. So the White House obviously has an interest in waving that away.
But there’s always the possibility they really do believe having Iranian ships deployed in the eastern Mediterranean on behalf of Syria is just how things are. That would be worrisome. The next step after helping allies is targeting enemies, and Iran has already threatened to use its naval assets to start a war with Israel. So it would be better if the White House does in fact understand the significance of Iran’s naval deployments, is planning accordingly, and is just lying to the rest of us about it.