Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

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Matticus13
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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#21 Post by Matticus13 » Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:04 am

Octavious wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:53 pm
Matticus13 wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:29 pm
The strategy works wonders for North Korea.
You think so? I'm not convinced nuclear weapons have achieved anything for North Korea other than more deaths due to starvation and poverty. China guaranteed the regime's survival, combined with half a century of not invading anyone. Take China out of the picture and my bet is that North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons would have increased the odds of invasion, not reduced it. The Iranians are more intelligent and have been working on an effective method of delivery as the priority, but even so there will be a period of time in which Iran will be both vulnerable to conventional attack and too much of a threat to ignore. Iran don't have a China
The Kim regime is still in place, and while the nuclear weapons cause economic hardship (through sanctions) for common folk, upper management still lives in luxury. China has been rumored to prefer to install thier own puppet dictator several times. Hasn't happened yet. Are the nukes a deterrent for them as well? Hard to quantify really, but the nukes factor in, no doubt.

Since Iran lacks a "China" currently, nukes would be the best deterrent of enemies of all sizes (especially Israel and Saudi Arabia). The potential downfall of such a strategy is that the economic consequences put enough pressure on the common folk that they attempt to overthrow the government. It seems more likely to happen in a nation such as Iran vs NK.

They appear to be in a very tight spot. I don't see them backing down, yet they are doing their best to avoid all out war with Israel (because they can't win). Theoretically, leadership could accept a *massive stimulus* to lay down arms. But, they would have to accept a lesser role in the Middle East. Rarely can those in power swallow that pill. Pride is certainly one of the deadliest sins...

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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#22 Post by Octavious » Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:28 am

Do you not agree that nukes are only a deterrent in an established system with an effective method of delivery? When you are in the very early stages, where your effective arsenal can be counted on the fingers of one hand if you're lucky, or not yet counted at all, then it's less a deterrent and more a target painted on your back. Like a criminal reaching for a gun, there's a short period of time before you can pick it up and aim where the gun doesn't give you any tactical advantage but does give the police a hell of a good reason to shoot you.

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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#23 Post by orathaic » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:03 am

Yes Oct, that is a great analogy. Except they aren't criminals and Israel isn't the police.

Maybe wild west would be more appropriate...
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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#24 Post by Octavious » Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:30 am

I would have thought that your recent stance against the police would have made you an enthusiastic supporter of such an analogy :smirk:

Regardless, it was the power dynamic rather than any sense of moral authority that it was intended to illustrate. Not sure if there's a good Western equivalent, although feel free to offer one up.

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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#25 Post by orathaic » Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:56 pm

NB: see also my latest link in the Armenia thread, mainly because it is discussing the relative power of Russia in the region...
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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#26 Post by Matticus13 » Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:49 pm

Octavious wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:28 am
Do you not agree that nukes are only a deterrent in an established system with an effective method of delivery? When you are in the very early stages, where your effective arsenal can be counted on the fingers of one hand if you're lucky, or not yet counted at all, then it's less a deterrent and more a target painted on your back. Like a criminal reaching for a gun, there's a short period of time before you can pick it up and aim where the gun doesn't give you any tactical advantage but does give the police a hell of a good reason to shoot you.


I see where you're coming from, and agree that it potentially gives Israel/Saudi Arabia/USA an excuse to justify an invasion.The assassinations of officials have escalated. They may feel an invasion attempt is inevitable regardless.

On delivery method, perhaps there is an alternative/unconventional means to deploy smaller warheads. I have almost no knowledge of such things, but maybe via drone/vehicle. They *might* be able to hide something of that nature and it would require less development.
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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#27 Post by RoganJosh » Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:59 pm

Might also be good to remember that the Iran nuclear program also involves them developing their nuclear power plants. Wether nuclear weapons is a byproduct or the primary reason for the program, feel free to speculate. But they're not gonna back down from the program unless they're compensated for not developing nuclear power.

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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#28 Post by Octavious » Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:39 pm

RoganJosh wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:59 pm
Might also be good to remember that the Iran nuclear program also involves them developing their nuclear power plants. Wether nuclear weapons is a byproduct or the primary reason for the program, feel free to speculate. But they're not gonna back down from the program unless they're compensated for not developing nuclear power.
Is it good to remember that? The British nuclear power industry was created primarily so it could provide weapons grade material, as was North Korea's, and pretty much every other nuclear weapons power. That's one of the reasons there were so many near (and actual) disasters. It takes a very strenuous exercise in giving the benefit of the doubt to assume Iran is any different. Besides, what is the logical basis in compensating a nation for forcing them to choose cheaper energy production technologies?

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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#29 Post by orathaic » Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:06 pm

It takes a very strenuous exercise in giving the benefit of the doubt to assume Iran is any different
You mean like Germany or Japan?

I don't know why you'd mention. Britain or NK since India and Pakistan are the most relevant examples.

The point is developing civilian nuclear power is a right granted under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (the nuclear weapons powers are supposed to provide technical help in exchange for them not making weapons). And this treaty failed to prevent India from making the (relatively short leap) from civilian power to weapons grade material. Because the whole process is built around weapons development in the first place (though now that I think about it the US did take the British research and then refuse to share it back with the Brits - possible because of espionage risk - but British scientists who worked with the Americans were readily able to repeat the work, if only after Soviet scientists were able to copy /steal the technology...)

Back to the general point, there is no way India can accept a treaty where China has nuclear weapons and they don't, but once India has weapons Pakistan is placed in the same position... The only way to get China to disarm would be to get Russia and the US to disarm... Iran isn't threatened by Pakistani Nuclear weapons, so perhaps the NK comparison is relevant...

I'd love to see India research Thorium based nuclear power (the 'chemistry' of which was rejected because it can't (easily) be used to produce weapons). Then we could have a civilian nuclear program which was based on a very different process than military power, and we could have a treaty offering the carrot which isn't easily converted into a stick...

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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#30 Post by RoganJosh » Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:23 pm

I mean, all the nuclear weapon powers developed nuclear weapons through their nuclear programs, and all the non-nuclear weapon powers did not. But I'm not really asking you to give them the benefit of the doubt.

At this point, they're already capable of building nuclear power plants, and I would expect them to keep doing that no matter what. That is, they're not gonna suspend their nuclear program completely.

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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#31 Post by Octavious » Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:03 pm

orathaic wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:06 pm
You mean like Germany or Japan?
Germany which is doing away with its nuclear industry entirely and Japan which has scaled it back dramatically despite having sod all in terms of natural resources to provide alternatives? Germany will soon be joining that small list of nations who provide a home for nuclear weapons without having any nuclear industry.
RoganJosh wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:23 pm
That is, they're not gonna suspend their nuclear program completely.
That’s a hell of a price to pay for the sake of national pride, but you may well be right.

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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#32 Post by yavuzovic » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:32 pm

Octavious wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:03 pm
RoganJosh wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:23 pm
That is, they're not gonna suspend their nuclear program completely.
That’s a hell of a price to pay for the sake of national pride, but you may well be right.
It's not only national pride. If they manage to develop it despite the sanction and the regime remains, certain countries will need to sit around the negotiation table and then Iran will have a stronger hand on the table. I don't think this will bring more than it will take but yeah.. the national pride is a thing. I also think that Iran wants to dominate the region as it supports Shia supporters in Syria/Iraq. We can add this to the list.
orathaic wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:06 pm
Back to the general point, there is no way India can accept a treaty where China has nuclear weapons and they don't, but once India has weapons Pakistan is placed in the same position... The only way to get China to disarm would be to get Russia and the US to disarm... Iran isn't threatened by Pakistani Nuclear weapons, so perhaps the NK comparison is relevant...
Yeah even if the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is running, it doesn't require any sanctions over the countries who doesn't sign (as we see from Israel) and one can easily refuse the agreement (as we see from N.Korea). Unless the big producers like US and Russia decides to disarm, it will keep spreading. They don't prefer disarmament over mutual assured destruction because it strongly discourages others from starting an actual war on those who possess (like N.Korea had to step back). It's easy to say don't produce when your country has these weapons, but think from Iran's side, they too want to have this source which discourages enemies. I hate them for developing nuclear weapons, but support Iran's right to have them. It's like “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” quote.
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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#33 Post by orathaic » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:57 pm

How do you hate them for doing the thing that it sounds like you would do in their position?

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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#34 Post by yavuzovic » Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:33 pm

orathaic wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:57 pm
How do you hate them for doing the thing that it sounds like you would do in their position?
They are producing weapons, there is no way to like this. Would I do that, no; but Iran has it's political understanding and I can do some empathy to understand their reasoning, and they do it on a reason. That Voltaire quote explains very well. I hate them developing mass destruction weapons and I hate this, but I think they have right to develop them because many others (including their archenemy) has these weapons.

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Re: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination and other Middle Eastern developments

#35 Post by Octavious » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:09 am

All is for the best in the best of possible worlds.
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