Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In Testimony To Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Iran's Shopping List Revealed

Apparently, Morgenthau's testimony was ignored by the media
Back when the Bush Administration was warning about Iran's nuclear progress, or its deadly meddling in Iraq, the typical Democratic and media response was to treat the Islamic Republic as innocent until proven guilty. This month, Democrat Robert Morgenthau supplied the proof.

In testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that was largely ignored by the media, the legendary Manhattan District Attorney opened a window on how Iran is secretly obtaining the ingredients for an arsenal of mass destruction. Mr. Morgenthau, whose recent cases have exposed illicit Iranian finance and procurement networks, has discovered what he calls "Iran's shopping list for materials related to weapons of mass destruction." They add up to "literally thousands of records."

Missile accuracy appears to be a key Iranian goal. In one of Mr. Morgenthau's cases -- the prosecution of Chinese citizen Li Fang Wei and his LIMMT company for allegedly scamming Manhattan banks to slip past sanctions on Iran -- the DA uncovered a list that included 400 sophisticated gyroscopes and 600 accelerometers. These are critical for developing accurate long-range missiles. He also found that Iran was acquiring a rare metal called tantalum, "used in those roadside bombs that are being used against our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan." So much for the media notion that Iran has played no part in killing American GIs.

Mr. Morgenthau also noted that the material shipped by LIMMT "included 15,000 kilograms of a specialized aluminum alloy used almost exclusively in long-range missile production; 1,700 kilograms of graphite cylinders used for banned electrical discharge machines which are used in converting uranium; more than 30,000 kilograms of tungsten-copper plates; 200 pieces of tungsten-copper alloy hollow cylinders, all used for missiles; 19,000 kilograms of tungsten metal powder, and 24,500 kilograms of maraging steel rods . . . especially hardened steel suitable for long-range missiles."
Besides the fact that Morgenthau is respected, his information is all the more reliable because of the corroboration it has received:
Mr. Morgenthau's information is corroborated by a staff report for the Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Democrat John Kerry, which notes that Iran is making nuclear progress on all fronts, and that it "could produce enough weapons-grade material for a bomb within six months."
And now that we have inconvertible proof of what Iran is doing and what their intent is?
As for what the U.S. should do about it, the committee report insists that "direct engagement" must be a part of American strategy, and so it seems fated to be under the Obama Administration.
It is too much to hope for that they meant military engagement.

At Hot Air, Karl writes:
Given the record compiled by his fellow Democrats, it seems rather odd that Pres. Obama plans on spending six months assessing whether his diplomatic effort is moving in the right direction. After all, Obama recently reaffirmed that he would like a nuke-free world and acknowledges that Iran’s intransigence threatens to set off a Mideast arms race.
I guess Obama wants to be really, really sure.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tantalum is not such a "rare" metal.
It was used to make capacitors, a common circuit component in all kinds of electronics. If you had a tv, stereo, or anything else electronic in the 70's or 80's, it probably had dozens of these capacitors inside. These were $0.01 -- $0.20 components. Of course the tantalum content was small, it forms very, very thin oxide layers. Which is why these capacitors tended to short-circuit and fail very often.
Like many resources extracted in the poorer countries, there was pollution and human rights violations associated with the business. For that reason, and also progress in technology, it is not used so much anymore. Due to process refinements there are now MLCC's (multilayer ceramic capacitors) and other types that have largely replaced tantalum.
It still has other industrial uses,
including weapons applications, but these tend to be specialized items.