ANALYSIS: The consequences of shock and awe and blitzing Iran

Before any action, the planners need to cast their minds back to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. (AFP)

In the eyes of many military observers, the result of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities is liable to carry too many unacceptable risks, and with the knowledge that the outcome could well end up too catastrophic to even imagine, this drastic option has so far been resisted by even the toughest of US neocons, who it has to be said, are more desperate than most to see some form of an attack take place, to bring down the present mullah regime.

But even so, it does seem that with Iran constantly calling for the destruction of Israel, Netanyahu could well turn out to be the wild card on this issue. But should such an attack eventually take place, the US would be best placed to destroy Iran’s underground facilities using the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), a “bunker buster” bomb packed with around 6,000 pounds of explosives, which would have to be dropped from B-2 stealth bombers.

The 20-foot long Massive Ordnance Penetrator is GPS (Global Positioning System) guided, after hitting its target at supersonic speed, it can drill 200 feet into the ground or through 60 feet of concrete, before detonating its massive load of high explosives.

As far as non-nuclear weapons are concerned, the MOP is the most powerful conventional bomb in the world, and being fitted with electronic countermeasures, it would prevent the Iranians using jammers to disrupt its internal guidance systems, which would make it impossible for them to stop the giant weapon from honing in on its target.

Being dropped in twos, one on top of the other, the MOP’s powerful explosive load would have a devastating effect on any deep buried target, either destroying it completely or at the least totally disabling it.

Radioactive contamination

But when you consider bombing a nuclear facility above ground, which would need to be carried out in the case of Iran, to make any such attack effective, in preventing it from continuing its program toward seeking nuclear weapons, you have to expect radioactive contamination being blasted into the atmosphere, travelling for miles on the prevailing wind.

So before any such action should even be considered, the planners of such an attack need to cast their minds back to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, when a chemical explosion at the station’s fourth nuclear reactor had set off an uncontrolled graphite fire. Due to exposure from contamination arising from the explosion, some reports are suggesting that up to one million have already died as a result of the disaster, and mutations in both humans and animals have increased massively in the surrounding area.

In the worst case scenario of bombing a nuclear facility, civilian casualties, property damage, and radiation exposure would be catastrophic. Some experts suggest that with a number of Iran’s nuclear facilities located near heavily populated areas, toxic plumes would spread across city centres within a short time, killing as many as 70,000 and exposing around 300,000 to radioactive fallout.

Neighboring countries

But not only Iran would be effected, surrounding countries would also suffer badly from radioactive fallout, and with northerly winds blowing in the direction of Gulf countries throughout most of the year, the states of Bahrain, Qatar, UAE. Oman and Saudi Arabia were certain to be contaminated by toxic clouds of nuclear particles; much of it blown in during powerful storms, which are prevalent to the area.

Such a scenario would cause a long-term medical disaster in all countries affected, with thousands suffering from long-term effects, including thyroid cancer, leukaemia, and various other genetic diseases, as has been seen in the area surrounding Chernobyl since the disaster there in 1986. So with this in mind, a program of disruption through black ops would more likely be needed to be placed on the table as far as any military action is concerned, backed up by severe economic sanctions.

But should a bombing mission be considered an option, there are serious drawbacks that would have to be taken into consideration. With the Russians having already supplied S-300 air defence systems to the Iranian regime, which are capable of targeting aircraft at high altitude from up to a 150-mile range, it will allow them to create a formidable ring of defence around any nuclear facilities, and other sensitive military establishments, making it almost impossible for them to be targeted without loss of aircraft.

Public outcry

As far as the S-300 is concerned, with such a system installed, the major problem for any bombing raid would be the devastating loss of aircraft, as such is the sophistication of this tamper-proof air defence system, it is believed to be capable of destroying a vast amount of the attacking force. With such potential losses, the public outcry at home would be so loud, it would certainly make Iran’s enemies think twice before taking such a risk, and that’s without taking into account the potential casualties on the ground through nuclear fallout alone.

But should the regime eventually gain a nuclear weapon, the US or Israel might feel that desperate measures have to be taken, and then the genie would be out of the bottle. Because as far as the continuance of Iran’s nuclear program is concerned, in the worst case scenario, if the regime was to produce a nuclear weapon, the ruling mullahs could use it as a big stick to blackmail its neighbours, which would also embolden Iran’s proxies Hezbollah and Hamas to strike hard against targets in the US and Israel, given confidence by the thought that their paymasters had gone nuclear.

Then buoyed up by the possession of such weapons, the Iranian regime might well decide to disrupt the world’s oil supplies, by either attacking shipping or mining the Hormuz Straits.

Then at the end of it all, fearing threats from their arch enemy, both Saudi Arabia and Turkey were certain to join the scramble for nuclear weapons. But even more alarming, there was the added fear that the Iranian mullahs might even supply these weapons to terror groups, should they eventually be attacked, and end up with their backs against the wall, or in the event of regime collapse, set off Armageddon.

So whatever the risk is for stopping it, Iran cannot be allowed to get its hands on nuclear weapons, and has to be stopped one way or another.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48