[Editor’s note: Here we have a textbook example of a disinfo cover story. Asharq Al-Awsat is a propaganda mouthpiece for it’s owners, the House of Saud and puts out almost nothing but disinfo. Their particular bete-noire is Iran, unsurprisingly, as Iran is the sworn enemy of the Saudi regime. The Jerusalem Post will be well aware that Asharq Al-Awsat is a Saudi black propaganda op, therefore their reporting of the story must be seen as a willingly attempt to lend it credibility and spread it outside the Arabic world.
Why do the Israelis wish to assist the Saudis in spreading disinfo about Iran and it’s nuclear industry? That’s pretty obvious really – Israel is determined to fatally damage the Iran-US nuclear deal, not least because Iran is a sworn enemy of the Israeli regime too.
Which brings us to the really important question to ask – what is the deeper, true narrative that this disinfo story is intended to cover? The missing Iridium-192 was probably stolen by Israeli operators, or rather, Iranians collaborating with the Israelis – Iran has a big problem with Israeli infiltration.
This missing nuclear material will no doubt, be used to build a dirty bomb, as predicted by this article; but where will it then turn up? I expect that it will resurface when it is spread all over a city by an explosion that will be blamed on ‘Islamic terrorists’; whereas we know that the true culprits are the true masters of terrorism – the Israelis and their Saudi and American allies.
Furthermore, I expect that a story will be concocted that blames the Iranians in some way, perhaps claiming that the material was never ‘stolen’ but rather, that Iran gave it to the terrorists then reported it as stolen to the IAEA; this would damage the Iran-US nuke deal, perhaps fatally.
So where do we expect this dirty bomb to go off? There are a number of likely targets, Damascus perhaps, or a European city such as Paris or Berlin. Who knows, but this is a truly disturbing scenario as it would undoubtedly lead to tens of thousands of innocent civilian casualties.
This scenario has been on the minds of analysts for quite some time, as we can see from this report by the Foreign Policy Association:
Harm caused by radiation is measured in units called microsieverts. Ten grams of Iridium-192 contains roughly 3,500 curies of radiation. This translates into approximately 1.5 million microsieverts per hour to individuals standing 10 feet away if the material is concentrated in one area unshielded. For perspective, 100,000 microsieverts is the lowest yearly dose linked to increased cancer risk, and 2 million microsieverts results in often fatal radiation poisoning. Thus, the ten grams of Iridium-192 available to ISIS through devices scattered across Iraq and Syria is dangerous within minutes of exposure and potentially deadly over hours.
Since ISIS is most probable to obtain radioactive materials from devices in Iraq and Syria, the physical impact of a hypothetical ISIS device will likely be low and is prone to being overstated. Should ISIS acquire larger amounts of radioactive matter from the less likely scenarios of the nuclear black market or infiltrations of foreign nuclear plants, the threat from radiation becomes a significant concern.
The most probable risk generated by an ISIS “dirty bomb” is the widespread panic that would likely follow. Areas surrounding the detonation would be shut-down for weeks or even months depending on the half-life of the substance used, resulting in severe local economic loses.
We do not know how much Iridium-192 was stolen from Iran, but it is probably a lot more than the 10 grams used as a rough figure by the FPA’s article, which means a much larger area could be contaminated and to a far higher degree.
Here is an excellent British movie dealing with an Islamic terror attack on London using a dirty bomb: Ian]
Report: Nuclear material said stolen from Iran could yield ‘dirty bomb’
Radioactive material produced at Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Plant has reportedly been stolen raising concerns about the use of a so-called dirty bomb in the future, according to London-based, Arabic language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. The identity of the alleged thieves remains unknown.
The missing material, Iridium-192, was reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency by Iran’s nuclear regulatory body earlier this month, warning neighboring Gulf states of its possible nefarious use.
A dirty bomb, or radiological dispersion device, is a conventional weapon equipped with nuclear material. The idea behind a dirty bomb is to blast radioactive material, such as powder or pellets, into the area around the explosion.
Citing Saudi intelligence sources, Asharq al-Awsat reported Friday that the Iridium- 192 was stolen as it was being transported from the Bushehr facility. The vehicle carrying the nuclear material was later found abandoned with its contents seized.
It remains unclear who stole the nuclear material and for what purpose.
The IAEA defines Iridium-192, a highly unstable isotope which emits both electrons and gamma-rays, as a category-2 radioactive substance. Substances with a category-2 classification can permanently injure or even kill a human being if exposed to the material within hours or days.
Iridium-192 is generally used for industrial reasons, utilized to locate flaws in metal components, despite the danger it poses to humans.
In July 2015, Iran and six world powers (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany) reached a nuclear deal over the country’s nuclear program.
The deal, which went into effect in January, requires Iran to scrap the bulk of its nuclear activities in return for the ease of international sanctions on the country’s energy and financial sectors. It allows regular inspections of the facilities inside Iran.
Earlier this month, the UN nuclear watchdog said Iran must stop repeatedly overstepping a limit on its stock of a sensitive material set by the landmark deal.
The IAEA, which is policing the deal, said in a report in early November that Iran had slightly exceeded the 130-metric ton soft limit on its stock of heavy water for a second time since the deal was put in place in January.