30 November 2012

This graph does NOT mean Iran is working on a bomb

It's part of a hoax that has been disseminated by the Associated Press
VIENNA (AP) — Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a diagram obtained by The Associated Press.

The diagram was leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran's nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon. The officials provided the diagram only on condition that they and their country not be named.
A Guardian article began exposing the hoax yesterday.
...this graph - which is only slightly less hilariously primitive than the one Benjamin Netanyahu infamously touted with a straight face at the UN - has Farsi written under it to imbue it with that menacing Iranian-ish feel, but also helpfully uses English to ensure that US audiences can easily drink up its scariness. As The Atlantic's Robert Wright noted: "How considerate of the Iranians to label their secret nefarious nuke graph in English!".

...even if one assumes that this graph is something other than a fraud, the very idea that computer simulations constitute "evidence" that Iran is working toward a nuclear weapon is self-evidently inane...
And the debunking continues in a followup article today:
At the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS), Yousaf Butt and Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress on Wednesday night wrote: "Graphs such as the one published by the Associated Press can be found in nuclear science textbooks and on the Internet.".. So what AP presented to the world as some sort of highly complex, specialized document was, in fact, nothing more than a completely common graph easily found in all sorts of public venues...

Even worse, the calculations reflected on this graph are patently ridiculous... That's because, they explain, "the diagram features quite a massive error, which is unlikely to have been made by research scientists working at a national level"; namely:
"The image released to the Associated Press shows two curves: one that plots the energy versus time, and another that plots the power output versus time, presumably from a fission device. But these two curves do not correspond: If the energy curve is correct, then the peak power should be much lower - around 300 million ( 3x108) kt per second, instead of the currently stated 17 trillion (1.7 x1013) kt per second. As is, the diagram features a nearly million-fold error."
There are people who desperately want to trigger a war with Iran. 


  1. I suggest that readers Google:
    Albert Pike WWIII quote

    There are people who desperately want and WILL trigger a war with Iran.

  2. Rational consideration of the geopolitical place Iran holds lead to the conclusion that the country wouldn't want to develop a bomb, but certainly would work to develop the capacity to produce a bomb - in a period of months - in case its borders suffer even greater menace from Washington. That's consistant with official reports the Pentagon lays down annually to Congress and with commentary on the most prestigeous peer-reviewed journals, such as Foreign Affairs. It's just a matter of looking things up.

  3. Ok, so there are "people" who believe that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon and they are sufficiently concerned that they'd prefer to strike pre-emptively rather than wait for hard evidence: a strike on them. What I find troubling is the attitude that Iran could not possibly be working on a nuclear weapon. They simply are not. There's no evidence--more on that in a sec--that they are, so, they must not be. Under-estimating the other guy/enemy is a classic mistake, often with deadly consequences. It is exactly what America did before 9/11, what England did before 7/7 and what Spain did 3/11, which under-estimations were exploited by those intent on exploiting any weakness.

    As for evidence: can we agree that obtaining such evidence, especially since far too many insist on physical proof, dismissing circumstantial evidence as if it is meaningless, is fundamentally impossible by legitimate means and in such a form that it convinces everyone who beholds it as incontrovertible?

    Let me stand at the other end of the argument and pose it this way: Iran is eager to start a war with someone and how many guesses do we need to figure out who that is.

    Frankly, ever since the hostage taking of 444 days back in '79, and then how they handled the recent Green Movement, I've regarded Iran's regime with great distrust. So, I'm still waiting for Iran to do something (not just say the right words, because they do that a little too well and only to buy time) that makes me think they deserve the benefit of the doubt from me. They have failed miserably for decades and I'm not optimistic.

    I have a sincere question for 'Stan--truly, why do you trust Iran or why do you think someone wishes to launch a war against Iran that seems groundless? Honest questions, just curious to understand your perspective. --A.

    1. Wow, 5 whole paragraphs all sumly stating nothing.

      I would have to work very hard and for a very long time to accomplish something of that magnitude. Bravo A!

  4. Forgot to say: why would the AP propagate a hoax graph? Lack of fact checking and quality control perhaps? You mean like the faux photos they've been busted on? Nooooooo, say it ain't soooooo... --A.

  5. It seems journalism nowadays suffers from pretty low standards. It reduces to overhearing something cool at a bar, then writing it down, putting the word "EXCLUSIVE" in bold red letters in the title and there you go. The scarier the better.

    "EXCLUSIVE: MMR vaccine causes autism!"
    "EXCLUSIVE: Ice age coming!"
    "EXCLUSIVE: Immigrants eating puppies!"

    What happened to checking stuff? Or was that never a thing?

  6. Stan,

    I forgot to link you to this interview with Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell:


    Here Wilkerson states that there's people pushing for war on the iranian side as well. It's an interesting take: it doesn't derive from the vulgar fear mongering - the nonsensical idea that Iran is willing to attack Israel, something that would only bring a world-wide war against them and bring legitimacy and support for the israeli regime - but rather argues that for a parcel of the iranian elite, having to defend iranian territory from military agression is a way to hold on power.

    Of course, in a doublethink paradigm, it can be used as a reason to attack Iran as well.

    1. Paulo, I'm currently reading this article -


      - which is apparently not available fulltext for free online. I may blog excerpts later.


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