Iran Chemical, Bio Weapons Threat Is Real
Wednesday, November 7, 2007 8:09 PM
By: Steven J. Allen
An attack on Iran could trigger horrific retaliation against the U.S. and her allies in the Middle East with chemical and biological weapons including nerve gas, anthrax, and a germ similar to the devastating Ebola virus.
While the U.S. has not overtly threatened to bomb Iran’s burgeoning nuclear facilities, it has warned of using the “military option.” And Iran has countered if attacked it would retaliate. Western intelligence experts doubt Iran has acquired a nuclear device and suggest she is several years from doing so. But many agree that Iran has a program for chemical and biological weapons (CBWs) -- one more shrouded in secrecy than her nuclear program. Not only do analysts say the Islamic regime has stockpiles of CBWs, they also suggest that Iran also has the means to deliver the weapons to targets in Israel, Iraq and the United States.
“The threat of chemical and biological retaliatory attack by Iran is very real,” Dr. Dany Shoham, a chemical and biological weapons expert at the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies in Israel, tells Newsmax.
“Iran is prone to dare what Iraq did not, and has the needed operational capabilities.” In response to a U.S. or Israeli attack, analysts maintain that Iran could strike U.S. forces in Iraq with artillery shells containing CBWs. Iran’s Shahab-3 missiles, with a range of up to 1,200 miles, could hit U.S. bases as far away as Oman, as well as Israeli targets in Haifa and Tel Aviv, experts say.
In addition to aerial bombardment, the Iranians could spray CBWs -- including anthrax -- from unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters or boats. Iran could also employ suicide attackers to drive trucks filled with CBWs into target areas, experts add.
Military experts also fear that Iran’s retaliation might not be limited to the Middle East. CBWs – especially biological weapons, which take up little space – could even be smuggled into the U.S. A single gram of anthrax spores, the size of a packet of artificial sweetener, represents 5 million to 100 million lethal doses via inhalation.
Once in the U.S., CBWs could be used in countless forms of attack, from direct attacks on civilians at shopping malls or schools, to infection of livestock, to poisoning of water supplies, experts say. By whatever delivery method, the Iranians could release any combination of the chemical agents they are believed to posses, including:
Blister agents that damage the skin, eyes, and lungs
Nerve agents that kill by fixing the nerves in victims’ bodies in the “on” position, causing paralysis and asphyxiation
“Blood agents” that interfere with the energy-producing function of cells in the body Choking agents that attack the tissues of the respiratory system, leading to slow suffocation.
Iran is also thought capable of employing powerful toxins – poisons made from living things – that cause bleeding, paralysis, diarrhea, and organ failure by interfering with the normal chemistry of the body.
Toxins can also cause long-term effects such as liver cancer....
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