Chossudovsky: US, NATO and Israel Deploy Nukes directed against Iran


Richard Moore

Original source URL:
[photos & charts in origina]

US, NATO and Israel Deploy Nukes directed against Iran

By Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, September 27, 2007

Note: Readers are welcome to cross-post this article with a view to spreading 
the word and warning people of the dangers of a broader Middle East war. Please 
indicate the source and copyright note.

In late August, reported by the Military Times,  a US Air Force B-52 bomber flew
from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in 
Louisiana with six AGM advanced cruise missiles, each of which was armed with a 
W-80-1 nuclear warhead. "... Missiles were mounted on the pylons under its 
wings. Each of the warheads carried a yield of up to 150 kilotons, more than ten
times as powerful as the US bomb that leveled Hiroshima at the close of the  
Second World War."  (See Bill Van Auken, Global Research September 2007)

The Military Times byline was "B-52 mistakenly flies with nukes aboard". The 
issue was casually acknowledged by The Washington Post and the New York Times. 
The reports quoted a US Air force spokesman. The matter was offhandedly brushed 
aside. The incident represented ³an isolated mistake² and that ³at no time was 
there a threat to public safety.² (Ibid) :

"As far as is known, the incident marked the first time that a US plane has 
taken off armed with nuclear weapons in nearly 40 years. ...

... The transport of weapons from one base to another, however, is normally 
carried out in the holds of C-17 and C-130 cargo planes, not fixed to the wings 
of combat bombers.

Someone had to give the order to mount the missiles on the plane. The question 
is whether it was a local Air Force commander‹either by mistake or 
deliberately‹or whether the order came from higher up.

B-52s from Barksdale have been used repeatedly to strike targets in Iraq, firing
cruise missiles at Iraqi targets in 1996 and 1998, and in the ³shock and awe² 
campaign that preceded the 2003 invasion, carrying out some 150 bombing runs 
that devastated much of the southern half of the country.

Moreover, the weapon that was fixed to the wings of the B-52 flying from Minot 
air base was designed for use against hardened targets, such as underground 

Given the ratcheting up of the threats against Iran and the previous reports of 
plans for the use of ³tactical² nuclear weapons against Iranian nuclear 
installations, there is a very real possibility that the flight to Barksdale was
part of covert preparations for a nuclear strike against Iran.

If this is indeed the case, the claims about a ³mistake² by a munitions officer 
and a few airmen in North Dakota may well be merely a cover story aimed at 
concealing the fact that the government in Washington is preparing a criminal 
act of world historic proportions by ordering‹without provocation‹the first use 
of nuclear weapons since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki more than sixty 
years ago. (Bill van Auken, op. cit).

In recent developments, Wayne Madsen (September 27) has suggested, based on US 
and foreign intelligence sources, that the B-52 carrying the advanced cruise 
missiles with bunker buster nuclear warheads was in fact destined for the Middle

Is the B-52 Barksdale incident in any way related to US plans to use nuclear 
weapons against Iran?

Madsen suggests, in this regard, that the operation of shipping the nuclear 
warheads was aborted "due to internal opposition within the Air Force and U.S. 
Intelligence Community", which was opposed to a planned US attack on Iran using 
nuclear warheads.

To grasp the seriousness of the "Barksdale incident", it is important to 
understand the broader context of nuclear weapons deployment respectively by the
US, NATO and Israel.

We are not dealing with a single aborted operation of deployment of nuclear 
weapons to the Middle East.

There are indications that a large number of US made nuclear weapons are 
currently deployed in Western Europe and the Middle East including Israel.

This deployment pertains explicitly to targets in Iran.

Without downplaying the significance of the Barksdale incident, if Washington 
were to decide to use nuclear weapons against Iran, they could be launched at 
short notice from a number of military bases in Western Europe and the Middle 
East, from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, from a submarine or from a US 
Aircraft carrier. Turkey has some 90 B61 tactical nuclear weapons which are 
fully deployed.(See details below).

We are dealing with a coordinated military operation in which US Strategic 
Command (USSTRATCOM) plays a central role. The main coalition partners are the 
US, NATO and Israel.

There are four interrelated "building blocks" pertaining to the preemptive use 
of nuclear weapons in the Middle East war theater:

1. CONPLAN 8022 formulated in 2004. CONPLAN integrates the use of conventional 
and nuclear weapons.

2. National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 35, entitled Nuclear Weapons 
Deployment Authorization  issued in May 2004

3. The deployment of Israeli nuclear weapons directed against targets in the 
Middle East

4. Deployment of Nuclear Weapons by NATO/EU countries, directed against targets 
in the Middle East

1. CONPLAN 8022

CONPLAN 8022 under the jurisdiction of USSTRATCOM sets the stage. It envisages 
the integration of conventional and nuclear weapons and the use of nukes on a 
preemptive basis in the conventional war theater. It is described as "a concept 
plan for the quick use of nuclear, conventional, or information warfare 
capabilities to destroy--preemptively, if necessary--"time-urgent targets" 
anywhere in the world." CONPLAN became operational in early 2004. "As a result, 
the Bush administration's preemption policy is now operational on long-range 
bombers, strategic submarines on deterrent patrol, and presumably 
intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)." (Robert S. Norris and Hans M. 
Kristensen, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)

CONCEPT PLAN (CONPLAN) 8022 now consists of  "an actual plan that the Navy and 
the Air Force translate into strike package for their submarines and bombers,' 
(Japanese Economic Newswire, 30 December 2005, For further details see Michel 
Chossudovsky, Nuclear War against Iran, op. cit.).

"CONPLAN 8022 is 'the overall umbrella plan for sort of the pre-planned 
strategic scenarios involving nuclear weapons.'

2. Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization: NSPD 35 (2004)

National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 35, entitled Nuclear Weapons 
Deployment Authorization  was issued in May 2004.

The contents of this highly sensitive document remains a carefully guarded State
secret. There has been no mention of NSPD 35 by the media nor even in 
Congressional debates. While its contents remains classified, the presumption is
that NSPD 35 pertains to the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in the 
Middle East war theater in compliance with CONPLAN 8022.

There are indications that  B61-type tactical nuclear weapons have been deployed
to the Middle East following NSPD 35. The B-61s would be used against Iran, if 
Iran were to retaliate to a US or Israeli attack (See Ibrahim Karagul, "The US 
is Deploying Nuclear Weapons in Iraq Against Iran", Yeni Safak,. 20 December 
2005, quoted in BBC Monitoring Europe).

3. Israeli Nukes

Israel is part of the military alliance and is slated to play a major role in 
case  the planned attacks on Iran were to be carried out. (For details see 
Michel Chossudovsky, Nuclear War against Iran, Jan 2006 ).

Israel possesses 100-200 strategic nuclear warheads . In 2003, Washington and 
Tel Aviv confirmed that they were collaborating in "the deployment of 
US-supplied Harpoon cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads in Israel's 
fleet of Dolphin-class submarines." (The Observer, 12 October 2003) . Coinciding
with the 2005 preparations to wage air strikes against Iran, Israel took 
delivery of  two new German produced submarines "that could launch nuclear-armed
cruise missiles for a "second-strike" deterrent." (Newsweek, 13 February 2006. 
See also CDI Data Base)

The Israeli military and political circles had been making statements on the 
possibility of nuclear and missile strikes on Iran openly since October, 2006, 
when the idea was immediately supported by G. Bush. Currently it is touted in 
the form of a ³necessity² of nuclear strikes. The public is taught to believe 
that there is nothing monstrous about such a possibility and that, on the 
contrary, a nuclear strike is quite feasible. Allegedly, there is no other way 
to ³stop² Iran. (General Leonid Ivashov, Iran Must Get Ready to Repel a Nuclear 
Attack, Global Research, January 2007)

At the outset of Bush's second term, Vice President Dick Cheney dropped a 
bombshell. He hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was "right at the top of 
the list" of the rogue enemies of America, and that Israel would, so to speak, 
"be doing the bombing for us", without US military involvement and without us 
putting pressure on them "to do it".

"Rather than a direct American nuclear strike against Iran¹s hard targets, 
Israel has been given the assignment of launching a coordinated cluster of 
nuclear strikes aimed at targets that are the nuclear installations in the 
Iranian cities: Natanz, Isfahan and Arak.(Michael Carmichael, Global research, 
January 2007)

Israel is a Rottweiler on a leash: The US wants to "set Israel loose" to attack 
Iran. Commenting the Vice President's assertion, former National Security 
adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview on PBS, confirmed with some 
apprehension, yes: Cheney wants [former] Prime Ariel Sharon to act on America's 
behalf and "do it" for us:

..."And the vice president today in a kind of a strange parallel statement to 
this declaration of freedom hinted that the Israelis may do it and in fact used 
language which sounds like a justification or even an encouragement for the 
Israelis to do it."

Beneath the rhetoric, what we are dealing with is a joint US-NATO-Israeli 
military operation directed against Iran and Syria, which has been in the active
planning stage since 2004. US advisers in the Pentagon have been working 
assiduously with their Israeli military and intelligence counterparts, carefully
identifying targets inside Iran ( Seymour Hersh, )

In recent developments, at the September 2007 meetings of the Vienna based IAEA,
a critical resolution, implicitly aimed at Israel, was put forth which would put
Israel's nuclear program "under international purview." The resolution was 
adopted with the US and Israel voting against it.

4. NATO Nukes. Nuclear Weapons Deployment by Five Non-nuclear States

Several Western European  countries, officially considered as "non-nuclear 
states", possess tactical nuclear weapons, supplied to them by Washington.

The US has supplied some 480 B61 thermonuclear bombs to five non-nuclear NATO 
countries including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, and one
nuclear country, the United Kingdom. These weapons are ready for delivery to 
"known military targets".


See Details and Map of Nuclear Facilities located in 5 European Non-Nuclear 

As part of this European stockpiling, Turkey, which is a partner of the US-led 
coalition against Iran along with Israel, possesses some 90 thermonuclear B61 
bunker buster bombs at the Incirlik nuclear air base. (National Resources 
Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005). These military 
facilities are part of the war plans directed against Iran.

B61-11 NEP Thermonuclear Bomb

Consistent with US nuclear policy, the stockpiling and deployment of B61 nuclear
weapons in Western Europe are intended for targets in the Middle East. Confirmed
by "NATO strike plans", these thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs (stockpiled 
by the "non-nuclear States") could be launched  "against targets in Russia or 
countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iran" ( quoted in National 
Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005)

Moreover, confirmed by (partially) declassified documents (released under the 
U.S. Freedom of Information Act):

"... The approximately 480 nuclear bombs in Europe are intended for use in 
accordance with NATO nuclear strike plans, the report asserts, against targets 
in Russia or countries in the Middle East such as Iran and Syria.

The report shows for the first time how many U.S. nuclear bombs are earmarked 
for delivery by non-nuclear NATO countries. In times of war, under certain 
circumstances, up to 180 of the 480 nuclear bombs would be handed over to 
Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey for delivery by their 
national air forces. No other nuclear power or military alliance has nuclear 
weapons earmarked for delivery by non-nuclear countries."

(quoted in emphasis added)

Moreover, the U.S. military made arrangements in the mid-1990s for the use of 
these nukes outside the area of jurisdiction of European Command (EURCOM). For 
EUCOM, this would mean responsibility for the delivery of nukes within CENTCOM's
(Central Command) area of jurisdiction, meaning that nuclear attacks on Iran and
Syria could be launched from military bases in non-nuclear EU/NATO countries:

The report also documents that the U.S. military in 1994 made arrangements for 
nuclear targeting and use of nuclear weapons in Europe outside European 
Command's (EUCOM) area of responsibility. For EUCOM, this means CENTCOM (Central
Command) which incorporates Iran and Syria

.. It is unclear whether [the] parliaments [of EU/NATO countries] are aware of 
arrangements to target and potentially strike Middle Eastern countries with 
nuclear weapons based in Europe.(


Nuclear Weapons' Double Standards. Where is the Nuclear Threat?

While these "non-nuclear states" casually accuse Tehran of developing nuclear 
weapons, without documentary evidence, they themselves have capabilities of 
delivering nuclear warheads, which are targeted at Iran and Syria.  To say that 
this is a clear case of "double standards" in the process of identifying the 
threat of nuclear weapons is a gross understatement.

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy Endorses Bush's Pre-emptive Nuclear War 

France accuses Tehran of developing nuclear weapons against mountains of 
evidence that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program.

The Sarkozy government favors a military operation directed against Iran. 
Ironically, these threats by President Sarkozy and his Foreign Minister Bernard 
Kouchner were formulated immediately following the release of the IAEA Report. 
The latter confirms unequivocally the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear program.

According to President Sarkozy in his September 26,  2007 address to the UN 
General Assembly:

"There will be no peace in the world if the international community falters in 
the face of nuclear arms proliferation Š Weakness and renunciation do not lead 
to peace. They lead to war,"

France has also confirmed that it could use its own nuclear warheads estimated 
at between 200 and 300, on a preemptive basis. In January 2006, (former) 
President Jacques Chirac announced a major shift in France's nuclear weapons 

Without mentioning Iran, Chirac intimated that France's nukes should be used in 
the form of  "more focused attacks" against countries, which were "considering" 
the deployment of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

He also hinted to the possibility that tactical nuclear weapons could be used in
conventional war theaters, very much in line with both US and NATO nuclear 
doctrine (See Chirac shifts French doctrine for use of nuclear weapons , 
Nucleonics Week January 26, 2006).

Chirac's successor, Nicolas Sarkozy has embraced the US sponsored "War on 

France supports the preemptive use of nuclear weapons in the conventional war 
theater, broadly following the principles formulated in the Bush 
Administration's nuclear doctrine, which  allows the use of nukes (against Iran 
or Syria) for purposes of  "self-defense".

A Note of Caution (September 29, 2007)

The existence of war plans, which are currently in an advanced state of 
readiness, does not imply that war will occur.

But at the same time, these war plans and their consequences must be forcefully 
addressed. An all out war, which would engulf the entire Middle East Central 
Asian region, cannot be excluded.

Moreover, a political consensus in favor of a war directed against Iran is 
building up in the US. This war agenda is now supported by several of America's 
European allies including Britain, France and Germany.

Public opinion is not informed due to a media blackout. The war on Iran using 
nuclear weapons is not front page news.

The legitimacy of the war criminals in high office remains intact. There is 
visibly no mass movement against this war as occured in the months leading up to
the Iraq invasion.  Moreover, concurrent with the development of war agenda, 
Western countries have established a "Homeland Security" which is intended to 
curb public protest against the war.

In the months ahead, we can expect the media propaganda war against Iran to go 
into high gear with a view to galvanising public opinion in support of a 
military intervention.

It is absolutely essential that people in America and around the World take a 
firm position against a war, which in a very real sense threatens the future of 

Note: Readers are welcome to cross-post this article with a view to spreading 
the word and warning people of the dangers of a broader Middle East war. Please 
indicate the source and copyright note.

media inquiries •••@••.•••

Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international best America¹s "War on 
Terrorism"  Global Research, 2005. He is Professor of Economics at the 
University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization.

To order Chossudovsky's book  America's "War on Terrorism", click here

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of 
the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on 

To become a Member of Global Research

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on 
community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The 
source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global 
Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, 
contact: •••@••.••• contains copyrighted material the use of which has not 
always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such 
material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an 
effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social 
issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who 
have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational 
purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair 
use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: •••@••.•••

© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2007

The url address of this article is:

© Copyright 2005-2007
Web site engine by Polygraphx Multimedia © Copyright 2005-2007

Posting archives: 

Escaping the Matrix website:
cyberjournal website:

How We the People can change the world:

Community Democracy Framework:

Moderator: •••@••.•••  (comments welcome)