Comparing Nuclear “Deals”: South Africa and Iran



The Foreign Policy Institute has an interesting, brief comparison of the Iran deal, which they opposed, with the nuclear disarmament of South Africa.

They point out that the President said this, announcing the Iran deal:

An unprecedented inspections regime.

The most comprehensive and intrusive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated.

The most vigorous inspection and verification regime by far that has ever been negotiated.

Pretty much every word of that was a lie. There is, essentially, no independent inspection; there is no verification; there is instead a date certain that erases even the fiction of inspection. Iran, of all nations, has been put on the honor system, as if “honor” means anything to mohammedan savages, anything but a handy excuse to murder your daughter or sister.

The contrast they use depends on a fantastic report, Revisiting South Africa’s Nuclear Weapons Program, that does a thorough analysis of the rise and fall of this historically unique program — the only time in history that a nuclear power unilaterally disarmed. The document is here with links to free .pdfs. FPI describes it thusly:

Revisiting South Africa’s Nuclear Weapons Program provides a detailed account of the development of South Africa’s nuclear program, from its embryonic stages, in the 1950s, as a nuclear research and development center to its eventual production, beginning in the late 1970s, of six nuclear warheads. According to the authors, Pretoria, in the program’s early years, likely wished only to acquire the option to develop nuclear weapons but harbored no desire to operationalize this capability. Ultimately, however, the apartheid regime altered its strategy largely in response to rising fears of Soviet expansionism, hoping that the mere possession of the warheads — rather than their actual use — would deter aggression.

It’s actually quite a good study of a little-known armament program.

FPI then contrasts South African open disarmament with Iran’s mockery of international engagement, whilst maintaining a clandestine nuclear arms and delivery systems (the ballistic missiles are a key nuclear technology, after all) program.

The essential difference, however, seems to have been missed by FPI’s Tzvi Kahn. The RSA, unlike the Islamic Republic of Iran, wanted to disarm. (It’s also a fact that they didn’t want to leave a nuclear capability in the hands of a nation that has potential to give rise to a Mugabe or Amin). The Iranians are not the least interested in disarming. It sounds like madness, but their cult preaches to them that they will rule the world, and they mean to do just that. Nuclear weapons are a means to that end. Iran has no interest in disarming, and must be disarmed by force or economic pressure — neither of which is palatable to an administration more attuned to Iran’s aspirations and interests than to America’s.

18 thoughts on “Comparing Nuclear “Deals”: South Africa and Iran

  1. Buckaroo

    It’s simply impossible that such a glaringly one-sided deal is attributable to incompetence on Obama’s part.; it defies the imagination. We must conclude that there was a deliberate decision made to put nuclear weapons into Iran’s hands. The alternative case is that Obama knows with certainty that Iran has been given nuclear weapons by Pakistan, and therefore it’s pointless to try to prevent a nation that already has nuclear weapons from making nuclear weapons. So, to accommodate corporate interests in accessing Iranian markets, Obama concocted a sham deal for appearances sake.

    The fact that Valerie Jarrett and Huma Abedin have clear ties to Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood– ties that they don’t even really bother to hide– just adds to the problematic nature of this “deal”. Any way you slice it, the average American loses.

  2. LCPL Martinez 29 Palms


    I think the country that’s in the middle would’ve been Libya— which both wanted nukes, but after 9/11 was given an offer it couldn’t refuse.

    Also, wasn’t South Africa’s program, Israeli helped? Either way a good read for a quiet Sat.

    1. Kirk

      More importantly, the quid pro quo that was understood was “If you give up your nukes, we’ll leave you alone…”. That’s what the world perceives Khadafi’s deal as being; we broke that.

      Care to guess the implications?

      Not to mention, the pious guarantees we and the Russians offered up to the Ukrainians, so that they’d give up their share of the Soviet Union’s nukes. I’ll lay long, long odds that that particular “thing” will never happen, ever again.

      Nuclear non-proliferation is dead, thanks to the Obama administration. Long-term effects? Remain to be seen. What’s gonna be interesting is observing what an open world market for nuclear weapons looks like, and what it does with them. While bad actors could conceivably get ahold of some, what happens if the Kurds band together across Turkey, Iraq, and Iran to get their own toys?

      Why would North Korea cavil at selling to them, vice any other group? And, if ISIL has them…? Why wouldn’t we encourage the Kurds to tool up?

      Two main things are going to be seen as setting the stage for the rest of the 21st Century: George Bush and his irresponsible demolition of the international order that was the concept of the Westphalian nation-state, along with the surrounding responsibility to keep your citizens in check for those nation states, and the Obama administration’s effective destruction of the non-proliferation effort. Both of which are likely to lead to several major cities being destroyed in this century, for various reasons.

      Bush, at least, meant well. He still should have put both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan up against the wall for 9/11, just for the sake of precedent. Obama? He’s not going to be remembered well, because he doesn’t even have the slim justification of saving Third-world lives to excuse his stupidity and cupidity. Both of these US presidents are going to be subject to widespread abuse by the historians over this, mark my words. Assuming, that is, that there are a.) historians in the future, and that b.) they speak English and are somewhat civilized.

      1. LCpl Martinez USMC

        *** “If you give up your nukes, we’ll leave you alone…”. That’s what the world perceives Khadafi’s deal as being; we broke that.

        Care to guess the implications? ” ***

        @@@ Kirk,

        I totally agree, man. If giving up one’s nukes will only result in a group stoning you whilst sodomized via foreign objects (of the sharpened variety)… forget surrendering nukes.

        It all goes back to carrots and stick, remember one of Qaddafi’s son was in California studying green tech and de-salination, when the shit hit the fan in Libya. So once fusion comes to play, the IAEA might still be able to play off both fission vs. fusion (hell even cold fusion, LOL!).

        As for Obama, usually past presidents aren’t asked to play a role in post-2nd term elections, much less for same party presidential campaigns, so I think Obama’s already touted as better than sliced bread (I don’t recall W. Bush being treated similarly post-2nd term, hell even Trump was bashing him, to everyone’s contentment)—- it’s a shame because


        presidents need to be touted as disastrous :-(

        1. RSR

          McCain didn’t like Bush (in 2008) due to McCain believing the Bush camp was behind nasty ads in South Carolina in 2000 re: an adopted non-white McCain child… McCain never forgave and a lot of his pres campaign was cutting off his nose to spite his face…

    2. RSR

      Both South Africa and Israel found themselves under attack by Soviet-aligned forces in 1970s, and also saw the downfall of Rhodesia… Both South Africa and Israel were also under attack by the liberal left in America and Western Europe, largely proxies for Soviet propaganda…

      Both realized they need self-sufficient military armaments (again, lessons from Rhodesia) and did ultimately collaborate to a large degree. For instance, South Africans got a lot of military tech and hardware and Israel got a lot of materials and other needs (Jewish control of diamond industry for instance).
      A lot of interesting history here, part of the larger geo-political posturing, etc, between NATO/Capitalist and Soviet/Communist forces across the globe — much of which still isn’t commonly discussed or understood.

      There is some debate about extent of Jewish involvment in SA nukes, but that they were involved to some degree is not in debate.

  3. Bill Robbins

    In matters of nuclear strategy, South Africa’s operating system was Reason. Iran’s operating system is Islam. These operating systems are incompatible. Not surprisingly, Obama is running both operating systems simultaneously. The result is predictable.

    1. morokko

      I would not underestimate Iranians as fanatic morons – their leadership seems rather pragmatic in dealing with foreign partners and they seem to use their religion as both means of societal control and unifying factor (Iran has substantial ethnic groups and government can not relay solely on Persian nationalism to suppress them) and bargain card in their dealings with Arabs, as they like to present themselves as defenders of various Shia affiliated minorities. To me they rather resemble communist regimes from the 70s and 80s – the ideology was still there, but largely for the sake of appearance, at least among the elites. So the whole islamic revolution thing is still there, but as a tool for the clerics and their flunkies to retain their positions. There is always possibility of a screwup that could lead to war – and I am affraid not necessarily only because of what Iranians do or not do.

      1. Hognose Post author

        They’re fanatics, and despite the brain drain retain enough of a smart fraction in the population to do nuclear physics.

        If we were really smart, we’d have a clandestine operation to imbue them with Chavismo or similar socialism, and their people, like Chavez’s, will be reduced to cannibalism in a decade or so.

  4. Nynemillameetuh

    According to the left, the last generation of Afrikaner leadership in South Africa dismantled the nuclear arsenal to prevent the ANC from having it. A sound plan if there ever was one!

  5. Kerry

    We may be 100% certain Obama told the truth twice in the last eight years,at the inauguration, when he said, “I, Barack Hussein Obama…”. Of course at the first swearing in, his first lie in office followed on fast, “…do solemnly swear to defend and protect…”. In his favor, he does always ‘sound’ like he’s telling the truth.

    1. Kirk

      I don’t even think he was telling the truth, then…

      Remember, this is the guy who went by multiple different names through his life. For some period, and purposes, he was Barry Soetoro. He’s also gone by his mother’s maiden name, for other purposes. Who the hell knows how he really thinks of himself, in his private mind. I think the man has been a chameleon for so long that he really doesn’t have a true inner “identity”, and just adopts whatever name and mien his environment signals him would get him what he wants.

      There’s a fundamental falseness with this man, one that I’ve sensed since first seeing him speak. He’s a glib, manipulative sort, and would likely do well as a used car salesman, if it didn’t require any actual work…

      1. John Distai

        Read “The Sociopath Next Door”. Glib and manipulative are words used to describe sociopaths. Chairwoman Mao is a particularly scary one, as she and her clan have been getting away with ethically questionable (if not outright illegal) activities for decades.

        I’d feel much better if that nasty piece of work were elected before Sotero. I don’t like how he set the table up for her to make a run of the rest of the game. I don’t think she would have done the same for him.

  6. James

    Didn’t the Ukraine unilaterally disarm itself of nukes as well? Look where it got them….

      1. John M.

        Said “agreement” included both parties agreeing to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

        Fools. Molon labe. Always molon labe.

        -John M.

      2. John M.

        I strongly suspect that the next nuclear-armed country that flies apart at the seams will learn that lesson too. Keep your eye on whatever Pakistan becomes. And India is a country with some fundamental instabilities. North Korea is likely to be picked up by South Korea if it flies apart, but what about whoever gets the nukes? Shades of Neal Stephenson’s _Snow Crash_, where all an individual needs to be a sovereign country is a briefcase nuke and a dead man switch.

        Boy, these are all cheery thoughts for a Sunday night, aren’t they? It’d feel more appropriate if it were raining here. And cold.

        -John M.

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