February 6th, 2009
07:24 PM ET

Things that make you go hmm – Iranian Satellites, Black Holes and Israeli Nukes

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/02/03/iran.satellite/art.iranlaunch.afp.gi.jpg caption="Reported satellite launch took place on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran."]

Ken Olshansky
Senior Producer, D.L. Hughley Breaks the News

The Obama presidency represents a new era of hope. So here’s my hope: I hope we don’t all get blown up. It’s a hope I tried to keep alive, as I read the news that Iran had fired a satellite into space.

The launch happened late Monday or early Tuesday. Ironically, the Iranian satellite is called Omid—Farsi for “hope.” Iran is only the eighth country to send an object into orbit. Celebrating the launch of Omid, Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, “With God’s help and the desire for justice and peace, the official presence of the Islamic republic was registered in space.”

I’m all for justice and peace, but I’m not sure Ahmadinejad and I are on the same page about what these words mean. An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman says, “This is a scientific and technical achievement and has no military aims.” Maybe I’m paranoid… but is this missile launch really about science? Iran may be interested in black holes, but I’m afraid they mean ‘black holes where my house used to be.’

When I think that Iran could have a bomb in a year, and that they have the missile capacity to put an object in orbit, I get anxious. If they can shoot a missile into space, they can probably shoot one just about anywhere. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell says, "It is certainly a reason for us to be concerned about Iran and its continued attempts to develop a ballistic missile program of increasingly long range." Israel agrees. Their space agency chairman Isaac Ben Israel says, “If they will take the same technology and use it for a ballistic missile, it means that they can deliver a bomb to Western Europe.”

Israel is really not happy about this Iranian satellite. And they have nuclear weapons already. And they’re one of the seven countries that already put objects in space. As the Pentagon spokesman says, this is a reason for concern.

In his new book The Inheritance, New York Times reporter David Sanger says that last year, the Israelis came to the U.S., looking for permission to fly over Iraq in order to drop ‘bunker buster’ bombs on Iranian nuclear sites. The U.S. said no. That’s probably a good thing. But it’s a good bet Israel is working on a Plan B. David Rothkopf, writing in FP, the Foreign Policy Magazine blog, writes, “without special munitions that can take out deeply buried targets in Iran, countries like Israel might be forced to use weapons that could make the sites uninhabitable, such as radiological (rather than nuclear) devices.”

I don’t even know what a radiological device is… let alone the difference between a radiological device and a nuclear device… but it sounds really scary. Particularly in the Middle East. I’m trying really hard to Keep Hope Alive over here; but to keep my hope alive, I have to keep me alive first.

Editor's Note: See D.L. Hughley Breaks the News on CNN at 10PM ET Saturday and 11PM ET Sunday. Sometimes you just have to throw up your hands and laugh!

Filed under: Global 360° • Iran • Ken Olshansky • President Barack Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Ken/Canada

    This is surreal. Iran is not a nuclear threat to the US. Iran's leaders may be adversarial towards US policies in the Middle East, but they are not suicidal. Besides, Israel will never allow Iran to actually acquire a nuclear arsenal...period. If there are to be any 'smoking holes', methinks that similar to Osirak... they'll reside in Iran. A much greater realistic fear should be what will happen once the US pulls out of Iraq... and leaves a vacuum that nature abhors.....

    February 8, 2009 at 9:09 pm |
  2. Yahya Abukhdeir


    First of all, watch who you call an idiot. The Iranians would never attack Israel because they know a lot of Palestinians would get killed and that would cause a lot more problems for Iran with all the other Arab countries.

    Its amazing that you and every person who support Israel only speak about the holocaust and nothing else. They weren’t the only people killed in mass numbers in history. Ever hear of Joseph Stalin? During his regime, over 20 million people were murdered (3 times the amount of the holocaust) but you say nothing of that. Rwanda, 800000 people killed. I could go on all day. The Jews weren’t the only people killed in the 20th century. So before you speak, think about what you write.

    Oh by the way, I’m Jewish and proud!

    February 7, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  3. Vickie MO.

    Hmmmmmmmm! Wonder if Iran feels threatened by the U.S. satellite? If, Iran holds material's to build a nuke bomb. I ask, where did they get the material's???? Did the U.S. "wheel and deal" with Iran in previous year's? Is it possible, that, the U.S. gave them the material's that were needed? The "U.S." holds the material's needed to build a nuke bomb!! Don't expect other countries to take our word for it, that, we won't build one! Who trusts the U.S.? We've become a greedy, bully nation. Apparently, the U.S. can't get along with anyone. Unless, they, do as we say. And, not, as we do!!!!!!! Lets quit putting the blame on everyone else. And try to fix what went wrong. We claim to be such a Christian nation. Goes to show you that, even, the very elect shall be deceived. Just remember! God doesn't put anymore on us, than, we can handle. It's payback time! Reap what you sow! Don't blame Obama. President's before him are, the one's to blame! They've brought us to this point in time, by their own decision's. The beast will rise out of Europe, be watchful. He shall show great wonders. Fear him!!

    February 7, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  4. Reelan

    I wish the world wasn't so paranoid.

    February 7, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  5. Maria

    Casual Friday Ahmade Najadey is serious. The article did not highlight on the Arab response to the event, especially when the quarterback Khalid Mushaal attended the ceremony.

    February 7, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  6. ronvan

    "WALK SOFTLY & CARRY A BIG STICK" Remember that old saying?
    It's not that Iran or its people are bad, its because they have a terrorist crazy mad man in power! How do you expect to communicate with someone that is so obviously paranoid, crazy, demented, AND IN POWER? If & hopefully, when Hillary gets a chance to talk with this nut I hope the conversation will help "crazy man" understand that if he does not change HE and, unfortunately, his country, could wind up glowing in the dark!!

    February 7, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  7. Luis

    Yahya Abukhdeir

    Are you serious? The Israelis need their weapons because people like Achmedinejad who place their current economic problems onto the Jews. This guy is a nut. He says the Holocaust never happened.

    Your an idiot. Every time e says that, they should put pictures of the holocaust survivors and victims of torture and death.

    Are an idiot. Should we go to war? No. but we should enforce strong economic sanctions to make the people mad at him.

    February 6, 2009 at 9:10 pm |
  8. Mike in NYC

    Too many seem to be buying the "Israel's war is our war" line.

    I don't worry about Iran. They’re not a threat to the US. They're not even a threat to Israel, but the Israelis simply do not want to give up their Middle East nuclear monopoly.

    @Annie Kate:

    "Anything that Ahmadinejad says is the stuff for nightmares." "Playing nicely"? Politics ain't played that way, and the Iranians are quite good at it.

    February 6, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  9. Mike, Syracuse NY

    A radiological weapon would be a dirty bomb. It would consist of conventional explosives with radioactive materials included. When the bomb goes off, it spreads radioactivity in a wide area. Depending on the isotopes used, an area could be uninhabitable for many years. A nuke is well a nuke. The bang takes out a city and anything in it. It is more likely that a terrorist attack would be a radiological weapon, as it's much easier to build. However if Iran gets nukes, it now has the range on it's missles to deliver them to the US. Maybe we should let Israel fly over Iraq!

    February 6, 2009 at 8:51 pm |
  10. Yahya Abukhdeir

    I don't get it, Israel has nuclear weapons and there a country that always goes to war, why aren't the Iranians allowed to have nuclear weapons?? They haven't been to war in decades. I think if they really want to get ride of weapons in the middle east, then why dont they start with Israels?

    February 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm |
  11. jim Fallbrook CA

    One thing the American people should be aware of in regards to Iran. The person mainly responsible for our confrontations with Iran is Jimmy Carter. I will quote the Investor Business daily article in 2002? "The establishment of an Islamic terrorist regime in Iran that demonstrated to the world its ability to attack the US with impunity — Carter's main legacy — set in motion disastrous chains of events that include 9/11 and are still playing out." This is why we are involved in the Middle East spending billions of dollars with the war on terror. Thank you Jimmy Carter. The budget deficit would not be an issue since most of the deficit is due to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Basically, our budget is all due to Jimmy Carter's blunder. The Iranians are trying to develop a rocket to fire at us and Israel I do agree with ex vice president Richard Cheney that our socialist president will compromise the security of our country and we will have terrorist attacks here. The American people voted him into office and we will be suffering the consequences

    February 6, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  12. Annie Kate

    Great post. I love the little tidbits of irony in them – I hope you can keep yourself and your hope both alive. I worry about Iran too. Anything that Ahmadinejad says is the stuff for nightmares. Hopefully with Clinton as Secretary of State the US will again be respected in the world and able to keep Iran and others playing nicely. Until then, here's for keeping our lives and hopes alive and big holes out of our back yards.

    February 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  13. jarrod

    if when you own real estate you own the ground your house sits on to the earths core to space why aren't they paying us for use of our property NO instead we pay taxes and let them use our space for free

    February 6, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  14. Luis

    It's good to know that the Iranians have the rocket power to send a satellite into space.

    All they need know is a nuke on top of the rocket and point it towards the U.S.

    Obama and the democrats are still in denial. This was a test of the rocket itself, not so much that they reached space.

    Wake up you fools.

    February 6, 2009 at 7:31 pm |