Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 08, 2009

Another Scary Iran Story

Haaretz had this funny tale a few days ago and it is now spreading in U.S. media via UPI. Haaretz wrote:

Greece has been holding a ship bound for Iran for more than a month because its cargo was found to contain components for surface-to-surface missiles.
The detention of the Iran-bound ship was reported in the Greek paper Elefterotipia. According to the paper, the Susanna arrived at a port near Athens on December 10 and has been held ever since due to suspicions that it was carrying components for ballistic missiles. An Israeli government source confirmed the report, but declined to elaborate due to the sensitivity of the issue.

The Susanna departed from Slovenia in November, and its final destination was Bandar Abbas in Iran. The Greeks detained it due to intelligence from UN agencies indicating that it was carrying illegal cargo.

Wow - really a big find. That will certainly stop the Iranians from making some bad-ass missiles.

But parts to make ballistic rockets? What parts? Guidance systems? Special rocket motors?

A search of the ship found 80 tons of CK22 steel, which can be used to make warheads or fuel pods for surface-to-surface missiles.


CK 22 steel is a simple standardized product. The EU norm number for it is EN 10083, the U.S. equivalent is SAE 1020, 1023. Any decent steel mill produces these. Its application:

Plain carbon steel for mechanical engineering and automotive components.

As a carbon steel CK22 is corrosive and would therefore not be used to hold chemically aggressive rocket fuel. Moreover, why would one use heavy steel tanks in a rocket instead of some lighter material like coated aluminum?

And the really big question is why would Iran import such dangerous stuff when it has a steel output of some 10 million tons per year on its own and even offers CK22 and similar products for export from companies like the Khouzestan Steel Company?

The original Greek report (Google translation) has a nice scare graphic showing steel-plates and missiles. If I understand the report correctly the ship, unlike Haaretz claims, was not detained.

So this is just another story to scare little children.

Posted by b on February 8, 2009 at 17:00 UTC | Permalink


Tactical Ginzu knives? Death by a thousand cuts. Our tomatoes and Coke cans are defenseless!

Posted by: biklett | Feb 8 2009 17:26 utc | 1

In other news, crack antiterror squadrons have interdicted a shipment of clapped-out used cars, which are a critical component of car bombs.

Posted by: ...--... | Feb 8 2009 19:09 utc | 2

Scary? I'll give you scary:

related to above:

Posted by: Jimmy Green | Feb 8 2009 23:59 utc | 3

This story and others like it would be a joke if they weren't believed by so many people - people who lack the slightest motivation to question what they're being told. So many of these stories can be thrown out with a few minutes of research on the internet, but I guess they serve to advance agendas (whatever they may be).

The sooner people in the West realise much of their media, regarding international politics in particular, is little more than propaganda the better.

Posted by: Ash | Feb 9 2009 5:24 utc | 4

wow, thought you poly sci wonks would be right up the bunghole of the successful Iranian sat launch, and it's significance for elections in Israel on Tuesday, and Likud selection on imminent start of nuke WW3.

Posted by: Gerald Popov | Feb 9 2009 7:17 utc | 5

Interesting answers of the National Journal with regard to how to handle Iran. The best ones so far is by Pat Lang and Michael Scheuer. From the last one:

For those who do not believe that Iran is a nation-state threat to the United States, the president can cite:

--The clouds of Iranian air force planes that mercilessly bombed Israel during the 2006 Israel-Hisballah war. (Oh, wait a minute, there were no such attacks?)

--The multiple times the Iranian navy has closed the Straits of Hormuz and impoverished Western economies. (You say Iran has never done this?)

--The precision Chinese missiles the Iranians have used to repeatedly destroy oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States. (What? No record of such attacks?)

--The thousands of Americans killed and the tens of billions of dollars of U.S. property destroyed at home and abroad since 1984 by the attacks of Iran’s terrorist surrogate Hisballah. (Really, there have been no anti-U.S. Hisballah attacks since 1984?)

--The rising tide of lethal, anti-U.S. operations by Iran’s other terrorist surrogate Hamas. (Are you sure there has never been such an attack?)

Posted by: b | Feb 9 2009 15:18 utc | 6

If you don't scream after watching this video--you are not human
See it before it's banned and pass it on

Posted by: george in toronto | Feb 9 2009 16:41 utc | 7

Israel is worried about raw steel, but not about the missile and defense technology that THEY THEMSELVES sell to China?! Cuckoo.

Russia, Israel are China's top arms suppliers

China-Iran-Russia-[Israel] axis
"In addition to recent massive energy deals with Tehran, which place Iran in China's security web, both Beijing and Moscow have accelerated the transfer of missile technology to Tehran, while selling the Islamic republic increasingly sophisticated military equipment."

Ever heard of a Mobius strip?

Posted by: Carl M | Feb 9 2009 17:31 utc | 8

"This story and others like it would be a joke if they weren't believed by so many people - people who lack the slightest motivation to question what they're being told"

Rest assured that if the number of people who believe this ever falls below satisfactory threshold, it will only result in CIA, Mossad and all such changing the style of these falsehoods, to bring them back to the appropriate level. That project would be paid by us all, as usual.

Posted by: groc22 | Feb 9 2009 17:57 utc | 9

How much longer will these needless wars for Israel continue? Will it 'change' under Obama? Highly doubtful. Israel already owns Obama after he picked Rahm Emanuel, the son of a terrorist, as Chief of Staff. Obama will probably let Mossad slide on their 9/11 involvement and Obama will continue Middle East wars. So who owns the President? Israel does, as always.

Posted by: Hank | Feb 9 2009 19:11 utc | 10

CK22 steel can be used to make warheads or fuel pods for surface-to-surface missiles in the same way that 8 1/2 x 11 copier paper can be used to make a plane to crash into the Pentagon.

Such ridiculous lies.

CK22, aka 1020 in the US, is the most ordinary, basic steel produced -- even more basic than rebar. The 10 series means that it is just basic carbon steel -- no other metals for enhanced properties, such as chromium or nickel. 20 refers to the parts per thousand of carbon, or "points," and is the lowest concentration fabricated. It will not hold an edge and so is unsuitable for tool steel. The generic name for it is mild steel; Very easy to cut, bend and form.

Having spent the past six months working as a blacksmith and helping in teaching metallurgy classes to the Coast Guard, this was the steel I used to make hooks, old fashioned hand-made nails, towel and pot holders, ornamental leaves, sail hanks, and replica whaling tools like harpoons and flensing knives.

The reference book I used in teaching was the New Edge of the Anvil, which has an excellent section on metallurgy for blacksmiths.

It sure was fun being a blacksmith and pounding hot metal for the tourists.

Posted by: Malooga | Feb 12 2009 2:47 utc | 11

Some of the WMD's which can be made from 1020 mild steel.

Posted by: Malooga | Feb 12 2009 15:10 utc | 12

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