Iceland’s volcano Eyjafjallajokull recently created air travel chaos across Europe. Millions were affected and financial losses mounted during a time of global recession. This was a subtle reminder of the potential for bedlam in the event of a very different matter, namely conflict with Iran over its nuclear program.
Such a conflict would negatively affect commercial aviation around the Gulf littoral, leading to a loss of revenue; it would push civilians to attempt to escape a war zone in droves; and there is a remote possibility that it might bring about a nuclear escalation.
Past experiences are important to recall what might happen in the event of a new war. The 1991 Gulf war provides an example of the confusion and damage that can result from the sudden increase in smoke. Retreating Iraqi forces intentionally caused the release of crude petroleum from field production facilities and ignited more than 700 Kuwaiti oil fields to slow advancing Coalition forces. For fliers, the ensuing smoke imposed abrupt transitions from clear skies to instrument flying conditions. The weather also added to the problem, with oil-laden rain clogging engines of military equipment.
An Israeli or American or some form of combined attack against Iran would likely be concentrated on three locations: Isfahan, where Iran produces uranium hexafluoride gas; Natanz, where the gas is enriched in approximately half of the 8,000 centrifuges located there; and Arak, where a he… >>>