Thursday, October 01, 2009

Our 'Negotiations' With Iran

Today is reportedly the big day when the US and Iran sit down to discuss - what, exactly?

The United States will not push for sanctions against Iran in Thursday's multilateral talks on its nuclear program in Geneva and is prepared to talk one-on-one with Iranian negotiations if such engagement appears "useful," senior administration officials said Wednesday.

The officials also said that while gaining access to inspect Iran's uranium enrichment facility near Qom is "critically important," the U.S. won't walk away from negotiations if Iran refuses.

"Tomorrow is the negotiations track and that is the thrust," a senior official said. "The thrust is dealing with this nuclear program and trying to get a process underway to address the growing international concern.

Ah, I see...a Process. To accomplish what?

Iran is a rogue nation ruled by Islamist despots that has had an illegal clandestine nuclear program going on for a decade, mainly based on smuggled technology from the likes of North Korea and Pakistan's AQ Kahn, in clear violation of the Non Proliferation Treaty they signed. They lied about it repeatedly until they were finally outed by Iranian dissidents - not the IAEA - six years ago.

Since then, they continued to play diplomats for fools while the Process continued and Iran's nuclear weapons program and missile technology advanced. And they've defied any attempts to reason with them or buy them off with 'incentives'.

Yet for six years, the sort of diplomats that haunt our state department have been working on the Almighty Process while Iran fomented terrorism all over the world, brutalized its own people and conducted war against America using proxies like Hezbollah and the Mahdi Army as well as its Qods force and Republican Guards.

Now, in spite of all the chest thumping of George W. Bush, the 'unclenched fist' of Barack Obama and all the pious rhetoric about how the US was not going to tolerate a nuclear armed Iran, the Process has done nothing but put Iran within months of achieving exactly that.

The above three paragraphs are classic in their own way.

We're not going to discuss 'sanctions', or anything like that with Iran, but we'd like to talk to them one on one about whatever's on their mind if that works out. But of course, we're not insisting or anything like that.

We'd really, really like the Iranians to let the IAEA take a peek at their hidden nuclear facility near Qom, (as if the IAEA is going to be able to find its behind with both hands)but we don't insist on it.And we're certainly not going to try to get Iran to comply even by mentioning the prospect of sanctions against them, let alone force. And nothing harsh like any deadlines. Whenever things are all tidied up and it's convenient, El Baradi and the boys will drop by - if that's OK.

And we certainly aren't going to demand the Iranians put a stop to their activities. They've already told us on many occasions to pound sand, and besides, that might destroy the Process. And we can't.have.that.

But wait, there's more:

The officials said if Iran rebuffs what they described as a "serious, bona fide offer" to trade pursuit of weapons-grade nuclear material for enhanced trade and financial ties, the U.S. is prepared to pursue sanctions through one of three mechanisms: the United Nations Security Council; with regional groups (such as the Europe Union); or the U.S. applying sanctions with "like-minded" nations.

Officials said the U.S. has built a "united front" against Iran's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons, adding Iran "needs to find a way to respond because if they don't, they will pay the price for it."

Officials said the Obama administration has been engaged since early summer in negotiations with Security Council nations and others on devising a sanctions strategy should Iran remain recalcitrant.

Did it ever occur to these nameless officials that if economic incentives were going to work on Iran,it would have happened a long time ago? And those sanctions..whom do they think they're kidding?

They will never get through the UN, because Russia and China won't allow them to. And for the US and 'like minded nations' to pull of actual sanctions, we'd need to institute a naval blockade of Iran and board Russian and Chinese ships. Somehow, I don't see Barack Obama having the stomach to do that, let alone Gordon Brown. And one major advantage we had to pressure Iran, their lack of refined petroleum products no longer exists thanks to the Chinese and our own clueless politicians inability to act decisively. With Chinese help, Iran has reduced its reliance on gasoline imports from 40 percent to 25 percent.

This kabuki theater will likely end up in one of three scenarios.

Iran will spin out the negotiations for months until they smilingly announce that they've successfully tested a nuclear weapon and any more talk on the matter is unnecessary, thank you.And these same diplomats will continue the almighty Process,only this time under the heel of a nuclear armed Iran.

Or the Iranians, with much fanfare, will announce that they have accepted Western largess in exchange for not pursuing nuclear weapons. They'll pocket whatever they can extort and then, several months later, we'll discover that they never stopped their nuclear weapons program after all. Let's call that the North Korean shuffle. Only with Iran, the dance is going to be a lot more costly.

The third scenario is that talks go nowhere and end up in largely symbolic sanctions that are routinely violated anyway and do nothing to stop Iran's march towards nukes. The Israelis finally get fed up and launch a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, and hopefully their ports and oil fields.

The most likely scenarios are the first two, because they cost Iran absolutely nothing, may have the effect of tying Israel's hands for awhile and allow politicians like Obama and Gordon Brown to avoid hard decisions and deceive people that something is actually being accomplished. A Process..

As for door number three, as I've mentioned before, I think Obama is counting on the Israelis to do the dirty work for him...after which he'll lead the charge in slapping them with UN sanctions.

Note that while there are three possible scenarios, there are really only two results. Either Iran's nuclear capabilities are destroyed or at least severely damaged and delayed or Iran achieves nuclear power, the Mideast explodes into a giant nuclear arms race and the world deals with nuclear blackmail and the distinct possibility of a war with a nuclear armed Iran later...not to mention the distinct probability of Iran handing off a nuclear device to one of its terrorist proxies for use in the West.

Barack Obama may be concerned about facing political backlash at home over his plans for government run health care and his mismanagement of the economy. I doubt he realizes it, but that will be a picnic compared to what will flare up if Iran goes nuclear on his watch, the mullahs behave with their accustomed arrogance and oil prices spike because of Iranian blackmail.

This is a situation in which Obama can't vote present any more. He's going to have to man up and make a decision, and soon.

Hey, there was a major breakthrough today! After a nice lunch, the parties agreed - that there would be more talks,maybe towards the end of October.Meanwhile, the centrifuges are spinning.

Even funnier was the breathless report in the western press that the Iranians agreed to let Russia enrich their uranium below weapons grade. Except that, as John Bolton mentioned, the enriched uranium can be easily reconverted into uranium hexafluoride gas and quickly enriched to weapons grade..or the Mullahs could also use the nuclear fuel to chemically extract plutonium to produce their nuclear weapons.

Not only that, but the Iranians were quick to respond that they're just thinking about letting the Russians do this. They'll have to take some time to mull it over and see....maybe.

When the Iranians leave the room, I can't imagine how they avoid falling over laughing at the gullible ferenghi.


Mohammed the Teddy-Bear said...

"As for door number three, as I've mentioned before, I think Obama is counting on the Israelis to do the dirty work for him...after which he'll lead the charge in slapping them with UN sanctions."

You meant UN sanctions against Israel, right? Because I can't see these being applied against Iran, ever.....especially with Emir 0-Bama of Amerikastan in the lead.

Freedom Fighter said...


B.Poster said...

America is a bankrupt declining power who is unlikely to even be considered a major world power for very much longer. As such, America is going to have to get used to certain "facts." One of these "facts", is there is virtually nothing America can do to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

If we think about the blockade action, this would likley be considered an act of war. China and Russia would likely get involved especially if we start trying to search their ships. The American Navy is no position right now to match up very well with either of those powers in the event of a war.

Something else to consider is we only recently learned about another nuclear site we did not know about. I suspect there are many more we still don't know about. If Iranian nuclear sites are to bombed, we need to be certain we got all of them. It would be terrible to bomb them and find out later we did not do enough damage to the program to have a significant impact. Given the poor performance of American intellegence in recent years, especially with regards to Iraqi WMD, I don't trust them.

The only way to be reasonable certain the Iranian nuclear program is eliminated in a bombing action would be a thorough bombing that covers the entire country. Probably nuclear weapons would have to be used. This is a VERY CHILLING possibilty especially because Israel has no choice in this matter, if they wish to survive and I assume they do.

Hopefully Israel has good enough intellegence on where these sites are to be able to take them out without nuking all of Iran. It is unlikely the Americans do. Even if they did, it is questionable whether or not the USAF has the flying skills or the technological capability to penetrate Iran's air defense systems. Isreal probably does though. I hope and pray Israel can pull this off. The survival of America may well depend upon Israeli success.