Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The Ayatollahs Laugh - Iran's Nukes And The New 'Red Lines'
"I got the impression that here was a man who could be relied upon when he had given his word....the German compass is pointed toward peace." - British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain describing his talks with Adolf Hitler to the British people, 1938.
Now that the talks on Iran's illicit nuclear program have started in Geneva, the Iranians are already revealing that they're a farce that will mean nothing, just as they always have.
As the latest round of talks was being scheduled, Majlis Speaker and former Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said that Iran has more enriched uranium than it needed and said that it could be used as a bargaining chip with the West, referring to a previous plan advanced by Russia to enrich Iran's uranium outside Iran,ostensibly to prevent any weaponization.
The day before the talks, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Iranian state TV that "Shipping out the [enriched] material is a red line for Iran," and that it would not even be considered.
In fact, at this point the only thing the Iranians are saying they'll negotiate is the level and quantity of enriched uranium and the type and number of centrifuges...in exchange for a complete lifting of sanctions:
"We are supposed to enter into a trust-building path with the West," Araqchi said. "In their point of view, trust-building means taking some steps on the Iranian nuclear issue, and in our view, trust is made when the sanctions are lifted."
And trust, of course will take time, from the Iranians viewpoint.As much time as possible. Meanwhile, the centrifuges are spinning.And Iran admits to already having 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of 20 percent-enriched uranium, a form that can be quickly upgraded for weapons use. That's within spitting distance of what's needed for a nuclear weapon, and based on their previous track record the Iranians might well have a lot more than that hidden away.
The Obama Administration has also publicly signaled its willingness to quickly drop the sanctions on Iran as part of negotiations.
In fact, according to the terms of the talks President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry agreed to, the Iranians can even continue to enrich uranium freely while the talks continue. And while those talks go on, the Iranians are also taking advantage of the diplomatic engagement to conceal materials and fortify their nuclear sites.
So, where does this leave us? Let's summarize:
President Obama has apparently accepted the Iranian position that they have the right to enrich uranium.He has done this in spite of the regime's support of terrorism, its complicity in 9/11, it's history of duplicity and lies on its nuclear program, and its often expressed hatred for The Great Satan, as the Iranian regime refers to America.
President Obama has swallowed assurances by Iran that they have no interest in nuclear weapons, that Iran's nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes ( which is why they kept it hidden and clandestine for so long), and that Iran's Supreme Leader the Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons..even though he didn't , and no record of the supposed 'fatwa' exists.
The Iranians will be allowed to continue enriching uranium. We have no way of verifying how much or to what degree, or really anything much while the talks continue and perhaps even after they're completed.President Obama has also apparently accepted the Iranian demand that enriched uranium will stay in Iran under Iran's control.
No mention at all has been made of closing down the top secret Iranian nuclear plant at Fordo, or its heavy water plant at Arak, which has no peaceful application, but can only be used to drive a reactor manufacturing weapons grade plutonium, a second path to nuclear weapons.
And President Obama and his team are willfully ignoring the fact that once you have the capability of enriching uranium to any degree and a full fuel cycle, you're able able to produce nuclear weapons. They are also apparently willing ignore the fact that a peaceful nuclear program can exist without requiring uranium enrichment or plutonium production. Only a nuclear weapons program does.
All else aside, this pretty much ignores Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s four stipulations for Israel's acceptance of a nuclear accord with Iran....halting uranium enrichment, removing enriched, easily weaponized uranium stocks from Iran's control, shutting down the secret Fordo underground enrichment plant and shutting down construction of the heavy water reactor in Arak.
None of that is on the table any more.Instead, the Israelis, who have been threatened with annihilation repeatedly by Iran merely got an assurance from Secretary Kerry that the Obama Administration is "mindful of Israel's security needs."
That likely carries about as much weight as the assurances of France's Socialist Prime Minister Holland, whose election was largely due to carrying 90% of the votes of France's Muslims.
Netanyahu has reacted to he and his country being totally blindsided with some tough rhetoric.In an interview with the BBC, he said, "If this regime gains access to nuclear weapons, it will become eternal, like the regime of North Korea."
He's not likely wrong about that. This entire affair has the same stench that accompanied the Clinton Administration's 'negotiations with Kim Jong-Il. The circumstances are similar - a large power sponsoring the creation of a dependent, nuclear-armed fascist regime on its borders for what it perceives as border security for itself and as an occasional flashpoint to keep the West off balance and preoccupied.
But a nuclear-armed Iran is an infinitely bigger deal. It's situated in a much more strategic area, is a larger and more important country that is a major supporter of Islamist, and will be a much more significant problem for America and the West than North Korea ever was.
Along with the rhetoric, Netanyahu also gave the order for a display of muscle, perhaps intended as much for the West as for the Ayatollahs. He had the IDF pull off a very public series of exercises testing their ability to carry out long range missions, dogfights against foreign aircraft and air-to-air refueling over Greek airspace in conjunction with the air force of that country. Coupled with Netanyahu's UN speech, the message it transmits is 'don't say we didn't warn you.'
This is all very well, but comes very late in the game.
The Israelis obviously retain the ability to severely damage Iran's nuclear weapons program. But by waiting this long, Netanyahu has committed a huge strategic blunder. A military strike now, however justified, will put Israel in the position of 'damaging peace negotiations', as well as confronting a much more difficult task militarily. And the luxury of time no longer exists, with Iran perhaps months away from having a nuclear weapon deployed.
Regular members of Joshua's Army will remember that I've stated many times on these pages my belief that President Obama's intention all along was to get Israel to take out Iran's nuclear facilities.That way, he not only avoids dealing with Iran but can call for 'a nuclear free Middle East', demand Israel get rid of its nuclear deterrent, retreat to indefensible borders and have his anti-Israel UN ambassador Samantha Power lead the charge to demonize Israel and work to have the UN slap them with sanctions when they refuse.
Netanyahu should have seen this kind of appeasement coming back in 2009 when President Obama first took office and made his hostility towards Israel evident. An Israeli strike in 2009, 2010 or 2012 would have not only been far easier militarily but would have avoided Israel being put in the position it now faces diplomatically.
It remains to be seen exactly how this plays out, but one thing is certain.By delaying the inevitable, Benyamin Netanyahu bears full responsibility for putting Israel in this position. It happened on his watch.
Odd it is that for the second time in less than a century the West appears to be willing to make a deal with the devil, forgo its own interests and ignore the fate of six million Jews threatened with extinction...but this time at least, the Jews are armed and can defend themselves.