Powered by WebAds

Saturday, July 26, 2008

6000 centrifuges and no air defense. Hmm.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad announced on Saturday that Iran now has 6000 centrifuges at its Natanz facility - double the number it had in April. Al-AP reports that Ahmadinejad's assertion is 'certain to further rankle' the US and other world powers. And if there's anyone out there who thought that sending William Burns to Geneva last Saturday to join the party would deter Ahmadinejad, I suggest that you re-think that one:
"The presence of a US representative ... was a victory for Iran, irrespective of the outcome. ... The US condition was for Iran to suspend enrichment but they attended (the talks) without such a condition being met," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in the state radio report.

On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad praised the US participation at the talks as a step toward recognizing Teheran's right to acquire nuclear technology.
Ahmadinejad has been quite consistent all along about where he plans to go.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Pentagon claimed that Iran would not be receiving S-300 anti-missile systems in 2008, contradicting an Israeli assessment that had them arriving as soon as September.
First delivery of the S-300 batteries was expected as soon as early September, one Israeli source said, though it could take six to 12 months for them to be deployed and operable.

But Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said: "We firmly believe, based upon our understanding of the situation, that the Iranians will not be receiving that Russian anti-aircraft system this year." Morrell, who was responding to a query from Reuters, declined to elaborate on the reasons for the Pentagon's view.

His comments expanded on remarks by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said on July 9 that it was "highly unlikely that those air defense missiles would be in Iranian hands any time soon."
Current Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been mentioned as a possible Defense Secretary should Democratic nominee Barack Hussein Obama win the Presidential election in the US in November.

This is some of the background behind what DEBKA is claiming is a panic-stricken letter from Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert to President Bush, in which Olmert accuses Bush of abandoning Israel in the face of the Iranian threat:
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert this week shot off a strong secret note to US President George W. Bush, DEBKAfile’s sources reveal, protesting the administration’s strategic steps toward rapprochement with Iran.

Israel was not forewarned, Olmert wrote bitterly, although these steps directly violated US-Israel understandings on Iran of the past year. Bush, he said, had broken the promises he gave in face-to-face meetings with the prime minister earlier this year. If nothing is done to arrest Iran’s progress towards a nuclear bomb, Olmert warned, Iran will have all the components ready for assembly by early 2009, that is, in 6-8 months.

This time line is tighter than the one the prime minister gave the Democratic Senator Barack Obama when he visited Jerusalem Wednesday, July 23.

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources add that Bush has not replied to the letter, although the prime minister wrote in a spirit of extreme alarm over the threat to Israel’s security and indeed survival building up in Tehran.

The US response apparently came in the way American military chiefs brushed off Israeli chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, when he presented intelligence updates on the state of Iran’s military nuclear program. He was received with great honor during his week’s working visit, but his hosts declined to address the working theories guiding the IDF with regard to that program.
My guess is that the S-300's aren't going to make it to Iran. Something is going to happen to them on the way.


More here (Hat Tip: Memeorandum)


At 6:22 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The letter if true, is more proof of Ehud Olmert's unfitness to lead the State Of Israel. He refuses to fulfill his duty to defend the country and he has the chutzpah to accuse the U.S of failing to defend her. That's not America's - or any other country's job. That the job of Israel's government.


Post a Comment

<< Home