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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Nothing left to 'negotiate' with Iran

As a Presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama called for 'direct talks' with Iran. The Wall Street Journal concludes - correctly - in Wednesday's edition that there is nothing left to be discussed.
That's a fair conclusion from the latest report by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency. Among other disclosures, the IAEA found that Iran has produced more than 1,000 kilograms of low enriched uranium (LEU), enough for a single bomb's worth of uranium after further enrichment. The IAEA also found that Iran had underreported its stock of LEU by about 200 kilograms, which took the agency by surprise partly because it only checks Iran's stockpile once a year. This is the basis for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Michael Mullen's weekend acknowledgment that the U.S. believes Iran has enough fissile material to make a bomb.

Iran now possesses 5,600 centrifuges in which it can enrich uranium -- a 34-fold increase from 2006 -- and plans to add 45,000 more over five years. That will give Tehran an ability to make atomic bombs on an industrial scale. Iran has also announced that it plans to begin operating its Russian-built reactor at Bushehr sometime this spring. That reactor's purposes are ostensibly civilian, but it will eventually produce large quantities of spent fuel that can covertly be processed into weapons-usable plutonium.

That's not all. The IAEA says its inspectors have been denied access to a heavy water reactor in Arak, and that Iran has put a roof over the site "rendering impossible the continued use of satellite imagery to monitor further construction inside the reactor building." Most proliferation experts agree that the Arak reactor, scheduled for completion in 2011, can have no purpose other than to produce weapons-grade plutonium.
But the Journal stops short of calling for military action. It quotes Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak, who called for
a two-pronged course of action which includes ironclad, strenuous sanctions . . . and a readiness to consider options in the event that these sanctions do not succeed.
The Journal urges Obama to "get serious about Iran now."

But even if Obama understands just how deep a crisis he is looking at in Iran (which he apparently does not), it is doubtful that most of his erstwhile allies get it. After all, the only country believed to be in immediate danger from a nuclear Iran is Israel. And so, no matter how tough a future round of sanctions might be, you can bet that countries like Germany, Italy and France will ignore them and continue to trade with Iran and that Russia will continue to provide it with everything it needs to complete its nuclear plant. What Obama should be doing is figuring out how to replenish American's strategic oil reserve and deciding how the US will react when the seemingly inevitable Israeli strike on Iran comes. It's likely to happen pretty soon.


At 7:39 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Both Israel's out-going government and in-coming government made it clear to Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton that if the US does not act, Israel will. And the Obama Administration can't be surprised to learn later that Israel struck Iran. They were warned well in advance and moreover there's a wall to wall national consensus for such a move in Israel, in a country where people agree on little else.

The bottom line is Israel will not tolerate a nuclear Iran.


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