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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A nuclear umbrella?

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in Thailand on Wednesday that in the event that Iran develops nuclear weapons, the United States will raise a nuclear umbrella over 'those in the Gulf.'
Clinton says the United States has not given up hope that Iran can still be persuaded by world powers to scrap a uranium enrichment project the United States and European allies believe is weapons related.

But she says, if the negotiating track fails and Iran acquires a nuclear weapons capacity, the United States will respond with "crippling" actions and is prepared to offer regional allies a "defense umbrella" to prevent Iranian intimidation.

Appearing on Thai television, the secretary's comments were some of the most pointed by any American official, thus far, about what Washington would do if Iran does acquire nuclear arms.

She says there is still a lot of opportunity for Iran to be dissuaded from its apparent course, through negotiations with the permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany (P5 +1), who have offered Iran incentives to curb its nuclear activities.

If such efforts fail, Clinton says the United States will take action that would limit a nuclear Iran's ability to bully its neighbors.

"We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment that, if the United States extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in the Gulf, it's unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer because they won't be able to intimidate and dominate as they apparently believe they can, once they have a nuclear weapon," she said.

Clinton says the negotiating track remains open but says the P5 +1 powers are "not going to keep the window open forever."
Officials traveling with Clinton said that her speech represented no change in policy. But reaction from Israel was fast and furious.
Dan Meridor, Israel's minister for secret services, told Army Radio that the comments imply a willingness to reconcile with the eventuality of a nuclear-armed Iran.

"I heard, unenthusiastically, the Americans' statement that they will defend their allies in the event that Iran arms itself with an atomic bomb, as if they have already reconciled with this possibility, and this is a mistake," Meridor told Army Radio. "Now, we don't need to deal with the assumption that Iran will attain nuclear weapons but to prevent this."
Meridor may be the most left-leaning minister in Prime Minister Netanyahu's cabinet - certainly he is the most left-leaning among the Likud ministers.

But no need to worry Dan, she has no intention of protecting us anyway. She said 'allies' and talked about 'the Gulf.' We're not located in the Persian Gulf, and I'm not sure the Obama administration considers us an ally anyway.


At 7:20 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I wonder what the Gulf allies thought of Hillary Clinton's remarks. They already know as does Israel, that America cannot be counted on to protect them from Iran. Considering that America is both scrapping the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons and not going ahead with its missile defense system in Europe, the Clinton proposal is an insult. Its another major foreign policy gaffe by the Administration.

What could go wrong indeed

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Andre (Canada) said...

...and you forgot the fact that within the last 3 months, the US has shelved the developement of both the F-22 and F-35, meaning that we are probably 10 years away from the production of a new plane, while Russia already at least matches the performance of US fighters.


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