IRAN-Deja vu all over again?

by JWdaughter 318 Replies latest social current

  • leavingwt

    Bill Gertz. . .

    CIA: Iran capable of producing nukes

    Iran is poised to begin producing nuclear weapons after its uranium program expansion in 2009, even though it has had problems with thousands of its centrifuges, according to a newly released CIA report.

    "Iran continues to develop a range of capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so," the annual report to Congress states.

    A U.S. official involved in countering weapons proliferation said the Iranians are "keeping the door open to the possibility of building a nuclear weapon."

    "That's in spite of strong international pressure not to do so, and some difficulties they themselves seem to be having with their nuclear program," the official said. "There are powerful incentives for them to close the door completely, but they are either purposefully ignoring them or are tone deaf. You almost want to shout, 'Tune in Tehran.'"

    The CIA report is the latest official study expressing concern over Iran's continuing nuclear activities. The International Atomic Energy Agency on March 3 issued a report warning that continuing nuclear activities in violation of U.N. resolutions raise "concerns about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile."

    The U.S. report was produced by the CIA Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control Center, known as WINPAC. It is called the 721 report for the section of a 1997 intelligence authorization law requiring it.

    The report also says that North Korea, based on a nuclear test in May 2009, now "has the capability to produce nuclear weapons with a yield of roughly a couple of kilotons TNT equivalent." A kiloton is a measure of a nuclear bomb's power and is equal to 1,000 tons of TNT.

    On Iran, the report says that it is "keeping open" its options for building nuclear arms, "though we do not know whether Tehran eventually will decide to produce nuclear weapons."

    . . .

  • leavingwt

    Iran Ridicules Obama's "Cowboy" Nuclear Strategy

    . . .

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad derided Obama on Wednesday, depicting him as an ineffective leader influenced by Israel to target Iran more aggressively.

    "American materialist politicians, whenever they are beaten by logic, immediately resort to their weapons like cowboys," Ahmadinejad said in a speech before a crowd of several thousand in northwestern Iran.

    "Mr. Obama, you are a newcomer (to politics). Wait until your sweat dries and get some experience. Be careful not to read just any paper put in front of you or repeat any statement recommended," Ahmadinejad said in the speech, aired live on state TV.

    Ahmadinejad said Obama "is under the pressure of capitalists and the Zionists" and vowed Iran would not be pushed around. "(American officials) bigger than you, more bullying than you, couldn't do a damn thing, let alone you," he said, addressing Obama.

    . . .

  • leavingwt

    Iran to complain to U.N. over Obama nuclear "threat"

    Iran will lodge a complaint with the United Nations about what it sees as U.S. President Barack Obama 's threat to attack it with nuclear weapons , the foreign ministry said on Sunday.

    Obama made clear last week that Iran and North Korea were excluded from new limits on the use of U.S. atomic weapons -- something Tehran interpreted as a threat from a long-standing adversary to attack it with nuclear bombs.

    "The recent statement by the U.S. president ... implicitly intimidates the Iranian nation with the deployment of nuclear arms," Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised meeting with military and security officials.

    "This statement is very strange and the world should not ignore it since in the 21st century, which is the era of support for human rights and campaigning against terrorism, the head of a country is threatening to use nuclear war ."

    Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told the semi-official Fars news agency Iran would lodge a formal complaint to the United Nations, a move backed by a letter signed by 255 of Iran's 290 members of parliament.

    . . .

  • leavingwt

    Iranian official: We're month away from joining 'nuclear club'

    Iranian Atomic Energy deputy chief Behzat Sultani said Tuesday that the Islamic Republic will join the "nuclear club" within one month and added, "No country will consider attacking it after that." He provided no further details. Sultani added that 70% of the Arak nuclear reactor has been completed.

    . . .,7340,L-3875393,00.html

  • leavingwt

    The Libertarian view on Iran. . .

    What is Libertarian Foreign Policy?

    In the clip, Boaz argues persuasively that far from being suicidal, the track record of Iranian behavior shows pragmatism and calculating temperament when attempting to advance its interests in the region. Thus, rather than assessing Iran based on their leaders’ repulsive and provocative rhetoric, U.S. officials should deduce future Iranian intentions based on how it has reacted when confronted with overwhelming force. While no one can predict the future, regional experts—not hawkish, misinformed policy analysts or neo-conservative ideologues who advocate regime change—insist that the clerical regime has valued self-preservation and in the future can be deterred.
    My colleague, Justin Logan, argues here that U.S. policymakers must press for direct diplomacy with the Iranian leadership and have a plan “B” in case that diplomacy fails. Of course, the problem is that those who endorse a tougher approach toward Iran insist that we have tried diplomacy before. That is not true. Washington typically offers halfhearted gestures and then falsely concludes that diplomacy does not work. Americans must reject the alarmist rhetoric and tortured rationales that have thus far proved counterproductive for arriving at a long-term solution toward Iran.

  • BurnTheShips

    It isn't clear to me that the Iraq war was a good idea.


  • leavingwt

    Setting the Trap on Iran

    The Obama administration's strategy as it devises sanctions for Iran is to build a sticky trap -- so that the harder the Iranians try to wriggle out of the sanctions, the more tightly they will be caught in the snare.

    It's a clever idea. But even if it works with mousetrap precision, it's unlikely to stop the Iranian nuclear program. That's one reason why Defense Secretary Bob Gates and other officials are pressing to explore the "what-ifs" about Iran -- and to accelerate planning for contingencies that could arise as the confrontation deepens.

    The White House didn't like the New York Times' characterization of a memo Gates wrote in January as a "wake-up call," given all the work the administration has already done on Iran. But the Times' story captured the urgency with which Gates and other officials see the problem -- and their fear that sanctions, however well constructed, may not do the trick.

    Gates's memo called specifically for "prudent planning and preparation" for the showdown with Iran, according to one senior official quoting from the text. The defense secretary requested that the "principals committee," the top officers of the National Security Council, discuss the range of issues and options that might arise.

    The next step in this pressure campaign is the sanctions regime being crafted by Stuart Levey, undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. This will have several interlocking components: The showpiece will be a new U.N. Security Council resolution to add sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and its affiliated companies, along with other Iranian firms involved in manufacturing, transporting and financing weapons shipments and other illicit activities. But that's just the beginning.

    The administration knows the resolution will be watered down by Russia and China, but it wants the U.N. sanctions anyway -- as a platform for additional measures by the United States and its allies. It's these private and unilateral sanctions that will have real bite: As the Iranians try to evade them, their deception will trigger additional punitive measures.

    . . .

  • freydo

    What better scenario could there be for Obama than to let the Jew's get blamed for WWIII?
    Personally, I think it could start any day with Iraq and Afghanistan being nothing but staging areas.

    Israel Weighs Merits of Solo Attack on Iran

    Officials, Seeing Impending Policy Split With U.S., Debate Prospect of a Military Strike Without Washington's Consent

    JERUSALEM—The Israeli security establishment is divided over whether it needs Washington's blessing if Israel decides to attack Iran, Israeli officials say, as the U.S. campaign for sanctions drags on and Tehran steadily develops greater nuclear capability..........Some senior Israeli officials say in interviews that they see signs Washington may be willing to live with a nuclear-armed Iran, an eventuality that Israel says it won't accept. Compounding Israeli concerns were U.S. statements this past weekend that underscored U.S. resistance to a military option........

    Many Israeli military experts say Israel can easily cope with any military retaliation by Iran in response to a strike. Iran's medium-range rockets would cause damage and casualties in Israel, but they aren't very accurate, and Israel's sophisticated missile-defense system would likely knock many out midflight. Israel has similarly proved it can handle attacks against Israel by Hezbollah and Hamas. Israel also hosts a contingent of U.S. troops attached to a radar system to help give early warning against incoming rocket attacks.

    More worrying to Israeli strategic planners examining possible attack scenarios is the possibility that Iran would respond to an Israeli attack by ramping up support to groups battling U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to recently retired officials familiar with the military's thinking on Iran. If American soldiers start dying in greater numbers as a result

    Iran could also disrupt the world's oil supply by cutting off exports through the Persian Gulf, roiling international oil markets.

    "What will Americans say if Israel drags the U.S. into a war it didn't want, or when they are suddenly paying $10 a gallon for gasoline and Israel is the reason for it," says retired Brig. Gen. Shlomo Brom, former director of the Israeli army's Strategic Planning Division.

    Former senior members of Israel's defense establishment have weighed in recently on both sides of the debate.

    "We don't have permission and we don't need permission from the U.S.," says Ephraim Sneh, who served as deputy minister of defense under former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. But Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser, says Israel wouldn't jeopardize its relationship with the U.S. by launching a military strike against Iran without an American nod........."


  • leavingwt

    Get Ready for a Nuclear Iran

    . . .

    The further pursuit of sanctions is tantamount to doing nothing. Advocating such policies only benefits Iran by providing it cover for continued progress toward its nuclear objective. It creates the comforting illusion of "doing something." Just as "diplomacy" previously afforded Iran the time and legitimacy it needed, sanctions talk now does the same.

    Speculating about regime change stopping Iran's nuclear program in time is also a distraction. The Islamic Revolution's iron fist, and willingness to use it against dissenters (who are currently in disarray), means we cannot know whether or when the regime may fall. Long-term efforts at regime change, desirable as they are, will not soon enough prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons with the ensuing risk of further regional proliferation.

    We therefore face a stark, unattractive reality. There are only two options: Iran gets nuclear weapons, or someone uses pre-emptive military force to break Iran's nuclear fuel cycle and paralyze its program, at least temporarily.

    . . .

  • llbh

    I am beginning toward Bolton's take, and very reluctantly as you can see

    I still think that Obama must use sanctions as much as possible, though he is being undermined by the Russians and China.

    LWT I thought you might be interested in this article.


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