Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Iran, WORLD POLITICS — Rick Moran @ 2:28 pm

Short answer: nothing. No sanctions, no bombing, no conceivable action that can stop the Iranians if they choose — and the report clearly shows that they have - to construct the ultimate guarantee against mocking the prophet.

My FPM article examines the question:

The major difference between reports generated under ElBaradei and today is the tough, no nonsense Japanese diplomat who now heads the IAEA. Yukiya Amano has tried — within the limited sphere of his authority — to hold Iran accountable for its secrecy and refusal to answer questions about the extent of its nuclear research and development programs. Far more than ElBaradei, who at times seemed to be Iran’s primary nuclear enabler, Amano has fought his own board to toughen reports on the Iranian program, resisting efforts to soften language and obfuscate conclusions.

In this case, it may not be a slam dunk — there is no “smoking gun” that reveals Iranian intentions with any certainty — but, as Amano notes, there is “a thousand pages of documents” that showed “research, development and testing activities” that strongly suggest a military aspect to the Iranian’s proclaimed “peaceful” nuclear program.

Why release such a strongly worded and detailed report now? Amano, suggested one diplomat, may have reached the limit of his patience with Iranian evasions and might be trying to use the IAEA as a spur to get Iran back to the negotiating table. “Amano thinks that the best role the IAEA can play is as a technical agency that is forthcoming about the information that it has,” the diplomat said. Contrary to belief in some quarters in the West, the sanctions against Tehran have hurt far more than the regime has let on. While they haven’t materially affected the Iranian nuclear program, shortages of basics, inflation, and a lack of spare parts have deeply impacted ordinary people and caused much anger at the government. Another round of sanctions targeting the Iranian petrol industry would bite even harder, although both Russia and China oppose any more sanctions at all at this time. Amano realizes this and believes if the choice is between tougher sanctions or a military strike, Moscow and Beijing may reluctantly come on board for another round of Security Council actions against Tehran. It’s an admitted long shot, but looking at the alternative, it’s a diplomat’s hope to resolve the crisis peacefully.

In fact, the IAEA report has now brought the Iranian problem to a crisis level. CNN quotes one expert, Geneive Abdo, Iran analyst with The Century Foundation, who believes that a “dangerous turning point” has been reached:

“I think the only move is to have some sort of dialogue with Iran. Whether over Afghanistan or over its nuclear program, the parties have to come back to the negotiating table,” she said. “Because the silence is very dangerous. Also, the Iranians, I believe, really believe that there could be an attack now, and they feel completely under siege.”

“Historically, the way Iran reacts to pressure is more aggression,” and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made clear he reacts that way as well, Abdo said.

The US would lead the effort for an additional round of sanctions at the UN, but most diplomats hold out little hope that they would alter Iran’s path. Instead, the Obama administration may go it alone or engage its friends and allies in imposing their own, tougher sanctions on Iran. But the same problems present themselves in such a multi-lateral effort; Russia and China would ignore the restrictions and continue to trade with Tehran. One possible target might be the Iranian central bank that deals with other international banks around the world. Restricting Iran’s access to foreign capital would cause the regime some difficulty in the import-export sector.

Despite clear evidence that sanctions won’t stop Tehran from developing a weapon, they will be tried because the alternative — military action — would only delay Iran’s drive for a bomb for three years at most. That’s been a consistent assessment from the Pentagon and CIA for three years now. And an invasion coupled with regime change would have very little support in the US, as well as giving no guarantee that the next Iranian regime wouldn’t pursue nuclear weapons as well. Also, the sites that would be targeted are spread out all over the country and many are underground and hidden.

The Israeli air force would have a difficult mission if it were tasked with bombing Iranian nuclear sites. Difficult – but not impossible. The flights would necessarily be long, with some of the flight path over the territory of states not likely to grant overflight permission. Would the US assist the Israelis by taking out Iranian air defenses, or perhaps even join in a strike on the nuclear sites? If the Israelis is going to go ahead and bomb Iran, there are some who believe we may as well assist them because Iran is going to blame us anyway. More likely, any US administration will do all in its power to dissuade the Israelis from striking. The consequences from skyrocketing oil prices, to probable proxy attacks on our troops and bases in the region would not be worth the small gain in time — if any time is to be gained at this point — in delaying the Iranian quest for a bomb.

The options are all unacceptable — but so is Iran getting the bomb.

I half jokingly suggested to Jazz Shaw on The RINO Hour of Power show that we give the Saudis and any other Gulf nation who wants one, a couple of nukes to establish a balance of power. It’s an option that The Kingdom appears to be seriously contemplating, but even with western help they are a decade away.

No one knows just how genuinely crazy and fanatical the Iranian mullahs truly are. I’m inclined to think they are more unbalanced than is desired for the world to be safe from their using nukes in war, but not likely to fire a missile at Israel on a whim. Nor do I think it likely that they would spend all that money, time and effort only to hand a nuke to Hezballah or some other terrorist outfit. In 5 years, they will have a missile with a long enough range to hit most US cities so it would seem improbable that they would allow another government or terrorist group to decide when to use a nuke against us.

The world is about to enter a most unsettling and dangerous period.

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