Diary

Iran is waiting Mr. President-elect

The International Atomic Energy Agency revealed yesterday that Iran is stockpiling vast amounts of enriched uranium which is needed for for weapons-grade material and can be made into a nuclear weapon.

The agency says that, as of this month, Tehran had amassed 630kg of low enriched uranium hexafluoride, up from 480kg in late August. Analysts say Iran is enriching uranium at such a pace that, by early next year, it could reach break-out capacity – one step away from producing enough fissile material for a crude nuclear bomb.

“They are moving forward, they are not making diplomatic overtures, they are accumulating low enriched uranium,” said Cliff Kupchan, an analyst at the Eurasia Group, a risk consultancy in Washington. “These guys are committed to their nuclear programme: if we didn’t know that, they just told us again.”

Iran will remain defiant as long as they perceive that the U.S. is thoroughly occupied in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are hell bent on being a regional power and Western agitator in the region as evident from the Israeli/Lebanon conflict in 2006. And at the moment, Iran is practically free to conduct business as it sees fit.

While many people in America thought well of Obama’s overtures to our enemies, nation’s don’t generally react with good intentions to such niceties. A country like Iran, views it as an opportunity to exploit a situation and push the very limits up until general war.

Ahead of Wednesday’s report, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the Iranian president, signalled that his country would press ahead with its nuclear program.

In a speech broadcast on TV, he said the US and its major allies wanted to deprive Iran of “honor and independence” by pressuring the country into halting its uranium enrichment work.

“Now the great powers are disappointed, as they have not the least bit of hope to break the Iranian people down,” he said. “If great powers seek to take over Iran’s rights, Iranian people will slap them so hard that they won’t find their way back home.”

Obama will have to decide quickly on what type of position and tone he plans to take because Iran poses as a major foreign policy issue for President Obama and possibly a disastrous one for his Presidency. Tehran has ignored numerous sanctions resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council demanding that it halt its nuclear ambitions and come to to terms with other world powers. As a result of thus far failed soft-power policies, many experts are predicting that Iran could become nuclear with the capacity for a bomb within two years. If this would occur, besides it giving Tehran the boost it needs to becoming the regional superpower, an arms race in the volatile Middle-East will certainly follow. How long would it be before groups like Hizbullah and Hamas got their hands on a crude nuclear device, i.e, a dirty bomb? Cities like Haifa and Tel Aviv would be wonderful target of opportunities.

That is precisely why Israel will prevent that from ever happening. They are reportedly on go and all options are open for direct intervention.

“We are ready to do whatever is demanded of us” in order to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, IAF commander Maj. -Gen. Ido Nehushtan told German magazine Der Spiegel in an interview published Tuesday.

A strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities “is a political decision,” the IAF commander said, “but if I understand it correctly, all options are on the table… The Air Force is a very robust and flexible force. We are ready to do whatever is demanded of us.

If this option were to be carried out a state of war would exist between Israel and Iran. The chances of the Gaza Strip lighting up would be certain along with reactions from Hizbullah in Lebanon, and a real possibility of Syria and Israel clashing and resuming their chilled war. Israel itself would become a landing pad for medium and long range missiles. The U.S. would be forced to become involved rather it wants to or not.

Either scenario would be ugly. That is why one thing for certain remains crystal clear: Iran cannot, must not, develop nuclear weapons of any sort. President-elect Obama realizes this point and said that a nuclear Iran would be “unacceptable.”

As much as many would hate to see holding official talks with Iran that may be the only option left before bombing raids have to be conducted. Except these discussions should not be about military or economic threats. They don’t work and have no effect. It would have to be a one way discussion with President Obama presenting an ultimatum (not the same as military threat) giving the Iranians a small window of opportunity to cease production or else. Instead of having all options on the table, there would only be two sitting there when the Iranian senior leadership arrived.

They get those sorts of messages.