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Iran's 'Peace In Our Time' Ploy

Israeli Reaction:Latest Iranian Offer Is Ruse To Forestall New International Sanctions

U.S. Indicates It Will Will Still Pursue Sanctions Against Iran In UN Security Council However China & Russia Stress Positive Aspects Of Latest Proposal

Dr. Uzi Arad: 'Israel Is At Crossroads, We Must Decide Whether To Act In Self-Defense Before We Are Attacked'

Iranian President Ahmadinejad

 True to form, the Iranians have come up with a new ruse for derailing the current U.S. campaign for imposing harsher sanctions to force Tehran to halt its nuclear weapons program. With the threat of fresh sanctions fast approaching, President Ahmadenijad met with Brazilian President da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to hammer out what they have presented as a 'breakthrough' to the current Iranian nuclear crisis. But when the fine print was disclosed, the three ecstatic leaders recalled the images of Chamberlain, Hitler and Deladier at Munich.

 With the U.S. pressing for stiffer sanctions against Iran next month, President Achmadenijad has turned to his old tactics. The Iranian leader, with the connivance of Brazil's President da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, has announced a 'breakthrough' to resolve the ongoing crisis. There is only one problem - the fine print exposes the stark fact that Iran would still be able to continue its nuclear weapons program. The latest Iranian con game works like this: Iran would hand over 1,200 kilos of its enriched uranium to Turkey, for further enrichment that is said to be required for her medical research. This enriched uranium would be further processed into nuclear rods, that are not suitable for weapons production, and then returned to Iran. It sounds good and resembles the IAEA proposal rejected by Tehran a year ago. So why would Iran, bent on getting the bomb, now agree? Now comes the fine print.

Neville Chamberlain, Adolf Hitler

There are two aspects of the deal that expose it as being patently bogus. As of a year ago, Iran was known to have possessed at least another 1,200 kilos of enriched uranium and that would still enable the Iranians to continue their clandestine development of a nuclear weapon. Moreover, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official promptly declared that Tehran would continue her current 20% uranium enrichment. The concern is the Iranians are building a stockpile of 20% enriched uranium that they can later upgrade to 90%, the required level for weapons production. Moreover, the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna has previously disclosed that Iran has worked on developing a nuclear warhead for a missile. The Iranians now posses missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead not only to all of Israel, but also to many European capitals.

So, it is little wonder that the latest Iranian ruse has been met with more than a grain of salt by some, if not all members of the international community. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs reacted by saying that Iran's track record of deception and the latest proposal raise 'serious concerns'. However in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his impression was 'there was something to use' in the latest Iranian proposal. Lavrov indicated the Security Council would not approve sanctions on oil or oil products to Iran, steps that would really pressure Tehran for the first time. China, the other weak link on imposing sanctions, has also welcomed the Iranian deal, calling it a step in the right direction of negotiations.

Iranian Missiles

In Israel, there is concern that the U.S. will now find it even tougher to rally support in the Security Council for stiffer sanctions against Iran. On Friday, the five permanent members plus Germany are to discuss what Jerusalem views as another Iranian hoax. The outcome of that consultation will obviously be watched closely by Israeli decision makers.

Speaking before news of the latest Iranian proposal, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who has recently returned from a trip to Washington, was of the view that the Obama administration was now getting serious about imposing new sanctions. Barak felt this could happen next month in the Security Council. Apparently, the Pentagon report that by 2015, Iran might acquire inter-continental ballistic missiles, capable of targeting America's Atlantic seaboard, has caught the attention of the Obama administration. However, the reactions now by Moscow and Beijing may throw a wrench into the works. The U.S., after finally deciding to take action, may now face stiffer opposition by those nations, which want to stay on the right side of Iran, in order to preserve their substantial economic interests in that country.

Dr. Uzi Arad

At least one senior Israeli cabinet minister feels that Israel may be left on her own to face the Iranian nuclear threat. In expressing this view, Moshe Yaalon has stated the Jewish state has the capability today to conduct a successful military strike against Iran's nuclear installations. Yaalon is no less than a former IDF Chief of Staff. Dr. Uzi Arad, Prime Minister Netanyahu's National Security Adviser revealed that he and his staff have a 'unique, safe and coded communications network of video- conferences' with five countries that have a decisive influence both on the future of Iran's nuclear development as well as upon Israel's 'obscure' nuclear policy. The most intensive contact is maintained with the U.S. and last week alone, Arad and his staff had daily video-conferences of ninety minutes with their American counterparts. In Arad's words: 'Current issues were on the agenda and the role of decision-making was at a rapid pace'.

The states that Israel maintains continuous contact with are Russia, France, Britain, China, Egypt, Italy, Canada, Germany and Japan. In his lecture to the Institute of Strategic and Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, Arad made this statement in relation to the Iranian nuclear threat: 'Israel is at the crossroads. We must decide whether we must act in self-defense before we are attacked'. His statement would seem to indicate the assessment that neither sanctions nor diplomacy will dissuade Iran from trying to develop the bomb.

Whatever decision Israel will take, the country's state of civilian preparedness is about to be tested. Next week, Israel's largest civil defense exercise ever will be conducted. Meanwhile, more days of diplomatic dallying are likely at the UN, while the Iranian centrifuges keep spinning out more enriched uranium. And every day brings Tehran closer to getting the bomb.

David Essing

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