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MI6 Backs Barak on Nuclear Iran

MI6 Chief Sir John Sawer's Assessment That Iran 'Is Two Years Way From Becoming Nuclear Armed State' Substantiates Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Latest Estimate

MI6 Covert Actions Prevented Iran From Acquiring Nuclear Weapon in 2008

IsraCast Assessment: British Intelligence Service Apparently Assumes That Current Sanctions & Nuclear Negotiations Will Not Halt Iran's Nuclear Drive. Sawers Concurs That 'Israel & U.S. Would Face Huge Dangers If Iran Were To Become Nuclear Weapons State'

Iranian missiles

 MI6 is Britain's equivalent of Israel's Mossad and America's CIA, therefore its director Sir John Sawers should have a pretty clear picture of the Iranian nuclear crisis. According to Britain's Daily Telegraph, Sawers took the wraps off the current situation in a rare briefing to 100 British civil servants. Analyst David Essing finds points of agreement between the MI6 and that of Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak. (See IsraCast - 'Barak's Time Line on Iran').

 Point #1: Sir John Sawers: 'Iran is two years away from becoming a nuclear weapons state'.

Ehud Barak (Photo: Amit Shabi)

Ehud Barak: 'It's not a matter of several weeks but neither is it a matter of several years'.

Note: Sawers' 'nuclear weapons state' infers an arsenal of nuclear weapons that could be mounted on a delivery system, most likely ballistic missiles that have already been developed by Iran. However Israel is also concerned about the possibility the Iranians could produce a 'dirty' nuclear bomb in six months according to Israel's Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon. The danger is that Iran could secretly supply such a deadly device to its Hezbollah and Hamas agents 'for detonating in the port of New York, the port of London or the port of Haifa'.

Moreover, Barak has articulated the position that Israel's military capability, compared to the U.S., is more limited and therefore Israel's time frame would be far less than two years, if it is to prevent Iran from entering a 'zone of immunity' from an Israeli strike.

Point #2: Sir John Sawers: 'The Iranians are determinedly going down a path to master all aspects of nuclear weapons and all the technologies they need. It's equally clear that Israel and the U.S. would face huge dangers if Iran were to become a nuclear weapons state'. His conclusion appears to be that the latest sanctions and the Great Powers nuclear talks with Iran are both dead letters - this jibes with Barak's opinion. When it comes to Sawers' 'huge dangers', in his his briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Barak stated: ' It would be far more dangerous to confront a nuclear Iran in the future compared to the Iran of today'.

Point #3: Sawers referred to 'the awful moment when the politicians may have to take a decision between accepting a nuclear-armed Iran or launching a military strike against Iran'. Compare this with Barak's 'approaching moment of truth for decisions on Iran'.

The Iranian Missile Range

In this vein, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned that a nuclear Iran could create a new 'Cold War', this time in the Middle East, that would be 'far more dangerous and unstable' than the U.S.-USSR confrontation.

The assessments posited by two top British officials who are privvy to top secret knowledge and what is going on inside Iran raise serious question marks about the lead article in the lastest edition of the prestigious 'Foreign Affairs' magazine. Professor Kenneth N. Waltz actually tries to defend his thesis 'Why Iran Should Get the Bomb: Nuclear Balancing Would Mean Stability in the Middle East'.

Waltz ignores, or is ignorant, of Iran's grand design to impose its Shiite Islam over the Sunni-Islamic states in the region and beyond. The U.S. State Department has documented the case for declaring Iran to be the biggest sponsor of state-terrorism in the world. Argentina has outstanding warrants for Iranian officials wanted on suspicion of blowing up the Jewish Communtity in Buenos Aires. In addition, Iran trains and funds Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza that openly declare their goal of exterminating Israel. A Hezbollah terrorist holding a Swedish passport has just been arrested in Cyprus on suspicion of plotting Israeli tourists. And in case anyone has forgotten, President Achmadenijad has vowed to wipe Israel off the map. In Tehran, Ayatollah Rafsanjani once explained at a student rally, how one Islamic A-bomb on Tel Aviv would wipe out Israel and even if Israel were to retaliate, the Moslem world would still survive. And this is the genocidal state, now supporting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, that Waltz wants to grant nuclear weapons?

The Waltz theory goes something like this: a nuclear Iran would not to risk a nuclear exchange with the Jewish state. The idea is that MAD - mutually assured destruction, would take over in Tehran and Jerusalem as it did in Moscow and Washington during the Cold War. However the eminent Arabist Professor Bernard Lewis, who actually understands the Farsi and Arabic languages and has spent a lifetime studying the Middle East, warns about applying MAD thgeory to Iran. Lewis argues there was always a rational leadership in the Kremlin that put Mother Russia's interests before its grand design for exporting communism world wide. And so nuclear war was averted between the USSR and the U.S. But Lewis contends this cannot be assumed about the dictatorship in Tehran that is driven by a radical Islam and that rules Iran with an iron fist.

There is another aspect to be considered. Is it conceivable that a nuclear Iran would suddenly change course and restrain Hezbollah and Hamas attacks on Israel? On the contrary, these terror organizations would likely be emboldened by their nuclear patron to escalate their provocations against Israel, perhaps even spiralling into an all out war with Iran.

Finally, what if the Waltz assumptions are wrong? For instance what if the radical Islamist regime in Tehran, with its finger on the nuclear trigger, is threatened with being toppled, might it not try to wipe out Israel in one final act of vengeance? Waltz is so high in his ivory tower he sounds like he's been smoking pot.

David Essing

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