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Iran's Smoking Guns?

Iran Again Stonewalls Nuclear Talks, Moves More Centrifuges Underground Into Fordo & Cleans Up Parchin Nuclear Weapons Research Site

U.S. State Department: 'The Window Of Opportunity Is Open But Rapidly Closing'

Prime Minister Netanyahu: 'Additional Proof That Iran Is Continuing Accelerated Progress Towards Achieving Nuclear Weapons'

Iranian missiles (photo: MEHR)

 'In-your- face!' - that is Iran's contemptuous response to international demands to come clean on its nuclear weapons project. Within a space of fourty-eight hours, the Iranians moved several hundred more uranium centrifuges into its underground site at Fordo, torpedoed the lastest round of nuclear talks with the IAEA and also been caught cleaning-up its suspected nuclear weapons research at Parchin. Analyst David Essing is of the view these Iranian steps will push Israel closer to the tipping point on a decision to attack Iran.

 Iran has thrown caution to the winds - the Iranians have now backed up their Nazi-like rhetoric against Israel by ramping up their nuclear weapons program. However there are those who say the Iranians behave rationally, so why would they provoke Israel, the U.S. and the rest of the international community by their latest words and deeds? Is it not rational to assume that Iran realizes the run-up to the U.S. presidential election is very critical for both Israel and the U.S. Obama certainly opposes Israel rocking the boat and harming his election chances. On the other hand, might Israel want to strike Iran before Nov.6th forcing Obama to support Israel, something he may not be ready to do if he is reelected? If these assumtions are valid, Iran would now appear to be acting irrationally against its own interests. So what is the only rational explanation? Simply this:

1. Ayatollah Khamenei does not believe that he has anything to fear from Obama

2. Israel will not attack Iran without an American green light that will not be forthcoming

In light of the latest Iranian revelations, the U.S. State Department spokesman has said: 'The window of opportunity is open, but it's rapidly closing'. But Presideent Barack Obama has signaled that he will stick with his mantra of 'all options are on the table'. In the U.S., Anthony Cordesman, a prominent strategist at the Center of Strategic and International Studies, has proposed a three point program to persuade both Tehran and Jerusalem that the U.S. means business about preventing Iran from going nuclear. Quoted by columnist Charles Krauthammer, Cordesman called for:

The Iranian Missile Range

1. 'Clear U.S. red lines: It's time to end the ambiguity about American intentions. Establish real limits on negotiations to convince Iran that the only alternative to a deal is preemptive strikes and to persuade Israel to stay its hand.

2.Make it clear to Iran that it has no successful options: Either its program must be abandoned in a negotiated deal on generous term from the West or its facilities will be physically destroyed. This campaign ... extending beyound its nuclear facilities to military-industrial targets, refineries, power grids and other concentrations of regime power.

3. Give Iran a face-saving way out: This to include economic, diplomatic and political aid.

What are the prospects that Cordesman's plan could play in Tehran? It is diametrically opposed to the very reason Iran wants A-Bombs in the first place. Destroying Israel could just be an after-thought. Iran's key objective is to become the prime power-broker in the Persian Gulf and beyond, that is the entire Middle East. Otherwise, Iran will remain just another regional power such as Turkey, Egypt or Saudi Arabia. The Ayatollahs, who now rule Iran, would have to jettison not only their political tenets but also their deeply held Islamist convictions.

Avigdor Lieberman (Photo: Amit Shabi)

Back in Israel, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman took issue with growing voices in the U.S. calling for America to acquiesce in Iran going nuclear. They are playing primarily on fears that a military operation would rock the fragile global economy and draw a comparison with the cold-war standoff between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. In effect, they are callously volunteering Israel to be the trip-wire for the rest of the world in testing Iran's nuclear intentions. Lieberman revealed that in 2001, Israel discovered the Iranians were planning on moving their nuclear weapons facilties underground and he indicated that Israel made the wrong decision in not attacking back then. And he added this comment: 'Anyone who thinks a nuclear Iran would be remotely comparable to a nuclear Pakistan, India or North Korea doesn't know what he's talking about. There is no way Israel will agree to a nuclear Iran!'

David Essing

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