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FALLOUT FROM ISRAEL'S SEIZURE OF IRANIAN ROCKET VESSEL

PM Netanyahu speaks besides the unloaded rockets, mortars and bullets found on the Klos-C Vessel. (photo credit: GPO, courtesy of the Prime Minister's Office)

 In Israel's Red Sea port of Eilat, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu presented the 40 rockets, 181 mortars and 400,000 bullets that Iran had tried to smuggle into Gaza. If they had reached Islamic Jihad or Hamas they could have killed and wounded tens of thousands of Israeli civilians in the future. However, the rest of the world, led by the Obama administration brushed the incident aside with a 'ho-hum' and the EU's foreign policy chief, decked out like a religious Muslim woman, landed in Tehran to smile and shake hands with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. The world has adopted one strategy only in dealing with a new 'moderate' Iran, led by President Rouhani, who, it hopes will agree to halt the nuclear weapons program, if the price is right.

Ashton with Zarif

 So, Obama's game plan is to do everything possible to shore-up good-guy Rouhani against all the bad guys, hoping he will carry the day. This explains Obama's determination to ease the crippling sanctions that had propelled Iran's economy into a tailspin. What happened was that evidence from the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and even U.S. intelligence, not to speak of Israel's input, were all pointing to the fact that Iran was near the brink of being capable of producing its first atomic bombs within several months, if it decided to do so. Realizing they were both in a fix, the U.S. and Iran realized they suddenly shared some joint interests: Obama was abhorred over launching a U.S. military strike against Iran or the very idea that Israeli might, for which he would be blamed, while the Iranians were on the ropes with their economy in danger of a free fall. So what is the saying about 'strange bedfellows'? Obama conducted secret contacts with the Iranians and they concocted a deal- the U.S. will see to an easing of the economic sanctions while Iran will start yet another round of nuclear negotiations. It was a duplication of Obama's Syrian solution. In response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's prohibitive use of chemical weapons in the civil war, Obama with Putin's connivance agreed on a plan to disarm Assad's chemical arsenal.

 

 Meanwhile, this process, which includes an unofficial embargo on arms supplies to the rebels, while Russia and Iran pour weapons into the Syrian army, has now turned the war in favor of Assad. Whether the Obama administration foresaw the outcome is immaterial; the main thing was that the U.S. did not want to get involved in a military action in Syria. If this analysis is true, is Obama also laboring under similar delusions in Iran? Is Rouhani really interested in halting Iran's nuclear weapons program, or is he simply playing the role of the 'good guy' who wants to lead terrorist Iran on a new peaceful path? But even giving him the benefit of the doubt, what actual political power does Rouhani wield in the country? Or is he simply a front man to continue deceiving the 5P+1 in order to get the economy back on its feet? Did Iran's President know about the Klos-C vessel? Has he been embarrassed by it in the midst of his charm campaign?

 
Ashton and Rouhani

 Not really. Consider this: If Rouhani really has influence and is running the show in Iran these days, why has he not been called to account? By virtue of their 'ho-hum', the Obama administration and the rest of the 5P+1 do not really believe he is. In other words, the very low key reaction by the White House spokesman and the total silence by the EU's Ashton speak volumes to Israel: Don't spoil the party, don't you see our trade reps lining up in Tehran to sign new trade deals?! Speaking before the rows of rockets from Syria, and the mortars and bullets hidden under 'Made in Iran' bags of cement, Prime Minister Netanyahu railed about the ‘height of international hypocrisy, any time Israel builds a balcony in Jerusalem there is a international chorus of condemnation! In the same clandestine way Iran had tried to smuggle the deadly weapons to Gaza, it would also continue developing its nuclear weapons’, warning this might include nuclear bombs inside suitcases! The bottom line is that Netanyahu and his Defense Minister, Moshe Yaalon, believe it is no more than wishful thinking to believe that Rouhani can or will lead Iran to halting its nuclear weapons campaign.

 
Klos C Vessel

 In the future, the problem may very well be that the 5P+1 will agree to Iran not dismantling its dangerous nuclear facilities and permitting it to become a 'threshold nuclear state', that is one that can break out for building A-bombs or to do so secretly. Already inside Iran's missile range, Israel has no intention of becoming a nuclear guinea pig for European countries or the U.S., a point Netanyahu has already made abundantly clear. Defense Minister Yaalon feels the same way. The Klos-C affair has shown that Tehran, despite Rouhani, has lost none of its motivation to engage in terror activities from Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa, and South America. But on the other hand, Israeli intelligence gathering and military prowess have performed admirably: "We know how to defend ourselves, by ourselves, be it on land, sea, and in the air. We will continue to do so." And Yaalon quoted the Talmudic saying: 'If we are not for ourselves, who will be for us?'' Whether the world was paying attention or not, the combined message was that Israel has the military capability and the political will to do so.

 

 P.S.  What if Iran has already succeeded in successfully sailing other vessels to Sudan with cargoes of similar Syrian made M-302 rockets to Sudan and then on to Hamas or Islamic Jihad in Gaza? One such rocket fired by the terrorist could reach Tel Aviv with a warhead capable of destroying several apartment buildings, killing scores of Israeli men, women and children. What would have been Israel's reaction? The insidiousness of Iran's leadership indicates the nature of the regime now being coddled by the West.

 

 

 David Essing

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