Iran Stalls, Centrifuges Spin

Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 03:25 pm
This is a difficult situation. What should the USA and Israel do relative to the obvious development of nuclear weapons by Iran? Keep in mind that having such weapons will give Iran hegemony in the Gulf Area. And it is not just Israel that is concerned. Saudi Arabia is so concerned that it may soon begin its own program to produce nukes.

Iran stalls, centrifuges spin

Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, October 16, 2013

First the Iranian foreign ministry learned how to tweet; now we are told their negotiators are using PowerPoint. Can peace in our time be far off?

That's the mindset of many eager in the media to help the administration paint a picture of progress at the nuclear arms talks just concluded in Geneva, Switzerland. In fact, in the words of an official of a pro-Israel organization, "Nothing — nothing has changed." Iran is still enriching, the centrifuges are spinning and Iran is still insisting it has a "right" to enrich and has no nuclear arms program. As the official put it, "This isn't the first time we've seen this rodeo." The regime has spent all of Obama's first term and some of George W. Bush's talking, but not deviating one iota from its nuclear weapons plans.

The mullahs have "offered" a freeze on current enrichment for a period of time and a reduction in its existing stockpile in exchange for lifting all sanctions. This is preposterous in as much as it leaves Iran with a short "breakout" capacity of a few months or less and relief from sanctions. Critics of U.S. policy were emphatic about the need for Congress to act. Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told me, "Congress and the administration should move ahead immediately to ratchet up the sanctions pressure. Doing so may push Iran dangerously close to the economic edge. And that, in turn, might make clear to Iran's rulers that it will require serious concessions — not smiles and empty rhetoric about 'trust-building' — to save their regime." He adds, "Failing that, only the use of military force will stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability — with all consequences that implies."

Indeed, State Department negotiator Wendy Sherman testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently that if the administration didn't get results, it would urge Congress to move ahead. Since there are no actions that would constitute proof of Iran's willingness to give up its stockpile and dismantle its program, shouldn't Sherman be heading for the Hill to demand lawmakers squeeze the mullahs further, blocking Iran's access to banking and to U.S. dollars? Don't hold your breath.

A former official who believes the administration's approach is misguided e-mailed me: "It would be useful if House and Senate did something to stiffen admin's spine. I am afraid [Sherman] will negotiate from the Iranian offer, and they will get far more than half a loaf. What the Iranians appear to have offered allows them to keep their whole program and all their enriched uranium."

Judging from bipartisan letters and comments before the Geneva meeting, there is a good chance Congress will act. A senior Senate aide involved in previous sanctions legislation told me, "The supreme leader saw nothing but Western weakness in Geneva, and so he's probably feeling pretty good right now about his chances of getting a nuclear weapons capability. That feeling will fade fast because the strength and will of the U.S. Senate is about to send his regime into economic ruin. Most senators are ready to take sanctions to a 10 — now."

The administration likes to use buzz words — "workmanlike," "productive," etc. — to describe these talks. But the only workmen are in the nuclear weapons facility, and the production going on is more and more enriched uranium. The former U.S. official suggests that for starters a full and total acknowledgment of Iran's previous nuclear weapons program would demonstrate some change of heart. That has yet to happen. The administration seems eager to be conned; Congress will need to be the voice of realism. Otherwise, it seems inevitable that Israel will act militarily sooner rather than later.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 03:36 pm
Like it says in the WaPo:
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Finn dAbuzz
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 05:35 pm
You're a pip Advocate.

Do any of your beloved libs advocate a military strike against Iran? Do any of them think the Settlements are legal, let alone justified? How many of them recognize Jeruselem as the capital of Israel?

You can't serve two Gods.

Obama's feckless foreign policy (particularly as relates to Syria) has the Saudis not only steaming but dissing our government in public.

The Saudis are hardly Good Guys, but they are far, far more aligned with US interests than Iran. It's pretty clear that they don't believe that the Obama Administration will do anything about Iran and since a nuclear Iran is a huge threat to them, what will they do?

Either they will will work with the Israelis behind the scenes to facilitate an Israeli strike or they will purchase nukes of their own...from Pakistan or North Korea.

What will Israel do?

With the clandestine support of the Sunni Gulf States, they will hit Iran, and then they will hunker down under the vociferous condemnation of most of the world, including the US. They will also hold memorials for the dead pilots who carried out the raid, and prepare for an onslaught of terrorist attacks.

What will the US do?

Nothing, as long as Obama is president, and when others take the matter into their own hands, he will go on and on about how he would have done the same IF it proved necessary but the US intelligence agencies (those Aces) knew it wasn't necessary and that sanctions and diplomacy would have worked.

And if the Israelis can't knock out Iran's nuclear capabilities...If anyone thinks the Middle East is now a region on the verge of explosion, just wait for Mullahs with nukes.
Reply Wed 23 Oct, 2013 07:51 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn, you are quite a pisser.

First, libs, unlike cons, don't march in lockstep. I could care less what other libs think about the settlements, etc. I reach my own conclusions.

I think that Obama's decisions have been mostly excellent. I have a lot of faith in him. Of course, no one has all the facts or has a crystal ball. It is stupid to expect this of anyone.

You evidently believe that fundamentalist Muslims will use any weapon they have. I agree. Afterall, they will end up in paradise with about 72 virgins.
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Reply Fri 25 Oct, 2013 04:04 am
Advocate wrote:
This is a difficult situation.

I don't see any difficulty. When Iran gets close to developing nuclear weapons, bomb them back to an earlier stone age than the one they are already in.

In the meantime, let the diplomats jabber at each other. If the diplomats succeed in getting Iran to dismantle their illegal nuclear weapons program, great. War averted.

If the Iranian nuclear weapons program continues, then go ahead with the bombing as planned.

Problem solved either way.

Advocate wrote:
What should the USA and Israel do relative to the obvious development of nuclear weapons by Iran?

See above.

And as for concerns over whether Obama will actually strike Iran, I am personally confident that he will. However, if Israel finds that they need to bomb Iran on their own, they are more than capable of doing that.
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Reply Fri 25 Oct, 2013 04:06 am

"bomb them back to an earlier stone age than the one they are already in"

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