But I thought that lying was against sharia law! The mullahs would never allow this!
Iran has been systematically providing false information to the International Atomic Energy Agency because it has been infiltrated by intelligence agencies keeping tabs on Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s Atomic Energy Vice President Fereydoun Abbasi Davani has admitted.
Abbasi Davani, who heads the Iranian delegation taking part in the 56th session of the agency in Vienna, made the revelation in an interview with the Al-Hayat newspaper.
“The IAEA says it gets its information from the intelligence services belonging to the member states, and we monitor and followed up seven years ago activities of the British foreign intelligence service [MI6], which gathered information for people, which then exposed [Iranian nuclear scientists] to assassination at the hands of Zionist intelligence agents. Some of the information provided by the agency related to these events. For our part, we sometimes gave false information to protect our nuclear sites and our interests. This inevitably misled other intelligence agencies,” Davani told Al-Hayat.
Does this mean that the “anti-nuclear fatwa” might be a lie too? Allah forbid!
There are two positions one can take regarding the Iranian nuclear program: (a) it doesn’t matter, we can deter them, or (b) it does matter, we must stop them.
In my view, the first position — that we can contain Iran as we did the Soviet Union — is totally wrong, a product of wishful thinking and misread history. But at least it’s internally coherent.
What is incoherent is President Obama’s position. He declares the Iranian program intolerable — “I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon” — yet stands by as Iran rapidly approaches nuclearization.
A policy so incoherent, so knowingly and obviously contradictory, is a declaration of weakness and passivity. And this, as Anthony Cordesman, James Phillips, and others have argued, can increase the chance of war. It creates, writes Cordesman, “the same conditions that helped trigger World War II — years of negotiations and threats, where the threats failed to be taken seriously until war became all too real.”
This has precipitated the current U.S.-Israeli crisis, sharpened by the president’s rebuff of the Israeli prime minister’s request for a meeting during his upcoming U.S. visit. Ominous new developments; no Obama response. Alarm bells going off everywhere; Obama plays deaf.
The old arguments, old excuses, old pretensions have become ridiculous:
1. Sanctions. The director of national intelligence testified to Congress at the beginning of the year that they had zero effect in slowing the nuclear program. Now the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports (August 30) that the Iranian nuclear program, far from slowing, is actually accelerating. Iran has doubled the number of high-speed centrifuges at Fordow, the facility outside Qom built into a mountain to make it impregnable to air attack.
This week, the IAEA reported Iranian advances in calculating the explosive power of an atomic warhead. It noted once again Iran’s refusal to allow inspection of its weapons-testing facility at Parchin, and cited satellite evidence of Iranian attempts to clean up and hide what’s gone on there.
The administration’s ritual response is that it has imposed the toughest sanctions ever. So what? They’re a means, not an end. And they’ve had no effect on the nuclear program.
2. Negotiations. The latest, supposedly last-ditch round of talks in Istanbul, Baghdad, then Moscow has completely collapsed. The West even conceded to Iran the right to enrich — shattering a decade-long consensus and six Security Council resolutions demanding it cease enrichment.
Iran’s response? Contemptuous rejection.
Why not? The mullahs have strung Obama along for more than three years and still see no credible threat emanating from the one country that could disarm them.
3. Diplomatic isolation. The administration boasts that Iran is becoming increasingly isolated. Really? Just two weeks ago, 120 nations showed up in Tehran for a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement — against U.S. entreaties not to attend. Even the U.N. secretary general attended — after the administration implored him not to.
Which shows you what American entreaties are worth today. And the farcical nature of Iran’s alleged isolation.
The Obama policy is in shambles. Which is why Cordesman argues that the only way to prevent a nuclear Iran without war is to establish a credible military threat to make Iran recalculate and reconsider. That means U.S. red lines: deadlines beyond which Washington will not allow itself to be strung, as well as benchmark actions that would trigger a response, such as the further hardening of Iran’s nuclear facilities to the point of invulnerability and, therefore, irreversibility.
Which made all the more shocking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s dismissal last Sunday of the very notion of any U.S. red lines. No deadlines. No bright-line action beyond which Iran must not go. The sleeping giant continues to slumber. And to wait. As the administration likes to put it, “for Iran to live up to its international obligations.”
This is beyond feckless. The Obama policy is a double game: a rhetorical commitment to stopping Iran, yet real-life actions that everyone understands will allow Iran to go nuclear.
Yet at the same time that it does nothing, the administration warns Israel sternly, repeatedly, publicly, even threateningly not to strike the Iranian nuclear program. With zero prospect of his policy’s succeeding, Obama insists on Israeli inaction, even as Iran races to close the window of opportunity for any successful attack.
Not since its birth six decades ago has Israel been so cast adrift by its closest ally.
— Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2012 the Washington Post Writers Group
Or maybe it’s time to realize that Israel is on its own...
Wall Street Journal..
03 September ’12..
Maybe Martin Dempsey chose his words poorly.
Maybe the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff didn’t mean to imply Israel would be committing a crime when he told reporters last week that the U.S. would not be “complicit” with an Israeli attack on Iran. Maybe he hadn’t yet read the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, noting that Iran continued to enrich, continued to obstruct, continued to deceive. Maybe Gen. Dempsey wasn’t speaking for the president at all, just offering opinions above his pay grade.
Or maybe he was speaking directly for a president who, politics being what they are, can’t yet say such things himself.
Maybe it isn’t true, as the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported yesterday, that the U.S. has told Iran via European channels that it would not back an Israeli strike provided Iran did not retaliate against U.S. assets in the Persian Gulf. Maybe it’s a slur to suggest this administration would ever broach, much less cut, a deal with Tehran at the expense of Jerusalem.
Or maybe it would cut that deal in a heartbeat.
Maybe it’s no big deal that the U.S. is walking away from a joint U.S.-Israeli military exercise scheduled for October and cited last year by the State Department as evidence of the “new heights” to which Mr. Obama had carried America’s “unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.” Maybe “slashing by more than two-thirds the number of American troops going to Israel and reducing both the number and potency of missile interception systems at the core of the joint exercise,” as Time magazine reports, was merely the result of ordinary budgetary pressures.
Or maybe that’s another piece of Gen. Dempsey’s non-complicity policy.
Maybe the president is serious when he says he will prevent Iran from getting a bomb in the first place, rather than try to contain a nuclear Iran after the fact. Maybe the elaborate antimissile systems the U.S. is racing to set up in the region—so that, according to the New York Times, “even if [Iran] developed a nuclear weapon and mounted it atop its growing fleet of missiles, it could be countered by antimissile systems”—is not about containment at all.
Or maybe the administration thinks containment is a viable option after all, or at least a better one than military strikes, which is why it’s now spending its money on it.
Maybe the administration thinks that it can pursue an effective covert strategy against Iran while also telling the media that it is pursuing such a strategy. Maybe someone forgot to tell whoever is leaking the details of this strategy that “covert” is another word for “secret.”
Or maybe the Obama administration is happy to brag about its covert accomplishments, even when the bragging betrays Israel’s secrets as well.
Maybe the administration knows that diplomacy has run its course with a regime that has rejected one overture after another.
Or maybe the administration really thinks it can still tempt the mullahs with a grand bargain in which they give up their nukes in exchange for a U.S. embassy in Tehran (they loved the last one) along with spare parts for their airplanes.
Maybe President Obama is, as some senior Israeli decision makers claim, a sincere and fabulous friend of Israel.
Or maybe such statements are simply a matter of being polite about an administration that knows it has a problem with disenchanted Jewish voters and distrustful donors.
Maybe Mr. Obama has privately offered Israel realistic assurances that the U.S. is prepared to use force to stop Iran as soon as the election is behind him. Maybe the near-hysteria that has gripped the Israeli government is an ingenious head fake designed to make the Iranians think they can exploit the discord between the two Satans.
Or maybe the only head fake is the president’s attempt to woo skeptical voters that he really has Israel’s back.
Maybe, dear Western reader, you think the administration is right to stay Israel’s hand—because you’d rather have the U.S. do the job cleanly, after exhausting whatever other options remain, rather than risk having Israel do the job messily. Maybe you have a fair and defensible point.
Or maybe you think that the mullahs nuclear ambitions are their own business and they’ll leave us alone if only we leave them. Maybe you’re Ron Paul.
Maybe, dear Israeli reader, you think it oughtn’t be the responsibility of a small power to confront Iran alone, especially when Iran’s threat goes well beyond Israel alone. Maybe you, too, have a fair and defensible point.
Or maybe you think that, whatever the merits of that argument, Israel will not find its security on the strength of its debating points. Maybe you think, too, that Israel puts its sovereignty and security at risk when it allows any other nation to seek a veto over its actions.
Maybe the risks of Israeli inaction—not least to its reputation and deterrent power—are greater than the risks of action, real as they surely are. Maybe it’s true that those who dare, win. Maybe it’s time to stop letting the Iranians do all the daring.
A version of this article appeared September 4, 2012, on page A17 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Maybe Obama Has Israel’s Back.
The image was provided to The Associated Press by an official of a country tracking Iran’s nuclear program who said the drawing proves the structure exists, despite Tehran’s refusal to acknowledge it.
The official said he could not discuss the drawing’s origins beyond that it was based on information from a person who had seen the chamber at the Parchin military site, adding that going into detail would endanger the life of that informant.
His country, a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is severely critical of Iran’s assertions that its nuclear activities are peaceful and asserts they are a springboard for making atomic arms.
A former senior IAEA official said he believes the drawing is accurate. Olli Heinonen, until last year the UN nuclear agency’s deputy director general in charge of the Iran file, said it was “very similar” to a photo he recently saw that he believes to be the pressure chamber the IAEA suspects is at Parchin. He said even the colors of the drawing matched that of the photo.
The Iranians had no comment on the image. How much longer are we going to continue to pretend that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons? Read the whole thing.