Sanctions, Sabotage & Sangfroid: Turning Back Iranian Nukes

Before Obama took office in January 2009, the Iranian nuclear program was proceeding unabated and Iran was said to be months away from a nuclear weapon. Now, while there are those who claim that “Iran is four years closer to a nuclear weapon,” we actually have signs of progress in the effort to stop Iran.

In an interview with The Telegraph , Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak reports that:

“Iran has drawn back from its ambition to build a nuclear weapon but the respite is only temporary and Tehran will still have to be confronted by next summer…

An immediate crisis was avoided in the summer when Iran quietly chose to use over a third of its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes, delaying the moment when it could have built a nuclear bomb. Without this decision, Mr Barak told The Daily Telegraph, the situation would “probably” have peaked before the US presidential election…

Mr Barak said this decision “allows contemplating delaying the moment of truth by eight to 10 months”. As for why Iran had drawn back, the minister said: “There could be at least three explanations. One is the public discourse about a possible Israeli or American operation deterred them from trying to come closer. It could probably be a diplomatic gambit that they have launched in order to avoid this issue culminating before the American election, just to gain some time. It could be a way of telling the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] ‘oh we comply with our commitments’.”
Mr Barak added: “Maybe it’s a combination of all these three elements. I cannot tell you for sure.”

But this decision had probably avoided a crisis. Asked whether the critical moment would otherwise have arrived “about now”, Mr Barak replied simply: “Probably yes.”

The joint US-Israeli pressure against Iran has taken a number of forms:

  • Spies (presumably American or Israeli) have planted explosives on vehicles in Tehran and assassinated a number of key Iranian nuclear physicists instrumental to the success of the Iranian Nuclear Program while yet other physicists have been encourages to seek asylum.
  • Intense global sanctions have crippled the Iranian economy, causing the Iranian Rial to lose most of its value in recent months leading to strikes and popular unrest in the Iranian marketplaces.
  • Ahmadinjad’s personal photographer was enticed to seek asylum in the United States during the latest United Nations General Assembly. This is a real coup for US intelligence since he came to the US with two suitcases packed with recordings of visits by the Iranian president and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of top-secret nuclear facilities and Revolutionary Guards installations.
  • As a sign of the international community’s resolve to use force against Iran if necessary, a 26-nation fleet led by the United States and Britain held war games in the strategic Straits of Hermuz, simulating the kind of military cooperation which would be required to breach an Iranian blockade keep oil flowing through the Straits in case of war with Iran.
  • Similarly, the US and Israel just completed war games to demonstrate our ability to defend Israel from missile attacks. These war games were the largest ones that the US or Israel had ever taken part in.
  • DEBKAFile reports: “The sabotage of the Fordo uranium enrichment facility’s power lines on Aug. 17, gave Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the extra leeway to move his original red line for Iran from late September 2012 – now – to the spring or early summer of 2013.”
  •  Stuxnet is believed to have been designed as a joint US-Israeli covert initiative. This computer virus infiltrated Iranian nuclear facilities, recorded sensor readings and then destroyed the Iranian nuclear centrifuges by causing them to spin out of control while false sensor readings were displayed in order to prevent the operators from being aware of what was going on.
  • The United States has supplied Israel with the powerful “bunker-busting” bombs necessary to penetrate Iranian defenses.
  • DEBKAFile reports that a secret Iranian missile base was struck by a triple blast just before Ahmadinejad arrived in Lebanon to declear that Israel was destined to “disappear”.

Cartoon reprinted courtesy of Yaakov (Dry Bones) Kirschen www.DryBonesBlog.blogspot.com.

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