Twice In the past four days Iran has thumbed its nose to President Obama and the international community’s effort to prevent the terrorist regime from developing nuclear weapons.
Sunday The Iranian government approved a plan to construct 10 new uranium enrichment plants, just two days after the International Atomic Energy Agency voted to rebuke the Islamic Republic for building an enrichment plant in secret.
Today the announcement was they will enrich uranium to a higher level on its own. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted Iran will not negotiate with the West over its nuclear program. “You should know that even if you sizzle (from impatience or desire to talk) … the Iranian nation won’t talk to you concerning the nuclear issue,” he said.
Ahmadinejad made the comments after expressing frustration with the ongoing negotiations over the UN proposal that Iran exchange the bulk of its low-enriched uranium for more highly enriched fuel rods to be used in a “medical research nuclear reactor.”
The Iranian despot should take heed, today Spiegel Online is reporting that Israel is getting frustrated also, their patience is running very thin:
Although the premier is not yet prepared to deploy Israeli fighter jets to conduct targeted air strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the military has plans at the ready.
Netanyahu has said often enough that he will never accept an Iranian nuclear bomb. He doesn’t believe Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he insists that Iran’s nuclear program is intended solely for civilian purposes. But he does take Ahmadinejad — a notorious Holocaust denier — at his word when he repeatedly threatens to wipe out Israel. Netanyahu draws parallels between Europe’s appeasement of Hitler and the current situation. “It’s 1938, and Iran is Germany,” he says. This time, however, says Netanyahu, the Jews will not allow themselves to be the “sacrificial lamb.”
Although described as a “hardliner” Netanyahu’s position on preventing Iran from getting nukes were the same as all the major party leaders including the more liberal Ehud Barack, and Kadama’s Tzipi Livni. All three believe that Iran must be prevented from getting nuclear weapons at all costs.
But even politicians who normally take a less extreme view, like Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, Israel’s minister of intelligence and atomic energy, are now realizing that the situation is coming to a head. A narrow majority of the Israeli population currently favors bombing the Iranian nuclear facilities, while 11 percent would consider leaving Israel if Tehran acquires nuclear weapons.
Meridor says that his counterparts in the US government are reporting a sharp increase in the level of concern among Iran’s moderate Arab neighbors. “Ninety percent of the conversations between the United States and countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia now revolve around Iran, while 10 percent relate to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he says.
This concern is not limited to the region. In Washington and in the European Union — and, more recently, in Moscow –, the focus has shifted dramatically toward Iran. After years of maneuvering and deception, and after a long period of missed opportunities, including on the part of the West, the conflict is moving toward a decisive stage.
The problem is that Russia and China has shown a reluctance to allow the security council to impose harsh sanctions on Iran. Lately the American Government has ramped up its rhetoric, but Iran as well as much of the Muslim world feel that the present government is weak and will not follow through.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she had no intention of taking the military option “off the table.” Her German counterpart, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, attended a meeting at the Israeli Foreign Ministry last Tuesday, where he was briefed on the latest Israeli intelligence about the Iranian nuclear program. The next day in Vienna, while standing next to Nobel Peace Prize winner and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohammed ElBaradei, who is leaving office this week after heading the UN nuclear watchdog agency for 12 years, Westerwelle said that the international community’s “patience with Iran” is “not infinite.”
The International community has been barking loudly at Tehran for much of the past ten years, it would be surprising if they truly believed that Westerwell’s statement.
…there are grave concerns over news that Iran could be well on its way to developing a Shahab-3 midrange missile that could be upgraded to carry nuclear weapons and could reach Tel Aviv. Iranian scientists are believed to have successfully simulated the detonation of a nuclear warhead. Detonation is one of the most technologically challenging problems in the construction of this type of nuclear weapon. Experts believe that it could take Iran as little as a year to acquire the expertise and a sufficient quantity of highly enriched uranium to build a real nuclear warhead.
Intelligence reports about a restructuring in the Iranian Defense Ministry are no less alarming. According to those reports, a “Department for Expanded High-Technology Applications” (FEDAT) is now under great pressure from the government in Tehran to push ahead with a military nuclear program. According to an organizational chart of FEDAT that SPIEGEL has obtained, the department is divided into sub-departments for uranium mining, enrichment, metallurgy, neutrons, highly explosive material and fuel supply (“Project 111”). FEDAT is headed by the mysterious Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, one of the key officials the IAEA wants to interview, although Mahabadi has so far refused to talk to the agency.
….According to conservative sources in Tehran, President Ahmadinejad was recently quite willing to make a compromise. He apparently hoped that he could spruce up his reputation, heavily tarnished as a result of the election disaster, at least internationally. This, say the Tehran sources, explains why Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili signaled a willingness to make concessions at the historic nuclear summit in Geneva in early October, a meeting at which an Iranian official came face-to-face with a senior representative of the “Great Satan” for the first time since the Iranian revolution. But in Khamenei’s eyes, the deal — uranium outsourcing in return for fuel delivery — was a non-starter. Ironically, opposition politician Mousavi agrees with him.
A key reason for the Iranian politicians’ self-confidence is that they do not believe that Israel would truly risk an attack on Iran. US experts also warn against the bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities. David Albright, head of the Washington think tank ISIS, believes that a “surgical strike” against the nuclear facilities would be completely impossible. According to Albright, no one knows how many nuclear sites Iran has, and the centrifuges in existing facilities like Natanz are apparently installed in tunnels so deep underground that even bunker-busting bombs could not destroy everything.
The normally secretive Israel has been been conducting very public training missions like this one last year:
Israel isn’t famous for welcoming public scrutiny of its most sensitive military plans. But we doubt Jerusalem officials were dismayed to see news of their recent air force exercises splashed over the front pages of the Western press.
Those exercises – reportedly involving about 100 fighters, tactical bombers, refueling planes and rescue helicopters – were conducted about 900 miles west of Israel’s shores in the Mediterranean. Iran’s nuclear facilities at Bushehr, Isfahan and Natanz all fall roughly within the same radius, albeit in the opposite direction.
Iran is upping its warnings:
Meanwhile, a representative of the Iranian government has already issued precautionary threats: “If the enemy want (sic) to test its bad luck and fire a missile into Iran, before the dust settles, Iran’s ballistic missiles will target the heart of Tel Aviv.”
Israel on the other hand has made her point clear. When Prime Minister Netanyahu came to the UN this year he warned:
But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only after an horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind. That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction.
The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?
Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world’s most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?
Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?
The unspoken warning was, “your choice either you fix it or we will.” Like it or not that time is quickly approaching.