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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear program’

Iran: Saboteurs Infiltrated IAEA, Blew Up Nuke Power Lines

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Iran’s nuclear chief said the country’s nuclear program had been attacked twice by elements related to the U.S. military.

Iran’s vice president and the chief of its nuclear-energy agency Fereydoun Abbasi said that power lines between the holy city of Qom and the underground Fordow nuclear centrifuge facility as well as other lines leading to the Natanz facilities were blown up with explosives in August.

He claimed that ‘Terrorists and saboteurs might have intruded the agency and might be making decisions covertly’ in an effort to derail Iran’s atomic program.

Speaking at the IAEA’s 155-nation general conference, Abbasi declared that Iran is determined to protect its interests against such assaults.

Abbasi added that IAEA inspectors turned up to inspect an underground enrichment plant soon after its power lines had been blown up. He asked: “Does this visit have any connection to that detonation?”

Netanyahu Furious Over Security-Cabinet Leaks, Cancels Second Meeting

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled the second meeting of the security cabinet due to leaks from the meeting held yesterday about discussions onIran’s nuclear program.

Yediot Aharonot had obtained and published yesterday evening information regarding the meeting, specifically differences of opinion regarding intelligence on whenIran’s nuclear program would enter a “zone of immunity” from Israeli attack.

The intensive 10-hour long marathon meeting was said to deal with other regional-security topics as well.

Today’s meeting was convened, but when it began, Netanyahu announced that due to the security leak the meeting would be adjourned.

“Yesterday, somebody severely undermined the confidence that Israeli citizens give to this forum,” Netanyahu said. “He violated the most basic rules regarding the conduct of Security Cabinet discussions. He also hurt the good name of those present at the meeting who did not leak its contents.”

Dershowitz: Obama Must Show Iran He Means Business on Military Option

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

It is now become clear that neither diplomacy nor sanctions will halt the Iranian march toward nuclear weapons. Iran is today stronger diplomatically than it has been in years, as evidenced by the meeting of the nonaligned nations in Tehran. Iran is neither isolated nor alone in a world in which nonaligned nations form a majority at the United Nations.

The sanctions, while hurting the Iranian economy and making life more difficult for the average Iranian, are having zero impact on the Iranian nuclear program, which according to objective intelligence reports, is gathering steam and moving even more quickly toward its ultimate goal of a nuclear weapon that will be a game changer. An Iranian nuclear weapon will end any dream of nonproliferation. It will protect Iran’s surrogate terrorists, such as Hezbollah, under a formidable nuclear umbrella. And it will make an eventual nuclear war more likely. That is why President Obama rightfully took the containment option off the table and put the preventive military option squarely on it.

Although I support President Obama’s policy with regard to the Iranian nuclear threat, I think he must take one further step if the combination of diplomacy and sanctions are ever to work. That step is to communicate to Iran—unequivocally and without any room for misunderstanding—that the Obama Administration will never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

President Obama has already made this point, but not in a way that the Iranians understand and believe. Language matters, and President Obama must now use language that commits him, in the eyes of the Iranians, to keep his promise that he will, if necessary, use military force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Only if the Iranians truly believe that they will never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons will the combination of diplomacy and sanctions work. The message has to be this: Look, sanctions hurt. Diplomatic isolation from first world powers is costly. So why incur this pain and cost if you know you will never be able to achieve your goal?

Not only must the Iranians believe that the United States will, as a last resort, use its overwhelming air power to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program, but the Israeli leadership must also believe that the Iranians believe it. Only then will Israel forbear from taking preventive self defense actions on its own.

If the Iranians and the Israelis were to believe believe President Obama’s assurances that, as he put it, “I don’t bluff,” there would be a real possibility that Iran would abandon its nuclear weapons program. But even if the mullahs were foolishly to challenge the United States, and continue with the weapons program, the Israelis would have an enhanced degree of confidence that Obama would keep his word and stop Iran before it reached its deadly goal.

Right now, despite President Obama’s best efforts, neither the Iranians nor the Israelis are sufficiently confident that he would carry out his threat. They know that there are those within the administration and among President Obama’s supporters who will discourage him from making an unequivocal statement or carrying out a threat, because they believe that sanctions and diplomacy alone will work, without the need for “saber rattling.” There are also those who prefer a policy of containment to the threat of military action. The Iranians are aware of this faction and are counting on them to prevail, if it comes down to a choice between allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons and stopping them by military action. President Obama must make it clear that he has rejected this view and that he will employ military action if that is the only option other than a nuclear Iran.

This is not a debate between peaceniks and warmongers. Every Israeli and American that I know wants peace. Everyone would love to see Iran stop developing nuclear weapons without a rocket being fired or a bomb being dropped. The dispute is about tactics and strategy. President Obama believes that the best way to avoid having to use the military option is to make Iran understand that he will in fact use it as a last alternative to Iran developing the bomb. Those on the other side of this debate believe that making such an unequivocal threat would constitute saber rattling, and that such rattling actually decreases the chance for a peaceful resolution of this difficult issues.

President Obama is right and those who are opposed to his rattling some sabers are wrong. So let President Obama look the mullahs in the eye and persuade them that they simply do not have the option of developing nuclear weapons. The only two options they have are to stop or be stopped. Only if they believe this, is there any realistic likelihood that they will stop.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute

The Method to Iran’s Madness

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Why does Iran issue ugly threats against Israel on an almost daily basis, saying that Israel will be annihilated, that it is a cancerous tumor that must be cut out, and so forth? After all, if they want to avoid an Israeli attack, shouldn’t they be a little less open about their intentions?

Maybe this news item will help us understand:

[Der Spiegel's] investigative report said that a few months after the Munich Massacre, then Foreign Minister Walter Scheel held a secret meeting with representatives of the terrorist organization in order to create what was termed a “new basis of trust.”

The German government, according to classified documents obtained by Der Spiegel, did not demand that the terrorists completely stop terrorist activities, but only asked that they avoid attacking in Germany. In return, said the report, the terrorists sought to upgrade the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) political status.

German authorities also avoided prosecuting those involved in the terror attack on the Israeli athletes, the report said. Three of the terrorists who were captured alive were released after two months, after terrorists from “Black September” hijacked a Lufthansa plane.

It is typical for terrorists to try to split the nations opposed to them by promising immunity against further atrocities to one or another country. The Iranian regime employs terrorism as a major part of its foreign policy, so why shouldn’t it take the same approach to diplomacy as Black September?

By effectively making their nuclear program appear to be primarily a threat against Israel, Iran sends a message to the Europeans and the US that they are safe. We are just going to kill some Jews, they suggest, and you don’t want to go to war over Jews, do you?

I’m sure the message is being transmitted explicitly in private as well, along with threats that if the US and Europe do not go along, then bad things could happen to them as well. And there are a lot of bad things that Iran can do cheaply.

The Iranians know that they can’t persuade Israel that a nuclear weapon in their hands is not an existential threat. But they may be able to persuade the US and Europe that the real problem is not an Iranian bomb, but the Israeli reaction to it. And that is what they are trying to do.

Their objectives are (a) to prevent a US attack and (b) to get the US to prevent a Israeli one, until their program is complete.

This is exactly why the Israeli doctrine that its defense must not be placed in the hands of any other nation or organization is so important, and must not be abandoned under any circumstances.

Originally published at FresnoZionism.org.

US Strategy: Stop Israel, Not Iran

Monday, May 21st, 2012

On Friday, the NY Times — which often speaks for the Obama Administration — published an article about the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran. There is a message between the lines, and it is not very well hidden. Here are a few excerpts with added emphasis, in case it isn’t obvious:

With signs that Iran is under more pressure than it has been in years to make a deal, senior Obama administration officials said the United States and five other major powers were prepared to offer a package of inducements to obtain a verifiable agreement to suspend its efforts to enrich uranium closer to weapons grade…

The major powers’ initial goal is to halt the activity that most alarms Israel: the spinning of thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity, which is within striking distance of the level needed to fuel a nuclear weapon. That would buy time for negotiations…

For President Obama, the stakes are huge. A successful meeting could prolong the diplomatic dance with Tehran, delaying any possible military confrontation over the nuclear program until after the presidential election. It could also keep a lid on oil prices, which fell again this week in part because of the decrease in tensions. Lower gasoline prices would aid the economic recovery in the United States, and Mr. Obama’s electoral prospects…

On Tuesday, the American ambassador to Israel, Daniel B. Shapiro, sought to reassure an Israeli audience that the United States not only was willing to use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but had made preparations to do so…

Analysts said it was hard to gauge what kinds of concessions from the Western nations, Russia and China would draw a positive response from Iran, beyond lifting the oil embargo. European officials have suggested that the European Union could suspend a ban on insuring oil tankers that has had a far swifter effect on Iran’s sales elsewhere in the world than originally intended.

There is a lot more, but that is more than enough. Is the message clear? If not, I’ll spell it out:

1. The immediate problem, in the view of the Obama Administration, is that Israel might attack Iran, causing a spike in gas prices in the US and hurting the President’s chances for re-election. The Iranian program itself is a longer-term issue.

2. Anything that can delay a confrontation is ‘good’. Negotiations can be used to stay Israel’s hand, not so much by holding out hope for a solution, but by undercutting support for Israel if she should attack while they are going on.

3. Any kind of agreement with the Iranians, whether or not it is tough enough to be effective, will also isolate Israel if she chooses to attack.

4. The strategy for obtaining agreement, rather than increasing pressure on Iran,  will be to “make concessions,” even reducing those sanctions which have proven effective. Since Iran and the administration have a common interest in preventing an attack, the administration can be hopeful that they will be ‘successful’.

Although the US has stressed that contingency plans for an American raid exist, the Iranians know that nothing short of a public test of a nuclear device could make it happen before the election (even that is uncertain). In the meantime, Iran hopes to push its program to the point that it will be immune to an Israeli attack. The regime is confident that it can stay behind the American red line after that, while still obtaining a capability to assemble weapons in a very short time frame.

Placing concessions on the table before serious negotiations even begin will be read as a sign of weakness. And the P5+1 (US, Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany) demands are below what Israel considers the minimum to guarantee that Iran will not get a weapon. For example, Israel wants the Fordow enrichment facility dismantled, while the P5+1 only asks for activities there to stop. And this is before the hard bargaining.

These negotiations will not enhance Israel’s security. Rather, they will do the opposite. They represent a strategy of appeasement rather than the use of power. What should happen is that the West should deliver a credible ultimatum to fully dismantle the program or face sharply increased sanctions — or, ultimately, military action. Instead, they have chosen to weaken sanctions and to try to remove the only real military threat!

US Senate to Consider Tougher Sanctions on Iran

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

The US Senate will consider a new sanctions package against Iran on Thursday, in which oil and economic embargos will be considered in order to force Iran to abandon its nuclear development program.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will introduce the new legislation, to strength penalties signed into law by President Barack Obama in December.  The new legislation would close loopholes enabling trading with Iranian banks and oil and tanker companies which exist in the December legislation.  It will also include sanctions on companies supplying telecommunications equipment used to monitor opposition.

According to Reuters, the bill is a revised version of one passed in February by the Senate Banking Committee and has the support of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  That bill was brought before the Senate in March, but failed to receive a “unanimous consent” voice vote because some senators sought amdnemdnets which would sanction companies that insure trade with Iran.

On May 23, Tehran is set to resume nuclear program-related talks with representatives from the UN Security Council – US, Britain, China, France, Russia – and Germany which began on April 14.

In the meantime, Iran continues to funnel illegal weapons to Syria to assist Syrian President Bashar Assad in his crackdown on opposition in his country, according to a report on Wednesday by the Associated Press.

An anonymous UN Security Council diplomat identified at least two new illegal arms shipments to Syria, with a possible third cargo containing rockets for arming the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The U.N. Security Council imposed its first sanctions on Iran in December 2006.  Since then, Iran has continued to enrich uranium, despite increasing international pressure.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

According to a panel of sanctions-monitoring experts to the Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee, Iran has circumvented sanctions by routinely changing the names, ownership, and flags of seafaring vessels, as well as using front companies, falsifying documents, and obtaining contraband through Iranian nationals around the world, as well as utilizing money transfer businesses to keep business up to speed.

Israel and the United States have made frequent allusions to the possibility of  military response to Iran’s refusal to halt its nuclear program.  In a closed meeting on Tuesday, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said the United States has prepared and tested military methods to attack Iran, if it should become necessary to employ that option.

Report: Ignoring UN Ban, Iran Continues Shipping Arms to Syria, Enriching Uranium

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

According to Reuters, a confidential report on Iran sanctions-busting says Syria continues to receive Iranian arms shipments that violate a U.N. Security Council ban on weapons exports by Iran.

The new report, by a panel of experts on monitoring sanctions, submitted to the Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee, also details Iranians’ efforts to circumvent sanctions on their nuclear program, noting that the punitive measures imposed on Iran between 2006 and 2010 are having a limited effect.

“Sanctions are slowing Iran’s procurement of some critical items required for its prohibited nuclear program,” the report says. “At the same time prohibited activities continue, including uranium enrichment.”

The report details three large illegal shipments of Iranian weapons sent over the past year.

“Iran has continued to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments,” the report states. “Two of these cases involved (Syria), as were the majority of cases inspected by the Panel during its previous mandate, underscoring that Syria continues to be the central party to illicit Iranian arms transfers.”

The third shipment included rockets that were eventually delivered to the Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

“The Panel recommends the designation (for blacklisting) of two entities related to these interdictions,” the report says. “The report also takes note of information concerning arms shipments by Iran to other destinations.”

Defying Boycott, Iran, India, Trade to Reach $100 Billion over Four Years

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

If you were looking for clues as to how Iran could stand up to global pressure over its nuclear program, perhaps this bit of news serves as an explanation: the semi-official Mehr news agency reports that Tehran and New Delhi have announced that they are planning to hit $25 billion in annual bilateral trade over the next four years. An 80-member Indian trade delegation is visiting Iran.

An Indian official said the current annual trade between the two countries was around $15 billion, the IRNA news agency reported.

The delegation was in the country to explore commercial opportunities created by the EU and U.S. sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program.

The two countries, which have long-standing historic ties, hope to settle around 45 percent of their oil trade in rupees by increasing exports.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/defying-boycott-iran-india-trade-to-reach-100-billion-over-four-years/2012/03/10/

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