web analytics
March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘nuclear proliferation’

Cold War Tactics to Stop Iran

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

As Americans seek to find an alternative to the stark and unappetizing choice of accepting Iran’s rabid leadership having nuclear weapons or pre-emptively bombing its nuclear facilities, one analyst offers a credible third path. Interestingly, it’s inspired by a long-ago policy toward a different foe – the Reagan administration’s ways of handling the Soviet Union – yet this unlikely model offers a useful prototype.

Abraham D. Sofaer, a former U.S. district judge and legal adviser to the State Department, now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, argues in Taking On Iran: Strength, Diplomacy and the Iranian Threat (Hoover Institution, 2013) that since the fall of the shah during the Carter administration, Washington “has responded to Iranian aggression with ineffective sanctions and empty warnings and condemnations.”

Not since 1988, he notes, has the U.S. government focused on the Iranian military force that specifically protects the country’s Islamic order and most often attacks abroad, variously called the Pasdaran or Sepah in Persian and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps or IRGC in English. This roughly 125,000-strong elite force, created in 1980, has an outsized role in Iran’s political and economic life. It possesses its own army, navy, and air force units, it controls ballistic missile programs, and it shares control over the country’s nuclear program. It runs the Basij, which enforces strict Islamic mores on the Iranian public. Its military forces are more important than the regular armed forces. Its Quds Force of about 15,000 agents spreads the Khomeini revolution abroad via infiltration and assassination. Its graduates staff key positions in the Iranian government.

The IRGC has played a lead role attacking Americans, their allies, and their interests, especially when one includes the IRGC’s many documented surrogates and partners, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muqtada al-Sadr movement, even the Taliban and al-Qaeda. IRGC accomplishments include the 1983 Marine barracks and U.S. Embassy bombings in Lebanon, the 1992 and 1994 bombings of Jewish targets in Argentina, the 1996 Khobar barracks bombing in Saudi Arabia, the 2011 attempt to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington, and provisioning Hamas with missiles for its 2012 war with Israel (which are already being re-provisioned).

In all, IRGC attacks have caused the deaths of more than 1,000 American soldiers, and many more members of other armed forces and non-combatants. The U.S. government has condemned the IRGC as a state sponsor of terrorism and designated it as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction.

Sofaer advocates a supple two-pronged approach to Tehran: “confront IRGC aggression directly and negotiate with Iran.”

Confrontation means Washington exploits “the full range of options available to curb the IRGC short of preventive attacks on nuclear sites.” He argues that U.S. forces have the right to and should target factories and storage facilities for arms, facilities associated with the IRGC (bases, ports, trucks, planes, ships), arms shipments about to be exported, and IRGC units. Sofaer’s goal is not just to to curb IRGC violence but also to “undermine IRGC credibility and influence, and help convince Iran to negotiate in earnest” over its nuclear weapon program.

Negotiations means talking to Tehran about outstanding issues, rather than trying to punish it with aloofness. Sofaer quotes James Dobbins, a former special U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, as expressing this view: “It is time to apply to Iran the policies which won the Cold War, liberated the Warsaw Pact, and reunited Europe: détente and containment, communication whenever possible, and confrontation whenever necessary. We spoke to Stalin’s Russia. We spoke to Mao’s China. In both cases, greater mutual exposure changed their system, not ours. It’s time to speak to Iran, unconditionally, and comprehensively.” More broadly, along with Chester A. Crocker, another former American diplomat, Sofaer sees diplomacy as “the engine that converts raw energy and tangible power into meaningful political results.”

Confronting and negotiating in tandem, Sofaer expects, will put great pressure on Tehran to improve its behavior generally (e.g., regarding terrorism) and possibly lead it to shut down the nuclear program, while leaving available a preemptive strike on the table “if all else fails.”

Former secretary of state George P. Shultz, in his foreword to Taking on Iran, calls Sofaer’s idea “an alternative that should have been implemented long ago.” Indeed, the time is well overdue to respond to IRGC atrocities with the language of force that Iranian leaders only understand – and which has the additional benefit of possibly avoiding greater hostilities.

President’s Nomination of Hagel May Encourage Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense risks increasing the likelihood that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. It poses that risk because Hagel is well known for his opposition both to sanctions against Iran and to employing the military option if necessary.

These views are inconsistent with the very different views expressed by President Obama. The President has emphasized on numerous occasions that he will never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons and will use military force if necessary to prevent that “game changer.”

The nomination of Hagel thus sends a mixed message to the mullahs in Tehran, who will likely interpret it as a change from a red light to a yellow or green one when it comes to their desire to develop nuclear weapons. Sending a mixed message at this point can increase the chances that Iran will miscalculate and act in a foolhardy manner thus requiring the actual use of the military option—an eventuality that nobody wants.

The goal of America’s policy toward Iran has always been to frighten the mullahs into believing President Obama’s threat to use military force if sanctions fail. “I don’t bluff,” President Obama has famously and publicly stated. It is imperative that the Iranian leadership believe this. If they do, they may well decide that the sanctions they are currently undergoing are too painful to endure, if the end result is that they will never be permitted to develop nuclear weapons. If they don’t believe President Obama’s threat, then the sanctions alone will not dissuade them from pursuing their nuclear goal. The nomination of Senator Hagel will strengthen the hand of those within the Iranian leadership who think that President Obama is bluffing.

It is also important that the Israeli leadership believes that President Obama really has Israel’s back when it comes to preventing Iran from endangering the Jewish state by obtaining nuclear weapons. Any loss of trust in this regard may result in an Israeli decision to take unilateral military action to protect its citizens against nuclear attacks.

This is the wrong time to send mixed messages by nominating a man who has, at best, a mixed record with regard to sanctions and the military option against Iran and with regard to having Israel’s back.

Senator Hagel will have an opportunity to clarify, and hopefully to change, his previous statements with regard to these issues. He should be asked probing questions about sanctions, about the military option and about Israel’s security. In his answers he must persuade the Iranian leadership that there is no distance between his current views and those of the President who has nominated him. The President must also persuade the Iranian leadership that his nomination of Hagel does not constitute any backing down from his commitment to use military force, if sanctions don’t work.

Independence may be a virtue for a senator, but it is a vice when it presents conflicting messages at a time when it is imperative that the Iranian leadership understand that the Obama Administration, indeed the United States as a whole, speaks with one voice when it says that Iran will never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, even if that requires the use of military force if all other options fail.

Normally a president, especially a president reelected to a second term with a substantial majority, should be entitled to pick his own Secretary of Defense. But when the President’s decision risks sending a mixed message that could increase the chances of having to employ the military option against Iran, the Senate has an especially important role to play. The burden is now on Senator Hagel to persuade the Senate, the American people, and the leaders of Iran that he is fully supportive of the President’s commitment not to contain a nuclear armed Iran, but to prevent such a catastrophe from occurring, even if that requires the use of military force to achieve that commendable goal.

Nor is this a liberal-conservative or Democratic-Republican issue. Reportedly, the Hagel nomination has been very controversial within the White House itself, with some of President Obama’s closest advisers being critical of it. Many Democrats, both elected officials and rank and file voters, are deeply concerned about the wisdom of the President’s nomination of Senator Hagel.

Iran, Israel and America

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Wait?! …Wait for What?! This was the rhetorical question recently asked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to the American refusal to draw a clear line whereby if crossed by Iran, it would act militarily.

The world wants Israel to wait and not take military action… to give sanctions a chance to work. Fine. I actually agree with that. But there has to be some lines drawn. If Israel keeps waiting – that could spell its end. That was the point.
I could not help but marvel at the simple clarity given to this issue by the Israeli prime minister. In what should be obvious to anyone with half a brain, the “what” Netanyahu was referring to was the threat by the Islamic Republic of Iran to annihilate the State of Israel.  As soon as it has nuclear capability the likelihood of using it to achieve that goal is very strong.
They are progressing full speed ahead towards the development such weapons. They already possess delivery capacity.  Their religious beliefs include killing innocent people along with themselves in the cause of advancing Islam. The idea that Israel should wait and let sanctions do their job, is very nice – if you don’t live in Israel.
The problem with Iran is that the combination of all those factors means that it doesn’t matter what we do in terms of diplomacy. They are just biding their time until they can get the job done.
Sanctions? That will only slow them down. It will not stop them. That should be obvious to everyone too by now.
To be fair, the Obama administration has not removed anything including its own military action from the table. But the way things are going now and with all the talk of the devastating effects of a war with Iran – the military option will not have any real impact to them. Iran doesn’t think the United States under an Obama Presidency has the guts or the will to do it.
Iranian leaders can hear the United States expressing reservations about attacking them. Iranian bellicosity has added fear to those reservations. Their strategy of projecting resolve about their religious mission is working. They are pretty sure that they will not be attacked. They see see any sabre rattling by the US as no more than a paper threat. I’m sure they are giddy with joy about that and proceeding full steam ahead towards becoming nuclear.
The truth is that a military attack would not be pretty. Iran is not Iraq or Afghanistan. It has a far more sophisticated and powerful military and a regime willing to die for Allah. Which of course include Israel’s destruction . There could very well be carnage unlike anything we have seen since the World War Two. Iran will not go down without fighting to its death.
Which brings us back to square one. Israel is the one with its head in the chopping block. It’s easy for others to say wait. They are not the ones about to get their heads chopped off.
This does not mean I think that Israel ought to attack Iran just yet. Israeli blood is not cheap and if they ever attacked Iran, I don’t even want to think about the consequences in lives lost. God forbid! And then there is the matter of the remaining Jews still living in Iran. I don’t want to think about their consequences either.
But at the same time, I cannot see fiddling while Rome burns either.  And if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, Rome will burn!
I have to believe that the prime minister has red lines. He knows when they will be crossed. He is not going to wait a moment beyond that to destroy Iranian nuclear reactors. He knows that  if he doesn’t act decisively at the right moment –  the consequences of a nuclear attack against Israel will rival those of the Holocaust. Only this Holocaust will be nuclear.
It is my belief that the Obama Administration realizes this. They have recently said that there is no daylight between the two countries when it comes to dealing with Iran. It is my hope that the United States will stand with Israel in its time of need – if and when Israel sees that line crossed and acts militarily. If need be I believe that the United States will aid Israel if they need it. That is the only moral option.
In these days of awe before Yom Kippur, I pray that this does not need to happen. I would rather see a peaceful resolution. Or even better a regime change in Iran. But I think we will sooner see Moshiach. Iran is a brutal religious dictatorship that will do whatever is necessary to  keep its government in power. They consider it a religious imperative!  The last revolution that was tried there was very quickly quashed.
Just like an insurrection is unlikely in Iran so too is it unlikely that they will ever surrender in a war should it happen. In the event of war Iranian leaders – both political and religious – must be utterly destroyed. That will not be easy. But what alternative is there?
Visit the Emes Ve-Emunah blog.

America’s Ambivalent Iran Doctrine

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Is Washington’s refusal to set red lines over Iran’s nuclear military program spurring Tehran to continue onward, towards nuclear weapons possession, at full speed?

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has issued a call for clear red lines to be defined by the international community. The idea behind the lines is simple: A breach of them by Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons will trigger action against it.

Jerusalem presumably believes that without red lines, Iran will simply not take the threat of military force seriously enough to freeze its uranium enrichment, or enter into further negotiations in any meaningful way.

Washington, saying that the only red line it abides by is the production of nuclear weapons, rejected this call. Any further red lines, President Barack Obama said earlier this month, would constrain the U.S.’s room to maneuver.

Furthermore, according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, countries are not governed by red lines.

However, as Dr. Emily Landau, a senior arms control expert from Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies pointed out Obama himself used red lines twice this year — and did so effectively.

In the first instance, when Iran threatened to respond to economic sanctions by closing off the Strait of Hormuz shipping lane, through which much of the world’s oil passes, Obama said that doing so would constitute an unacceptable breach of a red line. Sure enough, Iran backed off, and downplayed its own threat within a few weeks.

The second use of a red line came after it emerged that Syrian dictator Basher Assad was moving deadly chemical weapons around Syria. Obama said that any further movements of the unconventional weapons, or signs that they were about to be used, would constitute a breach of a red line. There have been no further reports of chemical weapons on the move in war-torn Syria.

Iran knows that the U.S. is being selective about its use of red lines, and that the Obama Administration is reluctant to use this same pressure mechanism on its nuclear program.

What conclusion is Iran likely to take away? One need look no farther than Iran’s rapidly progressing uranium enrichment drive, its continuing refusal to allow IAEA experts access to nuclear facilities, and the fact that no serious negotiations between the P5+1 representatives (the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) and Iran are on the horizon.

The threat of military force is supposed to be one of three critical pillars of a comprehensive policy to persuade the Iranian regime to stop its march towards atomic bombs.

The second pillar, biting sanctions, is in place, and is taking its toll on the Iranian economy. But the sanctions have utterly failed to convince Tehran to change course on its nuclear program. So long as the worsening Iranian economy does not influence the rate of uranium enrichment, sanctions cannot be considered to have worked.

The third and last pillar, diplomacy, is currently dead in the water, after three failed rounds of negotiations this year.

All three pillars are tied to each other – a structural weakness in one means the other two cannot function properly. In this instance, it is the pillar of a credible military threat that is looking weak, and a refusal to discuss red lines is contributing to that weakness.

Ironically, the less credible the threat of military force is, the more likely it is that military force will eventually have to be used.

Some in the Obama Administration, such as Defense Secretary Panetta, have pointed out that Israel too has not set red lines on Iran. But Israel is not involved in negotiations with Iran, and a red line pressure mechanism would be of no use to Israel — a fact that makes Panetta’s claim appear rather cynical in the eyes of Israeli national security analysts.

There are other factors leading Iran to confirm its belief that the international community is not serious about stopping its nuclear program.

One of them is the public spat between Netanyahu and Obama over these very issues. The open argument, which has escalated into unprecedented feuding via international media outlets, will surely give Iran more cause to trivialize international resolve and unity.

When chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said last month that an Israeli strike would only delay Iranian nuclear progress, but not destroy the program, he seemed to be stating the obvious. Read between the lines, however, and Dempsey appeared to be hinting that a delay caused by an Israeli strike would not be significant.

The comment seemed to be part of an open U.S. media campaign to dissuade Israel from striking. What it may have done instead was damage Israeli deterrence in Iranian eyes.

The lack of red lines, diplomatic arguments among allies, and an unconvincing threat of military force will all lead Iran to move forward on its nuclear program.

In the meantime, it seems fair to believe that Iran is quickly approaching Israel’s own, unannounced red line.

Israeli Ex-Defense Official: Hezbollah has 60-70,000 Rockets; Iran’s Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons is the Main Threat

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

The voice of Amos Gilad is generally a well-respected one in this part of the world. He is a major-general in the IDF reserves and at an earlier time was the IDF’s Spokesperson. For years he was the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). Today he heads the Political, Military and Policy Bureau at the Ministry of Defence.

He delivered a major speech this past Monday at the World Summit of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel, which ended yesterday. Some highlights:

* The fact that Israel is not facing a conventional military threat is a massive improvement over this country’s historical security situation. But…

* Hezbollah has between 60,000 and 70,000 rockets  of various types aimed at Israel. Its arsenal is far more robust than the one it had prior to the Second Lebanon War. “The next war will be aimed against the home front,” he is quoted saying [source].

* The Golan Heights remains the quietest region in the entire Middle East. From Israel’s strategic standpoint, this is good news – at least for now. (Gilad has previously summed up the tragic Syrian situation this way: “Assad is an Alawite, and he is slaughtering his opponents. He will continue until he is defeated.” Few Israeli leaders have had any illusions about the Assad strategy since the darkest days of his father’s blood-soaked rule.)

* The (inevitable and approaching) fall of Assad will allow al-Qaida to open a new terror front against Israel, and there are signs now that it is “starting to rear its head”.

* In Egypt, though there are many terrorist groups actively seeking to attack Israel from the Sinai, new Egyptian president Morsy and his entourage remain “committed to peace”.

* Gaza: The situation is “relatively restrained”.

That number he quotes – 70,000 rockets – would be worrying all by itself. But it’s more disturbing still when you compare it with what Gilad himself said in an interview he gave to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai, reproduced in Yediot Aharonot/Ynet, just seven months ago. In that February 2012 piece, Gilad says Hezbollah has accumulated 45,000 missiles that pose a threat to Israel. These came from Iran and Syria via ships, planes and trains. Lebanon’s political leadership is out of the loop and unaware; the result is a vacuum he calls “Hezbollastan”.

In case those facts slipped past you: one of Israel’s highest placed defense officials says, with zero fanfare and no drums, that a sworn enemy of this country, whose forces are arrayed right across the length of Israel’s northern border, has increased its offensive attack capabilities to such an extent that, in a period of seven months, it has expanded its already huge arsenal of rockets by a further 56%.

He also told the Kuwaitis that the Tehran regime intends to use its nuclear strategy not only against Israel but also against the Arab regimes and the Gulf nations.

The more informed among the Kuwaiti readership probably knew this already. In an analytic paper called “Updating Israel’s Security Policy” [online here] published in May 2012, Gilad reviewed the Iranian strategy and how it is perceived here in the neighborhood. Some highlights:

* “Hizbullah has taken over half of Lebanon. Hizbullahstan is much more powerful militarily, or even politically, than Lebanon itself, heavily financed by Iran and Syria. They have at least 45,000 rockets, compared with 14,000 in 2006 at the time of the Second Lebanon War. There is also Iranian terror all over the world, with Iranians whose base is in Lebanon.”

* “I cannot imagine Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or any of the other Arab countries tolerating a nuclear Iran. There is an Arabic word, “ajami,” which expresses disgust of the Persians. If you ask any Arab leader about the greatest threat, he will say Iran – not Israel – but not publicly.”

* “The terrorists in Sinai are financed by Iran [he wrote this some months before the recent murderous attacks in Sinai] and they want to murder as many Israelis as they can.”

* “The Iranians and the Turks have a 1,000-year-old tradition of rivalry. I cannot believe that the Turks believe there is room for friendship with Iran. If Iran goes nuclear, the Turks will be very upset.”

* “Israel’s identification of the Iranian nuclear threat was a great intelligence achievement. We identified the threat of a nuclear Iran in the mid-1990s, when Iran did not have a single missile that could reach Israel. Iran’s capabilities for developing nuclear weapons are no longer a question. They only have to make the decision. They have 5.5 tons of low-enriched uranium. They have hundreds of Shahab-3 missiles which can travel 1,500 km., and they have missiles with a range of 2,200 km. Their ambition is to become the regional superpower. They have the know-how to assemble nuclear warheads on missiles if they want to. They have not yet crossed the Rubicon.”

* Khamenei, who is the leader, not Ahmadinejad, relies on the brutal force of the Revolutionary Guard. Whenever he finds it appropriate, he is determined to develop the option to decide to develop nuclear weapons. He has not done so yet because he is shocked by the magnitude of exposure of these secret projects.”

* “Two years ago at the United Nations, the president of the United States exposed the existence of a top-secret project near Qom, and the Iranians were shocked. For a long time the world did not recognize the nature of this threat, but now there is a consensus among the world’s intelligence agencies: Iran is a threat. There is no current existential threat to Israel, but a nuclear Iran has the potential of creating such a threat when they get the bomb.”

* “Both Turkey and Iran used to be our best friends. We are doing our best to ease the tension between us and Turkey, but it is quite a challenge to digest and understand the changes that have occurred in Turkey. We do not like the way Turkey is cooperating with Iran from time to time, but the Iranians and the Turks have a 1,000-year-old tradition of rivalry. I cannot believe that the Turks believe there is room for friendship with Iran.”

* “If Ahmadinejad and Khamenei keep saying that Israel does not have the right to exist, then with nuclear capability it becomes serious. Without nuclear weapons, it remains just a statement. Iran without nuclear capability is a terrible threat but not an existential one. At the moment, they are using terror and we are suffering from it. The main issue today is how to prevent a nuclear Iran.”

How Not to Keep Israel from Bombing Iran

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

There are no deadlines:

The U.S. is “not setting deadlines” for Iran and still considers negotiations to be “by far the best approach” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Bloomberg in an interview published Monday.

Speaking to Bloomberg Radio on Sunday after the conclusion of meetings at an Asia-Pacific forum in Vladivostok, Russia, Clinton said that economic sanctions are affecting Iran and the U.S. is “watching very carefully about what [the Iranians] do, because it’s always been more about their actions than their words.”

And there are no red ones either, according to State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland yesterday:

QUESTION: Toria, your closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, is quite upset with a interview that the Secretary gave, particularly when she was asked about redlines or deadlines for Iran’s nuclear program. Do you have positions or levels in Iran’s nuclear enrichment that you consider unacceptable and that would force some sort of change to the current stalemate, let’s say?

MS. NULAND: Well, as we have been saying for many months, and as was clear when the Secretary was in Jerusalem earlier this summer, we have extensive and ongoing contacts with our close ally Israel to discuss the full range of security issues, but obviously to compare notes on the challenge posed by Iran, and we will continue to do that…

QUESTION: Well it’s a very – will you agree that it’s – are you – is there a specific policy of being – of constructive ambiguity here? Because, I mean, not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon means many different things to many different people. As you know, the Israelis have one definition of what it means to have a nuclear weapon, and maybe you have another one. So could you provide any –

MS. NULAND: Among the many reasons, Elise, why these consultations with Israel need to be constant, they need to be detailed, they need to be private. …

So we are absolutely firm about the President’s commitment here, but it is not useful to be parsing it, to be setting deadlines one way or the other, redlines. It is most important that we stay intensely focused on the pressure on Iran, the opportunity for Iran to fix this situation through the diplomacy that we’ve offered, and intensive consultations with Israel and all the other regional states, as we are doing.

Nuland seems to be trying to suggest that there is more going on under the surface with Israel, but Israel Hayom quoted “senior diplomatic sources in Jerusalem” saying that,

Hillary Clinton is speeding up the Iranian centrifuges with her erroneous public comments … Without a clear red line, Iran will not halt its race for nuclear weapons.  … not only do Clinton’s comments not deter Iran, they actually appease it.

So to recap: there are sanctions, but Iran’s 20 biggest trading partners have exemptions. Iran still refuses to let IAEA inspectors into its test site at Parchin, where it appears that experiments related to weaponization have been carried out. The I.A.E.A. also reports that Iran is carrying out computer simulations of the destructive power of nuclear warheads. Iran continues to add centrifuges to bolster its enrichment capabilities.

But the U.S. is not prepared to issue an ultimatum. It will go no further than to repeat that “we will not allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon,” but it will not say — publicly or to Israel — how far it will allow Iran to go.

The Iranians understand this to mean that they can keep on doing what they are doing, which is putting all the pieces in place to sprint to the finish line when they choose to do so. It’s by no means clear that we will know when this is about to happen, or that we will be able to act quickly enough to stop it, even if we do know. It is also generally accepted that the ability of Israel by itself to prevent Iran from building a weapon is eroding with time.

The U.S. has the power to issue a credible threat to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability, as well as a great deal of its military assets — missiles, air defense systems, etc. Such a threat would most likely cause Iran to pull back and would not actually have to be carried out.

By not doing this, the administration leaves Israel with only one option, which is to try to destroy or delay Iran’s program itself. While an American threat carries the risk that the Iranians will call our bluff and provoke a conflict, an Israeli attack guarantees one.

Incidentally, it should be mentioned that the former Israeli security officials like Meir Dagan who are opposed to an Israeli attack in the near term do not believe that Iran should be allowed to get nuclear bombs. They simply disagree with the PM and Defense Minister aboutwhen there will be no other way to stop Iran. If the US persists in allowing Iran to proceed, then even Meir Dagan’s red line will be crossed.

If the administration wants to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran, it has a strange way of showing it!

Canada Tells Iranian Diplomats to Take a Hike, Israel Cheers on

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Canada suspended diplomatic relations with Iran, closing down its embassy in Iran and giving Iranian diplomats in Canada five days to leave its soil, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird announced Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly welcomed the decision, calling on the rest of the world to follow suit while, predictably, Iran denounced it.

Speaking in Vladivostok, Russia, Baird summed up the reasons for the decision saying that the Canadian government views “the Government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.”

Baird went on to list a litany of actions by the Iranian government, from providing military assistance to the regime of Bashir Assad in Syria, “refus[ing] to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program,” threatening Israel’s existence, violating human rights and supporting terrorism.

Baird also said that Iran “has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel” and therefore “Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran” due to safety reasons.

Elaborating to reporters, Baird referred to the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran last November, the New York Times reported.

That same day, Baird and Canadian Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews also announced that Canada has listed both Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. That decision will allow victims of terror to sue both countries under Canada’s Justice for Victims of Terror Act.

Later in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for taking “a bold measure which displays leadership and sends a clear message to Iran and the entire world.”

Netanyahu said the decision was particularly important in light of the “anti-Semitism and hatred” displayed at the conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, which was attended by 120 countries and U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki Moon.

Netanyahu called on the international community to follow Canada’s example and reiterated his call on the world to set “clear red lines for Iran.”

Meanwhile, an Iranian foreign ministry spokeperson, Ramin Mehmanparast, condemned Canada decision, saying it was one of Canada’s “extremist policies in the field of foreign policy” and that it was “in fact, the pursuit of Zionist and British dictated policies,” the Tehran Times reported.

The Canadian government, led by Stephen Harper and Canada’s Conservative Party, has shown support for Israel on a number of instances as of late.

In November 2010, Harper said Canada was “morally obligated to take a stand” for Israel, adding that “as long as I am Prime Minister . . . Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost.”

In May this year, Baird spoke in Washington D.C. about the importance of defending Israel, comparing Iran to the Nazi threat of World War II, and visited Israel only a few weeks ago in August.

Canada also stood with Israel in opposing the Palestinian Authority’s bid for U.N. recognition as an independent state in 2011.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/canada-tells-iranian-diplomats-to-take-a-hike-israel-cheers-on/2012/09/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: