Tuesday, April 11, 2006
I hope the Iranian Mullahs love their children too
This news is not the last word on Iran but there is very little time to react. Maybe Iran will be satisfied with a small nuclear arsenal, maybe. I know the Israelis have their own nuclear weapons. What I really would like to know is whether Israel is under the U.S. nuclear weapons umbrella? The diplomatic community is counting on the belief that Iran can be deterred. I am afraid this is all we will have to hope for.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran will "soon join the club of countries with nuclear technology."
His comments came as new agencies quoted former President Hashemi Rafsanjani as saying Tuesday that Iran has enriched uranium for the first time using 164 centrifuges, a major development in its fuel cycle technology.
The announcement was the first disclosure that Iran had successfully enriched uranium since February, when it began research at its enrichment facility in the town of Natanz.
"Iran has put into operation the first unit of 164 centrifuges, has injected (uranium) gas and has reached industrial production," the Kuwait News Agency quoted Rafsanjani as saying.
"We should expand the work of these machines to achieve a full industrial line. We need dozens of these units (sets of 164 centrifuges) to achieve a uranium enrichment facility," he said.
John O adds: President Bush has said the US "will defend Israel."
Mark Steyn does an excellent job explaining our predicament. He concludes:
Once again, we face a choice between bad and worse options. There can be no “surgical” strike in any meaningful sense: Iran’s clients on the ground will retaliate in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Europe. Nor should we put much stock in the country’s allegedly “pro-American” youth. This shouldn’t be a touchy-feely nation-building exercise: rehabilitation may be a bonus, but the primary objective should be punishment—and incarceration. It’s up to the Iranian people how nutty a government they want to live with, but extraterritorial nuttiness has to be shown not to pay. That means swift, massive, devastating force that decapitates the regime—but no occupation.In addition to this, we need to sieze or incapacitate the Iranian oil fields. The time to act is now.
The cost of de-nuking Iran will be high now but significantly higher with every year it’s postponed. The lesson of the Danish cartoons is the clearest reminder that what is at stake here is the credibility of our civilization. Whether or not we end the nuclearization of the Islamic Republic will be an act that defines our time.
John O adds more: Captain Ed comments on the diplomatic actions the US should take:
If we allow Ahmadinejad to celebrate this defiance without fixing consequences to his actions, then we will have re-enacted the capitulation of 1936 seventy years later. It will also render the NPT moot and once again show the UN as nothing more than the League of Nations with a better flag and tonier address. The UNSC must take action against Iran's flagrant violation of both the NPT and its unanimous resolution of last month. Failure to do so will cement its reputation as an anachronistic relic of the Cold War.
If Russia and China will not allow any sanctions against Iran, then we need to make it clear that the Western nations no longer feel bound by the strictures of the UN and will instead act on our own to develop bilateral and multilateral agreements for diplomatic efforts in the future. This may actually motivate both countries to join against the Iranian mullahcracy, as they see the UN as a handy brake on American influence and power. Once freed of the bonds of Turtle Bay, they understand that we will act with much more aggressiveness to stop potential threats before they develop, endangering their strategies of diplomatic obstructionism.
We had better draw the line now. If we wait much longer, we may soon confront the reality of Iranian nuclear weapons instead of the potential, with all of the implications for terrorism that implies.