Prof. Uzi Rabi says window for effective military action against Tehran’s nuclear facilities has closed.
The international community and Iran are on a path to reaching a “middle ground” deal on Tehran’s nuclear program that will allow each side to claim victory, but which will allow Iran to eventually become a nuclear state, a leading Middle East expert told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.Sponsored Ads
Prof. Uzi Rabi, director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, who will soon publish the book The Shi’ite Crescent: An Iranian Vision and Arab Fear, added that an Israeli military operation against Iran’s nuclear program was feasible several years ago, but that today, “the train has left the station.”
Iran’s economy shows signs of impending bankruptcy, moments before the swearing in of Hassan Rouhani to the presidency, as reported in the Washington Post weekend magazine. Based on new information released, indicating increasing damage in the country’s economic sectors.
According to the report, sanctions imposed by the West are having a greater affect than ever on the economy and increasing the pressure reaching an agreement with the West. American sources have told journalists that the increase in economic difficulties will have a negative impact on the Rouhani’s, but has may also manage to increase Iran’s readiness to accept limitations on its the nuclear program.
Iran’s economic crisis deepens as Rouhani prepares to take office – The Washington Post
A welter of new data shows accelerated financial hemorrhaging across multiple sectors, from plummeting hard-currency reserves to steadily falling oil exports, Iran’s main source of foreign cash. U.S. officials and analysts say the tide of bad news will complicate the task awaiting Hassan Rouhani, the incoming president, but it could also increase Iran’s willingness to accept limits that would preclude it from developing nuclear weapons.
An attack two weeks ago that destroyed an advanced Russian missile shipment delivered to Syria’s Assad regime should also serve as a warning to Iran – and to those complacent Western diplomats who have (dangerously in my view) reconciled themselves to the idea of allowing Iran to go nuclear and then trying to contain it. For it seems that the July 5 attack on an arms depot near the Syrian naval base of Latakia, which has been attributed to Israel, came not from the air (as CNN and the New York Times reported last weekend) but from under the water.
Many Western officials who have apparently concluded that Israel could only destroy Iran’s nuclear program from the air – and that Israel does not have the capability to carry out such long-range air strikes in a decisive way – should take note. In recent years, Israel has greatly advanced its sea-based capabilities, and the geographical range of operations that Israel can mount from the sea, I am reliably told, now spans the entire globe. Israeli submarines are no longer confining themselves to the Mediterranean.
The lessons of the 1973 Yom Kippur War are relevant to today’s threats.
Although the divisions and travails of the Arab world retard coordinated action against Israel, the Arab world at times addresses these very problems by going to war against Israel. Egypt’s army is now preoccupied, but hardly exhausted or depleted. If the Syrian regime holds, its army will be lean, habituated to action and endowed with advanced Russian weapons. And other Arab and Islamic states, their militaries swelling and at rest, cannot be excluded from the strategical calculus.
Were Turkey to become sufficiently Islamist, which it may, its vast and modernizing armed forces would be a nightmare for now overconfident Israeli planners. Saudi Arabia’s air force (soon 380 combat aircraft, primarily F-15s) is rapidly gaining on Israel (441 combat aircraft) in quantity and quality. Were the Saudis to take a Muslim-solidarity time-out with Iran and join Egypt, Syria and perhaps even Turkey to defeat Israel in an air war, it would mean Israel’s death.
Yes, Israel’s adversaries know of its nuclear weapons. But if the Iranian nuclear program succeeds? If Saudi Arabia, in reaction, develops its own nuclear weapons? Or if jihadists take over Pakistan and its substantial nuclear arsenal? …
The situation on the Korean Peninsula demonstrates why the United States does not and cannot make its nuclear policy in a vacuum. Nor should American nuclear policy orient itself around the ossified Cold War framework which largely took only Russia into account. Soaring rhetoric about nuclear zero from President Obama, negotiating New START, further talk of unilateral drawdowns, a Nuclear Posture Review with the stated goal of moving away from reliance on nuclear weapons, an ever-worsening fiscal picture, and deep cuts to the defense budget – all of these at least raise the question of whether the U.S. guarantee of security under its nuclear umbrella is waning. U.S. allies and enemies alike must surely wonder: what would further cuts in the American nuclear arsenal mean? Would the U. S. have either the will or the capability to respond to a regional crisis?
While South Korea is the most likely state that could next seek nukes, it is by no means the only country that would be impacted be a perceived shrinking of the American nuclear umbrella. Indeed, South Korean efforts to re-start a nuclear program would have a significant impact on Japanese thinking. The same is true in the Middle East, where the development of an uncontested Iranian nuclear weapons program would trigger similar questions about American security guarantees among other American allies.
Countries seek various methods to compensate for adversaries with larger militaries or nuclear weapons: Alliances or developing their own nuclear weapons. If the US is not going to be there then our allies will seek other methods of compensation such as building their own nuclear weapons.
Obama is really pushing strategic instability by eliminating US nuclear weapons. Doing this at the same time the US has gone into decline is extremely dangerous. This is the age of upheaval.
Phase 1: Completion of infrastructure for uranium enrichment facilities and equipment, production of parts and then the assembly for newer cascades to enrich uranium both in Iran and North Korea. The intention was to have the capacity to produce up to 75,000 centrifuges. An Iranian official then invested $640 million in four companies related to the Chinese nuclear industry.
Phase 2: Transfer of Chinese plans, equipment, material and technology for forming, placing and making operational facilities to build uranium nuclear warheads, which was done through North Korea beginning in 2010 with construction work started by the Iranians at three secret locations.
Phase 3: This phase, already well underway, would develop nuclear warheads and marry them up with missiles and, according to the source, is scheduled to be completed by January 2014 to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and the Decade of Fajr.
The following article is just a reminder that Russia is helping Iran with it nuclear program too.
Russia helping Iran accelerate nuke program [Published on 1-22-2013]
Iranian scientists – with Russian help – have set up two sites to use laser technology to enrich uranium for the regime’s nuclear bomb program, according to a source in the Revolutionary Guards intelligence unit.
The Russians had argued that due to IAEA monitoring and Western countries’ lurking satellites, it would be wise to use lasers to enrich uranium as, the source added, it is 16 times more productive, requires less space and energy, and is much easier to hide.
Don’t expect Iran to start nuking anybody real soon. There is a bigger plan at work. Iran will first acquire at least a few hundred missiles loaded with nuclear warheads over the next decade.
“It’s important to step up the sanctions, not to relent, not in any way to offer concessions in advance of any serious change in Iran’s nuclear program. The sanctions produced some changes in Iran, but they haven’t produced yet the change we need to see.”
Netanyahu warned that Iran was not seeking one or two nuclear bombs, “but 200 bombs. They’re building ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles] parallel to developing their nuclear weapons program. The ICBMs are not intended for us, they’re intended for you. Within six to eight years, they intend to be able to reach the continental United States.”
One of the most significant results of Iran’s election of a relative moderate as its next president will likely be to postpone any Israeli decision on military action against Tehran’s nuclear program until next year.
Ever since U.S. President Barack Obama visited here in March, Israel has toned down its threats to attack, due to an agreement with Washington to wait until after the Iranian election.
But now, with Hasan Rowhani’s surprise victory last Friday, it seems the West will want at least several months to assess the meaning of this change. Until then, Israel will have trouble mustering international support for an attack on Iran. Though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s associates have frequently hinted that this will be the absolutely final year of decision on Iran, it seems he will have to wait another one.
The Iranians will complete their nuclear program unless somebody stops them, says Richard Clarke, former White House counterterror chief. But military intervention could have ‘apocalyptic’ consequences
They’ll have enough material to make many bombs — an arsenal in waiting. And the breakout time could be a matter of weeks after that
Confirmed: Iran has installed hundreds of additional centrifuges for uranium enrichment, while continuing enrichment activities, and is creating a plutonium enrichment plant at Arak.
At a time when news headlines from the Middle East are dominated by battles in Syria, growing Sunni-Shi’ite conflict in Iraq and Lebanon, and mass disturbances in Turkey, it is easy to forget about Iran’s nuclear program; but early warning indicators are signaling an impending, explosive crisis over Iran’s refusal to halt its covert nuclear weapons program.
At enrichment facilities in Natanz and Fordow, Iran is continuing to inch closer to the point of nuclear breakout, as a report by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently noted.
The report confirmed what defense analysts had been saying for months: that Iran installed hundreds of additional centrifuges for uranium enrichment, enhancing its nuclear program, while continuing enrichment activities.
Tehran has also taken steps to create a parallel path to nuclear weapons through its plutonium plant at Arak.