Sunday, April 5, 2009

Iran's Bomb-2

"Iran's mullahs are set to achieve what decades of western diplomacy could not-bring about Arab/Israeli detente. Fears of nuclear weapons in the hands of Tehran's revolutionary Shite regime are forcing a shotgun marriage of Tel Aviv and the Sunni Arab states in a stunning triumph of power politics over historical hatreds. The Washington Times recently had an opportunity to sit down with an Israeli source who told us, 'You'd be amazed at how we see eye-to-eye with the moderate Arab states.' ... The center-left Institute for Science and International Security reported in December that Iran 'is expected to reach [the nuclear capability] milestone during 2009 under a wide variety of scenarios.' Even the much (and rightly) derided December 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate found that the earliest Iran would have a nuclear capability was in 2010, which if you haven't checked your calendar lately is about nine months from now. ... In fact, the Palestinian issue is rapidly becoming an extension of Iranian ambitions. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak noted archly that Tehran's considerable support for Hamas means that in practical terms Egypt 'shares a border with Iran.' Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal has decried Iranian support for non-state actors like Hamas and Hezbollah. At this point no peace with Israel will be possible without Iran's permission, and the Arab states would be happy to see this issue go away. ... Other states will act if the US does not. The Israeli source told us that a nuclear Iran would be an existential threat to Israel, and that Israel cannot allow the Iranians to have the bomb. 'We take seriously their statement to wipe Israel from the map,' our source said. 'Given our history we take it very seriously.' ... Saudi Arabia [SA] faces its own existential threat from Iran. Tehran is seeking to undermine the legitimacy of the Saudi regime and establish a protectorate over Mecca and Medina. The notion of Persian Shites in Mecca is far more alarming to the Arab Sunni states than Israeli control of Jerusalem. ... The [US] approaches this issue as though it can control events, but Iran, Israel and other countries in the region will not wait for the stately processes of American diplomacy. The strategic map in the Middle East will change with or without us", my emphasis, Editorial at the Washington Times, 17 March 2009, link:

"Make no mistake: The Middle East may be on the verge of a nuclear arms race triggered by the inability of the West to stop Iran's quest for a bomb. ... The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the ... [UAE] and Oman) set up a nuclear exploratory commission in 2007 to prepare a 'strategic report' for submission later this year. But [SA] is not waiting for the report. It opened negotiations with the US in 2008 to obtain 'a nuclear capacity,' ostensibly for 'peaceful purpoess.' Egypt also signed a nuclear cooperation agreement , with France, last year. ... 'A nuclear armed Iran with hegemonic ambitions is the greatest threat to Arab nations today,' President Hosni Mubarak told the Arab summit in Riyadh, [SA] two weeks ago. ... According to the foreign ministry in Paris, the French are building a military base close to Abu Dhabi ostensbily to protect the nuclear installation against 'hostile action,' including the possibility of 'sensitive material' being stolen by terrorist groups or smuggled to Iran. ... 'A single tactical nuclear attack on Basra and Baghdad could wipe out a third of our population,' a senior Iraqi official told me, on condition of anonymity. Since 90% of Iraqis live within 90 miles of the Iranian border, the 'fear is felt in every town and village,' he says. ... Iran's rivals for regional leadership, especially Turkey, Egypt and [SA], are aware of the propaganda appeal of the Islamic Republic's claim of being 'the first Muslim superpower' capable of defying the West and rivaling it in scientific and technological fields. In that context, Tehran's development of long-range missiles and the Muslim world's first space satelite are considered political coups. ... [SA's] appointed parliament, the Shura Council ... devoted a recent session to 'the Iranian threat,' insisting that unless Tehran abandoned its nuclear program, [SA] should lead the Arabs in developing their own 'nuclear response.' The debate came just days after the foreign ministry in Riyadh issued a report identifying the Islamic Republic's nuclear program as the 'principal security theat to Arab nations'," my emphasis, Amir Taheri (AT) at the WSJ, 23 March 2009.

Our failure to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities may lead to a Middle East catastrophe. Why is anyone surprised Israel and the Arabs see Iran the same way. I have always believed Israel, like SA, opposed our Iraq adventure as only strenghtening Iran.

AT realizes our failure to stop Iran's nuclear program. I agree with Mubarak and the Saudis. Israel has had atomic weapons since about 1964, yet the Arabs do not see Israel as a threat. Interesting.

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