Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The IAEA Report

If anyone had any doubt that the Iranian regime is in the process of developing a nuclear weapon, this should be dispelled by the latest IAEA Report on the subject issued this week. Now with a different Director, a Japanese rather than the former Egyptian El Baradei, whose honesty has been called into question, the current IAEA Report is much more detailed and definitive. Intelligence from at least 10 countries as well as the IAEA's own information was combined in the current Report. Its conclusions support the position of the Israeli Government that Iran is rapidly working towards developing a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it by missile.

Open discussions started in Israel to highlight the danger to the world of an Iranian nuclear capability have now extended to the whole world. The leaders of the USA, France and the UK have all once again stated that they will not allow Iran to develop such a capability. However, they all emphasize the need for stronger sanctions before any military action should be considered, as a last resort. But, the application of stronger sanctions is blocked by Russia and China in the Security Council. However, knowing that Israel is considering such a strike against Iran must make them think twice.

The problem with any military strike has been pointed out, that Iran has diversified its nuclear facilities, so that there are at least 20 sites scattered all over the country. Furthermore, many of them are buried underground or inside mountains. Not easy targets for any military force. Finally, they are protected by significant defenses consisting of multiple layers of guns and air defenses. Even though Israel was successful in attacking the nuclear reactor in Baghdad back in 1988 and in Syria two years ago, these were nothing compared to the complexity of attacking Iran, but good training nevertheless. Perhaps the most important consideration for the world is that any war scanario in the Persian Gulf is likely to involve the closing of the Straits of Hormuz to oil tankers, that could bring international industry to a standstill. It is this potential threat that should activate the Russian and Chinese leaders to want to prevent Iran from progressing to a nuclear capability. Otherwise the flow of oil to them and the West will be severely disrupted. Israel therefore holds the key to this problem, its threat to attack Iran is not only a danger to Iran, but also a huge risk for the world's leading industrial countries.

Yesterday there was a huge explosion in a major air base near Tehran that killed the leader of Iran's missile program and many others. Reports have attributed this explosion to the Mossad, although the Iranians say that it was an accident. Also, there are reports of other computer viruses that have once again slowed progress in tthe Iranian development of a nucelar weapon. In addition Israel has developed drones the size of a 747 airliner, that are packed with electronic hardware and weapons, and Israel has so-called bunker buster bombs that can penetrate deep into the earth. The problem is that if Israel were about to attack Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas might first start firing thousands of missiles at Israel that have been supplied by Iran for just such an eventuality. In that event Israel might be forced to take preemptive strikes against them to prevent this, or it might lead to a three front war (assuming Syria is too busy killing its own civilians). That is why such an attack on Iran is a last report, but everyone should be aware that Israel is capable of carrying out such an attack and is prepared to do so if there is no alternative.


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