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To: DoctorZIn

Nuclear red flag on Iran

Washington Times - By Kenneth R. Timmerman
Aug 13, 2004

Over the past 18 months, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has toyed with the international community in ways that ought to sound ominously familiar.

Challenged in February 2003 to allow inspectors to visit previously undisclosed nuclear sites, Iran stiffed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). When it finally allowed inspectors to tour some sites, they discovered evidence Iran was engaged in a massive, undercover effort to enrich uranium, possibly for weapons purposes.

A showdown between the Vienna-based nuclear agency and Iran appeared imminent last November, when IAEA Secretary General Mohammad El Baradei was scheduled to deliver his findings on Iran's clandestine nuclear activities to the IAEA board of governors. In theory, Mr. El Baradei had only to say Iran was "in violation" of its commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the board would refer Iran's case to the United Nations Security Council for enforcement action.

But Mr. El Baradei never uttered those words, perhaps fearing the Security Council, once seized of Iran's case, would refuse to act, just as it had when faced with Saddam Hussein's constant flaunting of the international community since 1998.

As a sign of "good will," the Iranian regime agreed to halt its enrichment activities, at least in theory. In exchange, the IAEA, with U.S. approval, delegated the European powers — France, Britain and Germany — to find a solution that would allow Iran to keep its civilian nuclear power plant while shutting down the clandestine weapons-grade fuel program.

By June, it became clear the Iranian government had just been stalling for time. When the IAEA accused the Iranians of "foot-dragging" and not shutting down its enrichment sites, Iranian Foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi told reporters in Tehran that Iran was determined to become "a member of the nuclear club. This is an irreversible path."

Iran's much-beloved (in the West) "moderate" President Mohammad Khatami piled on, announcing July 15 Iran intended to continue building uranium enrichment centrifuges. "We are not committed any longer to the promise to expand the suspension to include building centrifuges because they [Britain, Germany and France] failed to keep their promise of closing Iran's dossier," he said.

What he meant, of course, was the Europeans had been unable to get the U.S. to agree to the convenient fiction Iran was enriching uranium because it needed a sure supply of fuel for its one, not-yet completed, nuclear power station at Busheir. In fact, as part of the original reactor deal, the Russians had agreed to supply fuel for 10 years at cost of $30 million — a modest sum compared to the billions Iran now is spending to build the infrastructure to master the entire nuclear fuel cycle.

So far, neither President Bush nor Sen. John Kerry has chosen to address this imminent nuclear showdown. White House advisors tell me the president hopes he can keep the crisis from boiling over until after the elections, when presumably he will have a freer hand to deal forcefully with a nuclear-ready Iran. Mr. Kerry has avoided the issue because he has promised top Iranian-American fund-raisers close to the regime in Tehran that if elected he will "open a dialogue" with Iran. He has repeated that offer in public speeches, including an address to the Council on Foreign Relations last December.

The president's advisers are undoubtedly right to argue the best time politically to deal with the impending Iran nuclear crisis is after November. But the longer we allow the Iranians to continue building and enriching and burying and deploying missiles capable of launching a nuclear warhead on Israel and other U.S. allies in the region, the more perilous the eventual confrontation will become.

The mullahs in Tehran are no fools. They are working furiously to assemble enough nuclear capability by Nov. 3 to dramatically increase the price of any U.S. (or Israeli) military pre-emptive strike. Their plan is to become "nuclear-ready" — that is, to have bombs and missiles built, just waiting for the final turn of the screw that seals in the fissile cores — as fast as humanly possible. This is a crash program, and we are responding like a desert tortoise.

Mr. Kerry has made clear his preference to refer all security challenges to the United Nations for action. But in the case of Iran, deferring to the U.N. will be even more divisive than when the villain was Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Not only will France threaten to veto Security Council action on Iran, but Russia and China could well join them. The French, as with Saddam, will act to preserve a presumed commercial advantage with the Tehran regime. The Russians and Chinese will seek to cover up the record of their own actions as key suppliers and enablers of Iran's nuclear weapons effort.

There are many things the president can do between now and November short of military action or turning to a feckless U.N. that could have significant deterrent impact on the Tehran regime. Among them, the U.S. should:

• Rapidly, and massively fund opposition radio and television networks for Farsi language broadcasts into Iran.

• Help produce TV programs for training young Iranians in civil disobedience, and offer the programs free to opposition television networks and air them on Voice of America.

• Help groups outside Iran that seek to provide support for Iranian activists working inside Iran.

If nuclear weapons alone were the problem, the United States would have security issues with Great Britain. Clearly our problem in Iran stems from the radical, expansionist nature of the clerical regime, not the legitimate security needs of the Iranian nation. It is in America's best interests to respond to the calls for help from the Iranian people, so they can change that regime before it is too late. As the mullahs race toward nuclear madness, there is not a moment to lose.

Kenneth R. Timmerman is senior senior writer for Insight Magazine ( and author of "The French Betrayal of America."

20 posted on 08/13/2004 8:27:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi moved to Iran several months ago, shortly after the Fallujah incidents, and stayed a few weeks at a camp belonging to the Iranian revolutionary guards in the Mahran region on the border with Iraq, until leaving for the city of Bakuba in Iraq. (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, 8/11/04)

The commander of the Al-Quds army of Iran's revolutionary guards, general Qasem Sulimani, acknowledged that Iran has been making concessions to Abu Mus'ab Al- Zarqawi. A reliable Iranian source reports that general Sulimani said that Zarqawi's operations in Iraq 'serve the supreme interests of Iran,' particularly in preventing the establishment of a regime cooperating with the U. S. (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, 8/11/04)

The Iranian source said that Al-Zarqawi and 20 commanders of his organization need no prior approval to enter Iran: 'there are border points from Halabja in the north to Ilam in the south through which Zarqawi and 20 of the Ansar Al- Islam fighters can enter Iranian territory whenever they want.' (Al-Sharq Al- Awsat, London, 8/11/04)

Iran's Basij (paramilitary youth organization) commander General Mohammad Hijazi said the Basij is striving to form an army of 20 million. (Jomhouri-ye Eslami, Iran, 7/14/04)

Iranian supreme leader Khamenei said those who hold hostages in Iraq are not Muslims. We suspect very much, he said, that they are agents of Israel and the United States. (Al-Zaman, Iraq, 7/14/04)

Russia's Atomic Energy Organization director Alexander Rumyantsev said Russia and Iran are likely to sign an agreement over the return of spent nuclear fuel to Russia during his upcoming visit to Tehran in the autumn of 2004. Rumyantsev noted that since Iran has signed the NPT, there are no obstacles to its construction of new nuclear power plants. (Aftab-e Yazd, Iran, 7/13/04)

Iran's Parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy Commission gave the go-ahead for the resumption of uranium enrichment activities. (Aftab-e Yazd, Iran, 7/7/04)

Pyongyang refuted Japanese media reports that North Korea is engaged in nuclear cooperation with Iran, and also denied reports by a Japanese newspaper that a delegation of Iranian scientists is staying in North Korea with the aim of carrying out joint tests of detonators for nuclear bombs. (IRNA, Iran, 6/27/04)

The World Islamic Organization's Headquarters for Remembering the Shahids has registered over 2,000 Iranian volunteers for martyrdom operations. The youngest volunteer is seven years old, and 25% are under 18. Recruitment headquarters head Mohamed Samedi said that the organization would carry out martyrdom operations if Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei asked them to. (Sharq, Iran, 6/5/04)

Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Aref said that expansion of relations with Turkey is of top priority in Iran's foreign policy and that transporting Iranian gas to Europe via Turkey was among the important issues discussed with turkey. (IRNA, Iran, 7/30/04)

Iranian Majlis Energy Commission head Kamal Daneshyar said Iran should be able to persuade OPEC members to increase oil prices to $50 per barrel within the next year. He stressed that the prices should even be increased to $100. (IRNA, Iran, 7/25/04)

Iran's envoy to OPEC's managerial board, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, said the range of prices Iran favors for OPEC's basket of crude oil is $30 to $35 per barrel. (IRNA, Iran, 7/24/04)

The Qatari government and Exxon Mobil signed an agreement worth $7 billion for use of gas fields between Iran and Qatar. (Aftab-e Yazd, Iran, 7/17/04)

21 posted on 08/13/2004 11:32:51 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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