Iran Gets Another Year To Develop Nukes
Vol: 107 Issue: 21 Saturday, August 21, 2010
For years we’ve been reporting the various estimates on how long it would be before Iran officially became a nuclear power. Every year, next year is forecast as the point of no return. Until next year, when everything gets moved forward for another year.
If there was any one issue upon which most intelligence analysts were in unanimous agreement, it was that neither Israel nor the United States would allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to become a nuclear power.
There are few things in a pluralistic Western society that one can point with some degree of certainty. The unanimity of the West to keep nuclear technology out of the hands of the mullahs was one of them.
Every year, the National Intelligence Estimates on Iran would issue a stern warning about the dangers posed by a nuclear Iran, together with an estimate of how much longer the world had to come to a decision.
Every year, Washington would kick the can a little farther down the road, saying that there was still time for sanctions to work.
Each year, the Israelis would go along, warning that they would only stay their hand until things reached the ‘point of no return’. If the West didn’t act by then, Israel would be forced to act alone.
Today Iran officially becomes a nuclear power as it begins to load the Russian-supplied fuel rods into its Bushehr reactor. Once fuel is loaded into the reactor, the Bushehr facility will be recognized as a nuclear plant under international terms.
Iranian hard-line leader Hamid Reza Taraqi claimed the launch will boost Iran’s international standing and “will show the failure of all sanctions” against Iran.
But today is not the point of no return for Israel.
That deadline passed for Israel on January 20th, 2009. Until that point, Israel could have attacked Iran with the blessings of the administration – Dick Cheney practically said as much publicly.
But on January 20th a new sheriff rode into town and announced that the best way to deal with religiously inspired fanatics that believe it is their duty to start the next global war is to threaten them with sanctions.
Given the circumstances, this was about as logical as passing legislation mandating the death penalty for suicide bombers as a deterrent, but that was the plan.
If you can call Obama’s handling of the Iran crisis a ‘plan’.
If Obama is a Muslim, or if he really knows anything about Islam, he ought to know that one of the Five Pillars of Islam is eschatology, or last days prophecy.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad belongs to the dominant sect within Shia Islam, known as the “Twelvers.” The Twelvers derive their name from their belief that the 12th Imam from Mohammed will rise in the last days.
The 12th Imam is the Mahdi, who is prophesied to lead a global Islamic army against the infidel West, defeating them and ushering in a kind of Islamic Golden Age.
Some Islamic scholars link the Mahdi to the rider on the white horse of Revelation 6:2 in the Christian Bible.
In any case, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a militant, fanatical Twelver that believes he has been chosen by Allah to start the conflagration that will summon the Mahdi out of hiding.
What Obama should know is that Ahmadinejad believes that it is his religious duty to start that war. In the same sense that an al-Qaeda suicide bomber believes it, Ahmadinejad believes it.
A suicide bomber isn’t going to be scared out of his mission by threats. What can you do to a guy whose goal is to die? You can’t buy off a true believer, either. What can you offer in exchange for Paradise? (with or without the virgins)
To celebrate its impending membership in the nuclear club, Iran dedicated “Government Week” which ended yesterday to showing off Iran’s latest military hardware acquisitions.
The newest, the Qiam missile, is a new class of surface-to-surface missile with a much smaller tactical footprint, making it much more difficult to intercept.
The word ‘Qiam’ in Farsi means ‘rising’. The Qiam missile had the name ‘al Mahdi’ painted on its side.
‘Mahdi Rising’ – how much clearer could the message be?
The Iranians also test-fired a third generation Fateh 110 missile and introduced two new missile-equipped fastboats and a new long range drone aircraft.
On August 8, Iran took delivery of four new mini-submarines of the home-produced Ghadir class. Weighing 120 tons, the “stealth” submarines are aimed at operations in shallow waters like those of the Gulf.
If the Obama administration has any contact with anybody even remotely familiar with Shia Islam, then Obama knows all this.
He knows what the symbol of ‘al Mahdi Qiam’ means. He knows that Ahmadinejad and the Twelvers won’t be dissuaded by sanctions or threats.
Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger went on record saying that “the world is going to war over this. If Iran gets the weapon, it’s going to use it. “
The New York Times reported Friday that the White House has assured Israel that an Iranian threat is ‘not imminent’ and that Iran is still eleven months away.
“We think that they have roughly a year dash time,” said Gary Samore, President Obama’s top adviser on nuclear issues, referring to how long it would take the Iranians to convert nuclear material into a working weapon.
“A year is a very long period of time.”
Are they kidding? It reminds me of the old Henny Youngman joke about the doctor who gave a guy six months to live. “But Doc, I don’t think I can get your bill paid off in six months,” the guy says.
“Then I’ll give you another six months,” says the doctor.
It would be funnier if the punch line wasn’t a mushroom cloud.