IRAN – DISTURBING – AT 10:49 A.M. ET: Negotiations between Western powers and Iran on Iran's nuclear program reconvene on May 23rd in Baghdad. No one seems to be expecting all that much, although Catherine Ashton of the European Union, who's the chief negotiator for what passes for our side says she hopes the talks mark the beginning of the end to Tehran's nuclear program.
However, two new, disturbing reports on that program give us little reason for encouragement. First, a report by a major Iranian opposition group claims that Iran's program is actually being accelerated. We note that reports by opposition groups must be carefully verified, but the Jerusalem Post, which has been credible on the Iranian issue, is taking this report seriously:
Iran is accelerating its nuclear weapons program, according to a report compiled by the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) Iranian opposition group and obtained by The Jerusalem Post on Friday. Publication of the report comes just days before Western powers are scheduled to begin a second round of talks with Iran in Baghdad.
The report first appeared in the Die Welt German daily and was provided to the Post by Brussels-based Iran expert Emanuele Ottolenghi, who had been asked by the paper to verify its contents...
..."The information sharply contradicts the assessment by some that Iran has not yet made the decision to go forward with the weapons program, as well as the observation by others who suggest that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has forbidden the development of a nuclear bomb, because it would be a 'sin' to do so," the report said.
That states it bluntly. And another blunt report comes from American expert Anthony Cordesman, who comes to the same stark conclusion. This is reported, remarkably, by the very left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz:
I hesitate to recommend Rethinking Our Approach to Iran's Search for the Bomb by the Center for Strategic & International Studies' Anthony Cordesman as weekend reading, since its conclusions are just too sobering...
...The veteran national-security expert has done much of the work for us by wading through hundreds of pages of the full versions of the last two International Atomic Energy Agency reports on Iran and other relevant documents, rendering them into something approximating laymen's terms. As he notes at the beginning of study, very few of those commentating on these affairs have actually read the entire documents, probably even less have the necessary qualifications to actually understand them...
...Here is a short summary of the document. I hope I do it justice:
- Anyone who believes that Iran is not yet actively pursuing a nuclear-weapons program and merely developing the capabilities is committing an act of willful delusion. The intelligence supplied to the IAEA and verified by different "member countries," is clear on that Iran has been working on a wide range of projects for over a decade, all of which are specifically aimed at acquiring the capabilities necessary not only to enrich uranium to weapons-grade, but to assemble a nuclear advice that can be launched by long-range missile. Talk of a fatwa against nuclear weapons is just that: talk.
COMMENT: Very sobering, very solid. But will it be accepted by the Obama administration, whose "intelligence" officials have been parroting the line that Iran has not yet made the decision to build nuclear weapons. We must, for our own security, accept the worst-case scenario, especially since all the real information we have points to that scenario, namely, that Iran is on track for the atomic bomb, which will change the entire military equation in the Mideast, and represents a direct threat to the American homeland. Modern nuclear devices can be made small, and can be sailed into an American harbor or smuggled, in parts, across our southern border.
May 12, 2012