Report By: Nina Rai
Washington, Oct 19, 2012:
In news sure to have jolted Israel severely, the US president this week allegedly shared with the Israeli prime minister the latest US intelligence inputs that Iran will have sufficient enriched uranium to produce between four to six nuclear bombs, at the latest by March of 2013.
Reportedly this information exchange took place between President Obama andagainst the backdrop of a secret US- Israeli intelligence gathering over the progress of Iran’s nuclear program.
In effect this could also mean that President Obama’s twin policy of sanctions and diplomatic pressure is not having the desired impact on Iran’s stealthy nuclear development program. Clearly in Iran, too, the fundamental elements are sidelining the pacifists who would want to avoid a war with western powers.
It is also now quite apparent to Washington that Iran’s clergy, led by Ayatollah, without being bothered by the military threat from the combined might of US, Israel and its allies wants to move full throttle towards a nuclear weapons capacity, come what may, at any cost.
Apparently there is no stopping Iran’s forward momentum towards collecting sufficient enriched uranium to fuel a nuclear bomb while at the same time moving on a parallel track towards attaining a plutonium bomb as well.
The alleged US intelligence input also contains three more additional data points:
A. Majority of the enriched uranium required for the nuclear bombs (4-6) is dispersed in 20% grade form amongst different caches.
On Oct. 10 when, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, disclosed during the pre-election debate that Iran has sufficient fissile material to make five atom bombs, which his democratic counterpart brushed aside. However, the same has now been confirmed by the latter’s own boss, himself.
B. The transfer of advanced centrifuges to the well-equipped underground site at Fordo is already done. Iran is now all set to broaden its uranium enrichment at Natanz enrichment plant, by doubling the number of centrifuges operations there to 6,000. The new block to house them is nearly complete. The building there had apparently started in March 2011.
C. Already the hi-tech infrastructure required for speedy conversion of 20% enriched uranium to the 90% weapons grade is carried out. According to Washington’s assessment, Khamenei has to just give an order and it will take barely between two to three weeks to elapse for the conversion to kick-start, after which will begin the production of sufficient weapons-grade material for Iran to manufacture its first nuclear bombs.
US intelligence service apparently is on high alert keeping track of the Iranian nuclear weapons program and will surely know when the command is given. Despite knowing about the imminence of Iran turning nuclear from his own intelligence experts, Obama is cautioning Prime Minister Netanyahu to refrain from a preemptive strike and wait before any hasty step till after the Nov. 6 US presidential election, which is critical for him to win.
In his talks with the Israeli premier, Obama allegedly has promised that if he is re-elected, he will put his cards before Tehran. The final detailed document prepared by a White House team, which will contain an ultimatum with a deadline for reply. However, Obama is still not saying just how he will be responding in the event of Iran’s rejection of the document’s main points, or whether he will again agree to go back to the negotiating table while Iran continues on its forward march towards making a nuclear bomb.
Those strongly opposed to Obama’s foreign policy, especially with regard to Iran, harbor and even profess strong reservations on it. Their single agenda and solution to a nuclear-armed Iran (in future) is a military one, as if to say that a strike on Iran will solve the issue once and for all, without for once going into the dangerous fall-out of such a misadventure in the volatile Middle East region.
Most importantly, they don’t seem to even think of the adverse repercussions on US and its bases in the region. Surely President Obama must be aware of the ground realities and also seized on all those dangerous angles while making an assessment of the threat perception from Iran.
Meanwhile, it’s not as if the president does not have a backup plan. He has, as given above, spelled out an end plan document with an ultimatum for response from Iran. So why rush now? Why cross the bridge before coming to it and say what he will do in case Iran rejects it?
Just how seriously Obama is taking the Iran nuclear threat can be gauged by the fact that as per latest reports, the US and Israel are setting the stage for a massive joint missile- and air-defense drill in Israel later this month. It’s a military exercise to showcase specifically before Iran the allies' time-immemorial military partnership. Nearly 1,000 American troops are already en route to Israel for the drill.
As part of this exercise, American and Israeli soldiers will use their joint anti-missile defense systems and a US missile defense ship to respond to postured attacks from different fronts, as per the information from the commanders in charge of the operation.
Also at the end of the day, Iran too will be evaluating its priorities and calculating the repercussions of a joint military attack from US, Israel and allies in Europe about misusing its nuclear arsenal if it obtains one. As far as possible the human endeavor should be to avoid a war, especially in present times, when things will not be the same in the Gulf region with many Muslim nations joining the fray.
Many of them will mostly be supporting Iran, considering the huge anti-America wave which is currently prevailing in the region due to various factors, not least the anti-Islam video degrading the prophet of Muslims. It would definitely behoove the warhawks to hold back their rhetoric’s and let a duly elected president make his own judgment in the matter.
Source: Debka.com/Washington Post
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