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Monday, April 30, 2007

Iran: Is the sky falling?

Is the sky about to fall over Iran or not? Definitely maybe.  In Ynet, Orly Azoulay reports that:
Washington: The intelligence information gathered by the Unites States regarding Iran's technological breakthrough that could lead Teheran to an atom bomb in less than three years bodes well with President George Bush's political desperation.
Now isn't that a coincidence? And she continues:
The new intelligence indicates that Iran is making accelerated progress in acquiring the required amount of enriched uranium for assembling its first nuclear bomb.
Yes and no. The CBS report is here.  As we already noted, if Iran has 1,300 centtrifuges working they can make enough enriched uranium for a bomb in three years supposedly. That doesn't mean they can make a bomb. If they have 3,000 such centrifuges, they could make a bomb in a year, experts say, but they will need more than just uranium.
Azoulay tells us:
When the information was revealed on CBS, senior officials at the Pentagon were quoted as saying that now there will be more pressure on Israel to carry out a preventative strike on Iran, just as it did in 1981 in Iraq.
Actual quote was:
Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel says this latest intelligence would increase the chances of an Israeli strike launched with American-built warplanes.
"The Israelis have long believed that Iran is closer than U.S. intelligence believes it is," Riedel says. "If they now hear that the Americans think it's getting closer as well, it puts pressure on Israel to take its own action."
Azoulay continues:
And indeed less than two days elapsed since the publication and Israel's prime minister was quoted in the German weekly Focus as outlining the possibility of such an attack, which would include firing 1,000 cruise missiles in 10 days.
That story was denied almost immediately and debunked by the alleged reporter himself, as we noted.  
And Azoulai tells us:
The intelligence information that so appropriately fits President Bush's political needs also ties in well with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's war of survival.
It seems that just a few hours prior to the publication of the Winograd report, the prime minister prefers diverting the public's attention to a completely different channel. Similar to Bush, Olmert also knows that when the public is apprehensive it tends to unite behind its leadership.
That is also very convenient it would seem. But if it were true, then it would scarcely be possible that Azoulai would be the only one reporting this story, and it seems that she is.
She continues:
The moment the information was received the US and Israel closed ranks. Both countries doubt that international sanctions would suffice in halting the Iranian bomb. Bush knows that in the event he decides to go to war with Iran, even the Democrats would support him. Olmert also knows that it would not be difficult for him to secure a similar coalition at home.
The Pentagon expects Israel to do the job itself by use of the aircraft and arms it received from the US. However, either way, both Washington and Jerusalem know that the countdown has begun.
Since the Pentagon itself is clueless about how to destroy a dispersed nuclear program in underground bomb proof bunkers, it is hard to see how they would expect Israel to do so. It seems that from published data, it is uncertain that has enough long range aircraft to do the job, and it is not certain that Israel ever received any cruise missiles from the USA.
A different report shows that the US and EU may be pursuing negotiations with Iran.
So the above may be just another canard or the "real thing."
Ami Isseroff  

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