Only several days remain for Israel to strike Bushehr

Israel has until the weekend to launch a military strike on Iran’s first nuclear plant before the humanitarian risk of an attack becomes too great, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Tuesday.

A Russian company is expected to help Iran start loading nuclear fuel into its plant on Saturday, after which an attack on the Bushehr reactor could trigger harmful radiation, which Israel wants to avoid, Bolton said. So unless the Israelis act immediately to shut down the facility, it will be too late.

“Once it’s close to the reactor … the risk is when the reactor is attacked, there will be a release of radiation into the air,” Bolton told “It’s most unlikely that they would act militarily after fuel rods are loaded.”

“Until that time, the position of the government of Israel — as the position of the Obama administration — is that all options will remain on the table,” he said, without commenting directly on Bolton’s remarks.

Though Iranian officials insist the reactor is for peaceful purposes, Bolton warned about the danger of the up-and-running reactor.

“What this does is give Iran a second route to nuclear weapons in addition to enriched uranium,” Bolton said. “It’s a very, very huge victory for Iran.”

He noted that the reactor gives Iran something that both Iraq and Syria were never able to achieve because their facilities were destroyed.

One Response

  1. Pirouz_2,Thanks for passing on that cmoemnt from the Iranian lawyer. He mentions that a court’s decision is required to extend the one-month detention period. Does the initial one-month decision also require court approval, or does the prosecutor get the first month for free? Even if I knew this answer, of course, it would be hard or impossible for me to determine how independently the courts behave in practice on these matters. US courts can deny bail to defendants in many circumstances, but my impression is that they don’t rubber-stamp prosecution requests. I wonder whether that’s true in Iran too.I wonder even more why a defendant is not allowed to see an attorney. Whatever the rules may be, I see no reason to deny a defendant a right to have a lawyer help him ensure that the rules are properly applied in his case. Even if maybe especially if the government is absolutely certain that a defendant has broken a rule and deserves to be punished, it seems to me best for all concerned including the prosecution that he be given a fair opportunity to defend himself against the charge, with a lawyer’s assistance. In the US, the defendant would not only be given access to a lawyer, but the taxpayers would pay for the lawyer if the defendant cannot afford to. Nobody here likes to pay legal fees for some ax murderer or drug dealer, but most of us feel it’s worth it for reasons apart from the particular case: we can tell ourselves the system is fair. To be sure, there are rogue cops, dishonest prosecutors, and crooked judges. Nevertheless, those are the exceptions, and we are generally satisfied that the system is fair for both sides in a criminal case. No legal system can ever protect fully against the bad eggs, but it should at least establish a bit more level of a playing field than it sounds like Iran has done. As you know, I feel strongly that Ahmadinejad was validly elected and his government is legitimate. I think Pak, Scott, Binam and others make a tactical mistake to link their non-election complaints so tightly to their argument that Ahmadinejad’s government is not legitimate. But establishing a government’s legitimacy doesn’t give the government carte blanche to mistreat citizens. If government officials aren’t following their own rules, people should protest against that. If they are following their own rules but those rules don’t add up to a fair legal process, people should protest the rules not in the individual case, perhaps, but by pressing for the rules to be changed as soon as possible so that they are more fair.Even for its own selfish reasons, a government should want this. Take the election, for example. Scott has not taken the bait dangled to him in my recent questions, and so, for the sake of discussion, I’ll have to supply one of his standard answers to the question of why none of Mousavi’s on-site observers has ever backed him up on his fraud allegations: Each of them (40,000+) fears punishment if he disagrees with the vote count reported for his polling station.Whether or not one finds this plausible (I don’t), there can be little or no dispute that Scott’s argument gets a strong boost from the arrest and severe punishment of a prominent film-maker for making a movie protesting the election. It leaves Scott in a stronger position to say: See? I told you so. Someone, possibly you, pointed out a while ago that the Iranian government faces far more serious risks from outside interference than does the US government, and that a pro-Nazi movie maker during World War II might well have had a knock on his door late at night. I acknowledge that, and don’t think it would be productive to debate where Iran’s current situation is on the spectrum between complete risk-free stability and the near-chaos of total war. Even if one agrees with Iran’s government and its supporters that the risks of outside interference are extremely high and must be dealt with somehow, I don’t think it follows that the government should suppress free expression as much as it does, nor even close to that extent.Consider this fact: not a single serious scholar (to my knowledge) has sided with Mousavi about the election. Those few that addressed the subject in the early post-election days limited themselves to preliminary analyses and, without exception that I’m aware of, never followed up. (Dr. Ali Ansari is the classic example: he promised to, but ended up dropping the project like a hot potato.) Most or all of those scholars live outside Iran and had more or less unrestricted freedom to write or say whatever they liked about the Iran election. If Iran’s critics had been given the same free rein, they’d presumably have come up with nothing more than outside scholars have come up with. Had the Iranian government allowed them to do so, and even cooperated in their research, it would now be in a position to say this: OK, you’ve had more than a year now. Nobody’s been punished or even threatened, and no one claims they’re worried about this. We’ve helped you in every way you’ve asked. So tell us: What have you come up with to support your allegations of fraud? Wouldn’t that be better for the Iranian government, as well as everyone else than to allow people like Scott – along with dozens of influential journalists and other writers to run around asking: Look what happens to a film maker who dares to question the election?

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