The Iranians Walk

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting something that the so-called “mainstream” media has chosen to ignore, namely that the Iranians have pulled out of nuclear talks with the P5+1 nations after the US further tightened sanctions on the Islamic Republic, as had been planned for some time.

It will be interesting to say the least to see if the Obama administration “blinks” in order to get the Iranians back to the negotiating table. Up to this point the Iranians have played the Obama administration like a fiddle in the negotiations. Other nations, most notably Red China and Russia, are already moving to ease sanctions on Iran based on the prior announcement of a deal with the Iranians, in return for which the Ayatollahs essentially gave up nothing of note.

It is also very important to note that the $7 billion figure for sanctions relief being thrown around is just the tip of a politico-economic iceberg. Opening up Iran’s oil and gas exports will produce a bonanza many times that figure for the Ayatollahs. Anyone who says any different is either lying or ignorant.

Iranians Pull Out of Nuke Talks

Iranian negotiators abruptly ended nuclear talks with Western powers in Vienna on Friday just a day after the Obama administration announced tighter sanctions on Tehran.

Iran had threatened that new or tighter sanctions would nullify the recently reached Geneva interim deal, which is not yet in effect.

{Snip}///

However, Carney said that the administration continues to oppose new sanctions.

“Let’s be clear also that we continue to oppose passage of new nuclear-related sanctions,” Carney said.

http://freebeacon.com/iranians-pull-out-of-nuke-talks/

 

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Why the Iran Nuclear Agreement is NOT Designed as a Distraction from the Obamacare Debacle

There is speculation in the blogosphere and on the airwaves this morning that the timing of the Obama/Kerry/Ayatollahs Agreement was designed to distract Americans from the Obamacare debacle.

This speculation is wrong for two reasons:

1. Look at the timing of the announcement of the agreement with Iran. It was announced late on Saturday night before a short holiday week, hardly the time you’d want to announce something to distract the citizenry from anything. If anything, the timing of the announcement seems to have been designed to cloak the agreement with Iran in hopes that by the time the next news cycle began other news stories would push it down the order.

It was released so late on Saturday night, in fact, that the agendas for the Sunday morning news shows had been set and there wouldn’t be any opportunity for administration officials to be called before the cameras to be questioned about the deal in any depth.

In other words, just the opposite of what a lot of people supposed about the announcement of this horrible deal with Iran, this announcement was designed to be timed so as few people as possible would be paying close attention.

2. The ObamaBomb, as the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney is calling the agreement with Iran, is as significantly scary in its own way as Obamacare is.

At least theoretically, Obamacare can be undone. The American people can choose to vote new Congressional representatives and a new president in 2016 who have the intention of rolling back or even repealing Obamacare.

That isn’t the case with the agreement with Iran. It is a multilateral capitulation that puts the Ayatollahs firmly on the road to building nuclear bombs. Even if America changed its mind and decided to re-tighten its sanctions against Iran, there is no way that China and Russia would allow such a move to succeed in the UN Security Council. Pandora’s Box has been opened and closing it now won’t do any good.

The American people can elect new leaders who think differently that Obama and Kerry on this, and they will still be powerless to undo what Obama and Kerry have done to the entire western civilization.

The only thing future leaders can do thanks to this agreement is try to prepare for a world in which the foremost state sponsor of Jihadist terrorism–and avowed, sworn enemy of the United States–is a nuclear power. Iran will now be untouchable in much the same way that North Korea became untouchable once Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter facilitated their construction of nuclear weapons through an agreement that fell outside the constitutional requirement for senate ratification.

Once Iran fulfills its dream of becoming a nuclear power, which is perhaps only months away, the world geopolitical landscape will become completely changed forever. Not only will Iran approach superpower status as it weaponizes its ballistic missiles capable of at least hitting all of Europe, but it will increase Iran’s economic power in the world as countries seek to establish ties so as not to be on the bad side of a genocidal regime armed with nuclear weapons. Most significantly, Iran will be able to operate and facilitate its global terror networks under a nuclear umbrella. Never again will striking Iran when a Jihadist organization they sponsor carries out a terrorist attack be an option. You can’t just go bombing a nuclear power, even if that nuclear power is sworn to your (America’s) destruction and has a constitutional mandate to export its Islamic revolution.

Future generations will ask:

How did they ever let it happen?

World Tribune: Iranian Air Force to conduct combat exercise with unnamed neighbor

WorldTribune.com is one of the best sources for information on the Iranian threat on the web. The folks over there cover this topic regularly–and it is a topic that the so-called mainstream media seems to relish ignoring.

World Tribune’s latest report indicates that the Iranians will soon conduct air combat maneuver exercises with a neighboring nation, though no one is saying who that neighbor might be.

We can speculate some about who it might be though because Iran doesn’t have all that many neighbors. There are a few possibilities, limited by geography:

• Iraq

We seriously doubt Iraq would be holding exercises with the Iranian Air Force right now. For one thing, the Iraqi Air Force has next to no combat aircraft and they are currently organizing primarily with the advice and assistance of US Air Force personnel. We’re not saying that the Iraqi regime wouldn’t hold joint exercises with Iran in the future, but we doubt that they could or would hold air combat exercises with Iran now.

• Kuwait

This is almost certainly not the answer. The Kuwaitis feel threatened by Iran and their air force has close ties to the US. Still, there are plenty of Islamist Kuwaitis who hate America and cooperating with Iran is not entirely out of the question. But, officially, the Kuwaitis are not yet at a place where they would likely hold joint exercises with Iran.

• Bahrain

This might be the least likely neighbor to hold exercises with Iran. The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is said to be active in supporting Shia unrest and rioting in Bahrain, which is ruled by a Sunni regime. The Shia-Sunni divide alone would not be enough to dismiss the possibility of cooperation, but in the case of Bahrain, that divide clearly involves meddling and hostility from the Iranians, who, for a variety of reasons, would like to see the ruling regime in Bahrain fall. One reason is that Bahrain is very close to the US and hosts the headquarters for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

• United Arab Emirates

Now, we could be getting warmer. The UAE have been playing a double game when it comes to Iran for years, if not centuries. Dubai has long been considered a primary smuggling point into and out of Iran and that has manifested itself in recent years with lax security surrounding the illicit import of prohibited items into Iran–items that could potentially be used as components in various weapon systems. All the while, UAE officials profess to being vigilant, but the reports of smuggling are too numerous and persistent for it to be happening without someone in the bureaucracy or halls of power being involved. At the same time, the UAE is scared to death of Iran’s nuclear program and their reaction has been to take on the role of battered spouse, attempting to warm up to Tehran. So, it would not surprise us if the UAE were to conduct exercises with Iran. Still, they’re not the most likely suspect.

• Qatar

Qatar might be one of our more likely suspects. They have previously conducted some non-combat naval exercises with Iran and, like the UAE, they have been playing a double game when it comes to Iran for some time. On the con side, Qatar is the site of US Central Command facilities and such close relations with the US military would seem to preclude their conducting air combat exercises with Iran. It would certainly be disturbing if it did end up being Qatar. We doubt it’s Qatar.

• Oman

Oman has always been wary of Iran and friendly with the West. They even let Delta Force rehearse and stage out of their airfields before the ill-fated hostage rescue attempt in Iran in 1980. We highly doubt that Oman is the neighbor in question.

• Turkmenistan

A likely suspect, highly likely in fact. Turkmenistan, Iran’s neighbor to the north and northeast has a small air force that flies MiG-29s, Su-25s and a few other aircraft. Turkmenistan also obtains arms from Iran, in addition to Russia and China, Iran’s two main foreign arms suppliers.

• Afghanistan

Not a chance. The Afghans have no fixed wing combat aircraft. Moreover, exercises with the Iranians would be pretty outrageous at this point given the large US military presence in Afghanistan and the fact that Iran supports the Taliban.

• Pakistan

If the neighbor that Iran ended up holding air combat exercises with ended up being Pakistan, it would be a near-worst case scenario. Close military relations between these two nations is one of the last things the world needs to see. Luckily, there is no indication that the neighbor in question is Pakistan. Given Saudi public hostility toward Iran and the fact that the Saudis bankroll a lot of what goes on in Pakistan, it is unlikely that Pakistan would hold air combat exercises with Iran. On the other hand, if there are two more treacherous, two-faced nations on earth than Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, we don’t know which ones those would be. Under the theory that anything is possible, we won’t rule out that the neighbor is Pakistan, but we doubt it–and hope that it is not.

• Saudi Arabia

Very similar to Pakistan, except that the Saudis are extremely worried about Iran on a lot of levels, so we doubt they’d hold air combat exercises with Iran under any circumstances. At some point, if the Saudis see that the West is not heading off Iran’s nuclear program, don’t be surprised if the Saudis start to warm up to the Iranians in an attempt to bribe them to keep them from causing trouble in the kingdom.

• Azerbaijan

Not beyond the realm of possibility, though relations between Iran and Azerbaijan are best described as “mixed.” The two countries have cordial relations, but Azerbaijan has been publicly supportive of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Meanwhile, there are reports that Iran supports opposition parties in Azerbaijan. If the undisclosed neighbor does end up being Azerbaijan, which has a fairly modern and large air force by regional standards, it could signal a distinct warming of relations, something we would not want to see.

• Armenia

Armenia has a small air force made up of just a handful of ground attack aircraft. Their relations with Iran are fairly warm and it is certainly possible that they would hold air exercises with Iran. Such a development would in fact possibly be worrying for the West because currently Russia provides Armenia with air defense. This means that air exercises between Armenia and Iran could in fact cloak air exercises involving Russian and Iranian air forces. That would be disturbing to be sure.

• Turkey

It’s certainly not Turkey, but given the trajectory of politics in Turkey, don’t be surprised to see something along these lines in the next decade or so.

Read more at World Tribune:

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2011/me_iran1095_09_01.asp

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 FoxNews.com. “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.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/17/israel-weeks-end-strike-iran-nuclear-facility-bolton-says/

Iran’s Bushehr plant up and running

Russia announced Friday it will begin the startup next week of Iran’s only atomic power plant, giving Tehran a boost as it struggles with international sanctions and highlighting differences between Moscow and Washington over pressuring the Islamic Republic to give up activities that could be used to make nuclear arms.

Uranium fuel shipped by Russia will be loaded into the Bushehr reactor on Aug. 21, beginning a process that will last about a month and end with the reactor sending electricity to Iranian cities, Russian and Iranian officials said.

Russia has walked a fine line on Iran for years. One of six world powers leading international efforts to ensure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon, it has strongly criticized the U.S. and the European Union for following up with separate sanctions after the latest U.N. penalties — which Moscow supported — were passed.

Iran’s semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who also heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as saying that the country had invited IAEA experts to watch the transfer of fuel, which was shipped about two years ago, into the Bushehr reactor.

“Fuel complexes are sealed (and being monitored by IAEA). Naturally, IAEA inspectors will be there to watch the unsealing,” ISNA quoted Salehi as saying.

Russia has said the Bushehr project has been closely supervised by the IAEA. But the U.N. watchdog has no monitoring authority at the plant beyond ensuring that its nuclear fuel is accounted for, and U.S. and EU officials have expressed safety concerns.

They note that Iran — leery of opening up its nuclear activities to outsiders — refuses to sign on to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, making it subject to international monitoring of its atomic safety standards.

Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant to be ready by September–Thanks to the Russians

Iran says Wednesday that the Bushehr nuclear power plant, a joint project with Russia, would be ready for operation in two months, the ISNA news agency reported.

Atomic agency chief Ali-Akbar Salehi said important, so-called hot tests have been concluded and, according to both Russian and Iranian experts, the plant would be ready by September.

The light-water reactor in Bushehr is internationally tolerated because of Russia’s involvement and guarantees that the nuclear fuel would be delivered from and nuclear waste returned to Russia, reducing fears of nuclear proliferation.

This of course assumes that the Russians will live up to their commitments and that Iran won’t simply decide not to send the spent fuel to Russia. (Contrary to popular belief, spent fuel from a light water reactor can be used for weaponry.)

http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/iran-says-bushehr-nuclear-plant-to-be-ready-by-september-1.300555