In a six-month agreement, Iran will cap uranium enrichment at the 5% level, reduce its stockpile of already enriched uranium, and allow for more robust international inspections. In return, it will receive no new nuclear sanctions and "sanction relief" in the amount of $7 billion. [more inside]
Richard Silverstein, an American journalist and blogger on Israeli affairs, says he has been given a leaked document which outlines a plan for an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. (BBC).
After speaking with many senior Israeli leaders and chiefs of the military and the intelligence, I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012. Perhaps in the small and ever-diminishing window that is left, the United States will choose to intervene after all, but here, from the Israeli perspective, there is not much hope for that. Instead there is that peculiar Israeli mixture of fear — rooted in the sense that Israel is dependent on the tacit support of other nations to survive — and tenacity, the fierce conviction, right or wrong, that only the Israelis can ultimately defend themselves.
"Immediately after an attack by Israel, and even with no Iranian response, the United States is likely to begin significant defensive deployments to the region. Its attempts over a period of a year to negotiate with the Iranians make the Obama Administration more vulnerable to domestic pressures to be strong in its reaction to an Israeli strike.The Israeli Threat: An Analysis of the Consequences of an Israeli Strike on Iranian Nuclear Facilities [PDF]. [more inside]
At an early stage after an Israeli attack, the United States would be faced with deciding whether to passively await casualties or to attack Iranian military capabilities on its own. The United States would probably decide to finish the job on Iranian nuclear facilities and destroy as much as possible of Iran’s capability to project combat power."
Israel leaks plans for nuclear strike on Iran. The details were leaked (on purpose it appears) from Israeli military personal in order to test the waters, prepare the world, and/or put pressure on others to act first. One source: "As soon as the green light is given, it will be one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished." Glad I don't live in the Middle East.
The French Pro-Nuclear Proliferation Lobby "...I have no hesitation in saying that we must consider giving the Arab side a large enough force, including a large enough nuclear force, to persuade Israel that it cannot simply do whatever it wants. That is the policy my country (France) pursued in the 1970s when it gave Iraq a nuclear force..." -- Paul-Marie Couteaux, Member of the European Parliament
Mordechai Vanunu: The political prisoner you've never heard of. He's spent over 11 years in solitary confinement. His treatment was condemned by Amnesty International as "cruel, inhuman, and degrading." His crime? Blowing the whistle on Israel's nuclear program in 1986. Why does America allow an ally, and a democratic one, to engage in such police state actions?
Is Libya next? This story in Israel's Ha'aretz has a very very interesting lead: "The U.S. agrees with Israeli assessments that Libya has renewed its efforts to acquire a nuclear bomb, and that those efforts have been stepped up since 1999, when the UN sanctions on the country were removed." Not only that, Ariel Sharon says that he believes the Iraqis might be helping build said nuclear bomb, and that Libya might attain nuclear capability before Iraq does. And not only that, the always-exciting "unnamed experts" suggest that Pakistan and North Korea might have a hand in this as well. Libya is still on the State Department list of nations that support terror, so why hasn't this story been getting any play stateside? Is it really overstating the case to suggest that Bush's new doctrine of preemptive strikes without hard evidence, if applied across the board, could very well lead to world war?
new counterbalance to israeli nuclear capability if you can't beat 'em join 'em (sort of)