On Wednesday, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that Tehran put its nuclear arms plans on hold. He based his conclusion on reports that Iran reoriented about one-third of its 20 percent-enriched uranium towards civilian uses. By downgrading the Iranian military threat, Israel actually acknowledged what Tehran stated repeatedly, namely, that it enriches uranium to a 20 percent level for medical purposes.
In Barak’s opinion, Iran was forced to reverse its plans, fearing that Israel and the USA might launch a military operation that would completely dash its hopes of ever making a nuclear bomb. Ehud Barak advocates preventive strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, a view shared by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but opposed by Washington. Differences between the two allies sharpened to such an extent that US President Barack Obama didn’t find time to receive the Israeli premier in the White House during his visit to the UN General Assembly.
Sergei Demidenko of the Institute for Strategic Assessments and Analysis in Moscow, said, “The latter circumstance could’ve prompted the Israeli leadership to soften its stance. This explains Mr Barak’s statement. The USA has no intension of bombing Iran. It burnt itself on Iraq. However, Iran is not Iraq. Quite evidently, Israel won’t use force against Iran unless the USA supports it. Nevertheless, bombing the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981, using just one fighter squadron is one thing, whilst attempting to suppress powerful infrastructure well-protected from the air and from the ground, and to suppress Iran’s retaliatory capabilities, is quite a different thing. It’s a big and complicated operation that Israel’s hardly able to launch on its own”.
In the same interview, Barak said, however, that Iran is 8-10 months from making a nuclear bomb. Commenting on the latter statement, Russian analyst Sergei Druzhilovsky said, “Fuelling the myth about the Iranian threat is in Israel’s interests. Firstly, it wants to divert attention from its own nuclear programme… a well-known trick, a thief shouts, ‘Catch the thief’. Secondly, passions over Iran will help it to forge an anti-Iranian coalition in the West. Iran is an orthodox Muslim country where one can always find something one doesn’t like”.
Recently, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed Moscow’s position on the issue. He said that there’s no evidence whatsoever of Iran developing nuclear weapons. There are questions pertaining to its past nuclear activity and they must clarify them in close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
31 October 2012
Voice of Russia World Service
Here’s another sign that Romney’s ship is sinking fast and irretrievably. Even the Likudniks are retreating from a confrontation with Iran. Willy’s out on a limb, all alone. He’ll get support from his gibbering ignorant Evangelical/Mormon base, but few others. His defeat may galvanise the Republican Party to repudiate its present slavery to Radical Evangelical interests. If they don’t, they’re doomed to be a perpetual minority in most of the country outside of the holier-than-thou South.