Saturday, August 30, 2008

At least someone has testicular fortitude.

Israel has stated that it will not permit Iran to become a nuclear power. They've asked for real sanctions against Iran, saying that " [a] total embargo in spare parts for the oil industry and a total boycott of Iranian banks would promptly put an end to the regime" if such were emplaced and enforced by the United States and Europe.

Unfortunately, parts of the EU aren't listening: "Switzerland and Austria ... have announced massive long-term investments in Iranian gas and oil fields for the next decade."

The best option, for the EU, US, Iran, and Israel, would be for the sanctions to be emplaced and enforced, but that isn't the only option on the table. Israel's decided to wait until 2010, and then if nothing's been done to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear capable, do whatever it takes to stop them from it. As for the European investments in the gas and oil fields? "'Investing in Iran in 2008,' Sneh [Ephraim Sneh a veteran Labor MK who has recently left the party] told his Austrian hosts, 'is like investing in the Krupp steelworks in 1938, it's a high risk investment.' The Austrians, according to Sneh, turned pale."

In other words, Austria remembers what the consequences of that act would have been, while Switzerland, studiedly neutral in every war in memory, doesn't.

Iran, of course, has blustered and threatened to start a new World War if either Israel or the United States attacks them in an attempt to forestall nuclear development. Of course, Iran claims that their nuclear development is only for civilian use--to create electricity when their reserves of fossil fuels run out.

Granted, this type of foresight, from a responsible, reliable regime would be wonderful for the world to see. However, Iran is neither a responsible nor a reliable regime.

Iran has repeatedly vowed a crushing response to any attacks and it has flexed military muscles in recent years by holding war games and showing off an array of home-grown weaponry and missiles.

Another top military commander said Iran was prepared to "take the enemies off-guard" and would unveil more weapons in case of an attack.

"Some of the equipment of our armed forces have been announced but there are important things hidden whose effect would be shown on the day (of any attack)," deputy army commander Abdolrahim Mousavi told Fars news agency.

During war games in July which provoked international concern, aides to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Iran would target US bases and US ships in the Gulf as well as Israel if it was attacked.

Iran also test-fired its Shahab-3 missile which it says puts Israel within range.

Hmm. Those claims make me wonder if they've been shopping in Russia like Syria has. The claim of "important things hidden" sound, at the very least, like they've either developed some type WMD, or bought some from one of their allies, the one currently at odds with us.

They also claim to have 4,000 operating centrifuges, with another 3,000 on the way. That sounds like far more than is necessary for simple, civilian-use, nuclear powered electric plants.

No wonder Israel's getting edgy. I would be, too, if a regime that referred to my country as a "one bomb target" were developing nuclear capability to go with missiles that could reach me.

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