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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Iran Claims Its Uranium Goal Has Been Reached

If this is true, then they are closer to a nuclear bomb than the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)thought they were as they said last week.

According to the LA Times, Iran is claiming they have reached the 3,000 running centrifuges for uranium enrichment, which would put them one year away from having enough nuclear material for a nuclear bomb.

TEHRAN -- Iran claimed today that it had reached its goal of running 3,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment, a much higher number than recently estimated by the United Nations' atomic agency. If true, the accomplishment might allow Iran to produce enough nuclear material for a bomb within a year, military experts have calculated.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted by state television as saying that despite economic sanctions by the United Nations, his country had "taken another step in the nuclear progress and launched more than 3,000 centrifuge machines."

It could not be independently verified whether Iran, which the West has often accused of exaggerating its nuclear capabilities for domestic propaganda, had reached it long-sought-after objective. Centrifuges spin at high rates of speed to enrich uranium and are critical to generating electricity or building a nuclear bomb.

A report released last week by the International Atomic Energy Agency estimated that Tehran had nowhere near 3,000 centrifuges operating. It found that the country's plant at Natanz was running 1,968 centrifuges, a 50% increase over the number it had on line in April. However, the report says Iran has only enriched uranium to 3.7%, well below the 90% needed for weapons-grade material.

The last two sets of UN sanctions have been little more than a slap on the wrist for Iran, due to Russia and China watering those sanctions down to a point where they have obviously been completely ineffective.

I asked the other day if there was going to be an attack on Iran and many pundits and bloggers from both sides of the aisle are already claiming it is inevitable, is it?

So much talk from both sides of the aisle here in America as well as being commented on by France, via Sarkozy the new President of France, which yesterday issued a warning to Iran to comply with their international obligations or face an attack.

After Sarkozy's public statement which shocked many, we saw this morning that Iran, ratcheting up the stakes makes a statement claiming they are ready to step into Iraq.

Times Online reports on President Bush's comments concerning Iran's pursuit to an atomic bomb could lead to a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East and vowing to confront Tehran before it is too late.

What exactly did Bush and Sarkozy talk about when Sarkozy visited the states and had meetings, private and open with President Bush?

Did they discuss putting more pressure on Iran via these public statements?

Is this also a way to put pressure on the UN to stop watering down the resolutions and start toughening up the sanctions on Iran to force them to comply?

Is an attack on Iran inevitable or can diplomatic solutions stop this crash course with Iran regarding their nuclear ambitions?

Lets see what they are saying and why before we attempt to answer this.

According to the blog Informed Comment Global Affairs:

The legal argument to bypass the U.S. Congress has already been floated. As I noted in my DailyKos post:
The U.S. cannot mount a ground invasion or occupation of Iran, but it might be capable of an air attack and sea embargo. The administration has prepared a legal justification by floating its plan to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. Since the IRGC is under the command of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, the administration, with its usual legal acuity, could claim legal authority for an attack on Iran under Senate Joint Resolution 23 of September 18, 2001,which authorized the use of military force against "those who plan, authorize, commit, or aid terrorist attacks against the United States and its interests -- including those who harbor terrorists."

Also according to a diarist over ay DailyKos, Maccabee, it is a done deal, according to a source they claim to have...this could be true or a complete fabrication, know one really knows.

"I don’t think it’s limited at all. We are shipping in and assigning every damn Tomahawk we have in inventory. I think this is going to be massive and sudden, like thousands of targets. I believe that no American will know when it happens until after it happens. And whatever the consequences, whatever the consequences, they will have to be lived with. I am sure if my father knew I was telling someone in a news organization that we were about to launch a supposedly secret attack that it would be treason. But something inside me tells me to tell it anyway."

By the way, just as a side note, I am with Macsmind here that IF, very big IF, Maccabee is telling the truth, then this "source" has just betrayed the country in an act of treason by speaking to possible pending operations where our troops lives are at stake.

QandO points out information fromt he Maccabee post that shows it to probably be nothing more than a sack of....umm...lies.

[Update] Confederate Yankee, thoroughly debunks Maccabee with facts about things Maccabee has claimed that are impossible]

[Update #2]
DailyKos has removed the Maccabee entry from their blog. I guess even Kos smelled the bull. (Thanks to Bob for pointing it out.)

We know without a doubt that plans are made up in preparation for most eventualities, so it is no big surprise that we have a plan of action should we decide to attack Iran and Times Online has brought us some of those plans.

THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.

Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.

Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.

All of this is public news at this point and the lunatic from Iran (Ahmadinejad) already knows about it, so his statement about having completed the 3,000 running centrifuge mark is a simple "screw you" to the international community.

Members from the left have their panties in a bunch as Michael van der Galiƫn so puts it:

The liberal part of the blogosphere has its panties up in a bunch, because more and more people report that the US is preparing for war (against Iran).

Maccabee writes at Daily Kos that (s)he had a conversation with a friend - a friend who “is an LSO on a carrier attack group that is planning and staging a strike group deployment into the Gulf of Hormuz.” According to Maccabee (I have no idea how serious we should take this person) this friend told him (her) that the US is most definitely going to “hit Iran, bigtime” soon. Barnett R. Rubin - who I do trust - adds that those who can know basically told him the same thing. According to Barnett, the White House planned a major PR offensive right after Labor Day, after which the US will act.

Now, I understand that this is fascinating for political analysts (to think about), but once again it seems to me that all these people are doing right now is ringing the alarm bells, saying ’stop the war’ without offering a valid alternative. Once again it seems that they are more busy opposing Bush than thinking about possible solutions for the problem with Iran.

He is right, instead of looking at the problem and trying to come up with solutions, members of the far left are too busy pissing and moaning about Bush instead of the more serious discussion of how to stop Iran without bombing the hell out of them.

Bush doesn't need any permission for Congress to act, he has 90 days AFTER taking action to get approval from them and by then, according to the plans shown above, it would be a moot point.

So, my questions from above still stand:

What exactly did Bush and Sarkozy talk about when Sarkozy visited the states and had meetings, private and open with President Bush?

Did they discuss putting more pressure on Iran via these public statements?

Is this also a way to put pressure on the UN to stop watering down the resolutions and start toughening up the sanctions on Iran to force them to comply?

Is an attack on Iran inevitable or can diplomatic solutions stop this crash course with Iran regarding their nuclear ambitions?

Being that we cannot disprove Ahmadinejad claims, we must go with the assumption that he is telling the truth, anything else would be suicidal.

That gives us a year or less to either force him to cease and stop his nuclear activities, which China and Russia will not agree to anything strong enough to do so, or someone attacks them as Sarkozy said would happen.

With the good news that we have come to an agreement with North Korea, we now have a bigger problem still facing us with Iran.

We do have a few months yet before action is imperative, but is it wise to wait until the last minute, taking the chance that they may be closer than what even they are saying?

On the other hand, what if they are full of hot air and really aren't close to 3,000 running centrifuges? Do we have a way, through the IAEA do disprove it?

Iran is playing a very dangerous game here, figuratively speaking, they are poking a tiger with a stick to see how riled up they can make it, but is that smart to do when the tiger is fully capable of destroying you because there is no cage between you and said tiger?

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