Twin Messages From Iran
Well, everything is now in place for Bush and Cheney to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. The necessary carrier battle groups should be in place early next week. Iran saw a need to trumpet its questionable claim that it was now capable of producing industrial grade uranium fuel with 3,000 operational centrifuges. Yet there is no way to confirm this claim because the White House destroyed Brewster-Jennings when they outed Valerie Plame. Today’s announcement by President Ahmadinejad was clearly for chest pounding within the Islamic world, and to portray its willingness to negotiate from a position of strength, rather than a position of weakness in the aftermath of the thuggish kidnapping of the British sailors.
There still is no evidence that Iran is any closer to producing weapons grade nuclear material than they were six months ago, nor is there any evidence that Iran has accelerated the date when it may be able to have such material. Thanks to the Bush Administration’s destruction of Brewster-Jennings and its refusal of several Iranian overtures since 2001, we’ll never know the truth until a deal is cut. But the twin announcements by Iran today that they have allegedly reached the ability to use 3,000 centrifuges and now want to negotiate are also a sign that the sanctions are starting to hurt. The wise course of action is to keep and even ratchet up those sanctions for now, and paint Iran as a defiant regime comprised of several parts under no central control, since it appears that Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs have no interest in controlling the hostage-taking Revolutionary Guards. But bluster aside, Iran has a right to nuclear power, and ever since the Bush Administration rewarded India and Pakistan for going nuclear and even continues to reward the Musharraf government for in essence assisting Al Qaeda and the Taliban, America has lost credibility and the moral high ground on this issue.
Yet with the American position at it’s lowest ever in the Arab and Islamic world, Bush and Cheney think that an attack against Iran to slow their march towards nuclear energy and weapon making is something that they have to do nonetheless. And the next two New Moons are next Tuesday, April 17th and May 16th.