Friday, November 26, 2004

Why Iran must to shut down its last 20 centrifuges - DoctorZin

Yesterday, the IAEA attempted to shut down 20 centrifuges in Iran that were part of their "agreement" with the EU and the Iranians refused. Reuters reports:
"IAEA inspectors ran into problems on Wednesday when Iran refused to let them seal the 20 centrifuges to put them out of use."
The failure of Iran to shut down their uranium enrichment program is a clear violation of the “agreement” that they made with the EU earlier in the week. It is a bold step that can lead to Iran to being referred to the UN Security Council for sanctions.

So why would Iran refuse to come into compliance when they have so much to lose, if they are only for experimental purposes as claimed?

I asked John Loftus (a Fox News intelligence correspondent and director of IntelCon). His answer has been confirmed by other experts on Iran. He claims that uranium enrichment centrifuges, which run at supersonic speeds, emit a unique “sound” that our intelligence satellites can detect. He believes that Iran is aware of this capability of US intelligence.

If Iran has an “undeclared” centrifuge program as many claim, then Iran needs a few centrifuges to be permitted to stay in operation to mask this larger program they have in operation. Once Iran declares that all enrichment has ceased US intelligence would be “hear” the undeclared centrifuges and thus be able to prove their deception. Therefore Iran cannot shut down all their centrifuges.

That the US is aware of this undeclared program would help explain why earlier this week Secretary of State Colin Powell made a public announcement of alarm at Iran's development of a unique version of its Shehab 3 missile system designed only to carry a nuclear warhead.

Iran has no need for such a missile unless it has a nuclear program and one that is far more advanced than most experts had anticipated.

The news of Iran's quest for nuclear technology must be understood in light of their statements as to how they would use the technology.

December 14, 2001, Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who, as the Chairman of the Assembly to Discern the Interests of the State and is the Islamic Republic’s number two man after Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, said
"If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world."
But why would the Iranians risk so much at this time?

First it is important to know that, according to the Jerusalem Post, Iran's supreme leader Khamenei has already declared war against the US back in July:
"We are at war with the enemy," Iran's Supreme Guide Ali Khamenehi told a meeting of mullahs in the city of Hamadan, west of Teheran, last Monday. "The central battlefield [of this war] is Iraq."
It has also been reported by Bill Gertz on that Iran's Supreme leader Khamenei has demanded of his nuclear development staff to have two functional nuclear weapons by January of 2005:
"Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged his country's weapons developers to step up work on making a nuclear bomb, a U.S. official said, according to Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.

According to the official, an authoritative source in the Iranian exile community has stated that Khamenei met recently with senior government and military leaders on the nuclear weapons program.

Khamenei told the gathering, "We must have two bombs ready to go in January or you are not Muslims," the official said."
Why the January deadline?

I have been reporting for sometime that Iran cannot permit Iraq to have democratic elections. If Iraq has free elections the pressure on Iran to have “open and free elections” (something they do not currently have) will be huge and has the potential of encouraging massive internal opposition to demand the same thing in Iran.

Lately things have not been going well for Iran's insurgents in Iraq and they may feel that they have no choice but to launch their own preemptive strike on US interests in the region.

Iran has already declared its own preemptive strike doctrine, according to ABC News Online:
Iranian Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani has warned that Iran might launch a preemptive strike against US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear facilities. ABC News reported:

"We will not sit [with arms folded] to wait for what others will do to us," Mr Shamkhani told Al Jazeera television when asked if Iran would respond to an American attack on its nuclear facilities.

"Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly.

"America is not the only one present in the region. We are also present, from Khost to Kandahar in Afghanistan; we are present in the Gulf and we can be present in Iraq.

"The US military presence [in Iraq] will not become an element of strength [for Washington] at our expense. The opposite is true, because their forces would turn into a hostage" in Iranian hands in the event of an attack, he said.
Iran can attack US interests preemptively and make the case that it was an act of self defense.

So how are things likely to play out?

The EU will have to display uncommon courage to maintain their hard-line position with Iran as the price may prove too great. According to IranMania:
A top aide to Iran's supreme leader declared on Monday that Tehran did not fear being taken to the Security Council over its nuclear programme and warned that if the UN imposed an oil embargo world prices would go above $100 a barrel. ...

Questioned about a possible UN embargo on Tehran's oil exports, the former parliamentary speaker said: "The big loser will be them, not us.

"If an oil embargo is slapped on Iran, the price of oil will exceed US $100 per barrel, with a potential to paralyse the West's economy."
The EU imports 8% of its oil from Iran and has 90 days of oil reserves, according to EUBusiness compared to the US which imports no oil from Iran and has 150+ days of oil reserves.

Therefore, the US can afford the fallout from an embargo of Iran while the EU will be in a much more difficult situation.

The EU may cave into Iran's demand and thus permit Iran to continue with its nuclear weapons program. If it does, this will force the US to create a coalition of the willing to take action to prevent Iran's program. The most likely scenario is an embargo of Iranian oil. The US Navy can stop all Iranian oil shipments out of the Persian Gulf.

But Iran has plans for this contingency. According to MEMRI, Hassan Abbassi, one of Iran’s Supreme Leader’s security counselors has been quoted as saying:
If America attacks us, don’t worry at all. It won't be like what you've seen in Afghanistan and in Iraq. In Southern Iran we have a 2000 km coast and 36 islands. The average depth of the Persian Gulf is between 45-50 meters. The Deepest spot there is 94 meters deep between the islands of Abu Musa and Tonb. This is a very suitable spot for maritime guerrilla warfare. Our special forces are definitely ready for action there.

Through the Straits of Hormuz, 67% of the world's total energy passes. You must know this. Imagine I'm gone abd, God willing, you want to face America. Take a tanker to the Straits Of Hormuz and sink it there. The tanker won't sink because the water is shallow there – about 50 meters. The tanker itself is 55 meters high, and when it will lie on the surface, half of it will protrude. It will take five months until it will be salvaged. A rise in oil prices, as you have seen, causes the West fever. These are the weaknesses.
And his attacks are not limited to ships in the Persian Gulf, he has also said:
There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them.'
We must take these threats seriously.

None of our options are great, but our best options require the support of the EU and ultimately the UN. This would explain why the US is continuing to support the EU's efforts even though the EU is slowly caving into Iran's demands.

What else can the US do?

Military strikes against Iran are a poor option. As I already pointed out, Iran may act preemptively against US forces.

At best military action on Iran’s nuclear sites it will slow down their program but not end it.

But military strikes will likely have the unfortunate effect of unifying the Iranian people against us. While the Iranian people are largely pro American they are even more pro Iranian. The deaths of Iranians at the hands of the US will likely push the people of Iran back into the hands of the Mullahs they hate. This would be disastrous.

Instead, we can support a regime change in Iran.

This will not likely become a priority of the US unless the EU agreement fails. But if it does, we need to make regime change in Iran US policy and aggressively, publicly and clearly support a popular revolt against the Iranian regime. The people of Iran have replaced their leaders before and can do it again. Unfortunately the Iranian people have been disheartened by the confusing messages coming out of the US administration.

With Condi Rice as our new Secretary of State we can expect these confusing signals to the Iranian people to cease. The people of Iran have been waiting a very long time for our clear and uncompromising support.

But the Iranian people witnessed US failure to support a similar call for regime change in Iraq a few years ago, where untold numbers of Iraqi's lost their lives acting on this call by the senior President Bush.

So we need to not only call for regime change but make clear what kind of support the US will give the Iranian people and what we will not.

The US administration needs to release its long awaited "Iran policy." The sooner we do so the sooner the people of Iran can act.

January is coming soon. Let's hope we act before it's too late.

Faster please.