Friday, January 31, 2014

Matt 24 watch, 234: Storm watch -- Iran is now evidently at the nuke weapons and delivery systems threshold

The Times of Israel reports:

Iran can now build and deliver nukes, US intel reports

Tehran has capacity to break out to bomb if it wishes, intelligence chief James Clapper tells Senate, but would be detected if it tried to do so

January 29, 2014, 10:05 pm

Iran now has all the technical infrastructure to produce nuclear weapons should it make the political decision to do, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote in a report to a Senate intelligence committee published Wednesday. However, he added, it could not break out to the bomb without being detected . . . . 

“Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas — including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles — from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,” Clapper wrote. “These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons. This makes the central issue its political will to do so.”

In the past year alone, the report states, Iran has enhanced its centrifuge designs, increased the number of centrifuges, and amassed a larger quantity of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride. These advancements have placed Iran in a better position to produce weapons-grade uranium . . .
 In that context, MEMRI's web clip from an Iranian Revolutionary Guard brigadier general, Rastegar Panah, makes for chilling reading and viewing:


January 30, 2014
Special Dispatch No.5626
IRGC Brig.-Gen. Panah: We Can Hit Any American Or Israeli Target With Our Long-Range Missiles

In a recent Iranian TV interview, IRGC Brigadier-General Rastegar Panah said that Iran had the long-range missile capability to hit any necessary American or Israeli target. Stressing that Iran had improved its deterrent power, Panah, who is acting head of Iran's Center for Sustainable National Security Studies, said: "We will be able to respond in kind to whatever military action they take." The interview aired on Iran's Channel 3 on January 27, 2014.

Following are excerpts from the interview:

[NB: Video Clip at MEMRI]

[ . . . . ]

Brigadier-General Rastegar Panah: "They are considering the pros and cons. Undoubtedly, if the U.S. resorts to the military option and attacks us on any level... They are fully aware of our capabilities.
"We take upon ourselves a commitment that with our nation, our people, and the values of our revolution, we will be able to respond in kind to whatever military action they take.

"Their military analysts are well aware of this, as they themselves acknowledge." [...]

"Today, we have capabilities of long-range missiles, which can hit any necessary target. We definitely have the potential to hit any American or Israeli target, but we are not the ones who initiate wars. We have improved all our capabilities of deterrence, and the enemy knows this full well." [...]
So, while the Iranians have a well-deserved reputation for exaggeration, we must also reckon that what is reasonably demonstrated by intelligence reports and the like is a MINIMUM capacity, not the maximum. At minimum, Iran is in position to break out and build nukes, and is threatening retaliation against any who would interdict.

It is also boasting of a diplomatic victory, in which it is moving full steam ahead to nuclear materials, with the Western powers having in effect surrendered to its wishes to so proceed, dismantling the sanctions that were beginning to bite. Where Iran has long stated that it intends, as the perceived vanguard of the all-conquering black flag army of the end of days Islamic figure, the Mahdi, to provide the weapons needed for such operations.

 In that context, we must also note the threat implied in the largely Iranian sponsored ring of 170,000 -- yes, nearly two hundred thousand -- rockets that target Israel, some of which doubtless have chemical weapons warheads. As Times of Israel reports:

'For first time in decades, enemy can drop huge amounts of munitions on our cities'

170,000 rockets are aimed at Israel’s cities, says IDF intel head

Aviv Kochavi lists missile threat ahead of Iran nuke program; says in time, though, cyberwarfare will prove most dramatic change on battlefield

January 29, 2014, 4:44 pm

The head of Israel’s most powerful intelligence agency depicted Wednesday a changing battlefield in which offensive cyber capabilities will, in the near future, represent the greatest shift in combat doctrine in over 1,000 years. For now, though, he said, the 170,000 rockets and missiles pointed by enemy states at Israel represented the most pressing threat, a danger he placed even above Iran’s rogue nuclear program . . . 
This ring of fire and steel -- one set up despite UN sponsored peace keeping missions that were supposed to block such -- sets the stage for a nuclear threshold or outright nuclear war in the Middle East, with all sorts of global implications.

Where, Israel has of course long since stated the quite understandable policy principle that it will not allow Iran to cross the nuke threshold. And where, quietly, Gulf zone Arab countries (in the face of the patent diplomatic surrender of the Obama led Western powers) seem to be making common cause with Israel in the face of the looming Iranian menace. Doubtless, they too have been re-reading the history of the 1930's in Europe, and understand the sobering signs of the times.

Israel, of course, not being bereft of strike options:

. . . in the face of the range of Iranian nuke facilities, all of which exist in a context of obvious gross and sustained violation of Iran's solemn commitments under the Non-Proliferation agreements by which it obtained access to nuclear technologies in the first instance::

The bottomline is that we are at the threshold of war, with Israel essentially alone save for the now waking up Gulf Arab states.

Western diplomatic failures over the past decade and more, duly aided and abetted by a media culture that has refused to fearlessly investigate and expose the threat posed by IslamISM and associated Mahdism (especially the Shiite forms espoused by the Mullahs in Iran), have seen to that.

It is time for prayer, and for preparation for the likely chaos triggered by such a war in the Middle East as we are evidently facing now, as a result of such failures to act seriously and responsibly when there was time. 

Time, it seems, has now just about run out, and the irresponsibility of the West's current leadership is only parallel to that of the European powers in the 1930's who refused to squarely face facts on what Hitler represented.

But then, if one is determined not to learn from the blood-bought lessons of history, one has by default therefore chosen to relive or at least echo its worst chapters. As has been all too common across the ages. END

PS: The collective response of Iranian ruling and military elites to US Secretary of State Kerry's allusion to an American military option, makes for chilling collective reading, here; again, thanks to MEMRI. (The clip from Brig Gen Panah above is one of the responses.)

PPS: Earlier KF posts, on announcement of the Iran Munich II diplomatic deal:
Matt 24 watch 229l: The Iran Nuke Deal in charts
First, Powerline: If you think this is dismissible gross exaggeration, the Endowment for Middle East Truth  puts it in these terms: The former Iranian Revolutionary Guard who uses the...
Nov-30-2013 | More »

TOI reports how, on a state visit to Mexico City, Israeli President Shimon Peres has appealed to the people of Iran: “There are countries that try to take advantage of this transition [in the...
Nov-29-2013 | More »
Matt 24 watch 229j: A further Churchillian reflection on Munich 1938, after the Second World War
After the Second World War had been fought and won -- insofar as such a thing can be said to have been won -- Churchill made a further reflection on the Munich deal of 1938. He did so in the first...
Nov-27-2013 | More »
Matt 24 watch, 229i: A Churchillian, post-Munich lesson from history (as given in the UK Parliament House of Commons by a great historical and strategic thinker)
In the aftermath of the Munich debacle, Churchill went on record in the UK House of Commons in a classic speech. It is highly relevant to our current circumstances. Let us clip, to breathe the...
Nov-25-2013 | More »
Matt 24 watch, 229h: A Neville Chamberlain moment -- "Mr. Masaryk, you happen to believe in Dr. Benes, I happen to trust Herr Hitler."
Some months after the infamous "peace for our time" Sept 30 1938 statement at the London airport captured in this photograph (which gives more context than the usual ones): . . . Hitler proceeded...
Nov-25-2013 | More »
Matt 24 watch, 229g: March 2012 -- US Obama administration leak games to hamper or block Israeli options on Iran
Some time ago, as I thought about the Israeli strike options to hit and delay Iran's nuke programme sufficiently for sense to prevail: . . . given the list of possible target-points: . . . I...
Nov-24-2013 | More »
Israel's leadership -- for cause -- have not minced words in response to the just signed deal with Iran. Netanyahu (HT: PL): Benjamin Netanyahu did not mince words about the deal President Obama...
Nov-24-2013 | More »
Matt 24 watch, 229e: "Historic" "Deal" with Iran struck in Geneva . . . "Peace for our time" (NOT -- Iranian President Rouhani celebrates "right" to enrich Uranium . . . putting Iran 2 weeks away from enough Highly Enriched Uranium to make bombs at any time)
Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to relive, or at least to echo, its worst chapters. So, it is appropriate to begin this post with how on September 30, 1938, on his return from the...
Nov-24-2013 | More »
Matt 24 watch, 229d: You can't make this up dept. -- a top Obama administration official says Israel's position on the Iran nuke talks would "essentially lead to war" . . .
AS7 News, Israel reports: U.S. Official: Israel's Position on Iran Could Lead to War Top White House official warns that Israel’s proposal that Iran totally dismantle its nuclear capacity would...
Nov-22-2013 | More »

Former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton weighs in:, speaking on the round two negotiations that are starting up after the French and/or Iranians stopped the last round. If it was the French, it...
Nov-21-2013 | More »

Matt 24 watch, 229a: While reports suggest a done Munich II deal made in secret by Valerie Jarrett, the Saudis -- yes, the SAUDIS -- are unhappy with the Obama administration's ongoing Geneva diplomatic nuke game with Iran . . .
A week ago, I expressed serious concerns about the ongoing Geneva negotiations with Iran over its push towards nukes. In the course of those remarks, I cited a Times of Israel report that noted from...
Nov-20-2013 | More »
Matt 24 watch, 229: Munich II in Geneva? (Points of concern on the emerging Geneva deal with Iran)
NB: Follow-up, on Saudi Arabia's reaction, here The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs makes some telling points in its online issue of Nov 12, 2013: Eliminating Iran’s 20-percent-enriched...
Nov-13-2013 | More »