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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Inside Poop on Iran: Hysterical Neocons

Steve Clemons at the Washington Note repirnts an analysis from the ultra-insider rag, THE NELSON REPORT. Read this. It adds some of finer points to several postings I have made recently about the hysteria over Iran. ...

In a forum of several insiders, Nelson reports:

"This is complete nonsense. There is no need for military strikes against Iran. The country is five to ten years away from the ability to enrich uranium for fuel or bombs. Even that estimate, shared by the Defense Intelligence Agency and experts at IISS, ISIS, and Carnegie assumes Iran goes full-speed ahead and does not encounter any of the technical problems that typically plague such programs. In the next few months, they will be lucky to get a test centrifuge cascade up and running. Hardly a "point of no return."

"This is not a nuclear bomb crisis, it is a nuclear regime crisis. US Ambassador John Bolton has correctly pointed out that this is a key test for the Security Council. If Iran is not stopped the entire nonproliferation regime will be weakened, and with it the UN system.

"But it will have to be diplomats, not F-15s that stop the mullahs. An air strike against a soft target, such as the uranium conversion facility at Isfahan would inflame Muslim anger, rally the Iranian public around an otherwise unpopular government and jeopardize further the US position in Iraq. Finally, the strike would not, as is often said, delay the Iranian program. It would almost certainly speed it up. That is what happened when the Israelis struck at the Iraq program in 1981. Israel knocked the Osirik reactor, but Saddam went underground, expanding from 500 to 7000 workers on a more ambitious program that escaped detection until 1991. By then he was closer to producing a bomb than he ever would have been with Osirik. It went from a side project to an obsession.

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