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23 June 2019

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blue peacock

IMO, the only way out for Iran is for Khamenei to call Trump and have a media spectacle of a summit in Switzerland. Now, that may not work out either as Rocketman Kim has found out that sanctions remain as Bolton & Pompeo make sure no real deal can be made. Rocketman has an advantage however that military options are off the table as even the crazy neocons know that he can incinerate Seoul and his patron Xi makes sure that the sanctions have no real teeth.

Jack

Sir

Would it matter if Iran does or does not have a nuclear weapons program or actual deployable nukes? After all isn't what the ziocons in both the US and Israel want is the surrender of the theocracy and regime change to someone compliant to their diktats?

As this article points out Khamenei is hung up about resisting US hegemony in the region. It seems the impasse can't be bridged. We want surrender, they insist on resistance.

https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/592297/

Eric Newhill

I have read conflicting reports as to Iran's ability to complete a nuclear weapon or two or three in a few years given the materials and capabilities that they have or could have within reasonable assessment. Some say "yes", others say "no". I don't know who to believe. Obviously there is a lot of politics and info ops involved. Are any of the agencies involved in creating the reports truly unbiased (not a rhetorical question)?

Is this really just about Israel's fears? My understanding is that Saudis, the Gulfies and others in the region are also deeply concerned about Iran's intentions and what they would do if they had nukes.

World economies are tied to the region. Stability must be assured.

b

Just for the record Iran says it does not have a nuclear WEAPONS program.

Mr. Shinzō Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, met with Ayatollah Khamenei-- the Leader of the Islamic Revolution-- this morning June 13, 2019.

The Leader of the Revolution quoted the Japanese Prime Minister again regarding the US determination to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons and added: "We oppose nuclear weapons, and we have issued a religious fatwa (verdicts) prohibiting building nuclear weapons. But rest assured that if we wanted to build nuclear weapons, the U.S. would not be able to do anything about it, and the United States’ prohibition would not be an obstacle."

Khamenai also tweeted that on his official account.

I don't believe that he publicly speaks of his Fatwa and secretly circumvents it. The potential damage to his authority prohibits that.

ted richard

iran does not need a nuclear weapon at this point in time.

it has such a substantial number and quality of missiles that line the entire west coat of iran that borders the gulf should war erupt saudi oil production would be destroyed as well both usa air base in qatar and navy base in bahrain. likely no usa ship in the gulf would escape intact.

add to that the thousands of missiles hezbollah has and may well rain down on israel if war erupts rendering israel an indefensible nightmare... what more, might having a nuclear weapon do?

exactly, so why have one?

Willy B

For the Neocons and the Zionists, an Iranian nuclear weapons program is an article of faith, not a proven fact. As such, you're speaking blasphemy if you argue with them about it, as they see Iran as the fount of all evil in the Middle East, if not the world. We're talking religion here, not factual analysis as the NIEs that the good colonel referenced appear to be attempts at.

turcopolier

b

Under Shia practis a mujtahids fatwas die with him, So what Khamenei is saying is that he has re-issued Khomeini's fatwa.

Ishmael Zechariah

b,
A Shia cleric of his standing cannot use "takiyya". Only the slime from KSA and the MB engage in such.
Ishmael Zechariah
p.s: tayyip & co. got a resounding rejection in the Istanbul elections today. It is a good night in Turkey.

Ishmael Zechariah

Eric Newhill,
"Saudies, and Gulfies, in addition to Israel..." but you repeat yourself.
Ishmael Zechariah

Eric Newhill

Good point.

Maybe "nuclear weapons" is just a way of packaging and marketing a more general concern over Iran's intentions and capabilities in the region.

turcopolier

All

It matters a great deal whether or not the WEAPONS program is real or an IO illusion. A real WEAPONS program would be an actual threat.

Walrus

(Sigh) follow the money. An open and relatively transparent Iran would be a magnet for western investment. As such, Israel becomes an irrelevant side show. Iran’s ECONOMIC power would be such that they could dictate solutions to the Palestinian problem as well as support shia minorities in KSA and elsewhere.

Think oil, gas, agriculture and the infrastructure associated with OBOR. Folks, there would be real money to be made by investing in Iran and not just the Tehran Hilton. Israel cannot abide such a possibility. The corollary is that if it wasn’t their nuclear program it would be something else.

Trumps tweet; “Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again - The sooner the better!” will scare the heck out of the Israel lobby!.

Patrick D

The durability of this IO is remarkable, Colonel, especially considering the most (all?) of the heads of the Israeli military and intelligence organizations agreed with that NIE.

rswojo

Israel is rumored to have about 100 nuclear warheads. What is Israel's rational for that? Israel would be a pariah country if they used them but if Iran had a few nukes available for retaliation on Israel that would be a much better deterrent to Israel than a rain of conventional missiles and world shaming.

I have no problem with Iran keeping a "small" nuclear deterrent to Bibi and Israel.

In an ideal world Israel would be subject to the same sanctions Iran is enduring because of Israel's known WMD as opposed to Iran's so-called "intentions" to obtain WMD.

Eugene Owens

Will he stand for the loss of Istanbul? Isn't that where he got started in politics? I read that the HDP party steered a million Kurdish Istanbulites to vote for Imamoglu's CHP ticket.

Is tayyip going to declare martial law next?

J

Colonel,

I thought that Russia had taken any and alleged toys to prevent Iran from being used by Israel and their NEOCON buddies as an excuse to further enflame the region. Any nuclear exchange or accidents, the clouds of contamination would blow over Russia.

J

J

Colonel

The real problem IMO is Israeli nuclear weapons controlled by mad men in Jerusalem.

J

Enrico Malatesta

I believe that Iran has, or does not have, a nuclear weapons program just as Japan has, or does not have, one.

Both Iran and Japan have the academic, industrial, economic, and engineering capabilities to do as their government wishes with a nuclear weapons program.

The question posited requires a diplomatic answer.

Stueeeee

The Iranians want breakout capacity. They are actively seeking the know-how. Does that constitute a weapons program? If yes, then why debate? The core assumption is that the Iranians are not rational. They cannot be permitted to acquire the knowledge. The only way to prevent them from learning/acquiring knowledge is to obliterate them. Application of soft power reinforces their belief that nuclear weapons are essential for their survival. War must be total to the point that what grows from the rumble should only be innocuous weeds. Harsh? Would not work in our sentimental age? On the contrary, it is to protect the chosen people and who will dare criticize that purpose?

turcopolier

Stuee

that is not a weapons program.

PavewayIV

Trump axed the JCPOA at Netanyahu's insistance because Israel recognized 1) the growing Iranian *conventional* ballistic missile threat to Israel (precision and range), and 2) Iran's persuit of a rocket capable of either launching their own satellites or potentially destroying Israel's surveilance satellites snooping on Iran. How dare Iran ignore Israel's rules that Israel has the right to spy on anyone, anywhere, anytime with their satellites and no other country it doesn't like (Iran) is allowed to put satellites in orbit to spy on them!

The U.S. abandoning the JCPOA didn't really have anything to do with Iran persuing nukes - that was just the cover story to fool a gullible public. Netanyahu and Trump (and sidecar MbS) figured the only way to prevent Iran from possessing or further developing their Israel-reaching ballistic missiles and space-capable rocketry was to conflate it with an imaginary, covert, continuing weaponized nuke program. There is no other way on earth Israel or the U.S. could force Iran to willingly give up their conventional ballistic missiles or stop their space program development (other than assassinating every last Iranian rocket scientist). All the sanctions in the world are not going to convince Iran to further
disarm themselves at Israel's insistance. Can you blame them?

Even if the U.S. and Israel could have cobbled together a new JCPOA acceptable to Iran that prohibited ballistic missiles and space-capable rocketry (snowball's chance in hell), they would eventually scrap THAT one once they figured out that Iran's drones were a threat. A year from now:

"JCPOA II - worst deal ever! We need to renegotiate and further ban on any an all Iranian long-range drones. They could be used to deliver the imaginary covert Iranian NUKES!!"

And on and on. The 2028 JCPOA XII will ban all Iranian 'nuclear-capable' twin-cylinder motorcycles.

I'm not arguing a philosophical point about a country's 'right' to posess one kind of conventional weapon or another. This is just about the patent absurdity of Netanyahu getting Trump to dump the JCPOA and figuring Israel and U.S. can somehow shoe-horn their (our) latest paranoid Iranian threat/obsession into JCPOAII and get Iran to willingly disarm itself at their behest, or more sanctions!

Whether you like Iran or hate them, you have to acknowledge the basic stupidity of another country expecting some wacky 12-dimensional chess 'diplomacy' (or further economic beatings) to change Iran's mind on voluntarily disarming. Israeli-firster neocons just don't get it. Like all their previous failures, they'll learn nothing and simply double-down again.

jdledell

I'm sure that Iran has noticed that when Pakistan and India aquired nuclear weapons. The U.S. quietly shut up about the danger of those countries possessing nuclear weapons. Similarly, the U.S. has to ask North Korea to pretty pretty please give up your nuclear weapons. I would guess that since there is no advantage of being a non-nuclear power, Iran will proceed to a quick breakout posture. I am also guessing that the Saudi's have been promised some nuclear weapons from Pakistan if Iran gains them.

The world has begun to notice if you are a nuclear power, you don't have to take any crap from others. No country wants to hear another head of state promising to 'Obliterate" your country like Trump did today.

Mark Logan

Pence said today Iran must both agree to a new version of JCPOA...AND abandon Hezb'allah.

Could the later be the actual primary goal in all this? The JCPOA being held hostage to get that?

David Solomon

The only thing I can say about Stuee's posting is that I am very glad that he does not have any say in US war policy (or at least I hope he does not have any say).

Eric Newhill

IZ,
Ok. I said it twice here and once on the other thread and you have answered it 0 times.

What do you think?

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