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December 12, 2007

Is There Any Truth To A Disastrous Bush 'Grand Bargain' With Iran ?

Topics: Iran
Immediately after the Annapolis, in the highly unusual move the US Administration allowed for publication of unclassified summary of the US intelligence report which asserts that Iran winded down its nuclear program... in 2003, and now "only" enriches the uranium to weapons grade. The absurd report still suggests that Iran "may" produce a nuclear weapon before 2015. Still more ridiculously, the report suggests that Iran needs several more years to produce enough nuclear material for a bomb. In fact, Iran's 3,000 centrifuges produce enough fuel for two bombs in a year, and Russian-built Bushehr reactor allows Iran to harvest enough plutonium for a nuclear bomb in just four months. - Obadiah Shoher Dec 3, 2007
Yesterday, when "Alex," a commenter at A 'Perfect Storm': When ODNI's 'Walmart Approach' To Intelligence Gathering Is Combined With The NIE Authors' Political Agenda suggested that "the very popular view by leading Israeli analyst Obadiah Shoher" (popular? I've never heard of it) arguing that the Bush Administration made a deal with Iran in which he essentially "traded" Iran's nuclear program in exchange for curtailing the Iranian support for Iraqi terrorists was "plausible" - my first thought was that it was not only implausible, but crazy. To allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for Iran refraining from attacking us by proxy in Iraq, would be civilizational suicide.

That was yesterday. Today, it is beginning to look like the Bush Administration has likely done exactly what Obadiah Shoher says they did, and we now have what Melanie Phillips calls, a disaster:

... on December 5, I floated the theory that the US had done a deal with both Iran and Saudi Arabia to produce calm in Iraq in return for a promise not to bomb Iran and to serve Israel to them on a plate. Now Debkafile -- whose bulletins, based on intelligence sources, are not reliable but often contain more than a germ of truth -- is reporting a grander version of the same theory. It claims that a Washington-Tehran understanding is in the making, brokered by Saudi Arabia.
The Bush administration appears to be in the midst of developing a new foreign strategy based on five key elements:

1. The halt of Iranian weapons and road bomb shipments into Iraq for use against US forces;

2. An Iranian instruction to Hizballah to open the way for the election of a Lebanese president, in return for which Washington will not interfere with the formation of a new government with a place of honor for the Iranian surrogate militia.

In other words, the Bush administration is not only engaged in a sellout of the Israeli government but also of the pro-Western Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora.
3. The cessation of Iranian arms and roadside bombs to Afghanistan.

4. The naming of Saudi Arabia as a channel for arbitrating American and Iranian differences.

5. A US pledge to backtrack on its charges that the Iran is engaged in developing nuclear weapons. This pledge was embodied in the dramatically revised US National Intelligence Estimate compared with its estimate of 2005, and effectively lifted not only the American military axe from over Iran's strategic and economic infrastructure - and possibly regime - but also tied Israel's hands.

True? It sounds horribly as if it may be. And there is another dimension to all this. The picture above says it all. Saudi Arabia, which is aghast at Iranian power, appears to have reached the same conclusion about the US -- that it has now totally lost its bottle. Saudi can no longer rely on the US to do what Saudi wanted it to do -- to destroy the Iranian regime. So it has now given up on the US and is doing the next best thing: cosying up to Iran itself. If you can't beat them, make deals with them seems to be its motto.

Far from creating a new strategic realignment with Saudi against Iran, therefore, American Baker/Hamilton/Gates 'realism' would appear to have pushed Saudi into bed with Iran. What a disaster.

Continue reading, "A new grand bargain?"

If a Bush "Grand Bargain" has in fact been struck in a deal "with both Iran and Saudi Arabia to produce calm in Iraq in return for a promise not to bomb Iran and to serve Israel to them on a plate," our Commander in Chief has essentially traded the security of Western Civilization in exchange for a temporary appearance of political accomplishment - an illusion that Iran has stopped nuclear weapons development and will refrain from attacking our troops by proxy and feeding terrorists in Iraq with weapons and explosives.

Last time I checked, attacking the armed forces of the United States of America, even by proxy, is an act of war; and even if Iran is given a free pass to develop nuclear weapons, we damned well ought to have been bombing Iran anyway until they get the hell out of Iraq and stop killing our troops. We can only hope that a "Grand Bargain" hasn't and will not happen, but unfortunately, it's beginning to look like it has.

And as whacky as Obadiah Shoher's charge sounded to me at first, his summary of the situation seems right on target:

The US Administration tolerated Pakistani nuclear weapons. The US-North Korea's nuclear arrangement amounts to scam: North Korea merely shut down its reactor, transferred the technology to third countries, and remains ready to revamp its nuclear program at any moment. The US Administration similarly has no problem with Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. The US stand-off with Iran over the nuclear issues meant only to push Iran to negotiate on Iraq. America will continue pushing for the empty sanctions against Iran, but not attack its nuclear facilities. The US Administration sold Israeli security for Iranian help in Iraq.
God help Israel, and America. As for me, I'm praying that all this is only a rumor, but I'm not placing any bets on it.

Meanwhile, Iran's 3,000 centrifuges are hard at work and the Russian-built Bushehr reactor is producing plutonium for Iranian nuclear bombs - and they could be only months away. Thank you President Bush.

Posted by Richard at December 12, 2007 5:40 PM

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