The delivery of nuclear fuel to Iran from Russia is a turning point in the saga of Iran’s relations with the US and Israel over Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons program but is unlikely to change Israel's ultimate goal of regime change in Iran.
While it had always been part of the plan for Russia to supply fuel to the Bushehr facility, the delivery at this time has come as a complete surprise to both the US and Israelis who had hoped to muster support for increased sanctions against Iran via the UN before the delivery took place. This latest development would seem to preclude Russia from any such endorsement at the UN meaning that there is no longer any likelihood of any further UN sanctions against Iran. This, coupled with last weeks release of the NIE saying that US intelligence agencies have no evidence of any Iranian nuclear program since at least since 2003, has meant that Israel will have to reconsider its position with regard to any possible attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Since the nuclear fuel has been delivered to the Bushehr nuclear facility in Iran’s south-west, an Israeli attack on the plant will now not be possible due to the risk of radio-active contamination and the proximity of the facility relative to Iraq and Kuwait and the Gulf region generally. While the Iranians have guaranteed that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can have access to the facility to ensure the proper use of the Russian supplied fuel, it is unlikely to deter the Israelis from casting their eyes toward Irans other facilities which are designed to produce Iranian nuclear fuel which the Israelis allege is for a nuclear weapons program.
Meanwhile, Bush has been quick to spin Russia’s supply of nuclear fuel to Iran arguing that it proves that Iran has no need to enrich uranium itself. Iran has insisted, however, that, under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it has the right to produce its own nuclear fuel. While Russia has suggested to the Iranians that, for the sake of placating the demands of Israel and the US, that it does not pursue enriching its own uranium, Russia has not insisted that Iran cease its enrichment program and, clearly, have certainly not made any fuel deliveries from Russia conditional upon ceasing their enrichment program.
So, where does this leave the Israelis? Basically the Israeli position will remain essentially unchanged. They will continue to argue that Iran is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program and they will continue to plan for their destruction – now excluding the Bushehr plant, of course. The endgame for the Israelis has never changed; their real goal is not stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program – they know full well, just as the IAEA do, that Iran doesn’t have one – but to destroy the power of the Iranian Islamic state and change the regime. This, in turn, will allow the Israelis to deal with their enemies on their doorstep, Syria, Hizbollah and Hamas, who they hope will capitulate to Israeli demands thus allowing the Israeli Zionists to fulfil their dream of a Greater Israel.