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Tuesday, December 18, 2007


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.


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, Greggy Sheridan has a hard-on for the fascist Lieberman.
'Lieberman, a Russian immigrant to Israel, leads a right-wing, predominantly Russian party. In some ways, he is more open to compromise than many Israelis. He would be willing to cede Israeli land to a Palestinian state.

What makes Lieberman controversial, and unacceptable to many, is his view that as well as territory, Israel should give away people, too, in particular its Muslim Arab citizens. He doesn't want to expel them exactly, just redraw some borders so that some Arab towns and villages move into a new Palestinian state nextdoor, thus making Israel a more Jewish state.

The idea of excluding people on the basis of their ethnicity or religion is anathema to every liberal principle (and it is hard to imagine a single Israeli Arab willingly moving from rich Israel to poor and violent Palestine).

Yet it conforms to the reality of the Middle East. Hamas extremists are trying to kill, convert or drive into exile the tiny Christian minority in the Gaza Strip.

The Jewish minorities have been driven out of virtually every Arab state. And even the ultimate logic of objecting to every Jewish settlement in the West Bank can be seen as endorsing the notion that Israel should bequeath to the Palestinians a state which contains not a single Jew.

To get a better idea of Lieberman's thinking, last week I met him for a lengthy discussion in his tiny, incredibly cramped office in the Knesset building in Jerusalem.

Lieberman comes across as smart as hell, direct and charming in a rough, Russian way.'
'...perhaps the most convincing [part of the Lieberman credo] is his casting of the conflicts involving Israel in a much wider historical and ideological context: "What is happening is really the worldwide clash of civilisations. It is really nothing to do with Israel. It's just bad luck where we are located. We would prefer to have neighbours like New Zealand.

Anonymous said...

Lucky New Zealand!!

Daniel said...

Thank God the Israeli fanatics are a long way from Australia and Howard is gone. It's a double bonus for Xmas!


Damian Lataan said...

Anonymous, thanks for the Sheridan piece.

One wonders if NZ would be as keen to have Israel as a neighbour as Israel is to be NZs neighbour. One can imagine the NZers hanging on tightly to their birth certificates through fear of having hordes of Israelis popping over to steal their idenities.

Daniel, I take it your offerings of thanks to some deity is merely a figure of speech. I could almost become a believer myself if I thought for one moment that such a conversion was all it takes to ensure that the Israeli fanatics never become our neighbours!

Damian Lataan said...

...I hate to have thought we'd got rid of one lot of fanatics that were actually living amonst us, even attempting to govern us, just to have another lot turn up on our doorstep. It's bad having to think about those that do have the misfortune to be the neighbours of the fanatics of Israel.

Daniel said...

What is it that prompts people to embrace selective superstitions from millenia ago?

If I agitated that we speak and write Ancient Egyptian and worship Ra the Sun God I would be locked up. Yet billions spend their lives believing in various anachronistic theological fairytales and the false promises they make and fighting with members of other deluded groups.

It defies all logic!