iran,nuclear facilties
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 The folly of nuclear talks with the Islamic Republic.

By R James Towe james@sollicitus.us

There are two troubling events taking place in international relations.

Firstly, after coming within months of its nuclear dream, Iran has decided to bow to Western pressure and 'negotiate'.

The second troubling development is the incredulous naïveté of the United States and its European allies in delaying implementation of new sanctions as a gesture of 'goodwill' going into negotiations with the Islamic Republic (Link).

News media elements and governments are more than familiar with the Iranian government's hierarchy. Mr Rouhani is nothing more than a figurehead. The Ayatollah Khameni has the country's religious credentials and rules absolutely. Yet the news media and the U.S administration are almost giddy with optimism about Iran's new puppet president.

The absurdity of a 'different kind of leader', as attributed to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, is difficult to digest when you absorb the evidence of Iranian actions, previously and currently. Please, never mind their rhetoric. The troubling facts truly speak for themselves. 

Look no further than Iran's bashing of Israel and Zionism as negotiations begin. Iranian officials blame Jews for attempting to
Director of Iran's Nuclear Program (CC)

derail the talks. Consider that the government of a sovereign state is using ethnic and religious commentary to disparage another group. A nation's government is conspiratorial against an entire people; Jews in this instance.

The outreach gestures by the new president are wishes of the Ayatollah. Period. The players have not changed. Any softening of Iran's nuclear ambitions must be viewed from within their strategic lens. The country is near the finish line in its quest for offensive nuclear weapons. As the Iranian regime has developed its 'peaceful' nuclear program, it concurrently works feverishly to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching targets in North America. 

Iran's research in ICBM development is cloaked in space launch technology (Link). The same two stage rockets for placing objects into space orbit are nearly identical to technology for missiles capable of crossing oceans.  Curiously, Iran is the only country with ballistic missile capability of over 2,000 kilometers (1,243 mi) that is not a nuclear power (Link). The distance from Tehran to Tel Aviv is 1,589 kilometers (988 miles), easily reachable by Iran's Sejjil-2 missile (capable of carrying a nuclear warhead) (Link). Sanctions have damaged Iran's capacity to develop or test its ballistic missile technology, but easing or removing sanctions at this late stage risks erasing a decade's work against the Iranian threat (Link).

Why would the Ayatollah suddenly succumb after years of exclusion from the international community?  Stifling sanctions destroyed Iran's economy and placed a heavy burden on the Iranian population. Iran's political leadership calculated that the regime's stranglehold on free speech and movement within the country would allow for the continuance of a nuclear program, despite creating isolation globally and encouraging unrest at home. 

The calculation has borne the fruits of a program on the brink of a nuclear weapons capability. Sometime in 2014, Iran will likely achieve completion of multiple nuclear warheads; it will permanently change the power structure in the Middle East. Gulf emirates and Saudi Arabia have long feared a nuclear Iran and its Shi'a rulers. These countries contend the United States is losing its grasp of the region. I posit that the unraveling began with Bush '43', and is accelerating under the current administration. 

Arak Heavy Water Plant (Nanking 2012, Creative Commons)
Regardless, there should be concern that a nuclear Iran will bring about a nuclear Saudi Arabia via Pakistan. Until now, there was no credible evidence, minus dissident accusations, that Saudi Arabia had seriously pondered becoming nuclear for anything other than civilian energy purposes. 

Earlier this week, the Saudis announced they are cooling their relationship with America; from intelligence to diplomacy, the kingdom will look elsewhere. They view changing American priorities as not in line with Saudi concerns (Link).

The stigma and suffering Iran has endured with its nuclear program for the last decade demonstrates its determination to become a nuclear power. Were the Iranian program to successfully produce nuclear warheads without further retribution, all international standards against nuclear proliferation would collapse. This has the potential to create a black market boon for nuke technology with rival countries attempting one-upmanship in a new Mid East arms race.   

We are mired in the results of a new aloof America, no longer concerned with national interests, just in cultural relativism with its foreign policy. Our resources reach out to help those who despise American values. The president hasn't yet realized that while Iran unclenches one fist, it holds a grenade in the other.