Iran Dares U.S. and Israel to Strike
February 12, 2012
Shooting off his mouth again, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threw down the gauntlet announcing Iran would soon highlight its nuclear breakthroughs. With Israel poised to attack, Ahamadinejad’s announcement invited the U.S. and Israel to “bring it on,” knowing that Iran’s bunker-based uranium enrichment program was hard to reach. Thumbing his nose at U.S. and European Union sanctions, Ahmadinejad talked up Iran's ability to make its own fuel rods to run its nuclear reactors. U.S. and EU sanctions were supposed to pressure Iran back to the bargaining table but instead prompted a stubborn proclamation about its nuclear program. “It is you who come up with excuses each time and issue resolutions on the verge of talks so that negotiations collapse,” said Ahmandinejad in a speech in Kerman, Southwestern Iran. Ahmadinejad knows how to antagonize the West.
Iran insists that its atomic program is for peaceful purposes like generating nuclear power and medical radioactive isotopes. Yet Iran refuses to allow U.N. inspectors to clear the program from suspected involvement in nuclear weapons production. Ahmadinejad blames the West for setting conditions on nuclear talks, including halting its enrichment program. Iran broke off nuclear negotiations in Jan. 2011 and has moved feverishly to ramp its up nuclear weapons program. For years, Ahmadinejad has declared Iran a “nuclear state,” antagonizing the West , always denying but hinting at nuclear weapons production. While Iran says it’s ready to open a dialogue with the West, Ahmandinejad insists that there will be no compromise when it comes to its uranium enrichment program. Western experts, especially Israel, believe Iran is only days, weeks or months away from a bomb.
Refusing to surrender its sovereignty, Iran insists that it’s entitled to enrich uranium under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. “Why should we shun such talk? Why and how should a party that has logic and is right shun talks? It is evident that those who resort to coercion are opposed to talks and always bring pretext and blame to us instead,” said Ahmandinejad, ignoring his role in antagonizing foreign powers. Announcing new nuclear “achievements” tells foreign powers that it’s too late to do anything about Iran’s atomic program. Ahmadinejad wants talks to buy Iran more time while it feverishly pursues nuclear ambitions. A senior U.N. nuclear weapons team expects to visit Tehran this weekend in hopes of gaining access to some of Iran’s most sensitive nuclear sites. When Iran's underground enrichment site at Qom was discovered Oct. 7, 2009, it showed Iranian intentions.
Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei believe that only a nuclear bomb can neutralize the West, much like Pakistan did to India when it got the bomb in 1999. With the bomb, Iran expects the U.S. and Israel to back off. Centrifuges near the holy city of Qom hope to enrich uranium to 20%, a hop, step and jump from weapons grade uranium. Qom’s production facility far exceeds uranium enrichment at 3.5% at Natanz in central Iran. Enriching to 20% represents a big leap to manufacturing A-Bombs. All indications point toward Iran developing and building nuclear bombs sooner, rather than later. Ahmadinejad insisted that Iran’s nuclear program was not under negotiation, offering to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect only cherry-picked sites to show their cooperation. He’s willing to allow inspections but only on Iranian terms, keeping inspectors diverted away from Iran’s more clandestine program.
Insisting that sanctions would not paralyze the Iranian economy, Ahmadinejad downplayed its effect on the Iranian economy. “Americans have not purchased Iranian oil for 30 years.. Our central bank has had no dealings . . . our (total) foreign trade is about $200 billion . . .,” said Ahmadinejad, accounting for only 10% of the Iranian economy. With the EU accounting for 450,000 barrels a day from Iran or 18% of Iran’s total exports, Ahmadinejad dismisses the effect of sanctions. Iran shows no willingness to stop enriching uranium, pointing to a possible confrontation with the U.S. or Israel. “To blindly pressure and impose sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches,” said China’s official Xinhua News Agency, China has no plans of following the U.S. or EU sanctions. Given Iran’s recalcitrance on its nuclear program, there’s a growing likelihood of military intervention.
Without specifying new nuclear breakthroughs, Ahamadinejad sends a loud message that Iran has no intent of backing down from its nuclear program. Saying, “Iran won’t suffer” from the U.S. and EU’s sanctions, the Iranian regime tells the West to go jump in a lake. Whatever the effects of the oil embargo, Iran has found clever ways to skirt new punitive sanctions. After threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz Jan. 24, Iran has backpedaled, allowing the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln carrier pass through to the Persian Gulf. Despite all the tough talk, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his mullah-based regime won’t rock the boat by attacking the U.S. They hope the U.S. or Israel won’t make good on a promise by President Barack Obama Jan. 25 in his State of the Union to not let Iran get a nuclear weapon. Given Ahmandinejad’s bravado, a confrontation seems unavoidable.
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