Monday, November 16, 2009

Talking Phase May Be Over With Iran

As discussed in some of my previous posts on Iran here at my blog, the diplomatic talking efforts to resolve the nuclear facilities issue with Iran seem to have come to an end. DEBKAfile has just published a report this evening on top U.S. and Israeli intelligence and defense officers meeting in Israel. They said:

Our intelligence sources report that frequent Middle East visits by high-ranking American intelligence teams are rare occurrences. Worthy of note is they are immersed in a second round of talks with their Israeli colleagues in the first half of November, in between two other related events: the joint US-Israel Juniper Cobra 10 ballistic defense exercise which ended last Tuesday and the publication of the much-awaited UN nuclear watchdog's next report due out Monday, Nov. 16. This report should lay out the findings of the IAEA inspectors at Iran's uranium enrichment plant near Qom

Those findings reportedly will say that the plant was designed "especially" for nuclear weapon enrichment levels and was a military installation.

sources say that the US-Israel intelligence conferences ongoing at present are the final touches to the process the Obama administration has instituted of strategic give-and-take with Israel ahead of a possible outbreak of war with Iran. The alignment has been going forward on four levels:

1. Communications between the White House and the Israeli prime minister's office, which are handled at the Washington end by Dep. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who enjoys ready access to the president.

2. An open line to defense secretary Robert Gates which defense minister Ehud Barak set up when he visited the Pentagon last week.

3. Direct interchanges between the two army chiefs, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi.

4. Frequent conferences between US and Israeli intelligence heads.

Political, military and intelligence integration between the US and Israel on this comprehensive scale has been practically unknown in recent years. It serves the dual purpose of a demonstration of close American-Israel military cooperation while at the same time safeguarding the Obama administration against Israeli surprise moves in relation to Iran.

Sunday, Nov. 15, President Obama and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said in Singapore that time was running out for diplomacy to resolve the crisis over Iran's nuclear program. Medvedev added that if discussions failed to yield results, "other means" could be used.

Tehran delivered its comeback the same day: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared grandiloquently: "Iran is a great world power whose strength is unlimited and on whom no other state would dare impose sanctions," while parliament speaker Ali Larijani blasted America whom he accused of backing the Saudi bombardments killing Muslims (Shiites in Yemen). Obama is worse than George Bush, said Larijani: "His promise to change US policy toward Tehran amounts to nothing." He flatly rejected the latest Western proposal to resolve questions about Iran's nuclear program (overseas processing of enriched uranium) as "unimportant" and "irrational".

Sounds like the Iranians are through talking too. In another DEBKA piece, they say "the Iranians are frenziedly digging hundreds of new missile launch silos" to prepare for Israel. Of the two intelligence sources, DEBKAfile and STRATFOR, I trust STRATFOR more. But this agrees with what STRATFOR said in that they believe Joe Biden's policy speeches in Europe about 3 weeks ago signalled "A Change In American Plans On Iran" as I posted about here on November 9. STRATFOR believes "...this means the United States must choose between an Iranian bomb or employing the military option."

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