IRAN : il est temps d’agir.
Miguel Garroté – Caroline Glick est membre senior pour le Moyen Orient du « Centre pour la Politique de Sécurité » à Washington DC et rédactrice en chef adjointe du Jerusalem Post. Les faits rapportés ci-dessous par Caroline Glick sont une contribution majeure à l’analyse constante du nucléaire offensif iranien. En attentant la version française, voici déjà le texte intégral en version originale anglaise. J’ai reproduit en caractères gras les paragraphes les plus importants.
IRAN : It is time to act.
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST Sep. 18, 2008
Iran is just a heartbeat away from the A-bomb.
Last Friday the Daily Telegraph reported Teheran has surreptitiously removed a sufficient amount of uranium from its nuclear production facility in Isfahan to produce six nuclear bombs.
Given Iran’s already acknowledged uranium enrichment
capabilities, the Telegraph’s report indicates that the Islamic Republic is
now in the late stages of assembling nuclear bombs.
It would be a simple matter for Iran to assemble those bombs without anyone
US spy satellites recently discovered what the US believes are
covert nuclear facilities in Iran.
The mullocracy has not disclosed these
sites to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, which is charged with
inspecting Iran’s nuclear sites.
As to the IAEA, this week it presented its latest report on Teheran’s
nuclear program to its board members in Vienna.
The IAEA’s report claimed that Iran has taken steps to enable its Shihab-3 ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads. With their range of 1,300 kilometers, Shihab-3 missiles are capable of reaching Israel and other countries throughout the region.
In support of its swiftly progressing nuclear program, Iran has escalated
both its conventional military and terroristic adventurism. It has also
ratcheted up its diplomatic assault on the US. This week, Teheran conducted
a countrywide air defense exercise. Gen. Khatim al-Anbiaa, the commander of
Iran’s Air Defense Corps, explained that the exercise was aimed at defending
against both electronic jamming systems and actual bombing strikes.
Also this week, Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of the
Revolutionary Guards Corps and current senior adviser to Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for security affairs, announced that Iran has shifted
responsibility for naval warfare on the Persian Gulf from its regular naval
forces to its more fanatical Revolutionary Guards. The Iranian navy will now
be deployed only in the Gulf of Oman and along the Caspian Sea.
The deployment of the Guards along the Persian Gulf means that the force
will be responsible for naval operations in the narrow Strait of Hormuz,
through which 40 percent of global oil shipments travel. Issuing Iran’s most
explicit threat to US naval forces in the area and global oil shipments to
date, Safavi declared, « The entire Strait of Hormuz is under the tight
control of the Iranian security forces, which are ready to defend Iran
against any threat. »
As for terror, al-Qaida boss Ayman Zawahiri’s recent tirade against the
Islamic Republic notwithstanding, Iran has apparently intensified its
cooperation with al-Qaida. Over the past two weeks, Israeli counterterror
officials have issued explicit warnings to Israeli vacationers to
immediately depart from Sinai. They have stated that terror cells from
al-Qaida and Hamas are working with Iran’s Hizbullah to abduct groups of
Israeli vacationers to Gaza. Moreover, as Hamas and Teheran have openly
acknowledged their « brotherly » ties, more and more reports have been
published about al-Qaida’s escalating presence in Gaza.
Beyond all this, both regionally and globally Iran is escalating its diplomatic and strategic offensive against the US. It has widened its diplomatic operations in the Western hemisphere from Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua to the Caribbean by opening diplomatic relations with Grenada and St. Vincent, and it is pursuing diplomatic ties with Jamaica.
Teheran has initiated its own pro-Russian diplomatic initiative to
« stabilize » the Caucasus.
This week Iran’s Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki caught the US State Department by surprise when he arrived in Tblisito meet with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. That meeting was part of a regional tour that took Mouttaki to Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as Germany.
Finally, of course, there is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s annual
trip to New York for the UN’s General Assembly opening session next week.
Aside from being honored by leaders of the supposedly pacifist and clearly
anti-Semitic Quaker and Mennonite churches, Ahmadinejad will be feted by
newly elected General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann from
COUNTERING TEHERAN’S sprint to the nuclear finish line and its intensifying
threats against Israel and the West are three Western initiatives to prevent
Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
First, the US, France and Britain have stepped up their rhetoric calling for
additional economic sanctions against Iran. During the General Assembly
meeting in New York, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to
meet her counterparts from the other permanent members of the Security
Council and Germany to try to agree on such sanctions. But this will be an
exercise in futility.
Russia has made clear that it will reject any further sanctions. Indeed it is intensifying its military and financial ties to Teheran. Moscow has pledged to have the Bushehr nuclear plant up and running by the end of the year.
And Iran is already suspected of diverting plutonium from the plant to
develop still more nuclear weapons.
Germany, too, has evinced no interest in curtailing its financial ties to
Teheran. To the contrary, German trade with Iran expanded 12% in the last
year, from $2.7 billion to $3b.
So the US will fail to pass additional sanctions against Iran in the UN
Security Council. And this is a shame. But even if a miracle occurred and
Russia, China and Germany agreed to adopt and enforce stiff sanctions
against Iran, those sanctions would come too late to prevent Iran from
acquiring nuclear weapons.
The uranium that the Iranians took from their Isfahan plant will be weapons
grade and attached to Shihab-3 missiles or transferred to Hizbullah,
al-Qaida or Hamas terrorists for use long before such hypothetical sanctions
would even be noticed.
The second way that the West – and particularly the US and Israel – have
sought to stymie Iran’s nuclear ambitions is through sabotage. As Yediot
Aharonot reporter Ronen Bergman documented in his book, The Secret War with
Iran, over the past few years the Mossad and US intelligence agencies have
had some success killing personnel involved in Iran’s nuclear weapons
program. They have also managed to sell faulty nuclear components to Teheran
that have slowed down and sabotaged its operations. As the assassination of
Iran’s terror master Imad Mughniyah in Damascus in February demonstrated,
Israel has the capacity to carry out sensitive covert operations deep inside
enemy territory. And more successful covert operations could no doubt cause
still more damage to Iran’s nuclear program.
But it is all but impossible to see how any such operations can prevent Iran
from acquiring nuclear weapons in the short term. With that uranium from
Isfahan hidden away in one of its covert facilities, with terror operatives
deployed all over the globe and in charge of Lebanon and Gaza, and with the
Shihab-3 missiles happily accepting nuclear warheads, it is apparent that no
matter how bold, limited covert operations have not and will not prevent
Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold.
Finally, there are the private initiatives to use international law, capital
markets and political pressure to deter Teheran from acquiring nuclear
weapons and to persuade states not to cultivate ties with Iran.
A year ago, The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs began a push to indict
Ahmadinejad as a war criminal for his breach of the Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. His calls for Israel’s
annihilation make him guilty of the explicit crime of inciting genocide. The JCPA’s initiative has fomented similar calls by groups in Canada and
Australia and, most recently, by tens of thousands of evangelical
The Anti-Defamation League and AIPAC are waging public campaigns against
European oil and gas companies that are involved in developing Iran’s oil
and gas fields.
The Center for Security Policy in Washington spearheaded the initiative to
divest US public employee pension funds from companies that do business with
Iran and other state sponsors of terror.
Several major American Jewish organizations are organizing a massive protest
outside UN headquarters that will take place during Ahmadinejad’s address to
the body next Tuesday. Other groups, like the Israel Project, conduct
intensive briefings for the media in the US and Europe to educate reporters
and editors about the Iranian nuclear program.
All of these private initiatives are vital for raising public awareness in
the West about the lethality of the Iranian threat to Israel and to global
security in general. They are also important for embarrassing governments –
particularly Germany, Austria and other European governments with histories
of anti-Semitic violence – that refuse to end their bilateral trade with
Teheran. Beyond that, they serve the important goal of weakening the Iranian
But again, none of these programs can do a thing against that uranium for
six bombs that Iran removed from its plant in Isfahan. They can’t stop those
centrifuges in Natanz and in covert facilities throughout Iran from buzzing
along. They can’t destroy those Shihab-3 missiles. They can’t kill the
scientists assembling the bombs.
IN LIGHT of Iran’s unrelenting and rapid progress toward the nuclear finish
line, it is clear today that while positive in their own rights, none of the
actions the West is taking will succeed in blocking its path to the atomic
For that matter, the one option short of war that might have put an end to
the mullahs’ race to the bomb three years ago – namely supporting the
Iranian people in their wish to overthrow their regime – cannot be adopted
fast enough to prevent the likes of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad from pushing
the button now.
Today, there is only one way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Israel must bomb Iran’s nuclear installations. Such a strike will not end Iran’s nuclear program. It will not overthrow the regime. It will not cripple Iran’s economy. It will not end Iran’s active support for international terrorist groups. All an Israeli air strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities will do is set its nuclear program back for a couple of years. Such a strike will buy Israel and the rest of the world time.
And during that time, Iran will no
doubt expand its diplomatic, terror and political offensives against Israel
and the US. But if Israel and the US are wise, they can use the time as
If Israel and the US are wise, they will use the extra time to ratchet up
international economic sanctions on Iran. They will use the time to conduct
covert operations against nuclear and regime targets. They will use the time
to increase international pressure on countries that do business with Iran
and sell it arms. And they will use the time that an Israeli military strike
against Iran’s nuclear facilities will buy to support Iranian democracy
movements and so weaken the regime and perhaps eventually topple it.
It is clear today that the Bush administration will not take action against
Iran. This week five former secretaries of state said that the US should
pursue diplomatic ties with Teheran regardless of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear
weapons. There will be no will in Washington to act against Iran until after
Iran has attacked Israel with nuclear weapons.
So it is up to Israel.
Too bad we don’t have a government in Jerusalem.