The man who turned Iran nuclear

In a rare interview, the man dubbed “the father of Iran’s nuclear programme” tells how the project began under the Shah, who wanted to leave the option for a bomb open.

Now in his 80s, Akhbar Etemad remembers all too clearly the pressure the Americans tried to apply to him when he was head of Iran’s nuclear programme between 1974 and 1978.

Mr Etemad was the president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation and it was under him that the country’s nuclear project began and flourished. Continue reading

U.S. leaders had better heed Israel’s warnings on Iran

On the one hand, we cannot exclude the possibility that the senior Israeli officials briefing us are bluffing. On the other hand, what we journalists hear in closed rooms is staggering.

In his Bloomberg columns, Goldberg monitors the unfolding Mideast drama with precision and insight. And yet, distinguished columnists such as Roger Cohen of the New York Times dismiss Goldberg’s information and analysis.  They claim that an Israeli attack on Iran (with no American support and cooperation) is insane and therefore would never happen.

Personally, I hope Cohen is right.  An Israeli air strike on the Islamic Republic is the worst way to stop its nuclear project.  But up to this point, all diplomatic attempts to stop the Ayatollahs have failed.  Recently imposed sanctions are biting, but they do not really discourage the Shiite fanatics.  By 2013, Israel might lose its military potency vis-à-vis Iran.

So temperatures are rising in Jerusalem.  As time is running out the Goldberg scenario becomes more and more likely.  What he hears from his sources, and what I hear from my sources, lead us to believe the coming summer is a crucial one.  If senior Israelis are now shouting gewald, American decision makers and opinion leaders had better pay close attention.

Full article: U.S. leaders had better heed Israel’s warnings on Iran (Haaretz)

Want War? Then Continue Ignoring Iran

Earlier this month, Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a live television broadcast rallied his people to destroy Israel. He called Israel a ‘’cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut,” and promised Iranian support of any regime or enterprise that attempts to destroy the Jewish state.

Each of these events actually happened.

Each provides a glimpse into Iran’s true character and ambition.

Each is a harbinger of a greater, more deadly, confrontation.

Each was ignored, marginalized or flatly rejected by many in the West as mere bluster.

But not all have been so ignorant. “The single biggest danger in the Middle East today is not the risk of a six-day Israeli war against Iran,” wrote Harvard historian Niall Ferguson recently. “It is the risk that Western wishful nonthinking allows the mullahs of Tehran to get their hands on nuclear weapons. Because I am in no doubt that they would take full advantage of such a lethal lever.”

Historian Benny Morris agrees. He warned in the Los Angeles Times Tuesday that “if the Iranian nuclear project is not halted … there will be, by miscalculation, Iranian assault or Israeli preemption, a nuclear war in the Middle East.”

These men grasp the reality of what we’re witnessing in the Middle East. They’re not rejecting Iran’s actions as mere bluster. They’re looking at Iran, at its uncompromising drive for nuclear weapons, at its enthusiastic sponsoring of Islamist terrorism, at its constant effort to undermine Western interests, at its promise to utterly annihilate the Jewish state, and simply believing what their eyes and ears are telling them.

Full article: Want War? Then Continue Ignoring Iran (The Trumpet)