Sunday, August 26, 2012

Looks Like Israel -- And The Arabs -- Were Right About Iran

Jonathan Tobin writes that IAEA Evidence Shows Israel, Not Obama, Talking Sense About Iran:
The latest report being prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency about Iran appears to be a sobering retort to those who have spent the summer trying to claim that Israel’s warnings about the need to act should be ignored. The report, which has not yet been released but whose contents have been leaked, says that Iran has installed hundreds of new centrifuges in recent months and is devoting its efforts to refining uranium to a level of greater than 20 percent, a sign that it is working on a nuclear bomb and not, as it disingenuously contends, on medical research. Of equal concern is that all of this new equipment has been installed in facilities near the holy city of Qum and buried so far under underground that they may be invulnerable to attack.

This evidence would mean the alarms being sounded in Israel in recent months were entirely justified.
Keep in mind that it is not just Israel's warnings about Iran that are being justified by the latest report -- Obama's claims to the contrary, the Arab world is also opposed to Iran's plans to go nuclear.

I wrote 2 years ago that Arab World Agrees With Israel--Iran Is More Urgent Than A Palestinian State, as was made clear in documents made available through Wikileaks:
Now Mere Rhetoric has pointed out that based on the documents leaked by Wikileaks, it is clear that the Arab states do not share the focus on creating a Palestinian state.

For example, The Guardian provides notes in a US cable on April 20, 2008, noting how strongly the Saudi King urged the US to strike Iran
1. (S) Summary: US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus met with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, General Presidency of Intelligence Chief Prince Muqrin bin Abd al-Aziz, and Interior Minister Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz during their April 14-15 visit to Riyadh. The Saudi King and senior Princes reviewed Saudi policy toward Iraq in detail, all making essentially the same points. They said that the Kingdom will not send an ambassador to Baghdad or open an embassy until the King and senior Saudi officials are satisfied that the security situation has improved and the Iraqi government has implemented policies that benefit all Iraqis, reinforce Iraq's Arab identity, and resist Iranian influence.

...The Need to Resist Iran

10. (S) The King, Foreign Minister, Prince Muqrin, and Prince Nayif all agreed that the Kingdom needs to cooperate with the US on resisting and rolling back Iranian influence and subversion in Iraq. The King was particularly adamant on this point, and it was echoed by the senior princes as well. Al-Jubeir recalled the King's frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program. "He told you to cut off the head of the snake," he recalled to the Charge', adding that working with theUS to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq is a strategic priority for the King and his government.
The attitude in the Arab world did not change after Obama took office. A cable from November 4, 2009 obtained from the Embassy of Manama, notes King Hamad of Bahrain was vehement in insisting that Iran be stopped:
1. (C) SUMMARY: In an hour-long meeting on November 1 with CENTCOM Commander General Petraeus, Bahrain's King Hamad said Arab states need to do more to engage Iraq, discussed Afghanistan and the positive role India could play, urged action to stop Iran's nuclear program, and reviewed regional plans for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. END SUMMARY.

...4.(C) IRAN: King Hamad pointed to Iran as the source of much of the trouble in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He argued forcefully for taking action to terminate their nuclear program, by whatever means necessary. "That program must be stopped," he said. "The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it." King Hamad added that in light of these regional developments, Bahrain was working to strengthen GCC coordination and its relations with allies and international organizations. He specifically mentioned NATO and confirmed that Bahrain had agreed to the Alliance's request to use Isa Airbase for AWACS missions, although the detail on numbers and timing have yet to be discussed.
Similarly, in When Israel and the Arab States Agree, Seth Mandel quotes Oren Kessler, who wrote last year 'Quiet' Arab coalition supports attack on Iran. The uniformity of Arab opposition to Iran's nuclear program is impressive:
  • Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah urged Washington to “cut off the head of the snake”
  • Both Abdullah and Mubarak described the Islamic Republic as “evil” and ntrustworthy.
  • Mubarak warned the Iranian nuclear weapon program was liable to set off a region-wide arms race.
  • Zeid Rifai, then president of the Jordanian senate warned “Bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb...Sanctions, carrots, incentives won’t matter.”
  • The rulers of Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates were all reportedly in favor of a strike.
Mandel also quotes Shai Feldman, who noted in Foreign Policy that the Sunni Arab states did not complain in 2007 when Israel destroyed Syria's reactor.

On the flip side, I wrote last Wednesday that the prospect of 120 countries sending representatives for a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran demonstrated that Obama's sanctions were a sham.

And of course, the fact that UN head Ban Ki-Moon is attending is just icing on the cake, as P. David Hornik writes: Ban, UN make mockery of Obama's flawed, feckless policy

All in all, Obama's Iran policy -- opposed by the Arab world, as well as Israel -- has been dumped by the world.

Will Obama take notice?

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