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World & Current Events > Iran - what to do?

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message 1: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments This is prompted by Scout :-) Netanyahu has stated that Iran has lied about the nuclear deal, although it seems to involve some files that were undisclosed in 2015. More information may make this statement look silly. However, it raises a number of questions:
1. Is Iran concealing further nuclear work? If so, what is the evidence?
2. Are files prior to the deal relevant?
3. Assume Netinyahu is correct and there is a secret Iranian nuclear program, even if Netanyahu does not really have evidence, what should everyone do?
4. Assume Netanyahu is wrong and right now and there is no secret nuclear program what should everyone do, depending on what your answer to (3) was?
5. What is Trump going to do? (Who knows???)
6. What will Kim do if Trump cancels the agreement with Iran?


message 2: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3079 comments According to BBC report the archive dates from pre-2003 and that the Israli's and now US Secretary of State admit there is no evidence of any activity since the deal was signed.

If Israel has had the documents for some time why not share them when the deal was being drafted? Why now? Have they only obtained them in the last few months?

The documents appear to show - not that they have been published - that Iran was pursuing a nuclear programme up to 2003 and beyond - that is after all why the deal was done.

The US, UK, France, Russia (Soviet Union) and many others pursued chemical weapons. They have archives of material showing such a pursuit. They have the chemistry books allowing it to be done (Physics for Nuclear). They have all claimed not to be pursuing a chemical weapons programme.

What is research into physics and what is an active programme. Iran agreed to shut down specific facilities mainly centrifuge activity. Does Israel have actual evidence that these facilities are up and running again or that Iran has built secret new ones? If so why not share that.

Israel opposed the deal every step of the way. Obama wanted the deal with Europe, Russia and China. Trump wants to dismantle anything that Obama did. Israel senses an opportunity and suddenly finds this archive. I am not doubting the archive is real.

If the US cancels the deal what then, bomb potential facilities? Iran had sanctions for years during which they pursued their nuclear ambitions. If the deal is cancelled they will return to that. The nuclear deal has nothing to do with Iran;s other activities in Syria and elsewhere. They were not part of the deal. It was simply nuclear programme specifically centrifuge operations in exchange for some sanction lifting.

Macron and others explained this perfectly well but clearly the US Sec of State and Israeli government weren't listening.
1. None shown
2. Nope
3. Nothing
4. Carry on with programme and try and bring other Iranian activity and associated sanctions into some sort of further deal
5. He doesn't know himself. If he wanted to cancel it why not do it as soon as he became President. Why now?
6. Walk away as it demonstrates the US cannot be trusted to uphold a deal let alone negotiate a deal with NK in good faith.

None of this means I trust Iran or NK but do we want to bomb Iran and NK? I know there are some in Israel and USA that do.


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments What I found particularly interesting is that it appears the Israelis got these documents when the Iranians "hid them away" in a run down warehouse. The Israelis claim to have snuck in and stole them. They claim to have half a tonne of documents. My view is, if the Iranians left half a tonne of documents in an old run-down warehouse and left them unguarded, they can't be very valuable.

I agree with Philip that guessing what Trump is going to do on something that has only two possibilities is you might as well toss a coin. Better than trying to work it out.

My view, too, is that unless Trump honours the Iranian deal, Kim should walk away. There is no point no dealing with a country that refuses to honour the deals former Presidents made. Unfortunately, Trump seems to have made breaking such deals part of his modus operandi


message 4: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I watched on CNN the part of Netaniahu's 'presentation of facts' about the Iranian program and one thing he said immediately jumped into my face: either it was a mistake in his script or a hamfisted lie, he said that 'Iran intends to build five atomic warheads, each of ten kilotons power, five times the bomb of Hiroshima'. Right there, his credibility took a nosedive, as the Hiroshima bomb had a power of twenty kilotons. In view of this gross mistake and of the amateurish way he 'presented facts' in a way as convincing as a car dealer would, my opinion is that this is all bogus. Why do that now? Maybe because his ass is being roasted by charges of fraud leveled against him by Israeli police and he wants to change the subject, fast, before he could be prosecuted in court.

As for Trump, if he swallows the Israeli accusations against Iran or, more predictably, uses them to justify breaking the nuclear deal with Iran, then it would make any talks with Kim that much more difficult. Kim would be well excused to think that, if Trump can renege on a nuclear accord with Iran, then he could do the same with North Korea.

Frankly, the timing of these Israeli 'revelations', as well as their use of outdated info, stinks to high Hell.


message 5: by Nik (last edited May 01, 2018 10:08AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Ian wrote: "Unfortunately, Trump seems to have made breaking such deals part of his modus operandi..."

I think the question is here: "What do you do, when you come to the game, the cards are already dealt, but you notice that it's rigged?"
Trump came to change things and he got that mandate from his people, so it'll be natural to improve (in his understanding) things. Don't think Bibi's revelations will influence him that much. Probably not more than Macron, Merkel and others flying in recently.
It's clear that current understanding with Iran does not address its ballistic missile program nor its terrorist proxies around the ME. As far as I understand Iran with its 'Death to America" still belongs to the axis of evil and neither US, nor Europe, and more so Israel - want to see it in the position of being able to inflict a serious damage.
The purpose, as I see it, - a better deal, not a war with Iran. We see that sanctions do produce results sometimes.
The archive might've been procured recently (claimed in Feb and the translation took time) and in the very least it rebuffs and makes a clown of Zarif and his clerical and civil bosses, who asserted just a few days ago, that Iran never pursued military nukes.
On top of that, the tensions between Israel and Iran might keep climbing and Israel will most likely keep knocking off Iran's military presence near its border and its consignments to Hizballah..
As Mad Dog said recently a showdown is likely, however I hope it can be avoided without Israel making do with jeopardizing its security.


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Apparently I was wrong - it's not only ME, where Iran is meddling:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mo...
Don't think Netanyahu convinced them


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments Nik wrote: "Apparently I was wrong - it's not only ME, where Iran is meddling:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mo...
Don't ..."


In my opinion, Iran is not meddling. This is a very milder version of the so-called thirty years war being played out between the two muslim religious factions. ISIS was part of it, but they got a bit carried away and extended it to other religions. The whole problem will go away if the region can be persuaded to adopt secure governments. If you think ISIS was bad, read up about the thirty years war.


message 8: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments There is no doubt that Iran should drop the slogan "Death to America". Basically, it gains nothing and loses a lot. However, I don't think anyone believes that Iran did not toy with the idea of nuclear weapons, despite their claims that they were only after peaceful nuclear energy. On the other hand, they did sign an accord, and there is no evidence whatsoever that I am aware of that they have not honoured it. What happened before 2003 is irrelevant.

It is interesting to note how news is reported. Michel saw a report that has not turned up here, but in my opinion, the timing of whatever Bibi said is fairly clear - he wants to goad Trump into action. It would be interesting to see Bibi's response if Iran offered unimpeded inspection of whatever sites in Iran provided the same was applied to Israel, because Israel is generally considered to have nuclear weapons. Won't happen, but it would be interesting to see what Bibi would do.

As I put in the above post, Iran is not "meddling" - this is much deeper. But let's assume Trump thinks this is "meddling" and he decides to do something about it. What can he do? There is always the odd random bombing to fall back on, but that is hardly likely to make Kim feel at ease. There are more sanctions, but that would drive Iran back to its nuclear program. Contrary to what Nik implied, sanctions do not necessarily work - Iran agreed to abandon that nuclear program in return for something, but if the something is removed, what then? So, what should Trump do?


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Ian wrote: "So, what should Trump do?..."

I think the issue here is not whether the agreement is observed, which is also very important, but more - whether it's good or flawed. US, Israel and probably others believe it's flawed because it doesn't address the missile component, Iran's foreign belligerence and pauses rather than dismantles the nuke program.
Don't think anyone wants a war with Iran, although this option was and remains on the table, especially for Israel, which due to its small size doesn't have a second-strike privilege and can't afford having an enemy declaring Israel's destruction as its aim attaining such capabilities.
Iran has its weaknesses and may want to reconsider whether it wants to remain on a collision course with the US. The instruments may vary: additional agreement, amending the existing one, whatever. I don't think it's US or US allies, like Israel or Arabia, should feel discomfort about Iran's hostile approach, but rather Iran should worry how to contain its own belligerence and ensure peace of mind of the international community.


message 10: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3079 comments Nik wrote: "Ian wrote: "So, what should Trump do?..."

I think the issue here is not whether the agreement is observed, which is also very important, but more - whether it's good or flawed. US, Israel and prob..."


Nik

I have sympathy with Israel's position and the current agreement does not cover all the things the US and Israel want covered. Nevertheless it's an international agreement entered into by multiple parties after years of negotiation designed to reward Iran for stopping the Nuclear programme, nothing more. If the US fails to continue to ratify then Iran would be completely at liberty to re-start it's programme and the rest of the world re-impose those sanctions. I don't think anyone least of all Iran wants that because then Israel and the US may have to take direct action. This would be entirely their own fault with unknown consequences for the rest of the world.

As discussed above there is then the impact on NK and other parties to various treaties on non-proliferation. How about Pakistan and India or Brazil

If Israel really wants to play holier than thou it could open up its nuclear establishments to IEAA/UN inspection which Iran has done.

If Israel has evidence that Iran has other nuclear facilities where it is continuing its programme in secret then why not share that rather than an archive that's 15 years old.


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Pluralism of opinions is fine, we are not in Iran here -:)

Philip wrote: "designed to reward Iran for stopping the Nuclear programme..."

I'm under impression it's not about reward, but about lifting nuclear sanctions for compliance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_C...
Maybe a cleverer thing would be to impose new sanctions targeting missile program and terrorist funding. US has different means to achieve their goals. I'm pretty sure Trump has a different vision on the situ than Israel's. Let's see what Trump does.

Philip wrote: "If Israel really wants to play holier than thou it could open up its nuclear establishments to IEAA/UN inspection which Iran has done...."

Is there any request from US, UK, EU, France, any of Israel's friends? -:)


message 12: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3079 comments Nik wrote: "Pluralism of opinions is fine, we are not in Iran here -:)

Philip wrote: "designed to reward Iran for stopping the Nuclear programme..."

I'm under impression it's not about reward, but about lift..."


There are political elements in all those countries asking Israel to give access.

As for sanctions, there remains a whole list of sanctions in place against the Iranian regime and named Iranian organisations and individuals

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctio...

BTW I have no problem with Israel dealing with threats from Hezbollah and Iranian forces in Syria or Lebanon especially ones that launch attacks into Israel's current borders whether via infiltration or missiles. Countries that border Israel that fail to take action Lebanon, Syria and to a lesser extent Egypt and Jordan are just as culpable. To be absolutely clear the last thing the world needs is Iran with a nuclear weapon


message 13: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I am sure that they asked already, repeatedly...and were told by Israel to shut up and move on. If you are going to demand that a country reveals its nuclear secrets, then it would be less hypocritical to reveal your own secrets as well, especially when about everyone in the World is pretty sure that Israel has dozens of nuclear warheads in its stocks. As for journalists and private citizens asking questions about the Dimona 'Nuclear Research Facility', go try it in Israel and see how many days pass before you are thrown in jail without trial.


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Philip wrote: "BTW I have no problem with Israel dealing with threats from Hezbollah and Iranian forces in Syria or Lebanon especially ones that launch attacks into Israel's current borders whether via infiltration or missiles. Countries that border Israel that fail to take action Lebanon, Syria and to a lesser extent Egypt and Jordan are just as culpable. To be absolutely clear the last thing the world needs is Iran with a nuclear weapon..."

Thanks for your support or at least - understanding. Maybe it's a cold peace with Egypt and Jordan, nevertheless so far it holds well and is mutually beneficial. I didn't feel discomfort visiting Sinai or Amman and I hope there is a potential for cordiality


message 15: by Nik (last edited May 02, 2018 10:50AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Michel wrote: "about everyone in the World is pretty sure that Israel has dozens of nuclear warheads in its stocks. As for journalists and private citizens asking questions about the Dimona 'Nuclear Research Facility', go try it in Israel and see how many days pass before you are thrown in jail without trial. ..."

So? So do US, UK, France, for example. If Israel indeed has nukes, we are friends and pose no threat to each other. Does Britain inspect US nuke sites or vice versa? You surely don't place Israel on the same square with Iran, do you?
Each country guards its secrets. To be suspected in espionage, for all I know is pretty grave in any place. Don't think 'without trial' would work currently....


message 16: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3079 comments Nik wrote: "Philip wrote: "BTW I have no problem with Israel dealing with threats from Hezbollah and Iranian forces in Syria or Lebanon especially ones that launch attacks into Israel's current borders whether..."

Probably a bigger failing of the Assad family in Syria (In world peace terms not civil war deaths) is not following Egypt's and Jordan's approach to a peace deal and acceptance of Israel's right to exit. Normalising of diplomatic relations would have left Assad more supported by other world powers too. I appreciate that the Golan Heights have a bigger impact than the Sinai desert especially for water rights. A whole other thread subject.

For inspections actually via various treaties there are inspections in particular various SLAT etc treaties and IEAA visits in UK, France US and Russia


message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments In my opinion, recognizing Israel would be a major start, both by Syria and Iran, but equally so would sorting out the Palestinian problem, and that is a problem that makes the tasks of Heracles look painfully easy. Similarly, the argument that you can't go and inspect sites in the US, etc, is simply because they are too strong. If they say no, then it is no. Which gets around to Iran. The only justification for inspecting sites in Iran is that Iran has signed an agreement, and that agreement permits inspections to show they are not secretly violating it. There is no evidence whatsoever they are violating it, and huffing and puffing about what happened prior to 2003 does not change that.

As I see it, a contract is a contract. If either side violates any of the terms, the contract becomes void. Iran has not violated its side, as far as we know. If the US does, then it becomes void. The fact that Trump does not like the terms, tough. The idea that one side subsequently decides the agreement could have been better to it is irrelevant, because had they tried to be tougher at the time, Iran would not have signed. If you want Iran to avoid nukes, you have that deal. The idea that you might then want to bring in missiles, or the recognition of Israelis just tough. You made a deal. Live with it, or others will be far less interested in making deals in the future.

If the US decides to reimpose sanctions, you are right back to where you were, except that progress with North Korea goes out the window, the Iranian people will now be given an excuse to unite behind their leaders, and from what we saw of North Korea, the Iranian military program will presumably continue unaffected. So what then? Bombing strikes? That won't do much especially if Iran had bought SAM defence.

In my opinion, it is a bit hypocritical to go on about Iran's danger to peace while funding Saudis to bomb Yemenis into the stone age and have Wahhabi terrorists virtually everywhere. Do you really think Iranians are involved in all these suicide bombings?


message 18: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Ian, as you say - US is too strong. Why should it put up with a bad deal? You can say there is nothing that can be done or you can say there is and must be.
It's not a consensual deal arrived at free will. It's a deal done under duress of sanctions. More for worse than for good, the world is still about power and strength. US refused to trade dollars for gold in the past, withdraws from Paris agreement, raises tariffs, etc. Not sure Iranian deal is the only sacred cow. At that, I'm not saying that repudiating it is the best course of action.
Similarly, when Russia stations missiles near Kaliningrad its neighbors may feel threatened all they want, the rockets are still there.
I personally favor a softer approach, but there are parts of the world where softness is misunderstood, to put it mildly.


message 19: by Michel (last edited May 02, 2018 01:33PM) (new)

Michel Poulin Nik wrote: "So? So do US, UK, France, for example. If Israel indeed has nukes, we are friends and pose no threat to each other. Does Britain inspect US nuke sites or vice versa? You surely don't place Israel on the same square with Iran, do you?
Each country guards its secrets. To be suspected in espionage, for all I know is pretty grave in any place. Don't think 'without trial' would work currently..."


So? US, UK and France have declared decades ago that they possess nuclear weapons and have accepted visits by international inspectors. Not so Israel. I am not expecting Israel to open wide its nuclear facilities, but at least it should recognize publicly that it possesses nuclear weapons. Doing that won't endanger the country.

I believe that you way overreacted about my suggestion that Israel recognizes that it has nuclear weapons. Yes, Israel is friendly with the West and poses no danger to it and I don't put Israel on the same pedestal than Iran, but... The Israeli government has many times in the past tried to push the USA into attacking Iran in many ways, and is again trying to do it. Netanyahu's presentation truly had an audience of one: Donald Trump, and many people have understood that. If you are going to push the USA towards possible war with Iran via the use of bogus 'new revelations', then Israel should be honest with the rest of the World and own the fact that it has itself nuclear weapons. As for spying on allies, well...


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments Who says the original deal was a bad deal. The objective was to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the objective was gained (as far as we can tell). To change the rules and say we must now stop Iran from developing missiles may be a step too far. Look what happened to Gaddafi when he bowed down and yielded. Another point is the US is unlikely to want to invade Iran, despite what Saudi wants. They got nowhere in Afghanistan, and Iran is bigger and will probably be just as obstinate.

My view is the US would be just as well off to accept the deal, thank Iran and the Shia for their efforts against ISIS, and try and make peace. If Iran did not feel it has real enemies, and with cause, maybe it would stop this weapons development program. Yes, Iran could help by stop the rhetoric against Israel and the US, but sometimes the bigger guy has to make the first constructive step towards starting fights.


message 21: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Ian wrote: "Yes, Iran could help by stop the rhetoric against Israel and the US, but sometimes the bigger guy has to make the first constructive step towards starting fights. ..."

Ian that probably reflects their leadership's belief and if it were in their power ayatollahs wouldn't think twice to wipe US or Israel off the map. I don't think US contemplates under any scenario invasion into Iran. The only military option that is probably considered if worse come to worst is to dismantle the elements of Iran's program(s) militarily through precision strikes, but I don't think it's on the agenda..


message 22: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I wouldn't rule out such precision strikes too quickly, Nik. Remember that we are talking about Donald Trump, whose National Security Advisor, John Bolton, is considered a hawk among hawks. Also, Trump's base would probably love military strikes on Iran, and Trump knows it. 'Bread and Circus', the Romans said.


message 23: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments Yes, I suppose you could always let off a number of cruise missiles, and I suppose you could fire-storm some town or city, but what would that achieve? Th important stuff would be buried deeper and the hatred would grow. The real question is, where do you want this to end? Me, I would hope the objective was to get the various parties to stop shooting at each other and start trading, and have the various peoples get the best out of their lives, and I can't see the Bolton style - "bomb them" - doing anything but going in the opposite direction. This is not a call for appeasement - far from it - but I am strongly against any military expedition that does not have a clear end-goal in which the overall situation is improved providing it is successful. It was the lack of any end-goal worth having that spoiled Iraq, and in a military confrontation, it is the stronger side that has the responsibility for fixing the end-position.


message 24: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Israel destroyed Iraq nuke reactor in 1981 and Syria's recently. Nothing bad whatsoever happened in the aftermath and both waived nuke aspirations.
Hatred is there and will remain anyways, appease them or not. The stronger owes nothing to anyone, but if it feels threatened it might use strength to cut it short early. Nobody's yelling death to Iran. It's the opposite


message 25: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Nik wrote: "The stronger owes nothing to anyone, but if it feels threatened it might use strength to cut it short early. ..."

That is the problem I see too often around the Middle East: that being strong gives you the right to do what you want, including attacking others. I call it 'The law of the strongest', and Israel is as addicted to it than other countries in the region. The part about 'the stronger owes nothing to anyone' is especially troubling to me, as it is the perfect recipe for hubris and arrogance that could lead to over-aggressive reactions.


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments Nik, when you say "The stronger owes nothing to anyone" and implying strength gives you the right to do what you want, then it would seem that the only thing wrong worthy the holocaust was that Hitler was not as strong as he thought he was. Frankly, to me that is terrible, and I rather suspect you did not mean what you wrote.

Even if the strong don't go that far (and I am not suggesting any of the current players would think that way, except possibly ISIS -types) it is the justification the bully gives. He can do what he likes because he is bigger and stronger. I hate that concept too, and I would hope that the bigger and stronger ones would use a little sense, and use their position of strength more wisely.


message 27: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Interesting that you ignore my examples of Iraqi & Syrian reactors. One doesn't need to invade or topple regimes to achieve its goals.
Ian, I was referring to your 'the stronger side is responsible...' In my understanding being a weaker side doesn't give you any privileges and you remain just as responsible


message 28: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments There is very little Iran can do to US, but give it few years of unchecked development of ballistic missiles and the situ may change..,


message 29: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments Oh dear, I am sorry, Nik, for ignoring Iraqi and Syrian reactors. I really don't know much about them, but I assume they were not reactors, because bombing an operational reactor sends an awful lot of very bad stuff into the environment. So I would have started up the question, were they reactors, and in the absence of discharges, what was the evidence, and that would have started up the incessant debate of who needs evidence when you have belief? So I pulled out of that one, Nik.

Iran can't do anything to the US, and it is too far away to be able to do so in the foreseeable future. It has no nukes, or so the inspectors say, and it is not likely to get them unless cancelling the agreement sets them off again. My opinion, anyway.


message 30: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6172 comments Having read through these posts, I'll just say that I hope Israel has nukes. Who, in their position, wouldn't? But they're defensive in nature, not offensive, as far as I can see, and don't require inspection.

As far as the Iran deal, does anyone know how Trump would change the conditions?


message 31: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments Can anyone predict anything that Trump will do? I can't.


message 32: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Ian, I don't thing Iraqi or Syrian reactors bombed before becoming operational are in dispute and are with plenty of evidence. Evidence and solid intelligence are the same. Conclusions you draw from the evidence are not beliefs.
Did soldiers without insignia invading Crimea made you think they might've been aliens or did you still know they were Russian?
Now, there are literally tons of evidence as of Iran's military program, constantly denied existing by the Iranian establishment all these years -:)
I guess it's people with the same line of thought let N.Korea advance to the point, where they do pose a threat to the US with nukes and ballistics and Iran is 3-6 month before breakaway. I guess letting everyone have nuclear weapons is also an approach.


message 33: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments Nik, I did not deny those reactors - I merely said I have not seen any evidence, and that means I am unaware of it. If someone shows me, i'll believe it :-) On the other hand, as I said, i ignored it because i did not feel qualified to comment on it.

The soldiers walking into Crimea were obviously of Russian origin, and I assume the Russian military sent them.

Actually, Bibi only had half a tonne of documents :-)

The issue is not "letting them develop nukes". The question is, what do you do to stop it? As it happened, nobody stopped Israel. If you have a plan to stop Iran, after inviting them to restart again by altering the agreement that they have kept, let's hear it.


message 34: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Scout wrote: "Having read through these posts, I'll just say that I hope Israel has nukes. Who, in their position, wouldn't? But they're defensive in nature, not offensive, as far as I can see, and don't require..."

Thanks for support and understanding, Scout -:)


message 35: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Ian wrote: "Can anyone predict anything that Trump will do? I can't."

Trump himself might not know the answer yet -:)


message 36: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Ian wrote: "The issue is not "letting them develop nukes". The question is, what do you do to stop it? As it happened, nobody stopped Israel. If you have a plan to stop Iran, after inviting them to restart again by altering the agreement that they have kept, let's hear it. ..."

At least we agree on the aim.
My impression, friends might've helped Israel with it, if Israel indeed has it -:)
Don't think I have sufficient info to consider seriously each of the options and hatch a plan..


message 37: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3079 comments Iran current staus

Iran sya no nuclear programme
Inspectors agree
Europe and Russia agree
Israel claims they do have an active programme with document cache form pre-2003 as evidence but nothing provided post agreement in 2015
Israel previously bombed Syria and Iraqi nuclear sites that were on verge of becoming operational
Israel is adjacent to some countries that deny its right to exist
Israel has previously demonstrated by military might (67, 73 etc.) that it can pretty much wipe the floor with the adjacent armies but has been less successfully (as has the rest of the world) with guerilla type campaigns (Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, Gaza)
The US acts as guarantor for Israel's ultimate security
Israel has its own ultimate guarantor but does not comply with UN rules on Nuclear inspections which for example the 5 Perm Members of the Security Council do as well as separate treaties I previously mentioned like SALT and START.
The Iranian government is hostile to most of the world but particularly to Israel.
NK Has demonstrated a fledgling Nuclear capability
South Africa is, I believe, the only country to willingly give up it's nuclear weapons programme without either sanctions (Apartheid sanctions) or direct military action - Iraq, Libya etc.

Now we come to what Trump may or may not do at the urging of Israel - I'm still unsure.

In all the cases its a balance of risk and political grandstanding in public with potentially different approaches in the UN and private negotiation.

For NK do not underestimate China's role in persuading NK. Who will persuade Iran? That seems to have been hard money for release of some of the sanctions. If Israel or the US has hard evidence that Iran has broken the agreement then I have not seen it.

Should Iran be encouraged with other sanctions (and potential relief) if it cooperates in counter terrorism, ballistic missile etc? That is one approach which worked for Nuclear. The alternative is what? US withdrawal from Nuclear deal and re-imposition of sanctions. Diplomatic crisis with Europe, China and Russia plus UN who all back Nuclear deal. Iran re-starts nuclear and Israel and US have to deal with that.

NK watches what has happened and assumes (supported by China) that US will renege on any deal it might make (Yes we have to trust NK too)

Which approach will help bring peace and which approach will make war more likely?

I know what I think. Does Trump know what he thinks? He cannot seem to recall whether he had sex with or paid off a porn star on any given day or tweet. Then again he hasn't changed Secretary of State this month either. That doesn't help establish trust or diplomatic relations which many times work on personal relationship to get progress.


message 38: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Philip wrote: "South Africa is, I believe, the only country to willingly give up it's nuclear weapons programme without either sanctions (Apartheid sanctions) or direct military action - Iraq, Libya etc...."

That seems like a pretty accurate backdrop for the anticipated decision(s).
Would correct you only on Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan also waiving their nukes for assurances of their territorial integrity, which in Ukraine's case, as we can see, didn't quite work: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapes...


message 39: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments I would argue Iran has actually done a reasonable amount in countering terrorism, as without Iran, I am convinced ISIS would still be going. I know people think the Iraqi army did a lot in Iraq, and maybe they did, but without some Iranian backbone, it would not have happened, judging by how the Iraqi army fought before. It is true Iran has a strong anti Israeli bias, but apart from that, and apart from its fights against Wahhabis, which I argue is anti-terrorist, Iran has not been that bad of a citizen, at least in the last 20 years. And if you want to dig up history, the West has badly meddled and cheated Iran over oil. So I still think it should be possible to bring Iran to peaceful relations with its neighbours if a real effort was made. Can't see Trump/Bolton making that effort, though.


message 40: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments We may differ on good citizenry. And Iran's anti terror stance is a joke, as it's the prime sponsor and higher commander of a whole bunch of terrorists proxies, starting from Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and a bunch of others, widely recognized as terrorists by US, EU, Canada, Australia and even some by Arab League.
Just some data from Wikipedia:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_...
Backing Assad will probably won't be something bad in your eyes.
And yes - going for nukes, even if paused in the meantime


message 41: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments Nik, nothing much in that link changes what I said. Yes, Iran is using such tactics as asymmetric warfare. If all terrorism is bad, then the foundation of Israel was based on it, and it was shown to work by the likes of the Stern Gang. (If nothing else, Heydrich performed a remarkable coup of having Jews causing real trouble for the British while he was busy exterminating the Jews in Europe.) The US meddled intensely in Iran for the benefit of its oil industry and Iran felt it had to fight back. I am not saying that is good, but I am saying all this is not one-sided. If you are saying the guys with the biggest military can do what they like without consequences, then I guess we have to disagree that that is right and it isn't happening. It is the meddling like the bombing in Libya that has destabilized the middle east the most, together with the Shia - Sunni equivalent of the thirty years war. It might seem ugly, but compared with the thirty years war it verges on being highly polite. Religious fanaticism knows few restraining forces.

As for backing Assad, I know he is a pretty poor example, BUT what else works in that part of the world? His approach was secular, and he was a strong man. Take away the secular and you have religious war; take away the strong man, and you have current Libya. Ugly, I now, but it is what it is. That part of the world won't work as a democracy, at least not yet.


message 42: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments I was unaware of the distinction between bad and good terrorism and terrorism becoming an asymmetric warfare. You really believe in 'good terrorists'?

What's the difference between al-qaeda , isis, hezbollah and hamas? That the 1-st targets primarily US, the 2-nd- everyone, the 3-d and 4-th mostly jews? That makes some of them 'good'?

You yourself say Iran is hostile to many, yet you are lenient about them, explaining that there are worse.
That there is worse doesn't make bad good, in my opinion


message 43: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments Nik, you are right about "That there is worse doesn't make bad good". I seem to have drifted down a rabbit hole, so let me start again.

My view is from the point of view of strategy, any act should follow one goal at a time, which should be clearly stated. On the way to that goal, if all goes well, you should never say, "What now?" Once you reach the goal, you should always be able to step back in the firm knowledge that as a consequence of what you did, things are better than what they were. If you are not convinced that you can see your way through to your clearly defined goal, you should do nothing. Very specifically, you should not make matters worse, and that means for everyone/everything affected, not just you.

So, what is a clear goal in the Mid East that will make things better, and what steps are required to bring this about. So far, my argument is that the West has just been carrying out poorly thought out options that revolve around using military toys because they have them and the other guys haven't. As one example, the invasion of Iraq was carried out with what goal? Don't say remove chemical weapons because there weren't any and the inspectors told everyone that. So you succeed because in part the Iraqi army knew better than to stand and fight, the US had a golden opportunity, and then, what now? Send in a guy dressed in cowboy boots to run the place? Back Ahmed Chalabi, a fraudster? The fact was, they had no idea, and all they did was generate ISIS. The reason i am against these sort of actions is that all the West is doing is meddling, and making things worse.

As another aside, there is great hypocrisy here. Everyone is moaning about chemical weapons, but why has nobody protested against depleted Uranium projectiles, which, according to yesterday's NY Times has also been used in Syria by US forces. Depleted uranium on high speed impact burns in air, forms a smoke of uranium oxide, and if inhaled is a lung cancer coming in twenty or thirty years. Why is it fine to spread that around? Because we have it and they don't?


message 44: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Nik wrote: "I was unaware of the distinction between bad and good terrorism and terrorism becoming an asymmetric warfare. You really believe in 'good terrorists'?

What's the difference between al-qaeda , isis..."


It's a matter of which side you're on...one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter...


message 45: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments J.J. wrote: "It's a matter of which side you're on...one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter......"

I don't think so. A terrorist is a terrorist from your side or from theirs (for whoever they are). Of course, they all assume very nice and progressive names of 'freedom', 'liberation', whatever, but the means they choose to promote their agenda reflect very accurately their heinous essence.


message 46: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Ian wrote: "Nik, you are right about "That there is worse doesn't make bad good". I seem to have drifted down a rabbit hole, so let me start again.

My view is from the point of view of strategy, any act shoul..."


Ian, I agree that the Iraq invasion played out well in terms of military victory, but ended up poorly in terms of its rehabilitation. If anything, Iran is currently the prime beneficiary, as it calls the shots in Iraq and reaps most benefits from toppling Saddam.
But in Iran's case, in my opinion, the only military option weighed is/was surgical dismantling of nuke & missile infrastructure through aerial assault on the facilities. Similarly to dealing with Iraqi & Syrian reactors.
What will Iran do if it wakes in the morning and finds they are gone? Yeah, there would be a lot of venom, but don't think - much, at least not to US. They may attack Israel, like Saddam did in response to US invasion. May start all over again.
Yet, I hope it won't come to that....


message 47: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin You say that Iran couldn't do much to USA after a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities and missile infrastructure. I disagree.

First, most Iranian nuclear facilities, especially the centrifuges plants, are dug deep in the ground, with very thick concrete overhead protection. The Americans are not even sure that their most hard penetrating bombs can pierce through that much concrete. So, an American air strike may not even destroy those Iranian facilities.

Second, Iran may not be able to fire missiles directly at the USA (I doubt that they would do it even if they could, as they know that the American retaliation to an Iranian missile strike on the Continental USA would basically wipe out Iran from the face of the Earth. Iranian leaders may be fanatical, but they are not stupid.), but they can use asymetric warfare, as they have done many times. By this I mean covert terrorist attacks on American citizens and facilities (embassies, offices, tourist facilities) around the World, executed by proxies. They also could send large bombs to the USA by putting them in sea containers delivered unknowingly by third party countries. Will American customs check all of the thousands of sea containers that one single large container ship can carry? I doubt so. The USA has interests all over the World and can't possibly protect them all from terrorist acts.

Finally, I would state that I believe that it would be a huge mistake if Trump abrogated the nuclear treaty with Iran and would then strike it militarily. Right now, the one country causing the most mayhem in the Middle East, either directly or covertly, is an 'ally', Saudi Arabia, which is causing a humanitarian crisis via its bombings and blockade of Yemen and via its support for Wahhabi extremists and fanatics in the region and around the World.


message 48: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11783 comments In addition to what Michel said, Nik, your raid fails the "What now?" test. You send cruise missiles - most of them get somewhere near something, but if you look at the destruction following the Syrian cruise missile attacks, the chances of destroying really deep well fortified facilities are not good. You fear you have achieved at best a couple of days rubble clearing. Now what? You send in aircraft, and SAM defences shoot down a couple and Iran has the pilots. Now what? If it hasn't already done so, Iran starts digging a facility is terrain such as that just south of Bezgh, which would be a nightmare for a cruise missile and impossible for a bunker busting bomb. Now what?

Suppose the cruise missiles or whatever kill a number of Iranians and there is a strong anti American feeling. Iran sinks two US - owned tankers in the Gulf as retribution and closes the Gulf to oil shipments. Now what? Just how far are you prepared to go?

Given that Iran has been honouring its deal I still think the best strategy is keep them honouring it, and try to bring them to a more accommodating state with the rest of the world.


message 49: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Nik wrote: "J.J. wrote: "It's a matter of which side you're on...one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter......"

I don't think so. A terrorist is a terrorist from your side or from theirs (for who..."


Turkey considers the Kurds to be terrorists regardless of which side of the border they come from, but we seem able to differentiate...we're working with the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, and we don't look at them like terrorists...In their case, the distinction of "terrorist" depends on which part of the world you're from.

Israel considers the Palestinians to be terrorists (when they go to war every few years, Israel believes their is little to no distinction between the soldiers and the civilians), yet most of the world tends to disagree with that assessment...many nations believe the Palestinians are just fighting for freedom.

We've treated the Taliban as terrorists since we invaded Afghanistan, but I'm sure the Taliban fighters see themselves as a legitimate party fighting to restore their government...so much so, there's been talk now and then about negotiating a peace settlement.

I came across this site a while back that, at one point, feels like the creator is trying to paint patriots of the US Revolution in this light, calling them "radical patriots." http://www.ducksters.com/history/amer...

I think it is clear-cut when you talk about these stateless groups like Al-Queada whose sole purpose to to cause chaos, or these "lone-wolfs" who just want to kill people to no end, but there are a lot of gray situations where the distinction in that category or "history written by the victor."


message 50: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Ian wrote: "In addition to what Michel said, Nik, your raid fails the "What now?" test. You send cruise missiles - most of them get somewhere near something, but if you look at the destruction following the Sy..."

The deal leaves Iran with a breakaway capability of 3-6 months & ballistics. Is it the best deal possible? Not so sure. And in case of N.Korea the floating expectations are to dismantle nuke capability and not just freeze it.
I agree with you that if the assessment is that you can't destroy the nuke infrastructure, it would be stupid to attempt something impossible or demanding an unbearable price. It's just I don't think military planners are of that opinion.
With 'now what' - it'll always be speculations. One of the more plausible options that Iran won't do anything in retaliation, as Saddam's example is still fresh. With all their bravado neither Saddam nor Assad retaliated to a small Israel for destruction of their reactors. It's for a reason. If all the time you fear what they (somebody) will do, you never check anyone's nuke ambitions. N. Korea is an example, with quite a few presidents swearing they won't let it happen.
Strong anti - American feeling? You have it all the way anyway. That's why they use 'death to America' slogan.
Yet, I hope that it won't come down to a military showdown.


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