Contrary to Barack Obama’s statement that ‘there is nothing new in Netanyahu speech,’ there is actually a great deal of wisdom behind Israel’s Prime Minister’s claims.
Let us check the ‘FIVE KEY POINTS’ of Benjamin Netanyahu’s moving speech to the Congress in light of the negotiations on Iran Nuclear Program:
“Iran not only defies inspectors, it plays a pretty good game of hide and cheat with them. … Right now, Iran could be hiding facilities that we don’t even know about.”
In a CNN interview last November, 2014, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said, he cannot yet confirm that Iran’s enrichment program is peaceful in nature.
“We can verify that they are honoring the commitment that they have made, and we give the assurance every month, but the problem is that we cannot yet give the assurance that all nuclear activities in Iran is in peaceful in purpose. We cannot yet give the clean bill of health.”
Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim of Iran’s deception was confirmed by a revelation from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
During a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC last February 24, 2015, Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Head of the National Council Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed a series of satellite images drawn from Google maps showing the location of the “secret uranium enrichment site” which was hidden in a military base in the northeastern suburbs of Tehran.
The “secret uranium enriching site” called, Lavizan-3 was built between 2004 and 2008 and has underground laboratories connected by a tunnel.
According to NCRI Intelligence Sources within the Iranian regime, Iran has used Lavizan-3 since 2008 for its discreet research and uranium enrichment with advanced IR-2m and IR-4 centrifuge machines.
The existence of the site was “a clear violation” of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as UN resolutions and an interim November 2013 deal struck with global powers gathered in the P5+1 group.
Under the interim accord, Iran agreed not to allow “any new locations for enrichment” and to provide IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog, all information about its nuclear facilities.
Iran played this same ‘hide-and-cheat’ game with IAEA in the past.
In 2002, a delegation of the IAEA led by Mohamed El-Baradei discovered two unknown nuclear facilities in Iran which could be used to produce nuclear weapons. One, in Arak and the other one in Natanz. That same year, Iran purchased a special gas in China that could be used to enrich uranium for the production of nuclear weapons. The purchase was concealed from IAEA.
Another lie of Iran was uncovered in February 2004 with the discovery of a design for a far more advanced high-speed centrifuge to enrich uranium that would allow Iran to produce nuclear fuel far more quickly than its present equipment.
The past lies plus, the latest revelation from the NCRI is a clear sign that Iran is not capable of following any treaty, deal or agreement in place. Not before, not today, not in a year –definitely, not in ten years.
“Iran’s Supreme Leader … says Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount — 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal, and this is in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision.”
In a speech addressed to its government officials on July 7, 2014, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released this statement:
“Their goal (the P5+1) is that the Islamic Republic — in regard to the suitable enrichment capabilities, for instance, which is one of the issues — to be satisfied with 10,000 SWU; however, they started at 500 SWU and 1,000 SWU. Approximately 10,000 SWU is the output of approximately 10,000 centrifuges — from the outdated ones we’ve had and have. This is their goal. Our officials say that we need 190,000 SWU.”
Under the deal currently being negotiated, Netanyahu said, “not a single nuclear facility would be demolished … Iran’s breakout time would be very short — about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel’s.”
The Institute for Science and International Security in February 2014 estimated that Iran’s ability to “break out” — to produce enough weapons-grade enriched uranium for a bomb using facilities it’s already declared — to stand at about two months. To ‘break out’ without being caught by the international community, Iran would have to enrich uranium at facilities it hasn’t disclosed to the IAEA, and that organization has said it can’t be sure that such facilities don’t exist. Differences over Iran’s breakout time are a key sticking point in the negotiations, with the United States and other world powers pushing for that period to be extended to at least one year by limiting the type and numbers of centrifuges Iran can use and the amount of enriched uranium it can keep.
A group of experts predicted that Iran could reach “breakout capacity” if the number or efficiency of its centrifuges unexpectedly increases, or if Tehran has a secret operational enrichment site.
*November 7, 2014 report of the IAEA revealed an 8% growth of Iran’s uranium stockpile since the previous August 2014 report. That’s an alarming 8% rise in just a matter of 3 months.
*Lavizan-3, a secret uranium enrichment site is a facility NOT disclosed by Iran to the IAEA; and one that the Iranian government has been secretly using since 2008.
Equating Iran with ISIS, Netanyahu said that “one calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world.”
Similarities: Islamic State (ISIS) and Islamist Republic (Iran)
- Both fall short of the idyllic visions they profess.
- Both have engaged in political inequities, human rights violations, economic corruption and social discrimination.
- Both describe the state as an entity embodying a pure, idealized form of Islam.
- Both officials benefited disproportionately compared to other sectors of society.
- Both imposed Sharia-based forms of punishment under Islamic law known as, Hudud.
- Both seek to export their forms of Islamic governance.
“Backed by Iran, (President Bashar al-) Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke point on the world’s oil supply.”
“At the same time that it is talking to world powers, at the same time that Iran is smiling and saying all kinds of honeyed words, that same Iran is sending lethal weaponry to terrorist organizations and it is doing so in a complex web of covert, worldwide operations,”
—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Now, that claim has a great deal of truth in it.
Here is the list of specific countries and incidents where terrorist attacks and terrorist groups linked to Iran were noted:
- India –bomb attack on February 13, 2012 targeting an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi. The attack was attributed to terrorists belonging to a branch of Iran’s military, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
- Israel –Iran was known to provide support to terrorist groups Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. From 2000 to 2004, Hamas was responsible for killing nearly 400 Israelis and wounding more than 2,000 in 425 attacks, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2001 through May 2008, Hamas launched more than 3,000 Qassam rockets and 2,500 mortar attacks into Israel.
- Hezbollah –(1) The 1982-1983 Tyre Headquarters bombing; (2) The blowing up of a van filled with explosives in front of the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon; (3) The 1983 Beirut barracks bombing of the US Marine and French Drakkar barracks. This particular attack was directed by the Iranian government; (4) The 1983 Kuwaiti bombings; (5) The 1984 US Embassy annex bombing; (6) The hijacking of TWA flight 847 in 1985; (6) The Lebanon hostage crisis from 1982-1992; (7) The August 1989 bombing in London in a failed assasination attempt on The Satanic Verses author, Salman Rushdie. The Iranian government put a $2.5 million bounty on Rushdie’s head over the The Satanic Verses novel and repeatedly called for his death as recently as 2005; (8) The bombing of the Israeli embassy in 1992; (9) the bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina in 1994; (10) The 1994 AC flight 901 attack in Panama; (11) The 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia. Again, this one was directly planned, funded and sponsored by a senior leadership in the Iranian regime; (12) The 2012 Burgas bus bombing in Bulgaria; (13) The firing of hundreds of rockets into northern Israel on a daily basis and capture of Israeli soldiers in 2006, and; (14) The 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri at the direction of the Iranian agents.
- Iraq –Iranian proxies killed an estimated 1,100 US troops in Iraq, smuggled weapons to arm Iranian allies among the Shiite militia, and trained and armed both Shiite and Sunni militias operating in Iraq.
- Kenya –Two members of Iran Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force was arrested on June 22, 2012 in an attempt to assasinate Gil Haskel, Israel’s ambassador to Kenya.
- Al Qaeda ties –Al Qaeda and Iran formed an alliance during the 1990s in which Hezbollah trained Al Qaeda operatives. After the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Iran evacuated hundreds of Al Qaeda personnel from Afghanistan, allowing the formation of an Al Qaeda “management council” on Iranian soil.
- Involvement in the 9/11 disaster –The 9/11 Commission report stated that 8 to 10 of the hijackers on 9/11 passed through Iran and their travel was facilitated by Iranian border guards. The report also noted that “a senior operative of Hezbollah” was on the flights that convoyed the future hijackers from Saudi Arabia to Tehran, along with Iranian agents. Defectors from Iran’s intelligence service testified that Iranian officials had “foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.”
- Riyadh Compound bombings –Reports gathered by journalists, Seth Jones and Peter Bergen alleged that the 2003 Riyadh Compound bombings were planned by Al Qaeda operatives in Iran, with apparent Iranian complicity.
- Taliban insurgency –According to General David Petraeus, they intercepted a shipment of weapons unquestionably from the Iran Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force through a known Taliban facilitator. Documents released by Wikileaks in 2010 provide further information on Iranian support for al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
- Mykonos restaurant assasinations –German court issued an international arrest warrant for Iranian intelligence minister Hojjat al-Islam for his direct involvement in the September 17, 1992 assasinations of the Iranian-Kurdish insurgent leaders. The Iranian minister declared that he ordered the assasinations with knowledge of supreme leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Ayatollah Rafsanjani.
- Accusations of sponsoring at least least 30 terrorist attacks between 2011 and 2013 “in places as far flung as Thailand, New Delhi, Lagos, and Nairobi”, including a 2011 plot to assasinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the US and bomb the Israeli and Saudi embassies in Washington, DC.
- In 2013, a former Iranian official speaking for Iran’s Ammar Strategic Base think tank threatened “mass abductions and brutal killings of American citizens around the world and the rape and killing of one of Obama’s daughters should the United States attack Syria.
- Syria –Iran has provided significant support for Syrian Government in the Syrian Civil War including logistical, technical and financial support, as well as training and some combat troops.
- Yemen —Iran has supplied weapons, money and training to the Shi’ite Houthi militia that seized Yemen’s capital in September 2014. In 2003, the ship, Jihan I that smuggles weapons from Iran to local insurgents, was seized by the Yemeni authorities. A breakdown of the cargo, included Katyusha rockets M-122, heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles, RPG-7s, Iranian-made night vision goggles and artillery systems that track land and navy targets 40km away. There were also silencers, 2.66 tonnes of RDX explosives, C-4 explosives, ammunition, bullets and electrical transistors.
- Sudan –In March 2014, the Israeli navy in the Red Sea intercepted a cargo vessel heading to Sudan, which was travelling from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas to the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr. The shipment includes 40 M302 rockets and fuses, including four different variations of the rockets; 181 120 mm mortar shells; roughly 400,000 pieces of 7.62 caliber ammunition. Despite Iranian denials, the experts said official seals from Iranian customs authorities on containers that held some of the arms “substantiates the Iranian origin of those containers.” Further evidence on the Iranian origin came from the Iranian bill of lading, cargo manifest and the container stowage plan.
This latest discovery of the shipment of arms and related material found aboard the Klos C is a violation of Iran’s obligations under paragraph 5 of resolution 1747 of the United Nations arms embargo on Tehran. The finding of the UN experts panel came just days ahead of the next round of negotiations in Vienna between Iran and six world powers aimed at securing a deal that would gradually lift international sanctions on Tehran — including the arms embargo — in exchange for curbs on the controversial Iranian nuclear program.
A CLOSER LOOK AT IRAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM
List of Declared Nuclear Facilities and LOF’s in Iran
- Tehran Research Reactor
Molybdenum, Iodine and Xenon Radioisotope Production Facility
- Jabr Ibn Hayan Multipurpose Laboratories
- Miniature Neutron Source Reactor
- Light Water Sub-Critical Reactor
- Heavy Water Zero Power Reactor
- Uranium Conversion Facility
- Fuel Manufacturing Plant
- Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant
- Enriched UO2 Powder Plant
- Fuel Enrichment Plant
- Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant
- Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant
- Iran Nuclear Research Reactor
- Karaj Waste Storage
- Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
- 360 MW Nuclear Power Plant
- 10 MW Fars Research Reactor
Nine (all situated within hospitals)
Advancement of Iran Nuclear Program from 2007 – 2015
- June 2007 –Iran had produced 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of enriched uranium. Experts say that about 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of enriched uranium would be needed for one bomb.
- April 8, 2008 –Ahmadinejad announced that Iran has started to install 6,000 new centrifuges at its uranium enrichment facility at the underground Natanz facility.
- September 25, 2009 –Iran’s second fuel enrichment plant which was hidden from weapons inspectors, was disclosed.
- January 2010 –The CIA issued a public report indicating that Iran had installed centrifuges at the underground Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant near Qom and initiated production of near 20-percent enriched uranium there.
- February 2010 –Tehran announced it had begun enriching uranium to a higher level of purity, 20 percent, one step closer to producing weapons-grade uranium
- August-November 2012 –Iran’s stockpile of higher-grade uranium rose nearly 50% and was approaching the 250 kg needed to make one atomic bomb. By combining its stockpiles of low-enriched and higher-enriched uranium, Iran could make weapons-grade fuel of around 90% purity.
In 2012, a satellite imagery detected evidence of a clean-up operations around Parchin, a military complex roughly 20 miles outside of Tehran. IAEA inspectors were given “partial access” to the base as a confidence-building measure in 2005, but have been denied permission since then to conduct further inspections. Analysts suspect Iran may be trying to erase radioactive traces that may have been associated with testing of a nuclear trigger. Following the report of the clean-up efforts, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China called on Iran to allow UN inspectors to visit the Parchin military site. Iran denied the request and the accusations.
Another revelation providing new evidence of Iran’s intent to build a bomb was a diagram obtained by the IAEA and leaked to the press that indicated Iranian scientists had run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon. The IAEA reportedly has additional secret documents that also support the conclusion that Iran is working on a weapon.
- January 2013 -Iran announced plans to use more sophisticated centrifuges that will allow it to enrich more uranium. The declaration came just before negotiations were to restart. Iran is now capable of quadrupling the enrichment of 20 percent uranium at its Fordo facility.
- April 8, 2013 –Iran opened the Saghand 1 and 2 uranium mines in the central city of Yazd, and the Shahid Rezaeinejad yellow cake plant at Ardakan, believed to be capable of producing 60 tons of raw uranium annually.
- May 2013 –Iran has installed almost 700 advanced IR2m centrifuges at Natanz, compared with 180 in February.
This same month, it was revealed that Tehran has started to produce plutonium. Iran is also continuing to conceal the military base at Parchin, covering it with asphalt and restricting the work of nuclear inspectors who believe it was used to test nuclear triggers. In the last three months, the IAEA disclosed that Iran increased its total stock of low-enriched uranium by almost 8 percent, to nearly 10 tons.
- August 2013 –Iran’s stockpile of 20% enriched uranium has reached 185.8 kilogram. Iran has now installed 1,008 advanced (IR-2M) centrifuges at Natanz.
Meanwhile, Iran continues to stonewall the IAEA and prevent a complete inspection of its nuclear facilities.
- August 2014 –Iran was discovered, undertaking “mechanical” tests on a new centrifuge system. These new advanced centrifuges could allow Iran to come up with a nuclear weapon at a much faster rate than before.
- October 6, 2014 –A huge explosion tore through Iran’s Parchin nuclear facility leaving two workers dead. The blast was so powerful that it shattered the windows in buildings up to 9 miles from the facility. Allegedly the blast was an accident that occured when weapons materials were being transported. The Iranian government has refused the IAEA access to the Parchin nuclear facility since 2005.
- November 7, 2014 –Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile had grown 8% since August, now totalling 8.4 tons.
- January 2015 –Iran announced expansion of the Bushehr nuclear power facility, with the intent of building two new nuclear power facilities in the vicinity.
IAEA November 7, 2014 Report (Excerpts)
D. Enrichment Related Activities
Contrary to the relevant solutions of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, Iran has not suspended all of its enrichment related activities
H. Possible Military Dimensions
Previous report by the Director General have identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and actions required of Iran to resolve these. The Agency remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of nuclear payload for a missile.
Information was leaked in early March that during negotiations the United States under Obama Administration was only pushing for Iranian nuclear activity to be halted for the next ten years. The emerging agreement was lambasted by critics, claiming that after the ten year period we would be back in the same situation, in a similar political climate, without any significant changes. Two days after this information was leaked, Iranian negotiator Mohammed Javad Zarif stated that this ten year freeze on nuclear operations was “unacceptable,” but stated that the negotiations would continue.
Approaching the last weeks until the deal deadline, on March 3, the United States negotiating team laid out their “bottom lines,” or areas where the United States was not willing to budge. These bottom lines include that:
- Any deal struck should provide for a minimum breakout time of one year
- Iran should not produce weapons-grade plutonium at the Arak reactor
- Iran should not use the Fordo nuclear plant to enrich uranium (leaving only the Natanz plant for uranium enrichment)
- Iran should reduce their number of operating centrifuges significantly
- Iran should agree to full inspections of nuclear and production facilities, as well as mines and mills
- Under the agreement, sanctions against Iran must be phased out over time
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
It was revealed in early November 2014 that during the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, President Obama wrote a secret letter to Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei expressing their mutual interest in defeating the Islamic State. Cooperation between the United States and Iran is extremely rare, and the nuclear negotiations during 2014 represent the most sustained period of diplomacy between the two countries since 1979’s Islamic Revolution. This is the fourth letter that Obama has written to Khamenei, and these suggest that the US President is genuinely interested in pursuing a mutually beneficial relationship with Iran in the future.
* * *
Delivering his first remarks on the extension, on November 25, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that the Western nations had “failed to bring Iran to it’s knees.” According to Khamenei’s personal website, during a meeting with many of Iran’s top Muslim clerics he stated that:
“In the nuclear issue, America and colonial European countries got together and did their best to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees, but they could not do so — and they will not be able to do so.”
* * *
In a speech at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said:
“They (world powers) tried their utmost to prevent Iran from going nuclear, but Iran has gone nuclear. This nuclear technology and power and science has been institutionalized … All the stages are in our control and every day that we go forward a new horizon opens up before the Iranian nation.”
* * *
Following the speech of Prime Minister Netanyahu in the Congress, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, the international powers negotiating with Tehran to curb its nuclear program have two choices: they can either reach a deal with Iran, or see its efforts for a “peaceful” atomic program accelerate.
“The P5+1 must either reach an agreement with Iran within the framework of logic and the international law nand the sooner they do it, it’ll benefit everyone involved. Or else, they will have to deny the facts and continue with their sanctions regime, in which scenario they will have to witness the faster progress of Iran’s peaceful program.”
The overaching question bearing on these talks is whether Iran is willing to confine its nuclear activities solely to civil purposes. That question cannot be answered solely by Iran’s willingness to limit the scope of its work at declared nuclear sites. It is of the greatest importance that, before any final accord is struck, there should be no doubt that Iran has made a fundamental strategic decision: to join the international community instead of defying it, and to get permanently off the path toward becoming a nuclear weapon state. Until Iran makes that decision, any accord will be but a tactical maneuver used by Iran to soften the impact of the sanctions, while preserving its ability to make weapons.
But, if one is to weigh the statements of the top influential leaders of Iran, it is quite obvious that the rebellious nation has less to zero plans of succumbing to a P5+1 deal that doesn’t meet its terms. This is when Netanyahu’s alternative solution should be strongly considered. Impose tougher sanctions, impose tougher deal —call their bluff.
Yes, why not?
A bully will keep on harassing and threatening its victim unless, the victim decides to face him and call his bluff once and for all. Iran is playing its cards well. They’re gambling on the world leaders’ fears –on our fears. And the way US President Barack Obama is dancing to Iran’s tune, I can almost guess who is winning this game.
But, this is just my opinion.
I can only speak for myself based on my own analysis. I cannot speak for everyone.
That said, I will leave you with these ‘FOUR QUESTIONS’ that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked in his emotional speech to the Congress last March 3, 2012:
1. Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger?
2. If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it’s under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted?
3. Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?
4. Why should Iran’s radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world’s: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?
The answers are glaring at us.