Iran Reported To Have Covert Nuclear Facilities

So said President Obama, French President Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The New York Times reports:

President Obama and leaders of Britain and France accused Iran on Friday of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying the country has hidden the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years. Western officials claim the site is built inside a mountain near the ancient city of Qum, one of the holiest Shiite cities in the Middle East.

Appearing before reporters in Pittsburgh, Mr. Obama said that the Iranian nuclear program “represents a direct challenge to the basic foundation of the nonproliferation regime.” French President Nicholas Sarkozy, appearing beside Mr. Obama, said that Iran had deadline of two months to comply with international demands or face increased sanctions. “The level of deception by the Iranian government, and the scale of what we believe is the breach of international commitments, will shock and anger the entire international community,” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, standing on the other side of Mr. Obama. “The international community has no choice today but to draw a line in the sand.”

This is no surprise it seems to me. I assume there had been a delay in this announcement due to the disputed election results in Iran. To wit, the West did not want to provide Iran's ruling regime a rallying point. As the reform movement has basically been stamped out in Iran, time ran out. This is a very difficult situation.

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    Though As the Article Points Out (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by The Maven on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:47:10 AM EST
    it was actually Iran which disclosed the second facility earlier this week, after realizing that the plant was no longer a secret:
    American officials said that they had been tracking the covert project for years, but that Mr. Obama decided to make public the American findings after Iran discovered, in recent weeks, that Western intelligence agencies had breached the secrecy surrounding the project. On Monday, Iran wrote a brief, cryptic letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying that it now had a "pilot plant" under construction, whose existence it had never before revealed.

    In a statement from its headquarters in Vienna on Friday, the atomic agency confirmed that it had been told Monday by Iran that "a new pilot fuel enrichment plant is under construction in the country." The agency said it had requested more information about the plant and access to it as soon as possible. "The agency also understands from Iran that no nuclear material has been introduced into the facility," said the statement said.

    On Friday, ISNA, an Iranian news agency, quoted an "informed source" as confirming the existence of the second uranium-enrichment site, describing it as similar to Iran's known enrichment facility at Natanz.

    So, if anything, it seems somewhat likely that the Iranian government knew that their secrecy had been breached and held off on the notification to the IAEA until the election protests had diminished, because Pres. Ahmadinejad and the mullahs didn't want to provide a rallying point for the protesters.

    Question... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:58:10 AM EST
    do UN weapons inspectors ever inspect US facilities?  I tried googling and it doesn't look like we've ever had our junk inspected, so why should the Iranians or anybody else?

    I honestly don't see the "difficult situation"...Iran does their thing and we do ours...this "we can , you can't" stuff is the stupidest thing ever.

    Iran is a dictatorship (none / 0) (#7)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:04:44 AM EST
    with the stated intent of destroying Israel.

    They shouldn't have nuclear weapons and irregardless they agreed to a treaty that they are now violating.

    We signed the same treaty and are not violating it.  hence we've never had inspectors and none are required.

    Your real question is is it fair that some countries have weapons when others don't.

    My opinion is yes.  


    If you ask Iran... (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:10:27 AM EST
    we are a colonial empire with the stated intent of world domination...we're both half full of sh*t.

    Nobody should have nuclear weapons, but we can't uninvent the damn things...the cats out the bag.  Iran may talk crazy but they ain't stupid...they know we can't invade Pakistan like we did Iraq and Afghanistan, and they know the reason why.  They'd be crazy if they weren't trying to nuke up.


    Kdog, really? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:14:11 AM EST
    We're the US they are Iran.

    Nothing wrong with acknowledging that we are better then them.

    They shouldn't have nuclear weapons.  The world will be better off if they don't.

    Example: A 12 year old shouldn't be allowed to own a firearm even when his dad does.  

    I'm as libertarian as they come but I acknowledge the occasional need for societies to enforce a standard and in this case a double standard.


    I wish I could... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:26:26 AM EST
    make the leap of faith we are better than them Slado, I really do.  My rulers treat me better than their rulers treat their people, so I can call us better in that regard, foreign policy wise not so much.  We can twelve year old it up with the best of them internationally...just look at Iraq.

    You already know it (none / 0) (#50)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:40:22 AM EST
    Don't confuse crimes our government commits with this particular instance.   That's moral relativism and is self defeating.

    Admit that in the long haul the USA has had a positive influence on the world.  We screw up all the time and do terrible things on occasion but that has more to do with human nature then our democracy.  People in power always act selfishly at times and even we are not immune to that.  

    Holding us to an impossible standard in order to equate an inferior country to a superior one is intellectually dishonest in my opinion.  

    I have full confidence that you my freind can make value judgements and this one's pretty simple.  America is flawed but Iran is simply awful and shouldn't have nuclear weapons.  


    I honestly don't know.... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:02:16 AM EST
    like I said, I agree wholeheartedly that Iran treats their people sh*ttier than ours treats us...but internationally, how many people have the Iranian army killed the last 6 years (outside of Iran)?  How many countries do they violently occupy?  

    C'mon bro, try to think objectively.  


    They've killed hundreds of our troops (none / 0) (#55)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:18:23 AM EST
    in Iraq.  I have a problem with that.  Don't you?

    So you admit they're a Sh%%%tier country then us but won't hold them accountable?

    Just doesn't make sense to me.  I also acknowledge that we shouldn't be the policeman of the world but that's not the questions.

    The only question is will the world be better off without a nuclear armed Iran?  We would all say yes.

    The rub is what do we do about it.  You seem to feel nothing because we have skeletons in our closet.   To me that's silly and self defeating.  

    A dirty cop should still be allowed to arrest a criminal.   It'd be better if he was a saint but I have no problem letting him arrest a murderer or rapist.

    That's the analogy. Are we perfect?  Of course not but we're a whole lot better then Iran and short of all out war we should stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

    It's not a hard call.


    I was with you (none / 0) (#75)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:02:45 PM EST
    until you pointed out that they've killed US troops in Iraq- to which I must respond- have any proof? And if you do, so what- if anything Iran has a far more legitmate interest in the developments in Iraq than we do- what with fighting a war that cost them quite possibly a million citizens that ended barely 20 years ago- it seems strange to try and say that Iranian efforts to shape the emerging Iraqi regime are illegitimate but ours are noble and benevolent.

    Nobody should have nuclear weapons, (none / 0) (#17)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:18:58 AM EST

    Yeah, thats the ticket.  Make the world safe for major power warefare.  Gak!

    Maybe you'd prefer (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Fabian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:33:19 AM EST
    different weapons of mass destruction?  Frankly, I think nerve gas is much better - only kills animals, doesn't damage buildings or plants - but it lacks the visual OOMPH of the classic mushroom cloud.  

    Humans are strange.  Numbers don't mean anything, but show us a dramatic picture and we'll pay attention.  So nuclear weapons are okay, (just don't use them!) but something far less destructive isn't.  Why?  Because the world's superpowers don't want to give up their BFGs.  They also don't want anyone else to have BFGs either - because we are the only ones who can be trusted with them.  

    I've got to stop thinking about this because it makes my brain hurt.


    By your logic... (none / 0) (#44)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:12:15 AM EST
    we should issue every nation a nuke free of charge, world peace will surely follow.

    Maybe it would, maybe its the end of the world...anybody feel like gambling?


    It is history not logic (none / 0) (#62)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:13:59 PM EST

    The long history of major power warfare ended with the arrival of nukes.  To assign that reality to mere coincidence is just silly.

    There is neither logic nor history to support your idea to give nukes to every country.  


    If the CIA is confident (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:07:05 AM EST
    that it knows what and where the facilities are, I would probably support taking it out--unilaterally if necessary.

    Yeah.... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:11:50 AM EST
    Bomb the sh*t out of 'em!

    Good grief.


    If they democratize and liberalize (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:13:55 AM EST
    I might be willing to countenance their having nuclear weapons.

    They're trying... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:36:43 AM EST
    See all those people getting gassed and beaten after the election...lets give 'em some time to overthrow their oppressors before we start shooting...especially since their oppressors haven't fired a shot at us.

    The people are trying, but the government (none / 0) (#24)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:37:45 AM EST
    is not. You know we had the help of France in the 1770s, right?

    I don't think they need nor require our help (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by iceblinkjm on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:41:46 AM EST
    and in fact we should let them do this on their own. It has not worked out very well when we have stuck our noses into things in the past. Remember folks we staged a coup against their democratically elected in the 50's.

    It is true that we have never properly (none / 0) (#30)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:43:19 AM EST
    acknowledged our role there in the 1950s, to our great discredit. But that cannot paralyze us today.

    Same here, same everywhere... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:43:03 AM EST
    the people are trying, the governments and their paymasters are not.

    Figure out a way to kill the governments without killing the people and I might be down...but war don't work that way...the governments are the last to fall, on top of a pile of dead poor slobs.


    You forgot Poland! (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:45:01 AM EST
    France was a dictatorship (none / 0) (#39)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:00:42 AM EST
    One of the shameful aspects of our revolution was using one tyrant against another for our benefit, and to the detriment of others far away.  If you think about it, all that proves is that NOTHING has changed -- i.e., we will suck up to whoever can help us, we will overlook any amount of wretched conduct toward people if it helps us.  Iran is going to have nukes and for one reason, and you can hardly argue with it, whatever your opinion of their gov't is -- and the reason is, unlike the US, they have been constantly threatend by the west, hell they had their only democratically elected leadership overthrown by the west.  To this day, I cannot believe how much we underplay this.  Yes, the Iranian gov't is full of violent sh*t, but we are just as full of that sh*t in our own ways, and many more people suffer for our ways than for theirs.  We have murdered over a million people all over the world in the last half century and for what?  So we can have regional power in places we have no moral right to have it.

    The United States of America IS the military industrial complex.  You know that, and I know that.  Our denial is sickening.  We are run by corporations that profit from murder, just like Iran is run by religous fanatics who sanction and benefit from murder.  The only difference, is we murder on an infinitely larger scale.  And that makes us what?  Superior?

    We piss into the wind and wonder what is making our eyes burn.


    To accept your arguement (none / 0) (#51)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:43:05 AM EST
    you have to forget the reality that America has had an extremely positive influence on the world.

    Democracy, the defeat of Nazi's and Communism just to name a few.

    I don't accept your moral relativism because it has no purpose.

    One can acknowledge the faults of our society and government and at the same time take corrective actions against a system that is even worse then ours.  

    It's called reality and getting stuck in limbo because of your misgivings against this country solves nothing.


    The U.S didnt invent democracy (none / 0) (#56)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:30:38 AM EST
    And if the USSR hadnt engaged and turned back 2/3 of the German army on the eastern front "we" wouldnt have saved the world in that instance. As for communism, I hate to tell you Gipper, but it's still thriving in some potentially highly volatile places in the world where the light from the shining city hasnt penetrated yet.

    I just hope your geopolitical analysis isnt as relativistic as your grasp on historty. And the claim that SOME countries should be allowed to hoard and trade in nukes is just another "moral relativism".



    Really? (none / 0) (#67)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:54:33 PM EST
    One can take glass is half empty view of our history but that does not make my point any less relevant.

    The US as a whole has been a positive influence on the world.   If you accept that on any level you should be able to accept the reality that this country can and should tell nations like Iran that they can't have nuclear weapons.


    Kind of an odd criterion (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:42:17 AM EST
    since the only country ever to actually use nuclear weapons was a liberal democracy.

    You're not going to make me defend that (none / 0) (#31)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:44:22 AM EST
    are you? (FTR, I think using them in the way we did was a mistake, but reasonable people can disagree about that).

    As the late, great (none / 0) (#78)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 12:26:05 AM EST
    William Sloane Coffin once said, Everybody thinks they're doing the right thing.

    I'm not arguing that Truman did the wrong thing.  The fact remains, he did it, and the U.S. was a liberal democracy at the time.

    The point, which I would have thought was obvious, is that being a liberal democracy does not actually appear to be any kind of guarantee that nuclear weapons -- or preemptive invasions -- will not be used and thoroughly and self-righteously justified.

    I could even make a pretty good argument that because of the pressure of internal politics, it makes it more likely, not less.


    The bombing of Nagasaki (none / 0) (#76)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:06:05 PM EST
    was arguably a horrible decision, but Hiroshima remains a relatively easy one to defend- frankly it saved lives on both sides and was less deadly than some conventional bombing campaigns- see the firebombing of Tokyo.

    I think that would be a disaster (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by CST on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:30:56 AM EST
    I don't want Iran to have nuclear weapons as much as the next guy.  But it does feel somewhat inevitable.  If they are gonna get them one way or another I would rather not make the population an enemy of the United States.  Iran is not North Korea.  Not talking to them is not an option.

    I'm all for talking to them (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:35:32 AM EST
    but if that fails, and they're obviously hiding a nuclear production site, I wouldn't hesitate to remove it. That doesn't mean an all out attack.

    It does mean... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:40:46 AM EST
    killing people no different than you or I...poor slobs just trying to get by cleaning toilets at the production site.  I don't wanna be party to that...no way, no how.  

    Not sure (none / 0) (#35)
    by CST on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:51:40 AM EST
    how you "remove" a nuclear production site without some form of attack, even if it is covert.  Not to mention, what gets released in the event of such an attack?  Giving everyone in Iran cancer is not a preferred option.

    Oh believe me, you could have (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:52:48 AM EST
    a much wider attack. You could even have an invasion.

    I would support neither.


    I'm not sure how that relates (none / 0) (#48)
    by CST on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:35:10 AM EST
    Of course you could always have a bigger attack.  To take it a step further, we could have just nuked Iraq instead of invading.  That doesn't justify a smaller attack.

    Again, how do you contain an attack so that taking out a nuclear facility doesn't endanger (and therefore infuriate) the population of Iran?

    I don't think that's even possible.


    Depends on how far along they are (none / 0) (#49)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:38:01 AM EST
    with the program. Obviously, there is no perfect solution.

    Iran isn't Iraq (none / 0) (#37)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:55:36 AM EST
    I think it does mean an all out attack. Iran has been able to sit back and watch the same situation unfold with Iraq. I don't expect them to roll over like Saddam did.

    Our disasterous invasion of Iraq is going to have repercussions for years. Rogue nations throughout the world will seek nuclear power if only to use as a deterrent against us. It's worked to keep N. Korea on the map. Saddam didn't and we saw what happened to him.

    The genie is out of the bottle and you can't put it back in. If we can live with a nuclear powered Pakistan, we'll survive Iran.

    I wish there was an answer for this. Sanctions would be great if countries adhered to them. I think the wars of the future will be won with the buck not the bomb. But we're nowhere near there yet.


    Your kingdom, andgarden, isn't looking too (none / 0) (#41)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:07:41 AM EST
    inviting right now.

    You can't even smoke there. (none / 0) (#43)
    by vicndabx on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:10:17 AM EST
    We should know... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:19:10 AM EST
    we're living in it.

    Wel they were confident... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by trillian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:44:53 AM EST
    ...as to where the WMDs were in Iraq.

    What could possibly go wrong?


    Much less if you're not attempting (none / 0) (#34)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:46:45 AM EST
    a full-scale invasion. (And of course, they really didn't have a clue where the weapons were).

    And of course.... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by trillian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:59:01 AM EST
    ....they will just sit by and not retaliate.....if not on the US, on our forces in Iraq/AfPak?

    Opening can of worms comes to mind


    Well, you've got to weight the cost/benefit (none / 0) (#40)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:02:08 AM EST
    I think the benefit of their not having nuclear weapons is pretty high. All of this assumes that it would be possible to make that happen, which I actually think is fairly unlikely.

    Yes, you sure do (none / 0) (#45)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:12:52 AM EST
    and you also have to consider there may be other solutions.

    Despite the protestations of the US and other (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by vicndabx on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:08:22 AM EST
    Western nations, we really have little choice other than to rattle our saber at Iran.  Best bet IMO is to let them develop their nuclear capabilities so they can view themselves as equals w/the other nuclear power in the region - Israel.  That's how it worked w/the US and Russia, that's how it worked w/India and Pakistan.  You can't threaten your enemies into compliance, er, um, peace.  Everyone has to feel like they have something to lose.  Of course, this will never happen in today's political climate.  Maybe it's just the space-movie fan in me, but the sooner we move past our fear of nuclear technology the better off we'll all be.  The cat's out of the bag already.

    Is the EU really going to impose sanctions? (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:48:26 AM EST
    I'll believe it when they do it.

    It's not the EU (none / 0) (#5)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:01:39 AM EST
    as much as the Russians and Chinese.

    The problem is that there is now no doubt that Iran is up to no good.

    So what will the world do about it?   When there is the hint of question it's easier to stall and debate, and negotiate in good faith etc... etc...

    Now we know Iran is lying, has been lying and will continue to lie.   So what now?   Russia and China can't really pretend that Iran isn't lying anymore but they may not care and pretend anyway to suit their interests.

    So when he EU and the US want to impose sanctions through the UN and China and or Russia blocks it then what?

    Israel won't wait but we also don't want them to act.

    It's a mess quite frankly and we must choose between two bad choices.


    The "up to no good" (none / 0) (#57)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:36:33 AM EST
    is 99.9% about supporting Hamas.

    If Iran hadnt been doing THAT we'd probobly be hearing alot less about Iran's nuclear program and how it threatens to be the end of life as we know it.


    What's your point? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:00:33 PM EST
    There is no serious argument to be made against the fact that a non Nuclear armed Iran is preferable to a non Nuclear armed Iran.

    Questioning this premise IMHO should remove you from the debate.

    The question is what should we be willing to do about it.   I'm all ears for your opinion on that.  

    Let's skip the bs an move on to the real debate.


    To me, it would be a pretty despicable (none / 0) (#54)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:06:11 AM EST
    commentary if it were to be easier to get EU and others in a coalition to bomb Iran, where (only) people are affected by such actions by death and destruction, than to get the same parties to enact sanctions, which might harm their own oil supplies and economies.  And, of course, at the end of that long day of death and destruction, the slam dunk targets may have proved to be aspirin manufacturers.

    That has been rendered a non possiblity (none / 0) (#69)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:02:05 PM EST
    since Iran is admitting they are Nuclear plants.

    The only doubt is are they for peaceful or weapons purposes.

    To me that's not even a doubt but we can be sure they are not aspirin factories.


    That is assuming we got the (none / 0) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:24:12 PM EST
    right target, and not the pharmaceutical plant nearby.

    I think your statement that the reform movement (none / 0) (#3)
    by iceblinkjm on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:57:53 AM EST
    as having petered out is woefully inaccurate. Did you not see the thousands that turned out for the Qods Day rallies? Do you not notice that Mousavi, Karoubi and Khatami continue to lead and demand the peoples rights? The Sea of Green is growing.

    Maybe they will (none / 0) (#6)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:03:05 AM EST
    Maybe they'll impose sanctions on Iran for breaking international law and refusing to disclose all information about their nuclear operations, just like they did with Israel...oh wait.

    With the U.S. now openly discussing a military strike on Iran, and with a nuclear-armed (although nobody's supposed to talk about it) and deranged, violent neighbor threatening its existence, perhaps it's not surprising that Iran feels it needs nuclear deterrence.

    This isn't even news -- the U.S. and allies have known about it for years. And yet all of a sudden this "revelation" coincides neatly with the drumbeat for war in Iran. This morning the news shows were all filled with blithering morons (excuse me, serious analysts) babbling about "simple military strikes" and the like. It's Iraq all over again. Yeah, a military strike on Iran would be the most insane, destructive, Armageddonesque act of suicide but it seems we're prepared to do just that.

    One problem with your statement (none / 0) (#11)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:08:56 AM EST
    Putting Isreal and Iran into the same pot.

    Last time I checked Isreal wasn't killing American troops.

    Isreal is a democracy, Iran is a dictatorship.

    Etc... etc...

    I agree with you that war with Iran should be avoided at all costs.  I disagree with your Iraq comparison.   We have way more evidence that Iran is a threat as compared to Iraq.   The mistakes made in Iraq shouldn't be used as and excuse to deny the real threat of Iran.   That being said the threat should be measured against the inevitable consequences of starting another war in the Muslim world.  

    Don't take pot shots at Israel to justify an otherwise solid argument.


    Honest Broker (none / 0) (#63)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:24:12 PM EST
    I all fairness, I didn't think it was taking pot shots at Israel to state the facts. We did (and continue to) turn a blind eye on Israel's nuclear power. Whether their a democracy or not really doesn't matter.

    If we're to play our role on the international stage, I think it's important to be an honest broker.


    People always leave out (none / 0) (#64)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:27:33 PM EST
    the part about it being a democracy for those whose mothers went to the right church.

    Just like Mississipi was fully democratic for Bull Conner and his family.


    Israel's a democracy (none / 0) (#77)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:09:34 PM EST
    in the same way South Africa was a Democracy in the 1980s.

    And really (none / 0) (#8)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:06:12 AM EST
    Now we know Iran is lying, has been lying and will continue to lie.   So what now?  

    Really: So what? We've lied our asses off about all kinds of things (WMDs anyone?) as have all the other countries now getting all sanctimonious about Iran.

    I have yet to hear a valid reason why Iran should not be allowed to develop its nuclear capabilities. Not one. But I have heard a lot of compelling ones why it might need to.

    I can't agree with all of that (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Fabian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:24:33 AM EST
    but if I had to choose which of two countries to allow nuclear weapons, and it was Russia or Iran, I'd pick Iran.  Russia is too big and too ready to throw its weight around. Iran doesn't have a history of political stability, but it is too vulnerable to try to actually use nuclear weapons.  (Let alone Russia's horrible record of failing to secure radioactive materials.)

    I'd be happier if Iran never got a nuclear weapon (mostly because of Israel), but I don't think the country is some kind of imminent threat, with or without them.


    I'm with you (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:40:10 AM EST
    Unfortunately, George Bush taught all these countries that the only way to be safe from attack by the U.S. is to have nuclear weapons.  Can't roll that back, unfortunately.  Qaddafi actually made a couple of good points in his long, weird tirade at the U.N.  He said, basically, Obama's a good guy and we trust him, but there will be other presidents of the U.S. after he's gone.

    Despite the over-the-top rhetoric, Iran has never made the slightest aggressive move towards any other country, and as somebody pointed out above, they may be crazy but they ain't stupid.

    Non-proliferation is a nice goal, but that cat's long out of the bag.  I think we should put some serious attention to figuring out how to live with it because we're not going to be able to stop it.  I rather liked Hillary's idea of an explicit "nuclear umbrella."

    I've yet to see an example of a truly suicidal regime, and Iran certainly isn't one.


    I view the kidnapping and false imprisonment (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:54:29 AM EST
    of U.S. citizens in Tehran as aggression on the part of Iran toward the U.S.

    And C.I.A spooks (none / 0) (#61)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:13:28 PM EST
    training SAVAK torturers was what, an act of beneficence?

    Two wrongs etc. I was responding (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:34:41 PM EST

    Iran has never made the slightest aggressive move towards any other country

    Looked at in the historical (none / 0) (#66)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:38:30 PM EST
    context I added, it was a SLIGHT aggressive move, IMO.

    I doubt that is how the captives would (none / 0) (#71)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:33:47 PM EST
    describe it.  

    Well, we did deliver those (none / 0) (#72)
    by oldpro on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:23:23 PM EST
    hostages right to their door...not wholly unlike delivering all those pilots to North Vietnam to stock their POW prisons.

    Employees of U.S. embassy? (none / 0) (#73)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:10:33 PM EST
    The longer I try to (none / 0) (#74)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 03:40:28 PM EST
    summon up sympathy for these people ensconced in Tehran under Helms, the more I start feeling like Ward Churchill.

    Not to mention (none / 0) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 12:29:57 AM EST
    overthrowing their government and installing our own puppet dictator?

    Please.  The U.S. has shown many, many times more overt and explicit aggression against Iran specifically (how about, for instance, supplying Saddam Hussein with chemicals for his nerve gas and egging him on in the Iran-Iraq war?) than Iran ever has against any other country.

    Frankly, I'd say they have more than enough reason to want defensive weapons to protect themselves from  aggressors, ie US


    You're making excuses for Iran? Really? (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:08:16 AM EST
    What a joke.

    Seriously (none / 0) (#13)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:10:28 AM EST
    Once can make a serious argument for pacifism.  When you have to tear down your own country (I presume) and Israel to do so however you are hard to take seriously.

    As with nukes (none / 0) (#60)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:03:27 PM EST
    some countries can make excuses and some cant.

    Btw, C.I.A spook master Richard Helms as U.S ambassador to an unstable, volatile Iran, was a diplomatic stroke of genius. How dare those ungrateful Iranians suspect embassy employees of being spys!


    I think that our own intelligence agencies (none / 0) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:47:45 AM EST
    should have taught us to be skeptical of any definitive Iranian nuclear capability. In December of 2007, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) stated with "a high degree of confidence" that Iran halted its nuclear program in 2003.  This NIE was more categorical that the usually more cautious IAEA.  Today, there appears to be debate on the issue, with Dennis Blair stating that it would not be until 2013 to acquire a nuclear weapon if the big mullahs decided to do so. So much for precise long term predictions.  Certainly, we need to continue to obtain and assess the intelligence and prepare contingencies. Diplomacy and sanctions are our best weapons at present.  But, rushing into a bombing decision (surgical, of course) is unnecessary and unwise.  Time is not of the essence, especially in a country that has its own political unrest going for us (yes, attacking other countries may seem to be a unifier, until that retaliatory radiation melts the populace eyeballs).   With our track record in Iraq, including those "deadly aluminum tubes" and other "slam dunk" evidence of WMD, preventive attacks are not to be undertaken as blithely as in the past.

    We're broke Remember (none / 0) (#59)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:01:33 PM EST
    I just hope Obama and the Democrat's don't try to show the Republican's that they aren't the only tough guys on the block.

    Democrat's have been paranoid about being veiwed as weak on national security since Viet Nam.  

    We've already got 2 wars going and neither has worked out quite according to plan. And since all I'm hearing since the HCR bill debate began:

    We're broke! The cookie jar is empty!

    I just don't see how we can get wrapped up in another.