Iran has now defied the E.U.-3 by resuming uranium processing at Isfahan. During the months of negotiations, Iran has put in place somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 advanced centrifuges. Just as soon as Iran gets enough uranium hexafluoride produced at Isfahan, Natanz will be re-opened to begin processing the uranium hexafluoride to weapons-grade uranium.
What has the Bush administration done about it? As I predicted in “Atomic Iran,” the E.U.-3 negotiations were bound to fail, simply because the mullahs were playing the Europeans for fools. They only stopped enriching uranium because they had technical problems at Isfahan and Natanz, so they wanted to buy time.
What will happen next? Iran will make an atomic bomb. They already have proved their Shahab-3 missile is solid-fuel ready. This reduces the launch time to virtually nothing, making the Shahab-3 harder to hit by the Patriot and Arrow anti-missile systems we and the Israelis have in place. A missile is most reliably downed immediately after launch. Hitting a missile when it is in the final stages of heading to earth is like hitting a bullet, with a bullet – almost impossible. The Shahab-3 will easily reach Tel Aviv.
I wrote in “Atomic Iran” that terrorists do not stockpile weapons, they use them. Once the mullahs have atomic bombs ready to go, we run the risk of waking up to an Atomic 9-11 surprise. On some sunny, beautiful morning we may find out the mullahs have atomic bombs only because we see a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv or New York City.
I also wrote in “Atomic Iran” that the technical problems terrorist sleeper cells face in getting an improvised nuclear device are largely solved once a terrorist regime such as Iran can manufacture the bomb and ship it into the United States in containers. Our ports are still far from secure. Will we someday be reading the Atomic 9-11 Commission Report and pointing fingers that the Bush administration failed to gather the intelligence that prevented a nuclear explosion in one of our major cities?
The likelihood is that we will, unless the mullahs are stopped. This is not alarmist fear-mongering. Even if the mainstream media does not want you to hear it, terrorists have discussed and plotted nuclear attacks in an American city for years. It took years to perfect the techniques to hijack airplanes and fly them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Terrorists are patient and Osama bin Laden believes history is on his side.
With the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president, the hard-liners in Iran are in full control. Naming the former deputy intelligence minister, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, as interior minister is a clear sign that the brutal suppression of any internal dissent will be intensified in months to come. The hunger strike of Akbar Ganji has continued since June 11, with almost no international attention. Why isn’t Akbar Ganji achieving the international fame of a Nelson Mandela, a Andrei Sakharov, or a Vaclav Havel? The answer is simple: The mullahs have over $200 million a day in oil windfall profits and they have bought the best talent money can buy worldwide – a legion of lawyers, public-relations consultants, lobbyists, and media consultants are on the mullah payroll, including many here in the United States.
The mullahs mean to press their radical Islamic revolution against the world and they are determined that nuclear weapons are the path to their world historic destiny of success. Who is going to stop them now? Was President Bush’s Second Inaugural Address just meaningless rhetoric, or will he really stand with the Iranians who want a free Iran? Right now, the mullahs are winning. They are consolidating their power and moving toward nuclear weapons capability.
The opportunity for peaceful internal change – the best option, the one we should have pursued with prompt and meaningful funding to serious opposition groups – is slipping by fast. We can go to the Security Council, but that will be worthless. China and Russia will block any meaningful actions. Besides, with oil at $66 a barrel, nobody in the world is going to take more sanctions against Iran seriously. Unfortunately, we are now headed toward one of two undesirable outcomes – military confrontation, or the mullahs will soon have all the atomic weapons they want. There’s not much else left. All this is proceeding along the track I predicted events would take when I wrote “Atomic Iran.”
President Bush’s legacy is on the line with Iran. His father did not remove Saddam Hussein when he had the chance in the first Gulf War. If President Bush does not stop the mullahs from having a nuclear weapon, the world will soon face nuclear blackmail and the blame will be laid on President Bush’s doorstep. President Bush is allowing the mullahs to lie and cheat their way to nuclear weapons, on his watch.
Relying on the Europeans was a bad idea – the mullahs just gained time. Let’s hope President Bush gets his resolve soon and decides not to make Iran somebody else’s problem.