News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for August 23rd, 2010:
- Reuters: Ramin Mostafavi reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a Japanese newspaper on Friday that Iran might be willing to stop higher-grade Uranium enrichment. “We promise to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent purity if we are ensured fuel supply,” he was quoted as saying.
- Los Angeles Times: Borzou Daragahi reports that fuel rods were loaded into the Bushehr nuclear reactor on Saturday. The move puts the plant within “a few weeks” of being operational. U.S. and Israeli officials have expressed concern that Iran could theoretically make a weapon by extracting plutonium from the spent fuel rods, but Russia has committed to keeping a close watch on the activities at the Bushehr reactor.
- The Atlantic: Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Reuel Marc Gerecht, argues in favor of an Israeli preventive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Gerecht advocates not just bombing facilities but targeting Iranian personnel involved in Tehran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. “If Tehran were to lose several of its key nuclear scientists and technicians in such a blow, the Iranian program might sustain a crippling hit from which it would be extremely difficult to recover,” writes Gerecht. He concludes, “Although President Obama may become (privately) furious with the Israelis, any Israeli strike will make the United States, and probably even the reluctant Europeans, more determined to shut down Iran’s program.” Gerecht advocated for an Israeli preventive strike in a July 26th cover story in the The Weekly Standard.
- The Weekly Standard Blog: Lee Smith repeats Anne Bayefsky’s warnings (Eli discussed Bayefsky on Friday) that the Park 51 Islamic community center has dangerous ties to Iran. Smith suggests that Imam Feisal Rauf’s unwillingness to denounce Hamas, and his ties to Iran are a threat to national security. He concludes, “… [I]t would be a bad idea to allow an asset controlled by American adversaries to be built anywhere in the United States, including lower Manhattan.”