News and views relevant to U.S.-Iran relations from Oct. 15 – Oct. 21
EA WorldView: Scott Lucas points out that the only named source that we have to back up David Ignatius’s advancing of the claim that Gholam Shakuri “helped organize militant Shiite protesters in Bahrain” is Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa. The following is a press release from Bahraini state news:
- Bahrain national intelligence agency has been totally aware of the activities of Gholam Shakuri, an Iranian Al-Quds Force operative who was accused by the US authorities of plotting to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to Washington Adel Al-Jubeir.
“This man is not new to us. Months before the indictment was issued, Bahraini and Saudi intelligence had identified him as an important “Iranian interlocutor” with several members masterminding the coup attempt in Bahrain”, Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa told Washington Post Columnist David Ignatius.
He wondered about the action which would be taken by the US against Iran to show its seriousness after President Obama denounced the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington and warned that Iran “will pay a price”. “We’re asking the U.S. to stand up for its interests and draw the red lines,” Sheikh Khalid said, referring to Iran-sponsored attacks on American forces in Lebanon and Iraq and asked: “How many times have you lost lives, been subject to terrorist activities and yet we haven’t seen any proper response. This is really serious. It’s coming to your shores now.”
Washington Post: Experts are arguing that sanctions and other measures are “exerting a mounting toll” on Iran’s nuclear program:
- “Without question, they have been set back,” said David Albright, president of the institute and a former inspector for the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. Although the problems are not fatal for Iran’s nuclear ambitions, they have “hurt Iran’s ability to break out quickly” into the ranks of the world’s nuclear powers, Albright said.
U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Iran’s clerical leaders are seeking to rapidly acquire the technical capability to make nuclear weapons, though there are indications that top officials have not yet firmly committed to building the bomb. Iran maintains that its nuclear intentions are peaceful.
The Weekly Standard: Lee Smith, the senior editor of the Weekly Standard who also works with the Hudson Institute and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and frequently accuses critics of the U.S.’s “special relationship” with Israel of being anti-Semites uses the killings of Muammar Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein as a pretext for the U.S. implementing regime change in Iran right now:
- One day soon, however, the Iranians will cross the line, and the American president will have no choice but to retaliate?—?even if the Iranians have the bomb. There won’t be time then for the “collective action” prized by Obama and his deputies. The time for “collective action” is now.
- Collective action does not mean bringing the unmovable Russians and Chinese on board. It means going after Revolutionary Guard camps. It means destabilizing Iran’s ally Syria by creating a no-fly zone there that protects the Syrian opposition and helps bring down Bashar al-Assad. Collective action means using every possible method and tactic to destabilize the Iranian regime by working with allies inside and outside of Iran. It means doing everything possible to ensure that Ayatollah Ali Khameini, stripped of his clerical robes, is the next Middle East dictator dragged from a hole in the ground.
National Review Online: In “Breaking Tehran” anti-Islam extremist Andrew C. McCarthy of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who considers President Obama a “radical leftist” declares that regime change by way of military force should be the driving motivation behind U.S. foreign policy toward Iran after incorrectly stating that all other options have been exhausted. McCarthy also says that Iran’s alleged nuclear weapon ambitions aren’t the real problem:
- The point is that the problem isn’t the nukes, it’s the regime — and while there may be many sites, there is only one regime. Take the regime out, eliminate the world’s most destabilizing and incorrigibly evil force, and the challenge of Iran’s weapons program would get a lot easier. So would such challenges as the future of Iraq; the ground beneath Syria’s execrable Assad regime; and the supply lines of al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and the mullahs’ other clients.
Most significant, gone would be today’s worst threat to American national security — a threat that will become only more dire if these rabid, desperate men are permitted to become a nuclear power. That is an eventuality that will come about in short order if we fail to act. It is an eventuality that we should find unacceptable, as this week once again demonstrated. And it can be stopped only by military force; other options have been exhausted, and they only vex the mullahs — they don’t stop them.