The Global War On You Know Who

"The West is facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy the West and bring it forcibly into the Islamic world -- and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach. That effort goes under the general rubric of jihad."
-- Robert Spencer

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What's Next For Iran

After blowing off an IAEA meeting, opening sealed facilities, and resuming uranium enrichment, the Euros and El Baradei are jibbering about Iran having precipitated a "serious crisis." A stern nastygram is no doubt forthcoming, and the MMs are likely preparing to laugh hysterically while they read it.

The good news is, the grown-ups sound like they've got a plan too -- and the sort of task forces it involves tend to carry grenades rather than Cross pens.
The White House said on Wednesday that Iran has made a "serious miscalculation" by clearing the way to resume uranium enrichment and that intensive diplomacy was under way with European allies and others about what to do now.

"We believe that if the negotiations have run their course and Iran is not going to negotiate in good faith, then there's no other option but to refer the matter to the Security Council," McClellan said. "If that happens then we would talk about what actions need to be taken at that time."
More details on possible Israeli plans to deliver a nastygram of their own:
Israel is updating plans for a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities which could be launched as soon as the end of March, according to military and intelligence sources.

The Israeli raids would be carried out by long-range F-15E bombers [pictured above] and cruise missiles against a dozen key sites and are designed to set Tehran's weapons programme back by up to two years.Pilots at the Israeli air force's elite 69 squadron have been briefed on the plan and have conducted rehearsals for their missions.

The prime targets would be the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, 150 miles south of Tehran, a heavy-water production site at Arak, 120 miles south-west of the capital, and a site near Isfahan in central Iran which makes the uranium hexafluoride gas vital to the arms manufacturing process.
The really interesting part:
Sources say one, possibly two airfields in Kurdish northern Iraq have been earmarked as launch-points to reduce flying time over Iran.
Since the handover in June 2004, Iraqi airspace is sovereign territory. Israel would need permission from the Shi'a-dominated Iraqi government, presumably a significant obstacle. Most likely the request would come through the US, but the decision still belongs to the Iraqi government. Since we all know how it'll go down at the Security Council, how the US will persuade the Iraqis to allow Israelis to attack a Shi'a nation from Iraqi territory is the diplomatic ballet of interest here.
The Iranians have meanwhile dispersed production facilities across hundreds of miles of remote countryside to make a single, knockout blow more difficult. They have also ringed the sites, some of them deep underground, with missile batteries and radar-controlled anti-aircraft guns.

Part of the reason for an acceleration of Israel's contingency strike plans is that Russia agreed last month to sell Tehran £700m-worth of advanced SA-15 Gauntlet mobile missile systems. Some are believed to be destined for defence of Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant on the Gulf coast, which Russian engineers are helping to build.

Although Western military strategists think an attack on Tehran's scattered sites would be fraught with difficulties and could not be carried out without loss to the attacking forces, few doubt Israel's commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear firepower.
And if the Euros and the UN had a similar commitment, it wouldn't always fall to the Israelis and the US to do the dirty work. Ten bucks says Europe is spending more effort working up a draft condemnation of an Israeli attack than on grasping what it means to be within range of Iranian missiles.


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