OBAMA AND IRAN...BEHIND THE CURTAIN
RESPONSE TO: MICHAEL BERENBAUM <email@example.com>
Howard do you really believe that Rouhani has the power to go to Israel at this moment?
He has a limited window to operate because sanctions are working and the population is uneasy. He is protecting his right flank from getting too far out front. His situation somewhat resembles the Speaker of the House and his caucus but this is clearly not a possible scenario.
On Monday, April 23, 2012 I reported that:
1. There was better than 66% probability that Iran would obtain a nuclear weapon capability.
2. The Supreme Leader was much more interested in the certainty of Iran having the capability of nuclear weapons than he was in the specific timetable of getting there.( He is "pragmatic" He not a risk taker . If it would reduce the risk and/or increase the probability of ultimate success, he would stop, divert, etc. his path.)
3. The Supreme Leader had not made the decision to have a nuclear weapon, but he had made the decision to get close to it so that if he wished to make the decision it could be implemented in short order. (Breakout capability)
Gen.Qassem Suleimani is much more powerful than President Rouhani Suleimani reports directly to the supreme leader. He is responsible for all external actions that Iran engages in. He is a confident of the supreme leader. President Rouhani has demonstrated his loyalty through years of service to the Supreme Leader but does not enjoy the same close relationship as does Suleimani. Suleimani has warned Rouhani as to the limits of Rouhani's negotiating authority.
You are correct , Rouhani does not have the ability to take any meaningful action concerning stopping enrichment, reducing the number of centrifuges, etc. NOR WILL ROUHANI EVER BE ABLE TO BE ANYTHING BUT A PRETTY FACE.
When I was active in the back channel communication with Iran we found that Rouhani was charming (but a dedicated servant of the Iranian clerical establishment).
An action such as this by Netanyahu would require a counter offer at least from the US administration. Also, Israel is under tremendous pressure concerning its nuclear program as a pay- off for Assad giving up his chemical weapons. Israel can't say no to “peace in the Middle East”. However, they can say "yes AND " and thus throw a ball back to where it should be, in the hands of the US administration.
The bottom line is simple. Iran will develop all of the capability necessary to produce the nuclear weapons (within a few weeks after a decision is made) and the delivery means (including warheads, fusing, propulsion, command-and-control etc.)
Below, are some better sources for you than the New York Times,Fareed Zakaria ,etc,
1. Preliminary intelligence report. Rev 2
Source: General reliability approx70%
Content Information: Confirmed
President Barack Obama had only one demand of Tehran: “Iran would have to agree not to weaponise nuclear power,” (Sept. 18, 2013).
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared the day before: “We are against nuclear weapons. And when we say no one should have nuclear weapons, we definitely do not pursue it ourselves either.”
The symmetry between the words from Washington and Tehran was perfect in content and timing – and not by chance. Washington and Iranian sources disclose that it was choreographed in advance.
Obama and Khamenei have been exchanging secret messages through Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman, who visited Tehran in the last week of August and conferred with both Khameini and Rouhani.
In the last message, carried to Tehran by Oman’s Defense Minister Sayyid Badr bin Saud Al Busaidiat, the US president said that Rouhani’s conciliatory gestures towards Washington needed to be backed up by an explicit statement that Iran would not weaponise Iran’s nuclear program.
Khamenei acted out his part Tuesday under TV cameras.
Full details of the exchanges going back and both between Washington and Tehran confirm that the US president has come to terms with a nuclear-capable Iran and will be satisfied with Ayatollah Khamenei’s word that Tehran will not take the last step to actually assemble a bomb.
Obama’s willingness to accept Khamenei’s assurance that his country’s nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes – while letting its military program advance to the brink – leaves Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lagging far behind and his Iranian policy with nowhere to go.
Notwithstanding the briefing offered by Secretary of State John Kerry when he visited Jerusalem on Sunday, Sept. 15, it looks as though Obama is keeping the Israeli prime minister in the dark on his moves towards Iran.
2.CONCESSIONS WILL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CORE OF IT NUCLEAR PROGRAM, BUT WITH THE PROCESS,
According to an Al-Monitor source in Tehran, “Fordow was built near Qom for only one reason — to create a symbolic sacredness between the holy city and the nuclear program and to send a message to the world in general and the West in particular that Iran’s nuclear program possesses the same holiness as Shiism in Iran.”
So what of recent reports that Iran is on the verge of dismantling the Fordow facility and allowing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to oversee the process in return for lifting international sanctions on the country’s central bank and oil industry?
To get an answer, Al-Monitor spoke with Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, who adamantly denied the accuracy of such reporting, responding, “These are pure lies. I don’t know where they got this. We haven't said a word about shutting down nuclear sites.”
Salehi’s denial shouldn't be surprising, because the allegation plan is not the Iranian way of thinking. The degree of attachment between the nuclear program and ideology in Iran means that any concessions will have nothing to do with the core of it nuclear program, but with the process, which might involve the level of enrichment, access to plants, degree of coordination with the IAEA, and so on — but certainly not its closure.