Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Iranian Chess Board

August 19, 2008

This is a reproduction of the 9th century set found in Nishapur, Persia (now Iran).

The recent saga unfolding in Georgia is but the latest move in a chess game that has been going on for many years. As you recall, Russia has defacto agreed to back Iran if tensions ratchet up to a point of nuclear hostility. By Russia warning Poland last week that its missile defense agreement with the US and western Europe could very well bring on a nuclear response from the Bear, the possibility of Russia stepping in to the current Israeli-Iranian saber rattling is more likely.

Because we have publicly cited Iran as our primary reason for deploying missile defense systems in Poland, it is by implication possible to believe that Poland could launch an attack on Iran, either as a response to a nuclear attack from Iran, or as a pre-emptive strike.
With Russia already eager to retaliate with Poland, an Israeli attack on Iran could easily escalate to a Russian attack on Polland.
The Ukraine, as well.

Given the knowledge that one of the key ingredients of a nuclear bomb is enriched plutonium. The process to create enriched plutonium is long and complicated, but ep happens to be one of the by-products of nuclear power plants. If a country has nuclear power plants, it has one of the precious ingredients needed to arm a nuclear bomb.

Russia is helping Tehran build Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr, which will be ready to go online later this year. An Iranian flag is seen outside the building housing the reactor of the Bushehr nuclear power plant. The United States on Friday set a weekend deadline for Iran to answer an international offer to freeze its nuclear drive and warned of new sanctions if it rejects the package.

Iran has already touted their desire to be a nuclear player in recent years. The West has reacted with alarm and caution, as Tehran has made explicit calls for the eradication of Israel in the last few years, and the destabilization of the Middle East. As a belligerent nation with a death pledge towards another country, the world community has roundly criticized Iran for beginning a nuclear program.

Besides having Russia to back their nuclear aims, Iran wages proxy wars with Israel regularly through regional attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas. These low-level attacks provoke Israel into constant bouts of respond-or-don't-respond, weakening their standing in the Middle East and with many anti-Semetic nations around the world.
The links of Iran to Hamas and Hezbollah can be seen here. They depend on the willing cooperation of Syria.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with Ahmadenijad.

Today, Iran announced that they will build many more nuclear power plants (source). Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (centre) and unidentified officials are pictured at a space station at an undisclosed location in Iran on August 16. Iran has said that a home-built rocket sent into space in a move that triggered US concern over possible military use will be able to take a satellite into low orbit around the earth.

Even Kadhafi has seen the light enough to warn Iran of it's missteps.
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi is pictured after he received an honorary doctorate during a ceremony held at INSAT university in Tunis. Kadhafi on Tuesday warned "arrogant" Iran that it faces military humiliation on the scale of Iraq for its refusal to respond to western powers over a nuclear impasse.

What is our response?
The U.S. response has been to avoid dire warnings of dangerous Israeli attacks, while instead showing support for non-violent solutions, such as economic sanctions and political pressure on Iran.
Washington believes economic and political pressure are the best ways to dissuade Iran from seeking atomic weapons, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday, following an appeal by Israel's defense minister to keep "all options" on the table. The comments followed a closely held meeting at the Pentagon Monday between Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

This policy of the US means that candidate Obama has got to seek out something different to define himself with, so he undermines the nonviolent method of sanctions and political pressure, to instead warn Iran of Israel's plans to bomb them. (source)
Barrack reassured Israel that "America must always stand up for Israel's right to defend itself against those who threaten its people". He needs to court them. Israel seems quite anxious about a President Obama. Very uncertain, in need of his special attention.
Presumptive US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama, seen here on July 28, 2008, believes Israel will launch a military strike on Iran if nuclear sanctions fail, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Obama with former Israeli PM Shimon Peres.

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