Detente can go beyond letting then build a bomb. There are many issues that may be subsumed in detente including the future of Syia and Iran’s hegemonic ambitions. Will Obama throw Israel under the bus? Will Obama throw Saudi Arabia under the bus. Stayed tuned. Ted Belman
Barring the IDF, Netanyahu’s last resort against possible Obama détente with Iran is US Congress
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 7, 2013,
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at his first news conference Tuesday, Aug. 6, said his government would not discuss his country’s nuclear program with the world powers under pressure. No sooner had he spoken than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shot back: The only thing that worked in the past was pressure, so the answer now is increased pressure.
It is an open secret that what Rouhani is after is the lifting of US and European sanctions which are crippling Iran’s economy. He is not altogether unrealistic: Only last February, the Six World Powers made Tehran an offer to gradually ease sanctions if Iran stopped enriching uranium – even temporarily.
That was before he was elected. Now, Rouhani wants more dramatic concessions on sanctions to prove his worth to the Iranian people and assure them he will be alleviating their economic hardships very soon.
The Obama administration is sharply divided by the debate for and against removing sanctions. Proponents argue that Rouhani, who is perceived in the West as a moderate, should be encouraged because he may be the man to eventually persuade Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to freeze Iran’s nuclear program.
He succeeded once before, in October 2003, when he was Iran’s senior negotiator, they maintain – forgetting that Tehran was then gripped by fear that the US army, which had invaded Iraq in March of that year, would turn on next-door Iran and wipe out its nuclear program.
After a pause of less than a year, when Khamenei and Rouhani saw the US army becoming mired in Iraq and therefore no threat, they switched their nuclear weapons program back on at full power.
Judging from this precedent, Netanyahu advised a visiting delegation of 36 US Members of Congress in Jerusalem not to heed Rouhani’s demand to drop the pressure, i.e. sanctions. Nothing else works, he said.
At the same time, the prime minister, like his American guests, is well aware that pressure in the form of sanctions never slowed Iran’s race for a nuclear bomb, but rather accelerated it.
On Monday, Aug. 5, The Wall Street Journal divulged a fact know for six months to Israeli and US intelligence communities – that in mid-2014, Iran will finish building a heavy water reactor at Arak in northwestern Iran and be able to produce plutonium for nuclear bombs from the reactor’s spent fuel rods, a method used by India, Pakistan and North Korea. Plutonium for bomb-making will therefore be available sooner than enriched uranium.
However, a large surface reactor is an easier target to hit than the underground facilities at Fordo that house Iran’s uranium-enrichment facilities.