Monday, November 19, 2007

Iran's Nuclear Diversification

A very good article by Oliver Guitta in the Middle East Times points to the Syrian nuclear facility strike by Israel and the strategic implications for Iran. While the Syria-North Korea tie has been well documented and discussed, the Syria-Iran connection has not been explored fully. It may very well be that Syria is Iran's "Plan B", a "home away from home" for Iran's nuclear ambitions, should anyone bomb Iran's facilities back to kingdom come.

Now regarding the September 6 strike; while we may never know what really occurred, what remains sure is that the situation is direr than one could imagine and that most likely, Israel did not just bomb a nuclear site in the early stages. Indeed, the silence of the international community and especially the Arab world after the attack is a first, and it shows the gravity of what happened. Even though Syria and its Iranian sponsor are detested, and in the case of Iran feared, in the Muslim world, the fact that there was no condemnation of Israel at the U.N. could be interpreted as a tacit relief that Israel acted.

Another proof of what transpired came from ranking Republicans on the House Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Peter Hoekstra, who were briefed on the Israeli strike and sworn to secrecy. They wrote an op-ed in the October 20 Wall Street Journal clearly underlining the seriousness of the situation regarding both the North Korean and Iranian involvement in the Syrian arms program.

Finally, the fact that the Bush administration (including President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and most notably Defense Secretary Robert Gates) has been ramping up the rhetoric and taking action against Iran (including the latest sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards) in the past week, might also be linked to what really happened in Syria.


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