I love surprises! Maybe they’ve had a change of heart and decided to unilaterally suspend their enrichment program for the sake of peace in the Middle East.

Or maybe I’m going to have to eat the biggest plate of shinola in human history. Which, if so, would be the very least of our worries.

Goldstein wonders if western pressure on Israel to lay off Hezbollah wasn’t designed with this scenario in mind, as a goodwill gesture to make the other members of the Security Council more amenable to sanctions on Iran when that issue came to a head. If so, it was an exceptionally naive move:

[T]he entire United Nations Security Council is supposed to vote on the sanctions package. While only the permanent members can veto, the rising fear, particularly among European diplomats, is that smaller countries on the Council are so angry over how the United States, and now France, have handled the Lebanon crisis that they will give Russia and China political cover to balk against imposing tough sanctions.

Jeff knows that and thinks Bush is doing what he did in the run-up to Iraq, i.e., jumping through the requisite diplomatic hoops to keep the leftists from howling if and when we do have to act militarily. The problem is, the UN almost certainly won’t be endorsing an attack this time. They’ll end up imposing some weak form of sanctions, and once they do, there’ll be no more hoops to jump through. They’re going to howl regardless.

The State Department dismissed Iran’s counterproposal today as “falling short” of the UN’s conditions. France, surprisingly, agrees. The kiss of death.

Update: More “surprises”:

Iran bears significant responsibility for the recent violence in Israel and Lebanon and poses a serious security threat to the United States, according to a staff report released Wednesday by the House Subcommittee on Intelligence Policy.

The U.S. intelligence community must collect more and better intelligence on Iran, especially on its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs, the 29-page bipartisan report says.

Update: Sources tell the JPost that Israel is increasingly convinced it will have to deal with the mullahs on its own. Why? Because Iran “flipped the world the bird” this week and suffered no consequences for doing so.

Update: Dan Riehl wonders how Israeli and U.S. intelligence can be getting such different pictures.

Update: Captain Ed notes that Israel just bought itself two nuclear-capable subs. In another age, with a different enemy, that’d be a deterrent.