Did Iran overreach?

posted at 12:15 pm on February 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

When Iran announced yesterday that it would accelerate enrichment of uranium as it made an agreement with the West and the UN all but impossible, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have expected its opponents to rush to make yet another counteroffer.  Certainly, given the weakness demonstrated over the past couple of years, he had every reason to expect another round of the Nuclear Hokey Pokey.  Today, though, one of its closest trading partners has called for “serious measures” after Ahmadinejad’s announcement — and it’s one that has been mainly protective of Iran:

Officials from the United States, France and Russia called Monday for stronger measures against Tehran after Iran told the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency that it would begin enriching its stockpile of uranium to power a medical reactor in Tehran. In Paris, the visiting United States defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, told a news conference that “the only path that is left to us at this point” was to exert greater pressure on the Iranian authorities, Reuters reported.

Separately, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner of France said “the only thing we can do, alas, is apply sanctions given that negotiations are impossible.” In Moscow, Konstantin I. Kosachyov, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the lower house of the Russian parliament, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as urging the international community to prepare “serious measures.”

How serious is Russia?  They have already suspended missile shipments to Tehran, until now somewhat quietly:

Iran had been attempting to buy S-300 surface-to-air missiles from Russia, apparently to protect its nuclear facilities from airstrikes. Despite strong Western pressure not to supply the missiles, Russia has not given a clear indication of its intentions.

The official IRNA news agency quoted the Air Force commander, Heshmatollah Kassiri, as saying that, since Russia had for “unacceptable reasons” not delivered the missiles, “in the near future, a new locally made air defense system will be unveiled by the country’s experts and scientists which is as powerful as the S-300 missile defense system, or even stronger.”

Iran needs the SAMs to keep the Israelis from bombing their nuclear-development sites.  Their own native systems are not adequate for the job, and the continued risk-taking on Ahmadinejad’s part means that he needs the defensive systems more than ever now.  Russia had held its cards close to the vest until now on the S-300s, but the cat seems out of the bag now.  If Moscow is as upset over this announcement as their statement appears, those missiles will not make it to Iran, and the sites will be left more exposed to air raids as a result.

Iran has one more trump card: China.  China has joined Russia in blocking the more “serious measures” that Russia seems ready to support now.  Without China on board, the UN won’t be able to authorize any new sanctions against Tehran, let alone actually enforce them — at which, as we saw with the Oil for Food fiasco, the UN doesn’t do particularly well anyway.

Other than cutting off all trade with Iran, sanctions will probably not do much good at this point, as the mullahs now need the weapon to justify all of the pain they have inflicted on the country in their pursuit of nukes.  A complete embargo might be enough to spur a movement to depose the mullahs for wrecking Iranian standing in the world; the Iranian people seem on the verge of conducting a counterrevolution anyway, and it won’t take much to catalyze the nascent anger in the general population.  In the end, only regime change will give a chance of eliminating the nuclear threat posed by the Iranian mullahcracy — and Western policies should have that in mind as the ultimate goal.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Stoole & Dork Star = Dumb and Dumber

I really don’t know what to think:

1. You’re a couple of 13 year old;

2. Mental patients off their meds;

3. Relatively “normal” people but with an IQ of 60 (each, I give you that).

As I’m not an US citizen nor living there, I can predict when you will start caring about Iran: too late.

Rookie on February 8, 2010 at 1:41 PM

2) the stimulus helped AMERICANs..unemployment funds, infrastructure programs, etc.

The wars are helping some desert living scum.

Palin Steele on February 8, 2010 at 12:35 PM

The stimulus helped various Democrat constituencies. It didn’t help Americans at all.

The war has helped America.

MarkTheGreat on February 8, 2010 at 1:43 PM

As I’m not an US citizen nor living there,

Rookie on February 8, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Then you’re as much of a nuisance as that loudmouthed Canuck.

Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 1:45 PM

lol, so now I’m an antisemite…lovely. /s

Palin Steele on February 8, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Your a liberal, most liberals are.
Your words also back up the belief.

MarkTheGreat on February 8, 2010 at 1:46 PM

“Drill baby drill!” – remember?
High time to quit funding that bunch of goastf**king religious zealots because we ‘need’ their oil. Heck, there’s going to be a lot more people wanting the same amount soon enough. Time to find our own supply, and let everyone else go to Sam Shady for theirs.
Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 1:39 PM

“Drill baby drill!” is great for a long term solution, but what do we do Now?

The far left national socialist Eco-moonbats in the Democrat party don’t want us to do that, and besides keep on telling us that it’ll take 5 years or so to get those supplies into the pipeline.

So what do we do Now?

Chip on February 8, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 1:45 PM

He, he… more respect for a foreigner, please. After all, you leftard idiots did apologized to us. We are better than you, remember?

Rookie on February 8, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Says the villiage idiot…DumDum…

lovingmyUSA on February 8, 2010 at 1:06 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8twYCFACPjY

Johan Klaus on February 8, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Johan Klaus on February 8, 2010 at 1:49 PM

OMFG!!! Too funny!!!

lovingmyUSA on February 8, 2010 at 1:56 PM

“Drill baby drill!” is great for a long term solution, but what do we do Now?

Chip on February 8, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we occupying an oil-rich nation right now?

Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 1:57 PM

You tards are missing my point.

My point is on top of my pointy head.

Palin Steele on February 8, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Well, you can’t argue with that.

You win!

hillbillyjim on February 8, 2010 at 1:58 PM

“Drill baby drill!” is great for a long term solution, but what do we do Now?

Chip on February 8, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we occupying an oil-rich nation right now?

Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Answer the question.

hillbillyjim on February 8, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Answer the question.

hillbillyjim on February 8, 2010 at 1:59 PM

I better clarify, considering who I am addressing.

Dark-Star, answer Chip’s question in the form of a statement, instead of replying with another question. That tactic is kinda tired, doncha think?

hillbillyjim on February 8, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we occupying an oil-rich nation right now?

Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 1:57 PM

You are correct, it is called the United States of America.

infidel on February 8, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Iran doesn’t have the missile technology to reach the US. YET.

MarkTheGreat on February 8, 2010 at 1:40 PM

If they can reach orbit now, which seems to be the case, they can reach us NOW.

Dum Dum is really really dumb

AsianGirlInTights on February 8, 2010 at 2:06 PM

hillbillyjim on February 8, 2010 at 2:02 PM

I will venture in the void between his ears to extract an answer: probably he meant a little “wealth redistribution”, i.e. taking Haitian (this is what he meant by occupied oil-rich nation, right?) oil for nothing to fund the international revolution… err… reconstruction.

Rookie on February 8, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we occupying an oil-rich nation right now?

Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 1:57 PM

You are correct, it is called the United States of America.

infidel on February 8, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Zing!

Common sense is not allowed, Infidel. Didn’t anyone explain the rules?

hillbillyjim on February 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM

I better clarify, considering who I am addressing.

Condescention: now also available from your local sneering redneck hick, in addition to the ivory-tower libtards.

Dark-Star, answer Chip’s question in the form of a statement, instead of replying with another question. That tactic is kinda tired, doncha think?

Only since complex thoughts on your brain are like trying to run Windows XP on an Atari 2600.

For your benefit – as little as that may be –

Short-term: Get all the oil we need from Iraq, at a fair price to the locals.

Long-term: Become completely energy independent by tapping ALL our local resources (not just oil), and start looking for ways to make our grid and economy more efficent. Which doesn’t mean the usual “wind and solar” nonsense, BTW, as the tech simply isn’t intended as a primary power source.

Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM

You tards are missing my point.

My point is on top of my pointy head.

Palin Steele on February 8, 2010 at 1:01 PM

So THIS is yor family…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgV_IaZheDE

lovingmyUSA on February 8, 2010 at 2:08 PM

If they can reach orbit now, which seems to be the case, they can reach us NOW.

Dum Dum is really really dumb

AsianGirlInTights on February 8, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Not to mention, if they can rent a large boat or small ship, they can reach us NOW. Never mind the fact that they are developing their submarine capabilities at an alarming rate.

hillbillyjim on February 8, 2010 at 2:10 PM

If they can reach orbit now, which seems to be the case, they can reach us NOW.

AsianGirlInTights on February 8, 2010 at 2:06 PM

What goes up must come down…and with nukes, you don’t exactly need pinpoint accuracy to begin with!.

Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we occupying an oil-rich nation right now?
Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 1:57 PM

We are not “Occupying” an oil-rich nation, but that’s besides the point.

How would we get Oil out from a war zone?

Chip on February 8, 2010 at 2:13 PM

Ever think that Iran is acting out of desperation not at the West, or even Israel? Perhaps they are feeling pressure from within and they are trying to intimidate and their own internal revolution from the Iranian Pro-Democracy Green Party. This Green Party has vowed to make an even greater protest on this February 11th date.

pjean on February 8, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Not to mention, if they can rent a large boat or small ship, they can reach us NOW. Never mind the fact that they are developing their submarine capabilities at an alarming rate.
hillbillyjim on February 8, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Forget Rent, what about Hijack? Sort of like a 9/11 attack with a ship instead of an airliner – this time with untold numbers of dead and not just 3,000

Chip on February 8, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Condescention: now also available from your local sneering redneck hick, in addition to the ivory-tower libtards.

Nice.

Short-term: Get all the oil we need from Iraq, at a fair price to the locals.

How does this strategy benefit us if Iran starts a conflagration in the Middle East, and manages to close the Straits of Hormuz?

Long-term: Become completely energy independent by tapping ALL our local resources (not just oil), and start looking for ways to make our grid and economy more efficent. Which doesn’t mean the usual “wind and solar” nonsense, BTW, as the tech simply isn’t intended as a primary power source.

Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM

I agree 98% with this part. The economy will make itself “more efficient” if left alone, without interference from the Keynesian idiots who desire to manage everything (meaning control everything).

hillbillyjim on February 8, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Well, it’s quite apparent to me that we have a number of real middle east experts on hand in this discussion. So, this might just be an opportune time to seek an answer to that eternal question concerning that troubled corner of the world. To wit, if Russia were to attack Turkey from behind, would Greece help?

…I bet it would, I bet it would, say no more,say no more,know-what-I-mean,wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more, say no more…

Knott Buyinit on February 8, 2010 at 2:22 PM

A Iranian cheque to Russia bounced for NSF so Russia will not play. Russia will only play with Iran if the cash keeps flowing from Iran to the Russia coffers. And same with China it all boils down to money.

Iran sells oil to China and then buy protection and technology from Russia, With oil falling Iran gets less money for the same oil and Russia will not sell for less money.

tjexcite on February 8, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Forget Rent, what about Hijack? Sort of like a 9/11 attack with a ship instead of an airliner – this time with untold numbers of dead and not just 3,000

Chip on February 8, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Yeah. The “rent” part was a bit facetious, in order to illustrate just how little it would require. All they would have to do is disguise assets they already own or make arrangements with one Captain whose greed exceeded his/her honor.

hillbillyjim on February 8, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Comment 1. IIRC Russia suspended shipment of S-300 components 3-6 months ago and withdrew techs. Small matter of money being overdue. Did I miss their return?

Comment 2. Just the physics Ma’m. Yellowcake is a concentrated form of uranium ore. U 235 (the bomb stuff)is present at about .72% in the ore so should be same in yellowcake. To run an electric generating plant, U235 at 2-10% is typically used. Gaseous diffusion thru centrifuges is used for this enrichment. Bomb grade requires U235 at 60 – 90%. Again IIRC Iran in Dec. 09 had U235 at 2%.

Bambi and Co. will only pontificate on Iran. And there are other interested players in this game. Russia is one of the weaker. Israel and Saudia Arabia and India are the strong ones. You betcha Israel is talking to the ones that matter.

Iran can only proceed so fast. Typical estimates to reach 60% (low weapons grade) are 3 -5 years.

So sit on it and watch what the strong players are doing. That is the indicator. When and what practice exercises do will tell soon enough.

Meanwhile, we got a country to take back.

Caststeel on February 8, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Perhaps the Russians finally became aware of the 12th imam?
Let’s hope so.

Army Brat on February 8, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we occupying an oil-rich nation right now?
Dark-Star on February 8, 2010 at 1:57 PM

You do realize how dumb you sound, right?

Besides the fact that you side-stepped the original question, the overwhelming majority of contracts for oil production in Iraq are NOT going to US companies.

you suck at life.

viviliberoomuori on February 8, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Selfishness, thy name is Palin Steele.

OldEnglish on February 8, 2010 at 7:23 PM

conservatives vastly exaggerate the threat that Iran poses. Also, as far as I’m aware of, they have no missile capability to reach the US…so why do we care again?

Palin Steele on February 8, 2010 at 12:23 PM

I know I’m really late to this thread, but I just had to respond…

Current Iranian missile technology can reach middle-East countries and large parts of Europe. And like you imply, getting nuke tech scaled down to fit on a missile is hard…

…but getting a nondescript container ship, registered with another country and sailing next to Manhattan (not even docking or unloading), is much easier.

dominigan on February 9, 2010 at 9:40 AM

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