UPDATE: According to the Times Online:
[S]ources said that Iran completed a research programme to create weaponised uranium in the summer of 2003 and that it could feasibly make a bomb within a year of an order from its Supreme Leader. A US National Intelligence Estimate two years ago concluded that Iran had ended its nuclear arms research programme in 2003 because of the threat from the American invasion of Iraq. But intelligence sources have told The Times that Tehran had halted the research because it had achieved its aim — to find a way of detonating a warhead that could be launched on its long-range Shehab-3 missiles.
Well it seems like the NIE has just done a crackerjack job.
Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defence Minister, last week reiterated that a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities was still an option, should the talks fail. Israeli officials estimate that a raid on Natanz and a nuclear facility at Arak, in central Iran, would set Iran’s nuclear programme back by two to three years.
And once again it seems like Israel is ahead of the curve, while we’re stuck in the parking lot in neutral.
Interesting op-ed today from the Wall Street Journal. Reads like a tidy primer on Syria, a country that has gone stunningly under the radar in the past half-decade. While people were hesitating to even ponder the notion that North Korea was able to have viable nuclear operations on their own, Israel tracked, identified, and destroyed a North Korean-sourced nuclear reactor in Syria in…September 2007.
Now you know why it’s probably wiser to trust Israel more than our own State Department when it comes to taking threats seriously.
The question is under urgent study by nations who might one day be targets of a North Korean device sold to Syria or Iran. Iran is known to have financed missile and weapons deals between North Korea and Syria, causing concern to Israel and the US. One day after the Israeli attack, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, sent his nephew with a personal letter to Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian leader.
“Iraq” could have easily been added to that list had Saddam Hussein not been overthrown.
So, considering how flagrant of a violation this was for North Korea, what did we do?
Meanwhile, President Bush has authorised his chief negotiator, Christopher Hill, to go on talking to North Korea in the search for a peaceful solution.
Of course. And two years later what has changed?
North Korea has been removed from the “State Sponsors of Terror” list.
North Korea has tested a nuclear weapon for the second time.
And in case you thought I was going to leave out the other member of the Axis of Evil:
So before you little foreign policy scholars who thought Obama was going to heal the wounds caused by Warmonger Bush with his mere presence, just remember: the only mistake that President Bush made with the Axis of Evil was that he didn’t make it bigger.