The talks between the Iranians and the P5+1, which is made up of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Russia, Britain, China, France and the United States, plus Germany, over the Iranian nuclear program and whether it aims to produce nuclear weapons or is simply for civil use such as electricity generation, medical research and other domestic energy uses resumed this week. There is a palpable level of hope and promise from the P5+1 nations that the promises and disarming nature and smile of the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani really is an indicator of a new openness and honest forthrightness in dealings allowing full inspections of all locations of nuclear installations and related research by the United Nations IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors. The optimism being shown by the P5+1 runs directly opposite the warnings being sounded by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders who fear that the negotiations could lead to the softening of the sanctions in exchange for empty promises which sound impressive but on implementation turn out to have been hollow and accomplishing virtually nothing and changing little if anything. The mainstream media worldwide has taken to identifying any suspicions that the Iranians are seeking to attain nuclear weapons capability through their nuclear program as purely an irrational Israeli fear which has little to validate it and stands in direct opposition to any rational inspection of the Iranian intents which appear to have completely changed under President Rouhani, the man with the pleasant smile and soft, soothing words that topple all previous suspicions replacing them with a driving desire to appease and avoid any conflict. The next few days will require close inspection both of the words which are spoken, the utterings before the press, the rumors from various sources and specially announcements of intents on the sanctions as they are the true measure of the direction resulting from the talks.
The moods towards the Iranian nuclear program and whether the Iranians are speaking truths or veiled references in order to mislead the world and be able to hide their true intent to attain nuclear weapons ability behind a civilian use for electricity, medical utilization and other forms of nuclear research have changed rather radically since the election of President Rouhani and these trends have only become more deeply entrenched since the masterful presentation made by President Rouhani at the opening ceremonies of the United Nations General Assembly. The perception has become one where the leader of the P5+1 are more interested in finding reasons to support and believe that the Iranian representatives, like their new President, are only capable of honest brokerage and seeking a level of cooperation which would have been beyond anything previously possible when President Ahmadinejad represented Iran. The media has been overflowing with praises and exhorts telling of the openness and new honesty represented by President Rouhani and how the Iranians have turned a corner and everything in the future will need to be seen under a new set of evaluations representing this new atmosphere. This has served to increase the gulf between the views of great concern over the Iranian nuclear program held by the Israelis and the Saudis among other Middle Eastern nations and the new levels of trust being brandished with great enthusiasm by the Europeans and the United States while Russia and China remain supportive of Iran continuing to show little alarm. That leads to the question of what can the world expect going forward and where will such expectations lead us in the end.
We do not need to concern ourselves with the Russians and the Chinese as they will support Iran whether Iran has truly changed or if they are pursuing nuclear weapons meaning that Israel and Saudi Arabia along with those who are in their boat will see their greatest nightmares become reality if they do not act independently and possibly against the will of the rest of the world. Any such preemptive strike would most likely require coordination between two of the most unlikely partners making such an attack, a coordinated attack involving Israeli and Saudi forces even if such required carrying out such an attack against the will of and without the backing of the United States. Such a situation in its absolute worst scenario would find the United States forces including its naval fleets from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea engaging and attempting to prevent any action against Iran. Such active opposition by the United States would make any action by Israel, Saudi Arabia, and any others who would support such an attack almost completely useless and excessively costly for all involved leaving all sides gravely wounded and Iran free with backing from their allies to extend their command over the entire Middle East. Even if such a coordinated attack succeeded with its initial sorties catching everybody by surprise and thus negating any chance for interference, the damage after the first day would serve only to slow Iran’s nuclear research and production and if afterwards the United Nations, United States, or other group of consequence then challenged forcing an end then the attack would end up with damaging results as unless the attacks on the Iranian nuclear sites are permitted to span the minimum of a week, or in order to permit sufficient damage to halt the program for as much as a decade, an series of attacks spanning as long as six weeks may be necessitated. What this means is without the United States assistance and using their vast resources, any attack with conventional weapons would probably prove ineffective in preventing the Iranians from attaining nuclear weapons capability on schedule. This brings us back to what will be the results of this crucial round of negotiations.
Since the very beginning of United States President Obama in the negotiations and sanction on Iran over their nuclear program, the United States has been a reluctant follower, or as President Obama likes to phrase it, leading from behind. Often the European and the United States Congress have been in forefront in applying and calling for sanctions against the Iranians as long as they continued to enrich Uranium and producing Plutonium and related nuclear weapons research. Since the election of the new Iranian President Rouhani, the Europeans have given the appearance of entranced followers under a deep and dark spell causing them to become love-sick sycophants adoringly following President Rouhani. Britain has gone so far as to seek to reopen normalized relations and reestablish an embassy or at least a consulate. Furthermore, since the Iranian nuclear program has entered a period of finality where either the Iranians will be brought to end their pursuit of nuclear weaponry or they will proceed and attain nuclear weapons within a short period of time, whatever is going to be done needs to be committed with some sense urgency. Add to this President Obama’s handling of the Red Line over chemical weapons use in Syria and his complete breakdown and inability to act definitively one way or the other and we saw everything necessary to realize that President Obama has never intended to do a damn thing to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons capabilities. So, President Obama and the American military can be ruled out should a strike on Iran become an unfortunate necessity. We can forget the Europeans who have no ability or desire to enter into a conflict of such a potential magnitude. We can expect there to be some serious and concerning words and diplomatic speeches professing the serious nature of the talks and the need for the Iranians to prove their new attitude and openness. After great amounts of posturing and stalking and pacing back and forth with serious faces and grave speeches there will be an arrangement by which Iran will be given a route to legitimacy. The path will not be sufficient and far reaching enough to actually end the Iranian push resulting in a nuclear armed Iran unless there are those who are ready and willing to move to prevent Iran completing their drive to nuclear weapons without the assistance of the United States or Europe and likely against strong opposition and condemnations from the United Nations, Russia and China. All things as they now exist we will likely be facing a Middle East where initially Iran and Pakistan will be the sole nuclear powers but within a year of Iran becoming a proven nuclear state we can expect that Saudi Arabia will have gone nuclear with Turkey likely to follow soon behind with Egypt eventually joining those with nuclear weapons. There will always be the possibility that any of the oil rich sheikdoms will be able to purchase a small stockpile of nuclear weapons and be able to keep them serviced and kept up.
Should Israel make good on her promise to go it alone if necessary to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons then the reaction of the world has already been hinted at. Initially, if Israel continues to sound the alarm exhorting suspicions be raised and trust come solely through verification and cooperation we can expect for President Obama and the European leaders to form a chorus telling Israel that unless she has reached a peace with the Palestinian and returned the lands that the Europeans and United Nations and the rest of the world has decided was stolen by Israel, then they have no legitimization allowing them to say anything to anyone about anything. Israel will be isolated from the rest of the world and vilified over the Palestinians and the complaints of their mistreatment. Israel will find the backs of the Western nations turned towards her as they refuse to heed her warnings and she is relegated to international purgatory rejected by former friends and facing a cold world where she has been deserted and left to be wrung by the winds of the furies of abandonment. Israeli leaders will question whether it is possible that they alone in the world know the real truth and everybody else is living the life of a fool smiling all the way to their own graves. For the answer all the leadership of Israel need do is look to Israel’s ancient history where she often was the one truth amongst a sea of idolaters set to destroy the chosen and prove that there was no one unseen all-powerful G0d. If they hold to the truth and their faith in the L0rd who brought them from the land of Egypt then Israel will survive whatever is brought against her and the fact that Israel will see only goodness while the majority of the world has turned their hands against her will once again prove the power of the one true G0d. There is one other reality, namely that there will be some who will stand with Israel such as many American Evangelical Christians, Canada, the Czech Republic and the other nations who stood with Israel in the General Assembly vote over granting the Palestinian Authority nation-state status. In the meantime the rest of us are left with our prayers and may we make the best of them and make them count as they may never have before. Honesty, humility, earnest faith and a deep trust is what will see us through and perchance allow for the miracle which changes the hearts of those who now stand to darken their hearts with deceit and expediency.
Beyond the Cusp