In a Time article headed Intervention Will Only Make It Worse, Zbigniew Brzezinski writes that
broader regional fighting could bring the U.S. and Iran into direct conflict, a potentially major military undertaking for the U.S. A U.S.-Iran confrontation linked to the Syrian crisis could spread the area of conflict even to Afghanistan. Russia would benefit from America’s being bogged down again in the Middle East. China would resent U.S. destabilization of the region because Beijing needs stable access to energy from the Middle East.
Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/08/syria-intervention-will-only-make-it-worse/#ixzz2T4nktvge
IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano has said that Iran is preventing nuclear inspectors from carrying out their work in the country, and has appointed a new top investigator, Herman Nackaerts, to replace Olli Heinonen, who resigned from the IAEA earlier this year. (Reuters)
The process of loading fuel into Iran’s first Russian-built nuclear reactor at Bushehr will take another 10 to 15 days, according to Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s AEO, AFP reports.
The Jerusalem Post quotes former UN chief of nuclear inspections Olli Heinonen as saying that Iran has enough low-enriched uranium to make two nuclear weapons, though “it would not be logical for it to cross the bomb-making threshold”:
Heinonen called Iran’s nuclear program a “threat” in a rare public interview, given shortly before he stepped down from his position as deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Heinonen was head of the IAEA’s nuclear safeguards arm, which monitors countries’ nuclear programs to make sure they are intended for peaceful use. Heinonen left the post in August for personal reasons.
According to AFP, Iran has proposed to Russia that the two countries should jointly produce fuel for the Bushehr reactor, and also for future nuclear plants.
“Moscow is studying this offer,” [Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s AEO] said [on Thursday]. “We (Iran) should show the world our capability in uranium production and transforming it to nuclear fuel.”
Writing in his JP blog, Alan Dershowitz says that the path to an Israeli-Palestinian peace in the short term will not be an easy one:
There are those who theorize that if Israel were to strike a deal with the Palestinians, that would make it easier for the Obama Administration to prevent a nuclear Iran. Whether that is true or not, the Israelis with whom I spoke want more than theorizing. They want an assurance that they can achieve real peace and safety, not only in relation to the Palestinians but also in relation to Iran, if they are to surrender control over territories they won in a defensive war.
To say that peace will be difficult to achieve is not to suggest that the parties stop trying. But in order to succeed, they must take into consideration the risks and realties on all sides.
While Russia says it has deployed the S-300 interceptor systems in Abkhazia “not only to cover the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia but also to avert violations of their state borders in the air and destroy any vehicle illegally penetrating their air space, whatever the goal of its mission," (Gen. Zelin, via Reuters, Aug. 11), some analysts believe that the S-300 interceptor batteries have been placed in Abkhazia to block a possible Israeli air route to Iran.
On August 21 Russia will begin loading fuel into Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor.