The Guardian posted a very detailed article covering many aspects of the international situation with Iran today. Some highlights that should be noted:
Israel’s defence minister, Ehud Barak, said this week in London that it was the Iranian decision this year to convert a third of the country’s stock of 20%-enriched uranium into fuel (making it harder to convert to weapons-grade material if Iran decided to make a weapon) that had bought another “eight to 10 months”.
I’ve mentioned before there is no evidence Iran is pursuing nuclear materials for weapons purposes and another statement furthers that point as the Iranians are clearly using the materials for fuel purposes according to the head of defense of the country most affected by the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran. In other words, they are a threat and pursuing nuclear weapons even though they have done nothing overly threatening and have shown no action they are pursuing nuclear materials for weaponized purposes.
The UK government has told the US that it cannot rely on the use of British bases in Ascension Island, Cyprus, and Diego Garcia for an assault on Iran as pre-emptive action would be illegal.
This should be particularly eye-opening considering the UK was such a strong ally of the U.S. going into the war with Iraq. Obviously, the British government lives by the idea of “fool me once about a Middle Eastern country allegedly pursuing WMDs with no evidence proving it, shame on you. Fool me twice about the same situation, shame on me.” The United States’ closest ally isn’t going for it. Why should anyone else? (Including the American public.)
Ami Ayalon, a former chief of the Israeli navy and the country’s internal intelligence service, Shin Bet, argues Israel too cannot ignore the new Arab realities…”In order for Israel to face Iran we will have to form a coalition of relatively pragmatic regimes in the region, and the only way to create that coalition is to show progress on the Israel-Palestinian track.”
Like so many other international conflicts in the Middle East, it boils down to one issue: Palestine and the refusal of Israel to cooperate in forming a fair and legitimate Palestinian state. We are left to wonder how different (and likely more peaceful) the world would be if this issue had been solved decades ago…