A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
November 8, 2011-Stunning IAEA Report on Iran?
The International Atomic (IAEA) Energy Agency came out with their report stating that Iran has been working to build an atomic bomb. The IEA clearly asserts that Iran has had a structured plan to develop atomic weapons, and is not just engaged in the peaceful development of nuclear energy. It is the first clear statement that Iran has been lying for the past several years. The report contends that the Iranians were doing research on the bomb as late as 2010. The report further maintains that the Iranians were working on developing a missile that could carry a Pakistani designed warhead. This was a much stronger report than anyone was expecting. It is the end of Iran attempting to claim its nuclear program solely for peaceful purposes.
Now what? The optimists believe that now, even the Russians and the Chinese will be forced to join the sanctions against Iran. Israel is demanding that crippling sanctions against Iran be imposed; including ending all bank transactions, and an end to oil transactions with Iran.
Defense Minister Barak stated today that he believed sanctions against Iran will probably not work. He went on to say that if there was a war with Iran; a war Israel does not want, the Israeli casualties would not be as high as some have been saying. He claimed all the talk of 50,000 casualties was ridiculous. In Barak's opinion, even 1,000 casualties would be very high. Barak further said that if people stayed indoors, even 500 casualties would be high. This happens to correspond with similar estimates I heard from a expert on the Iranian military recently. The expert pointed out that the only weapons Iran has that could reach Israel are a collection of 300 missiles. How many of those missiles would they be able to actually launch? and how many would be shot down by the Arrow? is an unknown factor in this equation. The other unknown question that is probably more important to answer, is will Hezbollah and Hamas be willing to start a war with Israel just because iran would like them to, even if it's not in their interest to start one.
What is reasonably clear is that it is unlikely there will be any immediate Israeli attack. The talk of the last week was preparations for today's report; the hope being that the possibility of an Israeli attack combined with today's report might be enough to get the world to take the level of action that might stop the Iranian program. Today’s report was even stronger than Israel had expected. Will it move the world? will their actions be enough? If not, come Spring, Israel might strike.