As I mentioned in a recent post, I had a unique opportunity to have an enjoyable dinner with a high ranking member of the Israeli Knesset. He has, and will hold other high offices (amongst the highest) including joint work with the Senate, and has frequent meetings with the highest members of the US government (just that week he had met with Nancy Pelosi and Condi Rice). And these are not pro forma meet and greets but high level policy discussions.
Most of us that have followed the Iranian situation over the years have no doubts about what is going on, nor have we ever.
Since Jimmy Carter began providing nuclear materials to the Shah, the Iranian program has always been about weaponry.
That this is even debated on the world stage is the biggest joke going.
What was so shocking about the discussion with this gentleman was the explicit detail that he provided.
As he said, he could not go into how, but to describe the intelligence confidence he put it this way.
The world’s intelligence agencies had high confidence about WMD’s in Iraq (yes it was NOT only the US, EVERY intelligence agency in the world believed this). However, there was not confirmed information because the intelligence was developed based on previous experience (gassing of the Kurds, weapons inspectors, defectors, etc.).
The difference hear is in the word. With regard to Iran’s plans, it is knowledge, not confidence.
This comes from multiple sources, human intelligence that was not available in Iraq. The arrest and penetration of the Pakistani nuclear terrorist A.Q. Khan, who sold nuclear weapons technology all over the world, including North Korea as well as Iran, and extensive knowledge of the Iranian missile systems.
This last point is the most frightening.
The point made, was that Iran does NOT seek to be a regional nuclear power as Pakistan and India are.
In fact, despite the Muslim constitution of Pakistan, this Minister expressed no fear of the Pakistani, Indian nuclear mutualization, saying that they were there simply as deterrents to each other and that neither nation had made real attempts to extend their missile technologies with nuclear warheads passed 1000 miles, or what was necessary to bomb each other’s capitals.
WIth Iran, he gave exact dates as to the completion of each weapon system (including names and details of the weapons)as to when the Iranians would be able to hit various world capitals.
As it stands today, the Iranians can currently target all major European capitals, up to and including London.
In the next two years they will be able to hit Washington and New York. This is not conjecture but the currently constituted missile program, and these missiles are designed to carry nuclear warheads.
Now, the positive news is this. While the US press has described the IRanian nuclear program as being largely in underground hardened facilities,
we were told that based on the Iranians own activities with regard to air defense systems, they believe them to being vulnerable to air strikes alone.
He described the fact that the Iranians have, and continue to spend several BILLION dollars a year on air defense surrounding these facilities, thus demonstrating their own fear of air strikes. They continue to add air defense installations surrounding the facilities in fear of air strikes.