Sunday, July 25, 2010

Former CIA Chief Takes Hard Line on Iran: US Military action against Iran "seems inexorable"

(WSJ).—A former Central Intelligence Agency director on Sunday said that bombing Iran's nuclear facilities "might not be the worst" option for the U.S., as the country continues to push ahead with its nuclear programs despite heavy international sanctions.

Michael Hayden, who headed the CIA from 2006 to 2009, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that when he was in government, a military strike against Iran "was way down on our list." Now, "in my personal thinking—I need to emphasize that—I have begun to consider that that may not be the worst of all possible outcomes," he said.

Iran has said that its nuclear program is aimed at peaceful purposes including generating energy for civilian use, but the country has blocked international experts from inspecting its facilities.

The U.S. and others in the international community have sought to pressure Iran with sanctions.

President Barack Obama earlier this month signed into law sanctions that would impose tough penalties on any international firms that do business with Iranian banks, energy firms and the businesses of Tehran's elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Mr. Hayden said such moves appeared to be having a limited effect. "Iran doesn't seem to be paying much attention to the sanctions," he said. "We engage. They continue to move forward. We vote for sanctions. They continue to move forward. We try to deter, to dissuade. They continue to move forward."

Left to its own devices, he predicted, Iran "will get itself to that step right below a nuclear weapon, that permanent breakout stage, so the needle isn't quite in the red for the international community."

He said that that stage would be as destabilizing as Tehran's actually having a weapon.


Pipes: To Get Obama To Act, Netanyahu Should Threaten To Nuke Iran

In a recent interview with the right-wing Christian Zionist Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, neoconservative pundit Daniel Pipes shared his view that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should threaten to use nuclear weapons against Iran as a means of “applying pressure” on the United States.

“I think it’s realistic for the Israelis to attack and do real damage,” Pipes said. “Now, what constitutes success, I’m not exactly sure. There are many, many questions“:
PIPES: If I were [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, I would say to [U.S. President Barack] Obama, “Why don’t you take out the Iranian nukes? Or else we will And we will not do it by trying to fly planes across Turkey and Syria or Jordan or Saudi Arabia. We will do it from submarine-based, tactical nuclear weapons. You don’t want that; we don’t want that; but that’s the way we can do this job for sure. You do it your way so we don’t have to escalate to that.” That would be a way of applying pressure. There are so many details which I’m not privy to. But that would be my kind of approach if I were the Israelis.