Analysis: Bush is reconciled to a nuclear-armed Iran
In an interview with the London Times, June 11, US president George W. Bush said his aim now was to leave his successor a legacy of international diplomacy for tackling Iran. Regarding the Israeli minister Shaul Mofaz’s recent assertion that a military strike on Iran’s nuclear installations was “unavoidable”, the US president commented that this “really should be viewed as the need to keep pressuring” Iran. On a farewell trip to Europe, Bush added: “We ought to work together, keep focused” regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
debkafile‘s informed sources report that President Bush was also clearly bidding farewell to the option of an American strike against Iran’s nuclear program. With six months left of his presidency, his message to the Iranians was: They can either face isolation or they can have better relations with us all.” No third option, of a punishing military strike, was mentioned.
Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shot back by saying: “I tell him… your era has come to an end. With the grace of God, you won’t be able to harm even one centimeter of the sacred land of Iran.”
debkafile‘s Iranian sources report that Tehran is driving hard to attain a weapons capability by September or October this year, before Bush leaves the White House.
Nonetheless, the US president has shown no sign of departing from the current course of diplomacy and international sanctions against Iran, although it has in no way inhibited Iran’s race for enriched uranium which advances unchecked. This was implied by his reference to a possible successor: Bush voiced concern that the Democratic nominee Barack Obama might “open cracks in the West’s united front towards Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.” But, he hoped that after is successor assesses “what will work or what won’t work in dealing with Iran,” he would stick with the current policy.”