Chuck Hagel was swept into office Tuesday, Feb. 26 by a Senate majority as Barack Obama’s new defense secretary atop a cloud of disinformation which aimed to confirm that Iran’s nuclear program has gone too far to stop – like Iran’s grip on Syria and Lebanon. This message was accentuated by what the London Telegraph called Iran’s Plan B, signified by “…a cloud of steam that indicates heavy-water production for… a nuclear reactor that can produce plutonium, which could then be used to make a bomb.”
debkafile: The “cloud of steam” is no proof of an active plant; it could be just a trial run, but the timing of the British paper’s publication on the day of Hagel’s Senate endorsement and the Six-Power meeting with Iran in Kazkahstan to discuss its nuclear program, underscored the view of British Prime Minister David Cameron. He has said in private conversations that US President Obama, French President Francois Hollande and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are pursuing an unrealistic policy on Iran and should accept the reality that Iran has achieved a nuclear bomb capacity. Sanctions are therefore pointless and futile and should be lifted.
The point contributed by the Telegraph – for the benefit of the incoming US defense secretary – was that Iran has achieved a dual track to an atomic bomb, which only goes to strengthen Cameron’s argument.
Just as unrealistically, the Kazakhstan talks focused on curtailing Iran’s uranium enrichment up to weapons grade, while Tehran was creeping up on the six powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) with its Plan B for producing a plutonium bomb.
It must also be said that the Arak plant and Iran’s plan for a plutonium weapon have been around for some time and were only brought into play now to support these arguments..
As for the rumors of Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah coming down with cancer and being flown to a hospital in Tehran – broadcast Tuesday, Feb. 26 – even assuming they were confirmed – prove nothing. HIzballah in fact strenuously denied the rumor Tuesday night.
If Nasrallah were to disappear tomorrow, Hizballah’s military, political, intelligence and terrorist arms,which are managed totally by Tehran, would simply carry on as before in Lebanon and Syria. And whatever fate may overtake even Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iran is too deeply entrenched in both countries to be dislodged.
The rumors of Nasrallah’s terminal illness come one month after the assassination of Gen. Hassan Shateri aka Hossam Khosh-Nevis, who was Iran’s overlord for Syria and Lebanon. They look very much like an attempt to undermine morale in Damascus and Beirut ahead of the March 5 negotiations opening in Moscow between the Assad regime and the Syrian opposition.
It is hardly likely that the Moscow-Tehran initiative for ending the Syrian war will be affected any more than images of a head of steam over Arak will halt Iran’s nuclear program.