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Sunday, August 27th 2006

Iranians On Land, Under Water, & In The Air!

Iran test fired a sub based missile today. I’m not sure how far of a technological leap that is for the Iranian navy. It appears to certainly be the most aggressive and advanced home built missile of such type.

The show of military strength came less than 24 hours after the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, formally opened a heavy water plant that could be used in the production of nuclear weapons.

Even with all these goings on, some don’t like a recent report on Iran from the House Premanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The Seattle PI’s op/ed title reads “Crying Wolf.”

The House Intelligence Committee report says analysts must not “shy away from provocative conclusions or bury disagreements.” Arguing for sensational findings creates a huge risk of repeating the kinds of intelligence mistakes that facilitated the unjustified war against Iraq. That danger is exacerbated when government officials suspect their leaders want to hear only the worst assessments.

The editors over there think we don’t know enough about Iran and if we start fearing the worst or just prognosticating to fear, without real intelligence then we’re doomed to repeat the intelligence (or lack there of) mistakes that led us into Iraq.

I suppose.clearly we’re lacking hard evidence when people are claiming Ahmadinejad is planning to pave the way for the return of Mahdi and the end of the world. Still, no one (no matter how much Starbucks they drink) can think the world isn’t significantly less secure with Iranian nukes. Or think Iran’s program is purely civilian (no matter the intelligence or not).

Maybe what the Seattle Post Intelligencer is really fearing is just unilateral escalation.

With increasing signs that several fellow Security Council members may stall a United States push to penalize Iran for its nuclear enrichment program, Bush administration officials have indicated that they are prepared to form an independent coalition to freeze Iranian assets and restrict trade.

Even France, which looked strong immediatley following Iran’s “response” to threats of sanctions, is now faltering.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said Iran’s response was “not satisfactory” but France wanted to avoid a new conflict that could lead to “a clash of civilizations.”

“But the worst thing would be to escalate into a confrontation with Iran on the one hand — and the Muslim world with Iran — and the West,” he said on French radio. “That would be the clash of civilizations that France today is practically alone in trying to avoid.”

We’ll see when the 31st rolls around.