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Paper Tiger Alert: Iran Calls Obama’s Bluff

John on November 29, 2009 at 9:52 am

From the we-didn’t-see-this-coming department:

Iran’s government has approved plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment plants, according to state media.

The government told the Iranian nuclear agency to begin work on five sites, with five more to be located over the next two months.

It comes days after the UN nuclear watchdog rebuked Iran for covering up a uranium enrichment plant.

Western powers say Iran is trying to develop nuclear arms. Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful.

BBC Tehran correspondent Jon Leyne says Sunday’s announcement is a massive act of defiance likely to bring forward direct confrontation over Iran’s nuclear programme.

In case this wasn’t clear enough, Iran also allocated $20 million for Hamas and Hezbollah. Smart power doesn’t seem to be accomplishing much for us or our allies thus far. I’m sure it’ll kick in any day now…

All of this is in direct response to the IAEA letter of condemnation aka ElBaradei’s last gasp. The White House is taking credit for the Russians and Chinese being on board with the letter, though so far as anyone knows both nations remain firmly against actual sanctions. The Iranians must be convinced of this or they wouldn’t have risked provoking their protectors with this move.

There are ways to put a hitch in Iran’s step. Iran is a net exporter of oil, but does not have the refining capacity necessary to create all the gasoline it uses. Hence, Iran is vulnerable to sanctions on gasoline. But again, both China and Russia have refused to consider such sanctions.

Now that Iran has called the President’s bluff, what’s next? Hint: The unfortunate fact about bluffs is that, by definition, you don’t have a next move.

Israel however is not going to be waiting around much longer. This morning Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Gillerman said on Fox News that December was the deciding month. If someone (meaning us) didn’t take action against this “evil nation” (meaning Iran), they would do so.

Obama can’t step up against Iran for a host of reasons both practical and political. So maybe he quietly lets Israel know they have a green light to take out a few nuclear facilities. This works for Iran as it justifies their Jew hatred and gives them an external enemy to distract people from the brutal and repressive tyranny back home (the oldest trick in the tyrant’s playbook).

The real danger here is that all of this emboldens tyrants around the world to stand up to the great satan. If it wasn’t already evident to them, it is about to be crystal clear that under Obama, America is a dithering paper tiger.

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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