Perpetually not getting the attention it deserves is Iran, who again graciously extended its middle finger to the world. The Czar likes to imagine the world as a grade school playground; Iran tends to be the weird kid that no one likes, who hangs around the playground by himself insulting and ridiculing other kids as they run by, daring them to hit him. They dont, due to his intense weirdness, but some kids are growing sorely tempted to paste him solidly in the mouth.
Anyway, Iran has announced that they will stun the world this Thursday, to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Fall of Iran. This probably will not consist of a new line of ladies Persian-motifed handbags.
They have also announced that they fully intend to enrich uranium to 20%, which flies in the face of prior promises to restrain enrichment to small levels. The uranium, says Iran, will be used for medical research purposes.
President Obama said today that Despite their posturing that their nuclear power is only for civilian use, they in fact continue to pursue a course that would lead to weaponization and that is not acceptable.
The President is correct: the amounts of uranium involved and the types of equipment they have for processing uranium are unable to produce medical-grade material, and certainly cannot produce complete fuel rods. The only other explanation is that they might create and test their first nuclear weapon on Thursday.
Another aspect barely mentioned in the American and European press until recently is that Russiawho for economic reasons continue to downplay the seriousness of Irans uranium applicationsevidently hit the roof on this, and is just as furious as the US. Probably because if Iran tests a nuclear weaponwhich is about all they can do with what they haveit will make Russia look like a gigantic jackass for defending Irans civilian uranium needs. Russia fears a loss of credibility on this issue, and knows that Israel may very well respond in force to destroy Irans nuclear facilities before they have been fully paid for. Yes, that check goes to Russia, who might be out some serious amounts of money. Russias gambit has been to let the Iranians dicker around with uranium enrichment until the last payment clears; once thats done, let the Israelis go in and annihilate those facilities. Because the Russians are smart enough to know that a good salesperson sells the same item to the same customer a second time for a slightly higher price this time. But if Israel smacks Iran sooner than that, the money may dry up for a very long time.
And Israel has every right to be concerned. Iran last week tested a rocket that was quite capable of carrying two turtles, a hamster, and a worm into downtown Jerusalem. If that was not warning enough, less subtlety was delivered by their defense minister who announced that Iran was developing unmanned drones for no other purpose than to deliver high precision attacks on neighboring states.
Intelligence traffic showed Israel to be quite busy in the last couple of months; however, there is substantial intelligence traffic that indicates the Iranian people may be planning a serious and organized protest against their government on Thursday. This is something else to watch, since the eyes of the world will be on Iran while their masters will be looking elsewhere.
So what is to be done? Unfortunately at this point, the awkwardness between Israel, Russia, and America (plus the ongoing dithering by Europe) has largely committed us to stand by and wait until Thursday to see what happens. Certainly, there is talk of further sanctions against Iran. The Czar does not know and cannot imagine what further sanctions will do: the Iranian government seems to feed off them. And indeed, in the past, Iran has used international sanctions to fuel anti-American sentiments among the people. Given how precarious the government finds its position, it may make sense to wait and see what happens Thursday: with Iran, and within it.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.