An Upcoming War in the Middle East?

According to a recent study presented by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), a Washington D.C.-based, bipartisan foreign policy think tank, “[T]here is a suspicion in the West that Iran wants to start an open ended dialog and negotiations to buy time to reduce pressure for sanctions, and use it as a screen to crush all domestic opposition and unrest, with no commitments to terminate its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Iran will use the process domestically showing that the hard line stance of the regime, in not making any concessions, has made the West respect and acknowledge Iran’s sovereign right to pursue Nuclear Power and its own enrichment program.”

“In addition, to show that there is cooperation with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency], it accepts a limited freeze, making sure it does not alter its fundamental aim and program in developing knowledge in enrichment of Uranium. An enrichment program in Iran will give it the option to “breakout” of the NPT, and move towards the production of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, Iran will not accept any “Rollback” of its enrichment program.

“The study looks into all the options that are on the table in dealing with Iran’s Nuclear Program and what the military capabilities are of the three main parties, United States, Israel, and the GCC [Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf], and what could be the possible strike scenarios, mission success, and the Iranian response.”

The 208 pages long study on “Options in Dealing with Iran’s Nuclear Program” by Abdullah Toukan and Anthony H. Cordesman, which can be found here, concludes that, “if all peaceful options have been exhausted and Iran has left no other means to convince it to stop or change its course in pursuing Nuclear Weapons, the U.S. is the only country that can launch a successful Military Strike.” (All emphasis by the authors of the study.)

Yesterday, the Deputy Director of the National Intelligence for Analysis submitted its “Unclassified Report to (U.S.) Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, Covering 1 January to 31 December 2009”  stating that “[W]e continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons though we do not know whether Tehran eventually will decide to produce nuclear weapons.”

“Iran continues to develop a range of capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so.” (Emphasis added.)

That report does not deviate in any way from the recent unclassified part of the Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community. So, CSIS is speculating about a looming next war in the Middle East. Bunker busting bombs are already underway.

Last update March 27, 2010.

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