Discussion in 'China' started by badguy2000, Apr 19, 2010.
haha ,very funny,but it indeed tells something.=xD
I liked that Dragon, but I wish they put a panda in place
Anyways... the whole world is against sanctions against Iran. Except the United States. Because it's scared already.
Russia, China, European Countries don't want ANY sanctions on Iran.
Iran To France: Sanctions WonÂ´t Stop Atomic Plans
China: Sanctions are not a solution
Iran Lays Out Its Terms
IRANIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD said Tuesday he would be sending U.S. President Barack Obama a letter, the contents of which would be made public in the coming days. In a live interview on state television, Ahmadinejad said that Iran was the â€œonly chanceâ€ for Obama to salvage his administrationâ€™s position in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iranian president remarked, â€œThe best way for him [Obama] is to accept and respect Iran and enter into cooperation. Many new opportunities will be created for him.â€
This is not the first time Ahmadinejad has offered his American counterpart cooperation in an attempt to extract concessions. But he has never been so direct about telegraphing his view that the United States is in a difficult position in the Middle East and South Asia, nor has he offered Iranâ€™s help so that the United States can extricate itself from the region. What is important is that the Iranian leader is pretty accurate in both his description and prescription.
Washington is indeed working toward a military drawdown in Iraq, and needs to make progress in Afghanistan within a very short time frame. Iran borders both these countries, where the Islamic republic has significant influence. Cognizant of Obamaâ€™s domestic political imperatives, Ahmadinejad said, â€œHe [Obama] has but one chance to stay as head of the state and succeed. Obama cannot do anything in Palestine. He has no chance. What can he do in Iraq? Nothing. And Afghanistan is too complicated. The best way for him is to accept and respect Iran and enter into cooperation. Many new opportunities will be created for him.â€
The Iranian president is correct in that a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely unlikely. In terms of Iraq, the Iranians recently signaled that they are prepared to accept a sizeable Sunni presence in the next Iraqi coalition government. This will facilitate the U.S. need for a balance of power in Iraq, thereby allowing Washington to exit the country. Similarly, the Americans cannot achieve the conditions for withdrawal in Afghanistan without reaching an understanding with the Iranians.
Therefore, the maverick Iranian leader was not engaging in his usual rhetoric when he said, â€œMr. Obama has only one chance and that is Iran. This is not emotional talk but scientific. He has but one place to say that â€˜I made a change and I turned over the world equationâ€™ and that is Iran.â€ So, what exactly does Ahmadinejad want in return for helping the leader of his countryâ€™s biggest foe?
The answer lies in the following comment by Ahmadinejad: â€œAcknowledging Iran would benefit both sides and as far as Iran is concerned, we are not after any confrontation.â€ The Iranians are trying to bring closure to their efforts of the last eight years in which they have been trying to exploit the U.S. wars being fought in their neighborhood to achieve their geopolitical objectives. Ahmadinejad is laying out his terms.
In exchange for helping the United States, the Islamic republic first wants international recognition as a legitimate entity. Second, the global community needs to recognize the Iranian sphere of influence in the Islamic world. Third, and most importantly, while it is prepared to normalize ties with the United States, Iran wants to retain its independent foreign policy.
Put another way, Iran wants to be treated by the Obama administration along the lines of how U.S. President Richard Nixonâ€™s administration dealt with China during the early 1970s. The demand for respect is a critical one. Iran is not interested in rapprochement with the United States along the lines of what Libya did in 2003 when it gave up its nuclear weapons arsenal in exchange for normalized relations with the United States and its Western allies.
Iran is not close to crossing the nuclear threshold yet, but it wants to retain that as a future option as per any deal. Iran has been emboldened by the fact that the United States is neither in a position to exercise the military option to prevent the Persian state from going nuclear, nor is it able to put together an effective sanctions regime that could affect a change in Tehranâ€™s behavior. It is therefore using the regional dynamic as leverage to try and extract the maximum possible concessions on the nuclear issue.
On a further note, an arrangement based on the concept of â€œaccept us for who we areâ€ is critical to the interests of the Iranian regime for two reasons. First, it gets rid of the external threat of regime change. Second, it allows the Iranian regime to demonstrate on the domestic front that its aggressive foreign policy has paid off, which completely undermines its Green movement opponents.
It is too early to predict whether Iran can achieve its goals or not. It has moved to the final round of its efforts to use American weakness to its advantage, and at this stage it does hold a strong deck of cards.
Gates Pushes Back on Report of Memo About Iran Policy
WASHINGTON â€” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates acknowledged Sunday that he had written a classified memorandum to the White House in January raising significant questions about long-term Iran policy, but said his goal had been only â€œto contribute to an orderly and timely decision-making process.â€ The New York Times reported in its Sunday editions that Mr. Gates had warned in a secret three-page memo that the United States did not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iranâ€™s steady progress toward nuclear capability.
Prior to publication of the article, Obama administration officials had not publicly confirmed nor denied the memoâ€™s existence.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Mr. Gates said he wished to correct what he described as mischaracterizations about the memoâ€™s content and purpose, and to dispel any perception among allies that the administration had failed to adequately think through how to deal with Iran.
â€œWith the administrationâ€™s pivot to a pressure track on Iran earlier this year, the memo identified next steps in our defense planning process where further interagency discussion and policy decisions would be needed in the months and weeks ahead,â€ Mr. Gates said.
â€œThe memo was not intended as a â€˜wake-up callâ€™ or received as such by the presidentâ€™s national security team,â€ he added. â€œRather, it presented a number of questions and proposals intended to contribute to an orderly and timely decision-making process.â€
The New York Times article quoted one senior official as saying the document was a â€œwake-up call.â€ But Mr. Gates said, â€œThe New York Times sources who revealed my January memo to the national security advisor mischaracterized its purpose and content.â€
Senior administration officials, asked Sunday to give specific examples of what was mischaracterized in the article, declined to discuss the content of the memo, citing its classified status. In his statement, Mr. Gates offered no details on the issues he raised in his memo.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, weighed in on the debate Sunday by saying that while extensive effort had been spent on developing Iran strategy, it remained a complicated and vexing national security challenge.
â€œIt has been worked and it continues to be worked,â€ Admiral Mullen said during a forum at Columbia University in New York. â€œIf there was an easy answer, we wouldâ€™ve picked it off the shelf.â€
Admiral Mullen reiterated his longstanding view that while military strikes could delay Iranâ€™s nuclear program, diplomatic inducements and economic penalties remained the preferred course. He said that military action was the â€œlast option.â€
Senior Republicans said Sunday that gaps in Iran policy were self-evident. Senator John McCain of Arizona said he did not need a secret memo from Mr. Gates to be persuaded that the administration was mishandling Iran.
â€œWe do not have a coherent policy,â€ Mr. McCain said on â€œFox News Sunday,â€ although he noted that an unsuccessful policy that focused on threatening ever-tougher sanctions had begun in the Bush administration.
â€œWe have to be willing to pull the trigger on significant sanctions,â€ Senator McCain said. â€œAnd then we have to make plans for whatever contingencies follow if those sanctions are not effective.â€
In his statement, Mr. Gates sought to reassure overseas allies and partners â€” presumably Israel and Arab states in the Persian Gulf â€” as well as to put Iran on notice that the administration had the policy and capabilities.
â€œThere should be no confusion by our allies and adversaries that the United States is properly and energetically focused on this question and prepared to act across a broad range of contingencies in support of our interests,â€ Mr. Gates wrote.
Through a long career in national security, Mr. Gates has warned of the risks of â€œstrategic surprise.â€ He is known for pressing the government-wide national security apparatus to define policy, prepare capabilities and decide on required authorities in advance of potential crises.
Mullen: Strikes would delay Iran, his "last option"
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a U.S. strike would "go a long way to delaying" Iran's nuclear program, but would be his "last option."
"Military options would go a long way to delaying" Iran's nuclear program, Mullen told reporters after a Columbia University conference, Reuters reported.
"That's not my call, that's going to be the president's call," Mullen continued. "But from my perspective ... the last option is to strike right now."
Iran achieving a nuclear weapons capability "has unintended consequences" including that "other countries in the region will then seek .... nuclear weapons as well," Mullen said. "That spiral headed in that direction is a very bad outcome."
"I worry, on the other hand, about striking Iran," he continued. "I've been very public about that because of the unintended consequences of that."
"The diplomatic, the engagement piece, the sanctions piece, all those things, from my perspective, need to be addressed to possibly have Iran change its mind about where it's headed," Mullen said.
Back in December, Mullen "told his planners he didn't believe they were taking 'seriously enough' the need for fresh thinking about how to attack Iran's nuclear sites if the president ordered such a strike," CNN cited an unnamed Obama adminisration official Sunday.
Mullen "wanted to create a higher sense of urgency" and "a more robust planning effort to provide the President with options, should he choose a military option," he continued.
The official said the U.S. military and Centcom had been updating plans to strike Iran's nuclear site for some time.
Gates Says U.S. Lacks a Policy to Thwart Iran
WASHINGTON â€” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iranâ€™s steady progress toward nuclear capability, according to government officials familiar with the document. Several officials said the highly classified analysis, written in January to President Obamaâ€™s national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones, came in the midst of an intensifying effort inside the Pentagon, the White House and the intelligence agencies to develop new options for Mr. Obama. They include a set of military alternatives, still under development, to be considered should diplomacy and sanctions fail to force Iran to change course.
Officials familiar with the memoâ€™s contents would describe only portions dealing with strategy and policy, and not sections that apparently dealt with secret operations against Iran, or how to deal with Persian Gulf allies.
One senior official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the memo, described the document as â€œa wake-up call.â€ But White House officials dispute that view, insisting that for 15 months they had been conducting detailed planning for many possible outcomes regarding Iranâ€™s nuclear program.
In an interview on Friday, General Jones declined to speak about the memorandum. But he said: â€œOn Iran, we are doing what we said we were going to do. The fact that we donâ€™t announce publicly our entire strategy for the world to see doesnâ€™t mean we donâ€™t have a strategy that anticipates the full range of contingencies â€” we do.â€
But in his memo, Mr. Gates wrote of a variety of concerns, including the absence of an effective strategy should Iran choose the course that many government and outside analysts consider likely: Iran could assemble all the major parts it needs for a nuclear weapon â€” fuel, designs and detonators â€” but stop just short of assembling a fully operational weapon.
In that case, Iran could remain a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty while becoming what strategists call a â€œvirtualâ€ nuclear weapons state.
According to several officials, the memorandum also calls for new thinking about how the United States might contain Iranâ€™s power if it decided to produce a weapon, and how to deal with the possibility that fuel or weapons could be obtained by one of the terrorist groups Iran has supported, which officials said they considered to be a less-likely possibility.
Mr. Gates has never mentioned the memo in public. His spokesman, Geoff Morrell, declined to comment on specifics in the document, but issued a statement on Saturday saying, â€œThe secretary believes the president and his national security team have spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort considering and preparing for the full range of contingencies with respect to Iran.â€
Pressed on the administrationâ€™s ambiguous phrases until now about how close the United States was willing to allow Iranâ€™s program to proceed, a senior administration official described last week in somewhat clearer terms that there was a line Iran would not be permitted to cross.
The official said that the United States would ensure that Iran would not â€œacquire a nuclear capability,â€ a step Tehran could get to well before it developed a sophisticated weapon. â€œThat includes the ability to have a breakout,â€ he said, using the term nuclear specialists apply to a country that suddenly renounces the nonproliferation treaty and uses its technology to build a small arsenal.
Nearly two weeks ago, Mr. Obama, in an interview with The New York Times, was asked about whether he saw a difference between a nuclear-capable Iran and one that had a fully developed weapon. â€œIâ€™m not going to parse that right now,â€ he said. But he noted that North Korea was considered a nuclear-capable state until it threw out inspectors and, as he said, â€œbecame a self-professed nuclear state.â€
Mr. Gates has alluded to his concern that intelligence agencies might miss signals that Iran was taking the final steps toward producing a weapon. Last Sunday on the NBC News program â€œMeet the Press,â€ he said: â€œIf their policy is to go to the threshold but not assemble a nuclear weapon, how do you tell that they have not assembled? I donâ€™t actually know how you would verify that.â€ But he cautioned that Iran had run into production difficulties, and he said, â€œItâ€™s going slow â€” slower than they anticipated, but they are moving in that direction.â€
Mr. Gates has taken a crucial role in formulating the administrationâ€™s strategy, and he has been known over his career to issue stark warnings against the possibility of strategic surprise.
Some officials said his memo should be viewed in that light: as a warning to a relatively new president that the United States was not adequately prepared.
He wrote the memo after Iran had let pass a 2009 deadline set by Mr. Obama to respond to his offers of diplomatic engagement.
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