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Iran: Nuke notes, &c.

Reza Kahlili served the CIA Directorate of Operations as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He tells the story in A Time to Betray. Kahlili now asserts that an explosion at Iran’s underground nuclear facility at Fordo has destroyed much of the installation and trapped about 240 personnel deep underground, all “according to a former intelligence officer of the Islamic regime.” The explosion is said to have taken place on Monday. Israeli news stories — here and here — on Kahlili’s account rightly emphasize that the account remains uncorroborated by any source.

Kahlili’s account appears on the WND site. It would be nice to have a little bit more in the way of information that might allow readers to evaluate the veracity of the account. Even more questionable, however, is the lead in the New York Times story on outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak (linked by Drudge). With the help of two other Times reporters, Isabel Kershner relates that, according to Barak, “the Pentagon had prepared sophisticated blueprints for a surgical operation to set back Iran’s nuclear program should the United States decide to attack” and, according to Kershner, this is “a statement that was a possible indication that Israel might have shelved any plans for a unilateral strike, at least for now.” Possibly!

The Times of Israel runs an interesting account of an interview with Iran’s former counsel in Oslo, Mohammad Reza Heydari. Having obtained political asylum in Norway there three years ago, Heydari asserts that ”[i]f Iran is given more time, it will acquire the knowledge necessary to build a nuclear bomb within a year.” Asked whether Iran would use the bomb against Israel, he said: “If Iran gets to the point where it has an atomic bomb, it will certainly use it, against Israel or any other [enemy] country.”

In this context, consider Norman Podhoretz’s assessment in an interview with Giulio Meotti: “If Iran gets the bomb, the Israelis would have to decide whether to preempt or to retaliate from the rubble. The Iranians would face the same decision. Each would therefore have an irresistible incentive to beat the other to the punch. It is hard, if not impossible, to see how a nuclear exchange could be avoided under such circumstances.”

Also linked by Drudge is the AP story on the latest announcement of Iranian foreign policy:

As quoted by the semiofficial Mehr news agency, an aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Syria held a key position among a group of Middle Eastern powers opposed to U.S. and Israeli influence in the region.

“Syria plays a very key role in supporting or, God forbid, destabilizing the resistance front,” said Ali Akbar Velayati. “For this same reason, (an) attack on Syria is considered (an) attack on Iran and Iran’s allies.”

The Khameni Doctrine! It’s long past time to bring back the Monroe Doctrine to address Iran’s operations in the Americas.

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