Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Syria, Iran, and Obama

The alleged discovery of uranium traces at a bombed-out Syrian site, which was blitzed by Israeli warplanes in 2007 amid fears it was a covert nuclear reactor, has raised fresh doubts over the Middle Eastern state's avowed intentions to produce nuclear materials solely for benign purposes.


Diplomats say uranium traces have been found at a suspected secret nuclear reactor in Syria.Diplomats in Vienna have revealed that samples taken from a suspected secret nuclear reactor in Syria contained traces of uranium combined with other elements that diplomats say merit further investigation.

Officials in the United States also believe the site, which was hit by Israeli bombers in September 2007, was a nearly completed nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium, a pathway to nuclear arms.

Damascus has repeatedly insisted that it has no nuclear weapons program, and there was no immediate response from Syria Tuesday about the news of the alleged uranium find.

"No, Baby! It's not what you think!" Does anyone really fall for that line?

Syria has great hopes that President-elect Barack Obama can help push the Middle East peace process forward. "This truly is the time to come to a comprehensive peace," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem tells SPIEGEL ONLINE in an interview. He also wants to see direct talks with Iran.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Minister, what do you think of the vote that America has cast?
Moallem: I am happy about the result of the American election and I congratulate President-elect Barack Obama. I hope that he will help us make a dream come true: a Middle East of peace, of stability and prosperity. There is no way around it: To achieve this, America’s role is central.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Syria is a neighbor of Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territories -- and it is Iran's best friend. Which Middle East conflict would you like to see Obama tackle first?

Moallem: The Arab-Israeli one because this conflict aggravates and fuels all others. This truly is the time to come to a comprehensive peace between Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinians.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Obama is hardly in a position to solve this alone. What can Syria offer him?
Moallem: Our readiness for dialogue, our moderation.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The new US president would probably even be happier if you stated that you are fundamentally opposed to a nuclear-armed Iran.

Moallem: I am even advocating a whole Middle East without weapons of mass destruction. Israel has nuclear weapons …

SPIEGEL ONLINE: … but you have particularly close ties to Iran. How do you want to counter the concerns of the world and the incoming US administration about Iran's nuclear program?

Moallem: The Iranians have assured us that their program is peaceful and that they need nuclear energy. We trust them.

If, when he becomes President, Obama enters into dialogue with Syria and Iran it will probably be at a time when US military forces are being slowly pulled out of Iraq. While everyone's diplomats blow smoke up each other's hind ends, Syria and Iran will be continue to try to develope nuclear weapons. I don't buy the "We want it for peaceful reasons," line. They want them to threaten Israel, and anyone else who might threaten them.

Can we trust a country to enter into an honest diplomatic dialogue, when they've shown they have no respect for the rule of diplomacy? (Iran) Can we trust a country that has lied about developing nuclear weapons? (Syria!)

Read the statements by Syria's Foreign Minister. "I am advocating...a whole Middle East without weapons of mass destruction." I am. Not "We are," not "Syria is..." And, "Israel has nuclear weapons..." He is making it appear as if Syria has no interest in nuclear weapons, but since Israel has them then it is their best interest to have them as well. See, this is why I don't like diplomacy. Diplomats can't make a straight fucking statement about anything. Even his statement about Iran leaves him an out, "We trust them." If Iran developes nuclear weapons Syria will say, "They lied to us! Now we are in between two states that are hostile towards one another who have nuclear arms! We must think of our security!"

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