Uranium Deal with Iran Likely Dead
9:25 AM, Nov 19, 2009 • By JOHN NOONAN
No surprise here, Tehran doesn't believe sanctions will materialize and have buried the lion's share of their HEU stockpiles -- and accompanying centrifuge cascades -- in a massive underground complex near the Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center. Isfahan, Tehran's version of Cheyenne Mountain, is well protected by advanced Russian radar systems, surface-to-air missile batteries, and roughly 150 meters of rock and concrete. The logistical hurdles involved in destroying such a facility would be nearly insurmountable.
So Iran has very publicly played President Obama for a fool, faking their way through negotiations that were a farce from the get-go. The question now becomes one of response. Israel has indicated that the current negotiations could be Iran's last chance for a non-military solution. Now that Iran's own foreign minister has admitted that negotiations will fail, will the United States drop its objections to Israeli military action? And, more importantly, will Obama green light the massive ordnance penetrator -- a weapon widely believed designed specifically for the inaccessible Isfahan facility -- for export?
Chances that the White House will order a U.S. strike hover between slim and none and equipping the capable Israeli Air Force with MOPs would essentially be the same thing as condoning an attack. It's more likely that the Obama administration has resigned itself to a restructured deterrence framework with the Iranians -- an increasingly difficult task, considering how aggressively the president is cutting both our strategic arsenals and missile defense.