Iranian Atomic Urgency
• The Scotsman assesses how much time Iran would need to build a nuclear weapon. Once again, we see the difference between Israeli and Western red lines:
Mr Netanyahu’s calculations are seemingly based on when Iran could have enough medium-enriched uranium to make a sprint to produce sufficient weapon-grade material for one bomb.
With provisos, many analysts agree with him that Iran could be in that position by next summer, although others say Tehran could need even less time.
But even if Iran makes a dash to enrich its uranium stockpile, it would probably need another six months to assemble a “crude nuclear device”, said Mark Fitzpatrick, a senior non-proliferation expert at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London.
“And to produce a nuclear weapon that could be deliverable by a ballistic missile would take at least another year,” he added in an interview. “So the total time is at least two years.
“And that is only for one weapon. It would be foolhardy for Iran to undertake the risk, only to produce one nuclear weapon.”
• EU foreign ministers are set to agree on more sanctions against Iran. According to the Wall St. Journal, “They will target the EU’s dealings with Iranian banks, affect trade and gas imports and will for the first time also hit Iran’s telecoms sector.”
• Jonathan Spyer, the Israeli who twice snuck into Syria to cover the civil war, shared his thoughts on the uprising in a thoughtful Q&A with Michael Totten.
• Hezbollah knows its involvement in sending an Iranian drone over Israel could drag Lebanon into war. So why is Hezbollah nonetheless playing with fire? Asharq al-Awsat‘s Tariq Alhomayed writes:
The simple answer is that Nasrallah wants to reshuffle the cards in order to ease the pressure on al-Assad (whose forces have so far killed nearly 35,000 Syrians), and to serve the Iranian nuclear project. Hezbollah is doing all this at the expense of Syrian blood, and at the expense of the Lebanese state, which may soon find itself in an unequal and hopeless war.
Quite a Lebanese politicians quoted by Reuters slammed Hezbollah for the same reason.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Andrew Roberts of Bloomberg News heaps righteous scorn over the EU’s Nobel Peace Prize.
(Image of Netanyahu via UN/J Carrier)
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