"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

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Iran and the Road Ahead

From The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Recently, two important developments have broken months of gridlock on the Iranian nuclear issue: a third round of UN sanctions and a new warning by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Although both measures are positive, their ultimate impact will depend on how aggressively and effectively key governments implement them.

For a full read, click here.

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Russia warns Iran over nuclear program

From Yahoo via Reuters.

Russia toughened its stance towards Iran on Wednesday, threatening to back further United Nations sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program unless it halted uranium enrichment in the next few days.

Russia's U.N. envoy Vitaly Churkin said Moscow could back a sanctions resolution the Western powers have drafted and which they want to discuss in the U.N. Security Council this week.

"If Iran in the next few days does not stop the enrichment activities of its heavy water project then yes, Russia ... has taken upon itself certain commitments... to support the resolution that has been drafted in the past month," Churkin told reporters via a video link from New York.

One has to wonder why the sudden change in Russia's stance towards increased sanctions against Iran given the recent agreement between Gazprom and Iran to develop oil and gas facilities.

For a full read, click here.

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US intel links Iran with nuke bomb bid

From Yahoo via AP.

The U.S. has recently shared sensitive information with the International Atomic Energy Agency on key aspects of Iran's nuclear program that Washington says shows Tehran was directly engaged in trying to make an atomic weapon, diplomats told The Associated Press on Thursday.

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Toward a Nuclear-Free World

From The Wall Street Journal.

The accelerating spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear know-how and nuclear material has brought us to a nuclear tipping point. We face a very real possibility that the deadliest weapons ever invented could fall into dangerous hands.

The steps we are taking now to address these threats are not adequate to the danger. With nuclear weapons more widely available, deterrence is decreasingly effective and increasingly hazardous.

For a full read, click here. It is a great article focusing on dealing with nuclear proliferation.

What is most amazing is the number of folks who contributed to this article.

Mr. Shultz was secretary of state from 1982 to 1989. Mr. Perry was secretary of defense from 1994 to 1997. Mr. Kissinger was secretary of state from 1973 to 1977. Mr. Nunn is former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The following participants in the Hoover-NTI conference also endorse the view in this statement: General John Abizaid, Graham Allison, Brooke Anderson, Martin Anderson, Steve Andreasen, Mike Armacost, Bruce Blair, Matt Bunn, Ashton Carter, Sidney Drell, General Vladimir Dvorkin, Bob Einhorn, Mark Fitzpatrick, James Goodby, Rose Gottemoeller, Tom Graham, David Hamburg, Siegfried Hecker, Tom Henriksen, David Holloway, Raymond Jeanloz, Ray Juzaitis, Max Kampelman, Jack Matlock, Michael McFaul, John McLaughlin, Don Oberdorfer, Pavel Podvig, William Potter, Richard Rhodes, Joan Rohlfing, Scott Sagan, Roald Sagdeev, Abe Sofaer, Richard Solomon, and Philip Zelikow.


Israel: 'No Options' Out on Iran Nukes

From NewsMax.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a powerful parliamentary panel on Monday that Israel rejects no options to block Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, a meeting participant said.

The statement was the Israeli leader's clearest indication yet that he is willing to use military force against Iran.

"Israel clearly will not reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran," the meeting participant quoted Olmert as telling the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "All options that prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities are legitimate within the context of how to grapple with this matter."

Olmert addressed the panel days after discussing Iran's nuclear ambitions in face-to-face talks with President Bush in Jerusalem.

Rather strong words. One can only hope the U.S. will not prevent Israel from ensuring Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons.

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North Korea's True Colors

From John Bolton writing in The Wall Street Journal.

There's more positive news from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea: Its leaders have refused to make any further disclosure concerning its nuclear programs.

How is this umpteenth violation of the Feb. 13, 2006, agreement in the Six-Party Talks positive? Because at a critical moment on a gravely important issue, North Korea has again shown its true colors, thus providing the United States an opportunity to extricate itself from this unwise and dangerous deal.

As always, Mr. Bolton is able to make an informed, knowledgeable recommendation for future dealings with North Korea.

For the full read, click here.

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