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  1. So, apparently Israel's president Netanyahu recently spoke in Congress about how he wants Obama's nuclear talks with Iran to stop. Here's the video: http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4501507/netanyahu-warns-congress-iran The speech has been boycotted by about 60 Democrats, for various reasons, the most common reason being that Netanyahu was invited by congressional Republicans in order to torpedo the President's foreign policy. The second reason is that people suspect that Netanyahu merely wanted to do this to strengthen his image at home, in advance of the Israeli legislative elections due in two weeks. My opinion is that since the effort to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear technology has already failed, he's doing this in advance in order to save face later and be able to say that he did what he could when this fact sinks in. It's interesting that Netanyahu states no alternative to the talks. Iran has already achieved civilian nuclear power, and constructed enrichment facilities. They have had a research reactor (since 1967, supplied by the US), one (small) operational heavy water reactor, one light water reactor on the commercial grid, with two more light water and one heavy water reactor planned. They have been fully assisted by Russia in starting up their light water reactor. So the Republicans who say "Their nuclear program must be stopped" (Jeb Bush) and "Obama Admin's negotiations w/ Iran have been a failure. We must stand united with Israel to prevent a nuclear Iran!" (Ted Cruz) are being extremely insincere, since it's not about "stopping" some future leap of technology but dismantling existing, operational reactors and enrichment facilities which have been operational since 2010. There is fundamentally speaking no alternative to talks, there is nothing short of war at this point which could possibly stop the Iranian nuclear programme. The alternative the Republicans speak of might be to just wait, doing nothing, but that clearly won't prevent Iran from anything, as we've seen - there's no point in keeping sanctions on for nothing (or is that exactly what the Republicans think?). Meanwhile, both the Israeli Mossad and CIA are clear on the point that there is nothing which points towards there being a military Iranian nuclear programme. Now, let's not confuse that with the possibility of Iran starting a military nuclear weapons programme in the future. With what we know they have now, Iran might have a rudimentary nuclear bomb (without delivery system) within one year. Clearly the answer is a deal which lets the IAEA inspect what they are doing. So let's keep track of, and discuss, what will come out of this. And how would things have looked with a Republican president? Since Iran has been getting nuclear weapons next year every year since the 1990s, we can expect this to be a relevant question also after 2016.
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