James Clapper, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, testified to the U.S. Senate that “North Korea is committed to developing long-range missile technology capable of posing direct threat to the United States.”
The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, is aware Iran is selling oil to China to finance a joint venture with North Korea to develop nuclear warheads and ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles). The cost of the program is estimated at $3.8 billion with 68 percent of the budget going to export of technology and equipment from China and 32 percent for North Korean assistance.
It has been reported that Iran has been funding the North Korean nuclear program for as long as a decade. During all three previous North Korean nuclear tests, Iranian representatives have been present. Without China running interference in the UN, and providing technology through Pakistan and North Korea, Iran would probably not have a nuclear program. In addition China is the biggest purchaser of Iranian oil.
Beginning in 1994 the Chinese communists sold centrifuge technology for enriching uranium to Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who was in charge of developing a nuclear weapon for Pakistan. Dr. Khan assisted North Korea and Iran in their joint venture.
China’s historic support for Iran is one reason critics are suspicious of the current interim agreement with Iran. The terms of the deal struck between the Iranians and negotiators representing the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany (P5+1), have made it difficult for Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities while a final agreement is worked out.
Iran and six world powers have agreed to extend nuclear talks until November 24, with a view of achieving a permanent deal. Israel believes the current talks will be postponed again until January 15, 2015. Critics believe discussions conducted in the current rounds of talks on the number of centrifuges and the amount of enriched uranium Iran is allowed to stockpile are meaningless. Once they install the advanced IR2 extra-fast centrifuges, neither Washington nor Jerusalem will be able to know how much enriched material the Iranians are producing.
No one in Washington or Tehran believes President Obama will use military force to stop Iran. Having already signed a weak interim deal that granted recognition of Iran’s “right” to enrich uranium and weakened sanctions, the U.S. appears to lack the will to stop Iran’s nuclear program.
The Israeli and Saudi government have lost faith in the Obama administration and the other western powers. The Saudis called the tentative agreement with the Iranians “Western treachery”. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called it “an historic mistake.”
The Iran nuclear program and the Gaza war has caused an unprecedented alliance between Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. With or without the united States, this alliance appears to feel it may face Iran alone.
Mossad and Saudi intelligence officials meet regularly and are preparing for an Israel strike of Iran over Saud airspace. Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon recently shifted his view and is now likely to support a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran, in light of his assessment that the Obama administration will not use military force.
With news that militants from the Islamic State (ISIS) seized Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam, news Iran is on the verge of going nuclear, and Russian troops massed on the Ukraine border, it seems President Obama lacks the moral clarity to project a strong military presence. It also appears Israel will be forced to defend itself.
For more information on the Middle East crisis and the clash of worldviews see:
Dr. Stephen Johnston
Dr. Stephen Johnston