From American Thinker:
Attempts by the Obama administration to "reset" relations with Russia have included the unilateral suspension of near-term plans to build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe; the signing of the bilateral START arms control agreement; and U.S. support for Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization. Moscow rewarded these efforts by announcing last Friday (Aug. 13) that Russian and Iranian specialists will begin installing uranium fuel rods into the Bushehr nuclear reactor on August 21. Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the state-run Rosatom organization, will personally attend the opening ceremony.
Washington has opposed this action, but to no avail. Once operational, the reactor will produce plutonium than can be used for weapons. Given the rogue nature of the Tehran regime, its claims that the Bushehr plant is a "peaceful" facility separate from its military program is not credible.
It should be remembered that the missile defense system planned by the Bush administration for Poland and the Czech Republic was designed as a shield against the Iranian threat. When Russia objected, it was identifying its security interests with Iran's, both being based on the ability to attack Europe.
China has also identified its interests with those of Iran. It was likely not a coincidence that on the same day the Russians made their announced about Bushehr, the Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times ran an editorial in support of Tehran and against the U.S. for "building its case against Iran by overstating the threat Iran poses to regional peace and stability" and for "dragging the entire region into dangerous uncertainty." The voice of Beijing's ruling party argued,
As a country with a long history and profound religious background, Iran deserves the right to keep its dignity and choose its own path of development. China respects its rights and sticks to the principle of solving the Iranian nuclear issue by using diplomatic means, a longtime policy it holds in solving international conflicts.The editorial claimed that "China is against Iran acquiring nuclear weapons" but that "China has to secure its strategic interests in Iran." Beijing has the leverage to stop Tehran's nuclear program, just as it does with North Korea. It has not done so in either case because its strategic interests dictate otherwise. A small nuclear capability is thought to be a guarantee against "regime change." China is aligning with Iran as the dominant power in the oil-rich Middle East.
This long-standing policy makes clashes with the US more likely and is harder to avoid.
The US is not only casting the shadow of war on to the world, but it is also harming China's interests.
The US and its coalition have been trying to press China to change its mind by isolating it, a tactic that is not working out. The US is learning the limitations of its policies and hearing more from China.
The Global Times sees sanctions against Iran failing as Russia, China and unspecified "European countries" pursue business deals with the Tehran regime. Thus the diplomatic track will continue to be a futile effort to stem Iran's ambitions, just as China and Russia have intended. This leaves only a military response or the acceptance of a nuclear-armed Iran. The Beijing-Moscow-Tehran axis is betting on the latter outcome.
Once those fuel rods go into that reactor destroying it becomes far more problematic. Now it is simply a matter of making sure that we drop enough bombs to destroy the reactor. Once the rods go in blowing it up will create a giant cloud of radiation with a long half life which will drift with the wind.
As you will note the winds will carry this toxic cloud in the direction not only of Russia and some of its Islamic republics but also toward Afghanistan, where we have many troops and allies and Pakistan (which we're still trying to keep as an ally).
To destroy the reactor after the fuel rods go in will require boots on the ground. We, or the Israelis, will have to take and hold the facility long enough for engineers to remove the rods. Then the structure can be blown (and if the site remains dangerously radioactive for a generation, so what).
To do this will require that an airport or other landing area be taken and held with enough troops to repel any Iranian counterattack while the engineers work. The size of this kind of operation and its logistical complexity argue against any attempt being made unless it is part of a larger invasion of the nation, as we did in Iraq, or at least a major operation aimed at not only neutralizing Iran's nuclear program but also at removing its theocratic regime.
My preference would be to take out the reactor before it becomes operational. However given the current occupant of the White House it is unlikely that the US will do anything other than wring its hands and send stiffly worded notes of protest.
Many will take this as another sign of our man-child president's incompetence. I do not. I see Obama's inaction in the face of Iran going nuclear as a calculated policy. If Iran is allowed to acquire atomic weapons it will become very difficult, if not impossible, for the US or Israel to bring down the mullah regime - which would almost certainly lead to the installation of the most pro-US government in the region.
By doing nothing to keep the bomb out of the mullah's hands Obama not only protects a fanatically anti-American regime while he sits in the Oval Office he continues to protect it even after an adult has replaced him there.
If you doubt that Obama has that kind of agenda consider how he as consistently appeased our enemies and insulted our allies since he took office. Consider his "like it or not America is a superpower" remark. Consider his absolute refusal to render any kind of aid or comfort, even rhetorical, to those pro-American Iranians who took to the streets protesting their stolen election.
Obama believes that a nuclear Iran will serve as a deterrent to the Unites States ability to protect its vital interests in the Middle East.
He is correct.