The Corner

Of Contact Lenses and Iranian Bombs

Thanks to the Power Line blog, which linked to it, I learned of an article published yesterday in the Times of Israel. It’s about Iran and the Bomb.

The Times, you remember, is the online newspaper founded by David Horovitz, the brilliant Anglo-Israeli journalist. He is not to be confused with another rare bird, David Horowitz (whose latest book I have just read and reviewed, for publication next week, I believe). Last summer, I did a Q&A podcast with Horovitz. It is stunningly good (thanks to him, of course).

In this new article, the Times quotes a high Iranian official, Hassan Karimpour: Iran is “closer than ever” to a bomb, and completing the process would be “easier than putting in a contact lens.”

May I pause for some gallows humor? Back when I was wearing them, I found putting in a contact lens quite hard. Actually, taking one out I found even harder.

But back to deadly seriousness: Does the Obama administration care about this? Or simply feel relatively helpless? Is the Obamite mind focused on the Iranian bomb — the prevention of? Or is the Obamite mind essentially blasé?

I feel McCarthyite in asking this question, but I also feel honest.

This same official, Karimpour, says that completing the bomb would be “easy to do, as soon as the spiritual ban on nuclear weapons were lifted.” The Timesmen themselves write, “The Iranian regime has repeatedly vowed that it is not seeking a nuclear weapon, and spiritual leader Ali Khamenei has issued fatwas forbidding nuclear weapons.”

My understanding has been that such fatwas are mythical — nonexistent. But the Timesmen would know much better than I.

I’m still left with my question: If the Supreme Leader has forbidden the development of nuclear weapons, what are we talking about? What are we negotiating and sweating about? He’s the Supreme Leader, right?

The Times further says that, according to other reports, Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president of Iran, has admitted that Iran’s nuclear program was always intended for the creation of a bomb. (Duh.) Never before has an Iranian official, current or former, admitted this.

Finally, the Times quotes the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, as saying that he is “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.”

This is very honest — refreshingly honest — and a huge contrast with Amano’s predecessor, Mohamed ElBaradei, who labored to cover up, or at least soft-pedal, the Iranian nuclear program. He was fairly frank about his desire to prevent any American or Western action against Iran.

I have chapter and verse on this in my history of the Nobel Peace Prize. And, as I say in that book, I believe that the 2005 prize stands as the most ignominious in Nobel history: It went to the IAEA and ElBaradei.

To be continued … 

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