|This article appears in the November 15, 2013 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Risk Thermonuclear War
Special to EIR
[PDF version of this article]
Nov. 11After three days of intense negotiations in Geneva, the foreign ministers of the P5+1 and Iran announced Nov. 10 that they would resume talks on Nov. 20, and that technical negotiations would continue in the interim. While details have been kept vague about the remaining obstacles to an interim agreement, under which Iran would freeze its entire nuclear program in place for six months, in return for the release of $50 billion in frozen oil revenues now held in central banks around the world, there are indications that France took a hard-line stance on some of the details, and this blocked a written document from emerging this past weekend.
Despite the delay, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emphasized in a TV interview today, following a trilateral meeting with his Chinese and Indian counterparts, that he was still confident that a deal would be reached. He praised U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for his role in keeping the talks going ahead.
One further indication that progress was made in the weekend deliberations is the fact that a "road map" agreement was signed today between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran which, for the first time, will allow inspectors into the Arak heavy-water reactor site still under construction, a longstanding stumbling block to any agreement. At the same time, the IAEA will be the enforcement agency for any P5+1 deal, and the advances on that front are highly significant.
While it is the case that a top French diplomat was just in Riyadh negotiating a major arms deal with the Saudis, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the head of the Saudi National Security Council and of Saudi intelligence, launched into a tirade against the P5+1 deal during those talks, Secretary Kerry emphasized today that all six of the P5+1 negotiators, including France, had a common position in the talks, and that it was the Iranians who were not prepared to sign that deal.
While British Foreign Minister William Hague professed British support for the interim deal, the British exert strong influence over both Saudi Arabia and Israel, and would prefer to use such surrogates to wreck the talks, knowing that a failure to reach a P5+1 deal greatly increases the chances for a wareven a global war.
A Saudi Nuclear Bomb
According to U.S. intelligence sources, there is a fight raging behind the scenes in Britain over the fact that Saudi Arabia is moving to obtain its own nuclear weapons from Pakistan, and could secure that nuclear weapons arsenal, regardless of Iran's status.
The issue of the Saudi quest for a nuclear bomb first surfaced last month, when Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israeli Military Intelligence, told a conference in Sweden that Saudi Arabia already had a deal with Pakistan. "The Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring."
In fact, in the late 1980s, Prince Bandar, then the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, had brokered a deal with China to obtain intermediate-range ballistic missiles and warheads. China delivered the missiles, but has yet to provide the Saudis with the warheads. However, the Pakistani nuclear warheads designed by A.Q. Khan were fitted for those IRBMs.
U.S. intelligence specialists report that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia could easily sign a mutual-defense pact under which Pakistani nuclear weapons could be deployed to Saudi Arabia, with a "dual key" control system. Such an arrangement would avoid violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. According to one former Defense Intelligence Agency Middle East expert, the break in Saudi-U.S. relations is so deep that such a Saudi-Pakistani arrangement is very credible. And such an arrangement would be completely in line with the British monarchy's "breakaway ally" options for a regional confrontation.
Lyndon LaRouche warned on Nov. 8 that a Saudi nuclear bomb would be just the kind of British-ordered provocation that could start a global confrontation leading to a war of extinction. With the 100th anniversary of the formal outbreak of World War I coming up next August, it is critical to recognize how fragile the current situation is, and how many parallels there are to the events that triggered that global conflict. The difference today is that the United States, Russia, and China, among other powers, all maintain arsenals of thermonuclear weapons, many forward-based on submarines, which could be launched on a moment's notice.
Netanyahu Goes BerserkAgain
Following a rancorous meeting on Nov. 8 in Tel Aviv between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State Kerry, the Israeli PM launched into a tirade against the P5+1 talks, warning that the United States was about to cave into Tehran and accept a "bad, bad, bad" deal.
While four prominent Israeli Lobby groupsAIPAC, the ADL, the American Jewish Committee, and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizationsmet last week with President Obama's National Security Advisor, Dr. Susan Rice, and gave the Administration a six-week grace period before pushing for new sanctions against Iran, it is now widely expected that Netanyahu will press the American groups to launch all-out attacks on the P5+1 talks, in an effort to assure that the talks collapse even before they resume on Nov. 20.
In an obvious effort to preempt such a headache, Kerry dispatched Wendy Sherman, the chief U.S. P5+1 negotiator, to Israel to brief Netanyahu on the status, and to reiterate Kerry's pledge that the U.S. will not sell out Israel for the sake of a deal with Iran.
The first sign that such a wrecking campaign is in the cards, came today, when Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, threatened to move ahead with a committee vote on new sanctions against Iran. During Netanyahu's most recent visit to Washington, he met with Menendez and other members of his powerful committee, and pressed for precisely such new sanctions.
Tomorrow, Naftali Bennett, a member of the Netanyahu security cabinet, will arrive in Washington to lobby Congress to boost the added sanctions and other actions to block any deal.
While these developments were playing out, tensions between Washington and the other two leading nuclear-armed world powers were increasing dramatically.
On Oct. 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he was invalidating a 2011 order, and an April 2012 Presidential decree, that had created an interagency group and chief negotiator to work with the U.S. and NATO on missile defense in Europe. Putin made clear that he was cancelling the ongoing negotiations because after two years, no progress had been made, and the U.S. was moving ahead with its own ballistic-missile defense shield in Europe. The Putin announcement was made on the same day that a groundbreaking ceremony took place in Romania to begin construction of the U.S. BMD system.
On Nov. 4, Rose Gottemoeller, the acting State Department non-proliferation chief, during a visit to Poland with Kerry, announced that the United States would never give Russia a written guarantee that future missile defense deployments would not be targeted at Russia. Any "limitations on our ability to develop and deploy future missile defense systems" are unacceptable, she told a Polish audience. Gottemoeller's provocative remarks came 24 hours before Kerry arrived in Warsaw to meet with Polish officials on plans to advance the missile-defense deployments.
Russia not only shut down the negotiating channel with NATO and the U.S. on BMD. Simultaneous with the announcement, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with Belarus Defense Minister Yury Zhadobin and announced that Russia would provide four additional complexes of advanced S-300 air-defense systems. Russia and Kazakhstan also announced plans to fully integrate their air defense systems. As reported last week, NATO conducted manuevers in late October that were directed eastward towards Russia, adding to the heightened tensions.
China, too, has been sending clear signals that it is boosting its second-strike retaliatory capabilities in response to President Obama's "Asia Pivot" and recent belilcose actions by Washington's chief ally in the region, Japan (see following article).
War Threat in the Air
Increasingly, China and Russia are converging on the assessment that the United States under Obama is targeting the two strategic poweres for destabilization and containment. They both see the U.S. policies in the Persian Gulf as an attempt to establish choke-point control over the vital flow of oil and gas to China, and to keep Russia out of the Mediterranean.
Over the weekend, Russia, China, and India held their third annual trilateral security dialogue. Coming out of the meeting, the three asserted that a common security plan could be rapidly developed.
While there are factions in Washington that are dead-set against this confrontation, and those factions succeeded temporarily in averting U.S. military strikes against Syria, the war danger continues to grow. LaRouche has warned that the danger of general war, possibly a thermonuclear war of extinction, will continue, so long as Obama remains in office. And the only way to fully assure war prevention is by defeating the powers that stand behind Obamathe Anglo-Dutch financial oligarchy and its Wall Street appendage. The fastest way to destroy that oligarchical power is by reinstating Glass-Steagall in the United States, an action that will bankrupt those imperial forces who are driving the planet toward genocidal confrontation on behalf of their radical Malthusian agenda.