Unfortunately, many of you don't get the Hugh Hewitt radio show - he's, IMHO, the best of the talk show hosts - a graduate of Harvard and the University of Michigan law school, a constitutional law professor, and someone who understands how to do radio, too. On Wednesday, January 25th, he had Michael Ledeen, of NRO and AEI, as his guest and they discussed what to do about Iran and Syria. A transcript of the interview is here.
After establishing that Hezbollah is a joint venture of Syria and Iran, Hewitt and Ledeen said the following:
HH: Are you concerned that Hezbollah will take fissible material and do some sort of dirty bomb in Israel or anything like that? Are they suicidal that way?
ML: I am...well, they excel at suicide bombings, so why not this? I worry about all the various things that Iran may do with nuclear weapons, including putting ballistic missiles in places like Cuba and Venezuela.
Ledeen understands the grave danger fidel's friendship with the mullahs represents.
Representatives of Western nations, Russia and China are meeting in London later this week to discuss what to do about Iran's nuclear program. One suggestion is to refer the matter to the UN Security Council. Iran is conducting it's own diplomatic efforts, and round up the usual suspects. (From IOL/South Africa)
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has made a surprise visit to South Africa where he appeared to win the guarded support of this country, Cuba and Malaysia to oppose Western plans to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council about its nuclear programme.
Iran, through the Islamic Republic News Agency, says the referral to the Security Council will end what it calls Iran's cooperation.
"If the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) decides to refer Iran's nuclear case to the Security Council in its next meeting (Feb 2), the Additional Protocol will be the first victim of such a decision," warned the minister .
The Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was implemented in the past even without the approval of Majlis and gave the agency the right to conduct snap inspections on Iran's nuclear installations.
Iran wants the meeting delayed until the regular meeting of the IAEA on March 6th - giving them, of course, another month to do whatever they're doing.
Part of what Iran is doing is getting closer to hugo. IranMania reports that the Majlis, Iran's parliament, passed bills making commercial transactions easier between the countries, simplifying taxation, and encouraging joint investment.
Bloomberg is reporting that chávez says OPEC must be ready to cut production. OPEC began as a Venezuelan initiative decades ago and Iran is also a member.
The group must be ready to reduce output in March because markets will have about 2 million extra barrels a day, Venezuela's Rafael Ramirez told reporters today in Vienna, where members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are meeting tomorrow to decide on production levels. Saudi Arabia's al-Naimi late yesterday said OPEC shouldn't cut output.
OPEC is pumping almost as much as it can to fill a widening gap between production from non-OPEC countries, which stagnated last year, and rising demand. Geopolitical concerns, such as political tensions over Iran's nuclear research program, are adding to the price of oil, which last week rose as high as $69.20 a barrel in New York, the highest in about four months.
Protecting the dictators is, of course, the real reason.
``If the U.S. insists on putting pressure on Iran, the price will be maintained,'' Ramirez said. ``There's not much we can do'' about U.S.-Iranian tension.
At least someone in Congress seems to be paying some attention. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on Fox News Sunday and said that the US needs to get independent of foreign oil.
"We better understand the vulnerabilities that our economy, and our very lives, have when we're dependent on Iranian mullahs and wackos in Venezuela," said McCain, who challenged President George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.
My objection to McCain's statement is the use of the term wacko - that implies hugo is crazy - I think he knows full well what he is doing. Listening to his best friend fidel.