STOPPING THE IRANIAN BOMB
Iran's refusal to comply with IAEA demands to cease enriching uranium have resulted in Russian President Putin warning the Iranians
that they risk losing Russian help at Bushehr, the nuclear power plant under construction in Iran. Prior to the recent acts of Islamist terror in Beslan and aboard Aeroflot airliners, Putin was far cooler toward taking any type of strong position on Iranian nuclear activities, the position urged by the Bush administration, because Iran's nuclear program is a source of desperately needed hard currency for Russia. Iran has become increasingly isolated by American diplomacy
and speculation is rife
that Teheran's attempt to covertly weaponize it's nuclear program could result in a strike by Israel
or the United States
There will be a diplomatic showdown between Iran and the rest of the world when the IAEA refers the matter of Iranian enrichment to the UNSC. With the Bush administration having lined up Russia, the EU, the IAEA, and the Nonaligned Movement, Teherans mullahs can only hold out hope that China or France will water down any resolution language or cast a veto, something neither power has indicated that it is inclined to do. The French in fact, have been signalling that they expect Bush to be reelected and have adopted a less obstructive attitude of late, co-sponsoring an anti-Syrian UNSC resolution on Lebanon's Bekaa valley and removing objections to NATO trainers for Iraq.
Failing a capitulation by Teheran or a drawn out diplomatic timetable, the United States will probably spend October and early November prepositioning Air Force and Navy planes in the Gulf region and reinforcing troops in Iraq. I expect a strike by mid-December regardless of the outcome of the November elections.