Obama has given up on stopping Iran’s nuclear program. It’s an open secret that there is no U.S. military option. The New York Times reports that covert operations and efforts to steal away Iranian scientists aren’t up to the task of thwarting Iran’s nuclear ambitions:
Ask the designers and executors of these programs what they all add up to, and the answer inevitably boils down to “not enough.” Taken together, officials say, they may slow Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon, which has already run into far greater technical slowdowns than anyone expected. If the pressure builds, Iran might be driven to the negotiating table, which it has avoided since Mr. Obama came to office offering “engagement.”
But even Mr. Obama, in his more-in-sadness-than-anger description on Wednesday of why diplomacy has so far yielded nothing, conceded “we know that the Iranian government will not change its behavior overnight” and went on to describe how instead the sanctions would create “growing costs.”
Nor can the administration bring itself to fully embrace the option of regime change. (“The administration has continued to support Iran’s opposition groups, but treading carefully for fear of appearing to meddle in internal Iranian politics.”) There is much fretting. (“Some top officials in the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies say they wonder whether the White House has truly grappled with the question of how far Iran can be permitted to go, and what kind of risks Mr. Obama is willing to take beyond sanctions.”) But there is little action to come up with a plan that is viable. You’d think pro-Israel members of Congress or Jewish groups would be alarmed. But no — ho-hum. Next up are the EU sanctions. Everything is on track.
And meanwhile, at the World Expo in Shanghai, Ahmadinejad (who seems not very isolated at all) was on a roll:
It is clear the United States is not against nuclear bombs because they have a Zionist regime with nuclear bombs in the region. … They are trying to save the Zionist regime, but the Zionist regime will not survive. It is doomed.
It is a telling reminder that each assumption of the Obami has been incorrect. The regime is not one that can be engaged. Our 18 months of diplomacy or whatever we’ve been doing have not left Iran isolated. And this is not a regime that will be less aggressive once it gets the bomb. It is also a reminder that those who thought Obama was serious about stopping Iran’s nuclear plans were duped.