Reuters obtains a copy of a draft report by the Institute for Science and International Security, which claims the specter of Israeli military action and international pressure have worked as a deterrent for Iran’s nuclear aspirations.
“The report said that clandestine intelligence operations aimed at detecting secret Iranian nuclear activities, including the construction of new underground sites, are “vitally important.” Known methods used by spy agencies include the recruitment of secret agents, cyber spying operations, overhead surveillance by satellites and drones, and bugging of equipment which Iran buys from foreign suppliers.”
Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, writing in the New York Times magazine, believes Israel has already made the decision to take the ultimate step in thwarting Iran’s nuclear aspirations.
“After speaking with many senior Israeli leaders and chiefs of the military and the intelligence, I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012. Perhaps in the small and ever-diminishing window that is left, the United States will choose to intervene after all, but here, from the Israeli perspective, there is not much hope for that.”
Colin Kahl of Foreign Policy believes that Tehran’s hopes for greater regional influence the wake of the Arab Spring have been unrealized.
“One year after the Egyptian revolution began, Khamenei’s hopes - and Western analysts’ fears - have not materialized, and are not likely to. Although it has been fashionable to describe Iran’s growing power in the Middle East, actual events suggest the opposite.”
The end to the uprising in Syria could have an unexpected upside, says Daniel Freedman of Forbes.
“Economically (and politically) Syria can’t handle being both an enemy of the West and the Arab states. There’s an opportunity, therefore, to offer Assad rapprochement with the West, if he makes peace with Israel, cuts his alliance with Iran, ends his meddling in Lebanon, and stops supporting terrorist groups.”
A year after the protests that toppled Mubarak, Kristen Chick of Christian Science Monitor hears from four Egyptian activists about how the struggle is far from over.
“The human rights situation in many ways was is worse than it was under Mubarak. We’re all exhausted and frustrated, but we know that this is our historic window, and we know we have no choice but to persevere until we win or this window closes.”