President Obama, Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy are set to accuse Iran of secretly operating
a covert, subterranean facility designed to enrich uranium. Obama will
lay out the details in an 8:30am speech, which is sure to draw wide
discussion over the nature of the facility and how it may strengthen the case for sanctions against Iran. Here are the contours today's debate will likely take, and indeed is
already taking. UPDATE: Iran reveals a second facility. Obama, Brown and Sarkozy threaten sanctions. What will be the Russian and Chinese role?
- Tough Talk from Obama on Sanctions Spencer Ackerman explained that sanctions, not military actions, are the order of the day. "The three leaders are talking about sanctions, to be clear, not war," he wrote of Obama, Brown and Sarkozy. "The three leaders demand full disclosure next week at the P5+1 meeting with Iran on the nuclear portfolio in Geneva. Obama said the U.S. 'remains committed' to the prospect of a productive dialogue with the Iranians -- pending disclosure."
- Russia and China New Allies Against Iranian Nukes Marc Ambinder predicted the new role the two states could play. "Even Russia and China, with vested financial and security interests in Iran and North Korea, are recognizing the basic logic: in a world where nuclear weapons move freely, the chances of a destabilizing nuclear explosion are growing," he wrote. "Russia now recognizes the inevitability of some sanctions against Iran, even as it continues to insist that sanctions won't do much to change Iran's behavior. Skepticism is still warranted, but never in recent memory has Russian come this far."
- Plant Likely Not Peaceful Jake Tapper analyzed, "US intell has been working for months on this, on presentation to IAEA. only recently they think Iran got hip it wasnt 'covert' any more. A few days ago Iran made 'vague' reference to plant in letter to IAEA, sr. admin official tells ABC news. But presence of secret underground plant belies Iranian insistance its aims for nuclear power are purely peaceful, officials say."
- Could Be Just the Beginning of Secret Facilities Allahpundit noted that some earlier predictions had anticipated significantly more such facilities. "A reminder to the world: The 2007 NIE on Iran speculated they might have ***10-15*** secret nuke facilities," he wrote, linking to a relevant report.
- Why Is Anyone Surprised? Joe Weisenthal scoffed, "The tension building between the US, Iran, and its neighbor Israel continues to grow, and every once in a while this story pokes out seemingly catching most people by surprise."
- Get Ready for Cliches, Conspiracy Theories Marc Ambinder joked, "Today, do a shot everytime (a) someone calls this Obama's 3am moment (b) John Bolton does a live shot (c) someone manages to blame Israel. Reading lots of Israel conspiracy stuff. Point here is that Iran disclosed this facility this week, confirming US/FrenchUK/Israel intel."
- Haven't We Been Wrong Before? Kevin Holmes pointed out that we've made mistakes on weapons of mass destruction before. Holmes cited "Bush's 16 words," the infamous 2003 State of the Union speech when Bush erroneously accused Iraq of actively seeking weapons of mass destruction. Marc Ambinder shot back, "Skepticism is of course warranted, but Iran admits" the existence of this nuclear facility.