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      09-19-2009, 11:23 PM   #19
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Are things heating up?
The clock ticks down: Iranian nuclear nightmare worsens by the second


Saturday, September 19th 2009, 4:00 AM

Iran's threat grows ever more dire. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday again declared the Holocaust to be a fiction and predicted the end of Israel - as his regime worked to produce missiles capable of delivering atomic warheads.

Even the mad-mullah-friendly International Atomic Energy Agency appears to be nervous about Ahmadinejad's intention to go nuclear. And if the IAEA is getting skittish, you can only imagine the justified and rising concern in Israel.

Next up for Ahmadinejad, when he is not brutally repressing dissent in Iran, is a speech at the UN next week and then negotiations with the United States and five other powers about Iran's nuke program. Talk, talk and more talk.

The only sign of action is that President Obama announced a radical change in America's missile defense strategy, canceling planned installations in Poland and the Czech Republic that had irritated Russia.

By the administration's telling, the move, taken at the price of undermining key allies, will pay dividends in greater security against Iran. The U.S. is beefing up ship-based missile defenses against the type of shorter-range missiles Tehran is developing.

Let's put it this way: Obama damn well better be right, because every click of the atomic clock forces Israel toward having to take fight-for-survival measures into its own hands.

That, now, is the terrible balance of fear in the Middle East. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates acknowledged as much when, describing the new missile defense plan, he alluded to a potential strike by Israel.

"We hope that it will reassure them that perhaps there's a little more time here," Gates said.

Tick. Tick. Tick.
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