President Obama has talked the talk on our nation’s energy independence, identifying it at the top of his big three immediate fixes. But in recent days, a series of pivotal developments in the Middle East show that Obama is painfully ignorant of what this country needs and what we need now. I refer to oil interruption that may be triggered by a pre-emptive move by either Tehran or Jerusalem over Iran’s fast-paced nuclear program.
Edwin Black, in his recent book The Plan--How to Rescue Society When the Oil Stops--or Before, sat down with me recently outlining the looming crisis and a plan to save the country which can be immobilized within weeks by an oil interruption. But no one in government has paid attention other than nail-biting oil crisis monitors at the Department of Energy.
Here’s what happened in recent days to change the game and make us closer to a cataclysmic confrontation with dire consequences for American oil that the Obama administration is completely unprepared for.
First, on February 2, Iran successfully launched a satellite into space. Tehran plans more satellites this year, creating a space presence easily weaponized that worries American military planners.
Second, days ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency conceded it has underestimated Iran’s nuclear stockpile by about one-third. Iran now wields 2,227 pounds of nuclear material. Its stockpile includes approximately 700 kilograms of the Uranium 235 isotope needed to make at least one bomb.
Third, Iran has accelerated enrichment with thousands of new, highly advanced centrifuges. They want 6,000 centrifuges to speed the enrichment of weapons grade material. More than 5,400 centrifuges are now spinning, including 164 new homegrown IR-2 and IR-3 models. The new Iranian centrifuges are faster than imported P-2 devices. Washington circles are now convinced that Iran, regardless of protesting too much, is in fact racing toward a deliverable nuclear weapon. As for the CIA’s much-questioned 2008 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded Iran was not pursuing nuclear weaponry, that dubious document has now been discarded as flawed.