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Poker player. Obama Photo: AP
Poker player. Obama Photo: AP
 
 

Poker with Ahmadinejad

Op-ed: After delivering on pledge to stop Iran, Obama to press Israel, Arabs to make peace

Orly Azoulay
Published: 01.20.11, 13:55 / Israel Opinion

When Barack Obama was a college student, he made a reputation for himself mostly as a distinguished poker player. He gained his expertise while being a beach boy in Honolulu, playing cards and drinking at pubs instead of going to school. This experience, which he acquired in his distant past, assists Obama on occasion while managing US foreign policy from the White House. This week it turned out that his most meaningful poker game thus far was played against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

 

Quietly, through a secret channel, the American president hurled numerous powerful bombs on Iran’s nuke site, with Israel’s help - according to the New York Times. The bombs dropped by Obama did not raze home and citizens, did not kill women and children, and were not photographed by foreign correspondents.

 

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Obama’s bombs came in the form of computer viruses that silently managed to destroy the core of the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, in an inspiring operation executed in the framework of an Israeli-American plan to sabotage Iran’s nuke program. Nuclear experts characterized this bombardment as the most sophisticated and imaginative computer weapon that had been invented and implemented to this day.

 

When Obama ordered the computer attack on Iran, he continued at the same time to reach out to Ahmadinejad and urged him to sit at the negotiating table. Ahmadinejad replied elusively and equivocally, thinking that he is able to fool the whole world. He did not imagine that Obama is playing against him like a professional who learned his trade on the streets, while keeping his cards close to his chest. The world did not know that Obama was in the midst of a war against Iran which he managed through subterfuge.

 

Obama naïve? 

Even before he was sworn-in, Obama received a classified briefing from top US intelligence officials. They told him about the secret plan to strike Iran’s atomic sites with computer viruses .President Bush, towards the end of his term, approved the plan, and Obama was captivated by it and ordered to accelerate it. According to the reports, America, just like Israel, kept the plan a closely guarded secret.

 

Those who were not parties to the secret were sure that Obama is too naïve and inexperienced. When Obama declared that he will not allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons, few believed him. The skepticism towards him was said to be prevalent especially in Israel, among those who were not aware of what was going on in Dimona and the US national nuke labs in Idaho.

 

Idaho brought the information to the project, and Israel used its atomic reactor in Dimona to test the virus. The New York Times, which looked into the story for almost three months and held interviews worldwide in order to elicit information, revealed that the mission had been completed: One fifth of the production power of the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz was destroyed. Even the smartest bombs, had they been hurled by the US or Israeli Air force, would not paralyze the site to such extent.

 

Obama did not destroy Iran’s nuclear program, but he managed to significantly delay it. With this achievement he now plans to press both Israel and Arab states to secure a peace treaty. The White House always suspected that Israel is using Iran as an excuse not to make peace. Now this excuse had evaporated, at least partly, and Saudi Arabia which feared a nuclear Iran no less than Israel will also be called upon by the White House to roll up its sleeves and enlist for the cause of the peace process.

 

Now that the story had been publicized, Obama would be able to address both sides and tell them that he promised to stop Iran and delivered. Now, he will demand that they do what is required of them.

 

 

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