Saturday, October 20, 2007

What if there really is a 'gay gene'?

What if there really is a 'gay gene'?

Posted: October 20, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Randy Thomas

© 2007

I've always thought that if they ever prove that a "gay gene" exists, it doesn't change a thing for me.

Fifteen years ago, I was completely sexually attracted to men. I was comfortable with my sexuality and with my identity as a gay man. Over time, I began to realize that I was never fulfilled, and I was always lonely. I turned towards spirituality and embraced a relationship with Jesus Christ. I also found Exodus International – an organization that helps those seeking freedom from unwanted same-sex attraction. Gradually, my attractions changed, and my identity was transformed. I now live a content life as a single man and fulfilled, hopeful individual.

In light of my experiences, it's always interesting to see the latest news in the search for the "gay gene." New research is currently being conducted at Northwestern University in Chicago. Interestingly enough, federal tax dollars are funding it. Dr. Alan Sanders, lead researcher of the new study, said he suspects it's not just one gene, but a combination of genetic factors that determines one's sexual orientation. His motivation for this research is questionable, however. "If we confirm that sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic, we are much more likely to get the courts to rule against discrimination," Sanders said. Hmmm…

For me, this type of research poses an interesting set of questions. If they are able to identify a "gay gene" in homosexuals, how do they explain me? I was once an out-and-proud gay man who was fully supportive of gay socio/political goals, but now I have embraced a healthy heterosexual approach to relationships. If there is a "gay gene," it did not impede my ability to pursue such a dramatic change. "Gay gene" or not, the issue is settled for me.

If they prove that a "gay gene" exists in my DNA, why then aren't those genes controlling my life now? How was I able to willfully walk away from my pursuit of Mr. Right to live a content single life? How is it that I have defied the supposition that genetics overrule self-determination? The truth is that we all have the freedom to make decisions about our sexual behavior. I've chosen to live in congruence with my faith.

Interestingly enough, there is hopeful new research that proves my point. Researchers Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse released the results of a three-year study this September that show sexual orientation change to be possible for some individuals undergoing religiously mediated programs, like Exodus. They also found that pursuing this option does not cause psychological harm to the patient, on average. Their conclusions directly contradict critics who say that change in sexual orientation is impossible, and attempting to pursue this alternative is likely to cause depression, anxiety or self-destructive behavior. One of those critics is the American Psychological Association, and, ironically, former APA President Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D., praised the research methods of Jones and Yarhouse, "This study has broken new ground in its adherence to objectivity and a scientific precision that can be replicated and expanded, and it opens new horizons for investigation."

Life, love and relationships are so much more than an educated guess at the causation of homosexuality. It's time for more scientists and truly rigorous researchers, like Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse, to step up to the plate and let science reveal itself instead of guiding science to confirm an already established, although inadequate, set of suppositions.

It's not enough to just study a "gene." Science must take into account the complex, unique individuals that God made us to be. Scientists must also study the "why" behind homosexuality that encompasses identity, motivation and behavioral decisions.

Genetics? No big deal to me. I remember who I was, and more importantly – I know who I am now.

Israel Warns World War III May be Biblical War of Gog and Magog

Israel Warns World War III May be Biblical War of Gog and Magog

8 Cheshvan 5768, 20 October 07 07:20
by Ezra HaLevi(

US President George W. Bush said a nuclear Iran would mean World War III. Israeli newscasts featured Gog & Magog maps of the likely alignment of nations in that potential conflict.

Channel 2 and Channel 10 TV showed the world map, sketching the basic alignment of the two opposing axes in a coming world war, in a manner evoking associations of the Gog and Magog prophecy for many viewers. The prophecy of Gog and Magog refers to a great world war centered on the Holy Land and Jerusalem and first appears in the book of Yechezkel (Ezekiel).

On one side were Israel, the United States, Britain, France and Germany. On the other were Iran, Russia, China, Syria and North Korea.

US President Bush said Wednesday during a press conference that Iran attaining nuclear weapons raises the risk of "World War III."

"If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it'd be a dangerous threat to world peace," Bush said. "So I told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested [in preventing a nuclear Iran]…I take the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Iran Tuesday and slammed the US’s refusal to rule out the use of force against Iran’s nuclear project. "Not only should we reject the use of force, but also the mention of force as a possibility," he said.

Russia has blocked tougher UN sanctions in the UN Security Council, where it has veto power. The Russian president asserts that there is no evidence Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons rather than a peaceful nuclear power program.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called for a new Security Council resolution against Iran at a press conference following her meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Wednesday. "I do believe there is a need for another Security Council resolution,” she told reporters. “In the past, the need to get everybody on board - including Russia and China - led to some compromises on the nature of the sanctions. I hope this will not be the case this time."

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced Wednesday a sudden trip to Moscow Thursday morning, where he will meet with Putin about Iran. Other topics of discussion will reportedly be Russia’s continued supply of weapons to Syria, which have then made their way into the hands of various terrorist groups based there as well.

Now it's time to win the war

Now it's time to win the war

Posted: October 20, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Joseph Farah

© 2007

Now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have failed in all of their efforts to end the war in Iraq prematurely, there's no time to gloat.

Instead, this reprieve should be viewed by every American who understands the threat we face globally to press the Bush administration to win this war – to pursue victory and to pursue it now!

There are reasons Americans are frustrated by the conflict in Iraq – good reasons. The war has gone on too long. It has lasted longer, in fact, than America's involvement in World War II!

Don't get me wrong.

I'm gratified we seem to be making progress at defeating al-Qaida, the real enemy in Iraq.

But it should not have taken this long to achieve that objective. We need to recognize this is a result of fighting a politically correct war. It's time to pull out all the stops and destroy the bad guys – once and for all.

What does that mean? It means:

No more frivolous prosecutions of U.S. soldiers for doing their jobs and doing them right – prosecutions like those of Lt. Ilario Pantano and Col. Allen B. West and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani;

Rescinding our misguided ban on coercive interrogations so we can get the intelligence we need to stop attacks on our troops and on Iraqi civilians;

Stopping, by any means necessary, the illicit arms flow into Iraq from Iran and Syria;

Leveling strongholds of the enemy and salting the earth if necessary;
I know I will be branded as a cold-hearted killer for making these statements. I know my Christianity will be questioned by some. I don't care.

I know with every fiber of my being, I know deep in my soul, this is the most humane way to fight this conflict – the only humane way. It's the right thing to do, not only for those of us who want to see our troops come home at the earliest opportunity, but also for the Iraqis who want to live in peace and freedom.

This is the way we fought Adolf Hitler and imperial Japan, and it is the way we need to fight today if our goal is victory, if our cause is just.

Quite honestly, we are running out of time. No American wants to see U.S. troops in Iraq 10 years from now. No Iraqi wants to see that either.

Victory is within our grasp. It's near. But it's not here.

Victory is also absolutely essential. There is no substitute. Anything short of total victory in Iraq will spell defeat for the U.S. and for peace and freedom in the struggle against Islamo-fascism.

Time, however, is not on our side. The longer this low-intensity war continues, the harder victory will be to achieve.

There is no moderate way to wage war. War is the employment of lethal force to destroy the enemy. Americans have spent a fortune on building the best armed forces in the world. It's time to unleash them. It's time to use them. It's time to let them do the job they've been trained to do.

I have every confidence our military can prevail if we don't handcuff it, demoralize it and politicize the mission.

The mission needs to be clear – achieve victory by destroying the bad guys.

We'll know when we've achieved it – when there are no more improvised explosive devices going off, when there are no more snipers, when there are no more suicide bombers.

I don't think it's that far away. No let's finish the job and bring our troops home.


Why almost half of voters polled say
they'd support a God-denier for president

Posted: September 7, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

The signs are everywhere. Many of America's top-selling books right now are angry, in-your-face, atheist manifestos. Judges try to outdo each other in banning references to God like the Ten Commandments and the "Under God" phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance. And nearly half of Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll, would be willing to vote for an atheist for president of the United States of America – a nation founded by devout Christians.

In its groundbreaking September edition, titled "THE RISE OF ATHEIST AMERICA," WND's monthly Whistleblower magazine provides a powerfully eye-opening analysis of what's really behind the current atheist phenomenon.

"This is atheism's moment," brags David Steinberger, CEO of Perseus Books, celebrating the tremendous success of anti-God bestsellers like "God is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything" by journalist Christopher Hitchens and "The God Delusion" by Oxford evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. "Mr. Hitchens has written the category killer," he says, "and we're excited about having the next book." That's right – this fall the publishing world will further cash in on the anti-God juggernaut with the release of "The Pocket Atheist," featuring the writings of famous atheists, edited by Hitchens.

In earlier eras, atheists were on the fringes of society, mistrusted by the mainstream. Those few who dared to publicly push their beliefs on society, like Madalyn Murray O'Hair, were widely regarded as malevolent kooks. But today, Hitchens' No. 1 New York Times bestseller, which has dominated the nonfiction charts for months, boldly condemns religion – including Christianity – as "violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children."

Indeed, arrogant denial of God and condemnation of religious people characterize today's popular atheist books, which besides Hitchens' and Dawkins' bestsellers include "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris, sequel to his earlier bestseller "The End of Faith," as well as "God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist" by Victor J. Stenger, "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" by Daniel C. Dennett, "Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism" by David Mills and others.

"How can this be happening?," you might wonder. "Hasn't America always been a Christian nation?"

No question about it. America was founded by Christians. Its very purpose for being was the furtherance of biblical Christianity, according to the Pilgrims and succeeding generations. The nation's school system was created for the express purpose of propagating the Christian faith. Almost all of the Founding Fathers who drafted and signed the Constitution were Christian believers. Even U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer, in the high court's 1892 "Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States" decision, proclaimed what was then considered obvious to just about everyone: "This is a Christian nation."

Today, however, many Americans are infatuated with outright, full-bore atheism. In fact, Dawkins, the Oxford scientist who wrote "The God Delusion," is even selling young people "Scarlet Letter" tee-shirts with a giant "A" – for "atheist" – on his website (and bumper stickers too). Somehow, atheism – just like homosexuality, which used to be considered shameful and something to hide – is now becoming hip, sophisticated, enlightened, even a badge of honor.

Here are just a few highlights of "THE RISE OF ATHEIST AMERICA":

"When men forget God" by Joseph Farah

"How atheism is being sold to America" by David Kupelian, who takes readers on an eye-opening guided tour of the spiritual battlefield between faith and denial.

"Why atheist books are best-sellers" by Dennis Prager, who points out that worldwide Islamic jihad has "brought religious faith into terrible disrepute"

"Would you vote for an atheist as president?" – on the results of a surprising national survey

"How to outlaw Christianity" by Chuck Norris, who says 30 million Americans profess there is no God, and shows how atheist organizations are working to undermine Christianity

"Dawkins: Religion equals 'child abuse,'" in which the Oxford scientist compares Moses to Hitler and calls the New Testament a "sado-masochistic doctrine"

"Separation of atheism and state" by Bob Just, who explores the nightmare scenario America is headed for – and also points the way out

"Atheist sues priest for claiming Jesus Christ existed" by Joe Kovacs, who profiles a bizarre case where the plaintiff demands proof Jesus was a real person

"Convict sues God for broken contract" – that's right, criminal claims he expected divine protection from evil, but that instead, God "gave me to Satan"

"Teachers rebel over atheism promotion" by Bob Unruh, who profiles a school district that makes teachers dispense handouts promoting atheist summer camps for children

"A rabbi's warning to U.S. Christians" by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

… and much more.
"Many Americans are becoming attracted to atheism," said WND Managing Editor David Kupelian, "and there are real reasons for it – reasons we need to understand if we ever hope to see a return to 'faith, hope and love.' Whistleblower has managed to distill a lot of crucial information and insights into this very readable, thought-provoking and inspiring issue."

SPECIAL OFFER: For a limited time, when you subscribe, renew or give a gift Whistleblower subscription for one year WND will send you, FREE (including shipping), an autographed, hardcover copy of the New York Times bestseller, "The Late Great USA: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada."

Written by Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., co-author of "Unfit for Command" which became a No. 1 New York Times best-seller and a decisive influence in the 2004 election, "The Late Great USA" exposes the multifaceted plan to turn the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a North American version of the European Union.

Bloomington bans Bible, but welcomes Buddha

Bloomington bans Bible, but welcomes Buddha
Mayor: Display is to honor 'His Holiness the Dalai Lama'

Posted: October 19, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan

Buddha is welcome but the Bible is banned at the Bloomington, Ind., city hall after officials booted a display of the Ten Commandments erected by Christians wanting equal treatment with the Far East religion promoted by the Dalai Lama.

A WND request for comment from Mayor Mark Kruzan wasn't immediately returned, but a team of Christians upset over the promotion of Buddhism told WND they are seeking legal advice about their next step.

The dispute arose over a display of religious statues of Buddha and other items, including religious cloth paintings, erected in the Bloomington City Hall to coincide with a coming visit of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's leader of Buddhism.

Amy Bernitt, one of the Christians who made arrangements for the Ten Commandments to be made available for a similar display about Christianity, told WND a few hours after the stone tablets were delivered for display in City Hall, "I got a very rude call from public works, telling us the Ten Commandments had been taken down and we need to come get them."

The tablets were delivered and set up by a volunteer team of Christians after city officials declined to respond to the group's multiple telephone and e-mail requests about the procedure used to erect the Buddhist display.

At the installation of the Christian symbol, according to the local Herald Times newspaper, Jim Billingsley read a statement explaining what was going on.

"These commandments are our symbol of peace, and we want to include them with the city's display to promote religious enlightenment. We want to be clear that we do not agree with the ideology of the Dalai Lama or Buddhist beliefs – we are Christians and believe in one God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," he said.

Deputy Mayor James McNamara was in attendance, but declined to participate, telling Bernitt he had been assigned to observe the situation.

He denied the city promotes one religion over another, saying instead the display of the statues of Buddha and the other religious artifacts are, in fact, "cultural."

Bernitt said the Ten Commandments also are cultural, and artistic, since they were carved from limestone, for which the Bloomington area is famous.

Kruzan earlier told the newspaper the Ten Commandments weren't being allowed because the installation "followed no process and does not constitute a work of art."

The Dalai Lama, who was honored in Washington this week, is scheduled to visit Bloomington next week. In preparation for the visit, the city set up the "Experience Peace" exhibit about Buddhism.

In his announcement promoting the Buddhist display, Kruzan said there would be a ceremony "with His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama" at the Tibetan Cultural Center.

"We look forward to His Holiness' visit and this special ribbon cutting event, which will be open to the public," he said.

The display, according to the city, features photographs and craftwork of Tibet. "Also on exhibit are religious cloth paintings or thangkas and photographic scrolls featuring images of Tibet," the city said.

There also is a "Peace Tree" in city hall, where the public "is invited to write their 'peace wishes' on the paper strips and tie them to the tree branches," the city announcement said.

The Christians simply said that those actions opened the door to all religious materials, and their beliefs have just as much right to space in city hall as the Dalai Lama's.

Michael Douglas, a pastor at Pentecostal Faith Assembly, told the newspaper he wants an equal voice for his beliefs. "He (Dalai Lama) lost his voice in his country, (we) don't want to lose our voice in our country," he said.

The Dalai Lama is expected to spend three days teaching Buddhism at Indiana University when he visits the area, officials said.

Bernitt told WND that a friend had seen the displays of religious statues and other items in city hall and was "appalled."

She said the group then repeatedly tried to contact the mayor's office by phone and by e-mail to ask about equal treatment, but could not get a response.

"We decided since we're not getting a response, we would place the Ten Commandments there," she told WND. "We left a message about our rally."

In an e-mail, Billingsley told WND that in addition to the promotional display about Buddhism, the city is placing Dalai Lama banners on city street poles and publishing articles about the philosophy of Buddhism in a city funded magazine.

He said the installation ceremony for the Ten Commandments was brief.

"I read a brief statement on the importance of the Ten Commandments being the bedrock on which our city and nation's cultural and legal foundations stand," he wrote. "We then proceeded to take two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments (each about 2 ft. tall and 1 ft. wide) and a table inside city hall and placed them right in front of the city's religious display of Buddhism."

"Shortly after we left, the city had the Ten Commandments removed. There is an obvious endorsement of one religion, and the deliberate exclusion of another going on here by Bloomington's city government," he said.

Zechariah's warning to Bush and Condi

Zechariah's warning to Bush and Condi

Posted: October 18, 2007
8:00 p.m. Eastern

By Hal Lindsey

© 2007
The Palestinians and Israelis are scheduled to meet at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., this November. This major "peace summit" is the brainchild of the Bush administration and is under the supervision of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Though most of the world – especially the Arab world – seems dubious about the summit's prospects for success, the United States appears bent on forcing some sort of "peace" upon that troubled region. To do so, Secretary Rice is pressuring Israel to drop all of its redline demands. Redlines are the points that cannot be conceded.

Both sides have redlines. Both sides have points they will not give up, boundaries they will not cross. But the State Department is pressuring Israel to drop all of its redline conditions. For the first time, the division of Jerusalem is on the table. Since 1967, Israel had steadfastly claimed a united Jerusalem as "its eternal capital, never to be divided again."

I will never forget when Gen. Moshe Dayan first stood before the Western Wall after the amazing six-day victory in June of 1967. He dramatically declared, "We have returned to all that is holy in our land. We have returned never to be parted from it again."

Evidently, to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, "eternal" and "never" means about 40 years. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Palestinians are pressuring Secretary Rice to guarantee that Israel will relinquish sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

What's more, they're making this guarantee a pre-condition before they'll even show up at the conference! According to a senior Palestinian official quoted by Haaretz, "No Arab country would agree for a final-status arrangement in which the Temple Mount was not in Muslim hands, particularly not Saudi Arabia."

So, while Israel is not permitted any redline issues, the Palestinian redlines are not only permitted, but Secretary Rice is seeking guarantees of Israeli acceptance of them. And their No. 1 redline demand is that Israel must surrender the very heart and soul of Judaism as the price of admission to even start discussing peace.

Just suppose for a moment that Israel and the Muslims were in reverse circumstances. Can you imagine the reaction to Israel demanding that the Muslims guarantee the surrender of Mecca as a precondition to "discussing" peace? The world would consider such a demand unthinkable.

Yet, according to a report in WorldNetDaily, Secretary Rice singled out areas of Jerusalem that will become part of a future Palestinian state. She reportedly told Palestinian negotiators that she would publicly blame Israel for the failure of next month's summit if the Jewish state didn't agree to evacuate east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Rice traveled to the Middle East this week to help the Israelis and Palestinians formulate a joint statement ahead of November's conference. The Palestinians want the statement to outline specifically a Palestinian state including the Gaza Strip, West Bank and essentially all of east Jerusalem, which includes not only the Muslim holy places, but those of the Jews and Christians as well. They are ostensibly to be put under Jordanian supervision.

But I remember what that was like before June 1967. There were walls and barbed wire separating East Jerusalem from Israel. Christian pilgrims had to carry their own luggage across an intimidating no man's land of about 40 meters while unfriendly Jordanian soldiers looked on.

I am stunned the Bush administration is pressuring Israel to agree to all of the Palestinian demands in advance, with the threat that they'll be blamed for the summit's failure if they don't.

In view of this, my question is, "What's the point of the conference?" "What's left to negotiate?" President Bush and Secretary Rice have already done the Palestinians' negotiating for them. And all of this despite the fact that the Palestinians have not lived up to one prerequisite condition outlined in Bush's own "Road Map for Peace."

You know, I fear for both President Bush and Secretary Rice. I also fear for my beloved country. They must be ignorant of a prophecy God made 2,500 years ago through the Hebrew prophet Zechariah. It applies to this precise time and situation in history. God said, "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples. …" The people surrounding Jerusalem are all the current Muslim nations.

As predicted, they have become intoxicated over possessing Jerusalem. Like drunken people, their emotions, inflamed with religious zeal, are causing them to do unwise, reckless and violent things.

The truth is hardly any Muslims traveled to visit Jerusalem before the Jews returned to it. Now you would think there is no other holy place on earth as important to them.

These are the exact conditions Zechariah predicted would be part of the last stages of this age. He continues, "And it shall happen in that day that I WILL make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for ALL PEOPLES. …" – meaning the entire world. Now here's the punch line: "ALL who would seek to heave it away will surely be cut in pieces." The original Hebrew makes the meaning of this even clearer. It reveals that everyone who tries to remove the heavy burden of the Jerusalem crisis will be utterly destroyed for getting involved with it. Isaac and Ishmael's fight over possession of Jerusalem has drawn the whole world into it – just as the prophets predicted. It is the culmination of Ishmael's 4,000-year-old hatred of his half-brother Isaac, the forefather of the Israelites.

I pray that somehow this message will get through to President Bush and Secretary Rice. This prophecy applies to this very moment in which we live. And in light of what they are forcing on Israel, it applies to them personally.

While Bush and Rice strive to create legacies for themselves – just as most presidents have tried to do with the Middle East conflict for the last 40 years – they not only endanger themselves, but also endanger this nation with the divine curse promised above. Mr. President, there is nothing on this earth worth what you are doing. In the power of God's Spirit, I warn them both, "Stop, before it's too late!"

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has laid down the gauntlet.

Ahmadinejad’s Aggressive Nuclear Policy Prevails in Tehran

October 20, 2007, 2:37 PM (GMT+02:00)

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has laid down the gauntlet.

Having prevailed over the more pragmatic elements of the Islamic Republican regime headed by supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he and his Revolutionary Guards are challenging the United States to do its worst.

Saturday, Oct. 20, the fire-eating president succeeded in removing the formidable Iranian nuclear negotiator, head of the National Security Council, Ali Larijani, from his path. He then sent the Revolutionary Guards missile and artillery commander, Gen. Mahmoud Chaharbaghshe, to warn that, in the first minute of an attack on Iran, the Islamic Republic would fire 11,000 missiles and mortars against enemy (US and Israeli) bases. The scale of ordnance threatened implied Tehran’s certainty that Syria, Hizballah, Hamas and the pro-Iranian militias in Iraq would join the assault.

DEBKAfile’s Iran sources report that the president’s venture into brinkmanship points to his confidence that neither the US not Israel can or will dare to strike at Iran’s clandestine nuclear facilities. Khamenei has shown no sign as yet of reining him in.

The Russian president Vladimir Putin’s visit last week to Tehran was a disappointment to the clerical rulers. Contracts for the Russians to complete the Bushehr atomic reactor and supply the fuel for its activation were not signed during that visit, although they had been drawn up previously between Larijani and the head of the Russian Nuclear Energy Commission Sergei Kiriyenko in Moscow.

At the last minute, Ahmadinejad, backed up by the IRGC chiefs, put his foot down against Putin’s pre-condition which was incorporated in the contract for a joint Russian-Iranian mechanism to oversee the reactor and guarantee its non-use for weapons production.

Putin made a last attempt to talk Tehran round in a long conversation with the supreme ruler Wednesday, Oct. 17, before he flew out of Tehran.

Initially, there were reports that the Russian president had presented new proposals for solving the crisis, which Khamenei promised to seriously examine. The Iranian News Agency IRNA then quoted Khamenei as saying noncommittally: “We will ponder your words and proposal.”

However, on Friday, Oct. 19, Ahmadinejad made remarks which contradicted statements by the supreme ruler and Larijani. He denied that Putin had brought any new proposals to Tehran on the Bushehr nuclear reactor. This denial had the effect of presenting Larijani as a failure. His efforts to achieve a new set of Iranian-Russian nuclear contracts and a breakthrough for Tehran that would have kept Moscow in the international camp opposed to tougher UN Security Council sanctions were shown up as useless.

The Iranian president had manipulated the episode in such a way as to leave the nuclear negotiator no option but to quit.

In contrast to the ultra-radicals, Larijani is described by DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources as a practical diplomat who believed in a compromise that would let Iran continue its uranium enrichment process and develop its nuclear program, up to the point of weapons capability, without taking the final step of actually making a bomb.

His humiliation marks the further rise in Ahmadinejad’s influence and his unimpeded drive to go all the way to a military showdown with the United States and Israel over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. In private conversations in Tehran, the president argues that neither is in a position to go to war against the Islamic Republic.

Our military sources stress that the Iranian nuclear program no longer relies exclusively on uranium enrichment to attain a weapon, but has also turned to plutonium as an alternative path to a weapons capacity. The Bushehr reactor is a matter or national pride in Iran, but whether or not it is activating does not affect its military nuclear plans one way or another.

The production of plutonium for weapons is relatively simple and cheap, a fact that was exposed by Israel’s air strike in northern Syria on Sept. 6.

If even Syria can build a small nuclear reactor for plutonium production with North Korean help, there is no reason to assume that Iran has not built an active reactor of this kind and is hiding it underground.

While much has been made of North Korea’s input for Syrian’s nuclear activities, little has been said about Iran’s assistance, which DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources estimate as far more substantial. In other words, North Korea is not the only nuclear proliferators; Iran is consistently violating its commitments under the Non-Proliferation Accord by passing its military nuclear secrets to Syria.