Busting a CIA spy ring, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmdinejad said the Persian Nation won’t back down “one iota” from its nuclear rights. Iran believes it’s well-within it rights to seek nuclear power and weapons for peaceful purposes. Intercontinental ballistic missiles have been referred to as “the peacekeepers,” since nuclear arsenals have kept the peace through “deterrence,” a rather arcane theory known as “Mutual Assured Destruction.” Since the early ‘70s, Iran pursued under Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi with U.S. help its nuclear power industry. Under the late Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomenei, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution that deposed the Shah in 1979, it let its nuclear program slip. Since Ayatollah Khomenei died die June 3, 1989. his successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pursued nuclear technology, specifically uranium enrichment with the help of Russia, Pakistan and North Korea.
Since Sept. 11 and the start of the Iraq War in 2003, the U.S. gave Iran a free ride to develop its fissile program. Bogged down in Iran and Afghanistan, the Bush administration did almost nothing to stop a growing Iranian nuclear threat. Now that Tehran is dangerously close to its first A-bomb, Western powers, especially the U.S. and Israel, are saber rattling, threatening the Iran with feckless sanctions or possible military intervention. Ahmandinejad has already called the U.S. and Israel’s bluff with respect to bombing its nuclear weapons’ program. Built underground with fortified concrete and steel bunkers and spread around the country, Iran’s nuclear program is invulnerable to a U.S. or Israel attack. It would take a nuclear blast in multiple locations to stop Iran’s nuclear program. No one really believes this late in the game that the program can be stopped.
Recent developments in Tehran leading to the arrests—and eventual executions—of 13 CIA agents further cripples ongoing U.S. efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program. “The U.S. and Zionist regime’s espionage apparatuses were trying to damage Iran both from the inside and outside with a heavy blow, using regional intelligence services,” said Parviz Sorouri, a member of Iran’s powerful parliamentary committee. Iran’s nuclear facilities were hit with the Stuxnet computer worm, crippling part of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program in Nov. 26, 2010. Iran blamed the sabotage on CIA and Israeli Mossad operatives. Iran’s recent arrest of some 13 CIA agents deals a real blow to U.S. and Israeli efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program. If Iran begins executing the agents, the U.S. could do little to stop it. Iran’s recent arrests assures that its nuclear program marches ahead at a furious pace.
Realizing that it’s already too late, hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanytahu expressed grave misgivings about Iran’s nuclear program. “It’s very important that significant economic sanctions were imposed, but that is not enough,” said Netanyhu at a joint press conference with Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc. Netanyahu knows that more gunboat diplomacy and idle threats won’t deter Ahmadinejad and Iran’s mullahs from pressing ahead with their first A-bomb. Iran looked at what happened when Pakistan got nukes in 1998: It stopped India’s unbridled aggression. Ahamadinejad knows that with a bomb the U.S. and Israel can do very little destabilize the Iranian regime. “Further effective sanctions must be activated, including on the petroleum industry and Iran’s central bank, in the near future,” said Netanyahu, pleading for international help.
Netanyahu has grossly exaggerates the dangers of an Iranian bomb. Because Ahmadinejad calls for an end of the Zionist regime, it doesn’t mean that he’d drop an A-bomb on Tel Aviv. Netanyahu knows that Iran seeks a bomb for deterrent purposes and, despite the rhetoric, it’s highly unlikely Iran would nuke Israel or deliver the bomb to terrorists. Ahmadinejad knows that any attack on the Israel would be seen as an attack on the United States. “Iran is vigorously working to achieve a nuclear weapon. This is the threat facing Israel, facing the region and facing the world,” said Netanyahu, beating the war drums. Whatever Iran’s timetable for getting a nuke, there’s nothing short of all-out war that can stop Iran’s nuclear program. With the U.S. bowing out of Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s no mood—or cash—to consider starting another preemptive war based on idle rhetoric.
When A.Q. Khan helped Pakistan get the bomb in 1998, it stopped India from gratuitous aggression. It also served notice that deterrence works to keep the peace, despite the risks and uncertainties. Netanyahu needs to stop the saber rattling and accept the inescapable reality that Iran is rapidly becoming a nuclear power. With the bomb, Iran is no more likely to use the bomb than any other nuclear power. Because Ahmadinejad shoots off his mouth from time-to-time, it doesn’t mean, as Netanyahu says, that Iran is an existential threat to Israel’s survival. “The Iranian nation will not back down an iota, and will not allow the slightest move to encroach on the nation’s rights,” said Ahmadinejad, serving notice that sanctions or military action won’t stop Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu needs to tone down the incendiary rhetoric and accept the inevitable.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.