All eyes turn to Iran
By Carol Devine-Molin
Are we moving inexorably toward an attack upon Iran's nuclear facilities that will trigger a much larger war? That's certainly a possibility. In a Spiegel Online interview, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency gave voice to growing global fears on Iran: "My concern is that if we only focus on sanctions, that might lead to confrontation on both sides, ending in an uncontrolled chain reaction. My worry right now is that each side is sticking to their guns: The international community is saying "sanctions or bust," and Iran is saying "nuclear enrichment capability or bust."
That being said, ElBaradei has no answer to address the crisis, only the standard and ineffectual UN calls for a "negotiated solution". But how do you maneuver Iranian leaders into good-faith diplomacy, when they're clearly hell-bent on obtaining nuclear weaponry and fulfilling their messianic fantasy that includes the destruction of Israel and America? The bottom line is that Iran can't be permitted the capacity to develop nukes, particularly in light of its role as the premier sponsor of terrorism in the world. Do we really want Jihadis in possession of nuclear weaponry? Moreover, time is not on our side. According to Israeli intelligence, Iran will be able to produce nukes in two years or less, if left unencumbered. That's precisely why the heat is on.
Meanwhile, the Loony Left that continually spews forth its venom – claiming that the "imperial" and "neocon" Bush administration would like nothing better than to attack Iran – is dead-bang wrong as usual. As an aside, we can always depend upon the political Left, which has become something of a fifth column in this nation, to undermine the US during difficult times. That said, it's vital to remind Americans that the Bush administration has been working on the Iranian problem, in concert with the Europeans and others, for years. The EU-3 – Germany, France and the United Kingdom – conferred with the Iranians for considerable periods in efforts to dissuade them from going nuclear. Sadly, those attempts failed because the Iranians refused to seriously consider halting their nuclear activities. Therefore, not even the basic groundwork for direct US-Iran talks could be established given Iranian intransigence.
However, we can count on the following: The Bush administration will do everything in its power before turning to the military option. It will utilize every means at its disposal – a foreign policy toolbox containing incentives and disincentives, political and economic sanctions, back-channel diplomacy, international pressure, and any other creative tact it can muster – before implementing strikes against Iran. America always prefers peaceful means, using force only as a last resort. It's currently speculated that at the behest of the US, Saudi Arabia is expanding its oil output, keeping the price of oil low so that it can considerably impact Iran's fragile economy, its Achilles heel so to speak. Iran is terribly oil dependent, with oil as its major export. Perhaps this particular pressure, and others brought to bear, can convince the Iranian leadership to abandon its nuclear ambitions. However, that remains to be seen.
Earlier this month, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, directly threatened America and the West if Iran is subjected to attacks on its nuclear infrastructure, stating: "Our enemies know very well that any aggression will have a response from all sides by Iranian people on their interests all over the world." Clearly, Khamenei wants Americans to be consumed by the possibility of blowback (retaliation) if any military action is enacted upon Iran. But make no mistake, whether we disable Iran's nuclear capacity or not, Iran will come gunning for us. American assets, either at home or abroad, will come under assault, by Iranian-sponsored terrorists. It has occurred in the past, and will occur in the future. More to the point, there's no appeasing the Mad Mullahs who are determined to target America and the entire West for that matter. With that in mind, President Bush will take the appropriate steps to see to it that Iran is prevented from developing nukes. Americans have to face the harsh reality that it's inevitable we'll experience further terrorism, so we better do whatever is necessary to ensure it's not of the nuclear variety.
However, Iran has its supporters. One of Iran's major allies, Russian President Vladimir Putin, continues to exhibit his true colors and antipathy for the US. I take it that the days of Pootie Poot are long over. In a fascinating display of anti-Americanism and rhetoric harkening back to the Cold War era, President Vladimir Putin, made a full frontal attack upon America in recent days. In a conference on security policy in Munich, "Putin accused the United States of making the world a more dangerous place by pursuing policies aimed at making it "one single master". Attacking the concept of a "unipolar" world in which the United States was the sole superpower, he (Putin) said: "What is a unipolar world? No matter how we beautify this term it means one single center of power, one single center of force and one single master" (Reuters). Noteworthy, Russia was the key provider of nuclear technologies to Iran, which made its nuclear program possible. Moreover, in January 2007, Russia delivered the TOR-M1 anti-aircraft missile system to Iran. For years, Russia has been a dependable supplier of weaponry to Iran. That being said, it's now abundantly evident that Russia is fully aligned with the enemies of America and Israel.
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.