Thursday, December 03, 2009

A New Road in Iran

Earlier this week,I wrote that Iran is moving in a direction that represents a clear and present danger to the United States. Iran is increasing it's nuclear production by beginning construction on five new enrichment facilities. It is also looking for locations to build an additional five facilities. Iran has also committed to increasing aid to external groups that oppose the West by $20 Million. I believe the bulk of this money will go to Hezbollah and Hamas.

There are "three steps" that make Iran a threat to us. First, Iran is not going to voluntarily stop its nuclear program. Is there anyone who seriously believes Iran will only build nuclear reactors and not nuclear weapons? Secondly, Iran controls and funds Hamas and Hezbollah. Should Iran get a nuclear weapon, it's only a matter of time before one (or both) of these groups gets one. Third, should Hezbollah or Hamas get their hands on a nuclear weapon, they will detonate it in Israel or the United States (or both). With this in mind, here are my solutions:

No more "positive" incentives" for Iran. Iran has shown it really isn't interested in allowing Russia to supply it with nuclear power. We should also drop the notion of enticing Iran with money or with an "entry to the world community". Iran has shown they don't care about any of this. How many years have we been following this path only to arrive with Iran closer to aobtaining a nuclear weapon than ever?

Immediate sanctions against Iran. These need to be real and have teeth. They should include a blockade of oil leaving Iran. Iran has to send its oil out to be refined. Let's put an end to that.

Increase funding to pro-Democracy groups inside of Iran. The Obama administration has opposed this and has actually taken the step of cutting funding to groups that document abuses inside Iran. This in an age when we can increase the money to the National Endowment for the Arts, but groups that are putting pressure on Iran get $0.00?

Keep the Military option on the table. And mention it often. Iran needs to know that we will not accept a world with a nuclear Iran. ALL options should be on the table to prevent that.

Mark Hitchcock in The Apocalypse of Ahmadinejad quotes Kenneth Pollack:

Right now, there are two clocks ticking in Tehran. The first is the clock of regime change. Given the sentiments of the people, it seems likely that there will be further meaningful change in Iran at some point in the future. The second clock is the clock of Iran' s nuclear program. We do not know when the alarm on either of those clocks will go off. History has demonstrated that meaningful change in Iran is likely to take considerable time...the findings of the IAEA suggest that Iran is getting fairly close to having a fully self contained enrichment process, if not actual weapons.

These words were written in 2005. We know the nuclear clock is much closer to going off than it was in 2005. President Obama's actions from this summer and more recently look like he doesn't care when either of these clocks go off. We have to act now. Should Iran get a nuclear weapon, the rest of the President's agenda will be moot. We don't have to use the military. We do need to do more than we are doing now.

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