Prevent a nuclear Iran

In 2005, newly elected president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressed a cheering audience at a conference in Tehran: “To those who doubt, to those who ask is it possible or those who do not believe, I say accomplishment of a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible.”

In February of this year, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog stated that Iranian enrichment of uranium has increased drastically in recent months.

Iran certainly has the right to develop peaceful nuclear capabilities for civilian purposes under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, as President Barack Obama put it in a speech at Hankuk University in Seoul, South Korea, Iran is the “only member of the NPT that is unable to convince the international community that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.” Obama urged that while the international community — including the U.S. — has continuously offered to assist Iran in the peaceful development of nuclear energy, Iran has continuously refused such assistance, “taking instead the path of denial, deceit, and deception.”

The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency has reported that Iran’s nuclear program could not possibly serve any civilian functions. According to the IAEA’s inspectors’ most recent report in November 2011, Iran has engaged in tests on nuclear triggers and other technology used to simulate nuclear weaponization. After a recent week-long conference, the IAEA stated that they “have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”

Iran’s attainment of nuclear weapons would create a frantic arms race in the already unstable Middle East.  U.S. allies in the region — such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan — have already begun to organize “peaceful” nuclear programs in light of Iran’s nuclear efforts. With the hostile situations in various regions in the Middle East, imagine the addition of nuclear arms into the mix.

The balance of power in the Middle East would change considerably, such that Iran would be able to augment its support to terrorists and insurgents that target U.S. troops based all over the Middle East. In a 2009 interview, then-U.S. director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell stated that, “the Iranians today, we have clear evidence, are providing the very weapons that are causing U.S. servicemen and women to die. That’s clear, that’s not refuted, that’s not hawkish, that’s not shaded. That is the fact.” A nuclear Iran increases the threat of those nuclear arms falling into terrorist hands.

All branches of government adamantly oppose Iran’s non-peaceful nuclear endeavors. But the time required to avert Iran’s attainment of nuclear weapons is rapidly expiring. The U.S. must act quickly and with the full force of its remaining economic and diplomatic resources. A nuclear Iran threatens the very existence of America, its allies and the democratic world as we know it. It is time for the world to stop living in denial of Iran’s nuclear plans. It is time to take a decisive stand against a nuclear Iran.