Above all, the mullahs must prioritize the future of their regime and the Islamist revolution. What will happen to Iran if the rage sweeping the Arab world inspires Iranians to take to the streets again, aiming, together with mounting international pressure, to oust the mullahs? Will they follow in Gaddafi’s footsteps? Will they be better prepared than Assad?
While the world might be looking elsewhere, the Iranians have boosted the production of enriched uranium, upgraded the level of enrichment closer to weapons-grade and are reportedly moving essential production aspects to a well-protected underground facility. To the mullahs, who face growing uncertainties and are trying to draw their own lessons from events around them, what could better protect them and enhance their clout than the possession of a nuclear bomb?
Depending on which intel estimate you believe, Iran may be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months from acquiring that insurance policy. What happens then is any one's guess, but one thing seems certain. The odds of the western community forging a comprehensive response (beyond the usual diplomatic protests) is approximately zero. Remember, this is the same bunch that couldn't get together on a strategy from deterring Iran's nuclear ambitions. Expecting western leaders to craft cogent response to a nuclear-armed Iran is simply too much to hope for.
In related news, the Israeli Defense Forces will hold a special drill this week, simulating an enemy strike on the Dimona Nuclear Complex. The Dimona facility, located in the Megev Desert, is believed to be on the target list for Iranian medium and intermediate range missiles, capable of striking Israel and (in short order) delivering a nuclear warhead. Clearly, the Israelis are preparing for a worst case scenario, affirming that they have no confidence in the ability of the U.S. (or its European allies) to prevent Iran from getting the bomb.
Thanks for the update. I have been watching periodically for several years - actually stunned into recognition at the dismissive acceptance of Ahmedinijad at Columbia.
I suspect we will be back in the theater within the next 20 years. With WMDs, other countries in the area will have to make accomodations with the IRI. The USA will have to decide if they will permit one country to have de facto control of the areas oil supplies.
Strategically, we have been defeated in Iraq. When the IRI comes to possess WMDs, the rest of the countries in the area will have to accomodate the IRI. In 20 years or less we will be back in the area if we decide not to permit the IRI to dominate much of the world's oil supplies.
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