Monday, September 28, 2009

Iranian Nuclear Ambitions

Iran has now admitted to having a secret nuclear facility. Western leaders like Brown, Sarkozy, and Obama are demanding access.

The disclosure of the facility leaves open the possibility that Iran is closer to a nuclear bomb than previously thought. That means previous National Intelligence Estimates could well have been wrong—not a pleasant thought.

So what can the west do from here? The case for sanctions could be strengthened. Western European countries should all be aboard. Russia and China now face direct, compelling evidence that Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb. I think they will be more likely to buy into sanctions now, although there’s no guarantee.

If sanctions don’t work, or are vetoed by Russia and China, then things get really interesting. The US may have to consider military action. That wouldn’t go over well in the Middle East, and Obama could squander much of the goodwill he has won in Muslim countries by bombing Iran.

If the US doesn’t act, then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu certainly will. The existence of this facility, and the possible imminence of the Iranian nuclear threat may cause him to launch strikes before the end of the year, before the results of sanctions could be in.

Whatever happens, there is a good chance that Iran will be dealt with in a serious way before the end of the year.

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