Iran's Nuclear Aspirations Threaten the World

[Los Angeles Times] Dore Gold - Iran has consistently used the West's willingness to engage as a delaying tactic, a smoke screen behind which Iran's nuclear program has continued undeterred and, in many cases, undetected. In 2005, former chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani confessed that in the period during which he sat across from European negotiators discussing Iran's uranium enrichment ambitions, Tehran quietly managed to complete the critical second stage of uranium fuel production: its uranium conversion plant in Isfahan. Former deputy foreign minister Mohammed Javad Larijani has said: "Diplomacy must be used to lessen pressure on Iran for its nuclear program." Israel is not Iran's only target. If that was the case, the Iranians would have had no reason to develop missiles that fly well past Israeli territory to Central Europe and beyond. An Iran that crosses the nuclear threshold after repeated warnings that doing so is "unacceptable" would be even less likely to be deterred in the future. It would provide global terrorism the kind of protective umbrella that al-Qaeda never had back on 9/11, including for Hizbullah cells located at present in Central Europe and Latin America. Halting the Iranian nuclear program is a global imperative; acquiescing to a nuclear Iran in the hope that it will pragmatically understand the limits of its own power would be a colossal mistake. The writer served as Israel's UN ambassador from 1997 to 1999 and is now president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. His new book, The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West, will be published next month.

2009-08-06 06:00:00

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