What to Expect from a Nuclear Iran

(Washington Times) William S. Cohen - It should now be patently clear that the effort to dissuade Iran from developing nuclear weapons has failed. For Tehran, the negotiations have been nothing more than one long stall - a ruse to buy time, conduct more tests, and hasten the day Iran becomes a nuclear power. At this moment, we appear headed toward learning to live with an Iranian bomb, so it is worth reflecting on what living with a nuclear Iran would mean for the U.S., the Middle East and the world. A nuclear Iran would be emboldened in its efforts to destabilize the Middle East and export its revolutionary ideology. This could lead to bolder interference in Iraq and Afghanistan, greater mischief in Lebanon and more aggressive support for Hamas and Hizbullah. Tehran also could incite Shia populations in the Gulf States, thus threatening the survival of moderate Arab governments. Iran's possession of a nuclear bomb would likely start a nuclear cascade across the Middle East, as nations threatened by Iran question U.S. security guarantees and seek their own deterrent capability. Within a decade, we could see Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and others seeking nuclear weapons to protect against Iranian aggression. Furthermore, Tehran already supplies dangerous weapons to Hizbullah and Hamas, and might share nuclear materials with radical extremists who would not hesitate to use them against the U.S., Israel and other allies. Rather than yield to the notion that the nuclear ambitions of Iran's current regime are unchangeable, we should redouble our efforts to bring about a change of heart in the regime through sanctions if possible; by other means if necessary. The writer served as secretary of defense from 1997 to 2001.

2009-12-18 08:21:50

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive