Why Won't Sunni Arab States Fear an Extremist Nuclear Shi'ite Iran?

(bitterlemons-international.org) Zeev Schiff - * For 18 years Iran misled the International Atomic Energy Agency, violated the safeguards agreement, and failed to report the full scope of its nuclear activities to the IAEA. Israel was perhaps the only country that detected what was happening in Iran at an early stage, and it had repeatedly claimed that Iran was deceiving the IAEA. * Israel appears to possess extensive intelligence information on Iranian nuclear activities. There can be no doubt that military nuclear development is the objective of the Tehran regime. Israel views this as a serious threat, frequently defining it as existential in nature. Iran's diplomatic maneuvers are intended to play for time until it achieves the status of regional nuclear power. This assessment is now shared by the U.S. and leading European countries. * It is obvious that after Iran, additional Middle East states will seek to develop their own nuclear weapons. Why, for example, shouldn't Egypt or Saudi Arabia try? Why won't Sunni Arab states fear an extremist Shi'ite Iran that has acquired nuclear weapons? * Obviously, Israel has good reason to prepare itself for every contingency, and this it is doing. It refrains from threatening Iran while preparing for the worst. Israel's basic approach holds that the problem of a nuclear Iran is not its problem alone, but that of the broader international community. The surface-to-surface missiles it is developing reach far beyond Israel. The next generation of Iranian missiles will cover most of the European subcontinent. * Is there a military option for stopping Iran's military nuclear project? If the question refers only to Israel, the answer is in the negative. If Israel senses a direct threat from the extremist regime in Tehran and feels the need to do so, it can severely punish Iran and cause a significant delay in its military nuclear development project. But I do not believe it can put a complete stop to the project by military means. Undoubtedly, the U.S. has a far greater military capability.

2006-01-19 00:00:00

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