Iran is a dangerous actor. Or, perhaps I should say, the Iranian government, led by the radical mullahs and ayatollahs, with a belief that their Mahdi (Messiah) will come after much world destruction, is a dangerous actor. The Saudis, who have a long history of rivalry with Iran, know this. The Israelis, who are arch-enemies with Iran, know this. The policemen of India, Thailand, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, which were all recent sites of Iranian terrorist attacks or failed terrorist attacks, also know this.
No, I’m not just referring to being dangerous if they get nuclear weapons. That is a given. I am talking about their cunning ability to fool the world into thinking they are serious about nuclear negotiations.
Actually, they’re not that cunning. Anyone can see right through this lie. But human beings will hear what they want to hear. The American government and European governments, although they are at Israel’s and the Gulf Arab states’ sides, aren’t too keen on war with Iran. This is understandable, and I can’t think of any world leader who would want a war with Iran. Still, certain world leaders are more resistant than others to a strike on Iran as a final and last resort, for various factors, including 2012 being an election year for certain leaders, and entering a war isn’t the best way to win elections.
As such, these leaders will grasp at any chance they receive to resolve the conflict peacefully. That is great. But what isn’t great is trying to resolve it alone.
It takes two to solve a conflict. It takes both parties involved to end a conflict. It takes the world and Iran to end the nuclear standoff. Unfortunately, although the world may be very serious about ending this conflict peacefully, it is necessary to analyze whether that opinion resonates in the Iranian government.
The mullahs and ayatollahs are so far ahead in their nuclear program. They’re becoming increasingly more self-reliant, and are fortifying their nuclear structures more and more. Their program is becoming more advanced, and their uranium is becoming more enriched. Soon, they will possess the bomb, and their reign will “shine” so brightly.
With the bomb, they do not need to be concerned about a rivalry with the Gulf Arab countries. With the bomb, the mullahs and ayatollahs can help ensure regional hegemony and eternal power for themselves. Indeed, imagine if President Bashar-al Assad of Syria had a nuclear bomb as protests in Syria raged against him. He is already ruthless enough to murder thousands of his own people – would he be willing to drop a bomb on them? And if he didn’t, what would happen to the nuclear bombs when he collapsed? Would terrorists gain control of them? This was a major issue after the fall of Communism and the Cold War, when nuclear warheads were scattered all over. And it continues to remain an issue in Pakistan, which is widely unstable, and in which nuclear weapons are transported in regular vans.
Perhaps they will not actually use a nuclear bomb, although they are very likely to do this if they believe this will bring about their Mahdi, as it is their “duty” to fight against the West and emerge victorious. But what about dirty bombs, which are small bombs but carry radiation, and which can set off a 9/11 scenario? Iran already sends its proxy Hezbollah to blow up buildings around the world, such as the 1994 bombing of the AMIA cultural center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Why wouldn’t they do the same this time – but with a dirty bomb?
Or perhaps they won’t set off nuclear weapons or dirty bombs at all. As stated previously, they can exploit them by other means, such as gaining regional hegemony and using extortion against their enemies. They would also feel emboldened by nuclear weapons, and Hezbollah would fire rockets or bomb buildings with impunity, knowing that Israel’s chances of retaliation are slimmer and tougher with a nuclear Iran backing Hezbollah. While it is widely believed that Israel has a few hundred nuclear weapons, Israel has possessed them throughout multiple wars and has never used them, and you need only look at the Gulf Arab states’ fears regarding a nuclear weapon. Their fear is not Israel, but rather Iran, and that is why they voice so much opposition to a nuclear Iran.
That is also why the Saudi Arabian government announced they would consider building their own nuclear program or buying nuclear weapons if Iran got the bomb. Did this happen a few decades ago when Israel had the bomb? Of course not. But when Iran gets the bomb, world leaders will be faced with the scary reality of a nuclear arms-race in the volatile Middle East. Almost anything seems better than that.
Iran is almost done with their nuclear program. In just another year or two, or even a few months, they will hold in their hands the key to regional hegemony, and the key to their eternal reign, despite whatever number of Green Movements (the pro-democracy movement in 2009 in Iran) rise. They will hold the bomb. So why stop now?
Indeed, this is imperative to take into account when dealing with Iran. There are world leaders who seem that they are willing to negotiate with Iran. Is this so wise? Negotiations with Iran in the past have never worked. What are the chances that it will work this time?
It is great to enter into negotiations, but not at a price. Entering negotiations likely means that sanctions against Iran will be dropped as a goodwill measure for Iran to negotiate, until the talks fail. Iran knows this, and wants to exploit this opportunity. It is the perfect opportunity to speed up their nuclear program even faster, and build even more fortifications around their facilities. While they negotiate with Western leaders and put on a great face, their real face is the one that we should be concerned about.
If world leaders are going to enter into negotiations, which I am certain will fail anyway, it will be tremendously foolish to drop sanctions on Iran, especially if they oppose a military strike as a last resort on Iran. Israel and the Gulf Arab states are not being fooled by Iran, and do not view this situation with calm and demeanor, and as a situation in which Iran is willing to negotiate with good heart. These countries, feeling that they are on their own, may decide to take matters into their own hands. Indeed, it is possible they will take matters into their own hands anyway, as Israel did in 1981 with Iraq and in 2007 with Syria, both instances in which a clean, smooth airstrike was carried out on nuclear facilities and resulted in minimal casualties.
Nobody wants to attack Iran. But the only way to prevent such an attack is by understanding the Iranian government, and understanding their goals. It is a foolish mistake to assume they are rational, or compare them with Western standards. They are not rational, and they are not Western, and their beliefs and standards are different from ours.
Iran’s real face is a radical face obsessed with the conquest of the West and terror. Beware of this face. Or else you will likely suffer the price.