Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’
Note: This piece is cross-posted at View From Damavand.
Lee Smith, a rising star in the Middle East analysis world, has an excellent exploration over at Newsweek of the alliance against an Iranian bomb in the region.
Although most fear an Israeli attack on Iran, Smith lays out the case for much broader support for an attack. Indeed, he presents an Israeli attack as a backup to a far more compelling case for an American-led attack on behalf of Arab states. In the final paragraph he notes:
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal explained to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that sanctions against Iran did not offer the immediate solution required to stop the revolutionary regime’s push for a nuclear weapon. This sentiment was echoed a few weeks back by the United Arab Emirates’ ambassdor to Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, who calculated that bombing Iran was preferable to an Iranian bomb. Even as the ambassador later backtracked, the Middle East’s worst-kept secret was now in the public record: the Arabs are even more concerned than the Israelis about an Iranian bomb.
The Persians have a history of being closer to the West than do the Arabs. The alignment of so many disparate interests against Iran is a sad reflection of the disastrous course that the Ayatollahs and Ahmadinejad have taken. They have converted the Persian nation into a uniter of some of the world’s most bitter enemies … and against Iran.
I have no doubt that Israel will not permit Iran to obtain a nuclear bomb. Israelis across the political spectrum perceive an Iranian nuke as an intolerable existential threat and are willing to tolerate almost anything (particularly any diplomatic consequences or military consequences from Iran’s proxies) more than such a threat.
What has interested me most is whether other nations, specifically Saudi Arabia, the United States, or France might preempt the need for such an attack by carrying out an attack of their own. After all, Iran attempted to destroy Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor in Osirak before Israel finished the job.
And, today, we get pretty solid news of at least some coordination between Israel and Saudi Arabia from The Times:
The Israeli press has already carried unconfirmed reports that high-ranking officials, including Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister, held meetings with Saudi colleagues. The reports were denied by Saudi officials.
“The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of both Israel and Saudi Arabia,” a diplomatic source said last week.
It is still my hope that such eventualities do not come to pass. Iran has every right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to peaceful nuclear energy. But, it must submit to safeguards to prevent nuclear weapons development. Those safe guards are not in place, the IAEA has been kicked out of Iran, and the nuclear fuel enrichment in Iran goes well beyond peaceful uses.
We need the Green Revolution to restore sanity to the government of Iran and constrain the nuclear pursuit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. If they do not succeed, I have little hope that Supreme Leader Khamenehi and the insane Mahdi-obsessed public face of the regime, Mahmoud Ahmadi-nejad, will submit to a peaceful resolution.