Saturday, January 14, 2006

Iran Continues Its Nuclear Pursuit

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is refusing to stop the country's nuclear research even faced with the threat of UN sanctions:

(CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday painted the United States and other Western nations as bullies with "a medieval view of the world" and insisted his nation has the right to conduct nuclear research.

"A few Western states ... have nuclear arsenals, they have chemical weapons. They have microbiological weapons. And every year they establish tens of new nuclear power plants. Now they are criticizing the Iranian nation ... because they think that they are powerful," Ahmadinejad said, apparently referring to the United States and the EU-3 -- Britain, France and Germany.

Talks between the EU-3 and Iran stalled last year, and Iran on Tuesday resumed research at its Natanz uranium enrichment plant -- an act viewed with suspicion by the United States and EU-3, which fear the country may be planning to produce a nuclear weapon.

"Our nation does not need a nuclear weapon," Ahmadinejad said. "We are a civilized and cultured nation. We have logic, we have civilization ... Nuclear weapons are only needed for people who want to solve everything through use of force."

Instead of taking the hard line that we should with Iran, and pursuing a serious sanctions campaign, the international community is going soft on the situation. Germany's deputy foreign minister has come out saying that imposing economic sanctions on Iran would be a "very dangerous path."

This means that the United States will soon be in the same scenario with Iran that it was in with Iraq in 2003. Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons will be a major security issue that United Nations Security Council will have taken no action to resolve. Instead, the UNSC will continue to "hope" for improvement. But, of course, while the UNSC waits for Iran to clean up its act, Iran will instead be getting ever closer to have a nuclear weapon.

The United States cannot afford to let this happen. Thus we will be forced into a very precarious position. Either seek preemptive military action against Iran to solve the problem, or be faced with the prospect of a nation ruled by a radical Islamic president who does not like the west, and has obvious terrorist connections. The possibility of allowing those who hate us to possess nuclear capabilities and networks that allow them to carry out attacks abroad is not somethign I'm ready to face.

So unless the UNSC changes its mind in the very near future, the United States could have another battle in the Middle East on its hands.