Wednesday, January 25, 2006

More Threats From Iran

Iran is stepping up its game in the rhetoric battle with Israel:

Were Israel to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Iran would respond so strongly that it would put the Jewish state into "an eternal coma" like Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's, the Iranian defense minister said Wednesday.

"Zionists should know that if they do anything evil against Iran, the response of Iran's armed forces will be so firm that it will send them into eternal coma, like Sharon," Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said.

Najjar said the United States and Israel have been trying to frighten Iran, but neither country would dare attack to Iran.

But the idea of attacking Iran isn't as far-fetched for the United States as Najjar might like to think. There's a lot of buzz in Washington that a hard-line stance with Iran is the only way to resolve the situation:

WASHINGTON (AP) - As the Bush administration pushes to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council, many members of Congress are advocating get-tough approaches and say military force should remain an option to thwart Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Lawmakers largely back the effort to haul Iran before the Security Council over the Iranian government's refusal to give up its uranium enrichment program. But some say they doubt that a simple reprimand from the council - seen as a likely outcome - will be enough to persuade Iran to change course.

Rather, Republicans and Democrats alike say the United States should seek international economic sanctions that are harsh enough to hurt Iran, while securing assurances from Tehran's major trading partners that they will abide by any restrictions the Security Council imposes.

While those in Congress are fervently pushing tough sanctions, many realize that purely diplomatic methods alone might not be enough to pursuade Iran to stop its nuclear program. The military option is still very much on the table for the United States.

Senator John McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, noted that while the use of force may be the "last option," it may become the only option:

There's only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option, and that is Iran having nuclear weapons.

Senator Jon Kyl echoed McCain, but said that getting Iran to halt its nuclear program was only the beginning:

Ultimately, there must be change in the country's leadership. The current Iranian government is a corrupt and dangerous regime that's out of step with its citizens.

If anything, it is finally becoming clear that the United States --and the world-- faces a very serious issue with Iran, and the sooner the situation is adressed, either by the UNSC or even a multi-lateral effort led by the United States and Israel, the safer the world will be.