The assumption that tougher sanctions could deny Iran nuclear capabilities, pacify Iran's nuclear program and produce a regime change in Tehran all defy reality. These assumptions, and the suppositions that Mutually Assured Deterrence would enable the free world to coexist with a nuclear Iran and that the cost of a military pre-emption would be prohibitive, reflect a (foolish) determination to learn from recent history by repeating – and not by avoiding – critical errors; a victory of delusion over realism.
U.S. and U.N. sanctions against North Korea, which were initiated in 1950, failed to prevent the nuclearization of Pyongyang. Sanctions could not abort the development of impressive North Korean weapons of mass destruction capabilities and its exportation – along with terrorism – to Iran, Egypt, Syria, Asia, Africa and the American continent. Sanctions have not toppled the Kim Jong Il regime and haven't ended its relentless pursuit of the takeover of South Korea.
Sanctions against North Korea instilled a false sense of success, relieving Western policymakers of taking tougher action, thus facilitating Kim Jong Il's attainment of nuclear power. While sanctions brought down the comfort-driven white regime of South Africa, they generally do not deter rogue repressive Third World regimes, such as in North Korea, in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, in Cuba and in Burma, which has been targeted by U.S. sanctions since 1990.
U.S. and U.N. sanctions against Iran have been ineffective for 16 years. U.S. sanctions were initially legislated in 1995, and U.N. Security Council sanctions were initially approved in 2006. They intended to end Iran's nuclear program and its support of Islamic terrorism and to bolster the Iranian opposition. Additional U.S. legislation has tightened the sanctions and intensified punitive policy toward violators. However, systematic non-compliance has been demonstrated by Russia and China, as well as by Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, India, Japan, South Africa, Venezuela and some European countries.
Disengagement from delusions and engagement with realism creates a prerequisite for averting Iran's nuclearization, which constitutes a clear and present danger to the U.S., then to NATO, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as well as to Israel and to global sanity. Therefore, the prevention of a nuclear Iran should be a top U.S. national security priority.
In other words, Iran's mega-goal, since the 7th century, has been the domination of the Persian Gulf, irrespective of the Palestinian issue, Israel's policies or Israel's existence. Iran's mega-hurdle has been the U.S. and NATO presence in the Gulf. Therefore, the development of Iran's mega-(nuclear) capability is primarily designed to force the U.S. evacuation of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, through deterrence and intimidation in the Gulf region, through beachheads in Latin America and the U.S. mainland. Iran's mega-capability would allow it to occupy Iraq -- its arch rival since the 7th century -- and Saudi Arabia, which Iran considers an apostate regime. All Gulf states are perceived by Iran as key prizes, required to control the flow and the price of oil and to bankroll Tehran's megalomaniac regional and global aspirations.
Iran's geostrategic goals are energized by its current Islamic zeal, viewing jihad (holy war) as the permanent state of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, while peace and cease-fire accords are tenuous. Iran demonstrated its zeal to obtain the mega-goal at all cost, sacrificing some 500,000 people on the altar of the 1980 to1988 war against Iraq, including some 100,000 children who were dispatched to clear minefields. Moreover, Tehran’s mullahs are emboldened by the pending U.S. evacuation of Iraq, which they consider an extension of the U.S. retreats from Lebanon (1958 and 1983), Vietnam (1973) and Somalia (1993).
An Iranian nuclear cloud, hovering above the U.S. and Israel, would not require the launching of nuclear warheads in order to acquire significant extortion capabilities and produce economic, social, moral and national security havoc. Therefore, one cannot afford to wait for a smoking nuclear gun in the hands of Tehran; one must prevent the nuclear gun from reaching Tehran's hands. That excludes the options of deterrence, coexistence and retaliation. It highlights the option of a swift and disproportional pre-emptive military operation, the cost of which would be dwarfed by the cost of inaction.
The Iranian nuclear challenge constitutes the ultimate test of leadership. Will the U.S. and Israel be driven by long-term conviction and realism, or will they succumb to vacillation, oversimplification and short-term political convenience, thus facilitating the surrender of Western democracies to rogue Islamic regimes?
Source: Family Security Matters