As aggressive as a non-nuclear Iran has been under the leadership of its mullahs, imagine how much more aggressive an Iran with a nuclear arms capability would be. By mid-March, we will not have to imagine such a scenario for it becomes a reality. Experts tell us this rogue state will be capable of producing materials needed to make a nuclear bomb by then. We are informed now the only way to contain the country's nuclear program is by getting Tehran to accept a new Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the first JCPOA having been negotiated in 2015 by President Barack Obama.
There will be those who immediately accept the premise a new JCPOA is needed quickly and that the reason Iran has reached this threshold is because President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in 2018, largely due to pro-Tehran one-sidedness and JCPOA violations. However, blaming Trump ignores four truths:
- Obama lied to us when he gave assurances that, under JCPOA, Iran would never have nuclear weapons. Even if the mullahs complied with it, the agreement left the door open for Tehran to start developing nukes as early as 2025.
- It is difficult to name a single international agreement with which the mullahs have fully complied.
- It is irrational to believe a country's leadership – responsible for the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners and currently arresting thousands of its peacefully protesting citizens who have reached the limit of their willingness to endure a brutal government's rule – will ever feel "contained" by any international deal to which it may agree. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said, in addition to other actions by Iran, by virtue of the mullahs "viciously cracking down on peaceful protesters at home," Tehran must "never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon."
- Obama never required the mullahs to sign the JCPOA. Therefore, his administration acknowledged in 2015 that, since the agreement was not an executive order or a treaty, it was not "legally binding." In order to avoid the mandatory two-thirds U.S. Senate approval required for an international treaty, Obama chose not to call it as such as he knew he could not, and did not, win a super-majority based on secret side deals benefiting Iran and deceiving Congress.
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We need to remember this is the same Iranian leadership that assured us years ago that developing weapons of mass destruction was against the principles of Islam – and then quietly undertook an initiative to do so. Later, when challenged by the West for undertaking a nuclear program, the mullahs assured us they were not, only to have evidence revealing such a program was underway. Then the mullahs assured us their program was only for peaceful purposes, which we discovered was yet another lie. And most recently, while 90% uranium enrichment is required for nuclear weapons, the mullahs tell the world they are only at 60% when their real enrichment level is 84%.
Based on such a deceitful history, why would any rational member of the global community accept what the mullahs tell us? The mullahs have clearly used negotiated agreements only to further their own goals in advancing to a more advantageous position.
We also need to remember ever since the mullahs came to power in 1979, they have openly denied Israel's right to exist and called for that country's eradication. If one goes back to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's statement – vocalized at a time Tehran's secret nuclear program was underway – it is clear the objectives of Islam in establishing world domination over all other religions along with Israel's destruction takes precedence over any fears of retaliation for Iran's acts of aggression, regardless of what those actions involved. Khomeini brazenly embraced the primacy of Islam's interests over national interests saying, "We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let Iran go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world."
Undoubtedly, Iran's advancement toward having a nuclear weapons arsenal is most disturbing for Israel. There were two previous times Muslim countries attempted to develop a nuclear capability, only to have Israel derail their efforts before either could become a serious threat. In 1981, Israel destroyed an uncompleted nuclear reactor in Iraq; in 2007, it did the same thing in Syria – a reactor probably being built on behalf of the Iranians. Both raids on these reactors was the result of the "Begin Doctrine" – named after Israel's prime minister from 1977-1983, Menachem Begin, who ordered the Iraq attack – seeking to deny any Arab enemy of Israel a nuclear arms capability. The doctrine sought to forewarn those committed to Israel's destruction, such as Iran, that Israel would launch a preventive strike to deny such states a nuclear arsenal.
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Israel has allowed Iran to get much closer to its nuclear goal than it did with either Iraq or Syria. The question now remains whether Israel will continue the Begin Doctrine or accept the inherent risks of not doing so. Interestingly, last year, Saudi Arabia opened up its airspace to all flights going to or from Israel. While these rights apply only to commercial flights, it would not be surprising to learn the two countries have held discussions about military overflights in case Israel decides to implement the Begin Doctrine against Iran.
While Israel's attacks on nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria were basically "one and done," it faces a much different situation in Iran. Having learned the lessons of 1981 and 2007, the mullahs not only have spread out their nuclear facilities but have built several of them deep underground. Additionally, Israel will making its decision to act against Iran, or not, at a time its relations with the U.S. are not at their best. This is due to President Joe Biden's efforts to curry favor with the Palestinians by reinstating funding, terminated by Trump, in the amount of $200 million – used by the Palestinian Authority to reward families whose terrorist members were killed practicing their profession against Israel.
A nuclear-armed Iran spells bad news for all, especially Israel. Its previous actions against Iraq and Syria suggest planning for a strike against Iran might well be in the works. However, just like Iran's establishment of a terrorist base in Venezuela went unchallenged by the U.S., undermining a long ago abandoned Monroe Doctrine, the major challenge of destroying Iran's nuclear capability in one fell swoop may well cause Israel to abandon the Begin Doctrine.
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