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Iran Still A Threat - Remember Terrorism and Dead US Soldiers?

In case you missed it last week, a very informative feature from the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute for International Studies, Iran's Nuclear Program Remains Threat Despite Freeze. Zipping to the opening graph from its conclusions:

What comes next? Since Ahmadinejad took office, Iran has reversed key decisions of his predecessors to suspend uranium enrichment work at Natanz and to expand IAEA inspection rights. Will he also oppose continuing the halt on weaponization work? With the IAEA restricted and the United States, according to a senior Israeli official, having lost its crucial source of information on the weaponization effort, he may well believe these activities can be restarted without detection.

And let's not forget that Iran is a threat primarily for its sponsorship and execution of terrorist activities, including being responsible for 10% of US casualties in Iraq through its EFP's alone. This does not include Iranian enabled non-EFP attacks and resultant casualties. ThreatsWatch is assured by intelligence sources that the Iranians are responsible for more than 10% of US casualties all told.

Unfortunately, the NIE and the reporting that accompanied its release tends to diminish or obscure this simple non-nuclear fact.

1 Comment

I know that this is an important issue, but for most people who have read this site for more than five minutes, it's kind of beating a dead horse. Iran is surely responsible for foreign (to Iran) terrorist activities.

However, in my humble opinion, the biggest threat that they pose is in the creation of a intra-middle east nuclear arms race.

There is NO reason for Iran to be enriching Uranium other than to create a weapons program. Iran and the NIE authors can say whatever they want, but the facts show that there is no other reason to be in the Uranium enriching business. They've got at least 300 years worth of oil under their feet, if they truly needed more electricity, they'd build more refineries and more power plants.

The bottom line is that in Iran, "nuclear fuel enrichment" in any form is the same thing as "nuclear weapons program".

That, in addition to their nefarious activities and sponsorship of Hamas, Hizballah, and the like, ought to be enough to create a groundswell of domestic support for serious, substantive sanctions. Sadly, I doubt that such support will exist because of prejudices against any kind of force or threats of force.

To quote John Bolton as I heard him in a talk a couple of weeks back: "Diplomacy is not policy, it is an instrument of policy, not policy itself." When it fails, there needs to be something else.