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Iran Doesn’t Need a Bomb

America, we have a problem.

In the blood-soaked chaotic Middle East, with few exceptions like the Kurds, our friends either can’t or won’t fight.

The Free Syrian Army folded. The U.S.-armed Hazm force in Syria has just collapsed after being routed by the al-Nusra Front. The Iraqi army we trained and equipped fled Mosul and ran all the way to Baghdad. The Turks could annihilate ISIS in Syria, but they won’t fight. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arabs have sent zero troops to fight ISIS. A handful of air strikes is it.

Now consider what our old enemies have done and are doing.

Hezbollah and Iran have sustained Bashar Assad’s Syrian army for four years and have ISIS and the al-Nusra Front on the defensive around Aleppo. Iran and its allied Shiite militia in Iraq are battling ISIS for Tikrit. Backed by Hezbollah, Houthi rebels have seized Yemen’s capital and are battling al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. AQAP is the No. 1 terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland.

While Iran and its allies are fighting al-Qaeda and ISIS, Turkey and our Arab allies are malingerers at best and collaborators at worst. How explain this? Not difficult. The Shiites, a religious minority in the Muslim world—Hezbollah, Assad’s regime, Baghdad, Tehran—see ISIS as a mortal threat and are willing to fight to kill the monster.

Our Sunni allies won’t go out and fight ISIS, because that would make them allies of Iran and the Shiites, whom they fear even more. Our Sunni friends want America to crush ISIS and al-Qaeda, then to crush Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran. But why is it in our interest to send U.S. troops back into any of these wars?

Is America more threatened than our Arab allies? Rather than listening to allies who are noncombatants, we should take a hard look at the Mideast. To whom does the future belong? And with what can we live?

The Republicans want to give a blank check to Obama and any future president to fight ISIS and al-Qaeda everywhere and forever. And they want the United States to treat Iran as we should have treated Nazi Germany had Hitler been about to get the bomb.

But if the GOP platform takes the neocon-Netanyahu line that we must not only fight ISIS and al-Qaeda, but also Iran and Syria, the party will imperil its improving chances for 2016.

Americans don’t want another war. And if John Kerry comes home with a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, Americans are likely to reject a party that is seen as trying to torpedo that deal, when the alternative is war with Iran.

We do not know exactly what is in the Kerry deal, but what has been revealed thus far is no cause for panic or hysteria. Though Israel has 200 atomic bombs, Iran has not produced a single ounce of uranium enriched to bomb-grade 90 percent. Since talks began, Iran has diluted all of its 20-percent enriched uranium and halted production. Tehran is willing to cut her operating centrifuges by a third.

Inspectors and cameras are now in all of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The heavy-water plant at Arak, which would produce plutonium, has been halted. The reprocessing plant that would be needed to extract bomb-grade material has not even been started.

U.S. intelligence agencies in 2007 and 2011 declared, with high confidence, that Iran has no active bomb program. While Bibi Netanyahu says the Ayatollah tweeted that Israel must be “annihilated,” the same Ayatollah issued a fatwa against Iran ever producing nuclear weapons.

We cannot trust Iran, we are told. Correct. Nor should we, as history has proven. Moscow cheated on Nixon’s SALT I agreement by replacing its light single-warhead SS-11 missiles with heavy SS-19s with multiple warheads.

But as Meir Dagan, ex-head of Mossad points out, if Iran cheats at any of its facilities, we will know it, and it would take a year before Tehran could produce enough highly enriched uranium even to test a bomb. Plenty of time to gas up the B-2s.

Another question, too rarely raised, is this: Why would Iran test and build a nuclear bomb, when this would set off a nuclear arms race across the Middle East and put Iran in mortal peril of being smashed by the United States, or by Israel with a preemptive strike?

Right now, Hezbollah dominates Lebanon. Assad is gaining ground in Syria. Iraq, thanks to “W,” is Iran’s ally, not the mortal enemy of Saddam’s day. The Houthi have Sanaa. The Shiite majority in Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is berthed, will one day dominate that Gulf state. And the Shiites in oil-rich northeast Saudi Arabia will one day rise up against Riyadh.

Why build a bomb, why get into a war with a nuclear-armed superpower, when everything’s going your way?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. [1] Copyright 2015 Creators.com.

11 Comments (Open | Close)

11 Comments To "Iran Doesn’t Need a Bomb"

#1 Comment By Darth Thulhu On March 10, 2015 @ 10:12 am

Because Likud and the House of Saud.

#2 Comment By James Canning On March 10, 2015 @ 12:09 pm

The nuclear dispute with Iran has made it easier for Israel to expand its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. The vicious civil war in Syria is not a good thing for Iran. Trying to build nukes would be a catastrophic blunder by Iran.

#3 Comment By Majumder On March 10, 2015 @ 2:09 pm

How did America’s nation-building work in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Over 5,000 Americans dead.

Over 100,000 Iraqis dead.

Over a million Iraqis became destitute and homeless.

Over 1,500,000,000,000 American taxpayers’ dollars wasted for nothing.

American national debt is now at $20,000,000,000,000 and keeps growing.

Borrowing Mr. Buchanan’s most famous sentence: We are bankrupt at home and hated abroad.

#4 Comment By Art On March 10, 2015 @ 8:21 pm

Because with a nuclear bomb, no one will think twice before invading. I still dont think why 70% of Senate Republicans are put off with the deal.

#5 Comment By RJ On March 11, 2015 @ 12:07 am

Your writing is spot on, Pat. It give me hope that someone (you) is thinking clearly and calmly about Iran. Keep up the good work!

#6 Comment By Francis On March 11, 2015 @ 8:01 am

Pat, you continue to provide an intelligent, pragmatic voice lacking among most Conservatives today. And what happened to the Party of Principle?

#7 Comment By Kurt Gayle On March 11, 2015 @ 9:24 am

Look carefully at the case of the North Koreans. The fact that they have a few nuclear bombs and a missile delivery system practically assures them that – unless they themselves launch a large-scale attack first – North Korea will not suffer any large-scale attack.

The current negotiations with Iran could be the last opportunity to persuade the Iranians that they don’t need a few nuclear bombs to be assured that they will not suffer large-scale attack.

If I were the Iranian government and Israel — or Israel and the US — attacked Iran, I would lose all hope that I could make my country safe from such large-scale attacks without having a few nuclear bombs and a missile delivery system.

#8 Comment By Michael J On March 11, 2015 @ 11:52 am

All this wouldn’t have happened if we had not destroyed the liberal and secular countries in the Middle East.

#9 Comment By Francis On March 11, 2015 @ 6:14 pm

Look carefully at the case of the North Koreans. The fact that they have a few nuclear bombs and a missile delivery system practically assures them that – unless they themselves launch a large-scale attack first – North Korea will not suffer any large-scale attack.

The current negotiations with Iran could be the last opportunity to persuade the Iranians that they don’t need a few nuclear bombs to be assured that they will not suffer large-scale attack.

If I were the Iranian government and Israel — or Israel and the US — attacked Iran, I would lose all hope that I could make my country safe from such large-scale attacks without having a few nuclear bombs and a missile delivery system.

These facts are ignored by the hardline 47 Republican Senators, who ironically accuse “hardline” Iranians of been untrustworthy.

Any attack on Iran by either the USA or Israel will only temporarily forestall Iranian nuclear weapons capability. Such a delay would not be very long (a few years at most) and would guarantee Iran nuclear weapons production, save for a permanent occupation by 500,000 American troops.

An attack on Iran might also do something that historically has been unthinkable: unite Sunni and Shiites…

#10 Comment By oobilly On March 15, 2015 @ 2:34 pm

if USA was complicit in giving Iran bomb plans (op merlin)
Why are they involved in negotiations?

#11 Comment By David On March 18, 2015 @ 6:57 pm

“Why build a bomb, why get into a war with a nuclear-armed superpower, when everything’s going your way?”

Obviously, this is the only reason why they did not build a bomb a long time ago. But they will never, ever stop trying to maneuver their way to one, because its strategic value is incalculable. Imagine us in their place–if America had the total conventional military dominance it has today, but no bomb, getting one would be an overriding strategic interest for our nation, because it makes fomenting regime change or launching a large-scale assault unthinkable for other nations. North Korea knows this well.

Iran will always need a bomb. Like us, they could never be completely secure without one.