In the Middle East, the Footprints of Iran are Everywhere

July 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Posted in Security | Leave a comment

Reading the headlines, one might mistakenly conclude that Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons is the only threat posed by the extremist regime. In reality, the threat is much larger. Iran’s footprints can be found all over the Middle East. The extremist state is currently playing a role in creating or maintaining almost every conflict in the region.

Iran uses its vast oil wealth to extend its influence across the Middle East, buying allies and recruiting terrorists to fight its battles. Tehran’s aggressive posturing fuels the fires of ancient hatreds, disrupting the delicate balance of the region. The regime has renewed longstanding Arab and Persian resentment by forcing territorial and commercial disputes with Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. In Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Iraq, the Iranian regime has fomented unrest in the Shiite population with the hope of enlarging its powerbase at the expense of domestic authority.

In Iraq, the Iranian presence is visible in the explosion of nearly every roadside bomb. Tehran provides Shiite militias, radical insurgents, and vicious terrorists with arms, support, and IEDs. These are the same weapons that are used against U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. Iran hopes it efforts will topple the fragile Iraqi government and force a U.S. retreat, allowing Tehran to supplant American and Iraqi authority with its own.

In Lebanon, the Islamic regime trains, finances, and arms the terrorist group Hezbollah. The Iranian proxy is responsible for numerous political assassinations, kidnappings, and killings and has now threatened to take over its own country by force. Through Hezbollah, Iran is fighting to destroy the democratically elected moderate Lebanese government.

In Gaza, Iran has allied itself with the terrorists of Hamas. The terrorist group openly admits that its militants are trained in Iran. With Iran’s support, Hamas has declared war against the elected government of the Palestinian Authority and has started a bloody and horrifying civil war. Hamas is also using its Iranian supplies to attack the innocent population of its neighbors. Since January 1st, thousands of Hamas rockets have been launched against towns in southern Israel.

Given the regime’s dangerous habit of meddling in conflicts throughout the Middle East, Iranian nuclear development poses an even larger threat. The Islamic regime, enriched by its vast oil recourse and no longer held in check by a militarist Iraq, has spread misery and hatred. Iran’s track record leaves little reason to believe that, if armed with nuclear weapons, the country would act any differently than it has. Tehran is seeking to increase its own power and influence, and does not care at whose expense their goals are achieved. Obtaining nuclear weapons would only increase Iran’s ability to accomplish its mission.

Despite its obviously malicious intentions, some still believe Iran when it declares that it is peacefully seeking nuclear power. However, the regime sits on one of the world’s largest reserves of oil and natural gas, resources from which Tehran derives its power. Endowed with so much natural wealth, the country has absolutely no use for nuclear energy.

Others contend that after it successfully develops a nuclear weapon Iran could be deterred. Even without nuclear arms, Iran is already attacking its enemies directly and through its proxies. These behaviors are unlikely to change once the country acquires a nuclear bomb. The real question is not how to deter Iran, but how the international community could avoid being deterred by a nuclear Iran, as it continues to work toward its goal of dominating the Middle East.

Iran already poses a conventional threat to the international community. Soon Iran may become a nuclear threat as well. The extremist regime’s long history of aggression proves its intent. Tehran seeks to destabilize the region, to bring back ancient and violent animosities, and to become the unchallenged leader of the Middle East. Iran must be prevented from achieving its aims. The international community must take diplomatic action before it’s too late.

Article appeared in the Nashville Tennessean on April 13th, 2008; in the Atlanta Jewish Times on April 25th, 2008; and in the Deep South Jewish Voice on May 1st, 2008

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