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Nuclear-armed Iran Will be the Greatest Threat to the Iranian People

While railing against Isreal, you tend to forget that Iranian Shiite regime poses the greatest to their own people and the oppressed Syrian Sunni majority who are being slaughtered by the Shiite Alaweite minority with the military support from Iran.

I am writing with reference to Op-Ed: "Israel Hypes Nonexistence Iranian Threat," by Stephen Lendman (March 8).
 
Former Iranian President Rafsanjani (considered a moderate) once remarked: "If one day ... the Islamic world will also be equipped with the weapons available to Israel now, the imperialist strategy will reach an impasse, because the employment of even one atomic bomb iside Israel will wipe it off the face of the earth, but would do damage to the Islamic world." Mr. Rafsanjani seems to be suggesting (with some logic) that Iran, with its 80 million people and 240,000 square miles of area, comapared to Israel, with a population of 8 million Jewish people and only 7,000 square miles of area, will survive in any nuclear exchange while Israel would perish completely.
 
In this context, it is pertinent to ask: Why didn't Israel, which considers a nuclear-armed Iran an existentialist threat, destroy Iran's nuclear reactors in the same way it destroyed Syria's reactors in 2007? The answer to the question had been provided by Norman Podhoretz, editor at large, of Commentary, published by the American Jewish Committee. In a hard-hitting article: "Stopping Iran: "Why the Case for Military Action Still Stands," published in the February 2008 issue, Mr. Podhoretz wrote:

"Tempting as it must be for George Bush to sit back and let Israel do the job, there are considerations that should give him pause. ... To make matters worse, the indications are that it would be very hard for the Israeli air force, superb though it is, to pull the mission off. .. the problem is that for the mission to succeed, all of the many contingencies involved would have to go right. Hence an Israeli attempt could end with the worst of all possible outcomes: retaliatory measures by the Iranians even as their their nuclear program remained unscathed."
 
Podhoretz's prescription had been: "The upshot is that if Iran is to be prevented from becoming a nuclear power, it is the United States that will have to do the preventing, to do it by means of a bombing campaign, and (because 'If we wait for threats to materialize, we will have waited too long') to do it soon."
 
But in 2008, Bush was embroiled in two bloody wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and he had no desire to get involved in a third war with Iran. As such, despite he kept declaring that Iran must not be permiited to acquire the bomb and he kept warning that "the military option" was on the table, he did nothing. His successor, President Barack Obama, is even more reluctant to take any military action against Iran.
 
Exhausted by two bloody wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, most Americans are suffering from what can be called "terminal combat fatigue syndrome" : the reluctance to shed any more American blood and treasure in distant lands unless the US security is directly threatened. This explains why the United States has refused to intervene militarily in the Syrian conflict.
 
This leads us to another question: With Israel lacking the capability and US lacking the will to strike, who will stop Iran from going nuclear? The short answer is: No one. As a result, like nuclear-armed North Korea, Iran might go nuclear if it wants. Here sanctions come in. Unlike nuclear-armed North Korea, which is being propped up by China for ideological and political reasons, Iran is heavily dependent on oil exports to the West for its economic survival. If Iran decides to explode its own nuclear bomb, sanctions can be reimposed on Iran and it will be devastating for the Iranian economy...

However, like nuclear-armed North Korea, where the regime needs the bomb to intimidate its own people. The Iranian regime may think that it needs the bomb to intimidate its fellow restive Iranians. For the sake of fairness, Mr. Lendeman and the Media With Conscience should also be concerned about the plight of the Iranian people.

Mahmood Elahi


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