If the IAEA report tells us what the world knew some two years ago, we can assume that the situation today is much graver than what was leaked Tuesday. And if anyone has been asking himself why there is so much anxiety in Israel over the Iranian threat, this is where the answer may lie.
What Israel and the world feared has materialized: The Iranian nuclear bomb is racing forward and is already at its last stop. Iran has the capabilities to produce nuclear weapons independently, without relying on any outside source. It has the know-how and most of the needed components; Tehran only needs to decide.
If this is the harsh bottom line of the IAEA report, which describes the state of Iran’s military nuclear developments some two years ago, where is Tehran today?
The immediate lesson is this: Western civilization has failed to counter the Shiite, fundamentalist Iran. When a dictatorial state of Iran’s scope seeks to acquire nuclear weapons, it turns out that no moderate diplomatic or economic pressure can stop it.
For more than 15 years, Israel warned the world about this last stop. Jerusalem did everything it could to persuade the global community. The world listened, at first ignored it, later repressed it, and ultimately – only in 2007 – started to internalize it. However, until now, world leaders headed by the United States merely played with the Iranians.
The last wave of “harsh” sanctions continued for a year and a half, yet the Iranian nuclear program also continued. We indeed saw mishaps, sabotage and assassinations of nuke scientists, the project was delayed by a few years, but pressed on. If Israel’s Mossad marked the effort to curb Iran’s nuclear program as its top mission in the past eight years, it can only register partial success. The threat was merely postponed.
Israel still alone
Anyone who thinks that the report’s publication would fundamentally change the way world powers address the Iranian nuclear program is deluded. Every serious intelligence organization knows much more than what the IAEA reported. So what. Have you seen anyone in the world becoming truly outraged because of it?
The Iranians were right all along. Patience pays off. Nobody would do anything dramatic to stop them. Not even the American president, who pledged not to allow nuke weapons in Iranian hands – he knows, more than IAEA inspectors, how close Iran is to acquiring such weapons.
The Russians, who were cynical enough to claim that the Iranians most certainly do not have a military nuclear program, have no trouble having the cake and eating it too. And what about European states? They will stop doing business with Iran only when they see an Iranian mushroom cloud in the sky.
Now, as was the case in the past two years, Israel is facing the Iranians alone – in “coordination” with the Americans. In other words, we have a wonderful understanding with the US whereby we must coordinate our solitude with them. Israel’s only hope is that the report’s publication and Jerusalem’s threats to strike would (maybe) prompt the US and Europeans will show more vigor in weakening the Iranian regime, even without the Security Council.
Israel can only hope that the sanctions will not only be limited to Iran’s central bank- which will suffocate Tehran’s international trade – but also undermine the importation and exportation of oil products. The chances for this are not high.
Hence, the region and the world must prepare for one of two scenarios: Either the story shall end with some kind of military operation that would delay the Iranian nuclear project, or the Iranians voluntarily and for their own reasons would stop their nuke project.
In any case, the State of Israel would do well to prepare for an era of a regional nuclear threat.
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