The current question pervading the minds of many individuals concerned with both international affairs and American foreign policy is twofold: Is a nuclear Iran dangerous to American interests?
And if Iran becomes a nuclear power, which many experts expect them to be within the year — and assuming no preemptive measures are taken — is there a likely chance that the Islamic republic would use their weapon against America?
The answer to the first question, which I can fairly say with a bit more epistemic certainty than the latter, simply put, is yes. If this is the case, then we must remind ourselves that Iranian influence and Iranian presence pervades the Persian Gulf. It trains Hezbollah cells in both Syria and Lebanon.
America knows far too well of what Hezbollah is capable of, bearing in mind the 1983 attacks in Beirut carried out by Hezbollah militants, killing 241 marines.
During the Cold War, both America and the Soviet Union were kept from nuclear holocaust because there was a mutual understanding that if either of the nations opted to attack the other, the result would be mutually assured destruction of both nations; this was referred to as MAD.
In Iran, however, the policy makers are not fazed by such an assurance, who view Armageddon and the “Death of the West” as a necessary element for redemption.
Of course, we must consider whether or not these convictions are held deeply by Iran’s leadership and whether or not they are willing to act on these convictions, but for how long are we willing to evade action because of uncertainty, especially when the country may be a serious threat?
Admittedly, Israel finds itself in a situation of slightly greater significance than America does, at least in the short run. Iran continues to call for the destruction of the Jewish state, and Israel, despite being pressed by the Obama administration to not peruse preemptive military strikes, is running out of options.
The catastrophe Israel could face if Iran goes nuclear is graver than the consequences that may result from attacking Iran. American interests do lie with Israel’s, and therefore we must see an Iranian threat to Israel’s existence as detrimental to American security.
As for the second question, it is quite clear that I do not possess the certainty that I do possess for the first, but it’s important to ask: Are we willing to take a leap of faith, and trust that Iran’s nuclear program is only in place to cultivate alternative energy purposes?
While it is ostensibly premature to call for military strikes, it is imperative for the Obama administration to be more vocal against the Iranian regime. He must call out to the Iranian people and declare that the United States stands in solidarity with the Iranian people against the tyrannous Iranian leadership, and that we stand to see the people of Iran stand strong against treachery.
Our lack of urgency and sole maintenance on economic sanctions demonstrates weakness, and such weakness is a detriment to our diplomacy and command. If we can’t reclaim this command, America’s interests may be permanently weakened.