I’d like to see a blockade of Iran regardless of what that would mean to oil prices but that doesn’t seem likely. I am certain any stronger action is more unlikely. UN sanctions are a joke, Saddam showed us that, and either China or Russia will veto any action on Iran anyway. Time has run out, you may not have noticed but Iran is blocking IAEA inspections of its uranium enrichment facility. Mario Loyola at NRO calls this the point of no return in the Iranian nuclear crises. It’s now time to consider the ramifications of an Iranian nuclear power.
In Our Fallout-Shelter Future Stanley Kurtz makes a few sobering observations.
Once Iran gets the bomb, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are likely to develop their own nuclear weapons, for self-protection, and so as not to allow Iran to take de facto cultural-political control of the Muslim world. (I think you’ve got to at least add Egypt to this list.) With three, four, or more nuclear states in the Muslim Middle East, what becomes of deterrence?
With several Muslim countries in possession of the bomb, it would be extremely difficult to trace the state source of a nuclear terror strike. In fact, this very difficulty would encourage states (or ill-controlled elements within nuclear states — like Pakistan’s intelligence services or Iran’s Revolutionary Guards) to pass nukes to terrorists. The tougher it is to trace the source of a weapon, the easier it is to give the weapon away. In short, nuclear proliferation to multiple Muslim states greatly increases the chances of a nuclear terror strike.
Deep mutual suspicion between an expansionist, apocalyptic, Shiite Iran, secular Turkey, and the Sunni Saudis and Egyptians (not to mention Israel) is likely to fuel a dangerous multi-pronged nuclear arms race. Larger arsenals mean more chance of a weapon being slipped to terrorists. The collapse of the world’s non-proliferation regime also raises the chances that nuclearization will spread to Asian powers like Taiwan and Japan.
“Duck and cover” is back! In a post-proliferation world, we are going to be raising another generation of children (probably several generations of children) marked by nerve-wracking “retention drills.” And get ready...the fallout shelter is coming back, too. Given the Soviets’ overwhelmingly large nuclear arsenal — capable of turning the entire United States to dust in the event of a major nuclear exchange — fallout shelters came to seem like a joke. But when dealing with a possible strike from a single weapon, or at most a mere handful of weapons, the logic of the fallout shelter is compelling. We’re going to need to be able to evacuate our cities in the event of a direct attack, or to avoid radiation plumes from cities that have already been struck.We are in big trouble even if Iran never uses its nukes; just having them will insure their immunity from retaliatory military action for any transgressions they may initiate. What do we do if they move into southern Iraq? Or worse go through Iraq, into Kuwait, and unlike Saddam, down into Saudi Arabia? Imagine the Mullahs controlling that much oil. Tehran has shown itself to be the world’s premier sponsor of terrorism, would we go after a nuclear armed Iran like we did little Afghanistan if a Tehran sponsored terrorist group brings on another 9/11? Could we count on our European allies, (as if we could now), if the Mullahs have the capability to lob nukes into Europe? Iran will be able to ride roughshod over the entire middle east with impunity, at least till its neighbors gets their nukes. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will be dead and the world will become a much scarier place than it already is and its going to happen.
Ahmadinejad cannot become Supreme Ruler, he lacks the religious credentials. At best he will remain a toady puppet for the Mullahs who are hopefully no where near as insane.