The revelation that Iran broke the IAEA seals on it's uranium enrichment facilities January 10th has sparked tough talk, across the region and across the world.
From The Capital Times:
Israel's defense minister hinted Saturday that the Jewish state is preparing for military action to stop Iran's nuclear program, but said international diplomacy must be the first course of action.
"Israel will not be able to accept an Iranian nuclear capability and it must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing," Shaul Mofaz said.
Germany's defense minister said in an interview published Saturday that he is hopeful of a diplomatic solution to the impasse over Iran's nuclear program, but argued that "all options" should remain open.
French President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that France could respond with nuclear weapons against any state-sponsored terrorist attack.
The players are all gathering in this drama, postponed but never cancelled some two years ago. Iran's challenge to the world on nuclear energy was an inevitability, and it seems unlikely that the claims of domestic power generation can be take with anything but a large grain of salt. The words, also, of President Ahmadinejad to "wipe Israel off the map" has virtually assured a tense stand-off across the Middle East.
The issue of the Iranian government building a nuclear arsenal is a thorny one for the western world. The United States, France, Germany, Russia and Israel (secretly), all maintain a nuclear weapons program. The unprovoked invasion of Iraq by the United States is certainly a contributing factor to a desire for the bomb in one of the nations labeled by President Bush as the "Axis of Evil". Certainly the fate of Saddam Hussein, while advantageous to Iran, also leaves the ruling mullahs very concerned over U.S. motivations in the region.
Nuclear proliferation is the most serious threat facing the world today, and any "War on Terror" that doesn't require a non-proliferation plan as a central key is only so much political rhetoric. Bush's belligerent foreign policy has effectively taken the United States out of the game where Iran is concerned. The U.S. has precious little credibility while the debacle in Iraq continues. It should make Americans very uncomfortable that the man who claims his job is to "protect Americans" has left us with very little practical defense against a new nuclear threat in the world.
The entire situation in Iran may turn out to be much ado about nothing. One more nation in the international game of nuclear brinkmanship may just keep the house of cards standing. But the growing danger remains. One cornered, desperate dictator or, worse, delusional religious zealot could end the game in a blinding flash of light. If only the United States had a responsible foreign policy, rooted in a sensible view of American power and American needs, then perhaps our nation could at least have a role in the drama unfolding. Sadly, the "Bush Doctrine" has left America backstage in the Iran showdown...