Thursday, February 11, 2010

Iran is Nuclear, And Your Point Is........?

Just when you think things were bad enough, Iran has to go and declare itself nuclear.  It has declared this because it reached uranium enrichment of 20%.  In order to build nuclear weapons, it needs to reach 90%.  Although 20 is nowhere near 90, it still makes me pause about this for a moment. An extremist Islamic country who has declared that it wants to wipe Israel off the map has acquired nuclear capabilities. I wonder what’s going to happen when they reach full capacity. For those of you who have an inkling of how history has this unfortunate tendency to repeat itself, odds are that Iran is going to try to use them. I know this. The Israeli government knows this, which is all the more reason to be nervous about this declaration.

Israel has its back to the corner so badly that it’s one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” moments. I’m sure that the Israeli government has already been considering an aerial attack on Iran, much like the one that they did with the Iraqi reactors back in the 1980s. As James Phillips from the Heritage Foundation points out, Israel might not be able to deal with Iran the same way it dealt with Iran:

An Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities would be a much more difficult and complex oper­ation than the 1981 raid on Iraq's Osiraq reactor. The Iranian dictatorship learned the lessons of Israel's 1981 strike on Iraq's nuclear reactor: The Ira­nian nuclear infrastructure is more decentralized, dispersed, hardened, and protected than was Iraq's nuclear program. Some of the nuclear sites have been located in cities, which would magnify the col­lateral casualties of air strikes. Other sites have been built deep underground with assistance from North Korea, which has developed world-class tunneling technology.

Israel also has to deal with two geographical realities: Iran is further away than Iraq, and Iran is a larger country than Iraq. This also translates into the geo-political reality of being endowed with a better military than Iraq, although I would strongly opine that Israel’s military capabilities are by far superior. To be realistic, Israel alone cannot halt the Iranian nuclear program. It could only delay it. If America entered the stage and attacked Iran, something that should have been done years ago, there would be a chance. But with Obama’s flabby, poorly prioritized foreign policy, it might be a stretch to say that America would do more than just flex its muscles, even when the Iranian threat is self-evident.

The worst-case doomsday scenario is one possibility.  The other possibility is that Iran is bluffing.  That is what the United States government is figuring.  The timing of Iran's declaration is noteworthy because it occurred just one day after Congress enacted the severe sanctions against Iran. Consider this: Iran runs the petroleum sector of its economy poorly.   Just look at how they're handling low oil barrel prices!  In spite of that, for the Iranians, this should be a no-brainer.  Short of Saudi Arabia and Canada, they have more oil than anybody than anybody else.  They should be making a fortune.  But as the Telegraph article above points out, they are highly inefficient in producing it and making a substnial profit off of it like the Saudis.  Now, if they can't handle something as simple as accruing oil, what makes you think they can handle the complexities of nuclear energy?      

As a religious Jew, I believe that HaShem will protect the Jewish people like He has throughout history.  Although Iran looks menacing, I think Iran has more bark than it does bite.  Obviously, Israel cannot take that chance because risking the longevity of the Jewish state is just too high.  Nevertheless, Iran is a backwards nation that is run by fundamentalists of an unenlightened religion.  It might have a lot of anger and resentment towards Jews, but as long as it makes itself a pariah within the international community, it won't make nearly as much progress as it'd like.  However, a bit of aggresive action towards the rogue state wouldn't hurt.

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