Last week, Iran met with the United Nations Security Council permanent members plus Germany in Istanbul in another attempt at a diplomatic resolution on Iran’s Nuclear Program. However, at the same time that Iran announced its return to the diplomatic table, the country also completed its Fordo Nuclear site deep in the mountains of the Qom province. Iran’s offer of limited Uranium enrichment up to 20 percent for medical research and peaceful energy rings hollow. If Iran needed uranium enrichment for medical and energy purposes, why has the Iranian government continually blocked IAEA inspectors from visiting their nuclear sites? Furthermore, why would Iran build not just one but several nuclear facilities deep under the earth? America needs to lead the effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
As an American, Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons is of grave concern to me. Not only is Iran a brutal, totalitarian regime that has sent children into minefields to clear them and that murders its own people, but, Iran is the world’s largest financier of terrorism. Iran has already shown its ability to extend its power through terrorist proxies such Hizbollah and Hamas, and its close ally, the Assad Regime in Syria. They were connected to the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina building in July 1994 and responsible for the recent attacks on Israeli diplomats in India and Thailand as well as the attempted attack in Tbilisi, Georgia. The idea that Iran would have nuclear weapons to pass along to proxies is sobering.
If Iran were to achieve nuclear weapons capability, a nuclear arms race would commence in the region. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have hinted at their intent to develop nuclear weapons if Iran acquires the capability. The more countries that acquire nuclear weapons the greater the likelihood they will be used. Furthermore, nuclear proliferation in the region where the majority of the world’s oil reserves could lead to higher oil prices than have ever been seen before.
President Obama has stated that all options are on the table and both houses of Congress overwhelmingly supported sanctions on Iran. Yet, we could be doing more. This is why America needs to continue to lead the effort on all fronts to end the Iranian pursuit of military nuclear power. An Iran with nuclear weapons makes the world a far more dangerous place than before. An America that leads the nations in searching for diplomatic resolutions, while leading the push for increasingly crippling sanctions on Iran from around the world and for building multinational support for the military option should it have to be used, will make sure that nuclear weapons proliferation in the Middle East is never an option.