Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Iran to world: we will go nuclear

Iran announced yesterday that it will break the IAEA seals on its Natanz uranium enrichment facility. The EU huffed and harrumphed and . . . declined to think about sanctions.

This is ridiculous. The Bush Administration is abdicating its necessary role to ensure that Iran does NOT get nuclear weapons to the Europeans, to whom an agreement with Iran is more important than (1) what it says or (2) if Iran will follow it (the Iranians have violated two nuclear "agreements" with the EU negotiators to date). By failing to protect the world against the threat from Iran, an Axis of Evil member that has become even more bellicose under its new crackpot president, the Bush Administration is allowing that threat to grow and become more imminent (three words: Clinton Administration, al-Qaeda).

The Wall Street Journal notes everyone's favorite option, and the moral vacuousness it entails:

. . . there are an increasing number of credible reports that Israel is well along in planning a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear sites. And these reports have new urgency given the news of Iran's impending purchase of advanced Russian anti-aircraft missiles that would complicate any strike. Given that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has promised to wipe the Jewish state "off the map," an Israeli pre-emption would certainly be justified, though the regional consequences--including a ballistic missile exchange between the two countries--may well be severe.

It should not be Israel's lot to safeguard the security of the West in the face of a common threat, as it did when it destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981. But if we're going to avoid this grim scenario, both Europe and the U.S. need to threaten, and apply, stiffer penalties against Iran than they have suggested so far. As we learned in dealing with Saddam Hussein, so too with Mr. Ahmadinejad: Eventually, there's a price to be paid for trafficking in unserious consequences. The only question is, paid by whom?

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