There is a very dangerous school of thought throughout the West that was succinctly expressed to me a few years back by a State Department Official. “Talking,” he said with a great deal of confidence, “is always better than not talking. After all, what harm can words do?”
Plenty. After the' P5 plus 1 talks' (The United States, The Russian Federation, China, Great Britain, France, plus Germany), adjourned in Istanbul last Sunday, European Union Chief Negotiator, Catherine Ashton said, “The day-long talks at an Istanbul conference center did not yield an agreement on specific curbs to Iran’s nuclear program, but U.S. and European officials described the negotiations as ‘constructive and useful’ and said a second round had been set for May 23 in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.”
For those of you who believe in the wisdom of my State Department friend’s philosophy, the Istanbul talks were indeed “constructive and useful,” because it brought about their desired goal: More talks. After all, according to this line of thinking, as long as the Iranians are talking, they aren’t fighting.
Dead wrong. The Iranians are preparing for war. This most recent round of talks has given the Islamic Republic of Iran a smokescreen of five more weeks to continue to enrich their uranium to the highly enriched level of over twenty percent and to work simultaneously on their delivery mechanism.
Time is not on our side here. Both the Israelis and the Americans are in agreement on the timeframe, and we are dangerously close to looking at the world with an Iranian nuclear bomb. In fact, the most precious gift we can possibly give to the Iranians is time. We are playing right into their hands.
In March, the German newspaper, Die Welt, reported that Western intelligence agencies detected two nuclear weapon tests in North Korea, and one of them may have been conducted for Iran. The Iranians also walked away from the Istanbul talks with the perception that these talks are a green light from the international community to continue its work on nuclear technology.
According to an article by the Iranian Fars News Agency, Senior Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Hossein Salami said that as a result of the Istanbul Conference, “despite the efforts by the arrogant powers to prevent a nuclear Iran, you witnessed that all of them have accepted the right of Iran to access nuclear technology. That,” added IRGC Commander Salami, “is a winning card in the glorious history of the sacred Islamic Republic System.”
Why do the Iranians believe that they have been given international consent to produce nuclear weaponry? Listen carefully to the words of EU Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton: “We have agreed that the Non-Proliferation Treaty forms a key basis for what must be serious engagement to ensure that all the obligations of the treaty are being met by Iran, while fully respecting Iran’s right for peaceful nuclear technology.”
As Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said, “We in the West make a great mistake when we transform our values onto the rest of the world.”
It is quite a leap of faith to assume that once the Iranians cross the nuclear threshold, they will abide by any Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. And we are again deluding ourselves if we think this is only about Israel. In March, Iranian Basij Commander, Mohammad Reza Naqi, threatened to “burn the White House as long as America exists” and that Iran would, “create the environment for the destruction of America.” He called America “among the weakest countries with a bankrupted economy and reduced military power. And the international public opinion despises it.” Adding, “It would be naive to show this kind of softness in the face of Satan.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran declared war on the United States as soon as they came into power in 1979, when they seized the U.S. Embassy, taking our officials hostage. After our military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, we in the United States are exhausted and depleted, and are not in the mood for further military engagement. But Iranian hegemonic and genocidal desires will not go away because we are not in the mood. Mutually Assured Destruction, which worked so well with the rational actors of Russia, does not work with a maniacal theocratic regime who believes that they will bring the “twelfth Imam’ by destroying America or its ally, Israel, and ascend to its rightful place as the leader of the factious Sunni and Shiite Muslim world.
If you would like to know what the world will be like after Iran reaches nuclear capability, think of all the unnamed protestors of June 2009 who have summarily disappeared from the streets, who have been raped and tortured and are rotting away in the notorious Iranian prisons. In the words of Soviet Dissident, Andrei Sakharov, “If you want to understand a nation’s foreign policy, look at the way they treat their own people.”
Turning our backs on the reality of evil does not make it go away. We tried that once, and the Jewish community just commemorated Yom HaShoah to teach us where this thinking can lead us.