No Need for Nukes
No need for nukes
|The Iranian regime owes Bush a thank-you note--and disarmament...
It is these ambitions that reveal the mullahs' intentions. Iran is not simply another democratic state like Britain, France or Israel. Iran is a sponsor of terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hezbollah, and it does not govern with the consent of the people. The Iranian mullahs' claim to legitimacy is simply raw power. A nuclear weapon would give them even greater power, but not any more moral legitimacy.
It is therefore reasonable to wonder what they would do with this new power. The simple answer is that they would feel protected behind a nuclear umbrella even as they shelter and support terrorist networks. But to what end? Either from the outset or somewhere down the road, Iranian mullahs will find that their nuclear-backed state has some global influence. The authoritarian regime inside Iran will come to see itself as a power capable of checking moderate influences in the Middle East.
Indeed, there is already ample evidence that Iran sees itself as a check on America. From taking Americans hostage in 1979 through trying to destabilize the interim Iraqi government today, Iran has sought to displace the U.S. from the Middle East. In the coming year, it is likely that Iran will emerge as the nation-state antagonist in the war on terror. That much more than offering shelter, Iran will provide terrorists with a symbol of a successful Islamicist check on the West. And from Osama bin Laden on down, terrorists fighters will attribute that success to nuclear weapons...