how such an attack would take place. Every day there are new stories supporting this theory, while others suggest that the public debate on the issue is aiming instead to spur tougher economic sanctions on Iran and force it to back down from its nuclear program.
Although Iran’s leaders contend that their program is intended solely for civilian purposes, they have not restrained themselves from expressing their animosity for Israel.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week declared, “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in a 2005 speech said, “Our dear Imam (referring to Ayatollah Khamenei) said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine.”
Ahmedinejad has also stated that Israel was created on "a lie and a mythical claim" and that the Western powers "launched the myth of the Holocaust. They lied, they put on a show and then they support the Jews.”
This week an article on the Iranian Alef News Agency website associated with a respected conservative member of Iran’s parliament included detailed maps of military and civilian targets in Israel under the headline: “Israeli People Must Be Annihilated.”
Israeli leaders believe these statements indicate that the Iranian regime poses an existential threat to the State of Israel. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted recently on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, “I want to mention the main lesson of the Holocaust when it comes to our fate. We can only rely on ourselves.”
The Holocaust comparison is intentional, with the purpose of reminding the international community of the threats Hitler made against the Jewish People in the nineteen thirties and the horrific cost that resulted from the world’s inaction.
There are additional reasons why Israel, and the world for that matter, should fear a nuclear Iran. Iran would be quick to arm its long-range missiles, such as the Shihab pictured here, with nuclear capabilities. Not only is Israel within the range of these missiles but also a good part of Europe. With nuclear weapons at its disposal, Iran would no longer feel a need to comply with international pressure of any type.
Iran is the chief supplier of weapons to the Hezbollah terrorist organization based in Lebanon, and it also supplies weaponry to the Hamas organization in the Gaza Strip. Iran has remained a steadfast ally of Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria. The danger of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists or tyrannical regimes threatens not only Israel, but Europe as well.
Israel is not Iran’s only opponent in the Middle East. If the Iranians succeeded in obtaining nuclear weapons there is no doubt that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey would seek nuclear weapons of their own, creating a regional arms race that would be difficult to control.
The United States and many countries in Europe see the inherent danger of a nuclear Iran. If sanctions fail to prevent Iran from proceeding towards nuclearization, military action may be the required next step. The debate is whether Israel should take that step on its own.
What do you think should be done about Iran’s nuclear aspirations?