The Rise of Nuclear Iran

Ambassador Dore Gold’s new book The Rise of Nuclear Iran should be required reading for every member of the Obama administration involved with the Middle East or national security policy, including the president.

Gold explains — crisply and clearly — why the US government and the European Nations have failed continuously in getting Iran to stop their nuclear weapons development program. Even more important, he lays out a path that conclusively proves that the Iranian Mullahs are adamant about not negotiating away their goal of nuclear weapons.

As if in confirmation of Gold’s thesis, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, on September 7, that negotiations on the nuclear issue were “finished.”

According to a Washington Post report, Ahmadinejad said, “We will never negotiate on the Iranian nation’s obvious rights,” and added that Iran would not halt its enrichment of uranium.

Ambassador Gold’s book traces the failed negotiations to the very beginnings of the Iranian regime —  when the Carter administration allowed Ayatollah Khomeini to depose the ruling Shah of Iran — through the start of the  Obama administration’s turning a blind eye to the recent uprisings in Iran. It will make an excellent reference for the 9/11 Part II Commission when we are attacked again.

Ambassador Gold’s compilation of Iran’s terrorism leadership role, and how they have  played a key role in destabilizing the Middle East will be instrumental for the analysis where the Obama Administration and previous administrations went wrong. Letting Iran develop nuclear weapons and spread terror throughout the region to include Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and Lebanon has had severe consequences on the world and were indirectly responsible for the attack on 9/11.

Ambassador Gold shows the reader how the EU 3 (UK, Germany and France) have failed in their nuclear negotiations and only allowed the Mullahs more time to develop their nuclear weapons while Iran had been attacking and killing American Embassy employees in Beirut (60 civilians killed), US Forces in Lebanon on October 23, 1983 (241 Marines killed in action), Khobar Towers (19 airmen KIA), plus numerous hostages and aircraft hijackings.

What is so troubling is then Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger’s refusal to execute strikes against Iranian camps after being directed to do so by President Reagan on Nov 14, 1983. So we see another Administration fail to respond because the Secretary of Defense was not convinced the intelligence was accurate, even though we had 241 Marines killed by Iran and a great amount of  “all–source” intelligence verification. Ambassador Gold documents this very well. It is another example of US appeasement that has emboldened Iran to this day. No administration comes out unscathed in Gold’s  analysis.

Ambassador Gold also discusses Russia and China’s role in the UN of preventing effective sanctions being incorporated into UN Resolutions that would enable diplomacy to have a chance. This has also been verified by former American Ambassador John Bolton to the UN who has consistently told us why diplomacy will not have a chance.

The next significant area of concern is President Ahmadinejad’s adoption of an apocalyptic ideology where he sees the return of the Twelfth Imam or Mahdi (savior) imminently. At that time, according to Shiite eschatology, Islam will be recognized as the true global faith. The Mahdi will not return unless one third of the world is killed and one third die, by pestilence or other natural means. (So, Mr. President, please explain how we can deter a nuclear Iran when their leadership believes in this ideology?)

To further complicate a nuclear deterrent strategy with Iran, President Ahmadinejad has said on numerous occasions that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth and on 26 Oct 2005 proclaimed “God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall experience a world without the United States and Zionism”. Four months later on 16 February 2006, Moshen Gharavian who is a disciple of Mesban Yazdi, Ahmadinejad’s spiritual mentor, stated that Sharia does not forbid the use of nuclear weapons. Finally, as recently as 7 September 09, Iran has been adamant that they will not negotiate away their nuclear development program. They could not be clearer. Hope is not a strategy, President Obama.

Gold offers an option that I have long favored of letting the Iranian people take their country back in a Velvet Revolution as could have begun in the aftermath of the June 2009 elections. Frankly, we are wasting time and need to move out, but the Obama Administration thinks Hope is a strategy and believes that they can successfully negotiate away Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

That hope is a false one: no one could conclude otherwise especially after reading all the compelling evidence laid out by Ambassador Gold to the contrary.

My major criticism is that Ambassador Gold is too nuanced in his analysis.  Iran is an existential threat to Israel and the US and no one is going to be able to deter their objective of a global Shiite world through nuclear weapons. They have killed at least 1,000 Americans (my estimate) since their rise to power in 1979 and the world has appeased them for naught. Ambassador Gold does not discuss the threat that nuclear terrorism presents Israel and the United States from Iranian proxies (Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, al-Qaeda) although he conclusively proves their subservient relationship to Iran. This would have provided an excellent discussion of the most dangerous threat to us all but it would have required a more provocative strategy to deter such a threat. I suspect (and hope) that may be his next book.

In summary, The Rise of Nuclear Iran is a very compelling book that presents the danger of Iran to our very survival. It is an existential threat to our way of life.  We — and our president — ignore Ambassador Gold’s facts at our peril.