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Opinion

Say no to nukes
A nuclear Iran would become an absolute totalitarian state

By Hedayat Naderi
October 7, 2003
The Iranian

No other country has done more harm to the non-proliferation struggle than the good ole' US of A. And no other administration has been more irresponsible than the current regime when it comes to discouraging developing nations from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

The dim-witted bunch in Washington D.C. in whose hands the security and safety of the world lie, crafted this silly Neanderthal doctrine of pre-emptive war in order to bring "peace" to the world. What were these guys thinking? As a result of their shortsightedness, the so-called neo-cons have caused the fanatical regime in Iran to speed up its dangerous nuclear program. Let us all hope and pray that the mullahs don't achieve their goal.

Any two-year old can predict the future when such foolishness takes place. Here's how it goes: America, led by a cowboy decides to exterminate its "enemies" before they get a chance to attack it first. Alarmed by this new strategy, every tyrannical regime that sees itself as a potential target urgently attempts to acquire nuclear weapons, simply because such power has proven to be effective against foreign aggression. It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out.

Our own Iran led by the most dangerous bunch of murderous dictators is a perfect example of a country that has found itself in such a predicament. The mullahs have been working on a nuclear program since the mid-80s. The categorization of Iran as a member of the "axis-of-evil" and the subsequent destruction of the Hussein regime in Iraq prompted the mullahs to speed up their nuclear program.

Furthermore, four years of domestic unrest has put the theocracy between a rock and a hard place. They only way for them to survive is to become even more brutal and the only way they can do that is to gain respect from their enemies.

I don't believe that the mullahs have the intestinal fortitude to use such weapons against any other country including Israel. They realize that such action would be nothing short of lunacy. They know that neither Israel nor the U.S. would hold back if this were to happen. They would turn Iran into a radioactive wasteland in a matter of hours. But the tyrants in Iran will use their new found nuclear shield to further oppress their own citizens.

The hesitance of Western nations to engage a nuclear Iran would strengthen the weight of the Islamic Republic's iron fist at home. A nuclear Iran would become an absolute totalitarian state, much more so than it is today.

I am by no means suggesting that Iran of today resembles some kind of democracy. No, indeed it is a dictatorship of the worst kind. But nuclear weapons will give the mullahs the self-confidence of an immortal. That is dangerous for Iranians as well as the rest of the world. An Iranian nuclear capability would also lead to a very dangerous nuclear arms race in the region. Saudi Arabia would certainly begin its own nuclear program if its neighbor to the north achieves its perilous goal. This is not good for the region or the rest of the world.

Despite their opposition to the Islamic Republic, many Iranians do not oppose the idea of a nuclear Iran. They immediately mention the nuclear capabilities of Israel and Pakistan. They base their argument on the basis of the uneven standard that the West uses in dealing with different countries. But, one must not think so narrow-mindedly. The solution is not a nuclear Iran, but rather a serious program of global non-proliferation. All nations that possess or are attempting to acquire nuclear weapons must be discouraged by any means necessary.

So what should the world do about Iran's attempt to build nuclear weapons? The Americans must not approach this problem unilaterally; especially not with the current regime in Washington. A nuclear Iran is a threat to the entire global community and to the hopes of non-proliferation. The UN must take the leading role here and use its diplomatic strength and possibly its military muscle to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The EU also has large task at hand in this crisis. The countries of Europe need to practice what they preach and put aside their greed for human rights and nuclear non-proliferation. Economic pressure from the EU is needed to drive the mullahs out of power and put an end to their deadly adventures at home and abroad.

America perhaps plays the largest role in the hope of a nuclear-free world. Washington must change its foreign policy if it expects its enemies to stay away from nuclear weapons. The ?neo-cons? need to drop their tough-guy attitude. The acquisition of nuclear weapons is a defensive strategy employed by countries like Iran.

Iran is currently surrounded by American forces and naturally feels threatened. The dictatorship knows that the only way out is to build nuclear weapons and to build them fast. America must take a step back and allow the UN to take full control of this one. It must not allow the Iranian government the opportunity to play the role of an anti-imperialist hero.

The UN must act seriously, swiftly and with great vigor. This has happened to some extent in the past few weeks. But the process needs to be accelerated and the UN must keep a suspicious eye on the Islamic Republic at all times. Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. The Iranian people will be the first to suffer the consequences if the global community fails to prevent such a tragedy.

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