A Nuclear Iran: The End of the Iraqi Project?

Iran and IraqQuick Post on the Iran and Iraq

In the Wretchard’s “The Coming of the Bomb” at Belmont Club, he excerpts from the US Army War College’s “Getting Ready For A Nuclear-Ready Iran” monograph:

“[An] ever more nuclear-ready Iran will try to lead the revolutionary Islamic vanguard throughout the Islamic world by becoming the main support for terrorist organizations aimed against Washington’s key regional ally, Israel; America’s key energy source, Saudi Arabia; and Washington’s prospective democratic ally, Iraq.”

The Wretchard extends this analysis to declare, “It could mark the final end of efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation and provide Islamic terrorism with a nuclear deterrent.”

If the prediction above holds true than the Iraqi project will fail before it even has a chance to really succeed. The great hope for the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was to help galvanize democracy and openness in the Middle East with the chance to be a Shia counterweight to the mullahs in Iran and bring hope to the Iranian people by showing them an alternative route.

An emboldened nuclear Iran that would be able to leverage its nuclear power status to aggressively support Islamic terrorist organizations and would contribute to even more instability to the security environment in the Middle East and many Muslim nations.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad intentions for the nuclear weapons are still not quite clear. His extreme rhetoric has caused much alarm and, indeed, the cause of the escalation of the crisis. Here are just some possible motives:
1) Deterrent against the US. The US surrounds Iran on three sides: Iraq in the west, Afghanistan in the south, and in the Persian Gulf where the US superior naval forces can be sent.
2) To generate a crisis that will consolidate Ahmadinejad’s political base? This would be in line with his stark political rhetoric, which has captured the political discourse.
3) Leverage to propel Iranian Republic as the revolutionary vanguard of Islam (despite the Shi’a vs. Sunni differences)?

I don’t think we have enough information on this to move beyond such speculation and until the only logical route with Iran is through engagement, exchanging the world’s acquiesce of Iran’s nuclear development for some sort of economic openness (a way to tie and restrain Tehran’s action). Short of a risky military action or regime change, we sadly have no options left.

PS: As a side note Officer’s Club (via DefenseTech) points to a Washington Post’s article on a “bolt-out-of-the-blue” plan for rapid global strike, a supposed plan called CONPLAN 8022 that deals specifically with Iran and North Korea. Unless the world stands behind the US (with the pen and the sword), such a plan would be very unlikely.



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