Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s threat to world peace grows stronger by the day with new evidence that Iran is building an underground plant to enrich uranium that can be used for an atomic bomb.
When asked if Iran had sufficient uranium to manufacture nuclear weapons, Ahmadinejad sidestepped the question, saying the new facility won't be operational for 18 months, so Iran has not violated any IAEA requirements.
However, the semi-official Fars News Agency quoted Mohammad Mohammadi-Golpayegani, who heads the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as saying: "This new plant, God willing, will soon become operational and will make the enemies blind." That doesn’t sound like they will be using this facility for energy, does it?
Iran, its president, and Khamenei jeopardize global nonproliferation, the European nations, the Middle East and in particular, Israel — a country that Ahmadinejad has already identified as his principal target that should be blown off the map.
In their spare time when they are not working on their own atomic bomb, Iran is also helping Venezuela detect uranium deposits which experts suggest that their reserves could be significant.
This insanity must be stopped, and stopped now.
President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Tehran to open the site to the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency or face consequences.
The head of Iran's nuclear program suggested that United Nations inspectors may be allowed to visit the site, but history has shown that depending on the U.N., its inspectors, or sanctions have never been effective.
The threats of isolation and increased pressure by the international community will not work when China and Russia are saying publicly that they will not support sanctions against Iran.
Anyone who believes that Ahmadinejad is worried about denying his country the resources that would come with international or U.N. sanctions are a bit naïve. We have seen what he thinks of the Iranian people during his last election, when he basically took his position by force, deadly and otherwise.
Ahmadinejad and Iran’s manufacturing of nuclear weapons must be addressed, and addressed now. We cannot negotiate with a madman and we cannot wait until it’s too late or we or others might be taken by surprise.
Our allies in Europe and the Middle East are in danger, and Israel could face complete annihilation. We can’t afford another Iraq, but we don’t have to have one. Either we take out these sites, or give Israel or someone else the help they need to get the job done.
It is the right thing to do, and now is the time to do it.
Bernard Kerik served as New York City’s 40th police commissioner and Iraq’s interim minister of interior following the fall of Saddam Hussein. Today he is the chairman of The Kerik Group LLC. Visit his Web site at www.thekerikgroup.com.
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