Nuclear Expert: Iran's Drive for Bomb 'Relentless'

Sunday, 19 Jun 2011 07:40 AM

By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Nuclear terrorism and nonproliferation expert Jack Caravelli tells Newsmax that Iran remains “relentless” in its pursuit of nuclear weapons despite all efforts to dissuade the regime.

He also says that while a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a serious political threat in the region, the Islamic Republic would likely not launch an immediate attack on Israel because Iran is “not suicidal.”

Caravelli served on the White House National Security Council, was a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, and worked for the CIA. He is now a fellow and member of the advisory board of Oxford University’s Pluscarden Program on Intelligence and Terrorism.

His latest book is “Beyond Sand and Oil: The Nuclear Middle East.”

Story continues below video.


In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Caravelli warned that there is the threat of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East today “and the biggest concern of course is Iran. We’ve been watching Iran and its commitment of resources to a program that almost certainly has a weapons element to it. On a parallel track, Iran has developed long-range missile capability.

“These capabilities, if they play out in the next couple of years — Iran hasn’t crossed the nuclear weapons threshold yet as far as we know – pose a direct threat not only to Israel in a military sense, but also in a political sense. What some people don’t fully appreciate is a nuclear weapons capability could have profound implications politically throughout the region.

“What is most important is that no matter what the international community has tried to do to move Iran off that course — through politics, diplomacy, economic sanctions — those policies have not really changed Iran’s behavior.

“We need to do more because Iran appears to be relentless in their desire to achieve this capability.”

Asked to assess the Obama administration’s dealings with the Iranian threat, Caravelli responds: “Under the Obama administration I think the short answer is [Iran has] not changed, and through that lens the Obama administration’s policies have not succeeded.”

Given the threat Iran poses to Israel, and the likely Israeli response to an attack, some say a regional war in the Middle East is inevitable.

“I wouldn’t say it’s inevitable, but given the fragility of the Middle East politically, it can’t be ruled out,” Caravelli comments.

“I don’t think if Iran succeeds that it uses it abilities on the following day. I think Iran is not suicidal. There’s probably more rationality than we understand.

“But the long-term political implication of Iran with the [nuclear] capability and with aggressive policies in the region — support for terrorism, Hezbollah and the like — really adds to the political fragility in the region and is something Israel cannot ignore.”

With Arab governments toppled in Egypt and Tunisia and anti-government unrest in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, Caravelli expresses confidence that democracy may someday take hold in the region.

“Democracy of sorts may well emerge, and I hope it does in countries like Egypt. This will not happen overnight. It will probably be messy. There may be elections held the results of which we may or may not like, and this process will take years and perhaps decades to unfold, until we have answers as to what the new Egypt, the new Bahrain, the new Yemen look like.

“I think there are reasons within the Arab world to look at what Israel has achieved and say democracy works. It can build a better future for our citizens.”

Following Pakistan’s arrest of five people thought to have helped the United States find Osama bin Laden, Caravelli was asked if American can count on Pakistan as an ally in the war against terror.

“It’s a mixed answer,” he tells Newsmax.

“Pakistan was embarrassed by what we achieved in killing bin Laden. Pakistan will be quick to point out on the other hand that thousands of its troops have died fighting extremist groups.

“Pakistan has probably not been the partner we would have liked to have seen in the counter-terrorist policies we have pursued. But we can’t give up on Pakistan. We hope Pakistan won’t give up on us.”

Caravelli also warns about the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan: “We put at risk the gains we have achieved through our blood and treasure if we precipitously pull out.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Officials: Dozens of Ex-Gitmo Prisoners Joining ISIS

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 11:48 AM

Former Guantanamo Bay detainees may have joined up with the Islamic State or other extremist groups within the Syrian bo . . .

Fmr. Boston Mayor Menino Dead After Battling Cancer

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 11:44 AM

Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who shepherded the city through the deadly Boston Marathon bombing and was the longes . . .

ACLU: FBI Seeks 'Green Light' to Hack Into Any Computer Worldwide

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 11:22 AM

The FBI is petitioning the government for new powers to hack into computers for surveillance in what is being described  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved