Tags: iran | nuclear | threat

Iranian Nuclear Threat Targets U.S., Israel

Sunday, 30 Aug 2009 05:11 PM

By Chris Wessling

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Concerns about Iran's nuclear capabilities — and their potentially devastating impact on America — are mounting, a special report from Newsmax.TV reveals.

You can see Newsmax.TV's report on the growing Iranian nuclear threat - Click Here Now

The Islamic republic has test-fired missiles capable of reaching Israel, southeastern Europe, and U.S. bases in the Mideast — and published reports say Iran is within a year of developing its own nuclear bomb.

Security experts warn that even one nuclear device in the hands of a rogue nation could be used against the United States in a devastating electromagnetic pulse attack, an intense burst of energy from an exploding nuclear warhead high above the Earth.

So why isn't the Obama administration doing more to prevent a nuclear nightmare?

“I get very, very nervous about it,” Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., told Newsmax.TV's Kathleen Walter. “I think Iran will have a nuclear weapon. I think now it's only a question of when.”

The United States is caught in the middle of a Mideast faceoff between one of its strongest allies, Israel, and Iran. Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the map, and Israel refuses to rule out a preemptive strike against its adversary, while insisting that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

If the United States tries to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons, its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has vowed a campaign of bloody revenge.

Iran's hatred of Israel “is rooted in ideology,” said Walid Phares of Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “The Iranian regime is jihadist, and they do not acknowledge nor accept the idea that a non-Islamic, non-jihadist state could exist in the region.”

Although Iran is thousands of miles from America's shores, its belligerent actions could have far-reaching repercussions. A regional war or nuclear attack could cause an already shaky U.S. economy to collapse.

Even scarier is the growing threat of an electromagnetic pulse attack, security analysts say. Such an attack could destroy all electronic devices over a massive area, from cell phones to computers to America's electrical grid, experts say.

“Within a year of that attack, nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can't support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity,” said Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy. “That would be a world without America, as a practical matter. And that is exactly what I believe the Iranians are working towards.”

President Barack Obama has committed the U.S. government to a diplomatic approach for resolving the high-stakes nuclear dispute, but Iran has rebuffed Obama's overtures. Meanwhile, Congress is working on legislation to grant Obama the power to impose crippling sanctions on Iran if the talk-first approach doesn't work.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., says such sanctions are long overdue.

“A nuclear Iran is a threat to the Iranian people, to Israel, to the Middle East, to the national security of the United States. And what is Congress doing about it? Nothing. We have proposed legislation time and time again to have real, substantial sanctions leveled against Iran. Now, we like to point fingers and say the U.N. has not done enough, but really we should be pointing the fingers at ourselves.”

The Obama administration has pressed Israel to halt all settlement building and to refrain from attacking Iran, hoping such efforts will lure Iran and other Mideast Arab nations to the negotiating table.

Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, says that sort of approach is wrong.

“[Obama] says Arabs can keep building in the West Bank, Arabs can keep building in eastern Jerusalem . . . but Jews can't. There's no other way to define this than racist.”

Time is running out to stop Iran, Klein says.

“America should say that everything is on the table and we will pursue whatever is necessary – military option, severe sanctions, whatever is necessary to stop these weapons. This is serious business. Al-Qaida has made clear how seriously they can harm American interests, and with nuclear weapons it's just beyond belief the horror that can ensue.”

But some critics are pushing for less intervention.

“Arguing for sanctions against Iran, and threatening them with bombs, or encouraging Israel to bomb Iran makes no sense whatsoever,” said Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. “So many other times this argument has been won by pure economics . . . This is what brought the Soviets to their knees – it was financial.”

Others wonder whether the United States missed the perfect opportunity to disarm Iran, failing to take advantage of the widespread turmoil and push for reform that occurred in the aftermath of the country's disputed recent presidential elections.

“Eventually the Iranian regime, if not reformed from the inside, is going to get the nukes, is going to use them in a deterrence fashion, and eventually if there is a confrontation it may use them for real,” Phares said. “This revolt of Tehran may well become another Iranian revolution. Now its success is conditioned by how far the United States and the international community go in assisting this democratic movement.”

The more time Obama devotes to the diplomatic approach, critics warn, the more time Iran has to realize its nuclear ambitions and even sell its technology to other nations or terrorists.

“I think the president's learning a lesson,” Hoekstra said. “I mean, the president was brutal on the previous administration on foreign policy, saying, you know, 'Your policy on North Korea is bad; your policy on Iran is bad.' Everywhere and anything the former president did in foreign policy was terrible [according to Obama], and he was going to come in and fix it. I think he's finding out that foreign policy is hard.”

You can see Newsmax.TV's report on the growing Iranian nuclear threat - Click Here Now

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