Iran's missile tests aim to demonstrate both Iran's military might and its readiness for any military threat.
The rogue nation's most recent tests, on Sept. 28, were upgraded versions of the medium-range Shahab-3 and Sajjil missiles. Both can carry warheads and have a range of 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers), putting Israel, American military bases in the Middle East, and parts of Europe within striking distance.
It is vital to make the right decisions on how to deal with such a regime. History can teach us many lessons on how we should respond to tyrants.
One of the greatest lessons we must learn from history is that integrating the will or the desire to do evil with the ability to do it is catastrophic. The Nazi regime, for example, would not have been capable of carrying out the Holocaust if the free world had had the conscience to stand against it at an early stage to prevent it from getting sufficient power to harm others.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clearly expressed his desire to erase Israel from the map, which would entail killing millions of innocent people. It would be a disaster if the free world failed to stop him from getting the power to do so.
It is shameful that neither the Mulla regime in Iran nor the other Islamic scholars in the Sunni Muslim world denounced his statements to erase Israel.
It is unwise not to believe the Iranian president's statements. If we are not going to believe the Iranian regime in this, then why should we believe it when it says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes!
It is also important to mention that the title of the military operation to test the missiles, Al-Rasoul Al-AaZam (The Greatest Prophet-Mohamed), used Islamic names that carry certain a symbolism. "Shahab" and "Siggil" were used in the traditional Islamic text to indicate destruction of others. Here are their meanings: Quran 37:10 — Except such as snatch away something by stealth, and they (the devils) are pursued by "Shahab" — a flaming fire, of piercing ability (to destroy them). Quran 105:4-5 — Which smote them with "Sajjil" — stone-hard blows of chastisement pre-ordained, that caused them to become like a field of grain that has been eaten down to stubble.
Using Islamic names with such powerful symbolism may be an indicator of some hidden intentions of the Iranian Islamic regime.
Time is on the side of the Iranian regime: If it surprises the world with the development of a nuclear bomb, all the rules of the game will change. It will be much more complicated for the free world to deal with a nuclear Iran.
Another lesson we need to learn from history is that those who have the intention to do crimes against humanity do not obey borders for their evil deeds. For example, the evil acts of Hitler extended to affect non-Jewish people as well.
This tells us that believing that Ahmadinejad's threats against Israel will affect only the Jews is naive. Once a tyrant has the power to implement his evil upon others, it will be difficult to set limits to it. Israel could be the first nation affected, but other nations probably will be attacked next.
When we see a cancer growing it is vital to attack it or stop it at an early stage before it spreads. Failure to use this approach with the Iranian Islamic regime could result in a catastrophe. We must not wait for this regime to become able to manifest its virulent ideology. Time is crucial in this situation, as the more time passes before we take an action, the closer Iranian regime will get to a having a nuclear weapon. Time works ONLY for the Iranians' benefit, not ours.
An important fact that we need to know about radical Shia Islamists is that they master the concept of "Tequia," or "deception." Unlike Sunnis, this concept always has been a fundamental part in their theology. This fact also must be considered when dealing with or trying to understand the intentions of Shia regimes, such as the Iranian one.
The free world must be ready to launch a surgical military attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities if other economic and diplomatic measures fail. It is vital to give the Iranian regime an ultimatum with a definite day and hour by which it must comply with the demands of the international community. The U.S. and the international community must be ready to take serious actions if the Iranian regime does not meet the conditions of the ultimatum.
The Iranian regime is unlikely to stop its nuclear ambitions unless it feels that its actions will lead to its losing its power soon. The desire of the power-hungry regimes — such as the Mullah regime in Iran — to remain in power can be used against them, by sending a clear message that they will lose power if they insist on ignoring the demands of the international community.
Dr. Tawfik Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad." He is a former associate of Dr. al-Zawahiri (second in command of al-Qaida) who now is a reformer of Islam. To know more about Hamid, visit www.tawfikhamid.com. Hamid's writings in this blog represent only his thoughts and not the views of the institute where he works.
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