No nukes for Iran: We must tell Tehran to comply or be bombed
We have dithered over the Iranian nuclear weapons programme for too long. We must tell the world’s most dangerous regime that we mean business
With the national press reporting today that the British armed forces, along with the Americans, are making contingency plans for a potential military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities the time has now come for the international community to give the Islamic Republic a clear and unambiguous ultimatum.
Tehran has strung us along for too long, exploiting Western weakness by offering meaningless promises to negotiate when, in reality, they are simply playing for time.
We can no longer afford to play ball. This is the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism. It has hegemonic aspirations, first in its own region and then further afield.
It has threatened to destroy the State of Israel and it poses a long term strategic danger to the entire Western world.
For clear headed observers of the Islamist regime, this is all beyond serious doubt.
And it has become something of cliché in European circles to say that the prospect of the world’s most dangerous regime acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons is unacceptable.
Cliches will no longer suffice. We need a clear plan of action and we need to implement it without delay.
First, we should offer the Iranians a peaceful solution if they unconditionally accept all of our demands on weapons inspection. With such a regime, it is up to them to prove that they are not developing nuclear weapons rather than being up to us to prove that they are.
Second, and simultaneously, we should push for a United Nations Security Council Resolution authorising the use of force if Iran fails to comply with all of our conditions.
Third, the United States, Britain and the other leading powers should let it be known through diplomatic channels that even in the absence of a Security Council resolution we will still attack if Iran remains intransigent.
That last part of our suggested plan of action is the true test of our seriousness. If we are prepared to skulk away from this problem with our tails between our legs just because Russia or China wield their vetoes at the UN, Iran will acquire nuclear weapons.
Of course, for the purposes of building a bigger consensus it is always useful to have UN approval.
But the Security Council’s record in doing the right thing (think Sudan, think Rwanda etc) is patchy to say the least. Let us also remember that the Kosovo campaign was waged without Security Council approval, and Slobodan Milosevic posed nowhere near the kind of threat to the international order posed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
As we say, the serious people (which is to say, not the Guardian et al) can see all this.
There are many complexities to consider in terms of the consequences of launching an attack, but the message we should be sending is simple. Do as we say, or we bomb you. There is no third way.
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