Have you ever wondered what would happen in a nuclear war? Or what it would be like to live in our own generation’s arms race? Well, the opportunity is knocking at the door, and Iran is about to answer it!
In the recent months, Iran has pursued the development of its nuclear weapons program. In September, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) declared Iran in noncompliance with its nuclear proliferation obligations. Since then, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad released scores of comments calling for the destruction of the United States and reiterating Iran’s determination to continue its nuclear program.
Iran now poses an escalating threat to the international community. Decisive action is needed to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Thus, the U.S. and Europe have moved toward summoning Iran before the United Nations Security Council to prevent it from acquiring the capability needed to advance its threatening nuclear program. Russia and China have apparently opted to sit aside and not delve into the issue, instead only urging caution in the means of pressure.
Now, don’t think that Iran is in this alone. Soon enough, the domino effect will fall upon the Middle East, just as the arms race did in the region fifty years ago. In an address on Sept. 15, 2005, President Ahmadinejad expressed his nuclear ambitions, and his hope that neighboring countries would follow his lead: “Iran is ready to transfer nuclear know-how to the Islamic countries due to their need.”
Some might question why Iran shouldn’t be able to advance its nuclear weapons program, since other countries have publicly done so in the past. The reason is that an Iranian nuclear umbrella would not only threaten the existence of a somewhat “stable” Middle East, but also support terrorist organizations. Even if Iran wouldn’t directly put its nuclear capabilities to use, all odds figure that it would more than happily contribute them to some terrorist organization, as it has in the past.
Furthermore, Iran has politely offered to place restrictions on oil supply to whoever takes action against its ambitions. Fifty percent of Iran’s GDP is dependent on European trade, and a message needs to be sent to Iran that it cannot keep pushing forward with its plans. Since the international community plans to place sanctions on Iran in order to thwart its nuclear aspirations, Iran has likewise threatened to prevent its oil exports. In a recent report, Mohammed-Nabi Rudaki, deputy chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission was quoted saying that “if Europe does not act wisely with the Iranian nuclear portfolio and it is referred to the U.N. Security Council and economic or air travel restrictions are imposed unjustly, we have the power to halt oil supply to the last drop from the shores of the Persian Gulf via the Straits of Hormuz.”
Quite clever of them, since 25 percent of the world’s oil production passes through the Straits of Hormuz, which connect the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean. The comment not only threatens to halt production to the West, but also to attempt to hinder any of its neighbors’ exporting to the West (primarily Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates).
Should the majority of the population know that a nuclear arms race is inevitable, they would be mobilized more rapidly. However, such is not the case. We, as the informed and educated students and faculty of the University of California, are therefore obligated to do our small part in the big picture: to educate and mobilize this movement. We must prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, not only because it is detrimental to the establishment of “peace in the Middle East,” but because of the known effects that it will have. Another arms race will only hinder the possibility for some prospect of advancement in the region.
The Iranian regime has lied to the international community for the past 20 years. It is about time that something be done. The international community must unite in this anti-terrorist effort and combat this nuclear movement.
You know the “shit has hit the fan” when even Saudi Arabia and Egypt, for the first time, have publicly called on Iran to drop its nuclear defiance!
So these are our options: We can either sit back in our comfortable American, suburban homes and watch the fireworks, or we can be proactive and attempt to obstruct any chance of entertainment, working hard to advance peace and peaceful solutions.
Elran Tsabag is a senior political science major with an emphasis in international relations major.