There are many reasons why Iran must not obtain nuclear weapons. The strongest one is the fact that Iran continues to support terrorist organizations around the globe, which could one day obtain such destructive technology from Tehran and use it against American interests — all while Iran keeps plausible deniability of being involved.
Our shaky relations with Iran stem back to the 1979 Iranian revolution and ensuing Hostage Crisis, in which the U.S. embassy in Tehran was stormed and 52 American hostages were held for 444 days. This attack scarred our country and introduced us to the extremist elements inside of Iran.
In 1983, Hezbollah used suicide bombers to attack the United States Embassy in Lebanon killing 63 and wounding 120. That same year Hezbollah used suicide bombers to attack the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon, killing 241 Americans. In 1985, members of Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad hijacked TWA flight 847, held the hostages for 3 days and killed U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem. In 1992, Iran-backed terror groups used suicide bombers to attack the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires killing 29 and wounding 242. A 1994 attack on the AMIA building in Buenos Aires killed 85 and wounded over 300. In 1996 Iran was again linked to the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, in which 19 U.S. servicemen were killed and 372 were wounded. For many years Hamas, jihadi groups and Hezbollah have indiscriminately attacked Israel’s civilian population with rockets funded and provided by Iran. The links to Iranian terror do not stop there, however.
More recently, Iran has been tied to the deaths of countless U.S. servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan with their funding and arming of insurgents. Former United States Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell has stated, “The Iranians today, we have clear evidence, are providing the very weapons that are causing U.S. servicemen and women to die. That’s clear, that’s not refuted, that’s not hawkish, that’s not shaded. That is the fact.”
In 2011, Iran-linked agents attempted to assassinate the Saudi Arabia Ambassador on American soil in Washington D.C. using explosives, in a plot that sounds like a movie script. Most striking of all, Iran was found to have played a role in the 9/11 attacks, by a federal district court in Manhattan in December 2011. In Havlish v. bin Laden, Judge George B. Daniels ruled that “Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case.” This is quite a shocking revelation, and one which might not be known by the general public.
War came to us on Sept. 11, 2001. The urge to turn our backs and leave the Middle East to take care of its own problems is not a responsible endeavor. It assumes that if we leave the world alone, the world will leave us alone. WWII taught us that real evil does exist, and that we must fight it wherever it rears its head. The Iranian people tried to rise up against their brutal, theocratic regime in 1999, in 2009 and again in 2011. Each time they were met with bullets.
Our fight is not with the people of Iran, it is with the mad men who run their country. We will be challenged again as we have in the past. Will we turn our backs and hope for peace, allowing a brutal terrorist regime to acquire such a seriously destructive kind of weaponry? Or, will we harden our resolve and stand up to evil once more as we have in the past? The choice is yours.
Avrohom Kahn is a fourth-year communication major.