There have been numerous discussions in the media of the consequences of Iran becoming a nuclear power. There are those who claim that Iran can be contained through the same method which has contained any aggressions from going nuclear between the current existing nuclear powers, the MAD theory of mutual and presumed total destruction. Included in this position is the assumption that simply by extending the United States nuclear umbrella to cover all of Iran’s non-nuclear neighbors will suffice to give them comfort and safety removing the temptation for them to also go nuclear. Add in the plans for spreading an antimissile system that will be designed to prevent the launch of any missiles by any one nation against any other nation and what could go wrong? The proposed inclusion of Russia and China as well as NATO in the deployment and maintaining of this missile shield will allay any fears that the system will be built to favor the United States interests by neutralizing the Russian and Chinese weapons while enabling the hegemony by way of the missiles possessed by the United States. But exactly how tenable are these assumptions?
The first myth that is repeated despite being contradicted by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt which have had at least one from within their political or military leadership confirm or lay claim to the certainty that should Iran become nuclear weapon capable, their nations would be extremely hard pressed to not follow suit and develop their own nuclear armaments. These claims were made initially before the plan to spread the coverage of the nuclear umbrella to cover all the nations in the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and possibly the Far East if requested. What has been mostly ignored in the mainstream press is that this proposition did not put to rest the fears nor silence those who had called for these countries to follow with their own nuclear arsenals in response. Instead, the media gave coverage to the negotiations with Russia which resulted in the cancellation of the planned antimissile systems deployment in Eastern Europe that was planned to be placed in Poland and the Czech Republic. This system has been presumably replaced by the stationing of Aegis equipped cruisers and destroyers with antimissile interceptors in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Sea. Reviews on this substitute system’s efficiency, sustainability and adequacy as compared to the original system have been mixed but all point to one shortcoming, the inability for this solution to address ICBM’s, the launching of a massive number of missiles in a coordinated simultaneous attack, and lack of permanence since in an emergency somewhere else on the globe could force the redeployment of the ships crucial to provide the protection against an attack. There have also been those who claim that the ships cannot provide the complete area of coverage which the original land based system was capable of providing. These shortcomings have not been ignored by the nations in the area.
The assumption that Iran would be deterred by the threat of a United States nuclear response to any Iranian provocation has also been questioned by many of the nations closest to the threat and has been laughed at by both Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who have intimated that they are willing to sacrifice millions of Iranian lives in a nuclear exchange with Israel if such an attack destroyed the Zionist Entity. And the idea that the major threat of a nuclear armed Iran would come from an Iranian use of these weapons of mass destruction completely misses the totality of the Iranian threats to the rest of the Middle East and the rest of the World. Iran has been launching attacks against Israel for decades without having a single shot fired from within their borders. They have used their proxy forces of Hezballah and more recently Hamas as well as other terrorist groups to launch rockets and missiles upon Israeli cities and towns. Using the same proxy forces they have executed terror raids and attacks within Israel including bombings, shootings, attacks upon IDF border posts, kidnappings and the recent use of an anti-tank guided missile on a school bus in Southern Israel. Iran used Hezballah operatives which had received much of their training in Iran, some claim direct involvement included the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, on Jewish targets in Argentina when they bombed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992 and two years later bombed the Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center on July 18, 1994. These attacks against Israeli interests worldwide would definitely increase in both level of intensity and numbers once Iran has the confidence of their own nuclear deterrence against any retaliation by the rest of the world.
Another consideration which would very definitely come into play once Iran feels it is secured against attack due to a nuclear weapons capability would involve their stated intent to be the leading force establishing the new Caliphate. There were accusations that much of the Shiite violence and uprisings throughout many of the countries affected by the Arab Spring, or more appropriately named the Arab Winter, were instigated, guided, armed and generally aided by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. This accusation weighed heavily in the violence which raged in Bahrain which resulted in Saudi Arabia dispatching a heavy military presence to restore order in the small island nation. There was also a similar uprising of the Shiites residing mostly in the oil rich northeast of Saudi Arabia which resulted in the nearly immediate and overwhelming deployment of military and security forces ending any plans which may have been planned. Such a response came as little surprise for anybody knowledgeable of the iron rule of the family Saud over their territories, just ask the Hashemites. Looking at the future for Iraq after the end of the United States military presence indicates a heavy Iranian influence. Success in gaining control of the government of Iraq to Iranian influences would give Iran a continuous influence from the Indian Ocean and Iranian (or Arab) Gulf all the way to the Mediterranean Sea reaching through Syria and Lebanon in addition to Iraq. This would also pose a direct threat to Turkey which might explain the seemingly friendly relations replete with exchanged visits between Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and Iranian President Ahmadinejad with the full approval of Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei.
The real threat of a nuclear armed Iran is not so much the threat of their using weapons of mass destruction unless they decide on a suicidal exchange with Israel, something we doubt, but is the freedom to implement their terror proxies to attack without worry of retaliations as they would be under the Iranian nuclear umbrella of protection. The Israel nuclear Armageddon scenario is far less likely than has been hyped by the media. It is their usual distraction with an unlikely but drastic scenario in order to sell their papers or gain listeners and sponsors. The real threat of a nuclear Iran for the United States and Europe comes in the form of Hezballah and other terrorist entities as well as operations carried out by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. It may come as some surprise to some that there has been a central Hezballah training and operation center in the tri-border area in South America. They literally own the entire town of Ciudad del Este on the lawless borders Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, thus the name tri-border area. This was the base used for the attacks by Hezballah on the Jewish interests in Buenos Aires, Argentina. These same terrorist groups have been reported to have spread into Mexico and are now assisting, or at least cooperating, with the drug cartels in order to utilize their smuggling routes and facilities in order to insert operatives and supplies inside the United States. Terror attacks throughout the Western nations would go off scale once Iran felt secured by their nuclear weapons. By using their terrorist operatives they attain a small amount of deniability despite all the evidence implicating them collected by security agencies. They would push their terror war through periods of high escalation and lower intensity all the while making sure to maintain a level unlikely to force an actual response. Eventually, a nuclear armed Iran will overplay their aggressions and very likely lead to the most dread of eventualities, a worldwide conflict that sucks every nation into the conflagration. Simply put; everything and anything that is necessary in order to permanently terminate the Iranian nuclear program should be taken from the table and implemented as soon as it is feasible, point blank period!
Beyond the Cusp