Iran is a “menace” to the entire Middle East and must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons, according to Prof. Stephen Blank, a professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. War College.
In an op-ed article for the Washington-based Politico website, Blank said that it has become clear “that Tehran menaces all its neighbors and rivals – not just Israel. His concern is that ‘states driven by deep ethno-racial hatreds do not necessarily know when to stop,” implying that “wiping Israel off the map” would not satisfy Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s appetite for power.
He noted that Iranian-backed terror has stretched worldwide, including an Iranian plot last year to hire a Mexican cartel agent to attack Saudi Arabia’s and Israel’s embassies in Washington.
More recent plots and attacks include those on the wife of an Israeli diplomat in India last week, a foiled attack in Georgia, the botched bomb plot in Bangkok, and the Iranian scheme to blow up a Chabad school near Baku.
Iran’s “policies appear driven both by anti-Semitism and aggressive, perhaps even neo-imperial, designs on the governments (if not the territory) of its neighbors,” Prof. Blank wrote. “Tehran is likely to increase these terrorist activities, based on the belief that nuclear weapons could provide an umbrella and that its regional enemies are weak and irresolute.”
He is concerned with the threat to the Gulf States, which are afraid that if the regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad obtains nuclear capability, it will try to carry out its grand design to rule the Middle East as an Islamic Empire under its power.
Oil may be the most important factor. If Iran were to control the Gulf States, it would have a stranglehold on the world’s oil supplies.
Tehran previously has jealously guarded what its claims as its territory. Besides demanding sovereignty over several Gulf Island states, “Iranian forces blew up an Azeri oil exploration ship in the Caspian Sea, claiming it was in Iranian territorial waters,” the professor noted.
He added that Iran staged several cyber attacks on Azeri Internet sites last month. "The necessity of thwarting Iranian nuclear weapons should, therefore, be evident since it threatens its entire region.”