Chutzpah: Iran & Israel

The best defense is a good offense when it comes to Iran, Israel and nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

Gary Fitleberg

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The best defense is a good offense when it comes to Iran, Israel and nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

At a time when Iran is under international pressure to stop its nuclear program of weapons of mass destruction it tries to shift attention away from its own activities by calling for Israel ? the only beacon of democracy, freedom and human rights in the Middle East - to rid itself of its nuclear deterrent against Iran and all the other corrupt dictatorships, human rights violators, ruthless repressive regimes and tyrannies controlled and dominated by Arab/Islamist nations

According to the Associated Press, Israel's alleged arsenal of nuclear weapons is causing instability in the Middle East, and Israel should be pressured into joining the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran's foreign minister stated.

Israel has never confirmed nor denied having atomic weapons, but it is widely believed to be a nuclear power.

Meanwhile, Israel and the United States strongly suspect Iran - which has signed the non-proliferation accord - is not-so-secretly building nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said his country advocates a nuclear arms-free Middle East, but "the problem is that Israel has full capability in nuclear weapons [and has] a large arsenal of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction."

"Every country in the Middle East is feeling insecure because of the capabilities of Israel," Kharrazi told reporters during a visit to Manila. "I believe the international community has to put pressure on Israel to become a member of NPT and... eliminate its existing nuclear weapons."

Kharrazi also disputed an Iranian government-owned newspaper report that quoted Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani as saying Iran was producing nuclear defense equipment to protect its citizens in case of any possible attack on its nuclear facilities. Kharrazi said Iran has "never" said it's producing nuclear defense equipment. He repeated earlier statements that its nuclear technology is "only for peaceful purposes" such as energy, medical and agricultural use.

Kharrazi also said Iran's nuclear program is under close watch by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspectors "frequently visit Iranian sites" and have found "no evidence" it is diverting nuclear material for weapons production.

"Basically, we do not believe nuclear weapons are bringing us security," he said. "That's why we believe that the whole Middle East should be free from nuclear weapons."

Iran sends mixed messages, however, with threats to Israel and platitudes internationally.

Iran's defense minister threatened preemptive strikes to protect its nuclear facilities from Israel or the United States. Ali Shamkhani's remarks were broadcast amid growing concern about Iran's nuclear program.

"We won't sit with our hands tied and wait until someone does something to us," Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera when asked what Iran would do if the United States or Israel attacked its atomic facilities, Reuters reported. Shamkhani added that if there were to be an attack on the country's nuclear facilities, "we will respond with all our might."

Most recently, Iran boldly threatened Israel again.

Iran threatened to destroy the Dimona nuclear reactor if Israel attacks the Islamic republic. The warning comes amid increasing speculation that Israel might attack Iranian nuclear facilities, and shortly after Iran said it successfully tested an upgraded version of its Shihab-3 missile, which is capable of hitting Israel.

Yadollah Javani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards political bureau, warned, "The entire Zionist territory? is currently within range of Iran's advanced missiles."

Iran's numerous violations of international agreements and determined efforts to build nuclear weapons should trigger economic sanctions by the United Nations Security Council, a top American arms control official stated.

Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton, addressing the Hudson Institute, said that the "time to report this issue to the Security Council is long overdue." He added, "We cannot let Iran, a leading sponsor of international terrorism, acquire nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them."

Iran, one of the spokes in the "axis of evil nations" is defiantly developing nuclear weapons of mass destruction, in addition to a missile that could prove to be a deadly combination in the Middle East and internationally. Its pursuit can cause further regional stability threats more serious than its neighbor and nemesis Iraq.

Iran also is one of the top state-supporters of terrorism and sponsors Hezbullah in Syrian-occupied Lebanon. Its reach of terror has even extended as far as Argentina and Latin America.

Iran, controlled and dominated by an extremist, fanatical, fundamentalist, ruthless, repressive regime must never ever be allowed to develop weapons of mass destruction. Otherwise, regional stability will be threatened and it may lead to international war. The world will be a very dangerous place if it allows Iran to develop a nuclear program.

Iran can not and should not point the finger at Israel until it first cleans up its act honestly and quickly.