Iranian storage facility used for nuclear materials
Iranian storage facility used for nuclear materialsI24 News

There is no doubt among many observers of Gulf affairs, including myself, that the Iranian mullahs are striving with all power to possess military nuclear capabilities, and that everything that has happened since the Khomeini revolution in 1979 until now in terms of “seeking understanding” with the West regarding the ceiling of Iranian nuclear ambitions is nothing but a play aimed at gaining more time and accumulating nuclear technological knowledge, in order to elude with achieving the moment of manufacturing the first nuclear weapon and surprising the world with an Iranian nuclear test.

My conviction in this regard is based on an in-depth understanding of the revolutionary political thought from which the mullahs base their behavior and management of the crises that besiege them one after the other. It is a thought based on the alternation between pushing and pulling and on resorting to “political taqilla”, which constitutes a basic axis of the mullahs' behavior and an important entry point to identify its roots, backgrounds and motives.

In this context, I can read what is going on about the fatwa of the Iranian Supreme Leader “prohibiting” his country from possessing a nuclear bomb, and I consider that relying on this fatwa in affirming that the mullahs do not seek the “bomb” represents submission to the Iranian propaganda machine, because it cannot be convincing while Iran's nuclear ambitions represent the main reason for the crises of the mullahs' regime and the ongoing clash with the West!

I will not dive into the analysis or summon evidence and analytical proofs in support of my point of view. Rather, I will be contented with an important statement made by Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alawi recently, in which he said that the continuous Western pressure could push Tehran to defend itself like a “trapped cat” and seek to possess nuclear weapons!

Some may say that this statement comes in the context of the mullahs’ maneuvers and the threat to possess a nuclear weapon to push the administration of the new American president, Joe Biden, to adopt a flexible and less severe stance than it has announced since it came to power on the twentieth of last January, and this is apparently true. But the mullahs’ pressures do not usually go away from lines that have been carefully calculated, and the regime cannot fall into the trap of threatening to possess a nuclear weapon and so easily donating free recognition, the price of which can be too expensive.

The Iranian minister realizes when he hinted at the idea of ​​the “trapped cat” that the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa prohibiting the development or use of nuclear weapons nearly two decades ago. Therefore, he did not dare to talk about the possibility of overcoming this position unless he got a green light from the same guide on hinting at the possibility of bypassing the “fatwa”, whether the reason is merely a threat - and I doubt that - or establishing a new strategic point that forms the basis for any planned negotiation rounds between Iran and the major powers.

I refer in this regard to the text of the Iranian minister's statement, specifically as he said on official television “The supreme leader clearly stated in his fatwa that nuclear weapons contradict Sharia and that the Islamic Republic considers them religiously forbidden and does not seek to possess them,” but added, “But a traped cat can act contrary to what he does when he is free, and if (Western countries) push Iran in that direction, it will not be Iran's fault”, meaning that here he refers to al-Qaeda and also refers to cases that are allowed to be overlooked, and seeks to find a justification or cover for the mullahs’ behavior and their pursuit of a nuclear weapon by consolidating the current dispute over the nuclear agreement and keeping it up, until getting away with whatever they want!

We can understand some of the motives for this surprising statement through the frequent international reports about the mullahs' approach to reaching the ceiling of uranium enrichment that would allow them to move to making a bomb. Although there are those who question the veracity of these reports, the reality that cannot be questioned is this passion and unbridled desire for hegemony and strategic expansion that overshadows the behavior of the Iranian regime, and is even considered the first driver of its regional policies, and there is a forced confusion between this desire and the mullahs' pursuit of unconventional military capabilities in order to build what can be described as a balance of terror with those they consider as enemies.

And here it can be said that the mullahs are racing against time to possess a deterrent ability that prevents a military strike that inevitably opens the door to the collapse or fall of the regime, and these are all facts that cannot be denied, and add to the assertion that the Iranian minister's statement is not a slip of the tongue or a threat, it is rather a direct disclosure of the implications of the issuance, and we must not forget here that the speaker is the Minister of Intelligence, one of the closest figures, by virtue of his position at least - from the Supreme Leader, and he is also the holder of the keys to the secrets of the Iranian theocracy, so his statement must be taken very seriously.

The conclusion is that the “trapped cat” has become, in light of the existing sanctions, more convinced, willing and eager to possess a nuclear weapon, and that all efforts aimed at postponing its attempts in this regard do not achieve sustainable regional and global stability, but are merely pain relievers that will cause sleeplessness later. The mission of the Biden administration should not stop at the point of delay, but rather it must include effective and lasting obstacles and restrictions that end the nuclear aspirations and dreams of the mullahs, and truly guarantee the Middle East security and stability.

Dr. Salem AlKetbi is a UAE political analyst and former Federal National Council candidate