Is Iran Seeking A Nuclear Weapons Blueprint in Cyprus?
As I was scrolling down Newsweek’s website, I could not help but notice a particular story concerning Iran’s persistent attempts for nuclear technology. Amid all the facts, figures, and detailed analysis, the story (entitled “Tehran Seeking Nuclear Technology”) appears to accurately summarize Tehran’s tradition of sabotage and defiance; despite Iran’s pledges of conformity over the last few weeks, intelligence sources state that the Islamic Republic is sending covert agents in a bid to buy advanced and sophisticated nuclear components.
“Long a crossroads for Middle-Eastern espionage and intrigue, the island of Cyprus is playing an increasingly prominent role in current investigations into Iran’s nuclear program. Suspected Iranian purchasing agents have been using front companies registered on the politically divided Mediterranean island to buy precision Western technology that can be used in designing and building atom bombs, according to reports seen by European intelligence and law-enforcement agencies.
The latest reports are part of a continuing and extended pattern of Iranian equipment purchases. The pattern began several years ago, when U.S. agencies believed Iran was conducting bomb design and development. The purchases have continued into the present; when individual cases are assembled into a mosaic, the resulting pattern arguably constitutes a strong circumstantial case that the Iranians are trying to assemble the wherewithal to design and build an atomic bomb. “They never stopped [doing this],” the European official said.”
Hopefully, this de-classified report will finally persuade President Obama to eliminate his fantasy-type view of the world in general.
Up to this point, the Obama administration has made it an inherent tradition to give the Islamic Republic a certain amount of breathing space when the country’s nuclear program is taken into consideration. Whether this includes lax U.S. efforts at the U.N. Security Council- or pointless low-level meetings with American and Iranian officials- Iran is more often than not given the benefit of the doubt.
Perhaps if Iran denounced international terrorism as a tool in its foreign policy arsenal, the President’s “Neville Chamberlain moment” would not be such a terrible idea. Yet, as people are quickly realizing on a daily basis, this is hardly the case. Not only are Iranian agents using their political and military clout to undermine respective governments in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Territories…Tehran is making a habit of brutally targeting internal dissent within its borders. Is appeasing a rogue state really in the best interest of the United States?
The fact that the IAEA has been unable to accurately describe Tehran’s nuclear intentions does not necessarily mean that the United States should hold similar conclusions. While this Newsweek article is but one source in a variety of documents and estimates, the Iran-Cyprus connection shows how flawed the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate has been all these years. In contrast to Washington’s original assessment- that Iran had stopped its nuclear-weapons research in 2003- it appears that European Governments may have been right all along. Striving for primacy in the Muslim World, the Iranian regime is putting all of its eggs in the nuclear basket.
Does this surprise anyone? If it does, I highly recommend that you read up on contemporary history; U.S. intelligence has been severely degraded since the run-up to the Iraq War.
Mr. President, here is a message for you; the quicker you realize that Iran is continuing to improve its national prestige in the Middle East through a nuclear deterrent, the sooner you will adopt a viable strategy dealing with the problem. For if you continue to mitigate the Iranian nuclear stalemate through the U.N. Security Council- an action that has already been opposed by Russia and China- U.S. interests in the region will deteriorate.
Perhaps it is time for unilateral sanctions, backed by threats of military action (yes I said it) as a response to Iran’s unacceptable behavior.
If there is anything that can be learned through the lessons of history, it is that military force makes the diplomatic process all that more effective. It is time for the United States to give this a try…Lord knows that nothing else has worked thus far.
-Daniel R. DePetris