Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Iran Tests the Shahab 3

For anyone doubting the necessity of taking strong measures against the Iranian government's nuclear program, this article should help put those doubts to rest. Those who have been following Iran's missile program more closely will be aware that there is also a Shahab-4, whose range puts much of Europe within reach, as well as a Shahab-5 that would threaten even London. The prospect of being threatened by a nuclear-armed Iran, whose leaders believe themselves ordained by Allah to protect the House of Islam against the Western Infidels, ought to concentrate the minds of Europe's feckless ruling classes, though I suspect it won't.

That Iraq would have been a threat sooner or later, had sanctions been lifted, is beyond doubt. Bush and Blair may have exaggerated the immediate threat from Saddam's regime, but he had to be dealt with sooner or later, and in these things sooner is always better than later. The American public may harbor no appetite for yet another war after Afghanistan and Iraq, but the truth is that they aren't the ones who are most at risk from the Iranian arms program. Traditional strategic considerations like Mutual-Assured-Destruction cannot be assumed to apply in the case of a regime led by religious fundamentalists who are willing to trade life in this world for a more glorious one in the hereafter. The Iranian nuclear program must be destroyed completely, and soon.