For several years now, we have been told by Israel’s leaders that Iran has been aggressively engaged in research to develop a nuclear bomb. True, the Iranians have often claimed that it really is a peaceful program to supply the Islamic nation’s energy needs. They have continued to assert their right to decide about what they say is an internal issue.
Could that assertion be correct? Despite all the commotion, could it be that Iran is really a peaceful country with peaceful intentions?
For many years, Iran has been the world’s third leading oil-exporting nation, which has brought in enormous wealth to the Islamic state. Needless to say, they are energy self-sufficient. Do they really expect the world to accept their claim that their extensive nuclear research and development program, stored in underground, cement-reinforced bunkers in an estimated 12 locations throughout the country, is strictly designed to meet peaceful energy needs?
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has repeatedly asserted that “the fake Zionist regime [meaning Israel] will disappear from the landscape of geography,” as reported recently by Iran’s Mehr News Agency. In Iran, there is agreement almost across the political spectrum that there will be no halt in the Islamic nation’s mad rush to acquire nuclear weapons capability, as defined by its rising level of uranium enrichment.
Khamenei indeed is the supreme ruler of Iran, and the recent election of a “moderate” president, subservient to Khamenei, is not likely to change that. Even if that were not so, the so-called moderate, Hasan Rowhani, held a press conference shortly after his election victory to declare to the world that his reputed moderation only denotes his willingness to hold direct talks with the United States, not a willingness to stop Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.
The Obama administration has sent a message of its desire to hold direct talks with Rowhani, but we in Israel are not exactly floating on air in jubilation. The situation has not changed. As Iran continues its drive towards nuclear weapons capability, the day of reckoning is coming closer. Like it or not, someone is going to have to confront this threat, and soon.
David Rubin, former Mayor of Shiloh, Israel, is founder and president of the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund, www.ShilohIsraelChildren.org, established after he and his three-year-old son were wounded in a terrorist shooting attack. He is the author of three books, including his new book, Peace for Peace: Israel in the New Middle East, available on Amazon.com or at www.DavidRubinIsrael.com.