Israel is key to disarming Iran

Israel has the most at stake, and yet, they are left out of the negotiations.

(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

By: Candice Malcolm

They call it the problem from hell. What to do about Iran and its nuclear ambitions? The stakes are incredibly high, and frankly, there are no good options.

For almost a decade, and against demands from the United Nations Security Council, Iran has been building a nuclear program. The more they develop their nuclear capabilities, the more the rest of the world shuts them out. But the more isolated they become, the further they can advance their program behind closed doors.

In an effort to stop this game of cat and mouse, the United States and the UN are once again trying to negotiate with Iran. The negotiations usually proceed as follows:

  • Iran agrees to limit its uranium enrichment program according to a set and agreed upon line.
  • Iran crosses that line.
  • The two parties reconvene and negotiate a new line.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat.

If the West continues along this trajectory, sooner or later Iran will become a nuclear power. And we’ve read enough dystopian fiction novels about a nuclear apocalypse to imagine what might happen next.

The reasons to oppose a nuclear Iran are self-evident.

Perhaps it’s best summed up by the Islamic Republic’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who uses Twitter as a platform to announce his country’s goal: to annihilate Israel.

Iran has long repeated this genocidal mantra to “wipe Israel off the map.” It refers to America as “the Great Satan” and shamelessly

trains, promotes and funds terrorist groups throughout the Middle East and around the world. Iran has had a hand in terrorist attacks, directed at Jewish people, from Buenos Aires to Tel Aviv.

If Iran gets the bomb, chances are they will use it.

Or, the real sum of all fears, an Iranian proxy group like Hezbollah will.

A nuclear Iran poses an existential threat to Israel, and it also threatens the rest of the world. Iran’s nuclear achievement would prompt a dangerous nuclear arms race in a volatile and unstable part of the world.

Israel has the most at stake, and yet, they are left out of the negotiations.

Instead, the nuclear peace talks have taken place between the permanent members of the UN Security Council in addition to Germany (the so-called P5 1) with Iran.

The U.S. is supposed to negotiate with Israel’s best interest in mind, but leaks of the upcoming agreement seem to show the Obama administration is willing to make a deal with the devil. Despite having pledged to do “everything in his power” to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, President Obama now seems willing to legitimize Iran as a nuclear power.

That’s because doing “everything in his power” would have to include a military strike, and Obama doesn’t have the appetite for another war in the Middle East. Neither do the American public. The United States has a terrible track record with bombing campaigns in the Middle East.

They’re 0/5 in recent attempts.

They’ve screwed up Iraq, twice. Libya is imploding, Afghanistan is crumbing, Pakistan is burning, and ISIS is destroying Iraq and Syria.

But without a credible military threat on the table, Iran will continue to walk all over P5 1 negotiators. Iran is calling Obama’s bluff, and Obama is forced to make major concessions.

This multilateral approach has failed, but that doesn’t mean a nuclear Iran is inevitable. That is where Israel comes in. They may not be welcome at the table for nuclear negotiations, but they can play a role in crippling Iran’s ambitions.

In 1981 Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq. With one raid, Israel destroyed Iraq’s entire nuclear program.

In 2007, after Syria broke countless arms treaties by buying nuclear arsenal from North Korea, Israel struck again. This time, they took out an entire complex and managed to squash Syria’s nuclear ambition.

Again, they did this with a single, covert bombing raid.

Israel is 2/2. And Israel has never been stronger.

Following his powerful speech in front of Congress last Tuesday, many were saying that Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu had seemingly replaced Obama as the Leader of the Free World.

Willingness to drop bombs shouldn’t define leadership. But Obama’s flip-flop, juxtaposed with Bibi’s strength and resolve against a nuclear Iran, demonstrates a very clear distinction.

During his speech, Netanyahu stated that “even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.” American leadership aside, when it comes to nuclear bombs in the hands of Iran’s Ayatollah, many in the West stand with Israel. And thank goodness for that.