28 August 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
By: Jim Meyers
Former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and best-selling author Dore Gold tells Newsmax that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran is more immediate and more dangerous than commonly believed.
Gold, whose latest book is "The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West," asserts that the Islamic Republic already has the nuclear fuel necessary to produce two atomic weapons. And he warns that a nuclear Iran would not only threaten Israel and Europe, but surely set off a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East.
Gold's earlier New York Times best-sellers include "The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City." He served at the U.N. from 1997 through 1999, and is currently president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Newsmax.TV's Kathleen Walter asked Gold where Iran stands now with its nuclear program. "We know from data of the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran has already enriched uranium in sufficient quantities so that they have basically the feedstock for making military grade uranium sufficient for two atomic bombs," Gold said. "That is of June 2009.
If no one stops the centrifuges from spinning in Natanz - that's where the enrichment is going on in Iran - then they will have even more enriched uranium in the future. "In terms of missiles, they have new missiles which they have been launching that are solid fuel, that are multi-stage, and are able to strike targets deep into European territory."
Is it too late to block Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, and what should President Barack Obama do about the Iranian threat? Walter asked. "I don't think it is too late to block Iran," Gold declared. "I think there are a number of measures that can be taken very quickly. First of all, President Obama and the administration have spoken about engaging Iran.
A lot of time has been given in 2009 for that engagement, and essentially the message from Iran is they will not stop their nuclear program. "That means the West as a whole has to move to a new stage of painful, I repeat painful, sanctions on Iran, even if it's implemented just by the U.S. and its European allies. That can cut very deeply into the Iranian economy, especially if the export of gasoline and other refined products is halted. "
Last but not least, the military option must be on the table. In my book I prove that only the fear of a Western military strike, along with painful sanctions, might bring the Iranians to stop what they're doing." Walter asked why Iran has been allowed to get this far with its nuclear development. "I stress in the book that almost every American administration and many European leaders have totally underestimated the threat of Iran," Gold responded.
"There is a whole cottage industry trying to present to the American people and to the Western alliance as a whole the idea that Iran does not have hostile intentions. That is completely wrong." Asked how Israel is faring in the face of the Iranian threat, the former Israeli ambassador told Newsmax: "I think the Israeli leadership is fully aware that Iran has stated that it wants to destroy the state of Israel, and it has said that in the context of its acquisition of atomic weapons.
"Israel is preparing to defend its people if Iran decides to move down that road. But Israel is also aware that the entire Middle East is today threatened." A nuclear Iran would lead to a "chain reaction" across the Middle East, with countries like Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia all seeking their own nuclear weapons programs. "You would suddenly have, in the most unstable part of the world, multiple nuclear powers that would each suspect each other of planning to strike one another, creating a very unstable security situation for the whole area," said Gold.
But the real problem with a nuclear Iran, he added, is that Iran is the "greatest supporter of international terrorism around the world, and terrorist organizations would act far more freely knowing that the country that is supporting them has a nuclear umbrella.
"For that reason a nuclear Iran must be stopped."
© 2009 Newsmax.
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