Rolling Back the Iranian Threat – Mortimer B. Zuckerman (New York Daily News)
(dailyalert.org, Feb. 12, 2015)
Iran believes time is on its side to build a nuclear bomb and the means to deliver it. All the red lines imposed have evaporated. We went from saying “no enrichment of uranium” to a “temporary complete enrichment freeze” to a “partial freeze,” coupled with shipping some of Iran’s stockpile to Russia. Iran has gone from insignificant levels of enrichment prior to 2010 to thousands of kilograms of enriched uranium.
Just about every Western leader is consistently on record saying, “No deal is better than a bad deal.” But the rhetoric does not match the reality. There are secret letters begging Iran for a compromise. No one is talking about dismantling Iran’s program anymore. There is a sickening smell in the air, the harbinger of a bad deal.
We cannot leave Iran with thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium when it doesn’t even need a single centrifuge to have peaceful nuclear energy. We must insist Iran cuts to 500 kilograms its reserves of uranium that has been enriched to 3.5%; it must stop enriching more uranium at Fordow and end tests of new-generation centrifuges. We must insist on our having the right to inspect all its nuclear facilities.
We also have to confront Iran’s program for missiles. Iran doesn’t need intercontinental ballistic missiles to reach Israel; they need them to reach Europe and the U.S. and the only thing to carry on an intercontinental ballistic missile is a nuclear warhead.
Israeli Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, former military intelligence chief and executive director of the Institute for National Security Studies, notes that the Iranian program is currently three to six months away from a bomb. Any deal will have to roll Iran back from the brink.
We should remember that Iran remains the Islamic republic, with all the ambitions of a hegemonic power. Its human rights record is deplorable; its ties are stronger than ever to terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hizbullah, whom Iran supplies with weapons, money and advisers; it supports bloody regimes like the one in Syria and sectarian governments like Iraq.
The writer is chairman and publisher of the New York Daily News.