We are now over a week into the British hostage crisis in Iran. Iran's government, both in official press releases and in statements by President Ahmadenijad, is calling the entire world community "arrogant" and is threatening to put the captured "British occupier forces" on trial. I guess he can't get enough out of propaganda statements made by his hostages under duress.
An Associated Press article quotes Iranian opposition groups claiming that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered the capture of the British sailors as retaliation for U.N. sanctions. This seems entirely credible to me. It makes sense. In fact, in a way, it's brilliant. Let me explain.
The UN sanctions are in response to Iran's nuclear program. The five permanent members of the Security Council have agreed on further sanctions which are now under discussion at the U.N. Suddenly dealing with Iran's nuclear program is on the back burner as the hostage crisis takes center stage. At the same time Iran's enemies, the United States, Britain, and the European Union, suffer through a period of much higher oil prices. Finally, the oft reported planning for a supposed U.S. strike on Iran is undoubtedly on hold (if it exists at all) so as not to endanger the forces of America's most staunch and loyal ally. At least for the moment Iran benefits in every possible way. Meanwhile they buy time and continue their work to build nuclear weapons with the oft stated purpose of destroying first Israel and then the United States.
Think I'm crazy? I'm not the only one who sees it this way. I just found an article by Mario Loyola published yesterday in the admittedly right-wing National Review that says essentially the same thinge.
It is time the western world in general and the United States in particular stops worrying about being politically correct and starts recognizing that the regime in Teheran as an enemy and, unlike Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq, a truly dangerous enemy with an internationally verified nuclear program.
15 months ago I called for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities by the United States. It needs to happen sooner rather than later. Yes, for the moment we should let the British take the lead and exhaust illusory diplomatic options. In reality there are no such options.
Soon President Bush needs to start explaining why an air strike on Iran is nothing like the invasion of Iraq. Then he needs to act. An American surgical strike is far less likely to set the entire Middle East aflame than an Israeli strike. Make no mistake, Israel will not sit around waiting to be nuked and, failing a real diplomatic option, it's either the U.S. or Israel that will act. I prefer the U.S. Less chance of a wider war. Less loss of innocent life. If neither nation acts quickly Israel will be destroyed and the United States will be facing nuclear blackmail.