IISS: Iranian nuclear weapons “inevitable”

posted at 5:24 pm on May 25, 2006 by Allahpundit

Checkmate. Diplomacy won’t work, sanctions won’t work, and bombing will destabilize the entire region. On that last point, the locals agree — although, as InstaGlenn might say, perhaps that’s less of a bug than a feature.

The mullahs are celebrating their fait accompli with “special” friends. The New York Sun sounds a hopeful note by calling the ongoing student riots in Iran “the most determined opposition [the clerics] have seen in three years,” and Gateway Pundit‘s account certainly seems to corroborate that. On the other hand, I’ve been reading stories about student uprisings for four years now and not one of them has amounted to much. Cross those fingers, by all means, but don’t get your hopes up.


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Don’t worry. I remember seeing President Bush on the O’Reilly Show a long time ago promising that Iran would not get nuclear weapons.

He promised!

He wouldn’t let us down, now would he?

Uh-oh!

You are right. Time to start panicing.

tommy1 on May 25, 2006 at 6:06 PM

No. We have more options than this. Bombing is not the only option. Please forgive. This is going to be kinda stream of consciousness.

One: Student unrest. Guerrilla movements almost always fail unless they have an safe sanctuary or nation state sponsor. Example: Vietnam. VC had Cambodia and Laos for sanctuarys. Plus, North Viet Nam and China and Russia gave lots of material support. Result? VC and NVA won. South Vietnam lost. How much support are we giving the students? We meaning the U.S. government? How much moral support? How much covert support? Money? Equipment? Sanctuary? I don’t know. I suspect this will be important.

You say you have been hearing about these student uprisings for years with no result. Good point. The question is, if we support them, will they increase in effectiveness?

Two: Ethnic divisions. Right off the bat, I can think of two ethnic groups that would like to cause lots of trouble for the Iranians. The ethnic Azeris, as mentioned in the article. And the Kurds. I know the kurds have been agitating for their own homeland for a LONG time. There is a substantial group of Kurds right on thier western border, next to Iraqi Kurdistan. It would not be hard to get the Iranian Kurds to start to violently fight for independence. Sure, the Turks and Syrians and Iraqis would be peturbed by this, because this could threaten their Kurdish regions, but this is not insurmountable. The turks were concearned about our invading Iraq for the same reason, but it didn’t stop us.

I don’t know as much about the Azeri’s. But I suspect that we could work some sort of counter Iranian regime movement their too.

Is Iran really all that stable of a country? How ethnically united is it? Just as the Kurds, Shite, and Sunni are kept together only with a LOT of work in Iraq, are there similar tensions in Iran? Maybe not as much, but there is some. We can use this.

Borders: Many have said that Iran is sponsoring terrorism in Iraq throught their porus border. THis is true. BUt this knife can cut both ways. Iran has U.S. troops on it’s Western BOrder (Iraq) and on its Eastern Border (Afghanistan). We can push money and insurgents of our own into Iran. To the south is the UAE. I believe that we have a lot of airpower there. Might be wrong. This puts us in a strong position to block their sea ports. (Well, actually, I am starting to get out of my depth here..) What is the status of Turkmenistan to the NorthEast? Is there some sort of ethnic or border tension we can use there?

Can we split the country into 3 or 4 squabling factions? If so, we can peel the Mullahs away from having a large, regionally strong nation to one that is only in charge of a small, stub of a nation.

I hear from Iranians exilles here in Iran that they don’t like the Mullahs. Similar to the cubans. (yeah, the Bay of Pigs didn’t work out so well) I also hear from sites like FaithFreedom.org and others that popular discontent witht the mullahs is very high. They (mullahs) may be weaker than we give them credit for.

Wild ideas: What is the iranian economy like? What is its currency like? Can it be counterfited? Flood the country with fake currency, and destabilize the economy. North Korea couterfits our currency. It can work both ways.

VOA is old stuff. What about bloggers in Iran? They probably have a bunch of angry students. Do they have trouble getting outside internet access? Do the mullahs screen everything? Is there some way of getting them access via proxservers or cheap encryption? I don’t know. This is a tech thing. But I bet someone out there knows. So can we start using the blogosphere to help change or destabilze the regime?

I guess there is enough of a rant here for now. But lets not think that BOMBING is the only thing we can do.

That is old thinking. We need to think outside the box. Why should we be the ones who are always reacting to asymetrical warefare? That thing cuts both ways. Let’s use it to our benefit.

PS..Very stream of consciousness. No spell check. Many logical holes. Please forgive.

EFG on May 25, 2006 at 6:11 PM

More stream of consciousness:

What was the differnced between Afghanistan and Iraq?

In Afghanistan, we aided the Northern Alliance. We weren’t the only force going after the taliban. Yeah, lots of airpower, but we were supporting the N.A. in their quest to beat the taliban. So it wasn’t infidel vs muslim. It was muslim (with infidel help)vs muslim. Not nearly as divisive or Jihad inspiring. Lots of SOF. Few conventional forces (OK, Ok, FEWER conventional forces)

Iraq: Nothing but ground attack. Very conventional. Perceived as Infidel vs Muslim. Fatwas followed. Jihad begins. Yeah, I know, its a gross simplification, but there is some truth to it too. What are we trying to do? Turn things back over to Iraqis, with us in the background. Go back to a Muslim vs Muslim conflict. The more we fade, the less the whole infidel jihad thing pops up.

Can we do the same in Iran? Can we support an opposition(s) without being perceived as a bunch of infidels sweeping in? I don’t know for sure, but this sounds like a SOF sorta thing. Betcha we got some smart SOF guys thinking about this. Now the question is, will our political leaders go for it? Will the military chief of staffs go for it? Will the conventional army go for this? Way above my pay grade.

Bottom line, I think if we aid what ever opposition is in Iran, we have a much better chance. We may be able to turn the people against the mullahs. If we invade and bomb with conventional forces, the Iranian people will rally to the mullahs.

EFG on May 25, 2006 at 6:22 PM

Crud. I hope the internet void didn’t eat my first post.

EFG on May 25, 2006 at 6:24 PM

The problem with your proposal, EFG, is that in Afghanistan we had a coherent (and well-armed and battle hardened) opposition to deal with. They had complete control, just like the Kurds, over a small slice of Afghanistan. We didn’t have that in Iraq and I see no evidence we have that in Iran, either. What is the Iranian opposition? Student groups? You think some soft college kids are going to overthrow the mullahs with armed force? How about ethnic groups? Some of them are a bit disgruntled but I don’t see any that have even a small degree of geographical autonomy from the central government. Nor do I see any ethnic opposition in Iran that has even the remotest degree of organization comparable to the Northern Alliance.

I could be wrong, but I just don’t see it.

Maybe somebody with more knowledge about Iran than myself could tell me if there is a horse in Iran we could seriously back with military force.

tommy1 on May 25, 2006 at 6:29 PM

To clarify. When I said “just like the Kurds” I meant “just like the Kurds in Iraq.” Clearly, the Kurds have nothing to do with Afghanistan.

tommy1 on May 25, 2006 at 6:32 PM

tommy1 I’m gonna try to recreate my first post, the one that disappeared…

Dang that vexes me.

EFG on May 25, 2006 at 6:38 PM

Because I write this does not mean I want to see it, but Iran WILL be the epicenter of World War III.

Unless we deal with it NOW!

ForYourEdification on May 25, 2006 at 6:57 PM

–”Bottom line, I think if we aid what ever opposition is in Iran, we have a much better chance.”

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there IS no “opposition” so organized that we can just “aid” them and get the job done. Any opposition in Iran is nascent in formation to say the least.

Yes, they are having troubles internally. But, NO, the Mullahs are NOT yet in a tenuous position with their power.

To pin your hopes on any Iranian internal opposition is a forelorn hope. If it comes to shooting, we will not have any coalition of the willing, nor will we have any Muslim ally. It will be Israel and the US against Iran. PERIOD.

Warner Todd Huston on May 25, 2006 at 6:58 PM

I always wonder how true is the claim that there are oppositions in Iran. I am sure there are people in Iran who are against the regime. But, is there any opposition that is sizable and effective? So far, I have seen none. We have no poll and there isn’t any substantial evidence that there are oppositions. The results from their elections told me so.

This is frustrating. The CIA has been wrong before. If they are wrong now and we wait for something to happen in Iran, we could be waiting for catastrohy to happen.

Easy87us

easy87us on May 25, 2006 at 7:27 PM

It is OK, EFG. My posts sometimes seem to disappear at times also. Allah what is going on with that?

tommy1 on May 25, 2006 at 7:33 PM

Sorry, guys. We installed a spam filter recently and it’s a bit overzealous. I’ve approved some of the missing comments.

Allahpundit on May 25, 2006 at 7:35 PM

OK. Cool. Thanks Allah. That was fast!

tommy1 on May 25, 2006 at 7:36 PM

Ok, we have more options than just bombing Iran. Here it goes, stream of consciousness.

1) Unrest/uprising: For the most part, guerrilla movements need two things to succed. They need a place of sanctuary, and an outside sponsor. Look at Vietnam. The VC/NVA had Cambodia and Laos for a place of sancturary. And they had China and Russian as outside sponsors. End result? South Vietnam lost. Similar to Afghanistan and the Russians. They had Pakistan for sanctuary, and U.S. for a sponsor. Russian lost. Can we do anything similar in Iran? Maybe. What support can we give to the Iranians? Moral support? Monetary support? Equipment? More on this later. Allahpundit says the students have been protesting for years with no result. This looks to be true to us on the outside. Now the question is, have we been giving them any support? If we do, will they become more effective? Will they tear the cournty apart? Probably not, but maybe they can foul things up quite a bit. Make the mullas focus on the inner security issue, rather than on projecting power outside.

2) Ethnic divisions: I can think of two groups right now that would be happy to cause trouble for the Iranian government. One is the Kurds, and the other is the ethnic Azeris. I know the kurds have been wanting a independent state of their own for quite some time, and we could probably encourage these Kurds in Iran to cause a lot more problems than they are right now. I know that the Turks, Syrians, and Iraqi’s would be upset with this, but I think we can live with that. The Turks were all worried and upset about us invading Iraq in the first place because one of their big fears was Kurdish unrest in their own country. But that didn’t stop us from attacking Iraq. As for the Azeris, I know less about them. But the news is all ready showing us that they are and have rioted against the regime or Iranians in the past. Can we encourage this? Probably. I don’t know how united Iran is. Nobody saw Yugoslavia breaking up until it happened. (OK, OK, some small number of people saw it) Could the same happen in Iran? Possibly. How many other ethnic groups are in Iran? At least three. I’ll bet more.

3) Borders/U.S. forces. We hear a lot about how Iran is influencing the insurgency in Iraq by funding the terroists by funneling money and equiment in, and that this is a big problem for us. This is true. But this cuts both ways. We can use that border to smuggle weapons, money and others into Iran also. Remember when we invaded Iraq? One of the issues was there was this anti-Iranian group of guerrilla fighters / insurgents / terrorists who were operating in Iraq. I know there was a big question about what do do about them. Recognize them? Shun them? Daniel Pipes did research on them. He came down on the side of they could be useful allies. If this was going on in the past, we can do it now and in the future.

Look at it from Irans perspective. They have U.S. forces on their western border (Iraq) and on their eastern border (Afghanistan) . We can cause all sorts of mischief and problems for them on both sides. Like I said earlier, this border thing can cut both ways. We also have the UAE to the south. I believe we have a bunch of airpower there. Can we block their ports? Perhaps. Mine them? Perhaps. (this is getting outside of my area of familiarity) To the north east is the country of Turkmenistan. Do we have any leverage there? Is there any border or ethnic conflict or tension there? Can we use it? Right now I can think of three different ethnic groups in Iran right now. Kurds, Azeris, and Iranian Persians. If we can get them split apart, we can reduce the power of the mullahs considerably. If we can split the country into as many pieces as possible, the mullahs will have only the stump of a country, as opposed to a large, regionally powerful one.

4) Iran and the people: I haven’t been inside Iran. If somebody here has, speak up, please. To us, I suspect it looks like this big monolithic country. I wonder… I’ve spoken to some Iranian exiles here in the U.S. Obviously, they aren’t happy about the Mullahs. Sites like FaithFreeedom.org keep talking about how much the regular people are getting sick of the Mullahs. Perhaps there is something there. Yugoslavia. Before that place spun apart, I don’t remember anyone thinking that was going to happen. Yet all of a sudden, all these tensions tore it apart. Can we make or HELP something like that to happen in Iran? It is something that I would be very interested in learning more about. Find those little fissures and work at them. I think that many of us here in the U.S see a country as something that is inherently stable, probably because somehow, we hold together a diverse people better than most. But it seems that we are seeing that a lot of these countries are a lot more fragile than we thought (Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslavakia, Canada/Quebec, Iraq (look how hard we have to work to keep that place together),

5) What currency does Iran have? Can we counterfeit it? Smuggle it in and bust their economy? North Korea does the same thing with our currency, so I don’t see why we couldn’t do the same. Yeah, it is pretty hostile, but so is an airstrike, and I don’t think that is anything we have ruled out. Voice of America. VOA is old school. What is the new communications media? Internet. What is the situation there in iran? Do they have the abililty to get outside internet without going through government censors and routers? I don’t know. That isn’t my field. But I bet some smart tech guy could answer it. I remember reading about how some guys were trying to figure out a way to beat the Chinese censors. Also, I read somewhere where some guy was explaining how to use a proxy server or some such tech thing (NOT my forte) to be able to get internet access to forbidden sites with out getting busted. So are we working on getting more internet access to these dissidents? Can we get them some sort of encryption for them to use? (Hey, if I am floundering here, cut me some slack here, OK? I don’t do tech stuff) Don’t the Saudi’s who want to surf forbidden porn use a satellite connection to get it, instead of going through the government?

I guess what I am trying to say is that this asymmetrical warfare that has been giving us such a hard time can cut both ways. We need to try to start thinking outside of the box and start bringing some heat on these mullahs. Will anyone of these be the magic bullet? Probably not. But maybe the more stress we can bring on the mullahs from the inside will weaken them enough to make them less of a threat to us from right now.

Anyway, that is it for now. Like I said, this was stream of consciousness. I haven’t given this a spell check or rigorous proof read. I am more interested in just brainstorming and throwing some ideas outthere. Maybe later some more focused arguments will be forthcoming.

Last but not least. I am aware we don’t have a bunch of battalions of guerrillas in Iran right now just waiting to go. I’m not expecting anything like that. But there has to be something to work with. Something that can be built up. Heck, the Chinese shipped guns to the gangs in L.A. Was it a huge success? Not that I’m aware of, but it is a start. Can we do something similar? Why not?

Again, forgive the cruddy spelling and less than college term paper perfect organization. Discuss…

EFG on May 25, 2006 at 7:38 PM

LOL!!! I just wrote that darn thing all over again!!!

Oy vey…

EFG on May 25, 2006 at 7:40 PM

Easy87us:

“But, is there any opposition that is sizable and effective? So far, I have seen none.”

Good point. Let me address this, as I think many people are thinking the same.

1) Is there any sizable or effective opposition? I can’t prove that there are. But my gut opinion is that there are more divisions in this country than we see. At the very least we have the Kurds. I suspect that if they thought they had anysort of green light, they would be declaring independence with a vengence. And I think the Iranians are worried about this. Just last week, Iran lobbed artillery into the Kurdish area of Iraq because of just this sort of concern.

2) Even if it turns out that most of the oppostion is nascent or very low key, it is still a place to start. I guess you could say it is like finding a loose string on a sweater. Once you find it, you pick at it until you get something going.

EFG on May 25, 2006 at 7:47 PM

If I may intrude on EFG’s space for a moment, first let me say to Allahpundit, or whoever wrote that quip on the front page-you made me laugh. I may take Dr. Strangelove down from the shelf and watch it tomorrow.
Second, the UN will never lift a finger to stop Iran from going nuclear. But it will find a use for that finger when it turns towards us. Forget the UN-Security Councils and “incentives” won’t work with an oil rich country which is ruled by religious madmen. Ahmadinejad wasn’t elected, he was placed in the Presidency by the Mullahs, so basically a puppet writes letters to world leaders and the ones pulling the strings are the “Brigadeer General Mullah Jack D. Rippers” in Iran.
Best answer-Strike first, make the ‘shock and awe’ as seen in Iraq look like a popcorn fart by comparison. A proactive World War III is easier and more quickly won than if we wait for our nuclear Pearl Harbor. So the rest of the world will hate us-what else is new? And at least we will still be here to be hated.

Doug on May 26, 2006 at 1:38 AM

The dirty little secret is that so many of our “liberal” friends, and their allies in the world’s MSM and “progressive” movements, actually hope Iran does become a nuclear power, the same way they hoped Saddam would stand up to (and politically defeat) Bush. The few “progressives” who are honest about their intentions will admit this, the rest still use weasel-words.

There is no doubt that Iran will only be stopped by unilateral US action, and it will be done against a tsunami back-stabbing “world opinion”. The “debate” now in Europe about this is already laying the foundations for the intellectual defense of Iranian nukes and condemnation of any action taken by the Bush administration. Ahmadinajad is playing the international MSM like a fiddle, and this will only increase as the deadline approaches.

The most worrying thing about the “immigration” mess, is how W seems (at best) squishy and confused about simple principles, which is very unlike him, IMHO. Because in the war, we have absolutely no room for such squishiness and confusion.

Halley on May 26, 2006 at 1:56 AM

Told ya so!!!!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on May 26, 2006 at 10:45 AM

Told ya so!!!!!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on May 26, 2006 at 10:46 AM

Yeah, i agree. I’m afraid there will be no peaceful Cuban Missile Crisis outcome here. I think it’s gonna get really dirty. And really deadly.

If we wait, they WILL hit us first. This is not hawkish saber-rattling. It is reality. And the simple fact is that they will hit us by giving the bomb to a terrorist organization. Because they know that the American public is ununited at best against any sort of retaiation when the perp is a non-state enemy.

You have to hit them first. Screw the UN. It doesn’t matter who’d be with us or against us. We have to use our awesome might to completely take out their nuclear and retaliatory capabilities. It is in the greater interest of the survival of mankind to cut the head off the chicken here.

But these ideas are logical…and the president and congress have none of that…so yes, it is time to stock up on water, canned food, and Opinion Journals (ya know for some good reading until the fallout subsides) – ’cause this is gonna get a lot worse before it gets a lot better.

We really need a candidate in ’08 who is gonna represent the true view of the Conservatives out there…or it will get a lot worse…a lot quicker.

BirdEye on May 26, 2006 at 1:57 PM

If we did, say “Screw the UN”, how many resolutions do you thing it would take before “they” took action against us?

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on May 26, 2006 at 2:26 PM

BirdEye, we agree…I think that this Summer, the world is going to tilt on it’s political axis, and we are going to get hit. I hope I’m wrong.

Doug on May 27, 2006 at 2:46 AM

BirdEye, totally agree. But if conservatives push for a true conservative Republican candidate in ’08 and for example reject Giuliani, there is a real possibility a “Democrat” like Hillary Clinton will squeeze through.

Bush has to play politics! The Republicans can’t afford to entirely lose the immigrant vote. That’s what’s happening in Europe; the left is winning elections again thanks to growing muslim populations.

On the issue of Iran, Bush is clearly buying time until after the mid-term elections.

modifiedcontent on May 27, 2006 at 4:11 PM

“inevitable” is included in the name of this post.
Let’s look long, long range for a minute and see the “inevitable” that our grandchildren may have to live in:
Put aside all of the emotional issues about abortion for a moment, and consider that thirty or so million potential Americans are not here, contributing to making America stronger, better. Islamic populations are growing in many Western nations; their political power(we, the people) grows with their numbers.
Basically, they are out-birthing us, as they do not allow abortions, and they know that there is strngth in numbers.
The more babies born into Islam, the more quickly they take over. Or they would-I’m a Christian, and I believe that Jesus will return before that happens.

Doug on May 29, 2006 at 12:49 AM