Commentary Magazine


Time Is Running Out to Stop the Iranians

Some parts of the leftist blogosphere (that means you, Andrew Sullivan; you too, Michael Cohen seem to have been particularly perturbed by my recent op-ed in the L.A. Times bemoaning our failure to take the Iranian threat with the seriousness it deserves.

This causes them, as AEI fellow Marc Thiessen points out, to deny evidence gathered by no less than the Obama administration Treasury Department about links between Iran and al-Qaeda. It also causes them to ignore plentiful evidence of the devastating effect an Iranian bomb would have on the already tenuous and shaky prospects for stability in the Middle East.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and member of the royal family, made the threat very explicit on Monday when, according to the AP, he said Saudi Arabia would feel compelled to acquire its own nukes to offset Iran’s: “It is our duty toward our nation and people to consider all possible options, including the possession of these weapons.” As Jonathan noted yesterday, it is hard to imagine a more chilling thought than another Islamic fundamentalist state with lots of radicals on its soil also being in possession of nuclear weapons. Pakistan and Iran with nuclear weapons is bad enough; a nuclear Saudi Arabia compounds the problem. And it might not end there. Egypt and Turkey are also candidates for nuclear status if Iran gets the bomb.

A nuclear arms race in the Middle East? If you think that’s acceptable then, yes, I am blowing the Iranian threat out of proportion. But if you think that’s not acceptable, then we have to face up to the fact that time is running out to stop the Iranians.