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A Nuclear Iran

Is it a question or "if," or "when"?

11:00 PM, Nov 28, 2004 • By CHRISTIAN LOWE
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None of the options are perfect, Russell argues, but some things are sure: Iran will continue its nuclear weapons program until it obtains the bomb once and for all--it is seen as a matter of military necessity and the key to Tehran's influence in the region--while hiding behind ambiguity and concealment. A nuclear Iran, however, cannot be tolerated. Iran is well known for its sponsorship of terrorist organizations and has conducted a foreign policy of violence by proxy. The risk that Iran will transfer its nuclear technology to groups such as Hezbollah, whom Iran supports with an estimated yearly stipend of more than $100 million, is great. Additionally, a nuclear-armed Iran would be emboldened to strong-arm America's regional allies into pulling away from the United States or run the risk of an atomic attack by terrorist proxies.

"Tehran might be tempted to harness the threat of nuclear weapons for leverage in the political military struggle against the United States for power and influence in the Persian Gulf," Russell writes. "The Arab Gulf states would be more vulnerable to Iranian political pressure to reduce security cooperation with the United States, particularly in the event of a regional contingency."

Christian Lowe is a staff writer for Army Times Publishing Company and a contributing writer to The Daily Standard.