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KAHLILI: Iran’s radical rulers close in on the bomb
It’s not too late to stop nuclear ambitions
Iran continues unabated with its illicit nuclear and missile programs despite a decade of negotiations, being targeted by cyberwarfare and recent harsh sanctions on the Iranian Central Bank and oil industry piled on top of earlier, crippling sanctions.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a recent meeting with the Islamic regime's officials, called for a "resistance economy," urging them to work on lowering consumption, help with the private sector and reduce Iran's dependence on oil.
Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that the enemy has been plotting to pressure Iran. "They clearly say that with pressure through sanctions, our officials will be forced to re-evaluate their decisions," the ayatollah said. "However, realization of the facts are that not only will we not rethink our decisions, but we will continue the chosen path with more confidence."
The Obama administration's dual policies of negotiations and sanctions have failed, in effect, enabling a terrorist regime to progress with its nuclear and missile programs.
When President Obama took office, the Iranians had barely enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb and were limited to an enrichment level of 3.5 percent. Today, Iran has mastered the enrichment to the 20 percent level, a critical step to weaponization, and has announced that it soon will enrich to more than 50 percent in order to provide nuclear fuel for future nuclear-powered vessels.
More than 11,000 centrifuges are currently spinning at the Natanz nuclear facility, an increase of 3,000 from just months ago. Hundreds of centrifuges are enriching uranium to the 20 percent level at the previously secret Fordow facility deep in a mountain.
The latest IAEA report as of May verified that Iran has enough enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs, should it advance enrichment to weaponization grade.
Meanwhile, Iran, in collaboration with China and North Korea, has stockpiled more than 1,000 ballistic missiles capable of reaching all U.S. bases and oil fields in the region, Israel and several capitals in Europe. Iran currently is working on intercontinental ballistic missiles under the guise of its space program that will soon be capable of reaching any point on the planet. It has produced hundreds of cruise missiles, a clear threat to the flow of oil out of the Persian Gulf, and has armed its vessels with long-range ballistic missiles, with plans to expand its naval mission into the Atlantic Ocean and right behind the Gulf of Mexico.
According to a former intelligence officer of the Revolutionary Guards now defected to a country in Europe, Iran also has several neutron bombs (super-electromagnetic weapons). The source, who attended a commanders' briefing by the Revolutionary Guards, said they have discussed a strategy in which "many planes will fall from the sky" -- a clear indication that Iran is prepared to deliver an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. The International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has test-launched ballistic missiles off ships in an exercise similar to an EMP attack.
Studies have shown that a successful EMP attack would devastate America, slaughtering up to two-thirds of the United States population within a year of the attack.
The West, particularly America, despite years of failed negotiations with Iran, has yet to understand the very ideology that drives the regime.
"The most important fact that America and the West have continuously missed is the ideology behind Iran's destiny. Its doctrine knows no boundaries and stands in diametric opposition to and defiance of the most basic principles and fundamental forms taken by Western civilization." This is from a Guards analysis that was reported last November.
This ideology underpins Iran's confrontation with the West. The regime has expanded its threat to world peace and the global economy from the Persian Gulf to Africa, Latin America and even here in the United States, where hundreds of terrorist cells are well placed.
Some American officials and pundits promoted negotiations with Iran, claiming the United States was at fault because of its previous foreign policies, and that an extended hand would go a long way to defusing the crisis. Then they promoted sanctions, claiming that the Islamic regime is rational and will reconsider its behavior and actions. Now, not wanting to admit their error, they are even promoting the idea of a nuclear-armed Iran, claiming it won't be so bad because mutually assured destruction should surely work.
In an open letter to President Obama in February 2009, I reminded him that negotiations and sanctions won't work. It's not about the economy, but rather the ideology.
The West is now at an impasse with Iran, which I have been predicting would happen for a long time. War seems inevitable as the radicals ruling Iran close in on making a bomb. An attack on Iran's nuclear facilities will not solve the threat because the regime not only has mastered the technology and the know-how, but also there are many sites unknown to the West in which work on highly enriched uranium and nuclear weaponization of missiles continues daily.
The best solution is to help the Iranian people, thousands of whom have sacrificed to bring about regime change only to find out that the West is more interested in negotiations. A great opportunity was missed in 2009 when millions of Iranians took to the streets because Mr. Obama turned his back on them.
But it is not too late.
Today, the only viable solution in securing world peace and stability is regime change in Iran. To achieve that, we must help the Iranian people -- not with arms -- but with our support and technological advancements to inform, unify and enable the millions who are awaiting our leadership.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the author of "A Time to Betray" (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He is a fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy.
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