by David P. Goldman
This should be obvious, but it needs to be restated. Israel's former ambassador to the United Nations did so yesterday:
Dore Gold: Nuclear Iran Would Create Terrorist Umbrella
Former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold warns that a nuclear-armed Iran would shift "the entire balance in the war on terror" by providing terrorists with a nuclear umbrella.
Speaking at a briefing at the British House of Commons on Oct. 12, Dore — also a former adviser to Israeli prime ministers — said Iran's nuclear program endangers "the security not just of Israel but of the entire Middle East, and I would say the world."
Gold said that as of this past August, Iran had enough nuclear fuel to produce two atomic bombs, and a missile with the capability of striking Israel and Saudi Arabia.
"So if you take the fact that Iran is one of the largest supporters of international terrorism today, and you team that up with the nuclear capabilities that I’ve been describing, you have a security situation which the West has not yet seen," Gold said.
"The whole point of George W. Bush’s decision to remove the Taliban after 9/11 was to send a very clear message: 'You attack the American homeland and we will take down your regime.'
"But fast forward to 2012. Iran has operational nuclear weapons that can strike deep into Europe, and eventually towards the eastern seaboard of the U.S. Will the U.S., U.K., and NATO as a whole have the same freedom of maneuver to say to states that support terrorism, 'We will take you down if you attack us?'
"Will the U.S. Congress authorize sending forces abroad against a state armed with nuclear weapons? In other words, the entire balance in the war on terror shifts, because the state that is the largest global sponsor of terrorism today now has nuclear capabilities . . .
"This nuclear umbrella of Iran will unfurl and will be able to provide protection, not just to Shiite Hezbollah, but to Sunni organizations such as al-Qaida and Hamas."
Gold, now president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, raised the possibility that Israel could strike Iran's nuclear facilities if the international community does not take action.
"I will say that Israel has been thinking about this problem for a very long time," he said in remarks published on the Web site of The Henry Jackson Society, a London-based organization that promotes the foreign policies of former U.S. Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson.
"The Israeli air force has been training for action and all options are on the table. But I would say the official position is that there is hope, even at this late date, that the key players in the international community will take action."
He added: "You might think that Iran’s behavior at present is brazen and risky. It looks much less brazen and risky if you recall how often Iran has already defied the West and got away with it."