A new Cold War – or even a hot one – may be upon us. Russia earlier this week announced plans to deliver fuel to Iran that could bring the Islamic Republic’s first nuclear reactor online as early as next month.
The West appears to have failed to curb Iran’s nuclear pursuit, and we wonder what all the sanctions and debates were really worth. Through all the negotiations and debates, Iran’s leaders continued to reinforce the message that the Islamic regime would not abandon its nuclear quest.
We also listened with dismay as former U.S. Ambassador Jon Bolton told the media that Israel has just days to strike Iran. Any later, Israel would risk nuclear fallout from a reactor. Such action, though, is more than likely to spark a regional conflict that could leave millions dead and cause horrific economic fallout from the disruption of oil supplies across the world.
Iran expert Ilan Berman of the American Foreign Policy Council told The Jerusalem Post that Bushehr, Iran’s nuclear power plant under construction, could not produce enough fissile material to have an impact and likely would not even be a target if Israel attacked. Bushehr, he said, is not a game-changer.
He may be right – but what if he’s not?
The plant’s capability is inconsequential; its completion would be a psychological victory for Iran that would only embolden its leaders to press on with their nuclear quest.
We are disgusted by the duplicitous behavior of our supposed ally, Russia, which has apparently played both sides against the middle. It paid lip service to the West’s mission to stop a nuclear Iran while aiding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear pursuits. And we are disappointed that our leaders of the past 15 years, since Russia first began aiding Iran’s Bushehr initiative in 1995, allowed this travesty to continue. Iran could not have advanced its nuclear programs without Russia’s aid, but Russia may also hold the key to stopping Iran.
Rather than focus their efforts on what appears to be fruitless sanctions and negotiations with Iran, we urge our community and elected leaders to pressure Russia to immediately end its aid of Iran’s nuclear pursuit and use its influence to dismantle – or at the very least stall the launch of – Bushehr.
It’s time to focus on the puppet master instead of the puppet.