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A BRITISHER’S VIEW - Iran’s nuke dreams become an official nightmare

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As far as fork-tongued nations go, Iran tops the list.

In September 1999, Iranian authorities primped their nuclear “shooting star,” the Shahab-3, with the warning, “We will trample upon the USA. Last year, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blithely informed students at Columbia University that his nation did not possess a nuclear weapons program. On January 30, he boosted a cheering crowd near the site of Iran’s first nuclear power plant by calling Israel a “filthy Zionist entity” and warning, “If you (Western powers) imagine that the Iranian nation will back down, you are making a mistake; on the nuclear path, we are moving towards the peak.” Then, last week, the extremist Muslim nation successfully re-tested its medium-range ballistic missile, defiantly declaring, “Our finger is always on the trigger and we have hundreds and even thousands of missiles ready to be fired against predetermined targets.”

The state-controlled television channel, Al-Alam, confirmed that the Shahab-3 was among an arsenal of nine missiles fired from a secret site in the Iranian desert on July 9; among them, the Hoot (Whale) torpedo, a supersonic enemy sub-destroyer, unveiled by Iran in 2006.

Despite intensified sanctions by the United Nations Security Council and years of tomfoolery by the Iranians, the Persian Gulf theocracy has begun its war dance with the Free World. The quandary and questions are only beginning for progressive nations, whose leaders are bewildered over how to tackle a nation where insanity prevails in political and public life.

What is unnerving about the testing of the Shahab-3 – based on the Nodong-1 with a warhead cluster capable of precisely detonating several bombs over a wider region – is its potential to deliver a potential nuclear weapon. The math adds up to Iran’s evil contention to “wipe Israel of the map.”

If the rogue nation would have us believe that its atomic energy program is purely for domestic use, then why is the epicenter of its national nuclear weapons program – the Nuclear Technology Center Technology in the city of Esfahan – manufacturing uranium ore into three troubling forms? Uranium oxide to fuel reactors (reportedly not the type Iran is building)’ hexafluoride gas, which is used in gas centrifuges; and metal, frequently used as the heart for nuclear bombs. The metal conversion rightfully alarms the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) because Iran’s reactors do not need it as fuel.

Then, there’s Arak, another key nuclear facility, located 150 miles south of Tehran, and the hub of the development of heavy water, an agent used to produce plutonium for nuclear bombs. Arak’s secret existence was unearthed in August 2002 by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and confirmed four months later by satellite images from the US-based Institute for Science and International Security.

Iran’s missile testing is even more worrying because it is inspiring other Islamic warrior nations to form their own nuclear power programs. According to the New York Times, three countries with a Muslim majority have already sought help from the IAEA in Vienna: Turkey, where the constitutional separation of religion and state is currently being battled; dubious Egypt where the largest extremist group, the Society of Muslim Brothers, is lawfully banned but allowed to operate under the government’s nose; and Saudi Arabia, whose record of human rights is as pitiful as its severe form of Islam is pitiless.

Iran’s yen to ink the US’s autopsy report is being swept under the rug by both contenders in the race for the world’s most influential office. John McCain is calling for tighter sanctions –a fat lot of good that will do because Iranian extremists are proud to forego even the most basic of freedoms. And, Barack Obama favors “aggressive diplomacy,” whatever that means.

From staunch denials to rebellious launches, Iran’s nuclear dreams have become a reality. Even the liberal European Union has been pushed into conceding, “These missile tests can only compound the worries of the international community.”

No sh.. Sherlock.

E-mail“A Britisher’s View” at All letters become the property of Courier-Life Publications and are subject to publication unless otherwise specified; please include your name, address and daytime telephone number for verification.

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