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Iran Test Fires Missiles

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Shrugging off near universal condemnation of their recently disclosed secret nuclear facility, Iran is now firing back. Literally:

(CNN) — Days before a key meeting with Western leaders, Iran test-fired two types of long-range missiles Monday in part of what the Islamic republic called routine military exercises, its state-run media reported.

The tests drew condemnation from France, which noted through its Foreign Ministry that the action comes only a week after Iran revealed the existence of a covert uranium enrichment site.

“These tests can only reinforce the worries of countries in the surrounding region and the international community, especially as Iran is, in parallel, developing a nuclear program, with the existence of a clandestine uranium enrichment site having just been revealed,” the ministry said.

“We ask Iran to choose cooperation and not confrontation, immediately putting an end to its profoundly destabilizing activities and responding without delay to the demands of the international community in order to find a solution in this affair.”

Iran’s nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is scheduled Thursday to meet with representatives of the five permanent United Nations Security Council members, plus Germany. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana will also attend the talks Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the United States, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called the missile test provocative and said the Western powers taking part in Thursday’s meeting want Iran to provide the International Atomic Energy Agency with “immediate unfettered access” to the newly discovered uranium enrichment site and people working there, as well as documents related to its planning.

This is becoming a matter of when, not if, Israel will take preemptive military measures against Iran. I’m having a difficult time seeing Iran’s strategy as they move forward. October is here and the 6-party talks are around the corner. Are they trying to make this awkward? At this point, I wonder if they will even show up. They lost a substantial bit of leverage once the secret facility was made public, and their posturing since then isn’t making matters any less complicated.

Again, I believe we are talking months – possibly even weeks – before Israel takes matters into their own hand. It’s hard to see them sitting idly by while Iran works towards nuclear power. The region will be scarier than it is now, and Israel’s national security would immediately be threatened. If history is any indication, Israel will act.

If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, the era of nonproliferation will be over. We will see countries in the region, and around the globe, work towards developing weapons. The last thing the United States wants, especially after President Obama made a whole show about ridding the world of nukes, is for a nuclear arms race to ensue. The challenge becomes deciding what can be done to stop that from happening.

I was once in the camp that thought Iran had the right to pursue nuclear power. But I’m growing very nervous about their intentions. They have clearly broken guidelines set by the IAEA, and their intentions seem a lot more nefarious. Their clear ties to terrorist organizations and their meddling in Iraq make for a disturbing resume. I hope diplomacy can dissuade Iran from their nuclear program. If that fails, I think all options need to be looked at, including military.

Sigh. Let’s see how this plays out.


Written by PJ

September 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm

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