As the world is playing catchup with the events in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and other Arab Spring focal points, Iran is very busy.
Trying to keep people oppressed in light of Arab Spring revolutions surely keeps the regime in Iran occupied. But more than that, viewing once-strong men like Mubarak and Gadaffi defeated, jailed, humiliated, and assassinated is probably the strongest driver to the regime’s nuclear weapons ambitions.
It’s safe to assume that if Gadaffi possessed nuclear weapons, NATO would not be so keen on interfering in internal Libyan riots. NATO has armed, trained, and financed the rebels operations. Without Nato’s help, the Libyan rebels would not be able to topple Gadaffi. Just look at Syria. Without external intervention, Assad is able to hold on and keep protesters at bay. Iran is closely watching the situation and Ahmadinejad recently claimed that NATO intervention was effective in exacerbating the conflict.
Look at Iraq; again, without nuclear weapons, the US easily invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime. In an interview to Giyus.org about a year ago, an ex-Mossad expert on Iran confirmed that “the regime lives in fear that the USA will invade Iran.. Iranian leaders truly believe that if Iraq had nuclear weapons the USA would not have invaded it. In their view, a nuclear bomb serves as an insurance policy for the regime’s stability.”
If that was the sentiment a year ago, after watching the events of the Arab Spring, these feelings have greatly intensified.
The west has been trying to convince Iran to halt its nuclear program for years. But Iran has refused to do so despite severe economic sanctions. New reports by Western experts say Iran’s nuclear program is faltering because of poorly functioning equipment. But they also acknowledge Iran has the capability to build at least one atomic weapon in about six months’ time.
As a religious Islamic regime Iran’s goal is to export the Islamic revolution everywhere. With the US leaving Iraq now, Iran is likely to step in and increase its efforts to fill the void with an Islamic message. In recent years, Iran has repeatedly worked against the interests of the United States and the international community. The recent plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador on US’ soil is yet another attempt to undermine US’ authority and global leadership.
A nuclear Iran is a threat to the Middle East and the whole world. Western powers should divert attention from the Arab Spring and focus on stopping Iran before it is too late and the theocratic regime is armed with nuclear weapons.