It’s the big one:
Iran on Tuesday said that nothing would stop it resuming ultra-sensitive nuclear activities in defiance of the European Union and the United States despite warnings of UN Security Council action and a grave international crisis.
UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei has warned that Iran’s resuming converting uranium ore into a gas, a first step in enriching uranium into what can be fuel for reactors or the explosive core of atom bombs, could undermine its talks with the European Union and his International Atomic Energy Agency’s verification work in Iran as well, AFP said.
What to do about Iran? That takes some explaining.
First off, an invasion is (and always was) out of the question. Anyone who can read a map could tell you that. Iran’s terrain is much like Serbia’s – a place we decided to bomb into submission, rather than invade. Heavy tanks and weak bridges don’t mix. And our light forces are too few – and too light – to make up the difference. Could an invasion succeed? Yes, eventually, and at a price in blood we might not want to pay. Besides, an invasion would spoil the goodwill we already enjoy with the Iranian people, a topic we talked about here two years ago.
Well, what about bunker-busting bombs? Fuggidaboudit. To guarantee success, we’d have to use nukes. The Iranians (like almost everyone else) learned the lessons of the 1991 Kuwait War, and buried their stuff deep. As I’ve made plain many times before, I don’t hold with the “nuke’em all and don’t even let God sort’em out” crowd, and I won’t this time, either. You simply don’t go dropping nukes on people because their leaders might someday develop The Bomb.
(I don’t mean to say the Cuba Option is off the table. In 1962, President Kennedy declared that any nukes launched from Cuba, he would consider launched by and from the USSR – and that he would retaliate appropriately. We can make the same statement regarding Iran and terrorist nukes.)
Do we set the Israelis loose on Iran, ala their Osirik strike against Iraq in 1981? Firstly, an Israeli strike would have even less promise of total success than an American attack. The IAF has shorter “legs,” and their elint probably isn’t as good. Besides, the Israelis might not want the job, given the current political climate.
So what is to be done? Well, letting the Europeans keep talking with Tehran certainly can’t do much harm. Of course, it won’t do much good, either. Making our own threats is more likely to turn off Iranian nationalists (as opposed to Iranian fundamentalists) who are as pro-American as almost any opponent of the Mullah’s Regime. Which leaves us with just one decent choice: The Cuba Option.
Anyone have a better (and sane!) suggestion?
UPDATE: Of course, I could be wrong. In the comments, Frank Martin says, “You cannot seriously consider leaving Tehran to live like the Cubans without considering the hell we consigned the Cuban people to live in.”