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February 18, 2003

Bomb Bushehr

After Iraq is neutralized, says this article Iran will be a cause for much anxiety
[...]In about two month's time, the Iraqi threat will be neutralized forever but this is cold comfort for Israel. For Iran is rising fast to take Iraq's place as a clear and present danger to the Jewish state. Since its foundation, the Islamic Republic has been a sworn enemy of Israel with both conservatives and reformists sharing an implacable hatred of what they term the "occupation regime of al-Quds." Ayatollah Khomeini's view that its very existence "humiliates Islam, the Quran, the government of Islam and the nation of Islam," is still espoused today even by so-called moderates such as Ali Akbar Mohtashemi. For him, Israel is "a knife in the heart of the Islamic world" which must be removed. Even Mohammed Khatami, the darling of Europe, has called for the eradication of this "parasite in the heart of the Moslem world" and while he currently favors achieving this through a process of demographic dilution, he has advocated more proactive approaches in the past.

Through the financing of Palestinian terrorism and sponsoring of Hizbullah, Iran has long endeavored to undermine Israel through proxies but its development of a sophisticated missile program makes Tehran a more direct threat today. There seems little doubt that the Shahab 3 rocket, with a range of 1,300 kms, is specifically designed to attack Israel and the fact that it can carry a nuclear payload is worrying in the extreme. That Iran is actively pursuing the means to arm it makes action by Israel imperative.

President Khatami's announcement Sunday of the "discovery" and extraction of uranium near Yadz lends a new urgency to this already serious situation. David Ivry has recalled that, given the environmental risks, the attack on the Osirak had to be executed before radioactive materials arrived on site and the same condition applies with regard to Bushehr, the Persian Gulf port city where Iran is building a nuclear reactor with Russian assistance.

The recent breakdown of relations between the United States and North Korea also raises the possibility that Pyongyang will share its nuclear know-how with Teheran. North Korea is already Iran's main supplier of missile technology. [more]