Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday that Iran was a menace for reasons other than its alleged drive to build a nuclear bomb and that the U.S. and its allies have "a number of tools" if Tehran does not change its ways.
A prosecutor said that several million dollars worth of equipment had been shipped from Germany to Iran, via a Russian company.
Only four types of individuals can deny the threat to civilization posed by the violence-supporting segment of Islam: the willfully naive, America-haters, Jew-haters and those afraid to confront evil.
Today Tehran, Tomorrow the World
What's at stake in the dispute over Iranian nukes? Ultimately, human survival
This atavistic love of blood and death and, indeed, self-immolation in the name of God may not be new--medieval Europe had an abundance of millennial Christian sects--but until now it has never had the means to carry out its apocalyptic ends.
That is why Iran's arriving at the threshold of nuclear weaponry is such a signal historical moment. It is not just that its President says crazy things about the Holocaust. It is that he is a fervent believer in the imminent reappearance of the 12th Imam, Shi'ism's version of the Messiah. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been reported as saying in official meetings that the end of history is only two or three years away. He reportedly told an associate that on the podium of the General Assembly last September, he felt a halo around him and for "those 27 or 28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink ... as if a hand was holding them there and it opened their eyes to receive" his message. He believes that the Islamic revolution's raison d'Ãªtre is to prepare the way for the messianic redemption, which in his eschatology is preceded by worldwide upheaval and chaos. How better to light the fuse for eternal bliss than with a nuclear flame?
Depending on your own beliefs, Ahmadinejad is either mystical or deranged. In either case, he is exceedingly dangerous.
Pretending otherwise will not make it so, no matter how many times the mantra BUSH LIE PEOPLE DIED is repeated.
And Iran is just the first.
If nothing is done, we face not proliferation but hyperproliferation. Not just one but many radical states will get weapons of mass extinction, and then so will the fanatical and suicidal terrorists who are their brothers and clients.
That will present the world with two futures. The first is Feynman's vision of human destruction on a scale never seen. The second, perhaps after one or two cities are lost with millions killed in a single day, is a radical abolition of liberal democracy as the species tries to maintain itself by reverting to strict authoritarianism--a self-imposed expulsion from the Eden of post-Enlightenment freedom.
Can there be a third future? That will depend on whether we succeed in holding proliferation at bay. Iran is the test case. It is the most dangerous political entity on the planet, and yet the world response has been catastrophically slow and reluctant. Years of knowingly useless negotiations, followed by hesitant international resolutions, have brought us to only the most tentative of steps--referral to a Security Council that lacks unity and resolve. Iran knows this and therefore defiantly and openly resumes its headlong march to nuclear status. If we fail to prevent an Iranian regime run by apocalyptic fanatics from going nuclear, we will have reached a point of no return. It is not just that Iran might be the source of a great conflagration but that we will have demonstrated to the world that for those similarly inclined there is no serious impediment.
Our planet is 4,500,000,000 years old, and we've had nukes for exactly 61.