Op-Ed: Mideast nuclear arms race heats up

Posted May 8, 2012 by Eliot Elwar
Iran seeks short buildup time for assembling its nuclear weapons, while Israel procures another submarine with nuclear strike capability.
A 23 kiloton tower shot called BADGER  fired on April 18  1953 at the Nevada Test Site  as part of t...
A 23 kiloton tower shot called BADGER, fired on April 18, 1953 at the Nevada Test Site, as part of the Operation Upshot-Knothole nuclear test series.
A 23 kiloton tower shot called BADGER, fired on April 18, 1953 at the Nevada Test Site, as part of t
According to Reuters, Iran seeks short buildup time for assembling its nuclear weapons. Iran's nuclear strategy involves the weaponization of its atomic bombs within 60 days, said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. His remarks reflected the long-held Israeli belief that Iran is playing for time when it engages the nations in negotiations directed at controlling its uranium enrichment effort. Discussions are due to restart in Baghdad on 23 May 2012. "They are currently trying to achieve immunity for the nuclear program," Barak said. If Iran arrives at a military nuclear capability to develop a weapon, or a demonstrated capability, or reach a threshold status where Iran could manufacture a bomb within 60 days, then Iran will achieve regime immunity, according to Barak.
Barak stated earlier that Iran is delaying serious discussions until it can dig in behind defenses sufficient to withstand attacks by any Israeli or US air strikes on its nuclear facilities. Israeli leaders believe the diplomatic effort, involving the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, has no real chance of success. Mideast analysts assess that Iran's rulers seek an atomic bomb as insurance against outside intervention, according to Reuters.
According to Ha’artz and the Black Christian internet news (BCNN1), Israel obtains fourth submarine. Israel recently received its fourth German-made submarine with nuclear warhead launch capability, expanding a naval fleet that military analysts say could be employed during an attack on Iran. Defense Minister Ehud Barak revealed the submarine could increase Israel's capabilities and strength during growing Mideast regional challenges. The new sub, called "Tanin" (sea dragon or crocodile), could be in operation by 2013. Analysis of naval technology reports indicate that the Dolphin class warship could carry Israel-made cruise missiles with a range of 1,500 kilometers. It has the capability to transport nuclear warheads, giving Israel a retaliatory "second-strike" option during any Mideast nuclear conflict. Israel has ordered two more submarines from Germany.
Israel’s growing crisis with Iran and Mideast terrorist groups on its northern and southern borders reaches global headlines hourly. Few Mideast analysts doubt the Jewish nation is not preparing for a summertime fight against her enemies. Muslim jihadists are pointing roughly 200,000 rockets at every Israeli urban center, town, village, and outpost within Israel’s borders.
Iran is on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons while Tehran leadership repeatedly and increasingly make public threats to wipe Israel off the Mideast map. Today, Iran appears to be further along in developing nuclear weapons than they were 12 years ago. Nuclear weapons capability in Iran is dangerous to the Mideast and the rest of the global community because its leadership embraces an apocalyptic eschatology and its development of nuclear weapons may create an international justification for other countries in the region to develop nuclear weapons capability.
Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and others may seek nuclear technology to protect themselves from a nuclear armed Iran. Iran will eventually threaten Europe with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) armed with nuclear warheads. If the Israelis fail to strike Iran soon, then within the next few years, Iran could have the technological capability to threaten the US, Europe, and others with nuclear armed ICBMs partly because of Russian assistance.