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Iran Months Away from Having the Bomb

A little over two years ago, I wrote a post called It’s Time to Destroy Iran. At that time, UN representative Mohamed ElBaradei claimed that Iran was 5 to 10 years away from having nuclear weapons. The tone of the NY Times article was one of relief that we had so long to work on the problem. Of course, 5 years is brief moment in time in the realm of government action. Unfortunately, this week we are learning from the UN that the clock is down to 6 to 12 months.

In an interview with MEMRI, ElBaradei said “If Iran wants to turn to the production of nuclear weapons, it must leave the NPT, expel the IAEA inspectors, and then it would need at least…six months to one year. Therefore, Iran will not be able to reach the point where we would wake up one morning to an Iran with a nuclear weapon.”.

Given that his estimate of two years ago was 5 to 10 years, and the new estimate is 6 to 12 months, does this almost suggest that Iran virtually has nuclear weapons already? Does 12 months seem like enough time to prepare for an attack on Iran? There have been hints that our government has made some preparations, but it’s also clear that the Bush administration makes no plan to take action before its term is through. We can only hope that Israel will defend itself when there appears to be no alternative.

As with four years ago, the threat of totalitarian governments is the one greatest issue of the presidential campaign. We needed Bush, not Kerry, to execute the Iraq war. He’s fought it with one hand tied behind his back, but our military has made slow progress. I don’t feel any better about McCain than I did about Bush, but it’s very clear to me that Obama would be incapable of handling the crisis we’re headed for.

Last year, McCain joked about bombing Iran to the tune of the Beach Boys song, “Barbara Ann”. Our best hope is that this represents McCain’s true resolve, that he won’t paralize us with endless negotiation. The overwhelmingly important task of the next president will be helping the people of Iran to shed the chains of their totalitarian government, and therefore restoring security to the rest of the world.