Following Iran’s President Ahmadinejad and Israeli’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s addresses at the UN (Highlights from the Iranian president’s address can be found on Iran Daily Brief) the question a red line on Iran is being asked out loud or silently by millions of people all over the world. Please fill out our survey at the end of this article.
Israel drew a red line:
Netanyahu made it graphically clear on Thursday where he plans to draw a red line on Iran: Now. Yesterday. The sooner the better.
Obviously, Israel has initially the most to lose when Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear program does go ballistic: Its relatively small size (approx… 8,000 square miles) , its geographic proximity to Iran (approx.. 1,000 miles) coupled Iran’s “special interest” with Israel do not leave room for doubts as to where Iranian missiles will be aimed at first.
“The issue of Palestine is not an argument between one person and another or a conflict created between the followers of one prophet and another…but the dispute over Palestine is a dispute over dominating and managing the world” – President Ahmadinejad.
In fact, Israel, or rather the “fake”, “usurper”, “corrupt”, “arrogant”, “cancerous”, “microbe”, “blood-thirsty”, “uncivilized”, Satan/Devil” (etc…) “Zionist state” makes a major part of Iranian leaders hate-filled speeches which have become the norm while most world leaders keep clucking their tongues and wagging their fingers much to Israel’s discontent.
Ahmadinejad makes it clear repeatedly the he wants Israel “eliminated”, to “be gone”, “wiped out”, “destroyed”, “uprooted”, to “collapse”, to “disappear” while adding his own red line reminding the world that “anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury”.
Yes, both Iranian and Israeli leaders, understand that pushing the nuclear button is suicidal for both sides much as it was for the US and the Soviet Union during the cold war. Although Israel has never shown suicidal tendencies, these do creep through Iranian leaders’ rhetoric (Global Jihad and the coming of the Mahdi – the Islamic Messiah) and, more dangerously, through Iranian-backed martyrdom-seeking terrorist groups who could “steal” or obtain a nuclear “dirty” bomb in their bid for a one-way trip to paradise.
If you had any doubts as to Iran’s intents towards Israel, google “Israel Ahmadinejad Quotes” and you might understand why Israel is spooked by Iran having a nuclear weapon.
The UN draws red lines…in the sand:
The UN has repeatedly drawn red lines for Iran which were repeatedly ignored by Iran much like lines drawn in the sand under returning waves.
The IAEA (the UN’s atomic watch dog) reports are filled with red lines concerning Iran’s probably-not-so peaceful nuclear program. These lines include enriching uranium beyond the electricity–production needs (5% while Iran is enriching above 20%), access to the Parchin military base currently undergoing a thorough “nuclear cleaning”, solid and believable answers to queries regarding Iran’s attempts to test nuclear missiles and obtain enriched uranium and in general, an unheeded call for complete transparency and complete acceptance of UN resolutions regarding its program. After years of warnings and reports by the IAEA and numerous conferences with the IAEA and the P5+1 members, Iran keeps on doing what it does best: ignore the red lines, accuse the UN/US/Israel and gain time to continue its agenda.
And why not? Apart from the crippling sanctions which are also ignored by the Iranian government while the Iranian people suffer the worst economy ever, the UN still holds no real threat against Iran so while UN Secretary General Bam Ki-Moon calls for Iran to take “the measures necessary to build international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program” and to prove the “solely peaceful intent of its program”, Iran continues to increase its nuclear capabilities daily with no transparency in sight.
Similar red lines have been issued by the Ki-Moon on Iran’s horrid human rights record, lines which are crossed in Iran while the Iranian people paid with their lives, their freedom and their dignity. Ki-Moon personally requested to meet with opposition leaders Mousavi and Karroubi who are still living under house arrest after over 18 months and was met with denial. The suffering of women, religious minorities, gays and anyone who opposes the government or its Sharia laws in Iran is, of course, categorically denied by Iran but their tales are leaking out to human rights organizations and watch dogs and are being retold to the world…and still Iran keeps on doing what it does best: ignore the red lines, accuse the world and gain time to continue its agenda.
With its red lines in the sand repeatedly ignored and the and the upcoming rumbles of a (nuclear) war that will be powered by Islam(ophobia), the UN has to decide whether its next red line to Iran will be its last or lose credibility as a governing body of United Nations.
The US took out its red marker:
Although President Obama is not ready yet to toe Netanyahu’s red line, the US government has made it clear that it will not accept a nuclear-armed Iran nor will it accept overt verbal or military attack on Israel. The US is reaching its red line vis-à-vis Iran in leaps and bounds but it understands fully that once that red line appears, the US will have to “walk the talk” and lead the US into a nuclear confrontation which it definitely and rightly wants to avoid.
So while Netanyahu’s threats of an attack on Iran’s nuclear program echo through the White House walls, the US is striving to find a diplomatic ground to meet Iran on. The problem is, that Iran continues to do what it does best: yes, ignore the red lines, accuse the US and gain time to continue its agenda…not really a confidence builder.
So the US has taken out its big red marker but has still not drawn its red line. The US delegation at the UN boycotted Ahmadinejad’s speech voicing its frustration that “…Ahmadinejad once again use his trip to the U.N. not to address the legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people but to instead spout paranoid theories and repulsive slurs against Israel.” But there is still no real red line on the nuclear issue.
The US’s red line on Iran threatens to be a major issue in the upcoming presidential debates and elections – an issue which Romney and Obama will have to deal with as part of their pitch to win the votes of the American public which definitely does not want to go to war but most probably are sick of finding themselves threatened directly or indirectly by Iran and a possible nuclear war.
Canada, restated its general well known and anticipated ties with the US and Israel by boycotting Ahmadinejad’s address on Wednesday.
Both the US and Canada understand that once that red line finally is crossed, they will support Israel against Ahmadinejad’s “new world order” while entering their nations into a costly war that could escalate to pushing the red button, knowing that millions of innocent people would die.
Only one virtual red line from Europe:
Judging from the turnout of European delegations at the Ahmadinejad’s speech, Europe is opting for a more neutral, “let’s wait and see” tone with no clear red markers yet in sight.
Britain is the only exception and in fact epitomizes this tone by stating that “Britain sent three officials to the speech. They had been instructed to walk out if he said anything offensive”, “offensive” being the Britain’s red line. And yet, even the racial slur of “uncivilized Zionists” didn’t cross the British red line.
Europe is playing for time which in turn gives Iran more time.
Perhaps it is because no European country is, yet, geographically in reach of a nuclear bomb from Tehran.
Or perhaps it is because they want to distance themselves from their alliances with the US for future leeway to stay neutral when the US asks them to abide these alliances. Or perhaps they have forgotten all the other outrageous accusations Ahmadinejad made in the past – Holocaust denials, 9/11 US conspiracy, cloud/weather sabotage…. Or perhaps, it is simply because Europe is going through so much economically right now that its leaders would rather postpone a decision. Or perhaps they forget that they too fit the “imperialist”, “colonialist” and “capitalist” description of the enemy of Iran’s new world change”.
Or perhaps it is because they do not understand how Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei professed “century of Islam” and “Islamic uprising” are going to affect the EU’s growing problem of Islam(ophobia) in most Western European countries and some specific cities such as Luton, Amsterdam, Malmo and Marseilles. The percentage of Muslims increases in Europe though legal/illegal immigration and relatively higher birth rates – Demographically and Democratically. A red line was drawn with the “burka ban”, pitting civilian law against religious/”sharia” laws. Fundamental Islamists, people and groups who would welcome a “century of Islam” while staying exactly where they are now, are getting more vocal and more violent.
Or perhaps they seem to forget that the P5+1 members include 3 European states (Britain, France, Germany) who will have to make a decision once that red line is finally crossed. The same states that championed sanctions against Iran.
Whatever the case, European leaders sit, watch for red lines by their allies and wait…nervously.
No red lines by the rest:
China and Russia have been very careful to not draw any red lines of any kind concerning Iran. They are playing their cards cautiously looking out for a game-changing development. Of course, none would like to see a nuclear Iran as a neighbor but they are comforted by their size: they are powerful enough to make Iran want to have them as allies or simply neutral and they are geographically big enough to decrease the fear of a national wipe-out in a nuclear war against Iran. China and Russia are in fact Iran’s red lines.
The rest of the world, including the 120 NAM member states (mostly Asia, Africa, South America), whose rotating president happens to be Ahmadinejad himself, is either neutral (or hoping to stay neutral) or supportive of Iran and/or an “Islamic uprising”.
They too are watching out for red lines by other states before having to decide on which side of the line they will choose to be.