Obama's Dream for Iran Becoming a Nuclear Nightmare

What to do about Iran? That's the Obama administration's biggest dilemma in the wake of the recent report by the IAEA, the international nuclear watchdog, which all but confirms Iran's insane ambition to develop nuclear weapons.

President Obama, who shaped his policy on Iran believing that a kinder approach would bring about changed behavior in Iran's tyrannical leaders, now must know bitterly that the mullahs and their henchmen have no intention of changing.

With presidential elections only a year away, Obama is on the horns of a dilemma. Continuing his sanctions policy, at least as it is right now, won't work. That leaves him with either a military confrontation with the Islamic state or accepting Iran as a nuclear power.

Obama and many administration officials have openly talked about the difficulties of military action, however, as such action could further destabilize the global economy. Such action would be a devastating shock to the teetering European economy and drag down the United States.

Obama brought this dilemma on himself by failing to understand the complexity of Middle East politics and the ideology of the radicals who rule Iran, thereby giving the Islamic regime sufficient time and leeway to pursue their missile and nuclear programs. This in turn has provided an opening to the Republicans in the unfolding presidential race.

Almost all of the Republican presidential candidates have seized on the issue, insisting that Iran must be stopped from acquiring nuclear bombs, leaving the military option on the table, suggesting much harsher sanctions (such as sanctioning the Iranian central bank) and stating, rightly so, that regime change should now be considered.

Days ago, Obama's top national security aide, Tom Donilon, defended the president's Iran policy. "The effect of these sanctions has been clear," Donilon said. "Coupled with mistakes and difficulties in Iran, they have slowed Iran's nuclear efforts. ... Not only is it harder for Iran to proceed, it is more expensive."

Such a statement could not be further from the truth. When Obama took office, Iran had barely enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb; today it has nearly 5,000 kilograms of enriched uranium, sufficient for six nuclear bombs.

Before Obama took office, the radicals in Iran had not dared to enrich further than the 3.5 percent level, fearing a U.S. backlash, but now they are not only openly further enriching uranium to the 20 percent level, which is 80 percent of the work needed for nuclearization, but have also announced their intention to triple that production, in further defiance of U.N. mandates.

Since Obama took office, the Islamists have made great strides with their missile delivery system, having mass-produced hundreds of ballistic missiles and openly admitting to exporting that technology despite sanctions and the U.N. mandate against their ballistic missile program.

Despite all the efforts by the Obama administration in isolating Iran, China, Russia and many other countries continue to trade and even help with Iran's nuclear and missile programs.

It is time to be clear: Obama's policies of negotiations and sanctions have failed; they will not stop the radical rulers of Iran from getting the bomb. It is also time to realize that the events in the Middle East and the so called "Arab Spring" are more of an "Islamic Awakening," as Islamists in Tehran call it, and that Iran plays a major role in inciting the uprisings in the region. Ali Akbar Velayati, the foreign affairs adviser to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has openly said, "Iran is the center of all Islamic movements, not only in the region but the world."

Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Forces, last Thursday told tens of thousands of Basij forces that the most modern army on the planet and its attack on Islam by invading Afghanistan and Iraq is a total failure. He said the Americans are now leaving Iraq and will be dealt another defeat in Afghanistan as they are now seeking negotiations with the same people, the Taliban, that they had called terrorists.

In another part of his speech, he said the Islamic movement, which started in the mosques and during Friday prayers, is now forcing change in the region from Tunisia to Egypt, and today there are more Irans emerging in the region. He stated that soon "all dictators and puppets of the West will be overthrown," and a new world order will take place, which will be an Islamic world.

Today in the dark days of the world, he concluded, "A path of light has begun shining, and that this was only possible with the leadership of Iran's supreme leader, who has been defiant against the oppressive powers of the world and adamant about a new Islamic world, and if millions of us become martyrs on this path for Islam for our prophet, for our religion, then that is priceless."

The jihadists in Tehran, who want to destroy us, will arm their missiles with nuclear warheads at worst in only months. How we act now will determine the world we live in. It is time for our leaders to understand this threat and take a stand, not for politics but for humanity.  

(See also: Obama's Brinksmanship on Iran)

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award-winning book A Time to Betray.  He is a senior fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).