Powered by WebAds

Friday, August 07, 2009

The 'Finlandization' of the Middle East

Former Israeli ambassador to the US Dore Gold explains consequences of a nuclear Iran that have nothing to do with Israel.
Arab officials don't need prompting from Israel. Their common fear is that a nuclear Iran will embolden groups such as Hezbollah, which will feel it enjoys a nuclear sponsor protecting it from any retaliatory action. Unlike their Western counterparts, these Arab officials are savvy enough to distinguish between status quo states that just want to assure the security of their borders and ideologically driven revolutionary powers like Iran with expansive aims.

An Iran with hegemonial aspirations will not be talked out of acquiring nuclear weapons through a new Western incentives package. Only the most severe economic measures aimed at Iran's dependence on imported gasoline, backed with the threat of Western military power, might pull the Iranians back at the last minute. Until now, U.N. sanctions on Iran have been too weak to have any real impact.

It is critical to understand that an Iran that crosses the nuclear threshold after repeated warnings that doing so is "unacceptable" would be even less likely to be deterred in the future. It would provide global terrorism the kind of protective umbrella that Al Qaeda never had back on 9/11, including Hezbollah cells located at present in Central Europe and Latin America. Some Arab states, like Qatar, have already been largely "Finlandized," to borrow a Cold War term for states that make their foreign policy subservient to the wishes of a powerful neighbor. But as Iran's nuclear program continues unopposed, more Arab states will follow, changing the Middle East entirely.

Halting the Iranian nuclear program is a global imperative; acquiescing to a nuclear Iran in the hope that it will pragmatically understand the limits of its own power would be a colossal mistake.
Exit question: Why have the Arabs been so ineffective getting this through to Obama? Or perhaps, like Israel, the Arabs have been told that if they don't make concessions to get the 'peace process' moving, the US won't protect them from Iran?

What could go wrong?


Post a Comment

<< Home