The Day After Iran Goes Nuclear

March 30, 2012 by Julie Bishop
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A strategic think tank within Israel recently convened a conference that challenged delegates to consider the implications of “The day after Iran goes nuclear”…writes Julie Bishop.

Julie Bishop

This scenario has greatly troubled people around the world, including the many nations currently imposing strong sanctions against Iran.

It is feared that a nuclear-armed Iranian regime would threaten other countries in the region including Israel and that it would lead to a nuclear arms race as other countries sought to obtain or develop nuclear weapons.

Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak reportedly said that he did not “belong to those who think that if Iran has a nuclear weapon, it will hurry to drop it on a neighbour.”

Barak believed a greater danger was that “a nuclear weapon will reach a terrorist group which will not hesitate to use it immediately. It will send it in a container with a GPS to a leading port in the US, Europe or Israel.”

Iran has consistently denied that it is pursuing nuclear weapons and insists that its current nuclear program is entirely peaceful and for the purposes of power generation, research and medicine.

However, in order to convince the world of its intentions, Iran must be entirely transparent in its operations and cooperate fully with international inspectors and monitors.

Iran has thus far failed to meet that obligation and there have been serious and legitimate concerns about some of Iran’s nuclear activities which indicate the pursuit of weapons capability.

One of the key concerns relates to activities at the Iranian military base at Parchin, a centre for weapons development.

A team of senior officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency held discussions in Iran on 20 and 21 February this year and formally requested for permission to visit Parchin.

Iranian officials refused that request and added to the suspicion about Iran’s nuclear intentions.

Iran must explain why it has refused to grant full access to international inspectors, if, as it claims, there is nothing to hide and the nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

This refusal to comply with international inspectors has led to a range of sanctions including on the purchase of Iranian crude oil and financial sanctions against Iran’s central bank.

The history of sanctions suggests they are only effective when universally applied and enforced.

That has not been the case with Iran as some nations continue to trade with the regime.

However, it is important that the Iranian regime is under no illusions about the determination of those nations that object to its current behaviour and its ongoing refusal to allow unfettered access to IAEA inspectors.

US President Barack Obama said in a speech on 4 March this year that “I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power: A political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored; an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency. Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests.”

This is a clear statement of intent to the Iranian regime that it is likely to face a military strike if it fails to comply with requests for complete transparency.

Given the need for a clear and united opposition to Iran, it was somewhat troubling to hear Australia’s new Foreign Minister make the following statements during an interview on Sky News on 22 March this year:

SENATOR BOB CARR: “We are totally opposed to Iran’s nuclear program. We share the view with the United States on this. We think that sanctions are working, there is a lot of evidence of sanctions working and the Iranian leadership being open again to negotiations. Sanctions, negotiations preferable to a bombing strike. Here we are completely at one with the United States which shares the same reservations we have about the likely limited success of trying to resolve this by going to war.”

DAVID SPEERS: So that should be off the table?

SENATOR BOB CARR: “It should be off the table as we persist with sanctions and persist with seeking a negotiated settlement.”

Australia’s Foreign Minister has directly contradicted the clear position of the US President that no options should be “off the table” including military effort, yet he claims to be “at one” with the United States.

While no one suggests that Bob Carr should be advocating a military strike, he should avoid making statements which send a mixed message to the Iranian regime that there is division among the nations imposing sanctions,.

Any lessening of pressure on Iran has potentially catastrophic implications for the world and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs would be well advised to maintain a dignified silence rather than risk undermining current international efforts to maintain maximum pressure on Iran in order to avoid military confrontation.

Julie Bishop is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition spokeswoman on Foreign Affairs.

This article was first published on Online Opinion.


4 Responses to “The Day After Iran Goes Nuclear”
  1. Ben says:

    Fear mongering by the Tampa group. What significant difference will a nuclear Iran make ? Israel already has over 200 nuclear weapons, Pakistan, India have them. The rest of the region is either Soviet or China backed or US client regimes livingunder the American nuclear umberella.
    Iran cannot attack Israel with nuclear weapons, as Hilllary Clinton said it will be wiped of the map. The US can bomb Iran, not to mention blockade it and ruin its economy.

    None of these are considered, nor the opinion of former Mossad chied and even Livni who said a nuclear Iran poses no exestantial threat to Israel. It will only end Israel’s nuclear monopoly in the region.

    • Ellen says:

      When someone has a weapon it makes a very great difference who is holding it. And whether they have it for defense or for attack. If it’s for defense it will never be seen, as in Israel’s case. But Iran with a weapon like that, that’s another story. There are many other nations who should not have, and would not want, that awesome responsibility.

      Also, the comments regarding Iran’s posing ‘no existential threat to Israel’ I think refer to Israel’s defense capabilities.

      • Ben says:

        Israel has the biggest military in the region, plus nuclear weapons, plus the US nuclear umberella. It is thousands of kilometres from Iran and iran cannot inflict a serious defeat on Israel. Any Iranian attck on Israel will see a quick influx of US and probably German weapons, cash and intelligence support and will almost certainly be followed by A US attack on Iran and economic sanctions.

        So there is somewhere here an Existential threat to Israel’s defence capabilities!

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      There should be a natural, organic law that those who venture absurdities easily detectable should be deleted from comments.
      The so called Ben excells in mental monstruosities. See the above ” Iran cannot attack Israel because it will be wiped of (sic) the map “.
      Logic: Iran cannot attack – phase one of the proposition – because, AS A CONSEQUNCE , phase two,of the attack already effected, something, does not mater what, will hapen …..

      Oh, it feels so good to see that your opponents are so highly endowed with low levels of thinking !!!

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