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Does Obama Understand the Threat of a Nuclear Iran?

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama addressed one of the biggest threats to the free world in the 21st century in just one sentence: "Because of a diplomatic effort to insist that Iran meet its obligations, the Iranian government now faces tougher and tighter sanctions than ever before." However, the president failed to mention that his policies toward Iran, in the two years he’s been in office have proven to have been a complete failure.

His efforts to reach out to the Islamic leaders of Iran have not been successful. Instead of supporting the uprising of the Iranians against their barbaric regime he chose not to get involved. And despite all the sanctions in place Iran continues even more aggressively with its nuclear drive while repeatedly refusing to give into the U.N. demands.

It was just last week when, after two days of intense negotiations in Istanbul, Turkey, the Iranian delegation refused to discuss its nuclear program and even refused to take the offers made by the participating representatives of six world powers to the Iranian leaders. The Iranian government- controlled media celebrated it as another victory against the Great Satan — America!

The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, boasted that the enemy claims that Iran will expand its power, but they should know that this is just the beginning as “the Iranian nation will stand strong to end world oppression and establishment of justice under the flag of Imam Mahdi, the Shiites 12th imam.”

The Iranians have continuously announced their intentions to proceed with their nuclear enrichment program, they've declared that missile development will go on, that even if there is a military strike, they will continue to enrich uranium; and that they have other sites for contingencies in the face of an attack.

After so many years of failed negotiations, it is time for the West to realize that the Iranian leaders are only looking to buy time until they are fully nuclear armed.

For over three decades, the West has failed to understand the political structure of Iran and the mindset behind the radicals ruling Iran. That failure has cost hundreds of thousands of lives of innocent Iranians aspiring for freedom and too many lives of American heroes fighting for democracy and freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Every U.S. administration, since the onset of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 in Iran, has tried in vain to negotiate with the Iranian rulers: Every single one failed.

All the while, the Iranian leaders have pursued their aggressive policies against the West with a focus on increasing their military capability. The Revolutionary Guards have expanded their missile program with the collaboration of North Korea and China. 

They now have the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East, which are capable of targeting all of Israel, every U.S. base in the Middle East and every capital in Western Europe. 

The Guards are also working on intercontinental ballistic missiles with the help of North Korea under the guise of their space project.

Most alarming is the Iranian nuclear program, which started in the mid-80s with only one goal — to obtain the nuclear bomb. Today Iran is ever closer in achieving that goal. It is just a matter of time before they have the capability to weaponize warheads on their ballistic missiles.

Right now, Iran has enough enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs. They are involved in joint research and development on weaponization with North Korea. Recent Wikileaks reports reveal that U.S. officials are now certain that Iran has mastered the enrichment to higher levels and, should the leadership choose so, they can enrich uranium to a weapon grade in a short period of time.

The leaders of Iran continue their terrorist activities around the world with their ongoing support of terrorist groups including Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Al Qaeda and others in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Africa. If Iran acquires the nuclear bomb, proliferation will become a nightmare and every terrorist organization in the world could be armed with such weapons of mass destruction.
The idea of changing the behavior of the Iranian leaders is as much a fantasy as believing that watered down sanctions will force them to negotiate.

The failure of our approach is reflected in our misunderstanding the ideology of the radicals ruling Iran. They literally take everything from the Koran, which demands the annihilation of the infidels and Islam’s conquest of the world. They believe that Allah has empowered them and that America will not be able to do anything about it.

We cannot allow history to repeat itself. Today we are facing an evil much worse than we did in 1938. Appeasement and vacillation do not work. World peace, global stability and millions of lives are on the line. Our first priority should be to stop these radicals in their tracks and to help Iranians free themselves from this evil.

The Iranian people are one of the most Westernized in the region. A new regime in Iran could transform the world for the better. Imagine that: Much of the worldwide terrorism will end; Iraq and Afghanistan becoming much more stable; Lebanon becoming more independent without the influence of Hezbollah; Israel being more secure; A peace between Israel and Palestinian leadership; Positive changes happening throughout Central Asia and Latin America without Iran’s influence; and finally, no more appeasing China and Russia over Iran.

It really is simple. All we need do is support the Iranian people in their aspirations for freedom. Do not appease their leaders. Do not negotiate with them. Help embolden Iranians to take their country back. They are looking for support from the West.

We would do well to remember the words of President Reagan to the nation on the night of our bombing of Libya's terrorist facilities in 1986: "There is no security, no safety, in the appeasement of evil. It must be the core of Western policy that there be no sanctuary for terror. And to sustain such a policy, free men and free nations must unite and work together."

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety reasons. “A Time to Betray,” his book about his double life as a CIA agent in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010.