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Western Impotence is Iranian Strength By: Micah Halpern
MicahHalpern.com | Monday, August 28, 2006

Once again, the West is playing right into the hands of Iran. Once again, we don't even realize it. Once again, we are giving Iran the tools they need to laugh in our faces. Why are we turning ourselves into such fools? Because we just do not understand Iran. On the flip side, Iran understands us perfectly. Iran knows what makes the West tick. Iran knows what motivates large Western countries like the United States and England. Iran knows how to play us all, especially and including the United Nations Security Council. And Iran knows how to motivate and unite their own world, the Muslim world.

Iran just tested a Sub-to-Surface high speed missile. The missile is launched from underwater and targets both ships at sea and sites on land. In the Iranian test the missile hit a target at sea located just several miles away from the submarine launch. A perfect hit.

Did Iran do anything wrong? Not according to their interpretation of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaties. Iran signed the Treaties in good faith and now they claim that they are well within their rights to develop nuclear energy. You see, Iran understood the fine print. Iran knew that by signing on the dotted line they allowed themselves free reign to develop and test. They knew that the wise choice was to sign the Treaties.

Rather than trying to outwit Iran, the West attempts to intimidate Iran into compliance. But Iran cannot be intimidated and all our failed attempts to pressure Iran serve only to embolden the Iranian powers that be. Rather than cowering in the face of the displeasure of the Western world the Iranians turn our empty threats into rhetorical tools that unite Muslims around the world. Our threats become Iran's rallying cry. Western impotence is Iranian strength.

On the issue of the United Nations Security Council and the Nuclear Proliferation Treaties Iran knows that they need not totally comply. The big boys are in their pocket. And the big boys, in this case, are not the United States and England.

Iran carefully and specifically chose the date on which they responded to the deadline imposed on them by the UN at the instigation of the West. As far the Arab world is concerned, the move was brilliant. The date was August 22nd, a date with special historical significance in the Koran, a date of eschatological importance in Islam. The day when the night sky will be lit, the day that Mohammed embarked on his night flight to Heaven.

Iran responded with a counter proposal knowing full well that their response would cause a split in the Security Council. Iran knew that the United States and England would not be moved by their maneuver. More importantly, Iran also knew that China and Russia would take their proposal seriously - and that is all that mattered.

China is in no hurry to place sanctions on Iran, neither is Russia. China is Iran's largest and most significant client. China needs Iran's energy exports and will do nothing that hints at jeopardizing their life line with Iran. It is highly unlikely that any significant act of reprisal or reprimand towards Iran will emerge out of the Security Council until China wants it to happen. And it's about time the Western world understood the power that China wields.

And when China does determine that, for whatever internal reason, it is time to get tough with Iran, China will communicate directly with Iran. They have no need for a middle man, even if the middle man of choice is the venerable United Nations. And it's about time the Western world understood not only Iran, but also China. The only way to intimidate Iran is to convince China to intimidate Iran. The Western world needs to stop thinking about ways to get at Iran and figure out a way to get through to China.

Time is running out.

The Western world needs to adopt a new strategy. When Iran claims the right to develop a nuclear program, the West should affirm that right. It's a moot point. Poor thinking, bad policy and powerless international bodies have already allowed Iran's nuclear program to be developed. What is important now is for the West to insist on nuclear supervision. International Nuclear Supervision is the key not nuclear development. Supervision is a significant dimension of the Treaties. If Iran wants part one - development, it requires them to also have part two - supervision.

The newly tested high speed Sub-to-Surface missile is only a part of the Iranian arsenal. It is just one of the many new weapons that Iran is developing and that, if armed with the proper warheads, will have nuclear potential. The biggest worry in the Iranian arsenal is the Shahab-3 missile. Shahab means "shooting star" in Farsi. The Shahab-3 is a new version of an old design. This version has a range of 1,200 miles. It could easily hit Israel. It can be equipped with a nuclear or chemical or biological warhead. It runs on "solid fuel" and not liquid fuel which makes it a far more accurate missile than its predecessors in hitting long range targets. And Iran claims it has another missile that cannot be detected by radar.

Iran is entering a new stage of nuclear development. They are becoming ever more proficient. The West is becoming even more powerless. Shame on us.

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Micah Halpern maintains The Micah Report.

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