At a time when the Western, Arab and Asian worlds are watching the astonishing repercussions in Afghanistan and the horrific images from Kabul International Airport, some may overlook the events of the same gravity that’s taking place in Iran, the western neighbor of Afghanistan.
What about the Iranian nuclear program, and where are we going with that, and how will this affect Iran’s neighbors in all directions — east, west, south and north?
Earlier this year, the European members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) had expressed grave concerns about Iran’s enrichment of uranium. They said Iran had no credible civilian need to enrich uranium, for this was a “key step in developing a nuclear weapon.”
Yes, this was in the past. But the most recent thing was the confirmation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Tuesday that Iran continues to enrich uranium, which can be used in the production of a nuclear bomb.
In a report issued by the United Nation’s atomic watchdog in Vienna to member nations, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said that IAEA inspectors had confirmed last Saturday that Iran had now produced 200 grams of uranium enriched up to 20 percent.
Enrichment of uranium metal is prohibited under the nuclear deal, known as JCPOA, which is meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb. The 2015 deal promised Iran economic incentives in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.
Put all this together with the warnings of France, Germany and other Western parties, about the imminence of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon then there is a new hot spot. Amid this scenario, we even do not know whether this has not already happened or not.
Decisive measures are required to counter this even if there is no possibility of the Iranian regime’s using this weapon or just tampering with it and diverting the nuclear weapon into just another blackmail card on the table.
This has been the case with the Iranian regime, which has been creating cards every day for negotiations as was evident in the case of the Houthis in Yemen, the Hashd Alshaabi in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon, and later perhaps by the Pakistani and Afghan Shiite militias, Zainabiboun and Fatemiyoun, that is created by Iran and trained in Syria.
Things are inseparable from each other, and everyone knows what happened and is happening these days with the eastern neighbor of Iran, and we know perfectly who the new rulers are.
The image is not hidden from a sane person, but imagine how this was lost by the West, led by a Biden Washington that abandoned the region, as the pictures of his army in Kabul told those scenes that will remain immortal in modern history.
Imagine this chaos and recklessness in dealing with our region and with a nuclear Iran, which is already dangerous even without a nuclear weapon. So how dangerous it would be after possessing one?
— This article was originally published in Asharq al-Awsat.