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A General Warning

March 16, 2009

A General Warning

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | 16 March 2009

Iran: A Russian general has issued a public warning about the dangers posed by the Islamist regime in Tehran. Is further confirmation needed to convince the West that the dithering United Nations isn’t the answer?

Maj. Gen. Vladimir Dvorkin, speaking at a Russian press agency news conference Thursday, corroborated intelligence that Iran is developing a next-generation, long-range missile and has dangerous nuclear weapons ambitions.

Dvorkin, who heads Moscow’s Center for Strategic Nuclear Forces, said, “Iran has long abandoned outdated missile technologies and is capable of producing sophisticated missile systems.”

Dvorkin doesn’t believe Iran is capable — yet — of building an intercontinental ballistic missile that can carry a nuclear warhead, “but they will most likely be able to threaten the whole of Europe.”

Iran has made a mockery of the U.N.’s demands that it halt its nuclear program, which could produce an atomic weapon next year — if not sooner. Its belligerence will only grow more outrageous after it has built a nuclear weapon that it can use “to expand its support of terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hezbollah,” Dvorkin said. Nuclear capability will give it the leverage it needs to try to dominate the entire Middle East.

Dvorkin doesn’t strike us as a crank out to trouble the waters. He spent much of his career deeply involved in strategic arms talks, helping the Soviet Union draw up its positions on a number of weapons pacts. His warning is not only for the West, but directed toward Russia as well. He is getting a message that many in the U.S. and Europe are too timid to listen to.

Iran is not some “tiny” country that doesn’t “pose a serious threat to us,” as one of the presidential candidates said last May. While it’s not the new USSR, it is, as that same candidate said two months later, “a grave threat,” which the world must keep from getting a nuclear weapon.

Barack Obama vowed in July that he would “take no options off the table” in dealing with Iran. He also said he’d be willing to talk to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Now that Obama’s president, we’d rather he take the latter idea off the table, as meeting with Ahmadinejad would only encourage more hostility. Ahmadinejad himself said Obama’s offer to talk showed weakness and marked a “failure” of America’s “system of domination.”

What’s needed in dealing with Iran is strength and a thick skin while facing the Western nations that will wag their fingers at any show of U.S. strength or resolve. Given Dvorkin’s comments, it’s possible that Washington might even find an ally in Moscow.

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