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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Block the bomb

Published: January 27, 2006
Section: Opinions

The Islamic Republic of Iran poses a grave threat to the entire world, and it is the responsibility of concerned Americans to prevent the rogue nation from acquiring nuclear weapons.

There has been concern about Iran for some time now. The nation has spent the past 21 years as a leading state-sponsor of terrorism, each year giving more than $100 million along with support and safe harbor to violent groups like Hizbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It is estimated that more than 300 terror attacks have been carried out by Iranian-backed groups. And since July 2003, Iran has had a medium-range ballistic missile, the Shahab-3, capable of threatening its neighbors within 1,280 miles.

But there is something far more alarming. What has been revealed in the past 2 years is that Iran has been lying for decades about its weapons of mass destruction. And now the estimated timeframe for Iran to master the technology to acquire nuclear weapons has shrunk considerably. Some experts believe that Iran could master the nuclear fuel cycle as soon as March.

At the same time, Iranian leaders have begun speaking publicly about their intentions. Last October, Irans President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the State of Israel to be wiped off the map and defiantly shared his belief in the possibility of a world without America and Zionism. When the astonished international community asked the president to clarify his remarks, Ahmadinejad stood by them.

Since then, the daily drumbeat of vicious Iranian slurs against Israel and America has lent more urgency to the worlds efforts to block an Iranian bomb. The International Atomic Energy Agency is set to convene an emergency meeting on February 2nd, at which Iran may be referred to the U.N. Security Council. But the outcome of these efforts remains uncertain.

Thats why Brandeis students who care about the security of Israel and the security of the United States have a responsibility to take political action on this issue. This issue, more than any other, should consume us until it is resolved. We must contact our elected officials and tell them to do whatever is necessary to stop Iran. It is up to us to mobilize the United States, the greatest power in the history of the world, to put a stop to this. The nightmare scenarios of a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv or a nuclear suitcase in Manhattan must be avoided at all costs.

In some ways, we find ourselves in a position not that dissimilar from the 1930s, when another madman had a not so different agenda. That evil man wrote a book that few people paid attention to, but once he came into power, he matched those intentions with capability.

Iran is making its intentions very clear, and you dont even have to read a book. In the Middle East, we have begun to witness the deadly convergence of Irans desire to obtain nuclear weapons and the ability to acquire them.

I am reminded of words that Holocaust survivor Leah Kaufman once spoke to me after sharing her harrowing autobiography. When someone says they are going to kill you, she sternly insisted, you must take them seriously.

Editors note: Jacob Baime 08 is president of the Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee.