Nuclear Iran could be a prominent threat
Published: Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 15:05
Apart from Europe and China, many of the international headlines over the past year have focused on the Middle East as a colossal power shift in the region unfolds. From civil war in Libya to government oppression in Syria and a power vacuum in Egypt, the Middle East is in an extremely fragile state. Not least of all, the most recent development of a potentially nuclear-capable Iran as an emerging force in the region.
A nuclear Iran can completely alter the dynamics of the region, resulting in a negative impact on the global economy, as well as the national security of any country deemed to be an enemy by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, current president of Iran.
In an address to a large crowd in Iran Ahmadinejad stated, “They say they want to create a new and greater Middle East under the U.S. and the Zionist regime’s (Israel) dominance. I am telling you that a new and greater Middle East will be established without the existence of the U.S. and the Zionist regime. ” This has given a clear indication that Iran has the political will to act on its threats given the opportunity and means.
In the global economy, the price of oil plays a critical role in shaping the energy accessibility and demand of nations. Given that one of the two major oil export zones is located in the Middle East, any shift in supply can drastically alter the price of oil. More so, the supply, and therefore the price of Brent oil is controlled by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a historically politically unstable cartel.
OPEC debate amongst themselves on the implementation of price-fixing on crude oil for profit maximization, as each country agrees on output targets. If Iran, the third largest producer of crude oil, were to obtain nuclear weapons, the cost of oil could skyrocket. As one of the only countries in the Middle East with nuclear arms.
Iran may be able to coerce other oil-exporting nations into reducing oil production. Iranian coercion of its peers with the threat of a nuclear regime will severely handicap the global economy and needlessly jeopardize international security. As a result, many common items will become more expensive to purchase.
Under the basic precepts of economics, as the supply of oil diminishes, the price of oil will increase to accommodate demand. An increase in the price of oil will result in an increase in the price of the goods and services that use oil. Everything from heating your home, to buying plastic items will skyrocket, lowering the quality of life globally. Apart from the obvious dangers of allowing a politically unstable leader to own nuclear weapons, Iran’s nuclear program presents several important points of contention.
Terrorist organizations and rogue states that are located in the immediate region will be provided access to nuclear weapons by Iran. That potential situation was recently mentioned in the State Department’s 2010 Country Reports on Terrorism.
The report disclosed that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, continues to act as the “primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad. ”These organizations have openly proclaimed hate for the West, and given the opportunity would be willing to go through with a nuclear attack.
Furthermore, the black market for nuclear arms will expand as Iran provides nuclear materials and knowledge to its allies in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia, bringing the threat of nuclear terror close to America’s shores. The potential for an international nuclear arms race becomes a pressing threat. In addition to the aforementioned risk and the rising Islamist influence it would propagate to instability in the region.
More states would acquire nuclear weapons, and the threat of nuclear arms falling into terrorist hands would escalate. An increase in the countries that possess nuclear weapons leads to the greater likelihood that they would be used. The culmination of this array of threats, risks and uncertainties leave much uncertain. Subsequent military and civilian operations would have to account for the emboldened regional power, as Iran would be able to drastically increase its existing support to terrorists in the region.
Iran’s defiance of international sanctions against its nuclear development program presents significant future obstacles to the global economy, international security interests and undermines existing efforts to stabilize the region. It would be imprudent both politically and economically to tolerate unnecessary.