Iran’s Nuclear-Fired Space Program
Iran is in the midst of rapidly developing its own space program. Its efforts are three pronged: to enhance surveillance of the surrounding region, to improve both the accuracy and reach of its military strike capability, and, finally, to lift its prestige among its fellow Islamic nations and within the world at large.
These national goals cannot be met without external help.
China and Russia both figure in the equation by providing Iran with necessary technical knowledge to establish and develop this program. German manufactured technology has also been observed in connection with Iran’s space efforts. Pakistan and North Korea have also contributed to the program.
Of real concern are Iran’s present efforts to provide a system of satellites to enhance accurate guidance for its homegrown Shahab missiles. The motive here is to give Iran the capability to more accurately pinpoint targets inside Israel and also within areas occupied by U.S. and British troops in the region.
The West has difficulty pinning Iran down as to the true motives behind its developing space industry. Just as Iran claims that its nuclear program is aimed at providing energy for domestic consumption, thus hiding its true military intent, so also is its space effort cloaked in the guise of a program to enhance local infrastructure in terms of civil works.
Given the divisive nature of Islamic politics, and the often incendiary edge this in turn gives to international relations between the Islamic powers, if Iran succeeds in developing demonstrable space technology—and it only needs the publicity given to one effective launch to do it—the prestige that it would gain overnight would be a tremendous unifying factor, both in its own domestic politics and its relations with surrounding Islamic nations.
On the opposite side of the coin, the fear Iran’s possession of workable, accurate delivery systems for its weaponry, using space technology coupled with a nuclear capability, would engender in the Western world—in particular the United States, Europe and Israel—would be palpable. Its effect on Europe, given the European Union’s present escalating fears of pan-Islamism, would surely be to galvanize a powerful, even military, reaction!
It appears from the most legitimate reports we observe at our News Bureau that Iran is on the way to achieving just such an amalgam of technology, a nuclear weapons capability enhanced by a system of space-satellite-coordinated delivery.
To add to this, Russia and Iran last week put their signatures to a contract confirming the agreement of the Putin government to supply nuclear fuel to Iran. Stratfor reported last Thursday,
Russia and Iran have signed a contract for the delivery of 80 tons of nuclear fuel to Iran’s Bushehr facility, which is scheduled to be completed in September 2007. Russia appears to be in the process of finishing updating its military doctrine. Closer economic ties with Iran will allow Russia to maintain a foothold in the Middle East while keeping pressure on the United States, which lacks the bandwidth to respond to Russia’s provocative moves.
This development will only increase the nervousness of the U.S., Britain and the EU in relation not only to Iran’s true nuclear motives, but also to Russia’s true intentions in the Middle East. The U.S., Britain, the EU and Israel are struggling to find foreign policies that will effectively contend with the sheer aggression of Ahmadinejad’s Iran. This latest action by Russia has just added another stressing element to the turgid mix of international relations in the Middle East.
As Stratfor observed,
Russia’s actions in the Middle East, which present a challenge for the U.S. presence in the region, also include continued weapons systems sales to Syria, the deployment of military engineers to assist in Lebanon’s reconstruction and the possible sale of surface-to-air missile systems to Iran (ostensibly to protect the Bushehr plant from Israeli or U.S. aggression).
One of the greatest exponents of the realist theory of international relations, Hans Morgenthau, wrote, “The distorting effects of mutual fear are particularly pronounced when antagonistic foreign policies are overlaid with world-embracing ideologies …” (Politics Among Nations).
To realists, it is obvious that Iran’s antagonistic foreign policy is “overlaid” with the “world embracing” ideology of extremist Islam. Realists will also recognize that Russia, although no longer appearing to be fired by the communist ideology, certainly retains an imperialist approach in its foreign policy. Also, as some of the most clear-headed thinkers can see, the EU is based on an imperialist motivation with the very real potential of soon being “overlaid” with the “world embracing” ideology of Roman Catholicism.
The mutual fear of both the U.S., in alliance with Britain, and of the EU concerning Iran’s intentions to lead a global Islamic revolution, is tangible. Their fear has just been exacerbated in relation to Russia’s true intentions in the Middle East. Truth to tell, Russia and its Eastern allies are also worried about Iran’s true motives. Russia is simply seeking to play its Iran card to frustrate the intentions of the U.S./British alliance, and to thumb its nose at the EU. These mutual fears will engender certain short-term alliances of convenience while each nation, or national bloc, jockeys for the position from which to pursue its own self-interested foreign policy.
The West’s current reaction of appeasing diplomacy toward Iran is being dramatized into a potent fear! A fear of that which, though too many leaders in the English-speaking world deny its reality, will only increase the crusading mentality of the rising European empire, until it undertakes an inevitable whirlwind reaction against Islamic jihad!
In reality, the West is pursuing precisely the wrong foreign policy toward Iran. As Morgenthau states, “Appeasement … errs in transferring a policy of compromise from a political environment favorable to the preservation of the status quo, where it belongs, to an environment exposed to imperialistic attack, where it does not belong” (ibid.). In their separate foreign policies, the U.S., Britain and Israel all continue in this grave miscalculation.
On the other hand, during his recent speech delivered at the University of Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany, Pope Benedict xvi foreshadowed, in the text that he employed, a far different policy toward Islam in days to come. By essentially branding Islam as irrational and condemning the prophet Muhammad, Benedict introduced a form of rhetoric not heard from Rome since the time of the Crusades. However, these statements were couched between more soothing words, with an appeal to rationality. Here is a clever diplomat at work.
One could say, following his recent address to Islamic leaders at the Vatican, the pope even used the words of a flatterer in the biblical sense of Daniel 11:21. Be that as it may, this man is not bent on appeasing either Iran or Islam. Time will tell that he has his own imperialistic agenda that ultimately will lead to the coming clash between the titans of unreformed, universalist religion—Islam and Roman Catholicism.
Russia’s signing that contract with Iran for the supply of nuclear fuel, in tandem with Iran’s development of its space industry, will supply a further edge to the EU’s and Russia’s intentions to conclude a mutual non-aggression pact. In the meantime, it will provide fuel to fire Iran’s foreign-policy push against the EU. That push is destined to trigger a domino effect that will engulf the whole globe in a conflict that will pale both previous world wars into relative insignificance, believe it or not.
The great paradox is that it will take such a global confrontation to finally usher in an unprecedented millennia of world peace, on this old, long-suffering, war-torn globe! This past week the actions of Iran and Russia simply brought the world one step closer to that happening.