Many anti-war analysts believe that Iran has no nuclear weapons program in place and no one has ever produced a shred of credible evidence to the contrary. Yet they fear that the Bush administration’s spurious accusations and subsequent war will lead to a wider World War.
If Iran has no nuclear weapons, as concludes Mohammed el-Baradei the respected chief of the IAEA, the war on Iran, in itself, will not lead to the speculated World War 3. It will only worsen the situation worldwide. Instead of directly ending up in a World War, the war on Iran will only become a next phase in spreading the World War that is already on without our realizing that we are passing through its initial phases. 
On the other hand, a false assumption that Iran has no nuclear weapons will, in fact, quickly engulf many more countries and take the World War that is already on to a quick climax.
Under-estimating Iran’s nuclear capacity is pushing the extremists in Washington into launching a war that the US administration has been planning since a long time. The IAEA’s inspections and confirmation that Iran has no nuclear weapons and there is no nuclear program in operation are no different than the confirmation by the United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. Confirmation of the absence of weapons actually led to the United States’ final decision to launch a war of aggression on Iraq.
This time around, the United States is in for a big trouble. It is attacking Iran, not for the reason that it has, or it is planning to have nuclear weapons, but only because it has assumed that Iran is years away from producing nuclear weapons.
Many analysts believe that an attack on Iran will turn into a World War because the Iranian government has a long-range strategy for "asymmetrical" warfare that will disrupt the flow of oil and challenge American interests around the world. Certainly, if one is facing an implacable enemy that is committed to "regime change" there is no reason to hold back on doing what is necessary to defeat that adversary. However, the main reason for escalation of the conflict will be exactly the assumption on the part of the United States, Israel and Britain that Iran cannot respond with nuclear weapons.
At a time when nuclear material–”including red mercury and different forms of Uranium–”were flowing in the streets of Pakistan, a high ranking Pakistani official, working in the Iranian consulate, told this writer that Iran is obtaining smuggled nuclear material from its field commanders in Afghanistan. It was well before the nuclear testing by India and Pakistan took place. Keeping this fact in mind, it is simply naÃ¯ve to assume that the United States or Israel will launch an un-provoked war of aggression on Iran, and Iran will remain a sitting duck and not retaliate with what it must have refined and retooled since mid-nineties.
Even if we assume that the Iranian government purchased nuclear material without any intention of putting it to use, it is highly unlikely that it will still let this material gather dust while it is being openly and seriously threatened by the United States and Israel. If scientists in Germany and the United States could work to develop nuclear weapons from scratch during the World War II, how long will it take a nation pushed against the wall and with all the ingredients available to put something workable together and retaliate with a bang?
So, the practical chances of Iran’s retaliation with a nuclear weapon in the face of a war of aggression imposed on it are far more than the theoretical assumptions that Iranian Intelligence will plan covert operations which will be carried out in the event of an unprovoked attack on their facilities.
It is true that a nuclear response from Iran would mean a definite suicide when looked in perspective of the nuclear power of the United States and Iran. But it also doesn’t make any sense that the United States would keep bombing Iran, the way it has planned, into the Stone Age, yet despite being able to respond, Iran will simply turn the other cheek. This chain of inevitable reactions will in fact lead a wider conflagration that the warlords in Washington and Tel Aviv have not even imagined.
Emboldened by their adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, and deluded by the IAEA conclusion that Iraq has no nuclear weapons, the warlords are set to go into a war that will definitely lead to massive bloodshed in the Middle East and the downfall of the United States as we see it. Despite Bush and company’s claims that the world is not the same after 9/11, the world remained more or less the same after 9/11. However, their world will surely turn upside down with their miscalculation of going into a third war of aggression in five years.
The Russian and Chinese stakes in this issue cannot be ignored altogether. Attacking Iran would prove too much for Russia and China. Russia has snubbed Washington by announcing it would go ahead and honor a $700 million contract to arm Iran with surface-to-air missiles, slated to guard Iran’s nuclear facilities. And after being burned when the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority invalidated Hussein-era oil deals, China has snapped up strategic energy contracts across the world, including in Latin America, Canada and Iran. It can be assumed that both China and Russia will not sit idly by and watch Iran being annihilated by the United States.
If Iran is attacked with lethal force, it will retaliate with the utmost force available at its disposal; that much is certain. Remembering my discussion 9 year ago with a well informed source who was working for the Iranian government, I am pretty sure that the utmost force in the hands of Iran definitely includes nuclear weapons. One of the signs for that is the confidence with which the Iranian government responds to US threats.
Iranian leaders have acted responsibly and reasonably so far. It is always the mistake of extremists to misjudge the behavior of reasonable men. The Iranians tried to avoid purchasing nuclear material from the Pakistani black market to avoid arousing unnecessary suspicion. They kept their nuclear program limited to energy production. It is the United States and its allies which are provoking it into reaction. As a result, it has been a mistake of reasonable men in Iran to mistake the behavior of extremists in Washington and not getting out of NPT or testing a few nuclear devices to balance its power against its enemies.
Many analysts are predicting that attack on Iran will be provoked because a majority of Americans are not in favor of a new war. Although setting up a pre-text for domestic support cannot be ruled out, one can say with certainty from the track record of Bush and company that they will hardly bother to engineer another terrorist attack. In the fits of madness, they have already made themselves believe that they have enough justification to wage a war or aggression on Iran. The Washington Times has already started beating war drums and promoting "policy experts" who believe the US must go alone if needed (Feb 6, 2006).
Irrespective of any pretext and going alone or in a coalition of barbarians, the signs tell us that the warlords are not going to relinquish their totalitarian dreams. It is very unfortunate on their part that they are putting their hands in hornet nest where they may get stung with nuclear weapons. Their retaliation, for sure, will lead to total disaster. A disaster, far worse than what the title "World War 3" can convey.
The Authors’ latest book, "The Musharraf Factor: Leading Pakistan to Inevitable Demise," is now available at Amazon.
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