Sure, Iran is thousands of miles away, and often portrayed as a headache primarily for the United States and Israel. But if you don't think Iran's nuclear program is a menace to Canadians, you probably haven't been paying attention.
Many intelligence analysts say we are only months or maybe weeks away from an Iranian A-bomb. Along with a nuke, Iran is rushing to develop ballistic missiles to carry atomic warheads regionally, and then across oceans. Parts of Europe are already within range.
The Iranian regime's fanatical spin on Shia Islam regards worldwide catastrophe as a desirable state that will bring forth the "hidden imam" and the big prize: paradise.
Legendary Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis warned what this means: to the Islamic extremist mentality, mutually assured destruction — the doctrine that deterred nuclear use in the Cold War — "is not a constraint; it is an inducement."
This could prove deadly for Canada.
All-powerful Iranian "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei's regime has presided over years of threats against the United States, with government-approved cries of "death to America," the "Great Satan", and decades of transnational terrorism. One scenario has Khamenei realizing his dreams with two surprise, ship-launched, high-altitude nuclear detonations above the United States. Physicists say these could fry all electronics within view of the airburst, rendering Canada an incidental — but devastated — target. Specialists think such an attack's electromagnetic consequences could end life as we know it in the United States, with perhaps only 10 per cent of the population surviving the collapsed infrastructure, the starvation and disease, a year later. Canada would be part of this.
In South Asia, the mullahs' pathological history of hatred for Israel, risks accidental regional atomic war. Israel would have little choice but to assume a dangerous, hair-trigger launch-on-warning nuclear posture, given repeated Iranian threats to wipe out the Jewish state. No wonder accounts have Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others in the market for defensive nukes, drastically increasing the likelihood of premeditated or accidental mega-killing.
A regional eruption would confront Canadians with gene-threatening nuclear fallout. Eastern Canada would see little of the Persian Gulf oil shipments it ordinarily receives. International trade would be upended, along with Canadian economics. A worldwide depression would follow.
Meanwhile, with possibly millions of victims in the Middle East and South Asia, epidemics would accompany the horror. Smallpox, for example, whether naturally occurring or spilling from damaged secret labs in the region, could be loosed on the planet. "(A) single case of smallpox anywhere in the world is a global emergency," Ottawa has declared, yet Canadians haven't been routinely vaccinated for it in decades. No one pretends sufficient emergency vaccine exists.
And even without missiles, human delivery systems threaten us: Iran's MOIS intelligence service, its Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and Tehran's hideous child, the Hezbollah terrorist group — these all teem with fanatics available for nuclear suicide missions. Canada is already believed to be thoroughly penetrated by the IRGC, Hezbollah and associated operatives. How much more aggressive would these groups' directing minds be, under protection of an atomic umbrella?
Despite all this, President Barack Obama's weekend, interim deal-at-any-price, allows Tehran to continue enriching uranium and keep the centrifuges it needs for this. With increasing resistance to the White House's giveaway nuke approach, and desperate Saudis reportedly co-operating militarily with Israel, we should make our move. Canada must press for a redoubling of sanctions on the mullahs. And a cold assessment must be made about whether to strike Iranian nuclear targets, before they proliferate and be hardened any further.
Canadian security and lives — by their thousands — could depend on heading off Iran's gathering nuclear storm.
A lawyer with thirty years' experience in intelligence affairs, David B. Harris is director of the International Intelligence Program, INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen