I am writing to commend the recent op-ed column by Elliott Mathias (“What to do about the dangers of a nuclear Iran,” Sept.27). However, while the author correctly states that Iran must never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, this “red line” falls short. Iran must never be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons “capability.” Containment is not an option.
The world is, indeed, a dangerous place and nowhere more dangerous than in the Middle East where the State of Israel faces a range of serious security threats.
Since its founding, Israel and the United States have enjoyed a special relationship. Indeed, the current-day security relationship between the United States and Israel is among our most important. Both of our nations recognize our mutual interests in promoting stability in the Middle East is only possible if the United States continues to help ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge over current and future enemies.
Of course, Israel’s most threatening current enemy is the Islamic Republic of Iran. While the recent speech of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the United Nations seemed “tame” in comparison to his previous anti-Israel diatribes, we must not be fooled by these appearances. Israel still considers a nuclear-armed Iran to be an existential threat, citing its denials of the Holocaust and demands for Israel’s destruction, coupled with development of nuclear warhead-capable missiles which range Israel’s population centers.
While Mr. Mathias is correct in urging readers to pay very close attention to this very serious issue, I respectfully suggest that our shared goal must be to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons “capability.” While the Obama administration contends that Iran “has not yet made the decision to build a nuclear weapon,” I submit that once that decision is made, the time frame between “capability” and possession might seem like the blink of an eye.
There can be no doubt that an Iranian nuclear weapon capability would be a global “game-changer” for Israel, the Middle East, and the entire globe.
Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen