Meanwhile, efforts in the UN remain deadlocked with neither China nor Russia supporting any form of sanctions or military threat against the rogue nation. A recent UN resolution calling for Iran to halt efforts to enrich uranium was all but meaningless. It carried about as much weight as a letter to the editor in your local newspaper. Without the support of China and Russia, both nations with veto power, the UN will effectively remain on the sidelines.
The latest developments in Iran push us much closer to a US military response. The new torpedo, which was shown in Iranian media broadcasts this weekend, threatens shipping in the Gulf and would certainly be used as an economic counter measure by Iran once the shooting starts. Iran frequently attacked ships in the gulf during their 1980 conflict with Iraq and had numerous clashes with military warships patrolling those waters. This new torpedo raises the stakes in control of the major oil shipping lanes.
Also problematic is the risk this now poses for the US 5th fleet stationed in the Gulf. Until now, no nation in that region could touch US warships patrolling the gulf or using carriers in that region to launch air assaults against Middle Eastern targets. This torpedo traveling at speeds up to 233 MPH could change all that.
What is clear is that the US cannot afford to wait for the UN to move. Perhaps the best course of action now is to provoke Iran into firing the first shot; a Persian Gulf equivalent to the Gulf of Tomkin. All we lack at the moment is an excuse to take out Iran's military potential. A retaliatory response, unlike a preemptive strike, needs no UN approval to be justified around the world.
However we go about it, 2006 must see action in Iran. Giving them another year to develop nuclear capabilities or increase their defensive and offensive capabilities against US troops both in Iraq and in the Gulf makes absolutely no sense. Forget the UN. Russia and China have blockaded those efforts. The time has come to see which of our allies are willing to take a stand. Either way, unilaterally or with allies, we must address the Iranian problem now.
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