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Iran's Secret Nuclear Facility - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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President Ahmadinejad promised us a nuclear surprise, and indeed it was a surprise. As if the argument over the Bushahr reactor, evasion of inspection, more centrifuge machines, and more enrichment were not enough, a secret nuclear site has been discovered near Qom. Iran rushed to declare the existence of the reactor when it found out that it had been discovered.

Iran has now become the primary international issue as the UN General Assembly meetings take place in New York and the G-20 summit is held in Pittsburgh.

What is more serious is that Iran is heading toward the brink of the abyss at a time when it will face an international economic blockade, which might begin in December. This blockade will impart a new dimension to the domestic chaos, which is led by the opposition that the Iranian regime has failed to end since it began during the recent elections.

Will the secret nuclear facility of Qom settle the outstanding crisis that reached a serious point, now that Iran has become close to making its nuclear bomb? I mean to ask: Will the new discovery be a fatal blow, whether positively or negatively?

Practically, no important states are now on Iran’s side, except China that shyly aligns itself with Iran. French President Sarkozy, who was previously described as being least enthusiastic about confrontation with Iran, made a harsh statement at the UN Security Council. He said it is no longer acceptable for Iran to manipulate them by postponement and lies and he added that things have reached their end.

In addition, the Russian stand has changed, and Russia now supports sanctions against Iran. Only China remains, and it is unlikely to stand in the face of all the states that call for deterring Iran.

As for the positive side, the new development might compel Iran to finally back down and sign a peace agreement that will halt its military nuclear project. Perhaps, Iran now understood that the revelation of the secret facility will certainly subject it to war and that the Qom facility will isolate it internationally.

I hope Iran will realize that the isolation will reinforce the prospect of the UN Security Council issuing a resolution for war against it or being silent toward an early preemptive strike against Iran.

The new news coming out of Iran is alarming for the world. A new secret facility is equipped with 3,000 centrifuge machines that can produce enough materials to make a nuclear bomb every year.

We do not know whether Iran is aware of the fact that genuine dangers lie between it and the zero hour for nuclear production. We also do not know whether it is aware that major powers will not be deterred by the Iranian regime’s choice of the densely populated City of Qom, which enjoys a religious standing, from declaring war and striking the regime until its military capabilities have been incapacitated.

I hope that Iran will be aware of these dangers, wake up from its vainglory, and end the nuclear nightmare. We know very well that this nightmare does not threaten the West and fortified Israel, but threatens itself and us, the Arab neighbors.

Iran’s presence in Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon and its support for the inter-Palestinian conflict inside Palestine represent the outline of its foreign policy, and Iran’s nuclear and other military capabilities will serve this policy.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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