The threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran has never been more real or immediate. And though many still would have you convinced that Iran’s belligerence is but a mirror image of our own, and that peace remains attainable should we choose to acquiesce to Tehran’s demands, the regime’s nuclear race stands as a reminder of the ayatollahs’ true intentions.
Whatever hope we once held of normalisation is long gone. Iran today has become the most immediate and I would say existential threat to our democracies – notwithstanding our national security. We can no longer entertain the belief that ‘others’ will step to the front line and that by the grace of geography our borders sit out of reach.
Indeed, recent threats by the IRGC to bring fire and brimstone to Western capitals should their governments defy the Islamic Republic further should remind us of the intolerance and vindictiveness of a regime whose ideology is anchored in nihilism and ideological expansionism. What the regime cannot absorb and/or convert to its views, it will seek to destroy.
For decades now we have played Iran’s game. Because we felt safe and dare I say sanctified within the borders of our democracies, we imagine ourselves impenetrable – who would after all dare the wrath of our military might. Our naivety allowed for Iran’s regime to gain considerable ground – to the point today that it can manufacture several bombs and claim … just about, to the enviable title of nuclear power. Speaking ahead of a planned visit to Tehran, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi, told a European Parliament subcommittee in Brussels on Wednesday that Tehran has amassed enough material for “several nuclear weapons.”
So what now?
Do we bury our heads further in the sand and advocate for a return of the JCPOA, knowing fully well that its terms have become redundant by virtue of the technology Tehran acquired since 2015? Do we play for time and risk emboldening the regime further while our regional strategic partners stand in the line of fire?
Or do we draw a line in the sand and demand that Iran’s regime be called into account and its threats met with resolve, strength, and determination?