- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation - http://blog.heritage.org -
Iran, North Korea Pose Greater Nuclear Threat Than Russia
Posted By Genevieve Syverson On July 2, 2013 @ 12:30 pm In Security | Comments Disabled
Iran’s nuclear energy chief, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, declared Friday that the country will continue uranium enrichment  for energy, though most outsiders suspect it will be used for nuclear weapons.
Even more troubling, this news comes directly after President Obama’s declaration in Germany that he wants further reductions  in the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal. He hopes that he is setting an example others will follow.
To re-embark on the “road to zero,” President Obama wants another nuclear reduction treaty with Russia—on the heels of the New START treaty from his first term in office. But as Heritage Distinguished Fellow Kim Holmes explains  in a recent op-ed, “Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t believe in the ‘road to zero.’ He finds it a fantasy that would undermine Russia’s strategic power.”
Obama’s attempts to reach the “road to zero” are misguided. For one thing, Congress remembers the short end of the deal they got in New START  and likely will not want a repeat. For another, Russia is not interested in any deal that reduces its nuclear capability at all. Finally, Russia’s arsenal is not the primary nuclear threat the U.S. should be worried about.
Since the reductions to the U.S. nuclear arsenal from New START were announced in 2010, North Korea has repeatedly threatened to fire missiles at South Korea and the U.S. and has conducted nuclear tests  that prove it has the capability to deliver on that threat. In Iran, though new President Hassan Rowhani expressed interest in direct talks with the U.S. over its nuclear program, Iran is in fact close to “critical capability ,” according to The Economist. This is “the point at which it could make a dash to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one or more bombs before…Western intelligence agencies would even know it had done so.” Clearly, none of President Obama’s previous cuts to the nuclear arsenal has convinced those who wish the U.S. harm to do the same.
More nuclear weapons reductions on America’s part will not suddenly change the aspirations of America’s enemies for nuclear weapons. As Ronald Reagan  advised, “Experience has taught us that preparedness deters aggression and that weakness invites it.” The only game changer in a proliferating world is, and will continue to be, a strong U.S. nuclear deterrent.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/07/02/iran-north-korea-pose-greater-nuclear-threat-than-russia/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/iranian-flag.jpg
 uranium enrichment: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/06/28/uk-iran-nuclear-idUKBRE95R0FB20130628
 further reductions: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/19/remarks-president-obama-brandenburg-gate-berlin-germany
 explains: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/26/holmes-for-nuclear-talks-second-time-not-a-charm/?page=all
 New START: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/06/28/new-start-same-baseless-arguments/
 nuclear tests: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/04/05/top-5-questions-everybody-is-asking-on-north-korea/
 critical capability: http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21579815-neither-irans-election-nor-sanctions-nor-military-threats-are-likely-divert-it-path
 Ronald Reagan: http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1988/101288c.htm
Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.