Last month, the Iranian mission at the United Nations wrote the International Atomic Energy Agency an “explanatory note” protesting resolutions by the organization had questioned Iran’s nuclear aims. The document asserts that “nuclear material in Iran has never been diverted from peaceful purposes.” In fact, it uses the word “peaceful” 11 times.
It’s time to call Iran’s bluff that their nuclear program exists only to provide for its people’s electrical needs. We should calculate Iran’s annual savings from its nuclear power plants, and offer to just give them that sum – in exchange for handing over every scrap of nuclear material and infrastructure.
Given the deep Saudi apprehension about a nuclear Iran, that oil-rich nation could certainly afford to hand over the necessary cash – or, alternatively, just provide the fuel directly.
But, of course, Iran will not accept such an offer – which is precisely the point. Calling the bluff of the Islamic Republic of Iran will clarify to doubters and peaceniks everywhere that the ayatollahs and their henchmen are hell-bent on attaining a weapon that would bring even more instability to the Middle East and threaten mass destruction for its neighbors and, eventually, the United States.
It wouldn’t be the first time nations have used cash to pacify others – although perhaps not quite as brazenly as I’m proposing.
A decade ago, for example, Pakistan was handing out cash to leaders of Afghan tribes to turn them away from supporting al-Qaeda. And the 1978 Camp David Accords that brought peace between Egypt and Israel may not have lasted – or happened at all – without the billions of dollars in annual foreign aid the United States has been paying to both sides ever since.
If a few billion dollars would obviate the biggest current threat to global stability – the Iranian nuclear problem – it would be well worth it.
Realistically, though, the plan doesn’t aim toward an actual cash-for-nukes exchange. Instead, it just might expose Iran for what it is: a dangerous, aggressive regime hiding behind a fake goal of electrical power to gain what it really wants – a weapon that can bring the region, and the world, to its knees.
David Benkof is Senior Political Analyst at the Daily Caller. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter (@DavidBenkof); or E-mail him at DavidBenkof@gmail.com.