The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has stated that Iran is seeking to build an “inter-continental nuclear weapon that threatens the West. Mr. Cameron made his statement following a briefing for an hour by the national security adviser, Sir Kim Darroch, on the imminence of the threat to the UK posed by Iran. This is the first time Mr. Cameron has explicitly warned that Iran could endanger British security. He said that Iran “is a danger more broadly, not least because there are signs that the Iranians want to have some sort of inter-continental missile capability. We have to be clear this is a threat potentially much wider than just Israel and the region”(Patrick Wintour & Jullian Borger, Iran seeking to build nuclear weapons, warns David Cameron,” The Guardian [London], March 6, 2012).
Prime Minister Cameron’s warning of the global threat posed by Iran followed two days after President Barack Obama indicated in his address this week to the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that “A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israel’s security interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests of the United States … I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
This means the British and American leaders have publicly affirmed that Iran poses a threat, not merely to Israel, but to the national security of their own respective countries as well as others. Indeed, few have discussed till now the huge risk for the United States if Iran becomes a nuclear weapons power. Whatever the political, economic and security risks for the U.S. that might be entailed by a last-resort military strike upon Iranian nuclear facilities, they will be as nothing against the shadow of nuclear blackmail under which America will be obliged to live once Iran gets such weapons.
Even if Iran never fires them at the U.S., who really believes Iran won’t give such weapons to terrorists? And who believes that, once having such weapons, terrorists won’t use them on the U.S.? And even if neither uses them, what unending series of concessions and retreats will America have to undertake to ensure that this continues? Once Iran gets the bomb, our freedom and security may well compromised beyond anything we imagined.
Yet, despite this and despite the clear statements by Prime Minister Cameron and President Obama regarding the international nature of the Iranian threat, and despite saying to AIPAC that he has Israel’s back, President Obama subsequently said of this statement that its not a military doctrine that we were laying out for any particular military action … It was a restatement of our consistent position that the security of Israel is something I deeply care about [and] confirms how deeply we care about it (Jennifer Rubin, Obama to Israel: Never mind, Washington Post blog, March 6, 2012). This suggests that his words “I have Israel’s back” was less than the implication of it that the U.S. will defend Israel no matter what it takes.