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Gaza, Iran and nuclear weapons: Connecting the dots
By BOB FEFERMAN
12/19/2012
German human rights activist Bonhoeffer warned, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
 
While some have wondered what the world might look like if Iran gets nuclear weapons, the reality is that the hundreds of rockets Hamas terrorists fired at Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense have already given us a preview.

Although the ideology of Hamas has its origins in Egypt, the rockets fired at Israeli cities were made in Iran. Given the tremendous suffering caused by Iran, it is time to connect the dots between the regime, terrorism and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. And it is time to take action. Now.

For too long the international community has turned a blind eye to Iran’s efforts to supply rockets to terrorists in Gaza. Although the short-range Kassam rockets are made in Gaza, the Grad rockets, with a range of 48 kilometers, are supplied by Iran through a highly complex smuggling route: Iran to Sudan, through the Sinai peninsula and then through tunnels to Gaza. For the past six years, Grad rockets have plagued major Israeli cities like Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheba.

Recently, Iran has supplied the longer range Fajr- 5 rockets to terrorists in Gaza. For the first time, these rockets have been fired at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Why does Iran invest so much into supplying thousands of rockets to terrorists dedicated to the destruction of Israel? Regardless of the answer, the question itself should concern the entire world. It is time to recognize that a nuclear-armed Iran would not just be an Israeli problem, but a problem for most everyone.

In the 1990s, Iran and its proxy Hezbollah provided assistance to al-Qaida in preparing the powerful truck bombs that destroyed two American embassies in Africa in 1998. Can anyone guarantee that a nuclear-armed Iran would not collaborate with al-Qaida again? This time, instead of a destroyed embassy in Africa, we could be talking about a nuclear device placed into a shipping container and sent to a port in order to destroy an entire city. That city could be Ashdod or Haifa in Israel, or it could be New York, London or Los Angeles.

Over the past four years, the non-partisan advocacy group I am a part of, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), has been warning of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, and working to prevent these nightmare scenarios.

To that end, UANI has identified hundreds of major multi-national companies that conduct and profit from business with Iran, and enable the current regime to stay in power despite international sanctions.

UANI shines a light onto the dark business being done by these companies by asking a straightforward question: given Iranian support for terrorists, incitement to genocide against Israel, abuse of human rights, and pursuit of nuclear weapons, why are you still doing business there? UANI has succeeded in convincing many major international companies to leave Iran, however there is still much work to be done. UANI CEO and former US ambassador to the United Nations Mark Wallace has called for a “full economic embargo” on Iran with the exception of the sale of food and medicine. To support this effort, UANI is calling on citizen-activists from around the world to log onto its website (www.uani.com) and send messages to urge multi-national companies to end their Iran business. Companies that have pulled out of Iran have openly cited UANI’s campaigns and public pressure as the reason for their decisions.

As the nuclear clock ticks in Tehran, we want to pressure more and more companies to leave Iran, and force the regime to choose between having a nuclear weapon, or having a functioning economy.

The Iranian-supplied rockets that were fired at Israel should serve as a wake-up call to the world that a nuclear-armed Iran would feel emboldened to do even worse.

Before the outbreak of World War II, the German human rights activist Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

It is time to act and work to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.

The writer is outreach coordinator for the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran.
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