Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is dangerous. He is eccentric, restless and reckless. United States foreign policy officials need to recognize the threat that Ahmadinejad is to ensure the order of peace in the world.
The United States has been in discussion with the Iranian president for a few years trying to stop the progress of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran has not obliged and many believe that it continues to test uranium for a nuclear reactor.
Perhaps even more startling than Iran’s nuclear program is Iran’s threats to Israel. On his recent trip to Lebanon, the only country that would accept him with open arms, Ahmadinejad sent a clear message to the world. He praised Hezbollah, an Iranian-funded militia group that dominates Lebanese politics, for “resistance to the world’s tyrants.” He was no doubt talking about the U.S. supported state of Israel.
Ahmadinejad has been at war with Israel for years. Lebanon is on the Israeli border, and Hezbollah has already caused one war with Israel in 2006. According to The Telegraph in London, Iran has smuggled thousands of missiles and rockets which it has given to Hezbollah.
As he toured Lebanon, Ahmadinejad also made threatened consequences should the Lebanese government to not interfere with Hezbollah’s agenda.
The United States is trying to weaken Iran’s military capabilities, but all the U.S. efforts in Iraq have essentially served to empower Iran instead. Iran is nearly all Shiite Muslims, and the U.S. set up a Shiite majority democracy in Iraq. The Shiites in Iraq are undoubtedly sympathetic to the Shiites in Iran, and thus the Shiites have control of two of the largest countries in the Middle East.
This fact is not good. Iran and Ahmadinejad have shown how reckless they can be with their weapons and military. One military move by Iran could upset all the Middle East and lead to a world conflict that would be very hard to stop.
The question facing U.S. foreign policy experts is this: If Iran attacks Israel, should the U.S. devote military resources to help Israel, and should the US involve itself in a struggle that could take years to end?
Ahmadinejad stood in front of thousands of supporters, who were giving him a hero’s welcome, in Lebanon and told them that “Israel is doomed,” while his supporters chanted “death to Israel.”
These are real threats, and Ahmadinejad sees the world as his stage. Let’s just make sure the world does not become his battlefield.
Alex Apple is a freshman political science and journalism double major from Nashville, Tenn.