Leading national security expert Frank Gaffney tells Newsmax that Iran could be armed with nuclear weapons “any day” now, and warns that the regime is likely to use them to bring about their sought-after “apocalypse.”
Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, also says sanctions against Iran will ultimately fail and a military strike must be seriously considered.
Gaffney was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in April 1987 to become assistant secretary of defense for International Security Policy, the senior position in the Defense Department with responsibility for policies involving nuclear forces, arms control and U.S.-European defense relations.
He also served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Gaffney was asked about a recent U.S. warning that Iran will have a nuclear weapon within a year, and when he thinks Iran will be nuclear-armed.
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“They have been beavering away at a nuclear weapon for at least 20 years,” he says.
“And the thing I keep thinking about is, it took the United States three years to invent the idea of nuclear weapons, to develop all the capacity to build them, to build them, and to use two of them to military ends.
“We had no knowledge of the science. We had no access to advanced computers. We had none of the kinds of technical abilities that are currently available worldwide. Having said all that, it has taken the Iranians 17 more years to get to this point than it took us. I’ve got to believe it could be any day, if not maybe a month or two. Certainly I would be surprised if it’s as long as a year.”
Gaffney rejects the assertion that containment might work against a nuclear-armed Iran the way it worked against the Soviet Union.
“I think the idea of containing Iran, based on our success in containing the Soviet Union, is wrong on two counts,” Gaffney tells Newsmax.
“First, I don’t think that containment was all that successful vis a vis the Soviet Union. What ultimately resulted in their defeat in the Cold War and the elimination of the Soviet Union was Ronald Reagan’s strategy of rolling them back and bringing down the U.S.S.R.”
The Iranian regime, on the other hand, “is convinced, according to its theology, that bringing back the twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, the messiah figure, is their highest purpose, and in order to do that, according to their religious beliefs, something very much like the apocalypse needs to take place. It seems to me the height of folly to think you’ll be able to dissuade them from pursuing that end, perhaps by starting a nuclear war.
“If we think we can deter mullahs who are committed to an apocalyptic, messianic program, we’re kidding ourselves.”
President Obama has so far failed to get China to agree to go along with harsh sanctions against Iran, and likely will not succeed in the future, according to Gaffney.
“I don’t think there will be meaningful sanctions on Iran with Chinese support, and without them of course there won’t be any sanctions.
“I’m not surprised that this is playing out the way it has because China regards Iran as a client. It is a very important source of energy for the Chinese, and the Chinese are helping it with its various military activities and I think its regional ambitions.
“So for all these reasons, no matter how many times the president of the United States says we’re making progress toward sanctions, we think we’re bringing the Chinese along, I don’t believe the Chinese think it is in their interest to penalize their client. And as a result I don’t think they’ll do it.”
Gaffney also says an American military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would have “very severe repercussions,” but the risk must be weighed because allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons will be an “extremely perilous situation for freedom.”
Referring to Obama’s effort to reduce stockpiles of nuclear weapons and his vow not to modernize our weapons, Gaffney says that amounts to “the unilateral denuclearization of the United States. The truth of the matter is, the only country Barack Obama can denuclearize is ours, and I personally don’t think that’s advisable. And I don’t think most Americans will either once they focus on it.”
Gaffney is concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons due to the cooperation between the Taliban and Pakistan’s intelligence services and military, and says there is a “real danger of the Taliban getting their hands on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.”
The security of those weapons “could be compromised by folks whose sympathies ultimately lie with the Taliban and their ambitions.”
Eric Holder’s recent suggestion that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-conspirators could still be tried in a New York City civilian court means that he is “probably disqualified as a practical matter from being the attorney general of the United States,” Gaffney declares.
“It isn’t going to happen, and to even consider it is scandalous. Eric Holder has completely discredited himself.”
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