Everything is on the line in Iran, at present -- not only the future of the Iranian regime, but also of the Middle East, and by extension, the most tangible western interests.
Consider: if the Iranian regime were to fall, by far the largest organized threat to peace in the region would be removed. This includes not only a fairly proximate nuclear threat to Israel (for all we know North Korea's second nuclear test was actually Iran's first), but sponsorship of the most efficient part of the world's Islamist terror apparatus.
Hezbollah and Hamas are both, today, for all practical purposes, Iranian proxies. Through them, and through other channels, the regime of the ayatollahs makes money, materiel, and expertise available to terror cells as far away as Argentina, Sweden, the Philippines.
But more significantly, Hezbollah and Hamas together represent an Iranian veto on any Palestinian settlement, or any attempt to ameliorate that conflict, with all that that implies.
The Syrian regime, most dangerous of Israel's neighbours, would, in the absence of Iranian support, have to make accommodations, indeed find new allies.
North Korea's chief conduit into the illicit Middle Eastern arms trade would be lost.
The principal external threat to Iraq would be removed, along with sponsorship of Iraq's own domestic insurgencies. Afghanistan would also be more secure.
In economic terms, the threat of a world crisis provoked by the interdiction of oil shipments from the Persian Gulf would disappear.
Both Russia and China would lose a very important lever of influence on world affairs.
If the ayatollahs come down, the whole world situation is changed, and in every conceivable way for the better. It is impossible to overestimate the stakes of the insurrection in Iran...
Monday, June 22, 2009
High Stakes in Iran
David Warren, a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen (he is also a contributor to InsideCatholic.com) writes that the stakes are huge in Iran: