In Brief... World News Review: What Harm Could Iran Do?

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In Brief... World News Review

What Harm Could Iran Do?

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As rhetorical saber rattling continues out of Tehran, Westerners, especially Americans, seem to give little thought to any pending threat from the Islamic republic. Isn't any potential danger in the distant future? Wouldn't it take many years of development before Iran 's nuclear capability could strike American soil? That's true. Israel is the one immediately threatened by an Iranian nuclear weapon. But what could Iran do by cutting off its oil—or the other oil that travels through the Persian Gulf? Considering Western emergency oil reserves and the effect on its own economy should give Iran pause before closing the valves. However, oil isn't the Iranians' sole weapon. Islamic radicals have perfected the terror weapon, having recruited and trained thousands of operatives capable of raising funds, procuring weapons or using themselves as suicide bombers. Last summer, Mojtaba Bigdeli, Hezbollah's Iranian spokesman, announced a capability to carry out attacks globally. "We have 2,000 volunteers who have registered since last year. They have been trained and they can become fully armed. We are ready to dispatch them to every corner of the world to jeopardize Israel and America's interests. We are only waiting for the Supreme Leader's green light to take action. If America wants to ignite World War Three...we welcome it" ("Iran 's Hezbollah Says Ready to Attack US, Israel," Reuters, July 18, 2006). "Supreme Leader" refers to the chief cleric of Iran, the Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei. Hezbollah's terrorist attacks have killed more Americans than any other group, except for al-Qaeda. That Hezbollah is Iran's proxy is common knowledge. Not commonly known is the fact that Hezbollah has sleeper cells operating in at least 10 U.S. cities. "In May [2006] the New York Post reported on Hezbollah's plans to activate sleeper cells in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Detroit as the nuclear showdown with Iran heats up. One focal point: 'the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, where there have already been thee episodes in the last four years in which diplomats and security guards have been expelled for casing and photographing New York City subways and other potential targets.' "Heightened alert comes in the wake of reports that Iranian crackpot president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Hezbollah leaders in Syria earlier this year" (Michelle Malkin, "Hezbollah Is Here," WorldNetDaily, July 19, 2006).