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Mark Dubowitz: “At a Minimum, a Nuclear-Armed Iran Will be Emboldened to Accelerate its Aggressive A

2nd September 2010 - APA

APA's Washington DC correspondent interviewed with Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in the US Capital

Mr, Dubowitz is focusing on researching Iran, terrorism ext. He has testified before Congress on Iran sanctions issues and briefed the US military, US, European and Canadian government officials, members of Congress, and counterterrorism officials on a range of national security and terrorism-related concerns.

- The US considers Iranian policy dangerous not only for the people of Iran but for the region. What is Iran's danger for the region in your opinion? Should countries like Azerbaijan be worried and what should they do about that?

- A nuclear-armed Iran will force other countries in the region to acquire their own nuclear capability to counter the Iranian threat. A region with 12-15 nuclear armed states is a significant security threat to Azerbaijan where a miscalculation, accident or intentional aggressive action could trigger a nuclear war. At a minimum, a nuclear-armed Iran will be emboldened to accelerate its aggressive activities in the region and act against its neighbors with little fear of retribution.

- How do you see the solution to the Iranian problem from the international perspective? If there will be a decision to bring more military to the region, what are the neighbors of the country expected to do?

- The solution is a crippling economic pressure campaign targeted at the Iranian regime, focused on cutting it off from international energy and financial markets. The energy sector is the Achilles' heel of the region, providing it with up to 75 percent of government revenues and 80 percent of export earnings. The new UN Security Council resolution establishes the nexus between the Iranian energy industry and Iran's nuclear weapons program. Squeezing the energy sector is the last peaceful chance to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program and to make the Iranian regime pay a price for its brutal human rights abuses and terrorist activities.

- While the international community is discussing whether to establish new economic sanctions on Iran, Teheran continues is saying it will expand its energy and economical relations with its neighbors. What would be your advice to the countries that are neighboring Iran?

- Short term business deals with Iran have a significant cost. By providing the Iranian regime with an economic lifeline to resist international sanctions, Iran's neighbors are making it more likely that one of two disastrous scenarios will occur: a nuclear-armed Iran leading to a cascade of proliferation in the region or military strikes to forestall that possibility.