It May Be Too Late to Stop Nuclear Iran

Despite the fact that many of us having warning about this for years, as we predicted, the world sat on its hands and allowed Iran to go nuclear. It’s too late now for anything but desperate action.

As Iran, with Russia’s help, gets ready to flip the switch on its first nuclear reactor, Washington is engaged in a frenzied debate over whether Israel should consider launching an air attack designed to cripple Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.

But key military officials and analysts say Iran has already passed the point where a strike would deal its entire nuclear program a fatal blow. The country might be persuaded to abandon any efforts to build a bomb, they say, but — like it or not — Iran is going nuclear. And no number of Israeli F-16s is going to change that.

“We can’t stop it. We can slow it down,” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., a member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, told FoxNews.com.

The mechanics of shutting down Iran’s nuclear program are mindboggling. The Bushehr facility — a power plant along the Persian Gulf that uses non-weapons-grade fissile material — will be Iran’s first functioning nuclear reactor; its Russian-provided fuel is expected to be loaded up starting this weekend.

But Bushehr is just one piece of a much larger puzzle.

Iran has a uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz and another at Qom, which Western allies blew the whistle on last year. Several facilities critical to the nuclear program are known to be scattered throughout the country, and others are believed to exist in unknown locations. Iran has committed to building more reactors and more enrichment facilities, and as long as it has nuclear physicists, the regime can continue to pursue its goals.

Attacking Iran’s nuclear program might be like Mickey Mouse chopping broomsticks in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The program could be taken down — but for how long?

Smith, in urging caution toward the idea of a military strike, was echoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said last year that an attack could buy time, but it would not halt the program.

But that doesn’t mean a strike is off the table, from either the United States or Israel. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated plainly in an interview on Aug. 1 that the U.S. military has an attack plan for Iran.

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