Why Iran is a pressing concern for young people

Countries in red denote countries that Iran has either sponsored attacks in or supported terrorist cells. The red target denote’s Iran’s missile range. If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would have the ability to create a nuclear attack in any of these areas. Source: Jewish Community Relations Council

By Jeff Glogower and Heather Silverman

As young adults, we have many concerns particular to our stage in life: “Will I get my student loans paid off before I want to retire?” or “Was that photo of me from this weekend put on Facebook?” Some concerns, however, are not so different from those experienced by people of any age, for instance, “Who will win the next election?” or, “Is my world safe?”

When considering issues of international policy and stability, young adults, like many others, may be especially concerned about the threat of a nuclear Iran. How can a nuclear Iran impact daily life in the United States? What might nuclear Iran lead to next?

One of Iran’s principal strategies in pursuing a nuclear program is to assert its control over the oil industry, a move that would increase oil costs in the U.S. This affects more than just the cost of gas at the pump, but also grocery prices, energy costs, the cost of hard goods and transportation costs.

A nuclear Iran will contribute to nuclear proliferation in an already unstable region. Since 2006, at least 13 neighboring Arab countries have already announced plans to seek to obtain nuclear weapons of their own to balance out Iran. The result is hardly balance, but a nuclear arms race.

As Jews, we are sadly familiar with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s stated plan to “wipe Israel off the map.” A nuclear weapon makes that possibility all too real. And given the reach of nuclear weaponry, all of the Middle East and Europe as well as most of Africa and Asia could all be within missile range. Even U.S. interests aren’t safe as Iran targets U.S. troops in the Middle East and recently an Iranian terrorist plot directed at Washington D.C. was uncovered.

Those of us in the Americas who are out of Iranian missile range and have an ocean between us and the region affected might feel safe or separate. However, Iran funds terrorist organizations and cells throughout the world and is responsible for hundreds of attacks worldwide. For instance, on June 18, 1994, The Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA; Argentine Israelite [i.e., Jewish] Mutual Association) building in Buenos Aires. The attack killed 85 people and injured hundreds. INTERPOL has issued extradition warrants against six of the suspects seven of whom are Iranian and one who is a known member of Hezbollah. What if those seven people had a nuclear weapon at their disposal?

If you, like me, prefer to act on concerns, there are steps that can be taken. Such as:

Share your fears with family and friends. The more people who understand the threat of a nuclear Iran the better. Consider sharing the points below or for more information see http://jcrcstl.org/intlissues.php#two

A few key points to share:

Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism. Iran has given weapons, supplies and money to those who have committed deadly attacks throughout the globe. If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, it might not only be a weapon for Iran but for the terrorist they back.

Iran’s nuclear reach will be global. The threat of a nuclear Iran is not an issue for just one or two countries but a global issue.

Israel is not the only Middle Eastern country that views a nuclear Iran as a danger; Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan have all warned that a nuclear Iran would threaten regional stability.

While everyone would prefer non-military action to prevent a nuclear Iran, as President Barack Obama says, no option should be taken off the table.

Share your fears with your legislator. As decisions are made about a nuclear Iran it is important that elected officials hear from their constituents. Find out how to contact your legislator at www. http://jcrcstl.org/contactlegislator.php

Consider limiting your gas usage. Most of Iran’s exports are oil and gas. Reducing usage would reduce the amount needed from Iran.

A nuclear Iran is a threat to our economy, our safety and our world. It is important that we take notice and act before it is too late.