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Rick Santorum Tells North Dakota to Fear Iranian Terrorists

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has taken fear mongering to a new level. His claims that Iran’s next target will be the North Dakota's oil industry are both irresponsible and disingenuous.

“Folks, you've got energy here. They're going to bother you,” Santorum said, “No one is safe from asymmetric threats of terrorism.”

Wanting to win the presidency is one thing, to do so on the back of the same level of deceit that the U.S. partook in to justify invading Iraq is reprehensible.

Iran has long stated that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes. The U.S. and its allies, namely Israel, have long claimed that Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb. Nuclear power is cheaper and cleaner than fossil fuel power plants. The Natanz medical reactor was given to Iran by the U.S. and had its fuel supplied by Argentina until recently.

Though other nations have offered to supply fuel in 2009, those plans never materialized and Iran opted to make its own rods by enriching uranium to 20%. When enriched to this level, uranium can be used in military and civilian applications. Put simply, bombs or power plants. This is where the international outrage comes in.

In a speech, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, “They built atomic bombs, they built chemical weapons…they equated nuclear science to the technology of the bomb.” He later added “Any nation that develops this science and technology is faced with pressures and sanctions.”

Santorum’s threats came from a report by National Intelligence Director James Clapper that stated “Iran may be willing to sponsor future attacks on U.S. soil.” What Santorum failed to address is that clapper also said the following in that same report: “We assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons, in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

In addition to showing off its new enriched uranium fuel rods, Iran showed off 3,000 centrifuges it will use to enrich uranium that will be used as fuel at the reactor and at potential nuclear power plants around the country.

Whether Iran will build nuclear bombs or not is a question no one outside the country really has the answer to yet. Even IAEA inspectors at the Natanz reactor have asserted that it appears to be for peaceful purposes, but they are not willing to say anything further. 

If Ahmadinejad simply wants energy independence, that makes Iran no different than the U.S. If it wants to build bombs, it will most likely be bombed into the Stone Age before it has a chance to attack an outpost like North Dakota.

Photo Credit: George Skidmore

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