Foreign Policy Blogs

North Korea Catches Up on Rhetoric as Iran Strives for the Weapons


The news media lit up late Thursday on news that North Korea threatened to use preemptive nuclear warfare against the United States and canceled its non-aggression pact with South Korea. The regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, equipped with nuclear capabilities, seems less interested in peace and only throughout the last 24 hours upped its rhetoric against the West.

Sadly, these aggressive threats could become far more common in the years to come, especially if the world is subjected to another lunatic armed with nuclear weapons, this time in the form of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

To date, Iran does not have nuclear weapons. While the country’s leaders claim that they only seek domestic nuclear energy capabilities, the technology built–including the 3,000 advanced centrifuges–are only necessary for the development of nuclear warheads. 

With every passing day, Iran closes in on realizing its goals of obtaining these weapons of mass destruction, only one of which could make Israel nearly uninhabitable or annihilate thousands of U.S. troops stationed in the region.

Despite not yet having nuclear capabilities, Iran’s rhetoric outpaces that of North Korea.

For years, Ahmadinejad has called for the destruction of Israel, hoping that the the “Zionist regime” will be “wiped” off the map. These repeated direct threats against Israel are coupled with similar accusations toward the United States, from claiming that the U.S. government planned the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks to aspiring for a world without America.

North Korea has the nuclear capabilities and the desire to slaughter millions of people. Iran is only one step behind, but rapidly approaching parity as it enriches uranium and further develops its nuclear program.

To date, sanctions have been moderately successful in harming the Iranian economy. Covert activities — including the assassination of key scientists and the release of debilitating computer viruses — have handicapped Iran’s work. Yet, despite all these efforts, Iran continues to advance its nuclear program and is ever closer to obtaining devastating weapons with every passing day.

Unless Israel, the United States and other Western powers take decisive action against Iran soon, the world will simultaneously face two nuclear-armed regimes, both intent on committing mass genocides and directly targeting the United States and its allies.



Ben Moscovitch

Ben Moscovitch is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter and has covered Congress, homeland security, and health care. He completed an intensive two-year Master's in Middle Eastern History program at Tel Aviv University, where he wrote his thesis on the roots of Palestinian democratic reforms. Ben graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in English Literature. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. Twitter follow: @benmoscovitch

Areas of Focus:
Middle East; Israel-Palestine; Politics