JERUSALEM, Israel - For years, Iran has used deception to hide its nuclear weapons program, former Israeli U.N. ambassador and best-selling author Dore Gold contends.
In his latest book, The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West, the former ambassador explains why the Iranian threat is closer and more dangerous than many in the West believe.
Though much of the talk about a nuclear Iran has focused on its threat to Israel, Gold says Americans should know they too would face a very tangible threat.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not only promised to wife Israel off the map, he also looks forward to a future world without the United States, Gold explains.
Even at this late date, many in the West fail to understand or appreciate the fact that Ahmadinejad is motivated by a religious zeal and ideology.
Iran's president and ruling mullahs hope to usher in the return of the Mahdi, the Islamic messiah, with the help of a nuclear weapon that will bring about catastrophic mayhem worldwide.
Gold calls stopping Iran "a global imperative" that requires the harshest of sanctions backed up by the threat of military action.
If the world does allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, Gold warns it would be a "colossal mistake."
*Originally published September 1, 2009