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Iran is one of the foremost, self-proclaimed enemies of the West and one of the most serious threats to stability in the Middle East.
The Iranian government's extreme interpretation of Islamic law, anti-Western philosophy and disregard for human rights continues to inspire the rise of Islamic extremists across the world. Iran is also one of the principal state sponsors of terror worldwide.
Iran's most menacing threat to international security, however, stems from its harnessing of nuclear energy to develop nuclear weapons.
The proliferation of rockets and ballistic missiles across the Middle East has forced Israel to strengthen a new aspect of its defense doctrine - active anti-missile technology. Given Israel's small size, any ballistic missile deployed by hostile enemies would represent an existential threat to the Jewish State.
Since the threat is not confined to one region or type of rocket, Israel has created a multi-layered missile defense apparatus to combat the threat. The entire system is considered one of the most advanced in the world.
The entire world seems to agree that Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, and since few desire a military intervention, the international community has opted to levy economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic to put them in a situation where a choice must be made between continuing their nuclear program or watching their country, economy, and citizens suffer.
Unfortunately - and for a myriad of reasons - the sanctions regime has done little to deter Iran from its nuclear ambitions.
While the immediate focus of international attention has been on stopping Iran from obtaining the ability to build nuclear weapons, equally worrisome is the stimulated regional race for nuclear technology.
At least twelve Middle Eastern countries, aside from Iran, have concrete plans to explore atomic energy or have signed nuclear cooperation agreements. These nations have all stated explicitly an interest in only peaceful uses for nuclear technology, but the fear is that they may follow the Iranian example and work toward building a nuclear bomb.