As the eyes of the international community fall squarely on Iran and its nuclear ambitions there is little doubt in the fact that the Islamic Republic is the latest target in the â€œcoalitionâ€™sâ€ boundless war on terrorism. However while the US administration and its unwavering allies paint a horrifying picture of a world where Ahmadinejad has the bomb, a more worrying and pertinent threat is continually ignored; a threat that if made a reality would see most of Europe and even the USA in direct danger.
Fear of the influence of religious fundamentalism has been an ever-present reality since the attacks of 11th September 2001. The US policy to deal with this has been to take the battle to the enemy in order to avoid the same on its own land, but while the main thrust of this war on terror has focused on Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and now Iran there seems to be an unwillingness to deal with a far greater threat that is far closer to home. World leaders such as the USA, the UK and Australia must realise that tackling this threat head-on would have completely unpredictable and likely devastating consequences, however the longer it is ignored the more potential it has to endanger lives. The particular brand of fundamentalism produced by this rouge state is often disregarded or appeased by democratic nations but it is one that holds far more sway than many may realise â€“sway that it has maintained at varying levels since its inception many decades ago.
Rather than impose sanctions or encourage internal dissent, various Governments have in fact visited the state over the years in an attempt to befriend and appease its leader who controls one of the last absolute dictatorships in the developed world, one which appeared during and lasted past an age of fascism and hatred. This dictator currently holds total legislative, judicial and executive controls over the state and is empowered by an unelected council of religious zealots who pledge obedience to his word. Democratic elections are not permitted.
Like all dictatorships, this one is largely reliant on dangerous propaganda. On a regular basis the leaderâ€™s speeches encourage other countries to follow his fundamentalist beliefs and have chillingly declared that the direct influence of his religion is the only way to save humanity; something that many could consider to be a cloaked warning. Under successive unelected dictators the state has viciously opposed all forms of liberalism, the open market and the advancement of new ideas in the wider world and instead calls for a return to more “traditional” and “conservative” times.
Like most fundamentalist states there are strict rules imposed on the population; for example clothing restrictions apply to women and the fairer sex is largely second class to men, with males being the only ones able to obtain positions of authority.
The state also has a huge military presence with every seventh citizen working as a soldier – this can be compared to military powers like the USA where approximately every 100th citizen is a member of the armed forces. What is worth noting is that despite this high military presence the streets are relatively lawless; the state actually enjoys the single highest per capita crime rate in the entire world. In effect the military exists purely to protect the dictatorship and its high-ranking officials, not the population at large.
Despite the seeming lack of interest in the foreign policies of this state amongst other nations, it has the potential to cause massive disruption in the world. Due to its location the acquisition of any short or long term weaponry would pose a grave threat to most of Europe, a fact that might only be realised once itâ€™s too late. More worrying is the reality that countless devoted followers, potential â€˜sleeper cellsâ€™, exist across the EU, the USA and beyond and it is certain that many of these groups would carry out any act dictated to them by what they consider to be their supreme and spiritual leader. In fact the unaccountable funds raised by these cells, quite possibly through crime, keep this isolationist state economically viable.
So why is the democratic world so reluctant to deal with this great threat like it is dealing with others? Perhaps because they realise the awesome power it holds and the influence it exerts over so many people, almost all of whom operate without surveillance or suspicion, often in broad daylight across the globe. Whatever the reason is, this state has long been a source of fundamentalist teachings and certainly holds more power within Europe than any branch of the Islamic faith and as a result its supporters should be shown nothing but suspicion.
So, with this State’s complete defiance of the most basic of democratic ideals and with more than one billion devout followers across the globe, it’s time the world woke up to this very real threat. It’s time we dealt with the Vatican City for once and for all.