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As a CIA spy, I saw in Iran what the West cannot ignore

We must defend freedom in Iran soon – or deal with nuclear-armed fanatics later.

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So far, the West has kept fairly quiet about Iran's unrest. President Obama and others say they don't want to give credence to Tehran's claims of a Western conspiracy behind the protests. And by not ruffling the regime's feathers, they hope to negotiate improved ties and resolve the nuclear impasse.

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But how do you negotiate with a government composed of terrorists?

Right now, the Revolutionary Guards have near-complete control of Iran. This terrorist organization is expanding its power throughout the Middle East. Its ultimate goal is to bring the demise of the West.

With the help of North Korea, the Guards are working on long-range ballistic missiles in tests that are concealed by their space project.

The Guards have also accelerated their production of Sejil, solid fuel missiles, and are working nonstop to improve the range of those missiles. Today they can strike Tel Aviv, Riyadh, US bases in Iraq, and the US Navy's Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain. Their goal is to be able to target all of Europe.

The Guards are also working on their nuclear bomb project in facilities unknown to the West.

Iran's defense minister, Mostafa Najjar, who oversees the development of missile and nuclear technology, was in charge of the Revolutionary Guards forces in Lebanon that facilitated the attack on the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983, killing 241 US servicemen.

The current deputy defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, who oversees the distribution of arms and missiles to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas, was the commander of the Guards' elite Quds Forces and the chief intelligence officer of the Guards in charge of the terrorist activities outside of Iran.

Mr. Vahidi is currently on Interpol's Most Wanted List for the attack on the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994 that killed 85 and injured more than 100.

Many Iranian officials have Interpol arrest warrants, and even supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has been recognized in courts as one who has ordered such acts.

Fanatic radicals such as these are incompatible with a free Iran. This is the best opportunity in 30 years to change course and stop succumbing to thugs. Will we seize it?

"Reza Kahlili" is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety reasons. He is writing a book about his life and experiences as a CIA agent in Iran's Revolutionary Guards.