While the world’s attention has been focused on Syria this week, the centrifuges of Iran’s nuclear program quietly continue spinning. And the determination of Iran’s mullahs to see a world without America, without Israel, cannot be wished away.

Today, Iran is poised to break through to the nuclear bomb. Iranians are working on Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles. They don’t need those ICBMs for Israel. The ayatollahs have said Israel is only “a two-bomb country.”They need the ICBMs for America.

At the Washington Summit of the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) organization earlier this summer, former Reagan adviser Gary Bauer appeared on a panel with CBN’s terrorism expert Eric Stackelbcck and Dr. Patrick Clauson, the director of research for the Washington Institute for Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy. Dr. Clauson, the author of many books and monographs about Iran, spoke authoritatively about the hostile nature of the Mullahs’ regime in Tehran. He holds no illusions about Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or about the newly installed president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, whom Western media reports term a “moderate cleric.”

Dr. Clauson believes that sanctions can help to increase pressure on the regime and that our best prospects for dealing with Iran would come from the successors to the Ayatollah Khamenei.

Of course, Rouhani has boasted that when he was Iran’s negotiator in nuclear talks with the West, Iran was able to make major gains surreptitiously. And so, it may be helpful to us now to know that Iran has officially installed as its puppet president their Dissembler-in-Chief.

The idea that economic sanctions could obviate the need for military action against Iran’s nuclear program has great appeal in Washington, in London, in EU headquarters and NATO offices in Brussels. Anything but having to fight Iran has appeal to war-weary Western publics.

FRC’s former president, Gary Bauer, did not go into detail about the nature of the Iranian regime. Instead, he spoke of our nature. Gary offered his version of the last minutes of Americans on board United Flight 93 over Pennsylvania on 9/11. Once the passengers became aware that their pilot, co-pilot, and flight attendant had been murdered by hijackers with box cutters, some of them assembled in the aft galley to decide what to do.

Gary envisioned the conversation aboard that jet. One of the passengers said: “This plane has to land somewhere. When they run out of fuel, they’ll have to land. That’s when a SWAT team can storm the jet and kill the hijackers. It’s our only hope for survival. Let’s just sit here and wait them out.” It was compelling advice, not unlike the counsel for tightening economic sanctions on Iran. Reasoned, moderate, and hopeful.

No,” said one of the passengers. “I’ve talked to my wife.They are taking these jets and crashing them into buildings. These are no longer aircraft. They’re weapons now.”

For those who heard those fateful words, they knew it was their own death sentence. And so, as a flight attendant boiled the water she would throw on the terrorist blocking the pilot door, other passengers readied the drink cart to ram into that door. Brave Todd Beamer said “Let’s roll.”

Those hijacked Americans responded with courage and honor to the challenge of their lives. They brought that jet down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, sacrificing themselves to save our White House or our Capitol; they were not really sure what the terror target would be; they only knew it was America herself that was being attacked.

Gary Bauer’s presentation focused not on what the Iranians are, but on who we are. In that, he was like Winston Churchill, who tried valiantly to rally the British people at the time of Munich. Churchill wanted them to remember who they were.

Gary’s and my great chief, Ronald Reagan, endured many briefings on Soviet affairs. His advisers, too, were deeply learned men. They came to him armed with massive three-ring binders, ready to impart their vast knowledge of the Soviets to Ronald Reagan.

Before we start, let’s get this straight” Reagan famously told his briefer in 1977, four years before entering the White House, “my idea of U.S.-Soviet relations is this: We win; they lose.”

Economic sanctions have always had an appeal. Churchill’s predecessor, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, was dragged reluctantly intoWorld War II. For the first winter of “the phony war,” (1939-40) Chamberlain ordered the Royal Air Force to drop leaflets on Germany, urging the people tooverthrow the Nazis. Chamberlain’s advisers had convinced him that Germany would collapse economically as a result of the British blockade and the isolation of the continent.

Reagan was not averse to using economic warfare against the USSR. But he also invaded Grenada and put pressure on the Communists militarily, politically, and diplomatically. He openly called for regime change—and got it.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the CUFI gathering via satellite. With the greatest resolution, he said: “Iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” If the Obama administration will not act to stop Iran now, then we can only pray that the Israelis will do it. We should thank God when they do.

[Full disclosure: Robert Morrison attended the CUFI Summit as a guest of Gary Bauer’s group, American Values.]