On Iran, Israel Can't Be Wrong Once

(Ottawa Citizen-Canada) Geoffrey St. John - Though American intelligence has recently assessed that Iran's leadership has yet to decide whether actually to build its first nuclear weapon, there is little doubt that Iran seeks the technical capability to assemble such arms rapidly, should it make the decision to "go nuclear." For all intents and purposes, such a technical capability is tantamount to having nuclear weapons. It has been argued that it is only "fair" that Iran should be allowed to have nuclear weapons, since countries such as Israel possess them. This argument has no traction in the real world of international politics. The stakes involved are simply too high to allow any argument of the "justice" of Iran having nuclear weapons to trump the vital national security interests of countries to which Iran is hostile. Irrespective of the exact words used by Iranian leaders when talking about Israel, the tone is unquestionably menacing. Indeed, it is more than just words. Iran continues to arm both Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza with increasingly long-range rockets and missiles, some of which have already been launched against Israel. The first shots in the war between Israel and Iran were fired long ago by Lebanese and Palestinian militants. Given its very small size, Israel has only to be wrong once about Iran to suffer the devastating consequences of an Iranian nuclear attack. The writer was the Canadian Defense Attache to Israel from 2004 to 2008.

2012-07-03 00:00:00

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