How Will the West Respond to Tehran's Nuclear-Weapons Program?

(Wall Street Journal) Bret Stephens - There's no scarcity of reliable information about Iran's nuclear programs. The only question is the Western will to do something meaningful to check them. The latest IAEA report should at least put to rest the intelligence debate about Iran's drive to build a bomb. What remains is the policy debate. The Obama administration came to office seeking a diplomatic grand bargain with Tehran, only to be rebuffed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. It then tried sanctions, which came up short. A (bad) argument can be made that a nuclear Iran could be contained. But another round of diplomacy or sanctions guarantees failure, signals weakness, and emboldens the hardest of Iranian hardliners. Time is no longer on the West's side: Further temporizing means that Iran will get to make the choice for us. Any debate needs to weigh the inevitable unforeseen consequences of a military strike against the all-too-foreseeable consequences of a nuclear Iran, as well as a nuclear proliferation death spiral involving Saudi Arabia, Turkey and soon-to-be Islamist Egypt. If you thought the Cold War was scary, imagine four or five nuclear adversaries in the world's most unstable region.

2011-11-09 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive