A Nuclear-Armed Iran Would Not Be Good

[The Australian] Greg Sheridan - Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. It has two programs for this: a highly enriched uranium program and a heavy-water reactor that will produce plutonium. These facilities were constructed in secret and in contravention of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to which Iran is a signatory but has consistently flouted. Iran is the leader of the Shia version of fundamentalist and extremist Islam. It sponsors terrorism promiscuously. Its most important terrorist client is Hizbullah, a Shia group that de facto rules southern Lebanon. It is also the most important foreign sponsor of Hamas, a Sunni terrorist organization that rules Gaza. Islamic Jihad, which has been responsible for much Palestinian terrorism, is effectively a branch of the Iranian intelligence services. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." Iran also sponsors Shia and Sunni elements of the insurgency in Iraq. Iran is a classic demonstration of the limits of realist theory in foreign relations. It is genuinely motivated by ideology, not by a normal calculus of national interest. The Israelis believe Iran could have a nuclear weapon by the end of 2009. The International Atomic Energy Agency thinks it's three to eight years but is constantly revising this estimate down. Once Iran possesses nuclear weapons, its danger as a sponsor of Hizbullah rises exponentially. It can also paralyze Israel and render life there almost unbearable by moving periodically to nuclear alert, forcing Israel to do the same and effectively chasing out foreign investment and tourists and shutting down industry. A strike on Iran would be an awesomely dangerous and fraught action to take. Allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons may be equally as dangerous. There are no good options.

2007-08-24 01:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive