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Let Iran Have its Nuclear Technology

By Claude Salhani | Sun, 16 September 2012 00:00 | 14

As the United States prepares to head for the finish line in an election year the period between now and the time when the next administration assumes the helm of the nation can be the most critical in terms of foreign policy. Call it the political equivalent of the sailing on the dark side of the moon.

This period in nether-politics can be a dangerous one as parties involved in a conflict can take advantage of this lack of focus from US policy to push ahead with programs they otherwise would find great opposition from American policymakers. Israel’s desire to rid itself of the threat posed by Iran regarding the Islamic Republic’s pursuit of nuclear technology comes to mind in such a situation as new rumblings of an Israeli strike on Iran are getting louder.

As we draw closer to election day in November the administration will find itself more and more caught up in getting the president re-elected and the president himself more and more caught up in darting form state to state to win back last minute indecisive voters, so much so, that foreign policy does not just take a back seat to domestic policy, it is relegated to the back of the bus, where it is likely to remain until after inauguration day in January.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, about as hawkish as one can get, along with his minister of defence, Ehud Barak are both avid supporters of a military option in dealing with Iran to take out its nuclear threat. They also know that if they chose to strike during that dark period their chances of getting away with it are far greater.

If Israel were to strike at Iran would be a monumental mistake. It would be an invitation to disaster.

The manner in which Iran has decentralized its nuclear program makes targeting it very difficult. Military strike would just delay and not deter Iran's insistence to become a nuclear power. If anything it would actually accentuate its drive.

The killing of Chris Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya earlier this week demonstrates just how volatile the region remains and how quickly a crowd can turn into a violent mob when sensitive issues are breeched. Now imagine how the people in the region will react to an Israeli strike on a Muslim nation?

As the US prepares to enter into the cocoon of domestic policies that revolves around the election of the president of the United States, it should be made crystal clear and in no uncertain terms to Israel that a strike against Iran would be completely unacceptable. An Israeli strike on Iran would place the United States in the forefront of Israel's war against the Arab and the Muslim world, a position the United States should not find itself under any circumstances.

The first reaction from the Arab street and from the Muslim street will be directed against US interests in the region.

It is understandable that Israel remains concerned by Iran's nuclear ambitions and what it intends to do with its nuclear program. But even if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons and capacity to deliver those weapons, it remains extremely unlikely that those weapons would be used for the simple reason that Iran is well aware of what the repost would be.

What are the alternatives? For the moment they are not encouraging. Continue to live under the threat of imminent thermonuclear war. The other alternative which of course for the moment remains just as unattainable is to move slowly towards a negotiated peace. But that is wishful thinking.

By. Claude Salhani

Claude Salhani, a specialist in conflict resolution, is an independent journalist, political analyst and author of several books on the region. His latest book, 'Islam Without a Veil,' is published by Potomac Books. He tweets @claudesalhani.

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  • ali_sadeq on September 17 2012 said:
    Iranian Mullahs should be stopped before getting access to WMD. The world should support the Iranian opposition for regime change.
  • Magnus Soevgaard on September 17 2012 said:
    Only those with their heads in the proverbial sand deny that super hardened nuclear facilities are for peaceful purposes. NO Arab nation has forgotten the Israeli Defense Forces handing them their asses in the 6 Day War, generations later the pain and humiliation live on. Only with a nuclear weapon will these neanderthal muslims feel powerful enough to threaten their nemesis. Anyone who assumes the leaders of Iran are sane should remember they truly believe some chump is going to rise up out of a well and lead them to kill all us 'infidels' as 11 th century as that is. They want our way of Life to end, deny it all you want. I hope Israel uses an EMP on them for talking so much crap.
  • Dave on September 17 2012 said:
    The same lies about WMD's were used to stampede the US into war with Iraq and Afghanistan, and as a result the cost of these wars has near bankrupted the US economy. Now the usual neocon suspects in the media using the same lies want to commit the US to another ME war. Funny they don't seem to care about WMD's in North Korea. Could it be because North Korea doesn't have oil? For those chomping at the bits to open another front in Iran, enjoy $10 dollar gas you neocon patriotards.
  • john on September 17 2012 said:
    There are many many many many more ways to hit a country than by use of a nuclear weapon.
    This is a game being played by Israel.
  • Dan on September 17 2012 said:
    I agree. Let Iran obtain the nuclear weapon they so covet. What difference does it make? There are quite a few countries that hate the US and western nations that have nuclear bombs. North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, China and India to name a few. The threat of war is better than war itself is it not? There will surely be a massive war if Iran is attacked. China and Russia have made it obvioulsy clear who they will side with so that would make this a World War as in III. The official use of a nuclear weapon by any country will gaurantee their demise by retalliation. Iran will not use the weapon to destroy Isreal but will use it to gain greater dominance in the region. War should be avoided at all costs and Isreal should not expect that any decision they make will automatically force us to do anything.
  • Hans Nieder on September 17 2012 said:
    "If Israel were to strike at Iran would be a monumental mistake. It would be an invitation to disaster."

    But an Iranian HBomb would not ???

    The H&H Brothers are both asking for the first Akbar Bomb...Their motto is, you send it we deliver it...

    Then, of course, everyone else on the block will want one...

    If they build it and stay in power, it will be used..
    If you even think things will be bad now, wait until that implosion happens..
  • true patriot on September 17 2012 said:
    Coming from the same people who wanted to give Herman Cain the Nuclear Keys to our entire arsenal, its not suprising that these war mongering monsters, who promote torture, lied about 911 and lied us into two illegal wars, wants to attack a sovereign nation because they wont use the almighty petrodollar. Israel is a terrorist state, they are terrorists, period. I pray that they do attack Iran, because that little nation of nazis wont survive it. And they shouldnt. And sorry to the nazis of ww2, because they werent NEARLY as bad as the israelis, and who runs our country now!
  • Hans Nieder on September 17 2012 said:
    Dave, it does not take too much effort to identify your political leanings...

    "The same lies about WMD's were used to stampede the US into war with Iraq and Afghanistan, and as a result the cost of these wars has near bankrupted the US economy."

    Afstan has WMD ??? You either need to work at the state deportment or SNL...

    And why is it ONLY WAR and not welfare bankrupting this country ? Boy, oh boy, can't wait for your retort..
  • Clayton Jones on September 17 2012 said:
    Allow Iran to possess "Nukes." What's to say my own country, the US, will not use nukes against an supposed enemy. Who's decides what constitutes "The Enemy?"

    The US should simply warn Iran to be careful with such power as it has warned Russia, China, and the other nuclear powers. They have been told in no uncertain terms that should a nuke detonate on US soil that unfortunate country can put its head between its legs and kiss it's A_s goodbye.

    Simple isn't it?! Who are we to demand that any country cannot produce WMDs? My country has forsaken its traditional Christian Values and with such a moral absence why would any nation trust us. Hell, I don't trust my government and I am a damn America! Domestic Drones Anyone?!!! Good day...
  • Dave on September 17 2012 said:
    You want my retort Hans Nieder, how about YOU and your ilk go fight and pay for these ME wars yourselves, and leave the rest of America out of it? If warmongering politicians were obligated to send their own family members to the front lines, there'd be no wars. It's common knowledge chicken hawk neocons avoid enlistment like the Antares plague, only serving as overpaid contractors or REMFS. A growing number of people are figuring out there's a direct correlation between the debasement of the dollar and these ME wars, but from where you sit ten dollar gas won't be hurting your wallet too much.
  • Mark on September 17 2012 said:
    yeah this IRAN deal is a lie and a nothing burger-its just another "IRAQ has WMDs!!! We SWEAR!!!" part 2-the same LIARS who brought us that are now try to palm off this crap to the american taxpayer so we can see a new defecit p $20 Trillion and another 5-10,000 soldiers dead-for nothing except Israels hysteric screeching-and parasitizing
  • Eileen Kuch on September 18 2012 said:
    Unlike Israel, Iran poses no threat to its neighbors. The Islamic Republic just wants to enrich uranium for energy and medical uses - something the Non-Proliferation Treaty clearly permits. Also, unlike Israel, Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; and, as such, has a right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. Iran has allowed IAEA inspectors into its nuclear facilities; whereas, Israel never has.

    Also, unlike Israel (or the US, for that matter), Iran has not attacked its neighbors in over four centuries. Israel cannot make such a boast; it has attacked its neighbors more than once in its 64-year history. So. who is the real threat to stability in the Mideast? A country that's maintained peace for over 400 years, or one that's waged aggressive wars in its very short existence of less than 70?
  • Mel Tisdale on September 18 2012 said:
    If only the nuclear weapon states had not simply played lip service to nuclear disarmament. The threat of nuclear Armageddon is higher today than almost at time in the past. The nuclear states smile to eachother's faces, but behind their backs...? Don't ignor the minimal C.E.P. values and MIRV technology have not gone away, though they should have if we had had intelligent politicians since the end of the Cold War.

    Any state capable of building more than about ten atom bombs (forget H bombs, they are far too difficult) could destroy any super power, regardless of how powerful it might consider itself to be. This is especially true of one which has two vast seaboards and leaky land borders.

    All it would take is the ability to rent appartments in large centres of commerce and/or population in which to locate these devices. Set the timers to detonate at two to three week intervals, lock the doors and hop on a plane back home to wherever that might be.

    I reckon that to all intents and purposes it would be game over by the time five had gone off, especially in a nation whose population is personally armed to the teeth and would be hungry, very, very hungry by then.

    As for Iran specifically, if Israel is allowed to have nuclear weapons, even despite the appalling way it treats the Palestinians, then I can think of no legitimate reason why Iran should not have them too.
  • Kim Fern on September 20 2012 said:
    I'm glad to hear such robust opinions from Americans whom we believe, wrongly, in much of Europe, to be cannon fodder for NaZionism or, at least, hostages to the Jewish state's policies.
    It's hard to differentiate between people's ideas and values when the US government spreads so much suffering and heaps so much anger.

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