Perhaps I was wrong about Iran

Up until now, I’ve been thinking the US has been making a big stink about Iran’s nuclear programme over nothing: just another superpower hoping that their enemies will not be given their inalienable right to improve their lot. However, I’ve been reading more on the subject, and it looks like there may very well be a sinister undercurrent to Iran’s drive for nuclear research. It’s a bit conspicuous when you step up your nuclear research while at the same time calling for another country (within missile range, no less) to be wiped from the face of the Earth. I kind of like the Russian deal, which is that Russia will supply Iran with reactor-grade nuclear fuel to be used in Russian-designed power plants, and Iran will return the spent fuel to assure that it is not diverted to make weapons. The US doesn’t seem to be going for that either, however, and I’m still confused as to why not. Whatever happens, it should finish up in a few more months.

Here’s the weird thing, though: suppose that Iran is actually doing this to be able to nuke Israel. If they hit Jerusalem, this will make Muslims, Christians, and Jews all angry, and since Iran wants to stay on the good side of at least the Muslims, I doubt that will happen. So suppose that Iran nukes the rest of Israel, and leaves Jerusalem alone. This would have absolutely catastrophic effects for Iran as well as Israel, because the rest of the world would be so surprised, appalled, and outraged that nearly every major country in the world would declare war on Iran and conquer it. Surely Iran doesn’t want to be conquered. Wiping out Israel in such a manner would also wipe out Iran itself. Consequently, I doubt Iran is planning to nuke Israel. Therefore, I believe that it is in Iran’s best interests to not nuke Israel. However, if this is the case, why try to develop nuclear weapons at all? To be used in some sort of blackmail/coercion? To counter any country that tries to invade (I don’t think Iran needs defenses to repel any invading countries any more; that ended about a decade ago with Iraq)? Making nukes to repel any aggressors who wouldn’t invade unless Iran builds nukes seems unnecessarily circular, and would only hurt Iran. Why would they do this? Perhaps they really are just trying to build power plants? But if that’s the case, why aren’t they being more cooperative with other countries? Something isn’t adding up in all of this.

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  1. eve_wyoming says:

    Haha…and here I thought you were doing homework! Crazy me. ;)

  2. krustad says:

    Iraq had no nukes. We took them out. North Korea has nukes. We’re mostly leaving them alone. The lesson’s been learned.

    What’s more, the threat of the US unilaterally invading another country *right now* is pretty minimal. Considering the level of overstretch our troops are seeing in just Iraq and Afghanistan, America starting another land-based conflict would be completely insane. If Iran manages to become a nuclear power before any threat of invasion could become credible (the gamble I suspect they may be taking), then they’ll become uninvadable for the foreseeable future. And they’ll have WAY more power at the bargaining table with the US, Israel, and other rivals.

    I think the Israel rhetoric is overblown–post-WWII, nobody builds nuclear weapons for offense. Mutual assured destruction and all that. But nuclear weapons are pretty damn good for getting other nations to do what you want (or at least mind their own business).

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