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Iran's Nuclear Effort: Do Western Nations Really Care?

 
 
Reply Mon 1 May, 2006 06:18 pm
Americans and Europeans claim concern when it comes to Iranian strides towards being a nuclear power. (That they want the bomb, and not just nuclear power plants, has been made quite clear with their refusal of Russian offers to supply such fuel and remove the "Waste" so involved--their bluff has been called.) Arguments for Iranian "Nuclear Rights" are irrelevant, especially in light of anti-Semitic, anti-American, and, generally anti-Western remarks emanating from Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Many like to point to Israel's alleged possession of nuclear devices as an argument (relying on some type of "fairness" doctrine) for Iran's right to have similar WMD's. This is sheer horse pucky. Israel has never threatened the lives of millions of its neighbors and advanced the concept of their national destruction. Israel has been a responsible democratic nation. Iran is not even close to responsible, let alone truly democratic. It has openly promised to proliferate the nuclear technology it develops to other dangerous regimes.

But, before we can whine about whether or not Iran has the right to the bomb, two questions must be answered: Does the West really care? If so, and if those in the West decide that it should not have such power, what are Westerners willing to do to prevent an Iranian nuclear presence in the Middle East?

In regards to the first question it would seem that Europeans (at least the big three of France, Germany, and the UK) opine in the negative regarding a nuclear Iran…up to a point. That point is, of course, where Iran's recalcitrance demands the use of military force to prevent it from going nuclear. Nothing seems quite that important to the Europeans, and this should be noted and respected. Negotiations sometimes are helpful in reaching satisfying end results to a conflict. But it appears the Iranians are hell bent on acquiring the bomb. So will multilateralism, regarding Europe and America, work here? Well it can, but only if both agree on how serious they are willing to treat the conflict and consequently how far they are willing to agree to serious sanctions against Iran. This includes, but does not necessitate, the dreaded military option. Without this agreement among the western allies the mullahs can just play a Saddam like rope-a-dope diplomacy for many years to come, decades perhaps.

However, Iran doesn't need decades it merely needs enough time to acquire the bomb it seeks. Allowed its present situation, experts figure just a few years will elapse before its goal is reached. Intelligence reports indicate it has already cut centrifuge time by one quarter which will enable it to acquire the nuclear material for a bomb four times as fast as previously thought.

But the big three are not the only nations that might help with the goal of preventing a nuclear Iran. Russia and China could help the multilateral cause via the U.N.'s Security Council, so, will they? Probably not, they are much more interested in Iranian Oil and commerce (Russia is building the Iranian nuclear "power" reactors). That's the problem with sanctions; pain is inflicted upon both imposer and imposed. This does not even take into account what reactions Iran might manifest in, say, increased exportation of terrorist actions or any mischief the Iranian Navy and Air Force might engage in regarding Persian Gulf shipping traffic.

So, without a comprehensive agreement among the majority of Western nations to put together a package of credible sanctions and attractive inducements that presents significant costs and possible gains to Iran we are merely allowing them more time to turn a bad situation into Armageddon. Europe is a lot closer via rockets tipped with WMD's. If Iran thinks it can acquire both the bomb and immunity from attack by following this path, it is sadly mistaken. The bomb's value in defense works, if at all, in a MAD environment (Mutually Assured Destruction) where both sides pay heavily in a nuclear exchange. This would not be the scenario granted to Iran in possession of a few bombs. If it saw fit to detonate such weapons in Israel or Iraq I'm sure the gloves would quickly come off any diplomatic efforts resulting in "other means" being employed.

The West's multilateralism might be able to save Iran from itself …maybe.

JM
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 May, 2006 12:43 am
Re: Iran's Nuclear Effort: Do Western Nations Really Care?
JamesMorrison wrote:
Americans and Europeans claim concern when it comes to Iranian strides towards being a nuclear power. (That they want the bomb, and not just nuclear power plants, has been made quite clear with their refusal of Russian offers to supply such fuel and remove the "Waste" so involved--their bluff has been called.) Arguments for Iranian "Nuclear Rights" are irrelevant, especially in light of anti-Semitic, anti-American, and, generally anti-Western remarks emanating from Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Many like to point to Israel's alleged possession of nuclear devices as an argument (relying on some type of "fairness" doctrine) for Iran's right to have similar WMD's. This is sheer horse pucky. Israel has never threatened the lives of millions of its neighbors and advanced the concept of their national destruction. Israel has been a responsible democratic nation. Iran is not even close to responsible, let alone truly democratic. It has openly promised to proliferate the nuclear technology it develops to other dangerous regimes.

But, before we can whine about whether or not Iran has the right to the bomb, two questions must be answered: Does the West really care? If so, and if those in the West decide that it should not have such power, what are Westerners willing to do to prevent an Iranian nuclear presence in the Middle East?

In regards to the first question it would seem that Europeans (at least the big three of France, Germany, and the UK) opine in the negative regarding a nuclear Iran…up to a point. That point is, of course, where Iran's recalcitrance demands the use of military force to prevent it from going nuclear. Nothing seems quite that important to the Europeans, and this should be noted and respected. Negotiations sometimes are helpful in reaching satisfying end results to a conflict. But it appears the Iranians are hell bent on acquiring the bomb. So will multilateralism, regarding Europe and America, work here? Well it can, but only if both agree on how serious they are willing to treat the conflict and consequently how far they are willing to agree to serious sanctions against Iran. This includes, but does not necessitate, the dreaded military option. Without this agreement among the western allies the mullahs can just play a Saddam like rope-a-dope diplomacy for many years to come, decades perhaps.

However, Iran doesn't need decades it merely needs enough time to acquire the bomb it seeks. Allowed its present situation, experts figure just a few years will elapse before its goal is reached. Intelligence reports indicate it has already cut centrifuge time by one quarter which will enable it to acquire the nuclear material for a bomb four times as fast as previously thought.

But the big three are not the only nations that might help with the goal of preventing a nuclear Iran. Russia and China could help the multilateral cause via the U.N.'s Security Council, so, will they? Probably not, they are much more interested in Iranian Oil and commerce (Russia is building the Iranian nuclear "power" reactors). That's the problem with sanctions; pain is inflicted upon both imposer and imposed. This does not even take into account what reactions Iran might manifest in, say, increased exportation of terrorist actions or any mischief the Iranian Navy and Air Force might engage in regarding Persian Gulf shipping traffic.

So, without a comprehensive agreement among the majority of Western nations to put together a package of credible sanctions and attractive inducements that presents significant costs and possible gains to Iran we are merely allowing them more time to turn a bad situation into Armageddon. Europe is a lot closer via rockets tipped with WMD's. If Iran thinks it can acquire both the bomb and immunity from attack by following this path, it is sadly mistaken. The bomb's value in defense works, if at all, in a MAD environment (Mutually Assured Destruction) where both sides pay heavily in a nuclear exchange. This would not be the scenario granted to Iran in possession of a few bombs. If it saw fit to detonate such weapons in Israel or Iraq I'm sure the gloves would quickly come off any diplomatic efforts resulting in "other means" being employed.

The West's multilateralism might be able to save Iran from itself …maybe.

JM


Western nations care. The question is how much do they care?

Iraq has taken the starch out of Global Hawks (including the US), and so whether or not both situations (Iraq and Iran) justify military intervention, the fact that it has been employed in the former without lightening like, and casualty free success, makes it that much more unlikely in the the case of the latter.

Preemptive military intervention in the case of Iran is not impossible, but it is far more likely that military power will be used in response to an Iranian nuclear weapon than to prevent it.
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SierraSong
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 07:07 pm
His interview in Der Spiegel is positively chilling to the point I'm wondering if he's criminally insane.

http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,418660,00.html




Lots of buzz in the blogosphere re: student protests, clashes, large crowds, murder. Nothing (as per usual) from the MSM yet (whatashock). May be leading to something - maybe not.

If there should be a popular uprising in Iran, my biggest fear (aside from this nutjob and his posse getting the bomb) is that most of the world will turn away and let the mullahs crush it.

(Some photos of the protests can be seen here):

http://thespiritofman.blogspot.com/
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