A nation whose leaders frequently threaten Israel with annihilation and who attacks and even executes its own people in order to prevent free speech and democracy, and a nation who constantly makes threats against the United States, and the same nation whose current leadership once took American hostages and held them for months and paraded them blindfolded before the world should under no circumstances be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
Actually no one should have ever developed them. But mix human curiosity, manifested by science, and the human penchant for war and it was inevitable.
Had the U.S. not been the first or had not at all developed the atom bomb someone else would have. The German Nazis were said to be close to it, and some even think Japan in time could have developed it. And of course the Soviet Union followed close on our heels in the nuclear arms race.
How the U.S. could have prevented other nations from getting the bomb is hard to see. Fortunately, most of the nations, not all, who now possess nuclear arms capabilities are at least nominally on the side of the U.S.
We don’t really know what happened to all the nukes in the dismantled Soviet Union, as far as I know. Don’t seem to hear much about China’s capabilities in that regard either, although we know that nation has a large arsenal of nukes. North Korea (that’s the half that is not on our side Sarah) gives us fits over nuclear arms development
(I have not addressed WMDs in general, to include chemical weapons, but whatever I say about nukes applies.)
While it is unfair that the U.S. would seek to prevent other nations from obtaining or developing nuclear weapons, our security may well depend upon it.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I think so far Israel is the only nation who has successfully thwarted nuclear arms development by potential belligerents — first in Iraq and then in Syria, both by air raids (but would Israel have dared make such moves without the tacit approval — even if perhaps after the fact — of the U.S.?).
But just how we delicately or not-so-delicately go about preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a hard question to answer.
With the latest report from what I understand is a highly respected UN nuclear watchdog agency that Iran may be closer than was thought to developing nuclear weapons (months? A few short years?), I sincerely hope somewhere in the depths of the Obama administration people are working on such contingencies (the quieter the better).
Then of course some speculate that we may be burned once again by going after something that apparently is not there after all and making quite a mess of it, ala Iraq and WMDs.
I have blogged before that it would seem far more practical to let Iran know in secret what our real position is — that is we will not tolerate the non-peaceful development of nuclear capabilities — and let it save face by deciding to forego the nuclear arms option.
It is said that it would be difficult to wipe out potential bomb building sites by air because they are well protected underground.
Also, sending in an armed force is all but out of the question. That sort of clumsy action is something we have been about too much of lo these past many years — and I do not mean to criticize the military — it’s the civilian leadership who gives them their marching orders.
But perhaps a combination of negotiation (but it has to be backed by the believable threat of power) stronger economic sanctions, and some type of confidential/ face saving conferences might work.
The aim should be for peace, not war. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard would like nothing better for the Great Satan to attack Iran outright so it could play on the sympathy of the world and particularly the part of the world who is not automatically fond of the U.S.
We should work diligently to not let that happen. But Iran should not be lulled into thinking that our desire for peace will win out over our desire for our own security.
It would be nice if the U.S. could help out the budding, but also foundering democracy movement in Iran, but really Iranians themselves need to take care of that, although I will say that at least in Iran where we are not really able to help at this time, there are at least people who seem to truly desire more of a western style democracy. Contrast that to Afghanistan where we are up to our necks in nation building, but where the populace tends to cling to old tribal ways.
And to go back to Iran. We do not want to, and probably can’t go in a take over Iran. We just want to make sure no more dangerous nut cases get the bomb.