January 14, 2006


Bullying Iran is not an option: Before Western leaders seek sanctions against Iran, they should put their own houses in order on nuclear weapons and nuclear power (Mary Riddell, January 8, 2006, The Observer)

As Iran moves towards the ultimate in WMD, George W Bush must be thinking he fought the wrong war. [...]

Sixty years on, the notion of nuclear nemesis has not sunk in. Last year's make-or-break US conference to revive the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty achieved nothing. The pact, ratified in 1970 and signed by 187 countries, was designed to ensure that unarmed states never acquired weapons and that armed nations, in return, would wind down their arsenals.

That cornerstone of a peaceful world is crumbling, partly because Bush wants new weapons while demanding that other regimes forswear them, but also because the treaty is fatally flawed. Its aims, to eradicate nuclear weapons while championing the spread of nuclear energy, are irreconcilable. Atoms for Peace, suspect in Eisenhower's day, is an oxymoron in a globalised age.

Any rogue state can build up a civil programme, opt out of the treaty with six months' notice and begin making weapons. Iran has always claimed, to universal disbelief, that it is only exercising its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. Pakistan, a non-signatory, was last week reported to be buying up to eight reactors from China, which has long been suspected of helping with its weapons programme.

On the campuses of Tehran, even moderately minded students are aggrieved. Who are Bush and Blair to preach while laying in new nukes and welcoming India, with its illicit weapons, into their nuclear club? Israel is stacked with unauthorised nukes, a Nato base sits at Herat and the US Fifth Fleet trawls the Persian Gulf. Why should Iran, so besieged, not have a deterrent?

It's all the same war and if you can't tell the difference between America/Britain/Israsel/India on the one hand and Saddam/Ahmadinejad/Assad/Kim on the other then you're not on the right side.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 14, 2006 9:57 AM

Iran isn't being besieged just for the sake of it and when India acquired nuclear weapons, it was a different world.

Iran is saying they need nuclear weapons as a deterrent to being attacked. That's nonsense, they aren't under attack now, nor are they likely to be attacked in the future other than to forcibly destroy their nuclear weapons capability.

Allah help them if the government is taking their cue from university students.

Posted by: erp at January 14, 2006 10:46 AM

Well, the only thing we really need nuclear weapons for is to deter other peoples' use of nuclear weapons. We definitely need them for that, however.

The C.J.-symp is saying that if the world government moves to chastise Iran with conventional weapons, Iran may feel free to resist us by using nukes against one of our air bases or CBG's.

Let Allah have mercy on them then, for we should have none. One single SSBN throws a few switches, then it's Miller Time.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 14, 2006 11:43 AM

"This time, we cannot simply walk away." So, what do you suggest Mary of the Riddles? That we all put helmets on and get under the bed or that we just wait and hope our grandkids will take care of it or that better Muslim than dead? Of course suicide is always an option.

Posted by: Genecis at January 14, 2006 11:52 AM

Actually, bullying Iran IS an option, Ms. Riddell. At least for the US. Since a nuclear Iran is not tolerable, it's the only option we have.

Posted by: b at January 14, 2006 2:59 PM

iran is the kitten on a string, and we are the hungry pit bull. they are being maneuvered into a fight they shan't emerge whole from.

Posted by: toe at January 14, 2006 4:43 PM

Sure, the "collapse" of the NPT is Bush's fault.

Pakistan set off its bomb in 1998, bouyed by A.Q. Khan, who has (semi-privately, it seems) supplied Iran and North Korea, along with Libya.

Who was President then?

And I would ask this woman, why does she think the US is more dangerous than Iran? Would she rather live in Tehran than D.C.?

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 14, 2006 8:17 PM