July 31, 2007


Tehran the target of huge arms deal, says Rice (Ewen MacAskill, August 1, 2007, Guardian)

The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, increased pressure on Iran yesterday when she identified it as the biggest strategic challenge to America and the target of a proposed $63bn (£31bn) arms package.

US officials portrayed Iran as a growing spectre that was engaged in aggressive expansion and destabilising the region.

The Bush administration announced on Monday the huge arms sales package to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf state allies aimed at creating a bulwark against Iran. Speaking before a Gulf state conference at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Ms Rice said: "There isn't a doubt that Iran constitutes the single most important single-country strategic challenge to the United States and to the kind of Middle East that we want to see."

Just as we're justified in thwarting them, the Iranians are justified in desiring to be a nuclear power.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 31, 2007 9:27 PM

Give me a break. The justification for their pursuit of nukes depends on what they will do with them. Their government, or at least their president, is unquestionably bonkers and thus they aren't at all justified in acquiring nukes.

It's possible that some hypothetical German leaders would have been justified in breaking the Treaty of Versailles or even marching troops into the Rhineland. But not Hitler.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at July 31, 2007 10:03 PM

Justified? By what authority?

Posted by: erp at August 1, 2007 7:51 AM

We're working with their Sunni enemies and publicly call them our enemy. What kind of nation would not seek to respond? Only a craven one.

Posted by: oj at August 1, 2007 9:09 AM

I wasn't aware we were shouting Death To Iran for the past 30 years.

Posted by: Sandy P at August 1, 2007 5:14 PM

Exactly. Few Americans are aware that we led a coup against their democratic government and then trained the ruthless secret police, nevermind that we shot down a passenger jet.

Posted by: oj at August 1, 2007 6:35 PM

So besides exterminating tiny Israel, why would the Iranians need nukes?

And if Israel and America retaliate what do they care? We'll just give them a ticket to paradise and 72 virgins. And maybe that Imam fellow might just show up to bring on Judgement Day.

From the Iranian POV there is no downside to nuking Israel.

Posted by: Etal at August 1, 2007 8:47 PM

Exactly. The threat to Israel would be enough to guarantee their security.

Posted by: oj at August 1, 2007 10:07 PM

They have no intention of merely threatening Isreal.

They intend to exterminate and incinerate Israel and it inhabitants, no matter the consquences, as soon as they have enough nukes.

Given the tiny size of Israel, they only need 3 or 4.

Your reaction to Iran's stated goals is similar to that of western politicians who read Mein Kampf - disbelief and denial.

Or maybe you like Iran because their society, an oppresive theocracy, is the kind you prefer.

Or maybe you'd like to see a second Holocaust.

Posted by: Etal at August 2, 2007 8:52 AM

The Iranians have no intention of merely threatening Israel, they mean to exterminate it first chance they get - and they don't give a hoot about the consequences. Given the tiny size of Israel, they only need 3 of 4 nukes.

What part of this don't you understand?

Why don't you take the Iranians at their word?

Posted by: Et Al at August 2, 2007 8:58 AM

Israel is an actual threat to incinerate Iran, not vice versa.

Posted by: oj at August 2, 2007 12:21 PM

Israel is an actual threat to incinerate Iran, not vice versa.

Only because Iran doesn't have nukes yet.

Why are you being deliberately obtuse?

Posted by: Etal at August 2, 2007 1:03 PM

Once you concede that Israel threatens Iran with nuclear annihilation the rest of your argument evaporates.

Posted by: oj at August 2, 2007 3:52 PM