Iran’s nuclear program

Understanding Iran’s position: nuclear technology meets national defense.

If you have been reading any news lately, then I am sure you aware of the uproar that the “international community” has expressed over Iran breaking the UN seals at three of its nuclear facilities.

Remember when President Bush’s named Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the “axis of evil” in 2002? If so, then you can get an idea of how long the media and government officials have trained the public en masse to not distinguish between Iran, illegal nuclear weapons, and evil. “It was harmful both conceptually and operationally,” said Graham Allison, government professor and former dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. “Conceptually, the ‘axis’ suggested a relationship among the entities that doesn’t exist. More important, operationally, the reaction of the world and the North Korea debacle demonstrates that it was a mistake.”

What I don’t get with respect to the axis of evil is that by naming the countries you intend to shake down, you invariably add more fuel to the fire. Ergo, if Iran was only thinking about developing nuclear weapons, then wouldn’t they fiercely want nuclear weapons now? The main thing I don’t understand is this; why does the so-called war on terror assume that named countries won’t take decisive actions to defend themselves against attack? That is why I am so dismayed at current US foreign policy towards Iran. I am going to lay out a series of facts that lay out how Iran might be justified in their saber rattling towards the West.

1) As the war Afghanistan and Iraq progresses, a quick look at a map will show you that Iran is strategically trapped between US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

2) You have been named as part of the axis of evil.

3) Israel and the US have developed or are developing plans for a preemptive attack.

4) The current conflict is further exacerbated because “the same technology needed to produce low-enriched uranium for nuclear power plants can also produce highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons, the West believes that Iran intends to use this capability to stockpile weapons-usable nuclear materials.” So what we have is the West trying to have it both ways because while the West can allow states to develop peaceful technology and sometimes nuclear weapons, (like Pakistan) it can simultaneously claim that the state in question is seeking nuclear weaponry. This is also known as a catch-22.

I am not defending Iran, I am just pointing out that when you back someone into the corner, they will sometimes do almost anything to get out of that corner. And let’s face it, Iran has the upper hand because “the United States is quickly acquiring the ‘Vietnam Syndrome’ – the decision never to venture abroad again, after being so stung by the disaster which has become the occupation of Iraq. It has no stomach for a new battle: and Tehran knows it.”

And if you have been following the news, you know that Russia opposes economic sanctions against Iran and you know China is thirsty for oil like a fat kid loves cake. Both Russia and China are permanent members of the UN Security Council and the same way the US goes out of its way to veto sanctions/resolutions that go against Israel, Russia and China are prepared to do the same for Iran.

And I don’t even have to explain how much gas would sky rocket, because if you don’t know, Iran is the second largest exporter in the world.

The bottom-line is that the threat of war is the best guarantor of peace and while I wish we lived in a world where there were no nuclear weapons at all. But the doctrine of mutually assured destruction seems to be holding up pretty well. Moreover, if one were to observe the way the US dealt with Iraq and North Korea, then it is reasonable to assume that the possession of nuclear weaponry demands respect from the international community. Iraq was invaded and North Korea is not a signatory to the NPT and is essentially being offered carrots to peacefully contain its nuclear program.

I know the US is isolated by two oceans but we don’t live in a vacuum. Countries, like people respond to threats. And while the US may be the most powerful country in the world, the world is getting flat and traditional forms of power just won’t cut it. Because as we see in this Iran conflict, when you have different rules for different countries, soon enough, the countries that have traditionally been locked out will find ways to get in. We need a foreign policy that makes wanting nuclear weaponry unattractive because until we do that, the axis of evil will take on a life of its own.

Look for more analysis of the Iran conflict in the future.

Stay up fam,

Brandon
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