Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Iran and the NPT

The West's impotent position on Iran's nuclear program would really be downright farcical, if it wasn't so duplicitous and out-and-out dangerous.

As a paid up member of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Iran has the right to use nuclear technology for civilian power production. The fact that the Iranians, rather tongue in cheek, claim to have no designs for developing the Bomb, can only make a sensible person smile.

In the Middle East region there is so far only one state that possesses a sizeable nuclear arsenal: Israel is generally estimated to be the sixth largest nuclear arms player in the world and has also far more extensive delivery technology than recently signed up members to the nuclear club like India or Pakistan.

Israel never signed up to the NPT and if it wasn't for
Mordecai Vanunu the world might never have known about the goings-on at Dimona.

Israel has the nuclear capacity and future motive to reduce any Middle East nation, including Iran, to a pile of radioactive, smouldering waste.

To prevent this from happening the US is already preparing to invade Iran, or at least bomb their nuclear facilities. Or make them leave the NPT so Iran can at least be dragged in front of the UN Security Council. The Israelis must be having a ball of a time...

Further reading from George Monbiot on the NPT, Iran, India, Pakistan and generally How to make the Bomb...

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5 Comments:

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Israel has no motive to obliterate any country with a nuclear weapon. Its interest is to prevent its own nuclear (or other kind of WMD) obliteration by another country, such as Iran. Israel's nukes are excellent deterrents.

Besides, it's foolish to compare a maniacal tyrannical regime like Iran with a democracy like Israel. Sure, we're too aggressive sometimes, but we certainly aren't crazy enough to nuke somebody. There's also no threat of us giving a nuke to a terrorist group.

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger Gert said...

emmanuel said:

Its interest is to prevent its own nuclear (or other kind of WMD) obliteration by another country, such as Iran. Israel's nukes are excellent deterrents.

my reply:

That's the reason why other countries also want to acquire nuclear WMD: because of the deterrent effect. Why do you find that so hard to comprehend? Mutually Assured Destruction provided peace between the US and USSR, precisely because BOTH had a nuclear arsenal, not because just one of them had one...

emmanuel said:

Besides, it's foolish to compare a maniacal tyrannical regime like Iran with a democracy like Israel. Sure, we're too aggressive sometimes, but we certainly aren't crazy enough to nuke somebody.

my reply:

Now you're sounding like a redneck Yankee: calling other people "evil empires". Iran is a
complicated democracy where secular and religious elements keep each other carefully in check. Learn something here.

And sure Israel is very aggressive and your trust in your "democratic leaders" is naive. Do you trust Netanyahu? Sharon? Do you trust these gangsters with nuclear weapons? That would be like me trusting a pathological liar like Blair and his stooges. G-d, help you...

 
At 11:48 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I read the BBC's info about Iran's system of government. It's more complex than I thought - but not more democratic. I'd say it is a complex theocracy with democratic elements where religious elements keep democratic/secular elements in check. The Supreme Leader has much more power than the president and parliament.

Would have Iran wanted nuclear weapons if Israel hadn't had nukes? Who knows. Alternate history is a guessing game - and my guess is that Iran (which still openly wishes to destroy Israel) would want nukes as leverage anyway.

One thing is certain about Sharon and Netanyahu - they both want to be prime minister. An angry electorate would kick their asses if they needlessly get us into a nuclear war or into int'l isolation due to the use of WMD.
Moreover, I definitely trust them more than I trust the Ayatollahs (the word "Duh" seems appropriate here, though you'd probably disagree).

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Emmanuel said:

I read the BBC's info about Iran's system of government. It's more complex than I thought - but not more democratic.

My reply:

Your reaction is a typical Western, "White Judeo-Christian" gut reaction which instinctively tells you that "these Arabs cannot be up to anything good".

To you only Western style democracy is true "Democracy", even though right now it's failing miserably in the US, the UK and Israel itself. We'll never learn that another people's form of self-rule may be different from ours and difficult to compare to ours. That attitude is a form of constitutional racism which I've elaborated upon a long time a go in a piece called
How the West won the World.

Emmanuel said:

Would have Iran wanted nuclear weapons if Israel hadn't had nukes? Who knows. Alternate history is a guessing game - and my guess is that Iran (which still openly wishes to destroy Israel) would want nukes as leverage anyway.

My reply:

There are many precedents which make "alternate history" practically a science rather than a mere guessing game. Also, logic shows that when one party gains a disproportionately large advantage, the other party will do whatever it can to catch up. It doesn't just apply to nukes: look around you...

Emmanuel said:

One thing is certain about Sharon and Netanyahu - they both want to be prime minister. An angry electorate would kick their asses if they needlessly get us into a nuclear war or into int'l isolation due to the use of WMD.

My reply:

Oh, well. I guess we can all sleep safely with that kind of guarantee... You're really not making any sense at all on this point.

Without some kind of Cold War style mutually assured destruction, asymmetric deterrence doesn't rule out unilateral or pre-emptive nuclear striking by Israel, elections or not...

 
At 7:57 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I don't think that only western style democracy is a democracy. Democratic governments can take many forms, according to what fits the culture. Lebanon is a perfect example. They still have a problem with Syrian interferance, but not as much as they used to.

Iran, on the other hand, is a very limited democracy. The clergy can ban anyone they don't like from running for parliament. I've heard that most Iranians are dissatisfied with their regime.

By the way, Iranians aren't Arabs. They're Farsi. Your comment is a typical Western, "White Judeo-Christian" gut reaction which instinctively tells you that "all Muslims are Arabs". :)

 

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