Friday, January 20, 2006

Iran and Nuclear Weapons

Earlier this week, The Belmont Club posted 2 commentaries concerning Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. The first, "Grappling with the ayatollahs", notes that U.N. sanctions are not likely to change Iran's policy of acquiring nuclear weapons. The limit on action by the U.S. and its European allies "is not the want of means, but the want of will". If this analysis is correct, and I fear it is, so long as Iran proceeds with development of nuclear weapons without doing anything more to provoke the West, the U.S. and its European allies will not be able to muster sufficient political will to intervene militarily.

The second post, "The Coming of the Bomb", accepts the premise from an Army War College study "that it [is] probably impossible for the US to stop an Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, short of a full-scale invasion". "Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon ... could mark the final end of efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation and provide Islamic terrorism with a nuclear deterrent. Islamic terrorism will literally be a Great Power."

According to the study, only regime change can prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In the opinion of Wretchard of The Belmont Club, "what we are left with then, is a new Cold War with an ideology as strong -- and probably much stronger than -- Marxism in its prime".

My comment: Should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, the prospects for a peaceful world are not bright. Yet, the U.S. and Europe seem unable to muster the will to do anything about it. We do not have the luxury of time. The deadline for a decisive action, though uncertain, is approaching. We must act soon, or we will live to regret our inaction.

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