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Iran, You Ran - The Cover Story
October 2013
Tue, Apr. 11th, 2006 01:42 pm
Iran, You Ran

OK, so Iran is making a big announcement tonight, and best case scenario, its that they're enriching uranium. What's with the saber rattling? Iran can't think they're going to score any significant victory if the international situation around them goes military, yet they keep pressing the US to attack. What gives? They know we'll be going in well before they have an operational nuclear weapon, and we're equipped to handle their chemical and biologics as long as they're not employed against a major population center (in which case, we're back to Operation Glass Desert), so what is the Iranian administration trying to gain out of this charade? Get us to bomb their infrastructure into pebbles and then pay to rebuild it again? And wouldn't that involve the removal of all current leaders? I really don't understand what the hell is going on over there. Is this cultural? Is there some moral prerogative across an entire nation, or at least its leadership, to fight the evil United States even if it means getting stomped into the dirt for no good reason? I just don't see what they're trying to do here.

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Wed, Apr. 12th, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC)

Now, I'm no historian, so take this with a grain of salt and all... but I think what they're doing has three motivations:

1. They honestly, truly think that if they do it right, we'll just learn to live with it. It's worked in the past, notably for India and Pakistan. We made the same growling noises at the time, but eventually we just kind of went into the corner with our arms crossed for awhile and got over it. North Korea we sort of don't believe, but the same is pretty much true there, too. Iran is hoping we'll do the same with them.

2. Israel. Did you know Israel is a nuclear power? Many people don't. We basically handed them the bomb, which must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it's started something of an arms race in the area -- the Middle East isn't all that big, so a ballistic missile goes a long way. Israel could take out Iran tomorrow if it felt the desire, and Iran wants to be able to return the favor.

3. Perhaps most importantly, in the eyes of Iran I think having nuclear weapons is what separates the haves from the have-nots. They've gone on record as saying basically, "look, we're the regional power now, and you're just going to have to live with that" -- if they have nukes, they believe, they gain jurisdiction over the rest of the Middle East. Not by threat of attack, but simply by way of the status that comes with being a nuclear power. Iran is an unruly teenage country, and it really, really wants those car keys to validate its own independence. Of course, this particular car kills millions if you crash it into something, so I guess that means Iran drives a Pinto. But that notwithstanding, I think they feel the risk of getting stomped into the dirt is worth the potential benefits to them of becoming a nuclear power. Especially when they may very well feel like we've already targeted them for stompage anyway.

Robert Bronzite
Wed, Apr. 12th, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC)

1) This seems viable, but the atmosphere here is much different than with India or Pakistan. In that instance, two historic enemies developed nuclear weapons at about the same time, and the real danger was that a limited nuclear war would begin on the Indian subcontinent, which would almost certainly draw China into the fray, and that things would start escalating very, very quickly. There's less danger of that here, so I'm not sure its a valid comparison. That said, Iran could very well see it as a valid comparison, which is all you need for this theory to be the case.

2) Actually, I did. Calling Israel a nuclear power is overstating the case a bit, though. Israel does indeed have nuclear weapons, all of which say "Made in the USA" on the side, however, what Israel lacks is the capability to manufacture their own nuclear weapons -- they have what they have and no more, which may affect how they choose to use them, especially since the deployment of an Israeli nuclear strike against anybody, let alone Iran, would almost certainly precipitate a theatre-wide conflict in the Middle East. Although Israeli no doubt has weapons for Tehran, Dubai, and Damascus, I don't think they have enough to fight a full-scale war.

Besides Israel's unique position among the nuclear-armed nations, Tehran must realize that, ala the Baghdad reactor incident, the Israeli military will strike before Iran can complete a weapon. Of course, they may be betting on Sharon's recent descent to disrupt Israeli command long enough for them to slip a nuclear enrichment program through.

3) I think this motivation is clear, but it still seems strange that they're not at least trying to be more diplomatic about it. Even North Korea was polite and quiet and they flagrantly broke international strategic arms treaties. Instead, Iran is going to great trouble to call attention to themselves, which makes no sense, even if you feel stompage is imminent.

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