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FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Why shouldn't Iran have a nuclear program?

Asked by FireMadeFlesh (16598points) August 17th, 2012

Why are the US, Israel and their allies so determined to halt Iran’s nuclear program? The IAEA inspectors have failed to find any evidence of weaponisation since 2003 (the same time as Iraq, their major rival ceased to be a threat). Iran is also a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and therefore is obligated to keep their nuclear program peaceful in intent.

More importantly though, what makes the US and Israel think they have the right to dictate the actions of another state? Even if Iran did develop nuclear weapons, they are certainly intelligent enough to only ever use them as a deterrent, and never actually deploy them. There is no “existential threat” to Israel, since the Iranian regime is not suicidal. As such, no threat is posed by a nuclear armed Iran, and no external state has a right to intervene.

There is also no chance of terrorists gaining control of nuclear technology in Iran, since they have done more to combat insurgency than Pakistan, which is both nuclear armed and an ally of the US.

So to reiterate the question, why shouldn’t Iran have a nuclear program? What ills could possibly result from them obtaining nuclear technology?

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48 Answers

Harold's avatar

No reason at all. This is a typical example of the US playing world policeman, and also its double standards. Why should the US have nuclear weapons, and not anybody else? Oh that’s right- that country might be able to defend itself from a US attack when some retarded president says they have WMDs.

I am sorry, but the US should butt out of world affairs, and respect the sovereignty of other nations.

_Whitetigress's avatar

To prevent a super power in the Middle East. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s a simple chess move. Eat Iran while it’s still a Rook.

Nullo's avatar

The U.S. and Israel care because, in short, Iran is non-friendly. It’s not a good idea to let non-friendly people get power, in most cases, in case some of that power comes your way.

More importantly though, what makes the US and Israel think they have the right to dictate the actions of another state?
Self-preservation? Sharing the same rock in space?
I might be wrong here, but I’m pretty sure that states have been trying to dictate each others’ actions for a very long time. I think they call it “diplomacy” when there isn’t fighting and “war” when there is. Motives are as boundless as human ingenuity.

There is also no chance of terrorists gaining control of nuclear technology in Iran, since they have done more to combat insurgency than Pakistan, which is both nuclear armed and an ally of the US. You answer yourself: Pakistan is an ally of the U.S. whereas Iran is not.

What ills could possibly result from them obtaining nuclear technology?
That’s a question that nobody wants to learn the answer to. Easiest way to do that is prevention.

rooeytoo's avatar

For the same reason everyone is nervous about North Korea and its nuclear armaments. Countries with unstable governments and “the bomb” is not a good thing for whomever might piss them off.

And really, let’s be fair, it is not only the USA that is against everyone having nuclear weapons, most of the rest of the world feels that way.

Nullo's avatar

@Harold It’s a bit late in the game for isolationism. You think the global economy is suffering now, just you watch when one of the largest national economies cuts ties with the rest of the world. The globalization genie is out of the bottle now.

mazingerz88's avatar

Because the US does not have fanatics who would drop a nuclear bomb or sneak in a dirty bomb in Iran or Israel. I don’t know about the religious fanatics there in Iran or not just them but the whole Middle East. Unless they themselves hunt down terrorists in their own region, Muslims like them or not, they’re better off without nuclear capability. Would you give Ahmadinejad a nuclear missile silo-? Israelis are not idiots.

flutherother's avatar

I am not in favour of nuclear weapons; I think their day if they ever had a day, is passed. I do not think nuclear proliferation is a good idea and so I don’t think Iran should be permitted to get nuclear weapons. I don’t think we can afford to have double standards in this regard and we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to Israel’s development of nuclear weapons while criticising Iran.

Buttonstc's avatar

What makes you think that the Iranian regime is not suicidal?

Ahmadinijad definitely has an Apocalyptic type of theological eschatology. This type of viewpoint considers it inevitable that there will be a catastrophic event which will usher in the golden age of the reign of the 8th Imam and all that mumbo jumbo. (that’s the shorthand Cliff Notes version and I forget whichever number of Imam is purported). You can verify the details yourself if interested. This is not a big secret.

A nuclear holocaust fits into that scenario quite nicely and he is the type of nutbar who would have a very itchy trigger finger on the red button (metaphorically speaking).

For a religious zealot like him, suicide is an honorable option and especially if it means taking out israel and most of the rest of the world along with him. He would see this as ushering in the golden age bla bla bla

Mass destruction (along with his own) is not at all anathema to him as it definitely is to most of the rest of the world.

It’s not a great idea to have that kind of power and capability in the hands of religious zealots (of ANY religion) with apocalyptic visions like this.

Not that many people were necessarily aware of it specifically, but Bush’s belief system had an analogous vision with only the details regarding which God being different. Does the whole “Left Behind” series of books ring a bell here ? Hello ?

But at least Bush had some checks and balances placed upon his actions by our system of government.

Iran is a Theocracy so what Ahmadinijad says goes. If he decides to push that button and damn the consequences, there’s not much to stop him since many others in the regime share the same ideology as his.

At least the ruler of North Korea lacks that zealotry and is quite enamored with the power he enjoys and all the pleasures available to him due to his position. He’s not in any mood to rush headlong into ushering in an apocalyptic sequence of events. He prefers to stay alive to enjoy all his pleasures for as long as possible. Oddity and whackjob tho he may be, he’s not a suicidal one and far less likely to want to push that button than Ahmadinijad.

He has stated that they would like to plow Israel into the sea or wipe them off the map entirely. I wpuid hate to make the mistake of brushing it off as mere rhetoric.

Thammuz's avatar

Why are the US, Israel and their allies so determined to halt Iran’s nuclear program?
Seems obvious to me. They don’t trust the Irannian government and, considering HOW they reached power, neither would I.

The IAEA inspectors have failed to find any evidence of weaponisation since 2003 (the same time as Iraq, their major rival ceased to be a threat). Iran is also a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and therefore is obligated to keep their nuclear program peaceful in intent.
Much like the US is theoretically bound by the geneva convention. Let’s just say that people assume everyone acts the samme way they do.

More importantly though, what makes the US and Israel think they have the right to dictate the actions of another state?
Bigger military, and the fact that the rest of the wwestern world is mostly made of spineless morons bent on sucking off the US.

Even if Iran did develop nuclear weapons, they are certainly intelligent enough to only ever use them as a deterrent, and never actually deploy them.
You do realize that the point of a deterrent is using it as leverage in a “do this or i use our deterrent to kick your ass” kind of blackmail, right? Last time a deterrent wasn’t taken seriously enough we had two civilian targets nuked just to prove a point.

There is no “existential threat” to Israel, since the Iranian regime is not suicidal. As such, no threat is posed by a nuclear armed Iran, and no external state has a right to intervene.
Rights, shmights. Since when has politics been ethically sound, anyway? The US has no right to do 90% of the shit they do on foreign soil and this has never stopped them.

Also, bullshit on “not htreat is posed”. A deterrant is the very definition of “a threat”. You use it to threaten action and get what you want.

There is also no chance of terrorists gaining control of nuclear technology in Iran, since they have done more to combat insurgency than Pakistan, which is both nuclear armed and an ally of the US.
No possible thing has a probability value of 0. It could happen, just as it could happen with any other nation with access to nuclear armament.

So to reiterate the question, why shouldn’t Iran have a nuclear program?
According to the US? because they are not to be trusted. In my opinion? Because the fewer extremist regimes are armed with nuclear wepons, the happier i am. The day the US will not have them anymore is the day i will start celebrating.

What ills could possibly result from them obtaining nuclear technology?
Iran having a bigger bargaining chip, Iran possibly attacking remote targets.

You know, when the two things that come out of somehting are “more energy” and “bigger weapons”, i’m willing to bet the objection is to the latter.

filmfann's avatar

Ahmadinijad is batshit crazy. Allowing a country who has expressed the desire to completely destroy Israel to have nuclear weapons is also batshit crazy.

zenvelo's avatar

@filmfann He is not only crazy, he is not in complete control. There are too many variables in the Iranian governing structure to rely just on Ahmadinejad.

There is a fault in the questions premise. It is not just the US and Israel, but also Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States that are in dread of an armed Iran, not to mention Europe and North Africa.

@Thammuz Yes, the only time nukes were uses was by the US was in World War II, but atom bombs were not used as a deterrent beforehand. No one knew about the destruction of them before Hiroshima. But the atom bomb avoided what was estimated to be a minimum of 1 million dead if the Allies needed to invade the home islands. Learn some history.

@FireMadeFlesh You make a number of unfounded statements. Iran has promoted terrorists and also the Assad regime in Syria. They have not “combatted insurgency”, they violently suppressed peaceful protests of their own citizens. Iran is a brutal authoritarian regime.

Thammuz's avatar

@zenvelo I bloody know already. Also, while that may be true, any physicist worth their money already knew the power of the A-Bomb. The USSR, the Germans and the americans all wanted it for damn good reason, and i’m willing to bet the japanese knew how dangerous they were as well, hence why i said they underestimated the deterrent.

Besides, what does this change to the overall point? The only way a deterrent has any worth is if there is a chance that it will be used. Acting like it’s a bluff from the get go is only going to make it more likely that it will be used, to establish that you should take it seriously.

Patton's avatar

Just a heads up to everyone: the question is why Iran shouldn’t be allowed to have a nuclear program, not why it shouldn’t be allowed to have a nuclear weapons program. Nuclear power is not the same thing as nuclear weapons. If you think they’ll just go from one to the other, please give an analysis of the required technology that shows they are easily interchangeable in a way that the US couldn’t notice far enough in advance to prevent Iran from obtaining actual weapons (in violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons).

@Buttonstc Iran is a theocracy, but Ahmadinejad is not a religious leader. He is the president, which in Iran is not the head of state. The Supreme Leader and head of state in Iran is Ali Khamenei.

rooeytoo's avatar

I would rather have someone prove to me that they are NOT going to use the nuclear program to create weapons.Then we can go on from there. It is hard to ignore history.

Patton's avatar

@rooeytoo Ah, the old “prove a negative” routine. Prove to me that you’re not going to eat a sandwich tomorrow. It’s not impossible to prove a negative, but it’s much harder when we’re trying to prove an empirical claim. I doubt we could find enough empirical evidence to satisfactorily prove any country won’t use their nuclear program to create weapons. I also doubt you’d be willing to accept any amount of evidence that Iran won’t use a nuclear program to create weapons. You’re intransigent by habit, especially when you get your easily raised hackles going. I said what I said, though, because some people were acting like there was some sort of inevitable slide from the one to the other. I want to know their evidence for that.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Thank you all for your answers. Unfortunately I cannot address every point raised, but there are some I would like to respond to.

@Nullo True, nations have been trying to dictate each others’ way of life since nations first existed. However in the past century or so, the principle of pluralism has taken hold in almost every sphere of life – except diplomacy/war. Why can’t we take the extra step to allow alternate models to co-exist with ourselves? But that is a separate issue, perhaps for a different thread.

@rooeytoo As pointed out below by @Patton, the question is about a nuclear program, not a nuclear weapons program. The Iranian government is also far from unstable.

@mazingerz88 As much as Iran supports Hezbollah and HAMAS, they do effectively hunt down Taliban-aligned insurgents near the Afghan border. Iran would also not be stupid enough to allow a terrorist organisation gain access to a hypothetical nuclear arsenal – they would not want to be responsible for starting any war that may occur in the region.

@Buttonstc The Iranian regime is not suicidal, because their primary objective is to increase the power and prosperity of the Persian people. This obviously cannot be achieved if they are blown to hell in a nuclear holocaust. I agree that such destructive power in the hands of religious zealots is worrisome, but the attitude of the state focuses more on nation building than warfare or destruction.

@Thammuz A deterrent is only effective if there is a possibility of its use. In that, you are correct. But surely a deterrent will not be used when there is a counter-deterrent? Since the US and co. are worried about a single warhead (which they have admitted will take years to build once the technology exists), compared to Israel’s arsenal of 200+, given nuclear weapons capability Iran would still be militarily outclassed. The only difference is that they could take a significant toll on their way down. When war becomes too destructive, powers are less likely to risk armed conflict, because even if they win they will suffer huge losses. Otherwise, you raise good points.

@filmfann Iran’s statements regarding Israel refer to “sweeping the Zionist State into the sea”. They are talking about reclaiming the land from the Zionists, not genocide.

@zenvelo Iran has promoted anti-Israeli militia. The term terrorist is almost a by-word for militarised opposition to the US and Allies these days. The insurgencies they have combated are those affiliated with the Taliban that have tried to cross the border from Afghanistan. They have violently suppressed protests, but considering their former democratic government (that of Mossadeq) was toppled by Operation Ajax protests orchestrated by the United States, can you blame them?

@Patton Thank you so much for pointing out that the question specifies a nuclear program under an Iran that has signed the NPT. Nuclear weapons are quite a separate issue.

A few further points:
– Iran has offered to dismantle the high enrichment (20%) program several times, given certain diplomatic goals were adhered to. These goals include greater regional recognition from the US and Allies, an end to sanctions, and access to peaceful nuclear technology.
– Iran has also offered to cease material support for Hezbollah and HAMAS, in exchange for the above goals.
– Iran’s military is geared toward defence, as shown through a comparison with Israel’s defence capabilities. While they are a formidable foe to attack, they do not have the ability to sustain military engagement beyond their own borders.

Thank you all again for your responses.

woodcutter's avatar

The question will then be, would it be a good idea for Hamas to share in Iran’s nuclear program should they succeed? Because they will. Anyone who thinks Iran is just hoping to upgrade their electrical grid is kidding themselves. So Iran gets the bomb,next the Saudi’s, then Egypt, and everyone else in that region who can do it. All that radicalism squeezed into that place on the planet and there are those who believe they will all chill and remain that way?

wundayatta's avatar

Because they soon could be an enemy in a hot war. We wouldn’t want them flinging nuclear weapons at us.

Of course, if they did get the bomb, it would make us think a lot harder before going to war with them.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@woodcutter HAMAS does not have the means to maintain a nuclear weapon, and I doubt Iran would ever share it with them, because such a serious weapon would only be controlled by the very highest levels of command. Your comment is reminiscent of the “row of dominoes” theory from the Cold War. I’m not sure that is such a good idea.

@wundayatta Couldn’t such an incentive for diplomacy potentially be a good thing?

Nullo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Call it rational selfishness. Not everybody is as pluralistic as you think. Especially not in the Middle East, in an Islamic theocracy.
I think that we are aware that the question is talking about nuclear power plants. Nobody’s worried about those in their own right. The unsettling part is that a clever person (and nuclear physicists are by definition clever people) could weaponize nuclear power. That was almost literally the very next thing that the United States did after inventing the atomic pile, and was, indeed, the government’s interest in starting the Manhattan Project (which built the pile) to begin with.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Nullo Treat people morally, and they will respond well. Treat them with aggression, and they likely won’t. While they aren’t pluralistic themselves, surely the countries that strut around claiming the moral high ground could use a little pluralism in their policy decisions. I am by no means defending the Iranian regime – I think it could do with a lot of improvement. However that does not constitute grounds for sanctions or armed conflict.

mazingerz88's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Call me paranoid and ignorant but I don’t think Iran chasing the Taliban hardly justifies their support to Hamas and Hezbollah. Ahmadinejad wants Israel gone. He was re-elected. If for some reason, a nuclear device explodes in Israel and Iran gets the blame, they would prefer to have nuclear weapons as deterrent to those who might want to launch against them. It’s mindless rhetoric from Iranian leaders that is the cause of this debacle. Or one of many that is beyond me.

Nullo's avatar

Treat people morally, and they will respond well works in a vacuum. But it’s not good schoolyard policy. A person who sets his mind on a goal will be undeterred by “moral treatment,” especially if there is a conflict of ideologies.

I think it’s a safe bet that neither the U.S. nor Iran wants armed conflict. Lots of people have never wanted armed conflict, but got some anyway. It’s important to be able to manage those risks.

Nuclear diplomacy is a knife-juggling game. Let’s be pluralistic when the subject at hand doesn’t chance glassing Tel Aviv – Trade negotiations or something. Does Iran need to justify itself to us? No, but if they don’t we’re going to be watching them nervously

You want for the United States to be a mellow fellow while Iran, who very clearly does not like us (has said so, before blocking our number) wanders over to the Sporting Goods section of the rural Wal-Mart of life. It may be Iran’s right as a sovereign state, but it’s our right to be suspicious because we like our skin intact.

rooeytoo's avatar

Treat people morally and they will respond well, sounds like a fairy tale to me. Not a policy I would want my government using to determine who is an ally and who is not.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@mazingerz88 I never said Iran’s support for HAMAS and Hezbollah was justified by their efforts against the Taliban. That point just shows that they will not let their nuclear technology fall into the hands of any party but the military. I also contest the idea that it was their mindless rhetoric that caused the current situation. Iran’s nuclear program started when the world abandoned them during the Iran-Iraq War. In fact the US backed up the Iraqis. The diplomatic crisis surrounding the nuclear program is in response to the Iran-US tensions, which can be traced back to the 1953 coup. Iran’s rhetoric has merely been a tool in the dispute.

@Nullo I don’t want the US to be a “mellow fellow”. In fact I don’t want Iran to become nuclear armed, as much as I don’t think it would be the catastrophe it is being made out to be. I simply want the situation to be resolved without military action, and with a determination to respect the sovereignty of other nations.

@rooeytoo Where do you think terrorists come from? Are they people who are born differently and have an irrational hatred of developed societies, or are they people who have watched their families and communities get blown to hell thanks to foreign interference? A quick look at Fallujah during the Iraq war may help. A friendly city can quickly become a murder pit when treated unjustly. The other side of the coin is East Timor. Australia secured East Timor in line with international law without suffering a single casualty. We are now close allies with them, and the East Timorese have successfully built a democracy that has now carried out two elections without any violence. The principle really does work in practice.

Nullo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Would be nice, wouldn’t it? Maybe Iran could start by re-opening diplomatic relations with the U.S. And if they would recognize Israel as a sovereign nation as well, why, they’d have more goodwill than they’d know what to do with. While we’re wishing, I need a new computer. :P
The problem is that they as a political entity don’t want any of that.

Terrorists come in many flavors, certainly more than the either-or that you have presented. In brief, terrorists come from people thinking that they have to kill other people to make a point. Some of them are angry at the invader. Some of them really do hate the developed world, for reasons ranging from decadence to mere difference. Some target religious differences. Terrorism is not limited to a single kind of practicant.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Nullo As far as I am aware, both Iran and the US have tried to restart diplomatic relations. However the US always stipulates preconditions that are unacceptable to Iran, and they are perpetually sceptical that Iran is negotiating for the sole purpose of delaying action. For their part, Iran also stipulates preconditions that are unacceptable to the US, such as being able to continue low-enrichment nuclear activities.

Everyone wants world peace – but only on their own terms. Acquiescing to the conditions of a rival state would be seen as a compromise, and so peace is unacceptable under those terms.

wundayatta's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Could such an incentive for diplomacy be a good thing? Well, of course it could. But it is generally better to negotiate from strength than equality, and better to negotiate from equality than weakness.

Harold's avatar

@Nullo – I am not saying that isolationism is appropriate. It is just that the US has set itself up on some moral highground that it has no right to. Of course we live in a global society, but part of that is not holding to and enforcing double standards.

Nullo's avatar

@Harold I dunno, we’re pretty dang humanitarian, compared to the Middle East; I think that we might have actually earned some high ground. The fact that we don’t go in for honor killings or executing people for converting religions speaks volumes.

woodcutter's avatar

Fallujah was a friendly city? To whom was it friendly ? Saddam’s goons didn’t even tread there. It was a hotbed where attacks were coordinated. Full of bad actors who weren’t having any sort of diplomatic solutions. So they get the Marines and the city stops being the hotbed of resistance it was. They were given heads up in advance of the clearing. The smart ones bugged out. The one’s who wanted to die stayed on. If your enemies refuse to take yes for an answer the only thing left to do is eliminate them. Fallujah was a city that needed to be spanked. The fact it was a sharp fight is the defenders fault. And your opponents are calling the shots they decide how it goes down. It would be nice if you could pick your opponents because it would be handy to get the one’s who roll over.

Sorry if this strayed but I could not let that one go.

Hamas sends missiles into Israel whenever they want. It is not unrealistic to think they could do it with a nuclear weapon on one. All they would need is one, or five perhaps. Iran is a radical regime. Trying to predict what a radical will do has never been perfected since men started killing each other.

rooeytoo's avatar

@woodcutter – you know you’re not allowed to spank, that is abuse! You have to make nice, then your enemies will make nice back and the world will be at peace.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@wundayatta I don’t think any party is in danger of negotiating from weakness. I realise I made some idealistic (and unrealistic) statements above, but the principle is that a proud state like Iran is never going to take kindly to being told what to do in their own country, by a country that has previously toppled their governments and backed their enemies in war.

@woodcutter Fallujah was happy to see the end of Saddam, and was initially friendly to Allied troops because they had liberated the people from Saddam. However the Allied commanders refused to comply with the wishes of the city elders, not to mention the renegade mercenaries, and gradually the people turned against the occupiers. This culminated in the murders of the Blackwater mercenaries. It was only after those murders that Fallujah was considered to be a hostile city as a whole, leading to the massacre that followed.

Do you really expect people to leave their city just because an opposing military force ordered them to? If I was faced with the whole Chinese army invading my country, personally I would still stand and fight despite their obvious military superiority over that of my country.

HAMAS probably want to send a nuclear warhead into Israel. I have simply argued that Iran would not give them one, because they do not want a regional war, especially not a nuclear war.

Calling the Iranian regime radical is meaningless. Radicalism is a relative term, and tends to be used in the sense of “significant deviation from the normal”, specifically meaning a stance opposing the West. Yes, they are radically different to us. But what makes us the normal ones and them the radicals?

@rooeytoo And violence works so much better, doesn’t it! I mean we’ve beaten Iraq and Afghanistan into submission. They’re such friendly places now that we’ve proven our superiority.

Lets take a look at a couple of case studies. In WWI, Germany was thoroughly “spanked”, and was subsequently not allowed to maintain a significant military. They didn’t appreciate the national humiliation, and the circumstances paved the way for Hitler to come to power. That didn’t work out so well. In the Six Day War, Israel demonstrated their commitment to the concept of peace through superior force. That was one of the biggest “spankings” in military history, but yet they’re still not at peace, and far from popular. In a slightly more subtle case, the US disposed of Jaime Roldos Aguilera, then president of Ecuador. As the Assange case shows, Ecuador and the US aren’t on the best of terms, despite the demonstrated ability of the US to replace their leader as it chooses.

Military action has a place, and at times there is no other option. However contempt for the sovereignty of other nations does not make for a peaceful resolution on any level.

woodcutter's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh The rest of the region has no trust for Iran and would feel the need to pursue an arms race to get their version of the bomb. Show of internet hands here….do we want to see all the counties in the middle east acquiring a nuke just to keep up with the Iranians should they get one? The region has demonstrated instability that cannot be disputed, slice it and dice it any way you want. With that many fingers over “the button” it will be a different world waiting for one of them to press it. They don’t care about economies or the disastrous,Allah ackbar consequences if that starts up. But hey that is way over there, can’t possibly bother us here at home.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@woodcutter The arms race argument is possibly the first legitimate concern raised on this thread. I would certainly not like to see widespread regional nuclear proliferation. However that is still no argument against a nuclear program. As signatories to the NPT, Iran has offered to cease their 20% enrichment program in return for some of their diplomatic demands being met. Surely allowing them to conduct low-enrichment research would be a good first step in the negotiations?

zenvelo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh No, it would not be a good first step. They don’t need to do any research, they have been offered responsible help with nuclear power. They are only researching the steps for production of nuclear weapons.

Iran is an untrustworthy regime run by zealots. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will realize any movement towards Iran having a nuclear development program is dangerous.

woodcutter's avatar

@zenvelo Well put. Iran’s leaders have already expressed they want Israel gone. How many ways can that be taken? Who in their right mind blows off threats of any kind? Pacifists maybe, who just won’t even entertain the thought that someone would do such a thing. It’s nice to have hope but it’s better to be realistic. Iran has done some ballsy actions in the past and they don’t seem to be afraid of anything or any kind of consequences. Not the kind of govt that should be developing nukes. They lie often so it is silly to take them at their word when they insist they only want it for energy. Are people really that naive?

Nullo's avatar

@zenvelo makes a good point: there’s not much that they could possibly need to research re: nuclear power; Science has been there, done that, and got the notebook.

@woodcutter I cannot see “Allah ackbar” without thinking of a certain admiral. XD

woodcutter's avatar

lol ’‘It’s a trap!”

Let’s just keep bugging their networks with AC/DC songs, or….Wham!

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@zenvelo Can you please provide me with details of when they were “offered responsible help with nuclear power”? To my knowledge, the opposing parties have always started with the prerequisite of ending the nuclear program. I would be very interested to see that information.

@woodcutter and @zenvelo Every Iranian I have ever met hates being confused with an Arab. The Persian people have a huge amount of pride, and would not risk annihilation for the sake of taking out Israel. I can well imagine them declaring war on Israel if they had the military advantage, but as the Cold War demonstrated, nuclear weapons are the ultimate stalemate. I also don’t doubt that they are intent on producing nuclear weapons – or at least getting close enough to scare the West into more favourable negotiations. Otherwise they wouldn’t have a 20% enrichment program. As I said above, I do not want Iran to have nuclear weapons. I just don’t think it is worth sparking a regional war to prevent them getting them, and I do not believe the West has had a serious crack at diplomacy without trying to draw Iran into its imperialist designs.

@Nullo There is still plenty more to learn about nuclear power generation. The most pressing is how to avoid or decrease the output of radioactive waste. Some proposals exist, but none have reached full scale development yet.

Nullo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I dunno; if I recall correctly, we have fission buttoned up pretty well.
During the Cold War, both sides had occasion to base the entire launch/no launch on one person’s evaluation of a computer bug.

woodcutter's avatar

every Iranian I have ever met

woodcutter's avatar

Since when does the average Iranian have shit to do with how the Ayatollah runs things there? They tried to show their displeasure with how things were going they but were pretty severely beaten down by the govt. Gotta give em credit for trying but we all know who’s boots are on who’s neck there.

zenvelo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh The US helped Iran in the late 50’s and through the 60s and 70s at development and research of reactors to provide nuclear power. Yes, that was under the Shah, but it was provided. Remember, as you have pointed out, Iran signed the Non Proliferation Treaty, but that was under the Shah also.

Yes, help from the US is conditioned on shutting down weapons development. But Iran continues to move towards developing weapons and weapons grade radioactive material.

By the way, I know very well that Iranians do not like being called or considered Arabs. It’s a racial and religious thing. That is why the Arab states are scared shitless that Iran will get nuclear weapons, because Iran has a racial and religious hatred for its neighbors on the Gulf (and yes, the Arab states do also in return.)

My question for you: why do you continue to defend Iran’s barbarous statements and actions despite the concerns expressed on this whole thread?

Nullo's avatar

@zenvelo They’re scared, hmm? Maybe this can be used to unify things over there. Israel, by contrast, is a known quantity – everybody in the region knows that they totally-don’t-have-nukes-guys, and they haven’t killed anybody with them yet.
Is an uneasy alliance between Arab states worth excluding Iran?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@zenvelo I respect the right of the Iranian government to develop their nuclear technology. I have stated that I do not want to see Iran nuclear armed, but foreign interference has only exacerbated the problem. It has also tightened the grip of the regime internally, as they use the threats of the US and Israel as justification for their repression of protests.

I believe that the best prospects for the Iranian people attaining democratic rule and the sovereignty of law are best achieved through a cessation of hostile rhetoric. If the international front were to quieten down, internal affairs would become more important in the consciousness of the ruling class. Instead crippling sanctions are making life hard for ordinary Iranians, while strengthening the resolve of the ruling class, and the threat of war gives credibility to the regime’s fear of internal instability at the hands of external powers.

zenvelo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh We should agree to disagree on who is the instigator of Iran’s troubles. Most of the world thinks that Iran, and Ahmedinejad, and the Mullahs, are all to blame. Add the Revolutionary Guards too. Quit having the Iranian mouthpiece deny the Holocaust, quit calling for the annihilation of Israel, quit threatening shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, quit treating its own people like a subjugated nation.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@zenvelo Apart from the cause of the current situation, I quite agree with your assessment of the regime itself, although I think their actions are understandable on some level despite their obvious unethical nature. Can we at least add to your final sentence that the US should quit treating them like a rebellious vassal?

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