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Linda_Owl's avatar

Do you think that Iran is trying to achieve a Nuclear Weapon in order to deter being attacked by the United States?

Asked by Linda_Owl (7728points) October 2nd, 2012

In an article by Glen Greenwald for Common Dreams, states that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has publicly stated that the US does not want Iran to achieve a Nuclear Weapon because it would bring a halt to the US aggression in the Mid-East.
A link to this article
When you stop to think about it, it does make sense… especially when you consider Bush & Cheney’s invasion of Iraq, which absolutely left Iraq devastated, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people who were killed. For all that think that the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is dangerous – that is probably true, but that does not necessarily make him a fool. He knows that a Nuclear Weapon will stop the US in our tracks. He knows that having a single Nuclear Weapon (even though he KNOWS that he is massively out-gunned by the number of Nuclear Weapons that the US has at its disposal), he knows that if Iran has even ONE Nuclear Weapon (with which he can retaliate if Iran is attacked) – it will make Iran’s position in the Mid-East much better. But to hear a US Senator say something like this in public, it makes one wonder what he is saying in private? Is the US that far gone down the road towards constant warfare that we are no longer able to even envision the US if it does not include a constant state of WAR?

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28 Answers

lloydbird's avatar

Linda,Linda, Linda…,
have I not told you that you should stick to asking questions about cakes or knitting?

Linda_Owl's avatar

@lloydbird , I ask the questions that I think NEED to be asked. So…. maybe YOU can ask questions about making cakes or about knitting?

gasman's avatar

I think that once Iran develops a nuclear weapon, it will, without hesitation, make good on its promise to annihilate Israel. I don’t consider that a far-fetched scenario at all.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@gasman Latest thing I came across figured Israel has at least 24 nucs. Who’s going to take out who?

gasman's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Because Israel isn’t completely crazy like Iran.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@gasman..Interesting Let me chew on it for a bit.

wundayatta's avatar

I think that nuclear weapons are not meant to be used. Iran could shoot one at Israel, but they’d hurt the Palestinians if they did. What would that accomplish?

No one wants to use such a weapon. What they want is to prevent others from using them, or prevent others from invading, and when you think about the US, which has threatened to invade Iran many times, it seems to me they are trying to get some preventative power here. They know they can’t make enough weapons to hurt the US, and they couldn’t deliver them even if they could make them, unless they could get a Jihadist to smuggle some in.

The threat against Israel is a reminder to the US that they better think twice about invading Iran. They need a credible threat so they can protect themselves. I think there is a good possibility that an Iranian weapon would actually bring more stability to the area. Iran might be willing to negotiate once it believes it is safer.

Brian1946's avatar


Because Israel isn’t completely crazy like Iran.

If the entire country of Iran is completely crazy, then why wouldn’t they try to annihilate Israel without even entertaining the militarily rational thought of first having the capability to do so, i.e., developing a system of deliverable nuclear weapons?

woodcutter's avatar

We need to remember that the so called hundreds of thousands of civilian fatalities were mostly caused by in- fighting and relatively few by mistakes by coalition forces. Iraq was awash with AK 47’s as Saddam let all the sickos out of prison when he realized the invasion was imminent. I’m not sure if the Iranian civilians have weapons at their disposal as the society is a different make up, as in not too many Sunni’s?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I think Iran is most certainly conducting its nuclear program to halt US aggression in the region. Their repression of their people is also a result of deep-seated suspicion of protests, considering that is the medium Kermit Roosevelt used to topple Mossadegh. However I do not believe Iran actually wants a nuclear weapon. They are using their nuclear program as a negotiating pawn, and each announcement of advances in the enrichment process comes on the back of increased Western hostility. If the West does not scale back their covert and economic war on Iran, they may well build a nuclear weapon.

I also believe that if Iran does manage to build a nuclear weapon, it will be a deterrent and won’t ever be used. Israel’s nuclear arsenal far outstrips anything Iran can build, so it would be suicidal to use it. To those who think along the lines of “those who disagree with us are lunatics bent on destruction”, maybe it makes sense to use it, but Iran’s foreign policy is shrewd and calculating, and I do not believe they are suicidal.

@gasman “Because Israel isn’t completely crazy like Iran.”
Iran is not completely crazy, they just think differently to us. Israel also is not completely crazy, but they are far from pacifists. Iran is not the state threatening war at the moment. Neither are they aggressively attempting to dictate the policy of another sovereign nation, in the way that Israel is.

Linda_Owl's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh , I agree with you.

basstrom188's avatar

In some respects I don’t blame Iran for wanting Nuclear weapons when you consider the neighbours who already posses it: Pakistan, India and the Russian Federation. Without even considering the US or the submarine based capabilities of the United Kingdom and France.

DWW25921's avatar

Iran has clearly stated that they wish to blow Israel off the map. That is why. They couldn’t care less about what the United States thinks as they want to blow us up too.

phaedryx's avatar

I think they want nuclear weapons for a number of reasons.

First, as a matter of national pride. They would demonstrate that Iran has smart scientists and engineers.

Second, I think they want them for a deterrent. Other countries would think twice before attacking or invading a country with nuclear weapons.

Third, I think they want to be taken seriously as a threat. Honestly, their military right now is ridiculously small relative to that of the United States. There would be no contest if it came to a conflict.

I think that Ahmadinejad is kinda crazy/dangerous, but he has relatively little real power.

@DWW25921 That was a mistranslation of Ahmadinejad possibly misquoting Khomeini. It’s a great phrase for politicians to use when they want to whip up a frenzy against Iran, but it is not “clearly stated.”

DWW25921's avatar

@phaedryx Is it not true? Misquote in one instance or not the extremist government of Iran clearly wants to cause harm to Israel. There are thousands of articles to that effect. I’ll give you only 1, mostly because it’s pats 2am and I’m tired. Have a good night!

rooeytoo's avatar

They want nuclear weapons so theirs is as big as all the other big boys. It’s sort of like giving automatic weapons to everyone in the schoolyard but telling them they shouldn’t use them. But really they don’t want them as a deterrent, they want them to kill infidels! Since I am an infidel, I am not in favor of this.

The USA has had them for a while now and have only used them once. And while the Japanese are lovely people I don’t really want to live in a Japanese colony. Darwin was attacked and Australia was to be invaded, thanks to the yanks it didn’t come to pass.

phaedryx's avatar

@DWW25921 Okay, I read the article you linked, but I’m not sure what you wanted me to get from it. Here are a few interesting quotes from it:
“Israelis fearful that an attack on Iran might bring revenge rockets from Hezbollah have collected gas masks from distribution centres.”
“Iran this month unveiled a new ballistic missile – the Fateh-110. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it was designed to help Iran to defend itself.

Iranian missiles are not believed to be capable of inflicting serious damage here in Israel.

An expert on missile defence technology at MIT, Professor Theodore Postol, told the BBC earlier this year that the current threat from Iran’s ballistic missiles was limited.

‘There is no realistic threat to troops, cities, oil refineries, and the like from Iranian ballistic missiles,’ he said.”
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei described Israel as “a Zionist cancerous tumour”.

He looked forward to the day when “the Zionist regime will disappear from the landscape of geography”.
I asked her if she believed Israel should attack Iran. “Yes, but not alone, not alone.”
Front pages here have been dominated by a different threat – Jews attacking Arabs. There have been two chilling incidents.
One, Jamal Julani, was so seriously injured that he had to be resuscitated with a defibrillator and 10 minutes of CPR to keep his lungs oxygenated and his heart pumping. Five of the teenagers have been arrested.
In the other incident, near a West Bank settlement, a fire-bomb was thrown at a Palestinian taxi, wounding six passengers. Three 13-year-old youths from the settlement have been arrested.
And – referring to existential fears about Iran – the columnist, Eyad Megged, wrote: “A Jewish mob attack on Arabs is far more dangerous than the Iranian menace… a Jewish mob is the real existential threat…. the eradication of the domestic racist blight should come before the eradication of the foreign nuclear one.”

1. Israel is thinking about attacking Iran, but is worried about retaliation if they do.
2. Iran has some missiles they say are for self-defense; they aren’t a threat to Israel
3. The supreme leader said some vaguely threatening things about Israel
4. There have been some incidents of Jews violently attacking Palestinians

Clearly Israel wants to cause harm to Iran, is that what I’m supposed to understand?~

Iran sympathizes with the Palestinians, why would they “blow Israel off of the map”? They want to pressure Israel towards establishing a separate, independent Palestinian state (and yes, they support Hezbollah as part of that pressure).

I also don’t see any evidence that they (Iran) “want to blow us up too”.

ucme's avatar

Nuclear deterrent, so the mantra goes.

DWW25921's avatar

@phaedryx It’s a troublesome situation and I don’t want anyone to go to war over hate. It does appear that the Iranians are poking at Israel and the world. I think they want to be attacked. I don’t think their crazy leader cares. That would give the rest of the Muslim extremist world an excuse to cause havoc and attack anyone who isn’t Muslim.

Consider also, how many Buddhist laws openly encourage beating their wives? How many Christians blow up school children in protest of a slight? How often do you hear of a mass murder due to an offended Wiccan? You don’t because it doesn’t happen.

The extremist Muslim world can not be trusted. I can gather by the way you wrote your response that you’re not totally on Israels side. That is unfortunate. Islam is not a religion of peace. I had several Muslim friends that told me that. They also explained that people that practice Islam is the United States have almost a completely different outlook than the Muslims overseas.

There are wackos on both sides. However, it does seem that the aggressive behavior is more prevalent with the Islamic extremists. Islamic extremists run several major middle eastern countries. I believe they want a war and they’re going to use the politically correct climate to wage it.

Anyway, have a wonderful evening. Oh, I found a few more links. It only took me 4 minutes.

woodcutter's avatar

If the US plans to pound Iran, they are going to do it regardless if they have a nuke. What’s the problem?

wundayatta's avatar

WIth any luck, Iran will collapse of its own incompetence in the next few months, and will become a bit friendlier and no longer interested in developing a nuclear capability.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@wundayatta Incompetence? I think they have proven to be quite competent, carrying on with business as usual despite the harsh sanctions imposed by the imperialist powers.

wundayatta's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Many analysts think that Iran caused these problems themselves and that, despite our wish that sanctions had an impact, they actually had nothing to do with it.

For years, economists have been critiquing the Imam’s messing with the economy as doing much to bring it down. They don’t have a free market, which causes all kinds of economic dislocations.

I’m no fan of imperialism. I think the roots of the current Iranian power system were laid by CIA adventurism in the ‘50s. I don’t think the US knows what it is doing in terms of foreign policy. But I don’t think sanctions have had much effect. What’s going on in Iran has mostly to do with letting religiously trained folks run an economy. They don’t know what they are doing.

woodcutter's avatar

There seems to be outrage from the people because the sanctions have made life there a bit unbearable. Those in power are still sitting pretty because those at the top always seem to skate around sanctions for their comfort items, however the crux of the sanctions is to make civil unrest cause political unrest and hopefully political change that may be favorable so there will be no need to start military action.
That would be the best scenario. The Iranian people are basically pro west but if we start bombing the crap out of them they would certainly change their minds, wouldn’t you?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@wundayatta That is an interesting perspective, and I must say not one I have heard before. I find it hard to believe that sanctions have not had a major effect, considering the Rentier system that underlies the Iranian economy. While not having a free market would cause economic dislocations from the rest of the world, who have isolated them in more than just economic ways, I don’t think that in itself can be blamed for internal issues.

I agree that religious clerics are untrained in politics, and make for poor government officials, but I think the Iranian figureheads have enough advisers to make do quite nicely. Their foreign affairs policy is quite well thought through in my opinion.

wundayatta's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Here’s an article about a free market economist in Iran. It kind of contradicts what I was saying in that it claims the Ayatollahs have been moving towards a free market economy. Yet, at the same time, it points out all kinds of things they have been doing to mess with markets. It’s from 2009. I thought I remembered a more recent article, and I’ll post it if I can find it.

This article talks about how the President of Iran has mismanaged the economy. The politicians like to blame sanctions, because it takes pressure off of them, but the reality is that they are not running the economy very effectively. This is a more recent article from October of 2012.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@wundayatta Interesting articles, thanks. I do not have any formal qualifications in economics, but I don’t think the free market is the answer to all the world’s economic woes. It is probably true, as one of the articles said, that Iran needs some level of deregulation, while we need some re-regulation. That said though, I totally agree that religious leaders are ill-equipped to deal with economic issues, of course depending on who their advisers are and how much power they have.

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