Apocalyptic Nightmares of an Iranian Bomb Are Unfounded
Christian and Jewish fundamentalists have wild fantasies of Iran launching a nuclear war against Israel if they get the bomb. And even atheist warmongers use this fear to justify a preemptive strike.
But the hardliners’ argument that Iran’s Muslim fanaticism would cause its leaders to launch a nuclear attack on Israel if they get nukes has been undermined by two recent developments.
First, top American and Israeli military and intelligence chiefs say that Iran has not yet decided whether to build nuclear weapons … and that Iran would not use them even if they had them. See this and this.
As the Daily Beast notes:
In 2011, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before Congress that “we continue to judge Iran’s nuclear decision-making is guided by a cost-benefit approach.” Last week, Gen. Ron Burgess, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Congress that “the agency assesses Iran is unlikely to initiate or provoke a conflict.” Last weekend, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria: “We are of the opinion that Iran is a rational actor.”
Second the New York Times reports that Iran’s main religious leader says that the production, possession, use or threatend use of nuclear weapons is a “great sin“:
Echoing sentiments expressed in speeches by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, [Iranian foreign minister, Ali Akbar] Salehi denied that the nuclear program had a military purpose, saying Iran would be a stronger country without nuclear arms.
“We do not see any glory, pride or power in the nuclear weapons — quite the opposite,” he said. He added that on the basis of a religious decree by Ayatollah Khamenei, “the production, possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is illegitimate, futile, harmful, dangerous and prohibited as a great sin.”
Mr. Salehi said the existence of nearly 23,000 nuclear weapons in the world posed “the gravest threat” to sustainable international security.
The hardliners’ apocalyptic nightmares are unfounded.