Thursday, January 12, 2006

Will Iran be Iraq II?

The US and EU's bluff has been called by Iran, which is unsealing assets that could allow the development of nuclear weapons within a few short years. Timothy Garton Ash asks how the West should proceed:

The seemingly half-crazed new Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, would probably regard a cost-benefit analysis as an invention of the Great Satan and a prime example of western secular decadence. Allah, he would say, is not an accountant. Yet if cooler heads in the regime behind him are making a cost-benefit analysis, they could still conclude that this is a risk worth taking. The mullahs are floating high on an ocean of oil revenue: an estimated $36bn last year. This money can be used to buy off material discontent at home.

Two essentials steps the West should be taking are progress towards global nuclear disarmament and a radical shift away from oil. Otherwise sufficient pressure cannot be put on regimes that join the existing nuclear powers in flouting the Non-Proliferation Treaty, funded by the most enormous flow of petrodollars to the Middle East. Yet Blair is pushing the UK towards a new generation of Trident missiles and nuclear power stations, while Bush tries desperately to avoid making any concessions to those scientists who argue that climate change is a greater threat to global security than terrorism.


cotiniere said...

I completely agree with you. However, sanctions against Iran should be counterproductive because Ahmadinejad regime is actually so weakened that sanctions might reinforce his political influence.
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DFH said...

So we should disarm while a Jew-hating supremacist nut acquires weaponry that can threaten the world?
Been there, done that. Never again.