10 thoughts on “Israeli Officials Raise Alarms on Iranian Threat

  1. If Iran is so dangerous, then why won’t Netanyahu et al. place any blame on the man who has done more than anyone else to strengthen Iran’s position as a regional power?

  2. Elon-
    I don’t think the article you link to shows that Netanyahu overstates the threat. The report described in the article is but one of many estimates we’ve had over the past few years re when Iran can get the bomb. Even if we regarded the report as the truth, clearly it presents only a rough estimate (what else can it do, since what it attempts to predict hinges on dozens of factors, and evidence for most of those factors is unobtainable?).
    All evidence considered, you can make a good argument that the ODDS of Iran getting the bomb over the next five years are under 50%. But considering the magnitude of the consequences of betting wrong, I think Netanyahu is doing the right thing.
    Seems Bush is for you what Jews and Gypsies are for Borat. How exactly has Bush caused the Iranians to try to get a bomb?

  3. J- I completely disagree with your asessment. Even if we say 10 years, which is in some camps a conservative estimate, for Iran to make that happen they would have to make the decision to enrich uranium at a FAR higher rate than they have to this point. According to a report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies:
    “If Iran threw caution to the wind and sought a nuclear weapon capability as quickly as possible without regard for international reaction, it might be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a single nuclear weapon by the end of this decade.”
    Everyone is talking about the American and European reaction, but I think the strongest reactions, if this were to happen, would come from the Sunni world, particularily Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and even Jordan. Iran poses a threat to the sunni hegemony in the region, and them having a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.
    And I think that BZ’s assertion that the Bush administration has pushed Iran towards a weapon is not completely false. We have witnessed a radical new departure in American foreign policy, pre-emptively attacking another sovereign nation without military provocation. If i’m Iran and the U.S. starts barking at me about being on the axis of evil, especially considering our past in Iran, i’m concerned. I’m particularily concerned that the U.S.’s ally in the region Israel HAS nukes already….
    I think Netenyahu is wrong here. Very very wrong.

  4. Elon-
    1) You seem to be cherry-picking the most expansive estimates for Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Look at all of the credible reports. It’s not pretty.
    2) Concerning the rate of enrichment, why do you assume that the US or anyone else would find out about this in time?
    3) As for regard to international reaction, Iran has been thumbing its nose at everyone else for years, starting in 1979. Why would they worry now?
    4) Do you really belive that the Saudis, Egypt and Jordan are capable of stopping Iran? Come on.
    5) BZ didn’t assert that Bush was at fault re the bomb. He just took the opportunity to blame Bush in a discussion about Iran’s nukes.
    6) Iran has been pursuing nukes since long before Bush took office.
    7) If Iran is afraid of Israel’s nukes, it’s because they fear retaliation. Israel has had nukes since the 1960’s (based on best available information). We all know Israel’s bureaucracy is slow, but even so, that’s an awfully long time to delay the Zionist conquest of the Muslim world.
    I encourage you and everyone else to look at the facts without regard to who mentions them. This is the most important issue facing us today. It shouldn’t be obscured by resentments against Bush, Netanyahu or anyone else. I invite the Left to co-opt the Right on this issue so that a united front in the US, Europe and Israel can properly deal with the problem. It’ll be a lot easier to resume our usual Left-Right conflicts if we aren’t blown to pieces or dying slowly from radiation.

  5. J,
    The playing up of Iran as a dire threat is a smokescreen thought up by the same people who came up with the Iraq-WMD = invasion equation. Don’t fall for it.

  6. J-
    1. Why don’t you give a more substantiated estimate of Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Since the US Intelligence regime and a reputable think-tank on security don’t seem to do it for you.
    2. Enriching Uranium is allowed under the NPT for peaceful energy use. If the level of enrichment were to spike in the way NEEDED to create just one nuclear warhead the IAEA would know about it. So long as diplomatic avenues remain so that the IAEA can have a presence inside of Iran. You see, drumming up war talk will in fact actually HINDER the International Community’s ability to stop Iran from making that leap.
    3. Iran has been emboldened as a result of the debacle in Iraq and the strain it has put on the US deterent. Iran is run by insane religious zealots, but unfortunately, they are clever, insane religious zealots. They realize that the International Community is made of of a number of states, with divergent interests and they are playing a game. They know the US can’t accomplish any punishment with any teeth without China and Russia signing off……
    4. I think that those nations have a LOT to lose by Iran becoming the powerhouse of the Middle East. Remember, Iraq is a microcosm of Sunni-Shia attitudes and relations, not an exception to them. Not to mention persians aren’t Arab…and…and…crikey there are so many reasons why they won’t let it happen…. Akbar Towers comes to mind as a minute example.
    5. Well I guess i am asserting that.
    6. The Shah pursued Nukes with the America’s help. Point being, they don’t have them yet, they won’t have them for a long time IF they have them at all and if they DO get them, it will because of some truly awful foreign policy decisions by the Bush Admin, forcing the regime to Isolate themselves further and stop talking to the International Community at all.
    7. Maybe, just maybe, Iran is afraid of Israel’s nukes because guys like Benyamin Netanyahu pounds his chest about the use of Israeli pre-emptive strikes on Iran, for of all things NEARLY posessing nuclear weapons despite all evidence to the contrary.

  7. To clarify, Bush took out Saddam Hussein, and replaced him not with democracy but with chaos. Thus, the secular dictatorship that had been keeping Iran’s Islamic dictatorship in check has been replaced by a void that is likely to be filled with a fundamentalist regime allied with Iran when the dust settles (if the dust ever settles). If Iran becomes the dominant regional power, Bush and his “regime change” can take full credit.
    Also, anyone watching Bush’s respective policies toward Iraq and North Korea can infer a clear set of rules: If you don’t have nukes, the US will invade you; if you do, the US will ignore you. Under those conditions, why wouldn’t Iran develop the bomb?

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