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Mark Stapleton

Iran and the bomb

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I'm taking a keen interest in the current hysteria concerning Iran's nuclear intentions. I suspect the hypocrisy of the whole affair is being driven by a fear that America and Europe won't be able to throw their weight around in the Middle East if Iran goes ahead and produces a nuclear weapon or two.

I believe nuclear weapons to be the ultimate deterrent and don't see why certain countries should be prevented from making their own national security arrangements.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Yes its the double standards, and hypocrisy that really stink. Not that I am gung ho to see Iran possess these weapons, but who the Hell are we to tell a sovereign country what it can, and cant do? The biggest hypocrite, as per usual, is the US, the only country to use nuclear weapons against civilian populations,and to abandon, or disregard reduction talks again, and again, Gets to tell others how to run their affairs. Talk about putting the Fox in charge of the hen house....

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Yes its the double standards, and hypocrisy that really stink. Not that I am gung ho to see Iran possess these weapons, but who the Hell are we to tell a sovereign country what it can, and cant do? The biggest hypocrite, as per usual, is the US, the only country to use nuclear weapons against civilian populations,and to abandon, or disregard reduction talks again, and again, Gets to tell others how to run their affairs. Talk about putting the Fox in charge of the hen house....

I agree. I would feel safer if Iran did not make any nuclear weapons. However, if you accept Israel’s argument that they need nuclear weapons to protect them from other states in the Middle East, then logically you cannot object to Iran using the same argument. After all, would the US and the UK invaded Iraq if they had nuclear weapons? I don’t think so. If the US, UK and Israel believe in the deterrence of nuclear weapons, why can’t Iran or Iraq believe this?

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Logically, the American and European Governments so alarmed by this development don't have a leg to stand on. Ahmadinejad also says he will ban inpectors if Iran is referred to the security council. He doesn't fear sanctions. It looks like America will just have to wear it.

There is also the possibility of a US backed Israeli strike on the Isfahan facility, similar to the attack on the Iraqi facility in 1981. The consequences of such an action could be disastrous.

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Having lived in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution, I do see quite a big difference between the USA, France or Israel having nuclear weapons and the sort of people I saw in charge there controlling them... If you really can't see the difference, try moving there for a couple of years...

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Having lived in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution, I do see quite a big difference between the USA, France or Israel having nuclear weapons and the sort of people I saw in charge there controlling them... If you really can't see the difference, try moving there for a couple of years...

I see. So you're implying that the Iranians can't be trusted with a nuclear weapon? The problem with this reasoning is it's completely subjective. While many in the West may consider the leadership of Iran unstable and barbaric, many in the Middle East believe the same can be said of the U.S. leadership. Many would also say this about Kim Jong Il in North Korea, yet he also has the bomb.

Countries can't deny other countries the use of globally accessible technology because they don't like their system of Government. It's incredibly arrogant and history has shown (with so many countries now in possession of nuclear capability) that it doesn't work anyway. Just because America possesses a ridiculous 10,000 nuclear warheads doesn't give it the right to determine which of the world's countries should possess nuclear weapons.

Nuclear proliferation is a strange phenomenon. There are now nine countries in the club: the USA, Russia, France, Britain, China, North Korea, Israel, India and Pakistan. Membership of the club costs plenty but it's still becoming less exclusive all the time. With all these new members in the nuclear club you would think the world would be permanently gripped by fear of nuclear war. However, this has not occurred. Paradoxically, the fear of nuclear war--at its peak during the cold war when membership of the club was limited to two (France and Britain possessing the nuclear technology but not the efficient rocket delivery systems of the US and USSR)--has subsided as the world has watched membership of the club grow. It should also be remembered that the only occasion a nuclear bomb has been used on a civilian population was in 1945 by the US, when it was the only member of the nuclear club.

The magnitude of destruction caused by a nuclear weapon--it must be remembered that a nuclear weapon is unlike convention weapons in its ability to devastate civilian populations--is the very reason why its use is so unlikely. New members of the club can be certain that use of a nuclear weapon to destroy another nation will result in the destruction of their own. That's a powerful deterrent.

Edited by Mark Stapleton

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I see. So you're implying that the Iranians can't be trusted with a nuclear weapon? The problem with this reasoning is it's completely subjective. While many in the West may consider the leadership of Iran unstable and barbaric, many in the Middle East believe the same can be said of the U.S. leadership.

I am indeed not just "implying" but stating clearly and unequivocally that the Iranian leadership "can't be trusted with a nuclear weapon". And yes, "the leadership of Iran [is] unstable and barbaric." Anyone who cannot see the difference between a leadership which encourages torture of "terrorist suspects" and prasies the torturers and one which twists desperately in the wind first trying to deny it and then to limit it, or between a government which states that all true believers have a duty to murder writers who write things which the leadership finds offensive with one which won't allow the display of religious symbols in public buildings for fear of offending the separation of church and state, or between a government which decorates the bridges of the main highway through Tehran with the corpses of hanged "criminals", including homosexuals, and one which not only permits but encourages diversity... anyone, who can't see these differences should, as I suggested, go live in Tehran for a couple of years.

It's really fashionable to claim moral equivalency between the perceived -- and sometimes genuine -- "crimes" of the West and the barbarism of regimes in other parts of the world. I'm certainly not a fan of Pres Bush and his government, but this constant sniping at all things American and silly suggestion that there's "no difference" between a country like Iran where there are no infringements of human rights simply because no human rights are recognized and a country like the USA in which they are sometimes elevated to almost sacred status (and quite rightly so...)

I now eagerly await the stream of vitriol suggesting that there's "no difference" between the incarceration of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and the imprisonment of newpaper editors in Evin Prison outside Tehran... that there's "no difference" between Schwartzenegger allowing the execution by lethal injection of an old, infirm prisoner and the regular public hangings from cranes which take place in Tehran.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4615172.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2303845.stm

http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/arti...hp?storyid=3688

http://www.coc.nl/dopage.pl?thema=any&pagi...&artikel_id=406

http://hrw.org/doc?t=mideast&c=iran

http://www.opcofamerica.org/press_freedom/..._iranletter.php

http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswi...ory.asp?id=8893

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051219/wl_nm/iran_bahai_dc

Read and compare!

Edited by mike tribe

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Guest Stephen Turner

As I said in my first post, I am in no way gung ho for Iran to possess Nuclear weapons. But it really is verging on imperialist thinking to suggest thats its okey dokey for America, and a few friends to have them, but not the "savages" of the third World. By far the best outcome would be for all Nations to agree to scrap this cold war technological nightmare, and to submit to regular UN inspections to ensure compliance. But dont hold your breath Brothers and Sisters, the big boys must have their big toys..

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It’s highly unlikely that debaters on this thread should publicly encourage civil persons to obtain guns and rifles with the argument that this would increase their security.

Than how it comes that this line of arguments is suddenly used for the unruly and undemocratic republic of Iran and its desire to acquire nuclear bombs?

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I see. So you're implying that the Iranians can't be trusted with a nuclear weapon? The problem with this reasoning is it's completely subjective. While many in the West may consider the leadership of Iran unstable and barbaric, many in the Middle East believe the same can be said of the U.S. leadership.

I am indeed not just "implying" but stating clearly and unequivocally that the Iranian leadership "can't be trusted with a nuclear weapon". And yes, "the leadership of Iran [is] unstable and barbaric." Anyone who cannot see the difference between a leadership which encourages torture of "terrorist suspects" and prasies the torturers and one which twists desperately in the wind first trying to deny it and then to limit it, or between a government which states that all true believers have a duty to murder writers who write things which the leadership finds offensive with one which won't allow the display of religious symbols in public buildings for fear of offending the separation of church and state, or between a government which decorates the bridges of the main highway through Tehran with the corpses of hanged "criminals", including homosexuals, and one which not only permits but encourages diversity... anyone, who can't see these differences should, as I suggested, go live in Tehran for a couple of years.

It's really fashionable to claim moral equivalency between the perceived -- and sometimes genuine -- "crimes" of the West and the barbarism of regimes in other parts of the world. I'm certainly not a fan of Pres Bush and his government, but this constant sniping at all things American and silly suggestion that there's "no difference" between a country like Iran where there are no infringements of human rights simply because no human rights are recognized and a country like the USA in which they are sometimes elevated to almost sacred status (and quite rightly so...)

I now eagerly await the stream of vitriol suggesting that there's "no difference" between the incarceration of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and the imprisonment of newpaper editors in Evin Prison outside Tehran... that there's "no difference" between Schwartzenegger allowing the execution by lethal injection of an old, infirm prisoner and the regular public hangings from cranes which take place in Tehran.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4615172.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2303845.stm

http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/arti...hp?storyid=3688

http://www.coc.nl/dopage.pl?thema=any&pagi...&artikel_id=406

http://hrw.org/doc?t=mideast&c=iran

http://www.opcofamerica.org/press_freedom/..._iranletter.php

http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswi...ory.asp?id=8893

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051219/wl_nm/iran_bahai_dc

Read and compare!

Mike,

I know the Iranian leadership represses its people with policies which border on barbaric. However, so do countries like China and North Korea. These countries have not used their nuclear weapons and despite their hubris, are no more likely to use nuclear weapons than the USA or Israel. The major change which occurs after the acquisition of nuclear weapons is that those countries then become immune from bullying by more powerful nations. America, Israel and Europe knows this and are desperate to maintain the current status quo in the Middle East, for obvious reasons. This is a debate about nuclear technology and its inexorable advance. Attempts to push the argument that a Government's brutality should be a reason for preventing it from using available technology misses the fundamental point that brutal regimes already possess this technology, and more will follow.

Jumping on a bandwagon of righteous indignation--a highly selective one which condemns some regimes and ignores others--is just denial by proxy. America should display maturity and accept the fact that nuclear technology and its by-products are not the exclusive right of the US and its allies.

Read more widely.

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It’s highly unlikely that debaters on this thread should publicly encourage civil persons to obtain guns and rifles with the argument that this would increase their security.

Than how it comes that this line of arguments is suddenly used for the unruly and undemocratic republic of Iran and its desire to acquire nuclear bombs?

Dalibor,

No one's encouraging "civil persons to obtain guns and rifles with the argument that this would increase their security".

I think you're referring to a debate currently being conducted by the gun lobby within the USA.

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Mark, you were the one who raised the issue of the instability and barbarism of the Iranian government being a possible reason for denying them nuclear weapons. You were the one who suggested that Iran and the USA could be seen as "morally equivalent".

I think it probably is too late to try to stop nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of the bloodthirsty and unstable people running Iran, but this is no reason for not regretting the fact...

Another moral equivalency question: Israel and Iran. When did Israel suggest the total destruction of the Iranian state or its wholesale transfer to Central Europe?

I read quite widely enough thank you. Perhaps some background reading on the Iranian Revolution and its leadership might not come amiss among those who choose to write about it...

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Mark, you were the one who raised the issue of the instability and barbarism of the Iranian government being a possible reason for denying them nuclear weapons. You were the one who suggested that Iran and the USA could be seen as "morally equivalent".

I think it probably is too late to try to stop nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of the bloodthirsty and unstable people running Iran, but this is no reason for not regretting the fact...

Another moral equivalency question: Israel and Iran. When did Israel suggest the total destruction of the Iranian state or its wholesale transfer to Central Europe?

I read quite widely enough thank you. Perhaps some background reading on the Iranian Revolution and its leadership might not come amiss among those who choose to write about it...

Mike,

This isn't a debate about Iranian history, it's a debate about nuclear proliferation. Perhaps you might like to do some background reading on how Israel acquired nuclear weapons. They weren't exactly honest, decieving all including the US for many years about their intentions. As John Simkin pointed out, if one accepts Israel's argument that they need nuclear weapons to protect them from other states in the Middle East, then you can't logically object to Iran using the same argument (unless of course, you are one of a growing number of people from the West who have been tricked by our media into believing that the people of Islamic nations are a lower life form, not worthy of repect or dignity. Is that your view?)

Forget about moralising over these countries. While some of the practises of the Iranians might seem barbaric to you and me, I believe that many of the world's population now believe the title "bloodthirsty and unstable" could equally apply to the US political leadership. The West nas no right to impose its set of values on these other cultures. And if you think that their recent revolutionary history somehow disqualifies them from the right to determine their own national security policy, you should remember that the CIA had been interfering in Iranian domestic politics for over 30 years, including organising the coup which overthrew Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 and kept Shah Reza Pahlevi on the throne.

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Can I just throw in a quick reality check?

The Iranians say that they aren't trying to make a nuclear bomb, but rather trying to develop their own nuclear power. Now, they may well be lying, but it isn't very smart to state that openly if you want another nation to change its behaviour.

But what if they're telling the truth?

If that's the case, then the Russian approach seems much more productive to me. I.e. 'Ok, you need enriched uranium. Let's set up a plant on Russian territory but under joint control. That way you'll get all the enriched uranium you need more quickly, and with our expert help. You'll certainly learn how to do it yourselves, but you'll do it in a controlled way, with our involvement all the way down the line.'

The problem is that the hysterical reaction from the West makes that kind of productive approach just that bit harder to achieve.

Perhaps we need another thread (on a different sub-forum?) too, about the madness of relying on nuclear power to solve our energy crisis.

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It’s highly unlikely that debaters on this thread should publicly encourage civil persons to obtain guns and rifles with the argument that this would increase their security.

Than how it comes that this line of arguments is suddenly used for the unruly and undemocratic republic of Iran and its desire to acquire nuclear bombs?

Dalibor,

No one's encouraging "civil persons to obtain guns and rifles with the argument that this would increase their security".

I think you're referring to a debate currently being conducted by the gun lobby within the USA.

I believe you completely missed the point of my argument.

Arguing that the states with acquired nuclear capability are safer when dealing with the realities of world policy seems to me to be on the same intellectual level as the argument that I will be safer at my home with acquired guns of my own.

As far as I know most people would disagree with the arguments about guns at homes but nearly at the same time the same people argue that spreading nuclear weapons (to whoever it could be, even to Iran ) will enhance countries (Irans) security.

I find this kind of argumentations incoherent.

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