Is There A Middle Ground In Dealing With The Threat Of A Nuclear Iran?
With United Nations weapons inspectors expected to say that they have substantial new evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear device in a much-leaked forthcoming report, is there a middle ground for the U.S. and its allies between going to war and trying to keep diplomatic channels open?
The war option is favored by the usual suspects including most Republican presidential candidates, the neocon brain trust that persuaded the Bush administration to tragically screw the pooch in Iraq and Israel sycophants. And make no mistake, we’re not talking about surgical air strikes which may or may not disable the Islamic Republic’s nuclear research and manufacturing facilities, we’re talking about another all-out war in the Middle East. Repeat: We’re talking about another all-out war in the Middle East.
A war that inevitably will include retaliation strikes on Israel, the blockage of most U.S.-bound oil shipments from the region, further legitimization of Iran among Muslim nations, and an inevitably unhappy outcome. It will not include the U.N.’s imprinteur because Russia and China, which are urging that the report be kept secret, won’t play along.
The diplomatic option has been favored by the Obama administration, but as has been the case with North Korea, the world’s other nuclear bad boy, has been a dry well, and the response of Irani President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said the U.N. should be investigating the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal, was par for the course.
An alternative to war and talk would be to try to further ratchet up sanctions on Iran.
Years of sanctions have hurt Iraq have not brought the country to its knees, while efforts to sabotage its nuclear program have been only partially successful.