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Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

CmdrTaco posted about 5 years ago | from the something-to-think-about dept.

The Military 1032

selven wrote in with something a bit offtopic for Slashdot, but I figured it's worth a discussion today. He writes "Following Iran's revelation regarding its secret nuclear enrichment plant, western leaders are banding together against it, saying that it violates Articles 2 and 3 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and suggesting serious sanctions against the country if it refuses to back down on its uranium enrichment program. Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only and that it's not fair for the US to be criticizing them in this way while having thousands of nuclear warheads."

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containment theory... (3, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 5 years ago | (#29565927)

sanction them all, let the UN sort 'em out.

Re:containment theory... (5, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | about 5 years ago | (#29566049)

Gee,

Look the other way, for Israel.

Look the other way, for India.

Maybe proliferation is not the real issue, and they will find the excuse to demolish Persia - by hook or by crook.

NUKE TEM !! NUKE TEM LIKE WOW !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566257)

It crazy not to !

I not Arab hater. I Persians hater, yes !!

Kiding only just !!!

Bring Bush Back !!!!

Then we have Peace and Good time for a!!!!! with no fear from Persian uprising.

See I kid you not V!

Re:containment theory... (5, Interesting)

Burnhard (1031106) | about 5 years ago | (#29566075)

I'm a bit confused about the concept of "fairness" in this context. Do we allow anyone who wants to have nuclear weapons the option to acquire them because there's some natural "fairness" law? Only a cretin would say so. The way it works is if you're a threat to us, or a region containing friends of ours, then we don't want you to have them (Iran, Syria). If you're an ally, we'd rather you didn't have them but there's not much we can do to stop you acquiring them (India, Pakistan). If you're already strong and powerful, we assure your destruction if you fire them at us (Russia, China).

Re:containment theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566177)

that's such an american way to think. You really believe America is able to defeat Russia, alone? or China, alone?

I DON'T THINK SO!

Re:containment theory... (3, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | about 5 years ago | (#29566479)

"Defeat" isn't the point of nuclear deterrence. The point is that they know we could level every moderately large city in their respective countries if they were to launch nukes at us.

Re:containment theory... (5, Informative)

Sl4shd0t0rg (810273) | about 5 years ago | (#29566481)

This isn't American propaganda. All this is saying is if Russia or China fires on us, we have enough nukes to fire back ensuring that both parties are wiped out. It is base purely on the nuclear arsenal and not military might per se. So chill the fuck out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_assured_destruction [wikipedia.org]

Re:containment theory... (4, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | about 5 years ago | (#29566483)

In a nuclear war, America is the only state capable of defeating China or Russia.

In a conventional war the US would require allies.

In a trade war, China can ruin the US economy - but they'd severely hurt themselves in the process. In a trade war, Russia influence is limited to cutting off gas supplies to Eastern Europe.

Re:containment theory... (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 5 years ago | (#29566225)

And if you're Israel, apparently we pretend that we don't know that you're packing.

Re:containment theory... (4, Insightful)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | about 5 years ago | (#29566493)

If you prove to the world that you are an idiot and want to eliminate other countries, you don't get nukes. Iran has proven this. Israel just wants to exist as it is and has proven this. A portion of the Muslim world is just too radical!

Re:containment theory... (2, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 years ago | (#29566231)

Funny how our past sins come back to bite us in the ass.

Operation Ajax.

Re:containment theory... (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | about 5 years ago | (#29566235)

I say we just outsource out entire foreign policy to the U.N. besides, that is their job right?

300 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29565931)

Lets send in the Spartans!

Re:300 (1, Interesting)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | about 5 years ago | (#29566339)

Sparta and Athens were repressive societies, that successfully kept equal rights for women and the liberation of slaves out of the western Aegean for another 200 years.

A mere 59 years before, Cyrus the Great liberated Babylon and released it's captive peoples, encoding this in the law of the Empire.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_cylinder [wikipedia.org]

The Zoroastrian creed of Darius and Xerxes - the Achaemenid line - was that of upholding the precepts: Good Word, Good Thought, Good Deed. This was the core of worship and daily conduct of the devotee to God (Ahura Mazda).

"Darius, the Great King, King of Kings, King of Countries, son of Hystaspes, the Achaemenid. Saith Darius the King: This is the kingdom which I posses from the land of the Sakas on this side of Sogdiana as far as Kush, from India to Sardis. Over this Ahura Mazda has granted me dominion, he who is great above all the Gods. May Ahura Mazda protect me and my Royal House."

At this time, the Spartans were still obsessed with sodomy, and destroyed their girl-babies.

Re:300 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566437)

Shut up, 137. You're just pissed that Yahweh kicked Zoroaster's ass.

Can't blame them (4, Insightful)

u4ya (1248548) | about 5 years ago | (#29565935)

If I saw both my neighbors being invaded, I would rush to get the nukes as fast as I could, too.

Re:Can't blame them (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 years ago | (#29566019)

Especially when Pakistan, India, and North Korea just got told "naughty boy" then it was business as usual.

Re:Can't blame them (0, Troll)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about 5 years ago | (#29566103)

Especially when Pakistan, India, and North Korea just got told "naughty boy" then it was business as usual.

Mod parent up. It's never been about containment, but control.

Personally, I'm fully behind Iran getting Nuclear capabilities and spreading it around. Maybe when everyone has nukes, the first world countries might stop acting a little less like bullies.

Re:Can't blame them (3, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#29566361)

Define "everyone," because I can think of some pretty scary scenarios in which "everyone" has nukes.

Re:Can't blame them (3, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | about 5 years ago | (#29566463)

Define "everyone," because I can think of some pretty scary scenarios in which "everyone" has nukes.

Everyone. Everybody should get one. I'll keep my nuke in my living room and put a round glass top over it and use it as a coffee table. It'll be a good conversation piece. Oh, what's that? You have a headache and some clumps of hair are falling out of your head? No worry, lets move out onto the patio where I keep my smallpox vials...

Re:Can't blame them (5, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | about 5 years ago | (#29566077)

If you're being invaded and use nukes, wouldn't that mean you're nuking your own country? And if the invader's country is across the World, without an intercontinental delivery system, your only option is to threaten said invader's allies that may be near you. Then the allies only alternative is to protect itself and do a first strike on the nuclear plants.

If Iran proceeds with this, they are basically demanding Israel attack them, possibly with their own nuclear weapons.

Iran is playing a very dangerous game. Let's hope the Obama Administration is much more skillful than the previous administration.

Re:Can't blame them (3, Insightful)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 5 years ago | (#29566283)

Iran already has an intercontinental Delivery system what do you think that phoney satellite launch earlier this year was all about.

Re:Can't blame them (1)

Petaris (771874) | about 5 years ago | (#29566525)

That was North Korea.

Re:Can't blame them (1)

SanguineV (1197225) | about 5 years ago | (#29566377)

Unless the invader has teleportation technology then they have to invade from somewhere close by. The defended simply nukes the path the invader is taking into their territory - best case for the invader is losing a fleet and pissing off everyone else in/near that ocean. Worst case the defender is land locked and some neighbour is nuked. So, what neighbour is going to say "Please invade through us!" when they know the defender has nuclear weapons?

Re:Can't blame them (4, Interesting)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#29566427)

Let's hope the Obama Administration is much more skillful than the previous administration.

I think we're already seeing the beginnings of a more deft and subtle foreign policy. I don't believe it's a coincidence that Obama abandoned the idea of European missile defence (which was a serious thorn in the side of the Russians), and we suddenly hear Russia talking about serious sanctions against Iran.

Re:Can't blame them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566517)

I doubt that this administration will be any better seeing as how he is wanting to get rid of our missile defense system that is being built that would be our first line of defense against a medium to long range missile attack.

Re:Can't blame them (2, Insightful)

svendsen (1029716) | about 5 years ago | (#29566095)

Completely agree with you. If I put on the "I rule Iran" hat and saw one neighbor after another getting invaded I'd be trying to build a defense to deter any future attacks. Now when the attacker has technology and means beyond what I can defend against then the next logical step is getting nukes. Else the only other option is do whatever the attacker tells me no matter what and pray I don;t get invaded.

Invading countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566507)

Except ... Iran is doing most of the invading. Lebanon, Israel, Eritrea, Somalia ... those are all Iranian wars. See, Iran isn't the "innoecent neighbor" that you presume. The Iranian Quds force is running insurgencies or wars in at least 6 countries. If you put on your "I rule Iran" hat, you'd see yourself with your mercenary armies spread across the middle east causing chaos. Your entire basis for argument is dead wrong.

Re:Can't blame them (3, Insightful)

KronosReaver (932860) | about 5 years ago | (#29566163)

Right, because when someone invades your country you want to be able to nuke them on your own soil? Oh wait, I know.... It's because the best way to keep from being attacked is to do the biggest thing you can to provoke, and in some peoples minds justify an attack right?

Re:Can't blame them (5, Insightful)

Tryle (1159503) | about 5 years ago | (#29566165)

The problem isn't just Iran becoming nuclear armed. There are several other countries (Venezuela comes to mind) that are watching Iran push the international community around and may feel they can do the same exact thing and go down the road of nuclear arming.

I don't trust the countries that DO have nukes to not blow up the planet, let alone the countries that harbor terrorists and put out threats of using them to wipe out another race. Iran must be dealt with.

"Peaceful Use" (5, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 5 years ago | (#29565949)

I'm not an expert, but the news reports seem to indicate that this new facility (at a military base) doesn't have the capacity to produce a useful quantity of enriched fuel for a power plant, but could potentially produce enough for 1-2 bombs per year.

Combine that with the fact that Iran flares enough natural gas daily to more than meet its internal energy generation requirements, pardon me for being a bit skeptical about their motives.

Re:"Peaceful Use" (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566125)

You know,
Quadaffi took a different approach and has come out way, way ahead for it. He saw GWB invade Iraq and thought "that nutjob is serious!" Now the libyans have cancelled chemical and nuclear weapons research, stopped funding most terrorists, and are being let into the world community in spite of nutjob's rantings and ravings. Seems that worked pretty well. Iran would be a fucking rich, powerful nation if they gave up on their strategy of funding terrorists everywhere and instead took what the whole rest of the world views as a legitimate approach to becoming a regional and world power.

Re:"Peaceful Use" (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 years ago | (#29566477)

Different strokes. Quadaffi is playing his games in the middle of fucking nowhere. Libya is not in the middle of a global strategic hot spot. If we let Libya have nukes, then the only card he could have usefully played is to try to sell it to other folks, ala North Korea. That's one strategy, sure, but not one that holds a big interest in Iran.

They want to be a big, perhaps THE big, regional player. Capitulating to the Evil Americans is not the way to do it. Of course, time will tell if going head to head with the rest of the world is the right way, but it's worked so far. We'll see what happens when the Israelis get all bent out of shape and have one of their little air raid practices or if Russia decides to play nice with Obama for some reason or another.

Re:"Peaceful Use" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566151)

Combine that with the fact that Iran flares enough natural gas daily to more than meet its internal energy generation requirements, pardon me for being a bit skeptical about their motives.

Alternatively, Iran can produce nuclear energy for baseload energy while exporting their hydrocarbons for exports which might make more money. Or they can save their hydrocarbons for future use as oil/gas prices increases in the future. Or they can start now to prepare for the carbon-tax future.

Given the US long history for self-serving military intelligence, pardon me for being a bit skeptical about their motives. Face it, US hates Iran because Iran won't kowtow to the US government.

Re:"Peaceful Use" (2, Interesting)

megamerican (1073936) | about 5 years ago | (#29566275)

I'm not an expert, but the news reports seem to indicate that this new facility (at a military base) doesn't have the capacity to produce a useful quantity of enriched fuel for a power plant, but could potentially produce enough for 1-2 bombs per year.

Combine that with the fact that Iran flares enough natural gas daily to more than meet its internal energy generation requirements, pardon me for being a bit skeptical about their motives.

Iran has plentiful natural resources but does not have the capacity to refine it and must import gas. Any type of war and they could easily be cut off of that gas.

This facility hasn't been a secret to intelligence agenices for years. They are making this a big deal now only to justify tough sanctions and possible action against Iran.

Sanctions are essentially an act of war. Clinton's sanctions on Iraq during the 1990's killed over 500,000 children, and many elderly. Albright went on 60 minutes and said that half a million childrens death was worth it.

Iran is surrounded by countries with a nuclear capability. Israel, Russia, Pakistan, India all have nukes and a few of those countries aren't too friendly towards Iran. There was similar fear of Pakistan getting nuclear weapons, but after they did we started to subsidize its dictators instead of wanting action against them.

So even if Iran is trying to make nuclear weapons they are doing so for defensive purposes. No matter what Ahmanutjobs rhetoric is he has no power to act without the ruling mullah's of the country. The mullah's are essentially the rich of the country who have no intention of giving up their wealth and power by doing something stupid.

This is a classic case of FUD.

Re:"Peaceful Use" (5, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 years ago | (#29566349)

Clinton's sanctions on Iraq during the 1990's killed over 500,000 children, and many elderly.

That's only because Saddam re-routed the resources to his favored buds. Plenty of resources went into the country, it's just that they were not being distributed evenly. Saddam used the sanctions as an excuse to rid groups he didn't like.
             

Re:"Peaceful Use" (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#29566509)

Iran has plentiful natural resources but does not have the capacity to refine it and must import gas. Any type of war and they could easily be cut off of that gas.

Huh? If Iran is a net importer of natural gas, what's up with this pipeline project [wikipedia.org] and this gas field [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:"Peaceful Use" (1)

DeadPixels (1391907) | about 5 years ago | (#29566351)

Not only that, but GeoEye photos of the site [cnet.com] allegedly show a surface-to-air missile site. Granted, I'm not an expert in weaponry, and perhaps they can't launch ICBMs from a site like that, but even if it is for the defense of the site, why are they expecting it to come under attack by aircraft?

Oh noes! (3, Insightful)

magsol (1406749) | about 5 years ago | (#29565951)

America to Iran:

"If you do not begin considering the possibility of maybe one day relatively soon pondering the beginning of the dismantlement of your nuclear program - NOW - you might possibly maybe perhaps one day face SEVERE SANCTIONS ZOMG.

I mean, if that's ok with you."

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566073)

America: Little Iran let me in.
Iran: No. Go away.
America: I'm going to huff and puff an-
Iran: Go away. I know you have your hands full.
America: Oh. Well...Okay then, see you at the next UN meeting.
Iran: Yeah whatever.

Stating the obvious? (1, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | about 5 years ago | (#29565967)

It seems as if every country speaking out against Iran already has nuclear capabilities. In what way is this not a double standard?

Re:Stating the obvious? (1)

KronosReaver (932860) | about 5 years ago | (#29566027)

None of US really WANT to use them?

Re:Stating the obvious? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about 5 years ago | (#29566139)

None of US really WANT to use them?

And, apart from some blustery and poorly translated rhetoric, what evidence do you have that Iran does?

Re:Stating the obvious? (5, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | about 5 years ago | (#29566063)

Well, on one side you have a county of war-mongering, religious fanatics and on the other side you have a country of war-mongering, religious fanatics.

You see the difference now?

Re:Stating the obvious? (1)

magsol (1406749) | about 5 years ago | (#29566117)

I would give you every mod point I had if I hadn't already commented on this thread.

Re:Stating the obvious? (0, Offtopic)

will this name work (1548057) | about 5 years ago | (#29566263)

Who modded this Troll? He is absolutely on the mark.

Re:Stating the obvious? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566091)

Oh, it is indeed a double standard. However, the countries condemning them haven't alluded to wiping their enemies off the face of the planet, as Iran has http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/10/26/ahmadinejad/index.html

Re:Stating the obvious? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 5 years ago | (#29566101)

Well, this is looking at it with rosey glasses on, but, I think the idea is "We made a mistake! We shouldn't have all of these nuclear weapons! We should have known better, but we didn't! Now learn from our lessons... nothing good comes from this."

Re:Stating the obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566211)

It is a double standard, but looking at the track record of Iran, it is a double standard that I don't mind having upheld.

I fear double standards less than I fear having the flesh melted off of my skin by a nuclear johnny-come-lately who has openly stated the desire to wipe other countries (including my own!) off the face of the Earth.

Re:Stating the obvious? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566415)

It most certainly is. But that is the way of international politics: Those in power wish to keep their power, and those not in power wish to get it. Those in power have all sorts of wacky arguments that they should keep power. In the colonial age, they argued that whites are Christian, more civilized and smarter than everyone else and need to help those "poor primitives" find Christian civilization with a firm hand. Today the argument is that the leaders of Iran are religious crazies bent on terror-nuking the rest of the world, conviniently ignoring that the US is the *only* country to use nuclear weapons against populated areas.

Or that while the US has started quite a number of wars in those 30 years that Iran has been an Islamic Republic, Iran has not started any. In fact, the US supported Saddam Husseins attack on Iran, while he used Chemical weapons to kill some 100,000 iranians.With Bush calling Iran a part of an "Axis of Evil" consisting of Iran, Iraq and North Korea, followed by an invasion of Iraq, it is not surprising if the leaders of Iran looked into ways of protecting themselves from being invaded by a warmongering superpower. Nuclear weapons are an obvious, if expensive and dangerous, choice.

They do, however, have one point: The more countries that have nuclear weapons, the more likely it is that someone decide to use them. This is why I think that Iran should not get nuclear weapons, and that Israel, Russia, USA, China, India, Pakistan, UK, France, North Korea, and others that posess them, should scrap that crap.

Reminds me of Team America (4, Funny)

guruevi (827432) | about 5 years ago | (#29565999)

- I'm sorry, but the UN must be firm with you. Let me in, or else.
- Or else what
- Or else we will be very angry with you... and we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are.

Re:Reminds me of Team America (1)

isa-kuruption (317695) | about 5 years ago | (#29566381)

LOL was just thinking about that line when I stumbled across your post. Seriously, if you don't laugh, you'll cry because that's exactly what will happen.

Treat ain't worth the paper its written on (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | about 5 years ago | (#29566001)

and the sad part we will bicker about this until they use one on Israel or force Israel to do it first.

Re:Treat ain't worth the paper its written on (2, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 5 years ago | (#29566143)

To be honest, I'm rather ambivalent about the constant bickering/fighting/posturing between certain countries and Israel. However, based what I've seen of Israel's reaction to overt threats in the past, I can't imagine that they'll allow this to go on for much longer. I suspect the US has been putting an enormous amount of pressure on them to not conduct an air raid(s) to take out the various facilities. That's not going to be enough to prevent a confrontation for much longer.

Re:Treat ain't worth the paper its written on (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 5 years ago | (#29566169)

Iran launches one at Isreal, in which case it is 100% Iran's fault.
-Or-
Isreal launches one at Iran, in which case it is 100% Iran's fault.

The logic there is amazing. For the record, I'm not trying to say that it's 100% Isreal's fault either. Just trying to point out that it's a bit more complicated that your statement seems to imply.

Re:Treat ain't worth the paper its written on (3, Informative)

Gudeldar (705128) | about 5 years ago | (#29566183)

Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea aren't party to the NNPT.

Re:Treat ain't worth the paper its written on (2, Insightful)

fredjh (1602699) | about 5 years ago | (#29566313)

That's what I was wondering. What about Iran?

I'm a fence sitter on this; I don't want them to have Nuclear Weapons, but I don't see how, as a country with thousands of them, we have any right to dictate their policy.

The rhetoric increase is a gear-up for war (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566003)

This is following the same political rhetoric increase that we saw before the second Gulf war.
We're now seeing quotes of "you must PROVE your nuclear facilities aren't for bombs"
This is similar to the US saying (before the 2nd Gulf war): "you must PROVE you don't have Weapons of Mass Destruction"

The whole "you can't prove a negative thing" comes into play
ergo, if Iran cannot PROVE their nuke work isn't for the bomb, it must mean it IS for the bomb.
silly wrong logic, but it's the kind of logic that will get us into yet another war in two to five years....

(unless Israel does a few quick strategic air strikes...then who knows what's going to happen then)

Re:The rhetoric increase is a gear-up for war (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29566261)

The United States cannot afford, nor provide the soldiers for, another war.

Our troops are spread rather thin as it is.

Here's the book you want... (5, Interesting)

GPLDAN (732269) | about 5 years ago | (#29566017)

The Inheritance, by David Sanger. A terrific book, I read it from cover to cover in three sittings. It's basically what Obama was sat down and told about the world and global nuclear proliferation and what his options are. It details some fascinating history, esp. around Khan in Pakistan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Qadeer_Khan) that will be making you shake your fist and say "Khaaaaaaaaaannn!". (He gave the Iranians much of what they needed to build a nuclear program).

http://www.amazon.com/Inheritance-World-Confronts-Challenges-American/dp/0307407926 [amazon.com]

Posturing aside, giving the talking heads and think tankers something to chirp about on CNN - the real threat isn't Iran. Pakistan is the threat. Iran has uranium and reactors. They don't have a warhead. Pakistan has LOTS of warheads, and they MAY or MAY NOT meet your definition of "secure". They could very easily go missing, as the programs in place to account in such matters sort of don't work in Pakistan.

Again - the book lays all this out in exacting detail. I recommend the book to everyone.

Re:Here's the book you want... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 5 years ago | (#29566215)

They could very easily go missing, as the programs in place to account in such matters sort of don't work in Pakistan.

They don't always work very well in the US either.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/09/05/loose.nukes/index.html [cnn.com]

Re:Here's the book you want... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566343)

"They could very easily go missing, as the programs in place to account in such matters sort of don't work in Pakistan."

I think you're assuming that Pakistan is a failed state. While that could happen in the future, it hasn't happened yet. For the Taliban to take over Pakistan's government and obtain access to its missiles, it would need to:
a) Destroy the 500,000 man Pakistani army. Judging by the Taliban's own propaganda, they have 5,000 men. Naturally they would exaggerate their statistics, so it's unlikely they have anywhere close to 5,000 men. I'm not sure how one can imagine that a 5,000 men "army" can match Pakistan's.
b) Win a civil war. Pakistan has a large sector of the population that wants a government that is purely secular. If you want proof of that, learn a little bit about Iftikhar Chaudhry, Pakistan's chief justice that was sacked by Musharaf but reinstated by a popular movement that wanted a government based on the rule of law. The Taliban would have to wipe out that segment of the population in order to institute their form of law. Also, Pakistan has large non-Sunni Muslim minority groups that would automatically reject the Taliban's vision of law based on their religious convictions.
c) Obtain international support. The US and India would support the Pakistani army if it actually faced a serious threat from the Taliban. It's hard to see where the Taliban would obtain its money, except maybe from Saudi Arabia. But that seems unlikely, since the US would probably exert enough pressure to prevent that from happening.

It seems unlikely that the Taliban would succeed. However if the US continues to engage in bombings that indiscriminately kill civilians in northern Pakistan, that would only further push the population to support them.

Nuclear is dirty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566021)

Use singularity power plants!

Mutually Assured Destruction (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 years ago | (#29566023)

Does M.A.D. work on governments based on the premise of religious martyrs? They guy pushing the button my believe the 71 virgin shtick.

Re:Mutually Assured Destruction (4, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 years ago | (#29566181)

They guy pushing the button my believe the 71 virgin shtick.

We just need to let them know that nobody ever said those 71 virgins were women.

Re:Mutually Assured Destruction (2, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 years ago | (#29566273)

We just need to let them know that nobody ever said those 71 virgins were women.

They're quantum virgins: their gender depends on the observer.
   

Our actions speak louder than words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566025)

If you don't want your country invaded by an American army, you must have nukes.

Everything else is just hollow words.

A question of intent (2, Insightful)

Dorsai65 (804760) | about 5 years ago | (#29566031)

The difference is that in the last 50+ years, the U.S. has used it's nuclear arsenal exactly twice, and those during a time of war.

Iran, on the other hand, has repeatedly declared it's desire for the total annihilation of the the nation of Israel (among others).

Nor is the U.S. led and controlled by a radically conservative theocracy with a demonstrated intent to export insurrection with the stated goal of complete domination. Absent IAEA verification of the peaceful nature of their nuclear program, Iran has no justification to be pointing fingers. Iran with nuclear power is scary. Iran with nuclear weapons doesn't bear thinking about.

Re:A question of intent (3, Insightful)

The Solitaire (1119147) | about 5 years ago | (#29566135)

Nor is the U.S. led and controlled by a radically conservative theocracy with a demonstrated intent to export insurrection with the stated goal of complete domination.

True, however this has only been the case since the beginning of this year.

Re:A question of intent (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 years ago | (#29566387)

Indeed. The revelation about W's Gog and Magog statements were a little unsettling. No wonder the world doesn't trust us.

Re:A question of intent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566293)

posting as an Anonymous Coward b/c I don't have an account yet.

If Iran wants to fight with Israel, then shouldn't Israel handle it on its own?

Re:A question of intent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566345)

Nor is the U.S. led and controlled by a radically conservative theocracy with a demonstrated intent to export insurrection with the stated goal of complete domination.

No, not this year, anyway.

Re:A question of intent (4, Informative)

claytronics (125047) | about 5 years ago | (#29566445)

> Iran, on the other hand, has repeatedly declared it's desire for the total annihilation of the the nation of Israel (among others).

Well, no, actually. He did call for the regime to fall [wikipedia.org] , a much different meaning. Did Iran threaten Israel with nuclear attack? No.

On the other hand, we had a U.S. presidential candidate singing "Let's Bomb Iran". Why the double standard?

> demonstrated intent to export insurrection with the stated goal of complete domination

Source? (other than Fox News, of course)

Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

tomtomtom (580791) | about 5 years ago | (#29566051)

But isn't Iran already operating under pretty severe sanctions?

I can't imagine this new threat of sanctions will particularly make a difference to their behaviour.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 5 years ago | (#29566267)

Yeah but if they're put on double-secret probation...

Kinda Right (1)

lymond01 (314120) | about 5 years ago | (#29566071)

While the followers of the world all would like us to shoot our nukes into the sun and be done with it, our fearless leaders still consider them, and likely rightly so, a deterrent against invasion. The only thing that gives the U.S. the ground to deny Iran nuclear weapons is that the U.S. doesn't want a country that opposes our way of life to also have them. It's not moral or righteous -- it's about staying alive and on top.

I'm not sure what sanctions do aside from starve out a portion of the country's populace. While there are likely examples of sanctions doing some good, they seem mostly to punish the followers for having a leader with whom we disagree. It takes a quick Google search to show that sanctions have done a lot more damage against a populace than any attack.

So the trick is to either educate the leaders of the other country to your way (which, in this case, I have to agree with the West...human rights outweighs religion) or just let the cards fall where they may. Perhaps once the country gets nuclear weapons, relations will improve since we're starting on equal ground. If they don't, if there actually is a direct threat of nuclear attack, then take in the bombers and flatten their sites. Don't kill the followers. They don't want to fight anymore than our followers do.

War on a large scale should be over.

Coincidence? (4, Informative)

lobiusmoop (305328) | about 5 years ago | (#29566097)

All this anti-Iran propaganda seems to be coming out at the same time Iran is switching from Dollars to Euros for its oil transactions. Strangely enough, Iraq previously tried this too, just before the 2003 invasion.

How come Isreal has nukes? (1)

yourassOA (1546173) | about 5 years ago | (#29566115)

Which the US provided, in clear violation of the NPT.

Uhm, no. (1)

pavon (30274) | about 5 years ago | (#29566295)

Those nukes were developed with French support. It really wasn't till after the 6-day war that the US became the primary western military supporter of Israel.

Iran and EMP (3, Interesting)

Andius Rex (117513) | about 5 years ago | (#29566129)

Go read William Forstchen's book "One Second After" about an EMP attack on the United States, and then ponder on whether you want a country like Iran to have warheads and missiles.

Re:Iran and EMP (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 years ago | (#29566259)

The problem with this is that someone might actually get the idea that they
could get away with this. Nevermind "spoil sport". The nuclear superpowers
have lots of mobile warheads that are hard to find or hit and will be ready
to smite back after any nonsense.

Don't forget about the 'bama. It will smite you into oblivion.

We don't trust them specifically because we have had and continue to have
some nutbags of our own that we don't trust either.

Who can blame them? (2, Insightful)

Rumagent (86695) | about 5 years ago | (#29566141)

So they want nukes? Who can blame them? Given the "western leader"'s previous behavior in the region, they would be fools not to get a strong deterrent.

what did you expect? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | about 5 years ago | (#29566155)

America funded Iraq's war against Iran and now America is at Iran's borders.

Soviets tried to take over Afghanistan, and are now acting aggressively again.

Pakistan is nuclear armed and Sunni while Iran is Shia. Iran got to see what happens when the two clash in Iraq.

Israel is nuclear armed and has openly expressed their desire to unilaterally attack Iran.

Geez, I can't for a second think why they would want to build nuclear weapons. I think the Iranians are smart enough to understand the real purpose for nukes: deterrence. And with those four points above, I think Iran has a lot to deter.

Sanctions won't do anything, and military action will only make other countries in the region think that maybe Iran had a point all along and they should get some deterrence of their own.

So you know, good luck with all of that...

Dear Westerners, please leave Iran alone.. (2, Funny)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | about 5 years ago | (#29566191)

Why should some rich Western countries who already have nuclear weapons get together and decide who can enage in nuclear technology them or who can't. I'm proud that my own country despite major political pressure from the West block has completed the contract for building the peaceful Busher nuclear power station and is continuing to engage in peaceful nuclear cooperation with Iran. Iran has never attacked a foreign country, Iran is not ruled by mad suicidal clerics, Iran is a great country of 70 million people with a unique culture, a unuque brand of eastern democracy sometimes not compatible with the West. Yes we need less weapons, we need denuclearization but you current rulers are too in bed with the military-industrial complex, they are powerless, we need more grassroot movements, more conferences and commitees for all peace loving ordinary people from the West and East to come together and learn from each other. CIA has killed Samantha Smith but they will never kill the peace loving spirits of our peoples!

Re:Dear Westerners, please leave Iran alone.. (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 years ago | (#29566515)

Why should some rich Western countries who already have nuclear weapons get together and decide who can [engage] in nuclear technology them or who can't.

In the old days, those with superior weapons would simply wipe you out without notice. In the civilized world, we give them an option: don't build the weapon and you get to remain a regular country. Build it, and we fark up your economy. It's a more pleasant form of domination......I think.

   

Idle, obviously (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566201)

This isn't anti-**AA whining, paranoid fear of governments or other people being able to see what we're doing sometimes, a new incremental invention that will allow me to get an extra five frames per second in Counter-Strike, and it doesn't present me a security fix for my job. Therefore, this belongs in idle. Put it there now plzthxkbye.

they might get VERY nuclear soon (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 5 years ago | (#29566221)

If they keep it up, Israel may "donate" a lot of fissionable material to them, delivered via airmail.

Oh Dearest Iran: (1)

whoda (569082) | about 5 years ago | (#29566237)

Life isn't fair. Suck it up.

so not funny (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566253)

Ahmadinejad: "Israel must be wiped off the map"

but they say they will not build nukes?......I thought something must be shifting to Bizarro world....

Article II (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566279)

Doesn't Article II basically say no making nuclear weapons? If a uranium enrichment plant is a violation of Article II, then Iran was already in violation, and so is any country that is enriching uranium.
The only claim valid on it's face is that of violations of article III, though even that is in contention. Iran insists it is technically compliant, which, in government, is the best kind of compliance.

Nukes, shmukes, Iran is going to get Regime Change (5, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 5 years ago | (#29566389)

Because they made the Big Iraqi Gamble and are taking Euros rather than dollars for their oil [wikipedia.org] .

This is an unforgivable affront. Based on the US's debts and balance of trade, the dollar should be junk currency. Its only remaining value is in purchasing oil, and the US cannot allow resource rich countries to wean themselves off of it.

Make no mistake, the US must and will find a casus belli against Iran. The only question (for Iran) is whether they can become a nuclear power before that happens.

Some overlooked considerations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566393)

If Iran has just declared the existence of this facility capable of producing fuel for 1-2 atomic bombs / year, how long has it been active and in what capicity?

Do Iran have the technical expertise to turn highly enriched (weapons grade) uranium into an atomic bomb?

Why is Iran REALLY test firing missiles capable of reaching Isreal? and can these missiles deliver atomic weapons?

I'm not sure about this, but it seems to me the current worst case scenario means the talk of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons may have become a moot point...

It's not Iran vs. the U.S. (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | about 5 years ago | (#29566409)

It's Iran vs. most of the 1st world. Iran keeps pointing fingers at the U.S. while most the world is pointing fingers at them.

Yes, in some sense it isn't fair... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566421)

But A) Iran signed the treaty too, B) if they don't want to abide by its terms they can always withdraw from it (that would be honest -- then they can hide whatever they want rather than break agreements saying they wouldn't), and C) although the U.S. and Russia (not to mention the other nuclear-armed countries) have dragged their feet for years, they have just negotiated a new nuclear weapons reduction treaty.

I've never understood Iran's real direction on this. For example, why have a heavy-water plant when the only nuclear power reactor they have planned doesn't use it (it's a pressurized water design that therefore needs the enrichment that people are so worried can be diverted to weapons production)? One possible reason for a heavy water plant: properly built, heavy water reactors are really useful for generating weapons-grade plutonium. For example, this is exactly how India made their first weapons -- not by enriching uranium, but by running uranium through a heavy water "research" reactor [wikipedia.org] . Uncoincidentally, Iran is also building a 40MW research reactor, apparently to come on line this year or next.

It sure as heck looks like they are pursuing the two well-known weapons paths: enriching uranium and generating weapons-grade plutonium (a different isotope mix from the usual plutonium generated in regular power plant reactors). If the enriched uranium is purely for power production, why the heavy water route too?

Iran.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566475)

Obviously Western nations, like the United States, Britain, Germany want to limit the expansion of nuclear weaponry around the world. Nations like Iran can use nuclear weaponry as an invasion deterrent, while engaging in conventional warfare with nations who do not have them. I honestly just don't trust the details of the media - maybe the translators misinterpreted his statements of "wipe Israel off the face of the planet" from "removal of Israel from the planet" - in the context of making a harmonized (heh) joint Israeli/Palestinian state named, for example Unlikelistan.

These kinds of media errors get propagated rather quickly - like Ghadaffi's latest speech at the UN. TV news reported that he was rambling on for 3 hours. Yet, it was either the Associated Press/Reuters or the Canadian Press, had an article syndicated to my local paper, claiming it was an hour. Specifically indicating the time he spent discussing particular issues. These contradictions in information rarely get follow-up from the press, and when they do, partisan attitudes come out condemning the particular publication of having a bias. Accuracy and truth should be the main goal of media, not writing what people (or authorities) want to hear.

In the end, I honestly cannot see Iran doing a random nuclear strike on Israel. Israel pseudo-secretly has a stash of nukes, and I'm sure they out number the Iranian stockpile considerably. The counterstrike would be brutal. Surely, surely, the Iranian leadership would rather live a life of luxury, religious worship, and doing whatever else the fuck they do in Iran for fun, than to engage in a lengthy war. I'm sure spending time smoking shisha and drinking coffee is more fun. Ahmadinejad doesn't want to go down in history as the guy who made an ancient country engage in, what would essentially be mass suicide.

Policies should be shifted to have Iran involved more in Afghanistan. They even advocated this idea. Taliban / radical Muslims are a problem for Iran as well. The fact that women can even leave the house, or have a job in Iran is far too liberal for the 'Students of Islam'. Anything that helps take the focus from the Palestinians and Israel would be a great benefit to the region.

Religous Nuts With Nukes (1)

Stupid Crunt (1627025) | about 5 years ago | (#29566497)

I really think that eventually the Middle East is going to be one large, glowing plateau of molten radioactive glass. And then how will we get the oil out?

one thing really bothers me about commentary (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 years ago | (#29566501)

about iran and nukes:

"israel and usa has it (and used it), so why can't iran? typical western hypocrisy"

ok, if you are a westerner, a chinese, an indian, a russian, a resident of bora bora or lower botswana, wherever... in other words, no matter WHERE you are from, you are probably interested in nuclear nonproliferation. with that in mind, you would be interested in those states with current nuclear arsenals giving them up, correct? you would also be interested in NO OTHER STATES GETTING THEM. right? nuclear nonproliferation is something important to you? or is it not important you as your overriding conceptual and moral concern? is it not the most important issue to you?

so please, by all means, talk about western hypocrisy. the west is indeed hypocritical. but if western hypocrisy is more important to you than nuclear nonproliferation, then i call bullshit on your morality and your sense of priorities. hey: how about grudges against the west being LESS important than your interest in seeing nuclear weapons curtailed? say this instead of "why can't iran have them if the west has them": "i think iran shouldn't have nukes. oh, and btw, while we're on the subject, israel and usa should give up theres"

now you are being morally coherent in my book. now you are talking from a point of view of logic and morality and a set of guiding principles as the foremost concern in your mind. rather than "the usa has them so iran should have them, fairs fair". when you say that, i don't see morality or a human conscience, i see typical tribal backbiting

Iran signed the NPT (1)

AB3A (192265) | about 5 years ago | (#29566511)

...and those were the terms under which other countries would give assistance with nuclear technology. It seems that Iran has violated the NPT. Sanctions should follow.

This isn't about the morality of the situation. Some countries deliberately opted out of the NPT.

For example, Israel never signed it. They have a reactor in the Negev desert (Dimona) which they will not allow anyone to inspect. Israel has never admitted the existence or extent of their nuclear arsenal, though intelligence and leaks suggest that they may have as many as 300 war heads.The Israelis have left everyone guessing as to what their intentions or capabilities might be.

The question we should be asking is whether the NPT is still a worthwhile vehicle for slowing the growth of nuclear weapon ambitions. The problem faciing us is that lately we have seen some despotic regimes with ambitions toward nuclear weaponry and they're getting increasingly successful. If the NPT isn't worth doing, then what other methods and measures should be taken to slow the spread of nuclear weapons?

ahmak dinejad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29566531)

It could be interesting to see what the rest of the islamos say when Iran not only wipes out parts of Israel, but also a great part of Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, not to mention the majority of Palestinians, will they follow the tradition of "me against my brother, my brother and I against my cousin, and my brother, cousin and I agaisnt the enemy of my cousin?"

Or will they stay still because they are only respectful of someone crazier and more violent than them?

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