Iran and the Bomb
I'm following the news about Iran's nuclear weapons development program with considerable trepidation. It appears that the European Union's attempt to limit Iran's capacity to develop and deploy nuclear weapons has met with very limited success.
In fact, the Europeans last week agreed to provide Iran with light water reactors and other goodies, which may well enhance Iran's nuclear weapons capabilties. In exchange, Europe obtained an inspection regime which may prove to be quite ineffective and declared any military options beyond consideration. That may well be the case for old Europe. As the applause dies down in London, Paris and Berlin, though, we still need to ask the hard question.
That question is what will the Israeli government do? Is Israel prepared to allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons? Israel is well aware that the Iranians have not renounced the right to enrich uranium, a necessary pre-condition to the production of atomic weapons. They know that much of Iran's nuclear weapons program is clandestine in nature and therefore not readily monitored. Ominously, Iran continues to develop the necessary missile technology to enable them to launch a first strike against the hated Jewish state.
I can't imagine that the world's only Jewish government is prepared to take the risk of an Islamofascist regime acquiring the ability to obliterate whole cities in Israel. "Never again" means just that.
Nor is it likely that Iran's lust for the bomb could evolve into a Middle Eastern version of the Cold War's "mutual assured destruction" doctine. Radical Islam covets suicidal terrorist martyrdom as a spiritual good and (from what I understand) views it as a compelling moral obligation when dealing with Israel. Accordingly, they are not akin to the American and Russian "rational actors," on which the Cold War nuclear standoff depended.
We may shortly be perceiving the war in Iraq as a side show in a broader Middle Eastern battle. Another good reason to pray, if you ask me.