Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Gwynne Dyer - Iran's Nuclear Bomb Programme Was Never About Israel.

It would be the height of suicidal folly for Iran to ever threaten Israel with a nuclear attack.  Israel has at least 80-nuclear warheads, possibly hundreds, far more than enough to turn Iran into glass.

Gwynne Dyer brings a breath of reality to the situation with Iran today pointing out that, not only does Iran have no current nuclear weapons programme, back when it did it was never about Israel.

There were two periods during which Iran seriously considered making nuclear weapons and did some preliminary work on weapons design and uranium enrichment, but in neither case was it about Israel.

The first time was in the 1980s, when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq attacked Iran (with American backing) in a war that ultimately cost a quarter-million Iranian lives. At that time Saddam actually was working on Iraqi nuclear weapons, and Iran felt obliged to follow suit.

But after Saddam was defeated by Western and Arab armies in the Gulf War of 1990-91 and the United Nations inspectors went in to dismantle Iraq’s nuclear programme, the Iranians lost interest in developing their own nuclear weapons. Then they got alarmed again and restarted the programme in 1998 when another neighbour, Pakistan, tested its own first nuclear weapons.

They didn’t make much progress, but they kept on working at the problem in a desultory way until 2002, when an anti-regime terrorist group called Mujahedin-e-Khalq (partly financed by Israel) revealed the existence of the weapons programme and Tehran shut it down. And for the past 13 years, nothing.


Anonymous said...

My take is that Iran still would like to have nuclear weapons as a means of self-defence. Let's face it, existence of such weapons prevented, nearly for sure, major conflicts around the globe including Middle East, AND forced many governments to accept compromise at negotiating table. Looks like some folks do not want to negotiate...

The Mound of Sound said...

The main reason for deterring Iran from developing nukes is the simmering civil war between Shiite and Sunni Islam. If Iran gets these weapons the Saudis and probably one or two other Sunni states will try to buy their own.

An Islamic nuclear civil war would probably drag in the neighbours and then...

Purple library guy said...

If I were in the Iranians' shoes I'd probably want nuclear weapons, and I wouldn't want peaceful nuclear power because I think nuclear reactors suck. Iran's a fine place for solar. But the simple fact seems to be that the Iranian government disagrees with me on both those points: They do want peaceful nuclear reactors and they don't want nuclear weapons. People don't always want what you would think they'd want.

The Americans probably in part don't believe their own intelligence reports about Iran because they're aggressive and paranoid so they can't imagine anyone who is, after all, in danger, not wanting to get nukes any way they can. They know if they were Iran they'd for sure have nukes by now, not just be developing them, so they can't wrap their mind around the idea that Iran doesn't think the same way they do.