Iran is No Threat To America

From: Justin Raimondo To: Michael Freund Subject: What's all this about "we"? Michael, Our topic is “should we bomb Iran?”—which immediately raises an important question. Who are “we”? America? Israel? I realize that some people see no distinction, but, when … Read More

By / May 21, 2007

From: Justin Raimondo To: Michael Freund Subject: What's all this about "we"? Michael, Our topic is “should we bomb Iran?”—which immediately raises an important question. Who are “we”? America? Israel? I realize that some people see no distinction, but, when it comes to warmaking, we must acknowledge that the two countries have different interests.

I'd argue that Iran is no threat to Israel, and that there is no danger of Iran dropping nukes on Tel Aviv. Such an attack would poison the entire region with radioactivity, and boomerang right back in the mullahs’ faces in more ways than one. Also keep in mind that the U.S. intelligence assessment of Iran’s nuclear capabilities says we have ten years before the mullahs go nuclear.

However, if you—as an Israeli citizen who lives in Israel—want to advocate an Israel-led preemptive strike against the Iranians, far be it from me to interfere. But I don’t think it would be very wise—the Iranians would surely strike back, via Lebanon, and Israel might suffer in other ways (perhaps the thousands of Iranian civilians who would surely die in such an attack would present a public relations problem, if not a moral conundrum, for the Jewish state). But if the Iranian threat makes you so nervous that you can’t sleep at night—and you don’t have any compunction about throwing the entire region into chaos—then perhaps you shouldn't take any chances.

But why drag the United States into it? There are those who treat Israel like the 51st state, but I am not among them. If Israel perceives a threat from Iran, and its military leaders decide to take out the mullahs, then so be it. But there is no reason for the United States to get involved, except, perhaps, to persuade the Israelis that negotiations are the only way to deal with the threat, real or imagined.

Iran, with or without nuclear weapons, represents no threat to America. Those Shihab-3 missiles you mention couldn’t reach the continental
United States. After arguing the threat to Israel, you say “the West is next.” But is it? There is absolutely no chance the Iranians would launch a nuclear attack on the United States. In any case, the Soviets had nuclear weapons for half a century and more, as did the Chinese Communists. Both were genocidal regimes, and yet neither ever used nukes (America is the only nation on earth with that dubious distinction).

I would remind you that the Iranians, being signatories to the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), are perfectly entitled to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. They allow unhampered inspections and cooperate with the IAEA. This is more than one can say for the other nuclear power in the region. And, no, I don’t mean PakistanI’m talking about Israel.

Everybody knows the Israelis have nuclear weapons, and yet Tel Aviv refuses to acknowledge this, or to sign the NPT. When it comes to nukes, Israel is more a rogue nation than even North Korea, which at least has come out of the nuclear closet, so to speak. The Israelis, however, still won’t fess up (although the continuing harassment of Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician who first disclosed the existence of Israel’s nukes and was imprisoned for 18 years, speaks volumes about Israel’s lack of scruples in this regard).

No, negotiations have not “run their course”—they haven’t even begun. In 2003, the Iranians made an overture to the United States that would have put nukes, and all other outstanding issues—including the recognition of Israel—on the table: Tehran was ready to talk, but the U.S. wasn’t interested.

If I were Israeli, I would ask my leaders the following: Why the heck do we need nuclear weapons, anyway? It isn’t as though we'll ever use them. So why not trade them away, in return for an Iranian guarantee to refrain from developing such weapons? And, while we’re on the subject, how about creating a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East? The Syrians have been proposing it for years.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sure is a character—albeit no more so than, say, Avigdor Lieberman—but I wouldn’t overestimate his power and influence: Señor Ahmadinejad doesn’t make
the decisions, Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei does. And it looks like the Iranian hardliners are in retreat just now—although Israeli and American actions, as per usual, could always restore him to the good graces of the Iranian people through sheer stupidity.

For many years Israel tried to hide its nuclear weapons from the international community, and it was only due to the bravery of Mr. Vanunu that we discovered the truth. Israel has not allowed inspections, and it has defied the world on this issue. If Iran is developing nukes, too, then who can blame them? Or is Israel the only nation in the region entitled to self-defense?


Justin Raimondo

NEXT: Wake Up and Smell the Uranium

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