As we move closer to the Presidential election in the Unites States, talk will no doubt heat up surrounding military action against Iran. Since Mitt Romney has now officially locked up the Republican nomination, the talk will begin to be more amplified in the coming weeks as both candidates must show they are tough on foreigners. There’s just one big problem with that rhetoric: there is still no evidence Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons and is a threat to the U.S. (And high level intelligence officials in the U.S. have acknowledged this as I mentioned recently.)
An article appeared in Reuters today that suggests Iran might possibly, kind of, somewhat, sort of, could be, might be doing something at one site that could be taken as suspicious. It sounds potentially fishy. But likely not when we couple one piece of information from this article with another. The snippet of info from this article:
Parchin, which Iran says is a conventional military complex, is at the centre of Western allegations that Iran has conducted experiments – possibly a decade ago – that could help it develop nuclear bombs. Iran denies any such ambition.
The key phrase here is “possibly a decade ago.” So, they may have been conducting experiments in 2002. I guess we could still be scared…if we didn’t know Iran stopped their nuclear weapons program in 2003. If we do find they tested something a decade ago, so what? What exactly does that prove and what does it matter as long as it was stopped?
Additionally, think of this from the Iranian government’s perspective. What do they really have to gain by abdicating to Western demands without getting anything in return? If you are Iran at this point and you know you have no nuclear weapons or anything that shows you are pursuing them, you should be pushing for any and all sanctions to be lifted before letting the West in to inspect. That is the way they win the most in the end and they are clearly holding out for a deal along those lines.
The question is: will we get to that point with such an aggressive U.S. policy toward Iran before war breaks out? We found out last week the U.S. has used cyber-attacks on Iran in recent years. This action sets the world up for a volatile situation concerning these methods:
Senior U.S. officials agreed the benefit of stalling Iran’s nuclear program was greater than the risks of the virus being harnessed by other countries or terrorist groups to attack U.S. facilities…Last year, the United States also explicitly stated for the first time that it reserved the right to retaliate with military force against a cyber-attack.
So the U.S. is using cyber-attacks but states it will counter any cyber-attacks with a military strike. Quite a boon for the military industrial complex and a great way to justify actions in the future by claiming someone attacked through cyberspace. I mean, we looked bad when we couldn’t find WMDs in Iraq after invading but showing info about a cyber attack will be so much easier, even if it has to be faked. Should we start discussing the morality of preemptive military actions to stop cyber-attacks before they allegedly start? Nah. We stand to lose too much defense spending if we go there. I can’t imagine how this situation could possibly get out of hand in any way!
One fact through all of this remains: we still have no evidence Iran is a threat or is pursuing nuclear weapons. We should all try to remember that as the presidential candidates’ rhetoric ramps up in the coming months.