Iran’s nuclear ambitions: Sanctions or diplomacy?

They need us more than we need them. It is psychological warfare and isolating Iran is impossible    –    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The first day in a new job can sometimes be difficult, but spare a thought for Yukiya Amano – the IAEA’s new Director General. On Tuesday he officially succeeded Mohamed ElBaradei as the top boss at the UN’s nuclear watchdog, and it’s been a baptism of fire.

He inherits a crisis that has been rumbling on for seven years: Iran’s nuclear aspirations. But it looks like his job may be over before he’s started … that’s according to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Speaking in Tehran on Tuesday evening, Ahmadinejad made a bullish speech on state TV. The hardline leader said they would be holding no talks (with major powers) over this issue. He went onto say that world powers would not succeed in isolating Iran over its nuclear programme and dismissed any possibility of military action against the Islamic republic.

This week Iran faced a growing international chorus of condemnation of its nuclear ambitions. On Friday, the IAEA officially rebuked Iran for concealing its nuclear reactor at Qom, and passed a resolution demanding that Iran put an immediate stop to all enrichment activities.

That resolution appears to have soured relations between Iran and its longtime nuclear partner, Russia. Tehran is unhappy at Russia’s yes vote on that censure motion. On Monday, Tehran responded by announcing plans to build 10 more nuclear sites.

So is a hardline approach the best way to deal with a hardline government in Iran? Is this the right course of action? China is unsure – its called for diplomacy, not sanctions to deal with Iran’s nuclear programme. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said, “we should properly resolve this issue through dialogue. All parties should step up diplomatic efforts.”

Last month hopes were high when it was though that the ongoing problem might be resolved when  negotiated agreement to export Iran’s enriched uranium to France and Russia was seriously considered. But now it looks like we’re back at square one.

So, what should the world community do? Should we engage with Iran? Or should we isolate it so that it has no choice but to fall into line?

56 Responses to “Iran’s nuclear ambitions: Sanctions or diplomacy?”

  1. 1 Patrick in Vancouver
    December 1, 2009 at 22:38

    So, what should the world community do?

    I think should do what we can to reduce the tensions between the west and Iran as best we can. It won’t last long or stop the violence they intend, but it may buy us time. Possibly allowing us to keep a closer eye on them. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”

  2. 2 Arbibi Ashoy
    December 1, 2009 at 23:07

    The problem with the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is that it is not iron clad. In other words, if Iran decides to pursue nuclear weapons, it only has to leave the treaty. Many countries have done so before. Pakistan, India and Israel are three countries that have turned their backs on the NPT. At present, none of these countries are facing sanctions or threat of war from the United Nations. So where is the legitimacy if the United Nations threatens Iran when it has allowed Pakistan, India and Israel to build nuclear weapons.
    In fact, by enriching uranium and keeping the nuclear option open, Iran has more to gain. The comparison between Iraq and North Korea has shown that it is better to not co-operate with the United Nations. What did Saddam Hussein get for dismantling his WMDs and co-operating with weapons inspectors for 10 years? He got executed and his country invaded even though there were no WMDs. Compare this with the smarter and more practical North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il. No country would dare attack North Korea and sanctions have not hurt the military generals and top leaders one bit. North Korea may be poor but at least its people are not dying from bombs like the unfortunate people of Iraq.

    • December 3, 2009 at 12:04

      Arbibi Ashoy, you are spot on. I would further add that it is humiliation to tell a sovereign nation that ‘we do not trust you, therefore, you must send your nuclear material to a third country for processing’. As a sovereign country Iran, like any other country has the right to process its own nuclear material for its nuclear power. Time and time again, Iran has assured the world community that it has no plans for making nuclear weapons. Even Saddam was truthful when he said that he had dismantled all his WMD. Iran is one of the most ancient civilizations; the world should learn to show some respect.

      The US and its supporters are too paranoid in their concern for Israel’s safety. If you curb your own barbaric behaviour, you will not have to keep looking over your shoulder. North Korea, for instance, is not going to launch a nuclear attack on anybody, and neither would Iran even if it possessed a nuclear weapon. The rules of engagement of modern war has totally changed. We should have learnt our lessons from Vietnam, which taught the world that a small nation armed with determination and simple weapons can bring down a Superpower to its knees. Who needs nuclear weapons? Iran is far more astute and civilized to resort to something as silly as a nuclear bomb.

    • 4 Tony Baker
      December 3, 2009 at 16:18

      I can only agree with Arbibi Ashoy, Jack and Ibrahim.

      Iran has signed up to the NPT and allows IAEA inspectors in.

      Israel hasn’t and doesn’t.

      Iran has sanctions imposed and is theatened by the US and Europe..

      Why the double standards?

  3. 5 T
    December 1, 2009 at 23:21

    Has isolating them worked out so far? No. So how will you isolate them further (short of invading them)? The politicians say lots of tough soundbites. But when push comes to shove, short of invasion, it’s a waste of time.

  4. 6 Tom D Ford
    December 2, 2009 at 00:42

    “Sanctions or diplomacy?”

    Well, they’ve been sanctioned since what, 1979, and that surely has not worked, so maybe diplomacy is in order.

    It seems that there is a range of reasons why people arm themselves, from wanting to defend themselves to wanting to dominate others. Where does Iran fit into that range?

    When Bush was in power he was a threat to Iran as stated in the PNAC, Project for the New American Century, manifesto that he followed ideologically. The PNAC stated that they wanted to Dominate the World and so were a threat to all of us.

    How much influence does the renamed PNAC still have in US politics? Do they still threaten to Dominate the World? (I forget what their new name is).

    If US President Obama is really changing US policy from World Domination to diplomacy and statecraft and finding ways to get along with other nations, what would make Iran feel less threatened and so less desirous of the need of becoming a nuclear power?

    How can the Israeli nuclear threat to Iran be mitigated?

  5. 7 Robert Evans
    December 2, 2009 at 00:54

    I personally think that as we have tried to negotiate with Iran then we should move to a more severe action on the Iranian authorities lets ban them from entering any other country and impose trade sanctions.

    • December 4, 2009 at 11:29

      Robert Evans is probably right in assuming that negotiations with Iran did not yield results. So, America and its poodles should apply the same rule that they applied to Israel – Don’t negotiate and just turn your eyes away and pretend that there is no problem. It is common knowledge that Israel possesses nuclear weapons; they have not signed up to NPT and they do not allow IAEA to inspect their facilities; besides, recently the UN has found them guilty of war crimes, their barbaric acts against their neighbours are well documented; they causing provocation by building settlements on ill-gotten occupied land; They are in violation of many UN resolutions —- compare this with Iran. Iran is a signatory to NPT, IAEA has access to their programmes for nuclear power; they have categorically stated that they have no plans to produce nuclear weapons; they have never attacked any neghbouring state; Iran is one of the oldest civilized countries in the world.

      Sanctions of Iran? This is the kind of double standards and cock-eyed policies that is causing the troubles around the world.

  6. December 2, 2009 at 01:11

    How about the radical idea of leaving people alone and minding our own business? Iran is certainly no threat to us and hasn’t invaded anybody in 250 years, unlike Israel which has started 19 wars in its short history, invaded four countries and occupied parts of them all in addition to all of Palestine. If IAEA inspections and nuclear disclosure are necessary, then Israel is the place to start.

    Iran only wants a nuke or threat thereof as deterrent/protection against Israel and the US who continously threaten to attack them. Disarm Israel and distribute collective prozac to them and Iran can then relax and not have to struggle with our problem of nuclear waste.

  7. 10 Tom D Ford
    December 2, 2009 at 01:16

    “Sanctions or diplomacy?”

    I wonder what the effect will be of most of the world converting energy production to clean non-fossil fuels. Will that take a bunch of the heat off of Iran about their Oil Reserves? After their revolution they took back control of their oil from the Global Oil Corporations, so if Oil becomes less desirable will the West be less of a threat to Iran?

    I just have to think that a lot of the pressure on Iran comes from the Global Oil Corporations that lost their Iranian “Oil Properties” and want them back.

    So where would that fit in diplomacy?

  8. 11 Tan Boon Tee
    December 2, 2009 at 04:15

    Sanctions or diplomacy? Neither will work for the rhetorically outspoken and recalcitrant Tehran leader.

    As I said before, the best is for the world to leave him alone and the media to ignore him completely. After all, there exists a good number of perpetual attention-seeking heads-of-states every time, every where.

    • 12 Avi Nofech
      December 3, 2009 at 06:06

      Tan Boon Tee proposes that it is best for the world to leave the Tehran leader alone.

      Here is a video showing what Ahmadinejad says about it:

      He shakes his fist and together with his supporters shouts “Death to Israel!”

      What it means is that if Ahmadinejad gets to do what he wants to do someone is going to get nuked.

  9. 13 Rene
    December 2, 2009 at 05:56

    Talking to the Iranian government is a waste of time.

    A French teaching assistant named Clotilde Reiss got put in Evin prison accused of spying. She’s out on bail but her trial in Iran is continuing.

    Journalist Maziar Bahari, who was jailed in Iran, had a comedy sketch from The Daily Show used as evidence against him.

  10. 14 Dennis Junior
    December 2, 2009 at 06:07

    Since, in theory the Iranian Regime will not do anything until the sanctions threats are..on the way, then that is the road that should be taken…And, the Diplomacy road should be made available also…..

    =Dennis Junior=

  11. 15 guykaks.nairobi
    December 2, 2009 at 07:18

    isolation to me looks a silly idea.we should dialogue and agree to some extent with it.afterall , Iran is not amjor threat to the world!

  12. 16 archibald
    December 2, 2009 at 07:19

    Unless diplomacy is a full group effort and real decisions are made, nothing will come of this latest fluff. Iran will only respect hardline uncompromising demand, which will require all nations who are opposed to a nuclear warhead at the beck and call of Ahmadinejad to rally together and thwart peacefully, what will certainly come to blows if left to uncommitted “diplomacy”.

  13. 17 Roberto
    December 2, 2009 at 10:09

    RE “” So, what should the world community do? “”

    ——— Election of a new president with a fresh slate to effect change would be a starter…….um, wait, there it is, ok, election sorted.

    Now it’s up to Obama’s team to transcend what has turned into a misanthropic US diplomatic policy towards both Iran and Cuba.

    Thing is that you need two interested parties to negotiate deals with, and it’s unclear what Iran’s goals are since their Islamic leaders running the country mostly keep their own council. However, tracking their history, we can see they are funding money and smuggling arms for Hezbollah, Hamas, and other Shiite based militias in the middle east and have some links to North Korea’s government.

    The US funds and arms Israel and funds Jordan and Egypt as well in opposition to Iran’s funding. Both the US and Iran have neglected their own citizens to this end, so it’s up to Iranian leaders to engage since Obama has opened the dialogue.

  14. 18 Ibrahim in UK
    December 2, 2009 at 10:50

    The reasons for Iran not to have nuclear plants:

    1. Iran has enough oil for it’s power needs, it doesn’t need nuclear.
    That’s not what the US was saying 60 years ago. They recognised that oil was limited and running out. Iran’s nuclear energy plans started in the 1950s (after the US toppled the Iranian democracy and installed a dictatorship) The plan was to replace reliance of oil and build nuclear plants with the assistance and agreement of the US and the rest of the West.

    2. Iran can’t be trusted with nuclear weapons
    This is a subjective argument. On the one hand the US supports Israel to dominate the region, violate international laws, build nuclear weapons and be completely unnaccountable to anyone, yet on the other hand it prevents Iran from being a counter-balance, even though Iran is accountable and signatory to the NPT, is already under sanctions and does not even have nuclear weapons.

    Diplomacy is definately an option, but the US lacks credibility in the region so cannot take the lead.

    • 19 Tom K in Mpls
      December 2, 2009 at 18:11

      1: Oil will run out, and prices will fluctuate. The fluctuations devastate economies based on a single product.

      2: Iran, like North Korea, does not have the means to deliver nukes. Nor do they have the means to survive the backlash. They know this. This is not an issue. It is rhetoric to gain support for the actions of industrialized governments.

      Diplomacy is impossible unless you can talk to an accountable leader. The Iranian government does not do this currently. There currently is no feasible action.

  15. 20 David
    December 2, 2009 at 11:23

    The Iranians’ avowed intent is to “wipe Israel from the face of the earth”. Iran is a significant supporter of violent terrorist organisations. And you guys talk about appeasement?

    Fortunately, the Israelis won’t be appeasing Iran any time soon. I’m quite confident that, despite the apparent shortage of vertebrae here in Europe, any Iranian nuclear facilities will be dealt with appropriately.

    Let them use oil. They’ve got plenty and it’s dirt cheap.

    • 21 Ibrahim in UK
      December 2, 2009 at 12:10

      Israel’s avowed attempt is to create a “greater holocaust” in Gaza. Israel is in violation of numerous UN resolutions, is accused of gross human rights violations and war crimes, is illegally occupying and settling on Arab land, is nuclear-armed and refuses to sign the NPT, yet everyone is appeasing them and giving them more money and weapons.
      Fortunately, the Iranians won’t be appeasing Israel any time soon. I’m quite confident that, despite the apparent shortage of vertebrae here in Europe and the US, any Israeli nuclear facilities, Israeli occupations and Israeli settlements will be dealt with appropriately.

      Odd how only one side of the argument is considered threatening while the other is considered legitimate.

  16. December 2, 2009 at 12:05

    Tehran must comply with IAEA. Russians are looking for a way out.
    Iran is in no position to thwart the Atomic Agency or anyone else.
    Oil revenues are dwindling. Food subsidies are being scrapped because there is no money. Gasoline rationing, in place for over two years, has been tightened.
    Much of industry is at a standstill. Unemployment and inflation are on the rise.
    Political bickering between Parliament, President and Leader have brought the country to a standstill.
    The world has been too busy to deal with Tehran but the Lisbon Treaty paves the way for prompt and effective opposition to excesses and autocratic rule in Iran, including failure to suspend uranium enrichment.

  17. 23 Nigel
    December 2, 2009 at 12:30

    Iran to this point has not broken any laws and are cooperating with IAEA fully. The whole Western program is based on the “assumption” that Iran may be able to develop nuclear weapons at some time in the future without any hard evidence to support their concerns. Given these circumstances is it fair to punish someone for crimes not yet committed and remember that not doing things the way the so-called c”International Community” wants them done is not a breach of law. Diplomacy and sensible negotiation that takes in the needs of Iran and a stop to propaganda and lecturing would make the greatest amount of headway. No sanctions!

  18. 24 Joseph
    December 2, 2009 at 13:55

    None of them will work. Iran has got right to have nuclear weapons as it was proved many times only that way there is real independence. If aggressive countries like US or Israel that was threatening Europe with them can have nuclear weapons why not Iran. Because they are not our friends? Well I am not surprised after all bad experience, overthrowing governments costing many lives etc all to get their oil no matter the cost. To be fair they have same rights as we do, they didnt attack any country because of their reasons like US does regularly, interfere in other countries internal matters like US does because of their worldwide interest and because the whole world must be the way US want.

  19. 25 steve
    December 2, 2009 at 14:05

    I believe Ahadminejad’s statement that their program is for peaceful purposes about as much as I believed him when he said there were no homosexuals in Iran.

  20. 26 Guido (Austria)
    December 2, 2009 at 15:09

    I am not quite sure, that the Iranian government wants to avoid sanctions. The are bad for the country, but good for the leaders. They need external enemies to stay in power.

  21. December 2, 2009 at 15:48

    Sounds like a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’! Especially when you consider that the only nation to actually use nuclear weapons in anger, wiping out hundreds of thousands of innocent people is good ol’ US of A. The same nation that now props up Israel, uses up half the world’s fossil fuels, crashes the world economy and invades other countries for no good reason. Maybe someone can tell me what Iran has done so far that’s as bad as any of that?

  22. 28 T
    December 2, 2009 at 16:14

    Iran is a sovereign nation (as is the States). This means that they have the right to defend themselves with nuclear weapons.

    Would Obama actually invade Iran to stop them from using these? Tough talk. But in reality he won’t. How will he juggle wars in Iraq, Afghanistan AND Iran? Is he going to outsource this to Israel?

    December 2, 2009 at 16:30

    The real casualty of all talk on this issue is peace. This issue on nunclear threat will continue to haunt humanity given our current fashion of tenacious creation of divisive politics (allies) that alienates others and the so called ‘our interests’. The dangers posed by further advancement in nuclear technology are still intact.
    There is a paradox too. Nuclear looks like the fuel of tomorrow and this makes it prime industry for every state to develop. The main worry now is that this industry is shrouded in a cloud of falsifications and mistrust. We do have a price to pay for mismanagement of the opportunity that arose out of the end of the cold war. We should do stock taking of openness and honesty that were supposed to have been spurred by that turning point.
    Nuclear issue is a tall order for Iran as well as the of us.

  24. 30 hass
    December 2, 2009 at 16:47

    VIENNA (Reuters) – The incoming head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday he did not see any hard evidence Iran was trying to gain the ability to develop nuclear arms.

    “I don’t see any evidence in IAEA official documents about this,” Yukiya Amano told Reuters in his first direct comment on Iran’s atomic program since his election, when asked whether he believed Tehran was seeking nuclear weapons capability


  25. 31 Tom K in Mpls
    December 2, 2009 at 16:57

    We said something belligerent, condescending and meddlesome to them. They get belligerent, defensive and annoyed. All perfectly natural. Now what I can’t understand is why we bother talking to a country that is controlled by the whims of a guy behind the scenes who is not a part of any negotiations? We should have nothing to do with them, in any way, until they have an accountable leader for us to deal with.

    Iran has a history of supporting people willing to do things that they think will help them directly or indirectly. But they are not willing or able to do anything directly. Because of their moral and physical inability to act, they are no threat to us. We should do nothing more than simply watch what they do.

  26. 32 steve
    December 2, 2009 at 16:57


    The US used nuclear weapons to end a war it didn’t start. Perhaps the Japanese should not have declared war on the US, and brutally occupied and killed many of thousands of people in Asia in their attempt to conquer and GULP, OCCUPY asia!

    The Soviet Union propped up many arab dictatorships, yet you dont’ seem to have a problem with that. I’d rather “prop up” a democracy like Israel than a failed state dictatorship.

    So it comes down to your dislike of the US, ISrael in the west. You’d want a nation run by religious fanatics, that execute homosexuals, that deny homosexuals exist, who fund international terrorism, to have nuclear weapons?

    • 33 Ibrahim in UK
      December 2, 2009 at 18:28

      I think what most people are doing is pointing out that the West’s stated objections to Iran posessing nuclear weapons are not valid and are inconsistent with the West’s support for other nuclear nations of equally or more dubious leadership and history.
      I doubt anyone supports the Iranian regime or likes the idea of nuclear weapons, but “not liking someone” is not reason enough to deny them their rights.

  27. 34 Count Iblis
    December 2, 2009 at 17:16

    Diplomacy can only work if all parties recognize each other’s sovereign rights. So far diplomacy has not worked with Iran, because the West refuses to accept the idea that Iran has the right to produce its own fuel for nuclear powerplants they intend to build in the future. To do that, Iran would need to enrich uranium on an industrial scale, so Iran’s announced plans are in line with this.

    If one accepts that Iran has the right to do this, then you have to politiely ask Iran if they are willing to deal with some concerns we have and negotiate about extra inspections, e.g. in exchange for lifting sanctions etc.

    The current approach is to force Iran to comply with our demands using some carrot and stick approach. But this can only work against very weak countries. So, the failure so far could perhaps also be blamed on the West overestimating its power.

  28. 35 Ibrahim in UK
    December 2, 2009 at 17:47

    The Middle East contains vital resources. It has long been the West’s ambition to dominate the Middle East and control these resources as evidenced by their numerous wars/invasions and policies against democracy in the region.
    A strong independent Middle Eastern nation that opposes Western ambitions is a threat to the West’s interests of domination. Iran is the only independent nation left in the Middle East that can credibly oppose the West’s domination. If Iran falls, there will be no more resistance to the occupation and domination of the Middle East.
    This is the real agenda. Sanctions and Diplomacy are only useful to the West if they lead to the domination of the Middle East.
    Is the US citizen happy to sacrifice their taxes, sons and daughters to fulfill this agenda?

  29. 36 Ronald Almeida
    December 2, 2009 at 22:46

    Gullible citizens of any country can be manipulated by the politicians and media to sacrificing not only taxes and their children but even their own lives. Isn’t that the reason this planet is generally in such a mess?

  30. 37 mat hendriks
    December 2, 2009 at 23:08

    Why sanctions?

    Sanctions can be gived when some-one has done something wrong.
    In this case, you have to give, most of the nations also sanctions,
    also Great Britain.
    Or do you have non atom-centrales to make nuclear energy.
    By the way, has Great Britain or Amerika or Russia etc.
    no weapons of nuclear mass destruction.
    Even we in Holland, about 45 kilometers from my place of living, are a lot
    of atomboms.
    Iran has non at this moment.

    Equal righs for all nations, othewise there is no right at all .
    The west want another war, even before the last one-Irak- stopped.
    Then started by cow-boy Bush without a reason.

    Stop all kind of nuclear energy in the world and destroy all atomic bombs before they destroy us all.
    Only the we have a real future.

  31. 38 JanB
    December 3, 2009 at 00:28

    Of course China is hesitant, because sanctions would mean they can sell less to Iran.
    And of course the Western powers know that Iran will go through with the program, sanctions or no sanctions.

    The only purpose this whole game serves is to delay Iran’s nuclear efforts until in the near future the demonstrations in Iran’s cities become too large for the Basij to crush, leading to a more democratic Iran that could make for a very powerful Middle Eastern ally of the West.

  32. 39 David
    December 3, 2009 at 10:37

    After the seizing of yet another shipload of rockets, bombs and guns, this is what the Iranian Govt had to say,

    We are proud to defend Hamas and Hezbollah,” Ali Larijani, Iran’s parliament speaker, said at a news conference in May. “We are not trying to hide it.”

    I’ll paraphrase for the hard-of-understanding…”We ar proud to sponsor murder and mayhem throughout the world. But, honestly, we’ll play nicely once we get our hand on Nuclear Weapons.”

    • 40 Ibrahim in UK
      December 3, 2009 at 13:34

      An alternate paraphrasal for the hard-of-understanding
      “We are proud to sponser the fight against occupation. Just as the US supported the Afghanistan Islamists to fight against the Soviet occupation, we are supporting the Palestine Islamists to fight against the Israeli occupation”.

  33. 41 David
    December 3, 2009 at 15:59

    Let me ask you straight, Ibrahim.

    You think that it is acceptable to support the use of conventional weapons against Israel.

    If Iran had nuclear weapons, would you also support the use of those against Israel?

    If not, why not? What is the difference, in your eyes, between providing conventional weapons and providing nuclear weapons?

    • 42 Tom K in Mpls
      December 5, 2009 at 00:02

      Conventional weapons don’t poison significant areas with radiation. We should give both sides all the small conventional weapons they want. That said, I’m all for letting them have nukes. They know they can’t use them. Their delivery abilities are a joke and they would never survive the military backlash.

  34. 43 Elias
    December 3, 2009 at 17:12

    No diplomacy will deter Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it is obvious they are determined to continue with producing them. Other and obvious means must be used in ending their quest for acquiring them. All the diplomacy in the world will be of no avail. The Iranian preident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is single minded to continue his nuclear programme regadless of the presure against his intentions. If by isolating Iran completely from the rest of the world is the way to follow, it should be implemented, the sooner the better. The Iranian people may then get rid of him. His remark ‘ they need us more than we need them’, should be replied with ‘ we need Iran like we need a hole in our head’.

  35. 44 steve
    December 3, 2009 at 17:20

    Also David, use of nuclear weapons against Israel would also kill the Palestinians, given how close they are. The radiation would affect Palestinians too, so you really have to question whether this is more about an independent Palestinian, or about destroying Israel.

  36. 45 Patrick Agbobu
    December 3, 2009 at 19:33

    Diplomacy must be the only and acceptable option, as sanctions have never and will never work. Tell me what moral justification, has the Western power telling Iran, not to develope her Nuclear power for their energy and electricity. The west is building their own nuclear plants to generate, their energy and electricity needs on a very constant basis. They say that nuclear energy is clean, effective, safe and that it is good for the environment. What is good for the West, will be equally good for Iran. We should give them, a bebefit of doubt, when they say, that their nuclear energy, is for electricity and energy. All the west has to do, is to work out a verifiable and perfect supervision process. The other alternative, is for the West to give Iran, all the nuclear plants Iran needs, to generate energy and electricity free of charge.

  37. 46 Ibrahim in UK
    December 4, 2009 at 10:53

    Hi David,

    I think it is perfectly acceptable and legitimate to resist an occupation, including the use of armed resistance. But nuking the occupier kills everyone; occupier, resistance, soldier, militant, and civilian, whether through the blast, fallout or the nuclear retaliation.
    Iran had every opportunity to use their WMDs during the Iraq war, they didn’t. Despite the fact that Iraq was shooting chemical and biological weapons at the Iranian civilian population.

    No one is asking the same question back to Israel. Is it acceptable for the Israeli occupiers to use conventional (and illegal) weapons against Palestinians? If Israel can get away with disproportionate force and war crimes and numerous violations of international law, what’s to prevent them from using nukes on Iran or any other country should the tide of war turn against them? There is currently no threat of retaliation, and no threat of accountability.

  38. December 4, 2009 at 11:10

    In my humble opinion, they can build their Nuclear Power plants, for electricity. I`m sure they realise, if they were to use any of the material for use in warfare, it would be the end of their country and way of life. As a nation, they would all but disappear.

  39. 48 Harry Webb
    December 4, 2009 at 13:22

    We need to go back to basics with this issue. IMHO, if one nation can have nuclear technology, then so should we all be able to.
    To be honest, I think that a lot of the “noise” going on here is to mask the fact that the once ridiculed U.S. “Star Wars” project is now coming to fruition. Lasers in Space are soon to be a reality. Rendering ICBM technology obsolete overnight. One of the reasons that the Chinese are now in such a rush to succeed in Space!

    • 49 Tom K in Mpls
      December 5, 2009 at 00:09

      ‘Star Wars’ was a bluff by Reagan to show the USSR, that they did not have the money to continue the Cold War. It was never real. The money was secretly funneled to the F-117 and B-2 Stealth projects. Projects designed for a post USSR scenario.

  40. 50 David
    December 4, 2009 at 14:11

    Many correspondents plead the argument of “fairness” or “what’s sauce for the goose…” as reason enough for the extension of nuclear weaponry to Iran.

    Let’s take that argument to its logical conclusion.

    Osama Bin Laden wants a nuclear weapon. That’s perfectly reasonable, isn’t it? Well, it is according to the “fairness” argument.

    But, who here will argue for his “right” to nuclear arms?

    And Iran is surely responsible for at least mayhem as is OBL…so why treat it any differently?

    • 51 Harry Webb
      December 4, 2009 at 15:01

      “Osama Bin Laden wants a nuclear weapon. That’s perfectly reasonable, isn’t it? Well, it is according to the “fairness” argument. ”

      Not at all. Neither bin Laden, nor A.Q. has a seat at the U.N. Iran does.

    • 53 Ibrahim in UK
      December 4, 2009 at 15:44

      Hi again David,

      I hope it doesn’t feel like I’m singling you out, but you are asking the questions which I think need to be answered by “the other side”.

      The “fairness” argument is:
      Why are some law-breakers allowed unchecked nukes while others get sanctions for potentially having them in the future? We must apply the same constraints, rules, checks and balances on everyone or else we are not being fair. As much as the West mistrusts Iran, the Arab/Islamic world mistrusts Israel. Demanding that one side live in defenceless submission to the other is “not fair”. Can you imagine if the US forced Israel to give up all it’s nukes while giving Iran the green light to develop it’s own? Not fair either.
      The best/logical conclusion would be for both to give them up. Seeing as that has been outright rejected by both Israel and the US, it becomes apparent that fairness and justice is not their agenda for the Middle East.

  41. 54 Craig
    December 5, 2009 at 09:45

    Let’s get one thing straight. Iran would not Nuke Israel even if they had the weapons. It would rather undermine their long term goal of Palestinian liberation if they irradiated the entire area. Their goal is the removal of the current apartheid regime in Israel.

    So back to the issue, Sanctions or Diplomacy? We have had 30 years of sanctions to get to this point. Time to give diplomacy a try i reckon.

  42. 55 Harry Webb
    December 5, 2009 at 15:09

    Well put Ibrahim.

  43. 56 Ronald Almeida
    December 5, 2009 at 16:22

    Why should the world community behave any different with Iran than they behave with the U.S. especially since the U.S. is the only country to date who has misused nuclear power. Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

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