Zamfir wrote:Well, the assumption here is that acquiring nuclear weapons is a hostile act even if you do not use them. Which is a defensable position, but not coming from the US or Israel of course.
The US acquired nuclear weapons as a hostile act.
Israel acquired nuclear weapons as a hostile act.
The US used nuclear weapons in a war it was engaged in.
Claiming that developing nukes is an unprovoked hostile act while you have yourself already nukes pointed at that country is not deeply convincing, except as a pure statement of power.
There is currently a treaty in effect called the non-proliferation treaty. There are two categories of signatories to this treaty -- one category agrees not to build nuclear weapons, the other agrees to decrease their nuclear arsenal.
Iran is a signatory that agrees not to build nuclear weapons.
Actually, there is the position that ownership of nuclear weapons should be scaled back, not up, and that each nation with nuclear weapons increases the chance that they will be used.There are two different statements here. There is the claim that virtue of its military power, the US has the ability to decide which countries are allowed to have nukes and which are not. The other statement is that the US by virtue of its power or its intrinsic goodness has the right to determine which countries are allowed to have nukes.
The first is to some extent true, and Iran wants nukes exactly to reduce that power the US has over them.
Agreed. And one totally rational response to that is to smash nations that attempt to aquire nukes back to the stone age before they acquire nukes. This is not very practical, and possibly not moral.
But of course no one in Iran agrees to the second, just as the people of the US do not think that Iran has a right to determine whether the US has nuclear weapons.
So break the nuclear NPT, and every other signatory to the NPT has an obligation to stop trading with you any components that can be used to build nuclear weapons.
That is what 'sanctions' are about -- a collective agreement to not trade any components that could be used for building nuclear materials. On top of this, there is the agreement that anything you do acquire under the NPT to help you with peaceful nuclear technology should not be used to build weaponry.
Thus the position that isolating Iran, blocking off all imports and exports, is a solution to Irans refusal to follow the NPT.
Note that this is highly questionable, as Israel is not a signatory to NPT, and is generally believed to have acquired its own nuclear weapons.
tzvi wrote:The power US has over Iran is nothing compared to the power Iran will have over the entire region with nukes in the silos.
I think you presume restraint on the part of the US too much. The US currently has the power to glass Iran, but restrains from doing so. In fact, the general belief that the US has such restraint is strong enough that the power almost might as well not be there.
Iran, with a handful of nukes, would have the power to destroy a handful of cities, and destroy a handful of conventional forces that attack it.
Should international law of war attempt to make legal war impractical?