The UK's Telegraph is reporting that the US is maintaining a nuclear option against Iran's possible development of a nuclear weapon. The Telegraph backs this up with "claims [by] an investigative writer with high-level Pentagon and intelligence contacts."
Though this Rock of Gibralter-solid substantiation is more like gravel, I do not doubt that a nuclear response is considered an option. After all, we have nuclear weapons; of course, they're an option.
Anyway, be that as it may, I have two questions;
- Do you think Iran's nuclear program is, as Iran says, for peaceful uses only, or is it to develop a nuclear weapon?
- What should be the response of the US?
Now, for Question 2, there is one very glaring consideration to be had. Essentially, what one's response to Question 1 is. If one truly believes that Iran's goal is peaceful energy supply, then a US attack is most definitely not an option. At least, in my opinion.
But, how does one determine if Iran's goals are peaceful?
Do we take their word for it? Well, if the current Iranian regime has a reputation for honesty and forthrightness, then this might be a viable choice. But, what if they don't have this reputation? They might still be telling the truth. Even the boy who cried wolf was telling the truth once.
Or, do we attack to ensure that they won't have the capability, regardless if they are telling the truth or not? Do we take that sort of risk?
Or, do we wait until they expose themselves to be actually developing weapons? The problem here is that the first evidence to support their being dishonest might be a missile track from Tehran to Tel Aviv followed by a distinct mushroom cloud. Or, maybe Berlin, or London, or Riyahd, or Baghdad, or ... . Is this an acceptable risk? Do we wait until some city is a glowing slag-pit before putting a stop to Iran's potential nuclear strike capability?
Even though we can - and would - respond decisively to such an act by Iran, this might be playing right into Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's hand. He WANTS some sort of apocalyptic nightmare. He has stated that he will do what he can to trigger one.
So, in light of this, is the threat of our making a heavy-handed response sufficient to deter Ahmedinejad? Or, will it simply goad him further?