Sunday, October 24, 2010

On bombing Iran

I've always assumed that when Iran's nuclear program got so far along that bombs were an inevitable product, the Israelis would blast the facilities out of existence, as it has done to other nations in the past. Not so fast, says Kenneth Pollack in The National Interest:

Most American (and Israeli) nuclear experts now think that Tehran is so far along that it could rebuild the entire program and be back to where it is at present in just a year or two. And many already fear that Iran has secret facilities, or is hiding key machinery and material for its nuclear program—then the program wouldn’t be set back much at all by a military campaign.

It is also worth keeping in mind that Iran probably will retaliate against the United States.... The Islamic Republic has a formidable capacity to employ terrorism and a lot of allies, like Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who could also cause a great deal of damage on Tehran’s behalf. If there is anyone out there who might be able to replicate a terrorist attack as terrible as 9/11, it is Iran.
Sanctions, he thinks, have a better chance of success--but tougher sanctions, allied with covert action and a greater emphasis on human rights. South Africa is the model here: the whole world was ready to dump on South Africa, especially the Good People, not for its nukes but for the odiousness of its regime. Worth a read. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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