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Iran and Nukes

8.10.2005

There is a very sensible post over at Fi Fie Fo Fum by Al regarding the response of the FI to the current Iranian standoff. The musings are very sensible and talk of nuclear weaponry and non proliferation should be done in the context of the recent memorials of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In sixty years many on the left fear the lessons of the nuclear attacks at the end of WWII have yet to be learned.
The presence of a nuclear arsenal has as yet failed to prevent the most hardened terrorists from attacking either the US, UK or Isreal. The issue of nuclear energy versus weapons programmes is an issue that was intended to be tackled by the NPT and its inteded successor. There has been no successor and that it down primarily to the US striking unilateral poses. As i argued yesterday regarding the UN and previously regarding the NPT, we need increasede cooperation and multilateral democracy in order to secure peace and stability.
Terming the potential iranian arsenal as an islamic weapon is rightly criticised by Al, it is unhelpful to isolate everything which may be done by muslims as done in the name of islam. Iran has other reasons for not trusting the US/Isreal and allowing the global system, particularly the UN, to offer Iran cover in the form of chinese and russian vetos is deeply troubling.
The Iranians do have rights to nuclear energy under the NPT, the nuclear states have a responsibility to promote safe technology and not to use this as a tool of foreign policy. Proper regulation of the global nuclear sector must come hand in hand with regulation of Arms and energy generally.
Hardheaded tactics by the Iranians need to be wound down also unless they are genuinely attempting to build weapons. If they are then we should be no more worried that their presence across the Irish Sea and atlantic ocean. Attempting to criminalise the iranians for wanting nukes should be done in tandem with criminalising the death and destruciton that nukes seem to give us without really offering detterence. Many have argued that nukes should go, notably the recently deceased Robin Cook M.P. in the guardian (surprise)(and follow up here).
The iranian question should be examined in the broader context of examining the role and destructiveness of nuclear weapons in the 21st century. We cannot nuke al-Qaeda or other asymmetric threats and perhaps its time to admit their role is dead. Thank goodness if it is.
RR

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  1. Blogger Kevin Breathnach | 11:54 a.m. |  

    A good piece, but I object particularly to one sentence.

    If they are then we should be no more worried that their presence across the Irish Sea and atlantic ocean.

    Iran regularly calls for the destruction of the Israeli state. Whether or not you think Israel should exist, you can't want the nation to be attacked, notably by way of nukes.

    That would be my worry, should Iran develop these weapons.

    You could always counter that by saying America is always denouncing nations, yet they have these weapons. Be it America's liberals and their scrutinising media, I have more trust in America keeping their nukes where they are.

    I would also fear that if Iran had weapons, they could fall into the hands of terrorists.

  2. Blogger Cian | 4:12 p.m. |  

    quite correct in your point, mine was not an effort to legitimise Iranian efforts to attain nor proliferate nuclear weapons, simply a point that in terms of nuclear warfare we are closer and in more immediate threat from our near neighbours arsenal than those of a ten year off iranian weapons programme as yet unproven.
    I do not wish to see isreal attacked, not by any form of warfare.
    Your point about terrorists is well made but evidence available suggests NPT rogues Pakistan and India are more likely to proliferate weapons to other countries and so underline the need for serious exmaination of our attitude to Nukes as deterrents. I dont think Iran should be allowed to create Nukes, they have no right to them under international law. They do have a right to legitimate technology and help from nuclear powers, nations like india and pakistan who diy outside of the terms of NPT are not helping the international effort to control the pandoras box opened over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    Terrorists are more likely to recieve the info from pakistani elements than most other state though you point on iran is noted. I think it is time to begin examining critically locking up the technology seriously. Isreal being a regional nuclear power doesnt help efforts to put sworn adversary Iran back in the box.
    I am deeply dubious about the deterrent effect of a nuclear arsenal.
    My defence was not of their right to a nuclear arsenal which i believe is granted to nobody given the destructive power of the weapon. My point is that respect of international law in helping secure a power programme for iran would have flushed out further intentions much quicker. THe nuclear states have responsibilities if they insist of legalising and restricting access to nuclear weaponry.
    RR

  3. Blogger United Irelander | 2:11 a.m. |  

    Nice piece. I do think the role of nuclear weapons is dead.

    It's a nice blog you've got here also. Cheers for the link. I have just returned the favour.

  4. Blogger Cian | 2:27 p.m. |  

    Thanx, I reckon a lot of people would come to the same conclusion if they thought about the role an effectiveness of nuclear weapons.
    Like yours too, nice stunt with signing off rahter like reading your own eulogy.
    Thanks for the link.
    RR

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