Sunday, November 4, 2007

Are We Rattling Sabers Over Nothing?

Despite President Bush's claims that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons that could trigger ''World War III,'' experts in and out of government say there's no conclusive evidence that Tehran has an active nuclear-weapons program.

Even his own administration appears divided about the immediacy of the threat. While Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney speak of an Iranian weapons program as a fact, Bush's point man on Iran, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, has attempted to ratchet down the rhetoric.

Objections to the hype over Iran are understandable when considering the propaganda campaign that built up the case for the invasion of Iraq. I'm not too happy with the escalation our administration has been taking in dialogue with Iran, it seems fairly unnecessary at the moment. Furthermore, one must look at our other military engagements at the moment in calculating our ability to stop Iran from acheiving a nuclear weapon.

Nevertheless, there are many reasons to be skeptical of Iran's claims that its nuclear program is intended exclusively for peaceful purposes, including the country's vast petroleum reserves, its dealings with a Pakistani dealer in black-market nuclear technology and the fact that it concealed its uranium-enrichment program from a U.N. watchdog agency for 18 years.


Once again, we have no reason to trust Iran, the people who just today were chanting, "Death to America."

Students burned the Stars and Stripes outside the leafy compound in downtown Tehran that once housed the U.S. mission stormed by radical students on November 4, 1979, almost 10 months after the U.S.-backed shah left into exile.

{...}

"We came here to show America that it cannot do a damn thing and the Iranian nation will destroy them if they invade our country," said Mostafa Jafarizadeh, 16.
If this is supposed to be any indicator of Iran's feelings toward the U.S., maybe we are justified in rattling sabers, especially when we consider the actions they have been taking in Iraq:

An Iranian proposal for troops from Iran, Syria and other Arab states to replace U.S. forces in Iraq was swiftly rejected and ridiculed yesterday at a high-level gathering of Iraq's neighbors and world powers.
First, they are found to be involved in the handoff of IED's and other supplies to insurgents in Iraq. Now they are asking to take over Iraq with the help of other terrorist supporting states? Hopefully this will put everything into perspective. I still don't know how I feel about an invasion of Iran. However, I do not believe this will happen, mostly for sensitivity to oil prices and the understanding that overall, Iran poses no security threat to the United States as of yet.

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