Tue Feb 28th, 2006 at 04:41:47 AM EST
I've attached a summary of the arguments raised in the first part of this series..
My sense of the debate is that there are real reasons to believe that Iran is at least pursuing its civilian nuclear power programme in a way that allows for the possibility of diverting part of the technology and production to weapons in the future. However, there is not an imminent danger of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. The discussion has clarified the situation very well and I thank everyone involved.
There also seems to be a feeling that is undesirable for Iran to obtain such weapons - something that Iran agrees on, at least officially.
Some questions were clearly left open:
- Why is the US apparently so insistent that this be dealt with now? If we assume for the sake of argument that the administration neither intends to exploit military action for political gain nor is following an ideological crusade, what is the motivation?
- What are the EU's interests in this matter? What outcome do we want to see?
Bumped by Colman
I'll point out that this is a quick summary of the facts that seemed
compelling from the previous thread. I've inevitably missed subtleties.
Gnomemoot 0: Iran, what is the problem?
- Is Iran looking to build a nuke?
- Offensive action
- Unreasonable action
- Fear that theocracy acts irrationally
- Is a civilian programme believable?
- Peak oil
- Iran needs power in the future
- Strategic interest
- Would make Russian proposals or external control unpalatable
- Evidence of military intent
- Casting of uranium
- Secret facilities
- Gas centrifuges
- Scale of problem
- Adds one more nuclear power to the region
- Not very friendly to the west.
- Widely seen as irrational players
- Would take at least five years, probably rather more
- Has authority over military
- Has issued fatwa against use or ownership of nuclear weapons
- How much of a challenge to the theocratic rule would developing weapons be in the light of that?
- Hard to say how much weight to attach to it.
- Acts crazy
- May be able to hold act against clerical power if he can hold popular opinion
- Wasn't first choice of the clergy
- Has had trouble getting appointees through parliament
- Popular Opinion
- Nukes seen a sign of strength in some quarters
- Want to invade Iran
- Same pattern as in Iraq
- Part of PNAC programme
- Control over oil bearing area
- Good for associated companies
- Hide disaster there
- Help in October elections
- Honestly consider Iran an imminent threat
- No evidence why they would
- Cui bono