Israel, Iran and MAD.

Unlike Russia and America in the cold war, hungry for power on one hand and seeking to contain by any means no matter how ruthless on the other, this is quite a different situation.

Iran with people happily chanting "Death to America!" in the streets as a slogan, leaders espousing that it is the will of god to "wipe Israel (And presumably her supporters) off the map" while the nation's training, supply, housing and otherwise support of terrorists indicates a far more debased and willfully destructive government ruled by religious zealots.

For years the UN has slapped relatively timid restrictions and sanctions on Iran in order to prevent them from developing neuclear weapons, while Iran insists they only want the tech for energy (Despite sitting on one the world's largest oil reserves and if I'm not mistaken, one of their leaders saying if they obtained nukes, it would be their responsibility to use them) and currently negotiations are underway in which many sanctions are being eased up on, despite no real "cost" in regards to allowing inspections or other restrictions in nuclear development.


Assuming they already haven't been slowly reduced over the years

Ultimately Israel has said it will do what it must to protect itself, and we all know how well sanctions and good will work out in the end (north korea, for instance). MAD does not apply to Iran, and Israel is the only nation actively concerned and likely willing to launch a pre-emptive strike.

Why is this not making headlines?

EDit
If a mod can move this to RnP, that would be great.

Why isn't this in R&P forums?

AWAR:
Why isn't this in R&P forums?

Good question, reported to mod to get it moved.

siomasm:

Why is this not making headlines?

Because this has always been the case for as long as I can remember? This seems to crop up on BBC news every other week or so, but nothing changes so it's arguably not news.

siomasm:
Why is this not making headlines?

Probably because we were talking about this since I was in high school.

We're all concerned, but short of invading Iran, literally picking up the people, sending them to brainwashing facilities against their will and then carrying them back to the houses, there's a fat lot of nothing we can do.

And if they think that destroying Israel is their God-sent duty, do you think that UN sanctions will actually do anything to stop them?

I've read that the US, South Korea, Japan, parts of Europe, etc. have invested in technology that detects nuclear missiles mid-flight and shoots them down. Does Israel have access to this tech?

siomasm:
Unlike Russia and America in the cold war, hungry for power on one hand and seeking to contain by any means no matter how ruthless on the other, this is quite a different situation.

Iran with people happily chanting "Death to America!" in the streets as a slogan, leaders espousing that it is the will of god to "wipe Israel (And presumably her supporters) off the map" while the nation's training, supply, housing and otherwise support of terrorists indicates a far more debased and willfully destructive government ruled by religious zealots.

First off all_ "wipe Israel off the map" was a mistranslation. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad_and_Israel#.22Wiped_off_the_map.22_controversy

For years the UN has slapped relatively timid restrictions and sanctions on Iran in order to prevent them from developing neuclear weapons, while Iran insists they only want the tech for energy (Despite sitting on one the world's largest oil reserves and if I'm not mistaken, one of their leaders saying if they obtained nukes, it would be their responsibility to use them)

I am pretty sure you are mistaken, but feel free to bring up a source. Also it is in fact not "legal" to keep a country from nuclear power, like it or not.

Ultimately Israel has said it will do what it must to protect itself, and we all know how well sanctions and good will work out in the end (north korea, for instance).

I remember not a single instance in which north korea actually attacked anyone, despite them being quite the loudmouths.

MAD does not apply to Iran, and Israel is the only nation actively concerned and likely willing to launch a pre-emptive strike.

I doubt Iran is entirely composed off nutjobs who would gladly be wiped off the planet to kill a few Jews, so MAD does apply .A "pre-emptive strike" against a country that has not attacked anyone is still a war of aggression.
Iran and Israel to me really seem like they deserve each other.

Delerien:

I remember not a single instance in which north korea actually attacked anyone, despite them being quite the loudmouths.

Then allow me to refresh your memory, because in 2010, North Korea sunk a South Korean Naval Vessel and they fired an artillery strike on Yeonpyeong Island.

Delerien:

I doubt Iran is entirely composed off nutjobs who would gladly be wiped off the planet to kill a few Jews,

True, but consider the fact that the Iran government's head of state is not the president, but the Supreme Leader of Iran, it doesn't really matter what people outside the Guardian Council think about how the country should operate. For example, just look at what happened when people protested that Mir-Hossein Mousavi didn't receive a fair election, and what the end result was after the Supreme Leader responded to the protest.

EDIT:

siomasm:

Why is this not making headlines?

Um, you are aware that this might be because Israel is currently making headlines over the issue of peace talks with Palestine and settlements in East Jerusalem/the West Banks, right? Also, considering that Hassan Rouhani is now the president of Iran, I think Western media feels less threatened by Iran than it did when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was president.

lacktheknack:
I've read that the US, South Korea, Japan, parts of Europe, etc. have invested in technology that detects nuclear missiles mid-flight and shoots them down. Does Israel have access to this tech?

Yes...it's something you don't want to rely on, though, and there are other ways of delivering nuclear devices.

If I remember correctly a new leader has been elected in Iran and we may be moving to find a peaceful way to end sanctions against Iran.

Now, isn't anyone happy that people didn't have to commit genocide against the Iranians?

siomasm:

Iran with people happily chanting "Death to America!" in the streets as a slogan, leaders espousing that it is the will of god to "wipe Israel (And presumably her supporters) off the map" while the nation's training, supply, housing and otherwise support of terrorists indicates a far more debased and willfully destructive government ruled by religious zealots.

Both the "death to America"(a better translation is generally "down with America") and "wipe Israel of the map" are willful mistranslations, hence show more about how the west wishes to perceive Iran then how Iran truly is(not that I in anyway support the current Iranian regime).

siomasm:

Ultimately Israel has said it will do what it must to protect itself, and we all know how well sanctions and good will work out in the end (north korea, for instance). MAD does not apply to Iran, and Israel is the only nation actively concerned and likely willing to launch a pre-emptive strike.

Why is this not making headlines?

Generally because there has been very little new development in the last year. Iran and the U.S have made a few overtures toward each other but nothing serious yet. Israel has been saber rattling for numerous years now(then again Israel really only has two states of diplomacy with the rest of the middle eastern countries-invading and threatening to invade), hence it is hardly news worthy.

If there are any substantial development we will probably hear of them. Ultimately it is apparent that the world may not want Iran to acquire nuclear weapons but nearly everybody is unwilling to go beyond sanctions to prevent it(the question remains however if Iean will continue its program or not with the new administration).

Helmholtz Watson:
True, but consider the fact that the Iran government's head of state is not the president, but the Supreme Leader of Iran, it doesn't really matter what people outside the Guardian Council think about how the country should operate.

Yes, just like the US government's head of state is the commander in chief of the US army, so it doesn't really matter what people outside the general staff think about how the country should operate.

Okay.. that's not quite an accurate comparison, but the Guardian Council does have specific role within the Iranian constitution with limited (if far-reaching) powers. It cannot simply choose to run the country however it wants. It is, as the name suggests, an overseeing body for the political process, not the political process in and of itself.

Think of the traditional role of an upper house.. if the upper house was composed of clerics.

But as one Iranian person I know put it, "Iran doesn't really have religious politics, it has political religion". What she meant is that religion in Iran has more to do with politics than politics in Iran has to do with religion.

siomasm:

Iran with people happily chanting "Death to America!" in the streets as a slogan, leaders espousing that it is the will of god to "wipe Israel (And presumably her supporters) off the map" while the nation's training, supply, housing and otherwise support of terrorists indicates a far more debased and willfully destructive government ruled by religious zealots.

Helmholtz Watson:
True, but consider the fact that the Iran government's head of state is not the president, but the Supreme Leader of Iran, it doesn't really matter what people outside the Guardian Council think about how the country should operate. For example, just look at what happened when people protested that Mir-Hossein Mousavi didn't receive a fair election, and what the end result was after the Supreme Leader responded to the protest.

Well, I think it's important to remember that these people are in power and are probably living very comfortable lifes. I highly doubt that they have a deathwish. Of course they want the bomb, but I don't think they plan on ever using it. Iran has realized that in the destabilized middle east, it can become the leading figure of the muslim world. Having nuclear weapons as a "response" to Israels armament would be the perfect tool for achieving that. With it, Iran can say that it is Israel's equal in terms of force, which I think would be a game-changer in the region.

Furthermore, while Iran may not be very democratic, neither is it a totalitarian dictatorship. Almost every government will have to listen to it's populace to an extent. So far it does not appear like the Iranian government runs roughshod over the demands of it's populace just to push a religious agenda. In fact, I would venture to say that by now, the religious agenda is actually just window dressing, a tool to manipulate the people into a feeling of "us against them" in order to keep them in check.

Stephen Sossna:
Well, I think it's important to remember that these people are in power and are probably living very comfortable lifes. I highly doubt that they have a deathwish. Of course they want the bomb, but I don't think they plan on ever using it. Iran has realized that in the destabilized middle east, it can become the leading figure of the muslim world. Having nuclear weapons as a "response" to Israels armament would be the perfect tool for achieving that. With it, Iran can say that it is Israel's equal in terms of force, which I think would be a game-changer in the region.

A game changer, yes, but I'm not sure it'd actually be in its favour to have nuclear devices. There's a big can o' worms that goes with having those sorts of things around.

OTOH, getting the word "nuclear" in the air every so often might have much the same desired effect, without having many of the problems.

The Iranians aren't suicidal idiots, they want nukes to avoid foreign interference in their domestic affairs. They know all too well that countries like the United States and Russia are perfectly happy to interfere with other countries sovereignty in order to further their own interest. Frankly, I hope they get nuclear weapons.

The very fact Israel and the US are talking about pre-emptive strikes is clear justification for them to want nuclear weapons.

If you know anything about the history of Iran, the chant of "Death to America" is also completely understandable, given America backed a military coup and dictatorship that ended Democracy in Iran (basically because the Iranian government decided to use the nations oil wealth for the benefit of their people, rather than the profits of British Petroleum).

since the last elections in iran they seem to be making a quantum shift in policy. heck the latest leader not only acknowledges the holocaust but condemned it.

siomasm:
Unlike Russia and America in the cold war, hungry for power on one hand and seeking to contain by any means no matter how ruthless on the other, this is quite a different situation.

Iran with people happily chanting "Death to America!" in the streets as a slogan, leaders espousing that it is the will of god to "wipe Israel (And presumably her supporters) off the map" while the nation's training, supply, housing and otherwise support of terrorists indicates a far more debased and willfully destructive government ruled by religious zealots.

All of this applies to America as well, though it goes in the opposite direction. I've heard MEPs state that it is our divine mission to exterminate all Muslims many times before.

siomasm:

For years the UN has slapped relatively timid restrictions and sanctions on Iran in order to prevent them from developing neuclear weapons, while Iran insists they only want the tech for energy (Despite sitting on one the world's largest oil reserves and if I'm not mistaken, one of their leaders saying if they obtained nukes, it would be their responsibility to use them) and currently negotiations are underway in which many sanctions are being eased up on, despite no real "cost" in regards to allowing inspections or other restrictions in nuclear development.


Assuming they already haven't been slowly reduced over the years

Ultimately Israel has said it will do what it must to protect itself, and we all know how well sanctions and good will work out in the end (north korea, for instance). MAD does not apply to Iran, and Israel is the only nation actively concerned and likely willing to launch a pre-emptive strike.

Why is this not making headlines?

Actually the Iranian economy is in a huge crisis, which isn't making headlines, and the negotiations are making headlines. If you want your propaganda served in a way that might be more palatable to you I suggest listening more to Glen Beck.

I do hope you've grasped the notion that oil is very finite, expensive and that nuclear power packs more of a punch than oil does.

give them nukes, why shoudnt iran not have nukes? whats more, they have a lot of good reasons why to have one

wombat_of_war:
since the last elections in iran they seem to be making a quantum shift in policy. heck the latest leader not only acknowledges the holocaust but condemned it.

.
That's a misconception. Iran's leaders remain regardless of any phony elections. There is no majot shift in policy - it's a facade.

evilthecat:

Helmholtz Watson:
True, but consider the fact that the Iran government's head of state is not the president, but the Supreme Leader of Iran, it doesn't really matter what people outside the Guardian Council think about how the country should operate.

Yes, just like the US government's head of state is the commander in chief of the US army, so it doesn't really matter what people outside the general staff think about how the country should operate.

Okay.. that's not quite an accurate comparison, but the Guardian Council does have specific role within the Iranian constitution with limited (if far-reaching) powers. It cannot simply choose to run the country however it wants. It is, as the name suggests, an overseeing body for the political process, not the political process in and of itself.

First off, I didn't say that the Guardian Council was an oligarchy. Second, as for your comparison between the US president and the Supreme Commander of Iran, that comparison doesn't work because the Supreme Leader of Iran isn't elected by the Iranian people every four years, while the president does come into office that way. So it's wrong to say that it doesn't matter what the American people think about the president because he needs their approval(i.e. votes) in order to stay in office, while the Iranian people don't vote into "office" on who will be the Supreme Leader of Iran.

evilthecat:
Think of the traditional role of an upper house.. if the upper house was composed of clerics.

Once again, that comparison doesn't hold up because there isn't an election for the Guardian Council every two or six years.

evilthecat:
But as one Iranian person I know put it, "Iran doesn't really have religious politics, it has political religion". What she meant is that religion in Iran has more to do with politics than politics in Iran has to do with religion.

I never commented on whether or not Iran was a secular country.

If Iran does get nukes despite many people's bias that Iran is not suicidal, despite the fact that their flag represents
Green Stands for Islam, White for Peace, and Red for the Martyrs... I believe the concept of MAD should by FULLY put on their people just like every other nuclear capable country. It's the only way to stop Israel from being nuked, and Hillary Clinton will hopefully win the election, and state that very clearly.

If a nation is surrounded on all sides by belligerent and hostile nuclear powers, why are they unreasonable in demanding their own nuclear weapons as a deterrent?

Rolaoi:
If a nation is surrounded on all sides by belligerent and hostile nuclear powers, why are they unreasonable in demanding their own nuclear weapons as a deterrent?

Iraq and Afghanistan don't have nuclear weapons...

This is a public service announcement.

Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons.

Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.

If you think Iran is developing nuclear weapons then you are wrong.

If you'd like to discuss this then I'm happy to go into detail and I can probably dig up an effort post I made about a year or so back which was decently sized and sourced, about a few thousand words long.

siomasm:
Unlike Russia and America in the cold war, hungry for power on one hand and seeking to contain by any means no matter how ruthless on the other, this is quite a different situation.

Iran with people happily chanting "Death to America!" in the streets as a slogan, leaders espousing that it is the will of god to "wipe Israel (And presumably her supporters) off the map" while the nation's training, supply, housing and otherwise support of terrorists indicates a far more debased and willfully destructive government ruled by religious zealots.

First of all, let's state something. Iran is not a good place. It is pretty bad.

However it's not especially worse than a lot of other places.

Western countries support dictators. Western countries support belligerent war-mongering countries (in fact many Western countries ARE belligerent war-mongering countries). Western countries have even been known to support anti-Western organisations (like Al-Queda) and have even themselves directly trained, supplied, housed and otherwise supported terrorists.

Iran isn't especially different. I get that you probably don't like to hear them chant Death to America, but they probably didn't like John McCain singing "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran either".

For years the UN has slapped relatively timid restrictions and sanctions on Iran

Timid by what standard? That they aren't so harsh the country has either imploded or completely capitulated? Well yeah, by that standard then sure. They aren't able to use international payment systems like Swift which makes it incredibly hard to buy massive amounts of things. There are people literally dying in Iran because although Iran has the money to afford life-saving drugs it literally isn't able to purchase them. I wouldn't call people dying 'timid'.

in order to prevent them from developing neuclear weapons

No, the sanctions are to prevent Iran from refining uranium in their own country (Even though the ability to refine uranium is an unalienable right of the NPT) and are being pushed due to infractions of the NPT over a decade over with Iran having a spotless record since then with the exception of one technicality regarding the amount of notice they needed to give for construction and operation of new facilities.

While Iran insists they only want the tech for energy (Despite sitting on one the world's largest oil reserves

They sit on the world's largest oil reserves but they're actually an importer as well as an exporter of oil. The reason for this is that they have had an industrialisation boom in the last few decades and their energy consumption has skyrocketed (over 500% in the last 20 years).

Thanks to sanctions they've had a hard time keeping their refineries keeping pace with demand and you can't simply pump crude oil into a car, so they have actually been exporting crude oil and IMPORTING gasoline and are only just now reaching the point where they're breaking even after massive investment.

It's also worth noting that the USA found nothing wrong with Iran having nuclear power when it was an ally. They helped Iran get it's nuclear program started and had plans to build 20 nuclear power plants in Iran.

and if I'm not mistaken, one of their leaders saying if they obtained nukes, it would be their responsibility to use them)

Care to say which 'leader'? Ali Khamenei has specifically ordered a fatwah against nuclear weapons saying they are unislamic and you're not going to find a guy that's more senior than him.

There might be some random extreme iranian politician that said that, I can't claim I personally keep track of everything every Iranian politician has said but we don't base our analysis of USA foreign policy on what some random extremest tea-party no-name congressman with little to no ability to actually influence foreign policy says.

and currently negotiations are underway in which many sanctions are being eased up on, despite no real "cost" in regards to allowing inspections or other restrictions in nuclear development.

Firstly, Iran AlREADY allows inspections. The IAEA already inspects Iranian nuclear sites, has cameras installed, etc.

We don't know the details of what was being discussed, but the purpose of the talks wasn't for drastic change on either side. It was for each side to both make some initial concessions as a first step and a trust building exercise so that we would be that much nearer to dealing with the issue finally.

Also restrictions in nuclear enrichment were specifically being discussed from what little we do know of the talks.

Ultimately Israel has said it will do what it must to protect itself, and we all know how well sanctions and good will work out in the end (north korea, for instance). MAD does not apply to Iran, and Israel is the only nation actively concerned and likely willing to launch a pre-emptive strike.

It's Israel doing what it wants to protect itself that is the problem.

There is only one highly belligerent Middle-Eastern nation with a large wing of religious extremists which has a powerful modern military, nuclear weapons and has engaged in multiple wars of aggression whose name begins with I and it's not Iran.

Helmholtz Watson:

Rolaoi:
If a nation is surrounded on all sides by belligerent and hostile nuclear powers, why are they unreasonable in demanding their own nuclear weapons as a deterrent?

Iraq and Afghanistan don't have nuclear weapons...

May have been a reference to Iran being close or adjacent to Israel, USA military bases, Pakistan, etc all of which are nuclear powers.

siomasm:
[snip]

Israel has been bleating that Iran will 'soon' create a nuke for well over 2 decades.

Why?

To get trillions in US financial and military aid, and to garner sympathy in the world community.

Israel even managed to get the US to sign into law that if Israel attacks Iran (to destroy Iran's nuclear program) then the US has to support Israel with direct military and financial aid.

lacktheknack:
I've read that the US, South Korea, Japan, parts of Europe, etc. have invested in technology that detects nuclear missiles mid-flight and shoots them down. Does Israel have access to this tech?

Yeah - in fact Israel has a system that's arguably better than those of other nations. But even that one only stops around 60-90% of incoming attacks, and the effectiveness decreases with the speed and altitude of the missile (hypothetically, one coming from Iran would probably be both high and fast).

siomasm:
MAD does not apply to Iran

Of course it does. The establishment in Iran, religious or otherwise, does not want to see itself vaporised, let alone the populace. They aren't the Taliban, they aren't even particularly fanatical - they've just been to peace talks in Geneva, for example. That is not the action of a state that is waging holy war against the West, regardless of saber-rattling in public.

If they are building nukes (and I'll concede that at the least they probably want to at least retain the technical capacity to do so in the future), it's for exactly the same reason that every other nuclear state (particularly Israel) has them - as a last resort weapon to be used only in the face of existential threat. They probably also want to have some kind of strategic parity with Israel who, unlike Iran, do have a record for military attacks without warning.

Overhead:

Helmholtz Watson:

Rolaoi:
If a nation is surrounded on all sides by belligerent and hostile nuclear powers, why are they unreasonable in demanding their own nuclear weapons as a deterrent?

Iraq and Afghanistan don't have nuclear weapons...

May have been a reference to Iran being close or adjacent to Israel, USA military bases, Pakistan, etc all of which are nuclear powers.

Then they should have stated as such, and I don't recall Pakistan threatening Iran in recent times.

Helmholtz Watson:

Overhead:

Helmholtz Watson:
Iraq and Afghanistan don't have nuclear weapons...

May have been a reference to Iran being close or adjacent to Israel, USA military bases, Pakistan, etc all of which are nuclear powers.

Then they should have stated as such, and I don't recall Pakistan threatening Iran in recent times.

Like I said, it may have been a reference to that. I don't know any more than you do, but that's the only interpretation I can get that makes sense.

Also Rolaoi didn't claim they had threatened Iran but rather said 'belligerent and hostile'. This certainly fits the character of all three nations even if Pakistan directs it's hostility towards India rather than Iran.

Overhead:

Also Rolaoi didn't claim they had threatened Iran but rather said 'belligerent and hostile'. This certainly fits the character of all three nations even if Pakistan directs it's hostility towards India rather than Iran.

I suppose, but it makes little sense in the context seeing as Pakistan's "belligeren[ce] and hostil[ity]" are not directed towards a fellow Islamic country(Iran[1]), and thus, is not a country that Iran currently has to worry that they will be attacked by.

[1] Yes, I am aware that Iran is a Shiite country while Pakistan is a Sunni country, and the "tension" between the two groups.

Helmholtz Watson:

Overhead:

Also Rolaoi didn't claim they had threatened Iran but rather said 'belligerent and hostile'. This certainly fits the character of all three nations even if Pakistan directs it's hostility towards India rather than Iran.

I suppose, but it makes little sense in the context seeing as Pakistan's "belligeren[ce] and hostil[ity]" are not directed towards a fellow Islamic country(Iran[1]), and thus, is not a country that Iran currently has to worry that they will be attacked by.

I wouldn't say it makes little sense, more that the effect is more limited. If I lived next to a volatile country with nuclear weapons which is simultaneously supported by my country's greatest opponents, quite belligerent in general and increasingly unstable then I'd be quite worried about it. Not was worried about it as the nearby countries with nukes who are already in direct opposition to my country, but still not something that sets your mind at ease.

Although, as mentioned this is Rolaoi's point and I disagree with it entirely because it's based on the assumption that Iran is trying to/wants/should have nukes which as I stated in my post obviously isn't the case.

[1] Yes, I am aware that Iran is a Shiite country while Pakistan is a Sunni country, and the "tension" between the two groups.

 

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