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  • Iran

    I havn't seen a recent thread about this, and was surprised it isn't being discussed much in some form, but a confrontation certainly seems to be heating up. Quotes from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12277578/

    Iran intends to move toward large-scale uranium enrichment involving 54,000 centrifuges, the countryís deputy nuclear chief said Wednesday, signaling its resolve to expand a program the international community has insisted it halt
    hrm. That is a lot of centerfuges, isn't it? Later in the article.

    The level of enrichment needed for nuclear bombs is far higher than the 3.5 percent Iran says it has reached. It would take Iran about two decades to yield enough highly enriched uranium for one bomb with its current cascade of 164 centrifuges.

    But Tehran says it wants to install 3,000 centrifuges, enough to produce material for a warhead in a year.
    It seems to me that it has gone to far, that stopping them from developing nuclear technology has already failed. I fear the proliferation of nuclear weapons, esp when attached to a regime that has publicly stated it thinks Isreal shoud be destroyed.

    Ok, a few questions I'd like to ask.

    1) What is the principle that allows us to say they do not have a right to have any Nuclear capabilities? Considering Nuclear Power (their stated goal...), it always seemed a little strange to say those who have it are ok, but no one else may benifit from it!

    2) If they have Nuclear power capabilities, is it possible to stop them from haveing Nuclear weapon capabilities? Or does having one basically include the other?

    3) Is it *possible* to stop them from developing further Nuclear technology, short of using force? Would economic/political isolation actually stop them?

    4) How badly will this galvanize a group of Islamic states vs western states mentality? What are the repurcusions, even if war is averted?

    I don't want to paint the picture of doom and gloom I fear may be already happening.

  • #2
    Re: Iran

    Originally posted by Addict
    Ok, a few questions I'd like to ask.

    1) What is the principle that allows us to say they do not have a right to have any Nuclear capabilities? Considering Nuclear Power (their stated goal...), it always seemed a little strange to say those who have it are ok, but no one else may benifit from it!
    We're the superpower? Seriously. I've never quite grasped the principle, either, but when the whole world tells you not to do something and you do it anyway, I think it's fair to expect some consequences. But is it right for anyone to tell them they can't have nukes? I don't think so.

    Were we this adamant about India and Pakistan not developing nukes? I remember it being an issue, but not one that we were willing to go to war over...

    2) If they have Nuclear power capabilities, is it possible to stop them from haveing Nuclear weapon capabilities? Or does having one basically include the other?
    From my limited understanding, I think that it's such a small jump from one to the other that it's safe to assume that any nation that has nuclear power IS going to develop nuclear weapons if for no other reason than because it's such a small additional step and it gives the nation such a huge amount of leverage in international matters once it is acquired.
    3) Is it *possible* to stop them from developing further Nuclear technology, short of using force? Would economic/political isolation actually stop them?
    I don't think so. In fact, I'm not sure that force would work, either, unless you could completely destroy ALL of their labs and storage facilities related to their nuclear work. Once someone has "the ultimate weapon", I think they'd be loath to give it up...

    4) How badly will this galvanize a group of Islamic states vs western states mentality? What are the repurcusions, even if war is averted?
    I dunno... Haven't many of the Muslim nations spoken out against them already? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? UAE? Kuwait?
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    • #3
      Re: Iran

      Originally posted by Addict
      1) What is the principle that allows us to say they do not have a right to have any Nuclear capabilities? Considering Nuclear Power (their stated goal...), it always seemed a little strange to say those who have it are ok, but no one else may benifit from it!
      Self interest. There is no higher principle in this case.
      2) If they have Nuclear power capabilities, is it possible to stop them from haveing Nuclear weapon capabilities? Or does having one basically include the other?
      They are linked, but distinctly different technological tracks. There are several paths to a bomb, depending on how much money, time, engineering ability, and infrastructure you care to invest. In general, however, most countries technologically advanced enough to develop nuclear power plants also pursue nuclear weapons.
      3) Is it *possible* to stop them from developing further Nuclear technology, short of using force? Would economic/political isolation actually stop them?
      It might, but only if there is political support for it within Iran itself.
      4) How badly will this galvanize a group of Islamic states vs western states mentality? What are the repurcusions, even if war is averted?
      Hard to say. Saudi Arabia and the near eastern states may not react warmly to a nuclear Iran, given their ties to the West and geographic proximity to Israel (Watch where you point those things!). If we can continue to build support for suppressing Iran, we might be able to get some concessions from them. On the other hand, if we make too many aggressive moves, we will likely trigger an accelerated arms race. And if we actually bomb Iran, it's all over. We lose Iraq, we lose Afghanistan, our bases in the near east, and we get a big chill from Europe and China.

      That's just my take.
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      • #4
        Re: Iran

        Originally posted by Addict
        1) What is the principle that allows us to say they do not have a right to have any Nuclear capabilities? Considering Nuclear Power (their stated goal...), it always seemed a little strange to say those who have it are ok, but no one else may benifit from it!
        Letting weapons so deadly get into everyone's hands is a recipe for inevitable disaster. The only option to prevent this from happening is to get everyone to sign on to a treaty saying "I won't do it if you won't do it." Most of the small countries are in agreement that they can live without nukes as long as their neighbours don't have them.

        Lots of info here:
        http://www.un.org/Depts/dda/WMD/treaty/
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        • #5
          Re: Iran

          I was reading about this yesterday.

          An article in the New Yorker.

          http://www.newyorker.com/fact
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