How to Help Iran Build a Bomb – NYTimes.com

To strike or not to strike?

ADVOCATES of airstrikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities have long held that the attacks would delay an atom bomb for years and perhaps even buy Israel enough time to topple the Iranian government. In public statements, the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, has said that an attack would leave Iran’s nuclear program reeling, if not destroyed. The blow, he declared recently, would set back the Iranian effort “for a long time.”

Quite the opposite, say a surprising number of scholars and military and arms-control experts. In reports, talks, articles and interviews, they argue that a strike could actually lead to Iran’s speeding up its efforts, ensuring the realization of a bomb and hastening its arrival.

“An attack would increase the likelihood,” Scott D. Sagan, a political scientist at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, said of an Iranian weapon.

via How to Help Iran Build a Bomb – NYTimes.com.

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3 thoughts on “How to Help Iran Build a Bomb – NYTimes.com

  1. emilylheath says:

    I think it’s very interesting to consider both sides of the Iran situation. The great (and horrible) thing about politics is that there’s not one right angle. The way we see an attack is probably not the same way that Iran or any other state would see the same attack. Politics gets so messy so quickly because it’s a game of opinions and beliefs and experiences, and no two people are the same. It is impossible to say for certain what Iran would do if they were bombed. I guess it’s possible that a bomb could hit their nuclear reserves perfectly during a scientific conference killing every nuclear scientist in the state and destroying all their information and work. More likely Iran has nuclear reserves in several locations and would be prepared if they were attacked to take the next step towards the creation (or launching) of nucs with haste. In that case Iran would see itself as having the same rights as any state under attack and would retaliate in order to protect itself and assert its power.

    Here are some interesting, if not informational, attempts at pinning down how Iran would respond to attack:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/shortcuts/2012/nov/04/israel-bombed-iran-nuclear-plants
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57518519/iran-if-attacked-by-israel-well-target-u.s/
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/israel-attacks-iran-gas-prices-cyberwar-terror-threat/story?id=15848522#.UKweKodlV8E

  2. Sticky situation to say the least. There are pros to both side of the argument, but major cons as well. I think the best option in my opinion is not to strike. I think it will just speed up their efforts to obtain a nuclear device. I won’t fix any long term problems.

  3. Taylor Shippen says:

    Over the last few months I think that intelligence has decided that an attack would offer limited benefit, or we probably would have done it by now. The problem is two fold; first, even if an attack were to partially succeed, the Iranians have done a very good job at concealing where all of their facilities are because everything is underground. Second, many of the nuclear processing facilities have been placed in Qom, a holy city for Shiite muslims. If Israel were to carry out an attack on the Qom facilities, they would inflame the entire Shiite world against them. That’s a high cost for an attack that has a high risk of failure.

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