Iran

Discussion in 'World affairs' started by RJM Corbet, Dec 28, 2011.

  1.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Afghanistan's under control (as good as can ever be achieved there, anyway), Iraq pretty much sorted out, got Pakistan right there boy, Libya's a wrap, Syria? Who cares, no strategic position, no oil, Iran ... watch this space ...
  2.  
    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    I'm not war-ga-ga (and I've no other suggestions) but the prospect of Iran with nukes is terrifying. For one, those Mullahs simply aren't percieving things in the same way as the two major powers of the Cold War (in which, I'm sure you'll all have noticed, no one hit the red button)- annihilation would actually be a good thing to those guys. I think, given peak oil and climate change (something people see as being a seperate issue to nukes but really isn't, long term) the chances of a limited nuclear exchange in the next 50 years is high. Iran's ownership of nukes would shift it from being a possibility to being a probability.

    Secondly, and very inevitably, Iran would be 'made' in the Mafiosa sense. Cancel all hope of a Persian Spring. The Republic could do what the hell they'd like to their people and the outside world would only be able to watch the shaky mobilephone footage and regret. The boot (to steal from Orwell) would very much be glued to the face of that particular group of humanity for as long as Amadinajhad likes.

    Even if a popular rebellion should succeed without foreign intervention, the Mullahs may as well vaporise themselves and large portions of their country as face an international court.

    America is highly unlikely to invade. The popular will isn't there and Iran is more like a minature continent than a country. I'll put a grand on the table that Israel will perform a multi-pronged airstrike within the next year (22 months tops) with intelligence from the US, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. From an Israeli perspective it's a clear existential threat and America could weather such a scenario.
  3.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Status of World Nuclear Forces 2011


    http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/nukes/nuclearweapons/nukestatus.html

    Iran's not included, but that didn't stop 'the west' invading Iraq, on the pretext. I believe the start of 2012 will see 'the west' making increasing efforts to drum up popular will by creating pretexts. I believe the decision has already been made, at the top that, after Libya, Iran comes next. Iran has powerful allies in both Russia and China. The cold war is behind us, but the nukes are still very much there ...
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  4.  
    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    Yep. It's a bummer alright...
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    Talhe

    Talhe New Member

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    I've had the same worries as you, and fear over the potential blowback over a hypothetical attack (I've got family and friends in the Middle-East). However, I don't think Iranian policy is irrational (the leaders of Iran are a different story). I believe they want nuclear arms for two rational reasons; to prevent a potential attack by America/NATO/whoever else (not an unreasonable fear), and to assert dominance over the Persian Gulf and the wider region.

    I (unfortunately) think you're right about the prospect of anti-Mullah revolution; not only is the regime strong, it can claim that outside forces would use it to their advantage, or be behind it. Chances of outside intervention are slight; the lack difficulties in attacking Iran (compared to Libya or Iraq) would make a victory successful means no NATO action.

    I dislike making predictions, though, and after living through this year, I wouldn't stay too fixed on a possibility. Anyways, that's my two digital cents.
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    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    Your two digital cents are very welcome here!
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    svalbard

    svalbard New Member

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    If you look at any daily newspaper you will notice plenty of small articles about Iran. It is like an artillary bombardment. The public are slowly getting softened up to a war in Iran. After the disasters in Afghanistan(nothing achieved) and Iraq(country in worse condition now than ever), a war in Iran would be a most ill-concieved idea. But if there is money to be made...
  8.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    And perhaps people like you and me can still do something to bring it to people's notice in time before it's a fait accomplis, and ask people to take notice and persuade their parliamentarians and representatives to take notice and work with whatever small power they have to restrain the dogs of what could easily become 21st Century nuclear war ...
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    svalbard

    svalbard New Member

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    I am not too sure about that RJM, millions took to the streets before Iraq and were ignored. Bottom line is that war is good for a certain type of buisness and as such conflict is sought. The author Naomi Klein, a younger Naom Chomski, is very good on this. Her book The Shock Doctrine is required reading on modern poltical thought.
  10.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    No, you're right, and I don't see myself or most other chrons types as militant crusaders. But I just see this thing unfolding, and when I share my thoughts with people they're like: yeah -- now that you mention it ...
  11.  
    Snowdog

    Snowdog New Member

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    Why? To really believe that is to believe that the people running Iran are insane. They're not, they're politicians, and their over-riding ambition is to keep themselves in power. Whatever their rhetoric for internal consumption, they are not about to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Israel or anyone else because they know full well what the response would be. The suggestion that the Iranians are fanatical enough to start a nuclear war for fundamentalist reasons (and invite death) ignores history and human nature. This is just the same ignorance and fear that the politicians played upon before the invasion of Iraq. In fact the same scare tactics are used before any conflict in order to soften the people up.

    The Iranians want nuclear weapons for one reason only, the same reason all the other Middle East dictatorships wanted them - for self-defense against NATO, Israel and the US.

    The real reason the US doesn't want these countries to have nuclear weapons is the exact opposite - they want to retain the ability to enforce their will militarily, and they'd lose that ability aganist any of these countries that have nukes - as can be seen by their dealings regarding North Korea since they got nuclear weapons, which have been entirely diplomatic.

    The Middle Eastern countries saw that North Korea was no longer being threatened and understood the lesson perfectly well.
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    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Snowdog

    Snowdog New Member

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    I didn't say they had them. I said they wanted them (just not for the reasons given by Western countries). I think it's naive to believe otherwise.
  14.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Of course ...
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    Wiglaf

    Wiglaf New Member

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    What nukes would give Iran is the ability to use threats and conventional strikes against their neighbors without fear of retaliation. Think of North Korea's actions against South Korea. Iran would completely control the Strait of Hormuz. They would also have free reign to bully Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and others in the region.
    I still don't know why Iraq was invaded. It would have been overkill if there were chemical weapons, North Korea and Iran were bigger threats at the time, and we were to scared to send the necessary troops to Afghanistan and tried to rely on the Northern Alliance for the ground warfare.
  16.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Think chessboard. Think: pawn, bishop, knight, rook etc ...
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    Wiglaf

    Wiglaf New Member

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    Actually, I think my difficulty was more that it was the wrong move (or series of moves); many others would have been better.

    Iran, on the other hand, is a threat. What is more, I believe the delay and lack of credibility of the west moves events towards greater force or serious problems with a nuclear Iran. For example, if you threatened to bomb the oil fields as part of any air strike against the facilities, China and Russia would lose a main advantage of opposing fuel sanctions. Fuel sanctions being the most likely to work; Iran lacks domestic refining capacity. Furthermore, a fuel sanction would take time and as Iran beefs up protection of their facilities the odds of an air strike being ineffective increases. Wait to long and options narrow.
  18.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    How come? Iran doesn't have nukes. They wish ...
  19.  
    Wiglaf

    Wiglaf New Member

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    Iran is working on nukes, has produced a fuel rod, is testing delivery systems, has taken hostages since 1979 (more recently under the cover of criminal arrests), has been supporting terrorists for decades, and has been threatening the Strait of Hormuz since the 1980s.
    If Russia and China won't get Iranian oil either way (because the fields would be bombed if sanctions didn't work), then they might be more likely to support gas(petrol) sanctions which, combined with cyber attack, offer the best hope of preventing a nuclear Iran without air strikes or invasion.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  20.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Yes but Wiglaf, even India, Pakistan and Israel only have regional delivery systems, I don't know if China has ICBMs or submarines or long-range bombers: but it's a long way from Iran developing a reactor fuel rod to becoming even a regional nuclear power. It may well be necessary to prevent that happening over the next decade or so, via sanctions, etc. But to use it as a reason for invasion at this point, is completely spurious.

    Hostage taking and threatening the Strait of Hormuz is not in the same league as developing long range nukes?

    But Iran does have oil and does hold a tactical position and isn't exactly friendly towards The West, which is busy securing not only its oil supply but also the pipelines, hence the interest in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    The invasion of Iraq was on the pretext of nuclear/bio weapon development, complete dishonesty from Bush, Blair et al, whether the invasion was a good thing or not. The western governments completely hoodwinked their own people, and invaded a sovereign nation. I'm not saying it was a pretty place. Same with Afghanistan, on the auspice of smoking out Bin Ladin.

    The point I'm making, I think, is that a 'western' invasion of Iraq is all set up, and they're just looking for the excuse to go in there, which they can sell to their own voters, etc.

    It may be necessary and the right thing to do, to ensure the western way of life into the 21st Century. It may well be. Obviously a civilization must protect its energy supply. But somehow one feels that Iran is a whole new level, and that Russia and China will be drawn in, as they have not been so far in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.

    India, Pakistan and Israel have nukes. It has the potential to become a World War 3, if you like, and it's likely to escalate nuclear, which we and our children are going to have to live with in the first half of the 21st Century.

    I don't have any answers, especially about the right&wrong of it ...
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
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