Iran’s Nuclear Capability

Don’t normally do politics if I can help it. Here goes.

There is a long “have your say” thread on the BBC site, of public opinions on Iran re-opening its nuclear plants.

There is a preponderance of opinion attacking US & Western “hypocrisy and arrogance” in expressing opinion and raising the subject on EU and UN agendas, and plenty using the opportunity for digs at US / UK foreign policy history. So many of those threads lead to Israel and ongoing US support thereof.

Civil nuclear power has its risks, but there is no reason to suppose any one developed state is any more incompetent to manage those risks than another. Nuclear power is seeing a global comeback as more people take the peak in fossil fuel reserves, and the lack of any signs of reduced consumerism, more seriously. The fact that Iran’s fossil fuel resource wealth is probably not the most critical in the world, probably does cast doubt on the argument that their intentions are entirely civil. I doubt Iran is dishonest enough to use that argument anyway. It doesn’t need to lie, it’s intentions are publicly stated already.

Military nuclear capability, defensive or offensive, is a different matter, and only such things as moral trust in non-proliferation agreements, or practical trust in the fear of Mutual Assured Destruction and the like, can be held responsible for the minimum actual use of such weapons to date. So there can be little management of military nuclear capabilities without trust. Far from an atmosphere of trust, the world abounds with public declarations and conspiracy theories about Iran (or another Arab state) wanting to terminate Israel, or provoke what is already a nuclear power into a pre-emptive attack against which terminal retalliation might be (slightly more morally) justified. That absence of trust, is not going to be corrected by arrogant threats and sabre-rattling is it ?

Israel cannot be ignored in this. It is still “the middle east situation”. Twas ever thus.

I am an atheist, so whilst I’ll defend any individual or group to hold theistic religious beliefs and practice them in their own houses and churches, I am no supporter of religion being tied to any authority or state governance, if it endangers life in my world. That’s as true of Jewish as Islamic or Christian fundamentalists. Unfortunately all of those hold such authority in many of the states in this “situation”.

Secondly, no easy way to say this, I’m no supporter of Zionist claims to Israel as a state, not beyond their human rights as a recently constituted state, created with the accommodation of its neighbours. There is no more “fundamental” Israeli right here.

Of course, the medium term “security” of fossil fuel supplies from the middle-east (and neighbouring regions) to “western” countries is the other political factor in the situation. A factor which adds to the hypocrisy in many a western state’s declared motives. A trust totally compromised by the national and human security issues in the previous paragraphs. No doubt people on all sides will debate whether Oil or Religion is the prime cause of the difficulties, but that is irrelevant, they’re both in it up to their necks.

Trouble is oil (as a physical resource) seems much easier to talk about objectively, even if states insist on hypocritical double-speak, whereas religion is doomed to less objective, less rational arguments. What is needed is diplomacy, compromise and real trust. If only half of the subject matter is on the table, then no real trust is likely to arise.

There can be little doubt however that Israel and Anglo-Saxon support for Zionism is a key part of the Iranian nuclear power issue.
See the reference mid-way down this earlier post.
We need to be addressing the long-standing hard parts of this problem, (hard as in soft & difficult).

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