If Iran wants the bomb, it will get one. Are they a bigger threat than North Korea or Pakistan?
A letter, addressed to the “Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” written by Republican Senator Tom Cotton (Arkansas) and signed by 47 other Republicans has drawn the ire and criticism of many Democrats in Washington.
Its contents argue that the currently sought-after nuclear agreement with the government in Tehran is entirely unacceptable as it will lay the groundwork for a nuclear-armed Iranian state.
The letter continues to make the contention that any action taken on the part of president Barack Obama in the form of executive orders would only have temporary staying-power. In other words, “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen, and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”
In an interview with ABC News, Cotton stated that “It’s the job of the president to negotiate, but it’s the job of Congress to approve […] We’re simply trying to say that Congress has a constitutional role to approve any deal, to make sure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon. Not today, not tomorrow, not ten years from now.”
President Obama commented that “I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members for Congress wanting to make common cause with the hard-liners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition […] I think what we’re going to focus on right now is actually seeing whether we’re going to get a deal or not. Once we do, if we do, we’ll be able to make the case to the American people, and I’m confident we’ll be able to implement it.”
Prominent Democratic Senator, Harry Reid , also spoke regarding the letter, criticizing Republicans in Congress “Let’s be very clear: Republicans are undermining our commander-in-chief while empowering the Ayatollahs […] Republicans don’t know how to do anything other than juvenile political attacks against the president.”
Reid also characterized the contents of the letter as ” a kind of pettiness that diminishes us as a country in the eyes of the world. Republicans need to find a way to get over their animosity of President Obama. I can only hope that they do it sooner, rather than later.”
Cotton struck back at Reid’s criticism claiming that “You have many other allies like Israel, or Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, who are deeply troubled by the deal that the president and his team have given the outlines of […] They all agree with the 47 senators who have signed this letter, which is that Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons capability.”
Thinking in terms of reality, one can see that Iran represents no less of an existential threat to the peace and prosperity of the international community than several other nuclear states around the globe including Pakistan, North Korea, Russia, China, and India. It appears as if the true variables governing the march toward total nuclear annihilation lie not in the simple possession or capability for the efficient production of warheads, but rather in the immediacy of impetus, on the part of any of these states, for an actual aggressive use of said weapons.
It is also commonly believed that the state of Israel possesses nuclear weapons. The likelihood of this is high enough to warrant the status of a rather objective assumption, although it is not an officially acknowledged fact. If one were to, then, assume that Israel is indeed in possession of nuclear weapons, it necessarily follows that they represent a far greater existential threat to Iran than vice versa.
With the added variable of continued US assistance as well as at least nominal and begrudging support from Saudi Arabia, it becomes fairly obvious which powers are holding the high cards. If Iran were to acquire a weapon or weapons of its own, how would this act to alter the regional balance of power?
In many ways it could make an Israeli attack less likely. At the same time, however, it may make an Israeli attack more likely, seeing as a nuclear Iran would, in theory, have the capability to do a certain amount of catastrophic damage. Added to this there is also the very real possibility that a nuclear device just so happens to make its way into the hands of some radical Shi’a group.
The example of Pakistan here is significant. Pakistan has plenty of nuclear warheads with a sufficiently corrupt military-state structure to easily facilitate the dissemination of nuclear materials to radical Islamist organizations. The fact is, however, that if this has, indeed, happened, then those Islamists must have done a terrible job of bringing about the end times, seeing as no major metropolitan areas have been consumed by righteous balls of fire lately.
A far more likely scenario has corrupt government officials realizing full well the efficient limits of their corruption. In other words, it’s fairly difficult for a Pakistani officer to scrape a bit of extra revenue from their unit’s budget if there are no units or countries left to perpetuate the system.
The prospect of a nuclear Iran brings with it added threats. The view of many Republicans in the US Congress, however, is deluded to the point of nonsense. Whether or not a real agreement is made, the simple fact remains that if Iran wants a nuclear weapon, it will find one.