Last month, my PolicyMic colleague Gabriel Kohan argued that an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran is necessary to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East. This relies on the assumption that Iran is a dire threat to Middle Eastern peace. I disagree with this argument for a number of reasons.
First, the threat posed by Iran to Middle Eastern peace is exaggerated not just in Kohan’s piece but also in the mainstream media. The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate stated that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and has not restarted it as of mid-2007. While some say that Iran may have resumed “research” on how to build a nuclear bomb, it is not engaged in any actual development. In other words, Iran does not have a nuclear weapon and is not trying to build one at the moment. On the other hand, Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons and refuses to allow any inspections or sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Read the rest of this entry »