The head of Military Intelligence told the Israeli government yesterday that Iran has made it past the “nuclear technological threshold”. The only thing that stands in the way of an Iranian nuclear bomb is a decision by the country leaders to move forward and make one. This assessment is in line with that of most Western intelligence agencies and the IAEA.
The ramifications of a nuclear Iran have been discussed ad nauseam so I won’t repeat them here. It seems as if the world understands these ramifications but would rather not deal with them and continue to hide behind diplomatic declarations and useless sanctions. The new administration in the US is busy dealing with other problems, and in any case Obama’s stated strategy is to reach a comprehensive regional deal with the Ayatullahs, in the hope that renunciation of the nuclear programme will be part of this new understanding. The chances of this deal happening are slim at best. Israel, from its perspective, has failed to stop the Iranian nuclear ambitions by relying on the world; the scary prospect of a military strike against Iran is looming larger than ever before.
Iran (Persia) is a nation with a long history of astute and clever leaders, who have used brinkmanship more than once to their advantage. Other leaders have succeeded to reap many benefits for their nations by dangling the nuclear stick cleverly in front of the world. But it remains to be seen whether Shi’ite dogmatism and the mix between religion and state has not weakened the sagacity of the Persians to a point where their judgement is fatally clouded.
I am not optimistic.