Hossein Derakhshan at PostGlobal

Hossein Derakhshan

Canada/Iran

Iranian-born Hossein "Hoder" Derakhshan is a blogger, journalist, and internet activist. Since 2001, he has been based out of Toronto, Canada, running his award-winning weblog, Editor: Myself, which has been among the most influential blogs in the Persian language. Close.

Hossein Derakhshan

Canada/Iran

Iranian-born Hossein "Hoder" Derakhshan is a blogger, journalist, and internet activist. more »

Main Page | Hossein Derakhshan Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Iran Needs Nuclear Weapons

Paris, France - Two years ago I did not want Iran to produce nuclear energy for electricity, let alone for its military. Today I've changed my mind. Iran needs nuclear weapons to defend itself....

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All Comments (210)

methodist hospital memphis tn:
Jim Relos:

To all the people who are nor brainwashed thick sheep it is clear that America will gobble up the whole world in a few decades which is its master plan. I feel sorry (pity) for the (I have no words) "people" who don't see this.
Every country has a right to develop necessary weapons to defend itself. Who the FOOK is America to tell them they can't? Oh yes, they can't get the oil then, I guess.
Have you noticed how Bush keeps his giant butt plug firmly planted in his ass when talking to nuclear nations? Yep, he wouldn't dare squeak too loud.
It reminds me of the playground bully who only bullied the weak kids and cowered away from real competition.
How long do you think Russia and China will allow this American world domination to go on before they join forces and nuke America from planet Earth? Not too long my friend.
98% of the world HATE America with a vengeance. Why can't we all just live in peace and mind our OWN business (countries)? These politicians are very sick "people", second coming of the Nazis. I can't even imagine killing another person even to save my own life but these mass murderers are killing millions of innocent people. May they burn in hell for all eternity.

Per Cellotti:

Interesto resorce seniore peppi...

Majid az kerman:

i am from IRAN. I want to speak political problemc of the world?
is there any one here?
this is my mial:hoonampoofam@yahoo.com

Predictions:

no peace in israel.
the palistinians continue to NEVER fail to miss an opportunity to FAIL.
iran will have nukes.
ultimately iran's nuke price will be the end of their current islamic republic.
israel will never be able to resolve this palistinian problem, because one of the sides is incapabale of keeping law and order, let alone recognising the concept of peace and goodwill.
Jimmy Carter & the world will try pulling down a 2nd Apartheidt-South-Africa game play boycotts etc to try force Israel to become a ONE STATE solution.
It will escalate into a conflict.
Israel will be forced to battle the entire world.
AND, guess what? Israel will win!!
As a result the borders of Israel will once again expand, again.
And this time, there will be big time widespread immigration of Jews from around the world. Unable to live in peace even as Jews in western countries, who now and soon have no shame being openly Anti-Jewish, even the U.K. recent censoring the holocaust out of fear for offending Moslem students! LOL.
The migration and economic impact will devastating, and like the good book says..."He who blesses my people will be blessed, and he who curses my people will be cursed", around about the time everyone wakes up and realises this world actually doesnt belong to them, they are merely G-d servants, thats when the proverbial penny will drop, they will all "get it" and we'll have peace.
And Jerusalem, Israel will become the capital of the world...........that the prediction. Well actually i copied it, but i think things are moving in that direction anyway.
There will be no Jews to be found outside of Israel.
There will be few to none NON Jews to be found in Israel.
There will be world peace.
Israel will produce technologies that will bring untold blessings to the world.
And people will be asking themselves, why didnt we do this 1000 years ago.
There will be a worldwide spiritual awakening, and people will live healthier, longer and happier.
It's all gonna work out, just gotta be optimistic and have an open mind to going with the changes.
We are only the servants here, not the Master.

parthibls:

As an aside, on the whole 'US imperialist' comment, I would encourage readers to read up on US-Iran history and what the US has done to earn the 'bad-guy' image and US-hatred (not unjustly, if I may say so), virtually everywhere in the third world.

Phil:

Brant gets it right over at SWLIP:

http://www.swlip.com/2006/09/hossein_derakhs.html

Phil:

It's simply beyond me how a consummate idiot like Derakhshan gets an ongoing forum anywhere, even in the Washington Post.

Cathy:

Burn, Rice and Bolton also stink with disgrace! Forgot Collin powell with supposedly "Iraqi Biollogical mobile units" posters in front of world body?! US government operates on lies and misinformation to deceive its own citizens. Screw bastard and blood thirsty Israelis who have Bush and disgraced Rice, Bolton and Burn on their pocket thru thier lobby. Amercian politicians have betrayed me as an American citizen. Mmore power to Iran. They should have the nukes to counter blood thirsty Israelis in the Persian gulf and ME.

Cathy:

As Mr. Chaves put it so correctly: "it stinks over here."

EB:

This guy is clearly a joke, and is fishing for a reason to hate the US further. I wouldn't trust the Iranians with BB guns. Everyone has to hate the US - it's a global requirement these days. Pathetic envy, that's it.

Brad:

A couple of points to make. Israel has never tried to annihilate it's neighbors. The same can not be said for it's neighbors in reference to Israel. Israel has never threatened to "wipe" another country off the map, while the same can not be said for Irans current leader. The surrounding countries gave Israel the reason for acquiring nukes with their incessant promises to destroy it, from the very day it was created. It's pretty damn silly to get a few friends, point your guns at a guy, and then whine when he gets a bigger gun to protect himself.

On the supposed "Imperialistic ambitions", of the US, I have only this to say. If the US wanted a few more states, smack dab in the middle east, there is not a whole hell of a lot anyone could do about it. They certainly would not be wasting time with diplomacy, if they were such a evil imperialist power, like some of you deluded fools make them out to be. The US has made many mistakes in the last 4 decades, but one thing they are far from is Imperialist/Stalinist, or whatever other dictatorial comparison anyone cares to make. Do any of you honestly believe Stalin would have used the restraint that the US has shown in the past, and during the current problems?

mwl:

I wouldn't trust the lunatics who rule Iran with a bottle rocket, never mind a nuclear weapon.

Sane person:

Hossein, you sir are an idiot.

Assistant Village Idiot:

Yes, not at all surprising that he reaches this conclusion about American imperialism while sitting in Canada.

Rule #1 for self-observation - and this means all of us. When you just happen to adopt the views of your new circle of friends, you shouldn't give yourself credit for having arrived there intellectually.

A completely predictable attitude for an educated Iranian living in Canada.

Tennwriter:

I think I met you at Nashcon for a few minutes. At one point, you asked something to the effect of why the US should get involved in the Middle East.

My instinctive response I blurted out was "Because we're the good guys."

And that really is that. Oh, we make mistakes, we have corruption, but our aims in general benefit our own people and the people of the world.

No doubt this seems hopelessly naive. But in point of fact, Americans probably understand Iranians better than the other way around. People the worldwide think they understand the US, but they don't.

But the key thing you need to understand is that many Americans regard Iranian nuclear weapons as a mortal threat. Sadly, asking for nuclear weapons is tantamount to asking for national suicide.

As to Pakistan and North Korea, yes, they are a problem, but the US is not required to do things on your timetable, or according to your sense of fairness.

We are still the same nation that burned Dresden and Hiroshima and Tokyo, and Nagasaki; please don't make us add Tehran and Qom to that list.

JT:


Boy, this article is totally whack. I can't even believe this guy is even getting published. Neo-colonialism, expansionism for oil and conspiracy theories. However, I am not surprised. Expat persians I have known generally eat up all this cloak and dagger stuff. And the irony of it all, he so strongly fells the threat to Iran, strong enough to hand these exporters of terrorism a nuclear weapon, while sitting at this desk in Canada.

Mark Poling:

Do Iranian government functions still begin with shouts of "Death to the Great Satan!"?

Sorry, Hossein; what Iran really needs is a government not run by purveyours or apocalyptic nonsense. Or in other words, don't start nothing, there won't be nothing.

Ross:

The summary of Walter Williams remarks by camille roy seem to be an unintentional misinterpretation. You the link camille roy provided and you will see that Walter Williams was saying that a nuclear attack would never be tolerated by today's society whereas during WWII there were no rules. So the US has the might to "win" a strictly military battle but lacks the will (insanity???) to use all the weapons at our disposal. Is there anyone who doubts this is true?

No insult meant to Ms. Roy. She provided a link to the article to let each reader see the quote in question. A very honorable thing to do.

Cheers

wyzbok:

Man, I can't believe how crazy some people are. The conspiracy theorists out here...what a bunch of moonbats. Yikes! The GWB is evil, Republicans are fascists, it's all about the oil, America is an imperialist nation...haha...Good grief people! Get a grip. Come back to reality. It's frightening to think that there are people out there like you...

Hollowpoint:

Yet more paranoid conspiracy-theory mongering. Why am I not surprised?

The only way the lunatics running Iran should be allowed a nuclear weapon is to have one delivered by B2 bomber from 50,000 ft.

The notion that the US would attack Iran for it's oil is beyond absurd; if Iran stops its nuclear weapon program and support of terrorism, the threat of attack from the US goes away.

Iran continues it's nuclear program, and a military attack is almost guaranteed no matter what the French, Russians, or useless bureacrats in the UN have to say about it.

Jordan Ames:

Dear Sir,

Recall history for a moment. World War Two saw the angry American public back firebombing of German and Japanese civilians in their cities. Like wise, recall who coined the phrase, "War is hell." The US is slow to anger, but ruthless when enraged. What happens if one of the Iranian nukes you wish for gets detonated on US soil? What article will you write when the American public's wrath has your country turned into the largest sheet of glowing glass in history?

Beware what you wish for.

Eric:

The fundamental problem, it seems, in almost every discussion of peace is the mistaken assumption that all persons aspire to live peacefully. In looking at the course of human history, long before the Israel, long before the US, long before nations even, I have no idea how a rational mind could conclude this belief to be true. There are people in the world who wish death on others, this is a fact, and the quotes of that type are many from the Iranian leaders and mullahs, I'm not sure, in the face of those quotes, how we can even be having this discussion.

Dana H.:

No theocratic dictatorship has the "right" to any weapons at all. The people within such a country have the right to be free. The other nations of the world have the right not to be threatened by a rogue state. Any weapons in the hands of totalitarians can only be used to violate these legitimate rights.

Also, it is preposterous to assert (without any evidence) that the U.S. would find a peaceful, secular Iran a threat. If, as the author says, the U.S. just wants to control other nations' oil, why haven't we invaded Canada (the peaceful, secular, oil-rich country to the north)?

GW Crawford:

"It is a matter of the West acknowledging the importance and power of Iran in the region and let it play a role in the regional politics."

Sort of like the cops having to recognize the neighbourhood bully...

Ryan Waxx:

This article is pure garbage. There is not one valid point inside it, and indeed its main new idea is by far the most laughable:

"Therefore, even if Iran becomes the most peaceful, secular and progressive, yet still independent state on the planet, the U.S. would be unable to tolerate it. The U.S. would seek new excuses to topple Iran's government and install their favorite instead."

Riiight. One question: If your little theory is true, then why aren't we invading Canada? I wager the Canucks would be just a little suprised to find out they aren't an independant country.

Also, care to name any of these hypothetical 'new excuses' you have in mind? I suggest any answer to this question would make you look even more the wild-eyed fanatic.

GW Crawford:

re: "If Israeli possession of nukes didn't do it, Iranian nukes won't do it either because Arabs see Israel as a bigger threat than Iran."

So the fact that many of these states have tried to get nukes, despite their overall technical incompetence, doesn't rate?
Contrary to Hollywood, building nukes and rockets IS rocket science and only the deplorable state of Islamic "science" education saves us from that.
America is not an empire. America is a republic that would like people top play nice but is learning that good intentions don't mean squat compared to narrow minded religious zealotry

Kevin P.:

jvd70, thanks for your kind words. It is a refreshing change to hear some appreciative recognition of the US instead of the mindless anti-Americanism that passes for debate in so many parts of the world.

The US is by no means a perfect country, but whoever libels it as an imperialist monster really reveals more about himself than about the US.

Yvan:

Bah. So What?
For sure, Iran's not my favourite regime, then again neither was the Soviet Union's. Come to think of it, I'm not too crazy about the actual U.S. government either. Nuclear weapons seem to have saved the world from world war III back then. Why can't we trust them to do it now? The soviets were evil and would stop at nothing to spread their empire and today, so are the islamofascists, or so we're told.
You see, I was raised during the cold war, under the propaganda of assured mutual destruction. Today, they're trying to sell me the propaganda of assymetrical threats. Hard to change the direction in which your brain is warped once you've reached adulthood.
But seriously, whose fault is it Iran is in such a hurry to become a nuclear power? The Bush administration, by making it very clear the U.S. had no interest in diplomacy once it had decided to invade. By making it clear force was the only thing the U.S. understood, and that it the U.S. government would not shirk at the idea of having its young men killed to further the image of politicians at home.
If you still believe a word coming out of Bush's mouth at this point, I really can't help you. The man has admitted to lying on several occasions, on extremelly grave matters, not the least of which being the reasons to go to war (No connexion with 9/11, just with 'terrorism' in general - whatever that means). I mean come on! You guys were willing to crucify Clinton for way, way less. So either you're really not paying attention, or you're showing extremelly bad faith in believing Bush, right or wrong. Furthermore, the U.S. itself is not respecting its own engagements with regards to nuclear proliferation at the moment, so why the hollier than thou tone?
Is the Iranian government a good regime? No. I don't think anybody is saying that. Even the guys from Iran posting here expressed serious missgivings. But the U.S. has long ago lost any credibility at being the world police officer and of being there to ensure freedom and democracy. As a further note, elections in Iraq and Afghanistan were a sham. If the states of New York and Pennsylvania, and only those, got to vote in an election, would you accept that government as representing you? Only the 'pacified' regions (that is to say those where more people than not were already cooperating with the U.S. got to vote). The Bush administration doesn't even like democracy at home (redesigning electoral maps to facilitate republican majorities is a good example, among many) why would it care about spreading it elsewhere?
These remain complex problems. Democratic progress in Iran has been slow, but steady. A U.S. invasion would be a catastrophe. Solutions to such problems will only come to fruition (if ever) when and if citizens of all countries stop buying into politicians visions of sacrificying peace and security for short-term, narrow self-interest goals. It will also be necessary, in the west, to wrest control of policy away from the moneyed elite and back into the hands of the people. Corporations and their ilk are not legitimate political powers, yet they are wielding more and more de facto power, and that is what is ruining democracy here, and making the idea of us exporting democracy ridiculous.

Sanazk:

You want war? Join the army and do something about it.

Eric Jette:

"We've come to the embarrassing point of having to argue that religious pluralism, political and economic openness, individual rights and freedom of expression are preferable to theocratic dictatorships."
-SMB

Agreed, and it can be expanded to include non-theocratic dictartorship in the case of North Korea...as far as the nuclear and WMD delivery system proliferation threat in general is concerned.

If then dictatorships that threaten global peace and security are found to be unacceptable in the 21st century....or dictatorial regimes in general...the debate then is one not of whether to allow them to continue to exist as governments, but how best to toss them and the concept of tyrany itself, into the dustbin of history.

A complex problematic paradox ensues, with millions of lives at stake.

What is desirable and what is do-able is inherent in forming a correct solution.

The "Four Pillars of Indightment" as I call them....being;

1. Human rights

2. Threat to global peace and security

3. Support for Terrorism

4. Interference in other soverign nation's affairs, and destabilization of.

...must be stood up in a wholistic manner, as a case presented before the UN Security Council.
Self supporting in weight of facts, and mutually supporting in their inter-relationship with each other.

While resolution on each may be separate, resolution on the whole must be brought to bear, So that the weight of the international communitie's decisions will be adequately implemented in a cohesive manner "In Larger Freedom" concurrent with international law, the universal declaration of human rights, and the UN charter itself.

The time is here, and history will be the judge of those who shirk this duty to mankind.

As will it be the judge of the actions taken, both by the regimes and the family of nations.

SMB:

The absurd idea that Iran needs nukes for defensive purposes presumes an immediate external threat. Israel was certainly invaded (more than once) as were Pakistan and India, thus the reason for nuclear weapons. Nobody cared as long as Iran and its crazy mullahs cursed Jews, stoned women and killed dissidents. But when your president babbles about holy martyrdom and the coming of a holy man through worldwide violence and has had a lifetime attachment to that idea, folks get a little concerned.

That's the difference - nobody would get hugely upset if Sweden or Canada or Morocco had nukes. They don't support terrorism, threaten other nations, are not imperialist (as is Iran) nor are they run by maniacs who think blowing yourself up to kill innocent people is a religious act.

We've come to the embarrassing point of having to argue that religious pluralism, political and economic openness, individual rights and freedom of expression are preferable to theocratic dictatorships. There is no moral equivalency between the West and closed Islamic societies. Iran is not today a land of open ideas, liberal thought and rational action arrived at by consensus. The ravings of their president only confirm this.

Bita:

Hoder says Iran should stop enriching Uranium immediately, recognize Israel and normalize relations with US and just then she could make nuclear weapons. Here are two very big flaws in his world view:

I. If Iran accepts to stop enriching uranium immediately, how could it obtain highly enriched uranium to build nukes? Hossein lacks basic knowledge of how those weapons are built and he can't hide it.

II. If Iran recognizes Israel and is a friend of America why does she need to go ahead with nuclear armament? She has achieved her objective of being a "favorite" already!

Hossein Derakhshan has got no political studies background, nor does he have any related academic degree whatsoever. I suggest he and Middle East are both safe if he keeps very quiet!

Yours,
Bita

Amir:

Instead of reading Mr. Derakhshan nonsense, read this:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/08/30/raman.iran/index.html

Eric:

Please read the following entries from Hoder's blog.

21 October 2004:
(http://hoder.com/weblog/archives/012552.shtml)
I don't believe that the majority of Iranians, who are being portrayed by the Western media as united to defend the right of the regime to achieve nuclear technology, really understand what the implications of such achievement are. Needless to say that if people were aware of how easily this technology, if not curbed by the UN, could be used by the regime to produce nuclear weapons, and how such power could weaken the already humble foundations of democracy in Iran by giving more military power to the most radical and fundamentalist parts of the regime, they'd hardly be backing it as they do now - if we accept that they really are.

21 October 2004 (persian weblog):
http://i.hoder.com/archives/2004/10/041021_012553.shtml
It's really a shame that people have been kept uninformed about the dangers of achieving nukes by this regime and now a few dozen are deciding for the future of millions of ordinary Iranians.

Eric:

I've written two comments here: first one I linked to one of Hoder's post in his Persian weblog in where he encourages the young girl to support Iran's nuclear program in the front of western journalists as a ticket to enter to football stadiums.
Hoder puts finger on an important point: Iran's regime desperately needs support for its atomic programs and is very eager to use money or remove some restrictions only to get more and more supporters. That is why Hoder has began to send very clear signals to "some people" there in Iran. If you can read Persian, then read his weblog where for example Iran's supreme leader is a "nice", "graceful" and "good-heart" person while so many prominent reformist have been under sever attack by Hoder.

The other comment was again an emphasis to that Hoder's take on Iran's nuclear program should be seen in the light of his other recent writings. I wonder if my use of the words in my comments has made them "below the belt" or what Hoder himself says in that video?

Ignore nonsense:

To Eric Jette,

I read your earlier long message. My previous post in support of Ahmad's comment was referring to a post by "Eric | August 28, 2006 02:33 PM" which use below the belt and smear tactics.

Eric Jette:

Ignore nonsense wrote:

"Say why he is wrong (if he is)."

Indeed I did, 'bout 60 posts ago....and the "Eric" you refer to ain't me...just for clarification.

Gave Hoder a lot of food for thought to chew on...and others here to...hopefully.

I am somewhat surprised that Hoder has not come back to address the acusations toward his character here, or to debate the issues myself and others have raised regarding the article itself and his statements in it, and defend his basic premis that Iran needs nuclear weapons.

Often what one does not do or say tells a lot more about a person's intent and character than what he speaks or does do.

In my book, if one is going to start something, he better be prepared to make an honest effort to finish it....or at least see it through.

Therin lies my challenge to Hoder, either choose debate or let my assesments (60 some odd posts above) stand as valid rebuttal.

Ignore nonsense:

Ahmad write: "I donot like what Sina, Eric and ... are doing. Instead of debating the title of discussion, they try to defame and smear the writer which is not a good thing to do in a fair discussion. Come on! Say why he is wrong (if he is)."

This is the American way of censoring and stifling the message by character assassination of the messenger. Just ignor it since it represent what THEY are about...playing it dirty. Good thing that no nukes is in either Sina or Eric's hands!!!

Hoder your courage in expressing your opinion is very much appreciated.

observer:

Andrew New York City writes:" However on the other hand, only sub-Saharan Africa is further behind than the Islamic world in the development of technical and literal intellectual capacity. I reference UN development index studies that show how few patents have been issued from the Middle East as well as how few texts have been translated into Arabic and Persian dialects from other languages."

I wonder if you have traveled outside your little town at all. Yes....your views for a New Yorker (if it is where you live) is very small minded. Take a road trip and visit your nothern neighbor, Canada. Engage in conversation with some Canadians while you are in Toronto. It will be healthy for you and you may learn something.

atrinas:

Changing stances in rogue Iranian people is not anything new. Just have a look back and see how those who are cut off from the wealth and power are now mournfully shed crocodile tears for democracy: Mohsen Sazgara, Ebrahim Nabavi, Abbas Abdi and tens of dozens others.
They all once were helping Islamic despotism establish and now are posturing democratic figures. They all take pain in the ass because there is no political power in them and of course no windfall money accompanied.
Shame on you all demagogues, shame on you.

Abmay:

What the USA is trying to convince Iranians
about is the following.

You are inferior entities that are expected to accept our vision of the world and you are expected to cooperate or we will force you into cooperation.

It is almost the same thing they use to say to african slaves.

Remenber that they expected the indians to cooperate with the new world order of the time.

USA is allways in war with someone and they are allways able to convince themselfs that they are right.

From indians they want the land.

From africans they wanted the work power.

From arabs they want oil.

Security?

What about the security of others.

Interests?

What obout the interests of others?

Nuclear bombs?

They have used the bombs and are the only state that uses to say that they are prepared to use their bombs against people that don't have such type of bombs, in a premptive way.

Look at the past if you want to understand USA.

Qmars:

In simple words, the Iranian nation do Not have the capacity of having Nuclear Weapons, because if that was the case, they would have a democratic government first.

Marco:

Two comments -

slim: sure Iran can threaten the oil supply, but that's easily done with conventional weapons, so nukes have little benefit.

on the Israel issue: yes they launch attacks (1967, recently in Lebanon, or whatever). But those of you who shun Israel conveniently forget the constant shelling of Israel that was happening pre-1967 from the Golan Heights, or the steady stream of rocket attacks and suicide bombs that they've endured in recent times. If a mosquito keeps biting you, sooner or later you may swat it.

I'm of the opinion that neither Israel nor the Palestinians are saintly in this affair. Both sides believe in an eye-for-an-eye. Both inflict civilian casualties. And finally, both dispute control of Jerusalem. Argument over Jerusalem will always be a flashpoint for new violence until both sides can learn tolerance and teach it to their children.

Amir:

Just ignore his idiotic self-promoting remarks. He doesn't represent anybody and is totally out of touch with reality. His being ignored by others gives him the impression that everybody agrees with him. What a tard!

Ahmad:

I donot like what Sina, Eric and ... are doing. Instead of debating the title of discussion, they try to defame and smear the writer which is not a good thing to do in a fair discussion. Come on! Say why he is wrong (if he is).

Hoda:

Sina,

I suggest you start writing Hoder's biography.

RC:

Iranians who think Iran needs a nuke are insane. The reason why there's been no first strike against N. Korea is that China is NK's keeper, more or less, and the NKs aren't claiming that their possession of a nuke (or their use of it) fulfills God's will, so as nutty as NK's Great Leader is, no one thinks he'll do anything THAT crazy. But the Iranians? Who knows? Making noises about the 12th Imam and wiping Israel off the map isn't the best way to convince the rest of the world that one can be trusted with nuclear weapons. On the contrary, the rest of the world can only conclude that Iran cannot be allowed to have such dangerous things, and should they happen to obtain one or, as unlikely as it may be, develop one, the appropriate response would be a first strike (nuclear if it's necessary, but it's probably not) to disarm and decapitate the regime. Oh, and one other thing -- if we do remove the Iranian threat, we're probably not in for another round of nation building. Someone else will have to clean up that mess. Maybe all those countries that allowed the situation to get this bad by refusing to cooperate in meaningful diplomatic efforts to prevent an Iranian bomb will pay the bill. Count on this though: If Iran does manage to get a bomb, its short-lived membership in the nuclear club will have a violent and, from the Iranian viewpoint, unhappy, ending.

Andrew New York City:

It doesn't surprise me that the views from people of the Middle East are as jaded as they are. On the one hand we in the West have not done a good job of selling the intention of creating a stable international community through the creation of interdependent, plural democratic states. Additionally Israel does act with too little regard toward civilian casualties too often. However on the other hand, only sub-Saharan Africa is further behind than the Islamic world in the development of technical and literal intellectual capacity. I reference UN development index studies that show how few patents have been issued from the Middle East as well as how few texts have been translated into Arabic and Persian dialects from other languages.
The response I have often seen seems to be.. "all answers are contained in the Koran--therefore all human interpretation of life / reality is essentially blasphemy..." Respective to Iran's mullah leadership...I think this mindset is what the West ultimately fears the most.
The biggest issue with Tehran is that the West has no confidence, in light of it's significant Islamist leanings, that it is worthy of the extreme responsibility that possessing nuclear weapons entails. To the West, Islam has unfortunately become much more associated with massacres of civilians (9/11, London, Madrid, Mumbai train bombings, Tel Aviv bus bombers) and the recurring rants of 'death to all who refuse to convert to Islam' than anything approaching the 'peaceful, forgiving religion' it is purported to be. This mindset which can be seen from the streets of Peshawar to Damascus scares the West and should scare everyone else when the prospect of nuclear weapons is added to the picture. And this is why Tehran, which hid its nuclear program from the world for 20 years and with its present Islamic extremist political ideology, should never be permitted to possess weapons of such power.

Eric Jette:

BMW wrote:
"I appolize if I'm being redundant, but I do not have time to read all the seemingly other posts on this "article". Iran only has mid range missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, so they are no direct threat to the US. "I believe Iran needs to produce nuclear weapons as a defensive mechanism, to deter the U.S. today". How can they deter us if they can't hit us?"

Dear Beemer (BMW),

Looking beyond the assets we have in the region itself, where there is a will, there is a way:

THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION TO ASSESS THE THREAT TO THE U.S. FROM ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE ATTACK

http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/security/has204000.000/has204000_0.HTM

------------

One needs only a little imagination to see that not only is the above possible, but that smuggling routs via US southern border area could be used to truck a bomb in, or via a major port in a shipping container.

Thus, you have the US gov in an all out effort on the borders, and initiating PSI w/ some 60 other nations involved, and port monitoring globally of radio- isotopes.

Some may say MAD is still a good deterent, and that a nuke has a "return address".
I'm not willing to bet the farm on it, personally.

best,

EJ

Mandana:

Washington Post does the Islamic Republic yet another favour by giving one of its agents,(Hoder), a blog column!

Here is a previous favour, Washington Post carried out for the mullahs. Exposed by Azarmehr five days before it was published in WP:
http://azarmehr.blogspot.com/2006/03/islamic-republic-uses-washington-post.html

The WP article five days after Azarmehr wrote about what was to be published:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/13/AR2006031301761.html

Its ok for Hezbollah to receive $100M a year from Iran but God forbid if the secular pro-democray movement in Iran receives anything.

Mark:

Israel and US are both terror states in my opinion. US is the only disgraced nation on the face of this planet that has droped nukes on CIVILIANS kiling over 200,000 innocent women, children and families. The same goes to Israel, what HITLER did to jews, jews are doing to moslems with US backings. The whole wrold should and must unite against the two satans. I am ashamed of being a JEW!

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,251-2329600,00.html

On August 18 Rasul Hama Ahmed fled his [Iraqi] village of Karosh when Iranian shells rained down from the sky. Everyone ran to hide in caves, ditches and behind trees. One shepherd was killed in their village three hours by foot from the Iranian border. Twenty-five homes were destroyed. "The shells fell like stones from the sky," he said and hoisted up his leg to show a knick from shrapnel.

Perhaps Iran needs nuclear weapons to get rid of those pesky minorities that demand rights?

Selvy:

This is all a sham and those who think the US is in this for oil and empire need to leave the Left Bank and take a breath of fresh air. NOBODY in the US wants to fight another war. It costs money, people get killed, etc...we've been trying to avoid a situation like this for 10+ years, just as with North Korea. Vaccilation and Europen 'diplomacy', multilateralism, etc., has made this worse. The UN hasn't been a help, either.

If Iran was a regular nation that didn't support/sponsor terrorist groups then we could argue it has a right. However, Iran sponsors state terror (via Hizbollah and other groups), it is trying to take over Iraq through Shi'ia militias, and it has been subtly threatening neighbors in the region to the point that Saudi Arabia--which shouldn't have nuclear weapons either--is pushing for their own. Tell me, Oh Wise Ones of the World, you who badmoouth US diplomacy (Even when we've tried things your way!)...What is your solution? A belligerent nuclear-armed Iran whose avowed mission is to wipe another country off the map--is that your desire? Argentina with nukes isn't a threat but Iran certainly is.

Iran is, unfortunately, the textbook example of why pre-emptive action will become necessary. Because the world has done nothing except talk.

America isn't perfect, but we can see the threat for what it is. The rest of this world seems to have their collective heads jammed up somewhere.

Sredna:

"...even if Iran becomes the most peaceful, secular and progressive, yet still independent state on the planet, the U.S. would be unable to tolerate it. The U.S. would seek new excuses to topple Iran's government and install their favorite instead."

Hossein, you just described their favorite.

Linda:

I hope Iran and the rest of OPEC start Trading Crude Oil In Euro(EUR) rather than U.S. dollars. If implemented by OPEC, the changeover to the euro would be a transfer of a 'float' that presently subsidises the United States to subsidise the European Union instead. Float occurs when there is a delay in the clearing of payments between banks. It is most obvious in the time delay between when you write a check and when the funds to cover that check are deducted from your account.

Anonymous:

Shalom said: "Iran needs a change in regime. It needs to turn away from radical fundamentalist Islam. It needs to turn away from the Arab Islamic dominance , and back to its Persian roots. It needs to open to the modern world and in such a way to greatly enhance educational and economic opportunity for its people."
Iran WAS, IS and Will BE on "its Persian roots." Nuclear ENERGY is part of enhancing Iran economic modernization and creating opportunity for its people. And production of electricity by way of nuclear technology is an efficient way to produce electricity in the absence of alternatives such as water resources for hydro-electricity generation. As a background, Iran's nuclear program began before the "mullahs" regime in 1974 with plans to build a nuclear power station at Bushehr with German assistance as well as other uranium conversion facilities. The project was abandoned because of the Islamic revolution five years later, but revived in 1992 when Tehran signed an agreement with Russia to resume work at the site.
Iran has vast deposits of uranium ore and has been an exporter of uranium ore. This is essentially another way to modernize and exploit its natural resources, just like crude oil, and extend the value-added chain of processing for commercial purposes. So, Iran has decided to finish the project and, having a long-term view, the plans are to be a major exporter of fuel for foreign power plants. The market potential for exports of fuel is significant.
Moreover, it is more economic for Iran to convert its own vast uranium ore to use (and to market abroad) rather than import nuclear fuel, as suggested in the carrots package, that is said to be 30 times more expensive!

Anonymous:

Arash Said: "The imposition of sanctions and the constant threat of attack has made Iran what it is today. But it has also found great power out of its oppression. It stands up to the West when the fearful Arabs do not have the gumption to. So be proud of where you come from, don't sell out your self and your heritage".

In my opinion, I hope that UN and western world (P5+1) impose economical sanction such as importation of Auto- Gasoline to Iran. It is true that in a short while (i.e. a few years) Iranian people will suffer. But Iranians are as talented as other nations and will figure out how to refine and produce their own gasoline from their wealth of crude oil and they will learn to adopt energy conservative policies leading to more self reliance.

Remember, the Iran's isolation in the years of war with Iraq "turned the Iranians into military professionals" who proceeded to develop an advanced and innovative defense industry according to the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS). As a result Iran today produces almost two thousand defense items, from munitions to aircraft, and from missile boats to satellites. It exports military equipment to over 30 countries, including seven in Europe.

Shalom Freedman:

The idea that Iran needs nuclear weapons is absurd. For what? To threaten and destroy, to provide them with their proxy allies such as Hizbollah as weapons of Terror.
Iran needs a change in regime.It needs to turn away from radical fundamentalist Islam. It needs to turn away from the Arab Islamic dominance , and back to its Persian roots. It needs to open to the modern world and in such a way to greatly enhance educational and economic opportunity for its people.

Anonymous:

I keep seeing this quote: "A nuclear Iran would very likely initiate an arms race in the Middle East and create a source of tremendous regional instability that could easily escalate. The goal is to eliminate these weapons, not allow them to proliferate". I have to say WAKE UP and OPEN your eyes to the REALITY of Middle East. The arm race in Middle East started about 50 years ago or about 1967 when Israel occupied Arabs lands and aggressively pursued ethnic cleansing of Arabs (including Palestinians) up to Right now. Can you explain why Israel which is geographically as big as New Jersey have the FOURTH largest military stockpile in the world? I call this arm race.
I wonder if Israel would have considered attacking Lebanon if Lebanese army was strong or had deterrent nuclear weapons and could defend itself. As long as Israel has not learned to live in peace in the region with its neighbors, the countries in Middle East (as well as Iran, a Persian nation) need to be militarily strong enough to defend themselves and not become victim of Israelis aggression as it just happened to Lebanon. I would rather a nuclear-free Middle East but with the US-Israeli relationship so close (both nuclear weapon states), that seems to be a fantasy.

Anonymous:

Darrell,

"Israel simply wants to be able to live in peace with its neighbors"

Though I keep seeing this quoted, I have yet to see ONE Israeli action that lends it any creedence. To live in Peace implies keeping the peace, not by giving people the peace of the grave.

"Iran's leaders have made no secret of their goal to eliminate the State of Israel. Israel's leaders have made no similar statements concerning any Arab/Islamic countries"
No, Just about the peoples themselves. See Golda Meirs statement about Palestinians.

"Iran has no threat that requires it to obtain nuclear weapons to defend itself." Have you been listening to ANYTHING the government of the United States has said? If so, you know what they have to protect themselves from.

Arash Maghsoodi:

I think an Islamic regime like Iran equipped with nuclear bombs would be much more dangerous than all the disasters happened to humanity so far.

Nima:

As a last comment on this post, I invite you all to read the following article:
http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/inside-irans-nuclear-machine-what-makes-them-tick/2006/08/26/1156012790128.html

Anonymous:

Cho Iran Mabashad Tane Man Mabad

Namvar:

So you Westerners think Hoder is a reformist or a journalist? :))
If you want to know who Hoder really is. read these excellent posts:
http://azarmehr.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-voa-confuses-iranian-people.html

http://azarmehr.blogspot.com/2006/08/hoders-hypothesis.html

Albert -- Canada:

For those who watch FOX news. Get your facts from international media and educate yourselves. Major US media is run by Zionist jews who act as israel's proxy to promote lies and misinformation to get us into another stupid war for stupid israel at the expense of my tax $$. Talk is cheap! show me Iraq's WMD dummies.. you FOOLS are sleep..

http://www.house.gov/paul/index.shtml

Mark Taxy:

Excellent articulation Sama Adnan.

As my Israeli friend put it "Iranians should be stupid if they did not seek the bomb as deterrent". The question of an Iranian bomb is a matter time before it is a realized. They are crossing the threshold of a "no return". A nuclear Iran is no more dangerous than a nuclear Israel or a nuclear Pakistan. Ahmadinezad's role is merely symbolic in nature and bears little if any executive authority. Army and the revolutionary command chain, is under the control of Khamenei and he is a very wise man. Instability in the region, is not in the best interest of Iranians, but, not so for the Americans. In fact, military complex establishments benefit immensely from instability and war at the expense of innocent Moslem blood.

Tony:

All these argumets are worthless

Iran will get the nukes no matter what USA or Europe or Israel does.

It is a certainty.

Anonymous:

After someone manages to make their way through Mearsheimer&Walt opus it could be instructive to read a factual critique of it by Alan Dershowitz http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/dershowitzreply.pdf

Anonymous:

"even if Iran becomes the most peaceful, secular and progressive, yet still independent state on the planet"

That's a good one. It just underscores what Iranian government and ruling ayatollahs make Iran now - one of the most bigoted, hateful, and fanatical states on the planet.

(I)nsider:

My brother Mr. "Franz Kafka",

Nothing can replace the sorrows and tragedies that Jewish people have endured and I don't think it is right for us to use those terrible things to dissuade people from thinking for themselves and searching the truth. Let us have more respect for your aunt and what she went through. People are too good to believe this is about Jews vs gentiles.

In peace

Franz Kafka:

And when you're done with that I'm sure Mr. Insider wants you to read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as well, another fine expose of those dastardly Jews. How we are responsible for the war in Iraq, how we make the best Matzos out of the blood of Christian children, how really the Jews are behind everything that went wrong up to and including forcing the first fish to leave the ocean and become a land animals. Yes geez it's been 60 years and my aunty is still alive and I can still read her Auschwitz tatoo.

(I)nsider:

As citizens of one of the greatest countries in the world Americans have a duty to protect their democracy.

They do that when they fulfill their jury duty. They protect their democracy when they go to the polls and vote. And some have to bear arms and defend their countries in foreign lands.

If you have not been among those who had to leave wife and infant children behind and spend your Christmas in a rat hole, or watch a friend die in your arms or had to wipe their brain off your face, you may owe it to them to step up, and defend America and its democracy.

You owe it to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, as well as your children and America's future generation to seek the truth, be informed citizens, and speak out courageously. And that is no easy task.

If you take your patriotic responsibility seriously, then I urge you to invest the significant time it requires to watch http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696 in its ENTIRETY. This is not about Arabs and Israelis. It is about the media and the fragility of democracy.

While I respect everyone's opinion, even when it has no basis in reality, we should beat the drums of war and violence with caution and responsibility, grounded in truth about what is happening around us.

To that end, I urge you all to read the Working Paper Number:RWP06-011 by John J. Mearsheimer, department of Political Science, University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. It is called "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy". You can download it at:
http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011/$File/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf

It is 80+ pages!! But if you care about America, and what is happening to it all over the world, read it. Read it for the sake of your children and in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice; then form your own opinion.

slim:

I found the discussion above of great interest. I do believe that Iran needs the BOMB for self-defence. I only have one comment regarding the above letters, and that is addressed to:

BMW

It is not necessary for Iran to have Missiles capable of reaching the continental USA. For defensive purposes, it only needs to have absolute power to attack the major Oil-fields of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia etc and to close the Straight of Hormuz. The USA Strategic Oil reserve is sfufficient for 3 months of internal use, China, India and the rest of the world can not afford to to allow such a deteriation of the situtaion in the Middle east that it would force Iran to threaten the worlds only available oil exporting area. Neither the Oil sands of Canada nor the pipelines of Russia, and mostly heavy oil production of Venezuela is capable of replacing the Near East's oil.

Uncle Sam' economy and politial system would collapse in 4-5 moths if Iran is only 50% efficient in the disturbance of oils supplies form Arab countries. What China, and the rest of the world would do is another question.

ZyklonB:

Had Hitler succeeded, these issues would have never arisen. We all know what group of people are behind all of the world's corruption, misery, and pain.

lost in translation:

Apparently the antisemitism, anti western anti liberal anti democracy demagoguery coming out of Iran is all a matter of things being translated in the wrong manner; even by the press agency IRNA and MEHR itself.

Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Saffar Harandi stated that "Muslims have a common enemy in the United States" http://www.mehrnews.ir/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=358123

But perhaps the Minister of Islamic Guidance also should not be taken seriously? Please...

Anonymous:

To sanazk ,

Thank you for your great post ,We are all Iranians , regardless of religion or ethnicity , Iran belongs to all of us .

To Namvar :
In Isreal that is supposetly democratic the Nuclear Issue is NOT even Discussed after 40 years of having the bomb . The Iranians are not as Dumb as you like to make them . Apparently you have not been in the country for very LONG time .Even ALL the foreign Media report that majority of the Iranians SUPPORT the Nuclear program and it is one issue that has UNITED all Iranians , pro or anti regime .

To JVD :

What threat are talking about containing with Ahmadinejad ? Ahmadinejad has NO more power than Khatami had and Iran was labeled as a part of "Axes of evil" during Khatami , years before Ahmadinejad even comes into the picture . You know that Ahmadinejad makes NO Decision , has NO power over the Millitary and all decisions is with the Supreme leader that has been the same person for over 15 years .

No one EVER has called fort distruction of Israel, NOT ahmadinejad NOT the supreme leader . AhmadiNejad said the "Zionist Regime" should be wiped off the map .Like "Aparthied Regime" of South Africa was destroyed .

Are all of you that are calling for the "Mullahs Regime" to be destroyed mean that "Iran" should be distroyed ?

(I)nsider:

On April 26, 2006 Iran's supreme religious leader Khamenei stated:

"The Iranian nation and government advocate world peace and security and will never attack anyone in the future..."

According to the translation by Juan Cole, a University of Michigan Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to wipe Israel off the map because no such idiom exists in Persian" and "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse."

On 20 February 2006, Iran's foreign minister denied that Tehran wanted to see Israel "wiped off the map," saying "Nobody can remove a country from the map. This is a misunderstanding in Europe of what our president mentioned," Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference, speaking in English, after addressing the European Parliament. "How is it possible to remove a country from the map? He is talking about the regime. We do not recognise legally this regime," he said.

Iran's official position, which has not changed since the beginning of the revolution is that there are over 3 million Palestinians living as refugees outside Palestine. They should have the right to come back and along with the Jewish people participate in a referendum that will determine the future structure of a fair, equitable, non-racist, non-apartheid non-colonial government in Palestine.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL:

Confront the Barbaric Zionist Wolves?

Nima let's for the sake of the argument forget about Ahmadinejad and go to the source, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and quote him. On the 2000 al-Quds day he called for the destruction of Israel. He also is known to say cheerful things like "human rights are a weapon in the hands of our enemies to fight Islam." As recently as august 3rd of 2006 he said "There is No Way to Confront the Barbaric Zionist Wolves and the Aggression of the 'Great Satan' Except Through Martyrdom". You know as well as I do what kind of Martyrdom he is talking about. "Confront through martyrdom", after 9/11 and the 2nd Lebanese war we all know what that means.

You write this: "The policy of the West is to make this guy sound serious and thereby interpret his comments as a pretext to an eventual declaration of war by the Islamic Republic against Israel. Within this context the United States and its allies assert that Iran poses a real threat to the existence of the state of Israel and the security of the West. You are buying this argument like many others do."

I encourage you to start taking them seriously as well, maybe to even critically accept the premises behind this line of thought. If you don't want to take Ahmadinejad seriously then do take Ali Khamenei seriously. Buy the line that these guys are a serious threat to my and your security, because they themselves make the claim that they are.

Too many people despise President Bush and his administration so much they are blinded to what's happening behind their backs.

Why the Dutch are some of the staunchest supporters of the USA? Just over 60 years ago they gave their blood and lives Canadians, Brits, Polish and many others along with them, to remove the Nazi pestilence from our lands. They liberated not just Europe, Africa and Asia, they liberated Japan and Germany as well, then the Americans gave their former enemies money to rebuild. You only have to look at the world we live in here in the west today and over the last 60 years to realize that the American project is a phenomenal success. Even now millions in China, India and elsewhere are working to realize financial independence and increased liberal freedoms for themselves. The American dream is globalizing. Curtains for Iran's dictatorship?

Never before in the history of global powers has there been one as selfless and benevolent as the USA. They don't just allow our competition and independence, they encourage it and even fight for it. For 50 years they stood guard in Europe and when the iron curtain finally fell the countries of Eastern Europe, every single last one of them even including some Soviet states, chose liberal democracy and capitalism, the ideals of the USA. The Americans are the best friends we have ever had, better than the Brits, French and Germans have even to this day ever been.

The experience of countries like Iran, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Greece, Chile, Afghanistan and many others have been different, they were caught in the cold war and had a bleak role in the doctine of containment. But after the fall of the Soviet Union they all moved forward with the exception of Iran, Pakistan and the Arab world.

I am not the only European who is a heartfelt supporter of the USA, conservatives, liberals and libertarians in Europe, groups that hold office very often, all feel that the US forms the backbone of the great political and commercial success of liberal democracy. As you can witness yourself, European governments often disagree with the US about details, style and timing but not about the essence and direction.

If the Iranian leadership were to produce a bomb and carry out their promise of a 'world without the United States', hope, freedom, peace and prosperity will go with her. A country like the Netherlands which has more than 16 million people on only 41,526 square kilometers of land, cannot feed, clothe nor house its own without the benefits of the global economy. Mass unemployment and great suffering will follow the downfall of the city on the hill. Iran's victory will be hollow, an empty, broken, radioactive shell over which the dark clouds of nuclear winter spell their dread gloom.

After the invasion of Iraq I'm no great fan of George Bush and Dick Cheney and their flunkies but theyre all we have at this time, and we ought to get together and make a plan to stop Khamenei and Ahmadinejad.

I'd like to sign off with what Grand Ayatollah of Iran Hossein-Ali Montazeri said: "Either [Iranian] officials change their methods and give freedom to the people, and stop interfering in elections, or the people will rise up with another revolution ... There is no freedom, repression is carried out in the name of Islam, and that turns people off ... All these court summonses, newspaper closings and prosecutions of dissidents are wrong. These are the same things that were done under the Shah and are now being repeated. And now they are done in the name of Islam and therefore alienate people."

I only wish more people would listen to great men like Montazeri of Iran and Sistani of Iraq.

Nima:

jvd70,
The authority of the president is very limited according to the Iranian Constitution. Contrary to the president of the United States who is the commander in chief, the Iranian president is essentially nothing but the head of the executive branch.
Ahmadinejad does not have the power or authority to command a single soldier, let alone getting the army to attack another nation.
This man is much less powerful than he appears to be. The policy of the West is to make this guy sound serious and thereby interpret his comments as a pretext to an eventual declaration of war by the Islamic Republic against Israel. Within this context the United States and its allies assert that Iran poses a real threat to the existence of the state of Israel and the security of the West. You are buying this argument like many others do. One would expect people with your level of knowledge on the issue to better understand the intricacies of the issue rather than accepting the black and white picture Western media would like to draw.
And I'm just curious what makes the Dutch some of the staunchest supporters of American policies? I really think most other Europeans (and many Americans) are more skeptical of the current US administration.

FM:

It is absolutely clear to me that this Bush administration and their AIPAC friends arranged 9/11 to take over the whole Middle East and beyond. So if it is not the nuclear issue, they would find some other excuse to attack Iran. Before Iran all the noise Israel made was about Iraq and how Saddam is threatening their existence. Now it is Iran that is the absolute threat. After Iran it will be some other enemy that needs to be bombed. Wake up people. Your tax money is used to kill innocent people and is filling up a bunch of Republican fascist's pockets.

BMW:

I appolize if I'm being redundant, but I do not have time to read all the seemingly other posts on this "article". Iran only has mid range missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, so they are no direct threat to the US. "I believe Iran needs to produce nuclear weapons as a defensive mechanism, to deter the U.S. today". How can they deter us if they can't hit us? One thing people don't realize though, is that Iran does support terrorizm against Israel and the West in general. Look at Hezbollah. They fund suicide bombers, kidnappers and murderers. The chance that terrorists could either manage to steal a nuclear weapon or even be supplied one by Iran is what the US is most worried about. Terrorists would have a hard time getting a nuke from any of the other nuclear powers, but what about a country sympathetic (it's leader, not the entire populace) with the aims of terrorism? Even if they managed to get some of the radioactive material, they (the terrorists) could make a very deadly "dirty bomb". I mean, come on! Ahmadinejad, the leader of Iran, has conversations with a boy who died hundreds of years ago that fell down a well, or some such nonsense...He goes to the well to get advice. This is no joke, look it up. As a psychologist, that makes him clinically insane. Do we really want a guy like that with nukes at hand? He must might be crazy enough to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons, knowing that much of his country would, in return, be turned into glass. The author of this article obviously intended on getting all of us intelligent folks riled up...He succeeded.

Rillings:

Maybe a nuclear Iran wouldn't be so bad after all if it promised that the use of nuclear weaponry would be limited to attacks on Israel. The elimination of Israel would certainly be to the advantage of the U.S.A.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL:

Nima, without a signal from Iran that they are serious about security and the stability of the world economy something needs to be done to contain the threat.

We should take Ahmadinejad extremely seriously, the revolutionary guard corps is on the ground in Lebanon organizing terror against Israel and moderates in Lebanon, they are doing what th Iranian regime has been threatening to do for over 25 years. Iran is stoking unrest in Shia communities on the Arab peninsula. So far Ahmadinejad has done what he said he would do, very seriously.

Saying that I am making a mistake in taking him seriously doesn't reassure me at all, he is the President of Iran, a moderately large, wealthy country with a lot of potential. Once he has nukes he can ignore our complaints and ignore any pressure. It is a mistake NOT to take him seriously.

ndp:

Is this all much ado about nothing... Are we all really sure that over time Iran has the ability to really make the bomb without outside help (now that evil Pakistan's proliferation factor is shut)... Maybe, the US and Israel are really jumping the gun here.

fazel:

I think Hoder is lack of knowledge in Nuclear Weapons, either peaceful or harmful. Since he changed his mind for NW(Nuclear Weapons); he supposed to join military instead of introducing himself as jurnalist and reformist.
As a jurnalist, Hoder must change his mind about any NW, otherwise he must delete his title as refomist and whatever title that bring reputation for him. Supporting to have NW for any country, obviously is the same as supporting WAR by any reason, and unfor. it's the sad part---

Hariknaidu:

This discussion reminds me that GWB has finally played out his hand, at playing cheque, and may've been even checkmated!
In substance, what US foreign policy has achieved under GWB is shocking, in particular, to the EU. Iran is closer to EU and means a lot to Germany and other's. By distracting himself from the real issue, GWB has found ways and means to despatch decades of goodwill/friendship in the MiddleEast countries. I don't BUY the argument that he's an "idiot", as MSNBC has it. However, the link between GWB and Israel (under Sharon) got out-of-hand, and, consequently the Palestinian cause for an exchange of land for peace. Under GWB, there is a sad accumulation of lost causes, for which US has faught for decades to bring peace and stability in the region. It's no longer a question whether Iran will become NUCLEAR or not: now the question is WHEN and under what geopolitical circumstances (given ethnic and religious divide within the region itself). Inevitably, the Iranian star is finally rising - after the Shah's reign. This time Iran will have to defend itself.
Not only against erstwhile friends, such as US and EU, but also against regional adversaries. Nuclear weapons will demand respect for Iranian sovereignty. So, the argument is no longer in favour of US and Israel. Global opinion is shifting rapidly from US/Israeli perspective on Arab/Islamic countries. The unwarranted terminolgy: "ISLAMIC FASCISTS" is not only idiotic, from a historical perspective, but reflects more on the officials who are allowing GWB to use such terms! It only reasserts what the Persians are saying about hegemonic American policy. May be, one must not forget US poor understanding of Persian culture and its historical context. May be it's US arrogance of power, as Sen. Fullbright claimed, when revewing the Vietnam War policy, which will finally undo US influence in the region, and abroad. It's sad to repeat it, but this WhiteHouse has from the beginning focused its entire foreign policy objective on undermining it's own historical legacy after WW11. I'm not sure they get it - even now!
Hari

Darrell:

Iran's leaders have made no secret of their goal to eliminate the State of Israel. Israel's leaders have made no similar statements concerning any Arab/Islamic countries. Israel is surrounded by countries that want it to become extinct. Israel has conventional and nuclear weapons to defend itself from such extinction. Iran has no threat that requires it to obtain nuclear weapons to defend itself. Its only need for such weapons is to deter others from attacking them in their continued surrogate war against Israel. Israel simply wants to be able to live in peace with its neighbors. Iran has done all that it can to make sure that Israel can never live in peace. If we don't deal harshly with Iran sometime in the near future, the whole world will suffer harsh consequences.

Bryan:

for those who keep saying iran has never attacked anyone in their 200yr history yet israel has been the aggressor, please wake up. who is calling the u.s. the great satan and saying that israel should be wiped off the face of the earth? that's right iran. there's a reason why israel is seen as an aggressor and that's because without a premptive attack against egypt, jordan, and syria back in 67', they may not have been around today. also, if israel hadn't taken out saddam's nuclear plant, kuwait may not have been liberated from saddam's 1991 invasion. oh and one more thing. israel didn't start the latest incursion into palestine. hezbollah started it because iran wanted to take international attention off of its nuclear program. people need to wake up and realize iran is the problem.

DDE -1/17/61-:

"Crisis there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties."

Surprisingly, lessons learned over forty-years ago have already been forgotten. Without a combined military and diplomatic measured response, sustainable peace will never be achieved.

AK:

Uh, all you people saying that India will attack Iran...India and Iran are moving closer together on many fronts and were united against the Taliban, so there is very little likelihood of a conflict emerging between those two countries.

av:

Do you think the Iranians are stupid? Iraq and North Korea were both accused of having WMD. Iraq was attacked because it DIDN't and North Korea has been left alone because it DOES.

With American cowboys talking of regime change is it any wonder that Iran has decided that the only way to avoid war with big brother and his local side kick is to have a nuke.

Nima:

jvd70,
You're making the same mistake again. Basically, my point is don't take Ahmadinejad's words too seriously. This man just wants to piss Americans off, just as they piss him off, by making overtly irrational comments about the U.S. and Israel. This kind of talk is not new. What is new is the fact that Iranians now have a moron for president that uses extremist clergy statements in his official speeches without really meaning them (and trust me, most politicians in the West know this even though they usually state the opposite).
As for the quest for energy, if the U.S. wasn't in need of more energy resources, attacking Iraq, supporting the totalitarian Saudi state and the huge amount of money going into research on alternative energy resources would not make any sense.
As a Canadian, I am well aware of Canada's massive oil reserves. But the tar-sand reserves cannot be extracted easily. Canada extracts little oil from Alberta because it is just too expensive to do so and Canada's energy requirements are quite limited compared to that of the U.S. or China.
The fact that America is not currently buying Iranian oil and gas doesn't necessarily suggest that it will not need them in the future. America is constantly expanding economically and has a growing consumer population, all of which make its quest for more energy resources a reasonable approach.
There's little doubt that the Islamic Republic is far from the type of government the Iranian people deserve. But the nuclear issue is not just about the aggressiveness of the Islamic Republic. It is a matter of the West acknowledging the importance and power of Iran in the region and let it play a role in the regional politics.
The United States of America is not a country in the Middle East. They shouldn't be allowed to overrule all the nations that really do reside in that region. A nuclear Iran provides just the right balance of power.

test:

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jvd70, Amsterdam, NL:

Nima, thanks for your excellent response.

The people of Iran deserve a democratic government that spends the incredible amount of money being made in oil exports on their well being and not on Russian and Chinese weapons, not on funding proxy armies in Lebanon and elsewhere, not in buying influence and not on building an antiliberal coalition worldwide. Until the fall of the Soviet Union the USA has tried to contain the Soviets which is why they supported the Shah. Once the Soviet Union was gone, all former Warsaw pact countries became democratic almost overnight. Very recently the current US administration has pressured the EU to accept Turkey into the EU soon so that democracy and human rights in Turkey will be safeguarded. South Korea, Taiwan and many other formerly dictatorial anticommunist states have all rapidly moved to democracy once the need for containment of the Soviet Union was gone. Iran, Pakistan and Arab countries however have utterly failed their own people.

When the USA talks about military intervention in Iran it is about preventing it from acquiring nuclear weapons, President Ahmadinejad of Iran however actively seeks 'a world without the United States', in the sense that he wants to see the country itself reduced to insignificance. It is an entirely different aspiration. Ahmadinejad and Khamenei are threatening the US and Israel with destruction and calling them the enemy, Great Satan, etc. We can't just believe it is all empty posturing, we must listen to what they themselves say. They say we in the West are their enemy and so I am very afraid that people like Ahmadinejad want to blow up our cities because Ahmadinejad needs to stand up and face the Great Satan so that the Mahdi will come. Considering what he said after the UN speech http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/11/184cb9fb-887c-4696-8f54-0799df747a4a.html I am afraid he might believe that he himself will be the Mahdi. I think this fear is very justified because we've had powerful people make and carry out such threats before, time and again throughout history.

The US is not importing oil from Iran at the moment and Canada has some 1.7 trillion barrels of oil hidden in its tar sands, the current price of oil makes exploitation viable so the US isn't the country with the greatest need to secure future energy supplies. Europe and China are.

Namvar:

Mr. Ali B? - How do you know what the Iranian people want? Have they had a chance to debate the nuclear issue?

You call having the mullahs as integrity and self respect? What self respect is it when your country in the 21St century buries women up to their waist in a sack and stones them to death. Is this your self respect?

sanazk:

Gene & Brook... we get it. You're both girls... i doubt either of you has stepped outside of your town though, at least the guy you mocked speaks more than the one language you struggle with. In addition please stop believing everything you hear on CNN - seriously, it's for your own good. Hit up your local library, pick up some history books, and learn about our ancient and beautiful Iran. I am an Iranian-Jew and expect you as a human to have respect for one of the world's first and greatest civilizations, thank us for the wine that you drink today. Ok? Yes, that includes white wine as well. What basis do you have for your "opinions"? The US media is controlled and biased - you're feeding into the TV-brainwash-scheme wake up!

Why don't you ask Bush to do something about your school system or health care? Oh wait, you can't. He's your president and YOU elected him though right? But you can't tell him how to spend your hard-earned tax bucks can you? Even if you did find the time to in your busy work days trying to pay off all your debts and the mortgage on that home that will be yours in 30 years... maybe. If you lived in Iran, you'd be a home OWNER... not a working bee paying for momma's big appetite.

Have a bit of decency (ok try hard) and at least try and sound intelligent by seperating a country's president's words and the wants and beliefs of the people of that country.

Politics are not as black and white as you try to make it seem, especially when speaking about a region with complicated cultural intricacies and linguistic barriers that OFTEN lead to misconstrued semantics that are fed to you by title-hungry integrity-lacking "journalists"

Ahmadinejad and Bush are far more similar than they are different, they both look like monkies for example.

Israel and Iran have had a love/hate relationship for some time and as aforementioned they do have common interests where their distaste for the Arabs are concerned and also another little fact is that a good number of the Israeli government officials are Iranian Jews, and trust me no Jew would ever attack the land in which the grave of Esther lies nevertheless a proud Iranian-Jew, as we ALL are.

For those of you who speak of bombing so casually... I can only ask who do you think you are in this world to decide whether a human life is worth living or not. Who do you think you are to decide whether my child is to an orphan today? Who do you think you are to decide whether or not to destroy history... to alter the future. Bush will most likely not be alive in 50 years but if I exercise consistently... I WILL be here and I CARE about MY future on this planet.

Until a couple of months ago most Americans didn't even know the difference between Iran and Iraq and now everyone's on a pedestal (or behind their office flat screen drinking starbucks, living in comfort) deciding the fate of innocent lives. Americans should be protesting the war in Lebanon not trying to spread more hate - that is terrorism in its simplest form or at its very vortex no?

The US has taught and trained some of its biggest enemies today i.e. Castro, Saddam, Bin-Laden, et al. The US helped put the current Iranian regime in power. Karma anyone? Just saying.

I don't think there's a single Iranian around the world (unless he/she is suffering from a severe psychological disorder) that supports the current regime in Iran. We have the US & UK to thank for the wonderful revolution that effected and displaced the lives of millions of Iranians (which I must say, is good in a way because I have a relative to stay with in most countries I visit) however, what we as Iranians (whether we are Jewish, Christian, Muslem, and/or Zorastrian) ALL agree on is a free, democratic Iran and although, we appreciate the concern of your government...oil, geopolitical stratee-gery, and flat out greed and all we still think we can handle it on our own without bloodshed. What we need from you is support to be rid ourselves of this tyrannic theocracy. My mom says that "Iran is like a gorgeous woman that everyone wants to F&^%" (because of her natural assets of course - pun intended) and now the US is trying to make a move, but don't underestimate these Mullahs... after all you taught them all they know. History has shown that Iran is not a chic to be messed with, so let's show our support for the reformists (NOT to be mistaken with the MKO... MKO is a professed terrorist group... get that one straight guys - please for all our sakes). And let's get this show on the road, cause if Iran and US connect again, both countries will benefit TREMENDOUSLY and then the European Union could become the "Former European Union" Maybe? Sorry, I just saw "V" for Vendetta ;)

Peace & love to everyone - Iran I love you, I will always love you... till my very last breath and I can't wait to come back and enjoy your beauty, and finally share my rich heritage with my American husband.

Mark n:

Well, a lot of comments about Irans right to continue with its neucular energy developments and research have been made already above which I totally agree with but do not want to repeat.Anyway I look at it this way....It is a simple case of discrimination and double standards if USA and Europe expect and ask Iran to stop nuke development regardelss of it being for energy production or military(which there is no proof of the development being for the bomb so far, the story as Sadams WMD stocks which were never found) when other counteries like USA itself, UK, France, Isreal, India, Pakistan, Korea and others are allowed to practice the same and have developed and possess neucular arms.
Either make it a policy for ALL COUNTERIES ON EARTH to dispose of their nuke arsenals/ambitions or let it be the same ruling/rights for everyone.

Eric Jette:

Dorood "Hoder",

Please allow this American Bhuddist "infidel" who's granddad helped build the very first atomic bomb clue you in to why the premis of several aspects of your thinking two years ago is still valid, and why various premis behind statements made in the above article are badly in need of reexamination, from a logical and non-emotional mindset.

1. The environmental aspects of nuclear energy:

Traffic patterns have no bering on the geographical probability of a major earthquake occuring in Iran. Lack of transparent environmental and geological study including public imput on these issues alone should give any rational Iranian pause for thought as to the logical environmental concequences of the future start-up of Bushir (or any other proposed facility) may ultimately become manifest in the region. And this is not simply an Iranian issue, many Gulf nations have expressed exactly this concern, officially.

I just list one environmental aspect here, as my time is limited, but there are many others that need to be factored in.

2. "Political" considerations as you call them, boil down to a question of regime intent, both in regards towards nations in the region, and the international community. As well as its intent towards the people of Iran.
Intent can be redily assesesed in word and deed of the regime itself over a long period of time, and over multiple presidencies, of which the latest selected is on record of stated intent to wipe nations off the map, including the USA.
You talk of the situation in Iraq, but not of the regime's intent to destabilize a soverign government that exists there today, which with more than enough evidence shows the non-peaceful intent of the regime toward its neigbors, via proxi groups it supports with arms and propaganda. (I'll be kind to you here and simply make the initial assesment that you are also a victim of "spin").

If anything, the abysmal human rights practices of the regime are worse that they've ever been in the entire 27 year history of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
By way of proof from their own lips, the regime just recently stated that they will kill each and every political prisoner now in custody, should the UN Sec. Council impose sanctions over the nuclear issue.

Again, I don't have time to write a hundred pages covering all the human rights aspects that remain valid premis to your original thinking, but I would point out that the people of Iran have no say in nuclear matters at present, and that is in itself a violation of their civil liberties, being slaves to the intent of the regime.

A regime which by the way, has over the last two years, recruited by public advertizment in a regime-run publication, some 52,000 Martyrs willing to blow themselves up in suicide opperations against US and allied government's interests in the region, including Iraq and other Gulf nations.
A regime who's selected president has gone on record as saying that Martyrdom is the highest order of individual achievment, and who's Iranian Hizbollai supporters of the 12th imman have declared EVERY Iranian to be potential martyrs of the revolution.

3. Nuclear weapons assesment:

I'm probably among a dozen or so people in the world still living who has held a piece of "trinitite" in my hands. This is the fused sand from the first atomic explosion, bubbled green glass, encased in leaded crystal, given to the department heads and leading scientists at Los Alamos at the end of WW2, including my granddad. The rest has been bulldozed underground at the Trinity test site in White Sands. It is the most concrete example I can show any one of the risk of nuclear war, or the results of it.
Any leader holding this potential future in hand will have something to remember, and think about.

It took America just about 27 months, from 1942-45 to build an industry from scratch, based on designs from scratch, building a city from scratch to build a bomb from scratch, with only theories to go on, in the middle of the largest and most costly war in history. Yet we did this and ended that war that had cost 50 million lives up to that point with the weapon that no one knew would even work at the time it was being produced. 

Everyone who worked on the first bomb, being as uncivilized a weapon as it is, believed it would cause mankind to forever choose peace instead of war after it ended WW2. Unfortunately, that direction was not taken, at the expense of the environment, and to the continued threat to all life on this planet.

I stress here the biggest "what if?" is what we might have accomplished as the Human species had we chosen to live in peace, instead of fear after WW2.

Anyone who has witnessed the birth of one's child can tell you that yes indeed you create your own reality, the question is what do we wish to create for ourselves as reality on this planet, now and for our children's, and their children's future? Not just in this country, but the world as a whole, as an international vision.
Inherently, change is viewed with suspicion, as a threat to culture and ways of tradition and ethical belief systems. As it applies to developing countries in this nuclear age, the post-cold war aftermath presents a vast paradox that present no easy solutions, and has culminated in the reality of the war on terrorism as it exists today.

We in America share a concept, united we stand, divided we fall, 9/11 has forced the world to grasp this concept. Ready or not, globalization is at hand, a global response to chaos in the form of potential nuclear terrorism.

So it is now out of a sense of duty to my grandfather's memory I hereby state this for the record, knowing that I am of sound mind, and good heart, and do my best to remain objective. Objectivity can be hard to come by where it concerns family, or politics, as we are all human beings, and of a species prone to emotions, at the expense of logic.

If there is one thing about people that's a given, it's that they can only change themselves. You can try to understand them, change their circumstances, try to point the roads to peace, but in the end, they must want it for themselves, knowing what the alternatives are.

There is a situation soon to be pressed regarding Iran, over multiple issues outstanding, both acute and systemic, with far reaching ramifications for non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, human rights, and the general stability of the Mideast.

The IRI is fast pushing the free world to another alternative that could be far worse, if the IRI does produce a nuclear weapon before the people decide their own fate, and remove the threat both to them and the international community.

Now I hear a fair amount of talk that the US is just using this as an excuse to promote "regime change". But the reality is if the regime isn't changed soon, the mullahs who are willing to martyr 10 million recruits (as also noted in IRI statements), and is on record of having an agenda of obliterating nations off the map, would certainly be willing to use such a weapon on their own people to make it look for all intents and purposes as if the Israeli's or the US had just attacked them, thereby creating the needed justification for holy war (or un-holy war depending on one's mindset), and thereby create the apocalyptic conditions of prophesy to hasten the mahdi's return.

Now Iran has had at least 18 years, lots of help from other nations, black market smugglers, and their scientists have had proven designs to work with, and in all probability now has in its possesion, a handful of nuclear devices smuggled in after being bought on the black market.

My conclusion is this,... and I hope you will all consider very carefully what you wish for, because one of the basic flawed premis in modern political mythology is that having a nuclear weapon buys national security.

Regardless of flaws in US policy that one may perceive, the risk the Islamic Republic poses to the Iranian people far outweighs by orders of magnitude, the risk the US government poses to you.

Why is that?

Because for the last 60 years since we dropped 2 atomic bombs to end a war that took over 50 million lives, my government has done everything in its power to make sure not another one gets dropped....by anyone.

However, given the Iranian government's intent and actions, it is apparent to many globally that in order to maintain global peace and security, the current government of Iran must go....either quietly into the night, voluntarily returning to their mosques never to participate in politics again. Or by removal at the hands of the people themselves and/or be removed by the will of nations and force of arms.

At present, the US government has still a policy of "behavior change" in effect, has made a generous offer to resolve the "nuclear problem" diplomaticly in concurrance with other nations and a UN resolution mandating compliamce with international norms.

The regime has turned it down, and is apparently unwilling to be a functional member of the family of nations.

Don't blame the US for the choices the regime makes, nor the results that the consequences will ultimately manifest.

Those of the Muslim faith, as well as those Iranians who read this have my great sympathy for the choice that you must now make as individuals, to preserve your nation and the umma itself from those who lead a great nation and people over oblivion's cliff.

"Hoder" I trust you will also reflect on what has been written here with utmost sincerity.

ba sepaas....

EJ

Orang:

Ladies & Gentlemen

Iran is now passed the point of no return in nuclear technology and no matter what happens,2 years or 5 years from now will get the bomb.Military attacks or economic santions cannot stop Iran anylonger so don,t worry if Iran doesnot have the nukes already which some inteligence reports suggest that it has aquired 4 nuke warheads in 1990 from the russian mafia,it will soon get them.

It does not matter who is in power in our nation mulahs,shahis or others they will all stress on getting the bomb.

When we live in such dangerous neighburhood like the middleast,there are no other choices.

Amin:

When will Iranians see that they cannot count on outsiders?

Iranians looked at the Arab muslim invaders as saviours from their Zoroastrian clerical elite, a group that would offer them equality and freedom and escape fromt he tyrrany of their religios leaders (sound familiar?) and what they got it 1400 years of national decline and forced worshipping of a Mecca-based Arab cult that insults every sensibility and the dignity of Iranians.

Iranians counted on Turkish mercenaries and tribes to provide protection for them in the 10th-13th century, which culminated in the genocide that the Mongols inflincted on them.

No one is going to protect us but us in my opinion. We need nukes and we should trust any nation.

Nima:

Gene,
Your logic is typical of people who watch FOX News. Iran's influence goes way beyond the oil and natural gas it has, or its influence over Hizbullah or Iraqi Shiites.
Iran has full control over the Strait of Hurmuz. This is where up to 70% of oil exports from the Middle East have to pass through. Iran has a military arsenal full of long-range weaponry that can target Israel from Tehran. Iran has the largest military in the Middle East with over 750,000 active duty officers and about 1.5 million reserves. Iranian military technology is second only to Israel's in the M.E. with 200,000 full-time engineers at its service (you may look up this info in Wikipedia). Iran also enjoys wide support among muslims (Shia and Sunni alike) who now see Iran as the only muslim state that has the courage to oppose America and Israel explicitly. Iran's strategic position at the heart of the Middle East and in the vicinity of the revitalizing power, Russia, make it a very very attractive target for the United States.
You are denying the fact that America has always been interested in what Iran has to offer. That is pure ignorance. The United States supported the Shah, despite knowing about his horrible record on democracy and human rights, and even orchastrated a military coup against the first democratic government in the Middle East (that of Mossadeq) just to ensure Iran remains at its service.
The United States Congress is now providing a 75 million dollar budget to support any cause that may directly or indirectly help topple the regime in Tehran and set the clock back to the time of Shah's & Co.
Just sober up, Gene! You know how America loves to have control over Iran. Your sentimental American nationalism just doesn't let you acknowledge it.

Nima:

jvd70,
Now let me quote the Iranian President in his interview with 60 Minutes: "The government of the Unites States threatens us on an every-day basis. What do you expect us to do? say nothing?"
Ahmadinejad is a man I hate. I truly believe that his comments about the Holocaust and the state of Israel are fundamentally wrong and threaten the national interests of Iran and its move towards mastering nuclear technology.
That said, I believe all of this is just a war of words. The Americans keep reminding Iran that "the military option is on the table", and the Iranians keep reminding them that they could do a lot of harm to US interests in the Middle East. None of that rhetoric means much.
Iranians (including Mr. Ahmadinejad) know very well that there's no point in posing a serious military threat against the United States or Israel. And Americans and Israelis know that very well, too.
Beyond all the nonsense by both parties on how they can harm the other lies the real issue: will the interests of the United states continue to be served in the Middle East with a new military, economic and political regional superpower?
I don't think America is an imperialist nation (your examples of prosperous Japan and Germany provide good arguments). But the United States fears that its ever-increasing energy needs may not be fulfilled given the depleting oil resources, most of which resides in the Middle East. For the largest superpower in the history of mankind to sustain itself, expanding and securing new resources is inevitable.
The United States' interests in the Middle East are at a serious clash with the rising power and influence of the Anti-American Iranian state. They just need a way to keep Iran under control, and Iran just needs a way to defend itself and have a say on anything that the U.S. intends to do to the Middle East. That is the rationale behind Iran's quest for nuclear arms and America's fierce opposition.

Farah:

I am an Iranian and I am extremely disappointed by the government of Iran for not making the "bomb" when they had the chance to make it. Witnessing the brutality of US army in Iraq and their carbon copied inhumane behavior by Israeli army in Lebanon, I am convinced that I must have the bomb to keep these wolves away from my country. I would sleep better if I knew we have the ultimate deterrent. US is terrorizing us.

Ali B.:

Mr Namvar,

People's like you, in one way or another, are the source of suffering
of Iranian people for half of the century. You failed measerably and
now that you have gone down the drain, taking the mission to send
westerners to the hell vis-a-vis the middle east. How long you want
to deceive Westerners for your self interest but pretending to be pro-democracy?

There is an issue here and that is somebody is saying that Iran
has to have N-bomb. It is not the place for you to convey out of
subject grievences. You understand! People like you along with
Shah's SAVAK imposed on Iranian people what you are suggesting
here. Sooner or later all westerners will realize how people
like you fed them with wrong Info and hence let them have a
hostile attitude toward the region and jeoperdise their people's
legitimate interests.

Why don't you have your own site and invite people to talk about the
issues you are interested in and make it attractive enough to be
published by other sites?

Hence, see what Mr Drakhshan says and not to try to assasinate
his character. Is this the democracy you are advocating? How do
you know who is who? Do your reasoning and convey to the readers
what he is saying does not hold true. That's what is expected
of you. Hence Just measure the content of his article, Mr pro-democracy!!!

When you are pro-democracy, why shouldn't people follow the
Mullas? At least they have some integrity and self-respect!

EnSun:

One goog thing that came out of Iraq and
Afghanistan was that showed to all educated and intlectuals in the world and specialy Iran/Middle East that how untruthfull is the US and west claime for democracy is therfore the last bastion of the western democracy lovers feeling is falling down faster then expectations , nuless Kareen Hugues changes religen and becomes muslim that will convence the muslims we have good intentions for them

Orang:

Yeh chikenhawks are at it again but this time it is gonna be a diferent story.

Even the though of attacking Iran by USA or Israel(who btw cannot do a thing without USA's premision)is a political,economic,militarly and security suicide.

Just lookk at the recent defeats of USA and Israeli troops by Iraqi militia and Hezbulah,what makes you think they can take on Iran who is the strongest overall
country in the middleast!Iran has a 72 million population,huge teritory,second oil & gas reserves in the world,very strong but understimated military,starong enough economy to withstand a war with sanctions and finaly has the power to deal some tremendous blows to USA and Israeli interests in some very strategic areas areas of the middleast inlcluding the straight of Hurmuz where %70 of the world's oil passes thru.

Trust me on this one even the most republican neocons know that useing force against Iran is out of the question, they will never attck Iran.

EnSun:

Iran has to develope nuclear wepons to stop the western agressions toward the resourcess of the middle east agree 100% with Iran being a nuclear state through the history security of the middel east is been responsiblity of the Iran and not the western cuntries ,who knows Iran talking so boldly must have already developed somthing that may suprise the west

mohammad:

Gene,

To say the 1953 coup had nothing to do with oil is like saying the current Iraq war has nothing to do with oil. The 1953 example is much more obvious, and stemmed from the fact that the brits wanted more oil money in their coffers. As for the Iraq war, do you really think it was for democracy and all that? Of all the corrupt regimes in the world, why did Mr Bush pick that one to topple? Leaving aside the argument already raised that no one spoke out when the Kurds were being gassed by Saddam 20 yrs ago (the US actually lied and said Iran had done it), did anyone raise a finger when the genocide of 1,000,000 people occured in Rwanda just 10 yrs ago, and what about now, with the ongoing genocide in Sudan?

As far as the imperialism question, everyone keeps saying those days are over, but it has never left, it only takes a new form. These days it is even more abstractly economic, one big reason the US ecomony is strong is perception + confidence in the dollar, the US needs friendly markets, one reason the US economy is afloat because of petrodollars, the fact that all oil transactions are made in dollars, when that changes to petroeuros (as Iran will soon do)or petroyens, the US will be in trouble.

Gene, as far as "the idea that Iran needs nuclear weapons because of some imagined U.S. aggression is exactly backwards." What is Bush's favourite phrase regarding Iran? "All options are on the table" One big holdup to the nuclear negotiations (in Iran and North Korea) is lack of a US security guarantee against attack. If there is no threat then why does Mr Bush keep it on the table or not even bring it up in negotiations. Add this to the new pre-emptive Nuke policy the US has adopted and you can see why Iran should feel nervous.

Namvar:

This is just why secular democracies are under threat from the fundamentalist states and terror groups.
The Washington Post supresses or pays no attention to the pro-democracy movement in Iran, yet a vile lackey of the Islamic Republic gets his own column and platform in the Western media.

Alex S.:

Countries such as India, Pakistan, and Israel in that region have started this nuclear race.

The only way you can stop such thinking is to make all of these three countries to sign nuclear non prof. treaty and disarm them. Other than that, people like this guy will come out justifying why Iran should have atomic bombs!

Ariya:

Even the most secular Iranians, including those who do not approve the current regime, are sick and tired of these US and Israelis warmongers, with their arrogant, coward and cheap attitude.

I agree with the author, we need to take care of ourselves.

And this is for Brook who feels insulated because his country is called imperialist and he accuses people being ignorant! You are ignorant, and if I may add an idiot.
Who did arm that genocidal dictator, Sadam? Who provided him with Chemical weapons?

You do not give a damn about democracy, and you are damn ignorant if you do not aware of the policies of your own government. Blackmailing is something that your government practices in daily bases.

Give us a break!

Manish:

Very Honest Post and honest responses. I like response from Philo Cayambe. This is first ever response, from an american, that is rooted in reality rather than prejudice.

My two cents: My only fear is that shortsighted policies of Bush may plunge world into 3rd world war. I'm worried that he's still got well over two years to accomplish that.

Gene:

Thomas,
First, Gene is not a woman's name. But that's neither here nor there.
If by "1957" you are referring to the coup against Mossadeq, then that was 1953, and it occurred because the British, in one of their final imperial spasms, had convinced Pres. Eisenhower that Mossadeq was planning on defecting to the USSR. Whether you defend that action or not, it had little to do with U.S. desires for Iranian oil, which we would've preferred to acquire on an open market. When was the last time the U.S. took over a countries oil reserves? We didn't do it in Iraq, nor in Saudi Arabia. I doubt you have a good answer.
In fact, I'm well aware of Iran's geopolitical positioning, as well as its oil reserves. There are many more countries that can be listed with similar endowments, whom the U.S. has no intention of attacking. For example, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela. The U.S. benefits the most from free trade, and not from imperial take-overs.
The point is broader, though. I see nothing in your statement responding to the simplest and most important of my points: the U.S. would not have any qualms with Iran were it not for their support for terror, undermining of the peace process, and nuclear ambitions. As such, the idea that Iran needs nuclear weapons because of some imagined U.S. aggression is exactly backwards.

Aburdeshir:

If someone can think of a way of 'effectively disarming' a nuclear state like Pakistan, we should apply the same formula to the US, Russia, and other nuclear powers. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

Also, the man who said that 'the Iranian regime that treats its own people so badly would certainly have less regard for non-Iranians' is simply assuming that every state is as racist as America is. I bet you know within 1% how many American soldiers have died in Iraq. How many Iraqis have been killed, buddy? The British Medical Journal Lancet estimated - in early 2005! - that around 100,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed.

Why won't you chickenhawks stop using tactics that so easily backfire- an aggressive, nuclear-armed state, which thumbs its nose at world opinion on top of that of its own judges? Does this sound familiar?

Orang:

A nuclear Iran will never attck another country especialy not Israel because Iran and Israel both have a common enemy which is all of the arab nations.Even this moron Ahmadinejad who is just a popet of the regim and holds no power whatsoever is not crazy enough to ever use nukes against Israel,it doesn,t matter if it is to defend the Shieh Iraq or brother Syria.Israel also knows this therefore will never attck Iran's nuke facilities.

Iran's nukes will only be used as deterent just like what USA and USSR did during the cold war.

Seyed Ahmad Mosavi:

What many have not come to terms with is that Iran does not need a nuclear weapon.

Any military attack on Iran will result in retaliation so devastating to the world's oil and gas supply that the entire global economy will instantly plunge into a black hole that will make the Great Depression seem like Utopia.

During the recent war games Iranian Basij forces had hundreds of clean up crews with protective suits practicing the gathering up of residue from depleted uranium weaponry, packing them into missiles, and firing them into the Green Zone and nearby American military bases. The Pentagon claims depleted uranium is harmless, so most likely they will not be too worried about such a response.

Thomas:

Gene

You have got to be kidding me maddam. Please try, just try and not listen to FOX. Was Iran following all of the evil things you mentioned before 1957? If the US does not need Iran then why would they sponser such a dramatic coup to over throw a democratically appointed government? Maybe they were just practicing?!?!? Did you even know that Iran has the second largest proven oil reserves behind Saudi Arabia? Did you know that Iran has the second largest gas reserves behind Russia? Have you looked on a map to see where it is located? Right between Asia and Europe, and Middle East, and Africa? Come on lady, wake up and smell the roses, or the bombs you just dropped. Ignorance does breed!!

Amir @ N. I.:

Iran does not need a nuclear weapon to defend herself, simply because a nuclear weapon would pave the way for US and Israeli forces to occupy Iran. (Iran will not have enough time to produce enough bombs to counter the threats posed by US and Israel).

What Iran needs (and is doing) is to master the technology of producing fuel for nuclear reactors (which is undeniably in accordance with her rights, her international obligations, and NPT). Being able to enrich uranium is as deterrent as having a nuclear bomb. (because you can build one whenever you are under attack, or whenever you feel the need to do so).

Arash/Tehran:

Maryam

You sound like one of these disgruntled iranian women who have found there freedom otside Iran. Now you are a westerner?!?!? speaking against the tyrants in Iran? Study a little harder madam because Iran did not become what it is today because it wanted to. The only way Iran could ever crawl out from underneath the huge rock that the west imposed on it was by being completly self sufficient in every aspect. Did you forget the war. Did anyone come to our aid? No, the whole world stood by while our people were hit by missles barrages carrying bio and chem agents from UK and US. I don't know if the mullahs are making n-bombs or not. But what I can tell you is that enrichment must be done by Iran in Iran. We can not trust the west or the Russians to supply fuel to us. The world now days is about profits not alliances. Iran is not as crazy as disgruntled people like your self make it seem. When Iran becomes independent and the powers that be leave it alone, you will see what a beautiful flower it can be. The imposition of sanctions and the constant threat of attack has made Iran what it is today. But it has also found great power out of its oppression. It stands up to the West when the fearful Arabs do not have the gumption to. So be proud of where you come from, don't sell out your self and your heritage.

Jason/US:

The only thing I am hearing from America is what the local news outlet which is owned by a rich politician who owes favors to one group or another is telling them. In there eyes we have become a bunch of pathetic, beleive anything they tell us morons. This puts us in great parrel as these news outlets can spin there story how ever they want and we will listen and beleive. After WW2 we created over 232 coups across the world in order to keep control of resources in the name of our national interests. ITS GOT TO STOP!! We have to be self reliant in every area. We have to find alternate fuels now. Listen to some of your own responses. How many times do you have to be lied to before the light bulb goes off and you finally question what they are telling you and stand up for what is right? These people leading our country are buisness tycoons with only profits in mind. They will risk the lives of our sons and daughters so that they can reep a profit. There was a time in this country when people stood for something. All of this being said, why shouldn't they have a nuke? We have them and are the only country to have used them and are building more of them, and are talking about how we will use nukes again....against them. We give them to people we like, we turn a blind eye to people that want to build them that we like but we know should not have them. We use them as bargaining chips to get people to do things we want them to do. If the local bully is using a baseball bat to threaten me, you bet I am going to try and find a baseball bat bigger then his. Stop the idiocy America, wake up before we realize that the world is our enemy and the resources are gone. We are half way there. I would rather have a world full of friends then full of enemies when that day comes. Do not let arrogance get in the way of progress. For me 9/11 was a wakeup call. I finally realized that I can be affected by people on the other side. So I started reading not only what my media was telling me but started reading what the enemy was writing, and also what the neutral parties were writing, in the hopes that I could come to a conclusion on my own! A middle ground. If Iran thinks Nukes are the way they can feel more secure then they will get it one way or another. If we bomb Iranian sites, they will build them in secret after quiting the NPT. If we attack and over throw them we will have the same situation maybe worse then when we sponsered the coup of 1957. The only way to solve these issues are through dialogue and negotiation. If we are sincere in wanting democracy and peace then this is the only way!! You can not force people by military means to become peaceful. The military option only accomplishes very short term results. In the end they will do whatever it takes as we would to feel safe.

Maryam:

Quote:"Maryam wrote "Having a nuclear armed Israel does NOT justify to have a nuclear armed Iran"
~Yet you forget that North Korea has nukes, India, Pakistan, Russia, China and Israel too and all those countries can target Tehran."
No, I do not forget that. But nobody is arguing that Iran should have nuclear weapons because China or India have them. So if this is the line of argument, hey, why not arm the whole planet with nuclear arms? Why stop at Iran?
The problem is it takes only ONE mad preson to bring the doomsday upon us.
I am dumbfounded by some of the comments here. I still fail to see how atrocities of one country in a war can justify another country with an illogical, rethorical, totalitarian government to get nuclear weapons?
I understand that US and Israel have wreaked havoc on the Middle East to say the least, but let's not lose our reason here.
Just because everyone is angry with US and Israel does not justify to wish Iran have nuclear arms.
It is a path ending in more destruction and nothing good can come out of those ruins.
Everyone who has lived in Iran, if they are honest with themselves, would understand that the Iranian regime is very good in propaganda and lying. I am very doubtful that they are only after nuclear energy. If that is the case, they should come clean about it. It is more likely that they are really after nuclear arms and try to deceit the world the way they have done it to their own people.
I don't know what the best solution is. The most optimistic way is for the Iranian regime to accept the reason. I hope so. But it is not likely.
Sanctions will probably won't work.
And the tragedy, or comedy of it is that they are still years away from the bomb. It is all a whole rethorical propaganda that has wrapped the regime's leaders in itself and the scary thing is that the dictators usually believe their own propaganda.
We might just go for a war over slogans.
The logical way is for Iran to come totally clean about its nuclear program, but they don't do that. There are crazy elements there that can't take back their slogans and those elements are in power now.
They are also crazy elements in the US who are just waiting for an excuse, and Iran is just giving them that excuse.

Gene:

Reflexive anti-American paranoia is the only reason I could see for an otherwise reasonable western person to believe Iran "needs" Nuclear weapons. The idea that the U.S. would attack Iran for some kind of vaguely defined "imperial" aims of oil acquisition is patently absurd. That absurdity is the logic behind all of the claims made in this article. Don't think your homeland so important, sir. The U.S. has no ambitions on Iran, and never has. Were it not for Iran's aggressive undermining of the peace process, support for murderous terrorist groups in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq, and their desire for the acquisitions of nuclear weapons with which they rabidly assert they will "whipe Israel off the map," the U.S. would have no qualms with the country. Your logic is backward, and so is this surreal article.

Ali B.:

The only way the world will be free from N-bomb is to let every single country get the
capability to make it (or to master the basic knowledge for doing so). If that happens then The ones who are bullying the world, with such weapons, will be willing to negotiate the matter. Hence:

VIVA Iran for empowering itself and possibly others to bring about a real Nuclear Disarmament in the world.

Remember a saying from a few centuries ago Iranian poet: "When Destruction (mal-functioning) gets to the highest, you see the light of construction (positive changes)".

Any other attitude will let the world keep its Master/Slave relation for ever. Hence any trouble should be tolarated to achieve the grand goal of all nations live on the earth with mutual respect. God bless those who are helpful in this regard.

Cindy Cooperfield:

Iran must and should strive to built an atomic bomb to stop united states from manipulating their country. Mullas are powerfull and I wish them more power in light of insane G.W.B persident. The record of Mullas are much cleaner than G.W.B or the wimpy Tony B.

Kamangeer:

Please go to this video and watch why Iran needs to defend herself. The evidence is powerful. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7866929448192753501&pr=goog-sl&hl=en

copy and paste entire url in your address bar.

Peace.

Kamangeer

Arast:

The recent events proved that the Israeli generals were smoking something very strong which smelled pretty bad. Wake up and see what they did in Lebanon.

Israel has not abided by or implemented over 100 U.N. resolutions; saddenly they wanted to implement only one of them. Very funny. It seems that their generals are not the only people who smoke something very strong.

Nuclear Scientist:

Here is a recent comment by an Israeli General:

If Iranians "have not" or "are not" developing nuclear weapons, they must be smoking something very strong.

Arast:

I teach in several countries including the U.S. One of my students in the U.S. was Iraq vet.
He now goes to the U.S. bases and purchases gas for his car. He said it was very cheap because it was Iraqi's. Iraqi's oil is pumped without any record(ing) and brought to the U.S. Many Americans do not know this.

When Saddam was gasing his own people, President Reagan said... it is not Saddam. It is Eye-ranians. Later, de-classified CIA information showed that it was Saddam. The gas came from Western countries.

Iran must have nuclear energy; the issue of Mullah's are different. The U.S. has its own Mullah's. Religious vaco's can be found in any part of the world.

Iranians and Americans need to work together to get rid of their vaco's. Peace.

Hadi Nili:

I do not belive that Israel wouls accept to go on peace with Iran even Iranian regime accepts that. Iran - Israel mutual relations before 1979 shows that they are enemies becouse they both wanna be the best of the middle east.

Kourosh:

Mr Derekhshan
Please stop pretending you are a secular Iranians and against iranian Regime!!! your links with Iranina Goverment are very clear for Iranian community. The country has not been ever important for you but the regime which you are backing their Nuke ambitions. So what you say is from mouth of a supporter of an ultra-religious Mullahs not a Secular who has ever been against them!!!

Hadi Nili:

I do not belive that Israel wouls accept to go on peace with Iran even Iranian regime accepts that. Iran - Israel mutual relations before 1979 shows that they are enemies becouse they both wanna be the best of the middle east.

Chris Cosmos:

For our global health we need a good balance of power. Right now Iran needs to be a strong power. Iran is not a rogue state or even close--readers have to understand that what they read in the American press has little to do with reality becuase it is almost always a reflection of what government officials say rather than reporting. Iran is a complex nation of highly cultured people with destructive and constructive forces as are most societies. The demonization of Iran is due to certain interests within the U.S. whose agenda it is to create instability, disorder, violence, hatred and suspicion in order to assert a perverted form of macho, or because of end-times theology, or (mainly) to strengthen that complex Eisenhower warned us about (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY). We have failed to heed his advice and now we need other powers to discourage our current militaristic and aggressive imperial designs.

Saman:

29 countries supported Saddam with money, weaponry and intelligence during the Iran Iraq war. 6 of those countries are the same P5+1 countries that we see today. Saddam used chemical and biological weapons on both Iranians and his own people while the UN and the rest of the world turned a blind eye. Iranians don't trust the world anymore, especially if "all options are still on the table".
Pakistan has nukes, Iraq is a mess, Afghanistan's not doing too well and US military forces cover all surrounding land including Persian Gulf. Iranian government would have to be on drugs not to develop nuclear bombs. Oh ... one minor point! Peace in the mid-East starts by disarming Israel of its' nuclear bombs.

PeasantCitizen:

Khalil, I intend to share your articulate post with everyone member of the lunatic right wing fringe in I run into online or elsewhere (it's usually online) who assures me all citizens of the Arab nations are hell-bent on mindless destruction.

That your philosophy survives after all my own lost, misguided country and Israel have done to hurt, damage, and destroy your part of the world, means you are a truly superior people, and a far cry from the bloodthirsty savages the hypocrites in my country insist you are.

PeasantCitizen:

Cayambe, now that was worth reading.

PV:

The perception of one country by another as good or bad is very subjective and varies with time.

For example, US supplied chemical weapons to Iraq when it was their ally and later accused them of possessing weapons of mass destruction and initated the war.

US and major enuropean nations proclaim that they are the champions of democracy but court dictators and monarchs when it is convenient for them.

Genuine approach to solving global crisis in AIDS, hunger, religious fundamentalism and racism is totally lacking.

UN is miserably failing in its efforts to maintain global peace. The personal agenda of the permanent members of the UN Security Council is putting the world at a greater risk.

An interesting topic of discussion could be on 'Global Threats' and the responsible players.

Anonymous:

Maryam wrote "Having a nuclear armed Israel does NOT justify to have a nuclear armed Iran"

~Yet you forget that North Korea has nukes, India, Pakistan, Russia, China and Israel too and all those countries can target Tehran

Anonymous:

Brook...wake up and read a couple books....Fox news wont do the trick buddy

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL:

Sama Adnan, you wrote: "As for a threat to Europe and the United States, get real. Iran never made such a threat ... "

Let's get real and quote the President of Iran, Mahmut Ahmedinejad. On 26 October 2005, speaking at a seminar entitled "World without Zionism," he said: "We shall soon experience a world without the United States..."

Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Saffar Harandi stated that "Muslims have a common enemy in the United States" http://www.mehrnews.ir/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=358123

The regime believes the US is the enemy and that it will soon be destroyed.

Isn't that a threat? Or how should we read it then? I think any diplomat would take it as one.

Maryam:

I am sorry, but Mr. Derakhshan seems to forget about all the lunacy of the Iranian regime. I wonder, where was he before migrating to Canada? On another planet?
Nuclear weapons? We do not need that. For defense or otherwise. The consequences of nuclear arsenal in the hand of mad dictators are grave. Please, be rational. Since when this nuclear issue has become a national pride and benefit for Iranians? It is all propaganda. This issue is nothing like the nationalization of the oil industry and it will never be.

Think about it: How many bombs can they make? one, two? Then what? What can they do with it? They are going to be obliterated(along with lots and lots of innocent people) before they can move a finger.
There is a difference, like it or not, between the US and Israel having nuclear weapons and a fundamentalist revolutionary theocratic regime in Iran having one.
If they are so interested in nuclear energy, they should come clean and be clear about it. Something they have not done to this day.
It is terrifying to see memebrs of a nation are willing to have death and destruction upon their land. Be realistic: the path to a nuclear free Middle East is not to have another country there with nucear weapons.
Having a nuclear armed Israel does NOT justify to have a nuclear armed Iran.

don:

Anyone who believes that Iran needs nuclear weapons to "defend" itself is not taking that argument to its logical conclusion: nuclear war. That, my global friends, is idiocy.

Amin:

I agree with Hossein completely.

As far as the US being imperialist: I think the world has changed too much to call nations imperialists. It is now multinational groups that are the imperialists, like for example oil companies that exert massive influence in the US and Zionists, who's power base is actually the US, not Israel.

The war in Iraq did not serve the American nation's interests, just as giving Israel billions a year does not. These policies are the policies of certain interests using the American nation to gain power. US, the nation, if it were to engage in a struggle against anyone in its own interests, would try to check the power of China, which it evidently has no will to do (witness the growing trade deficit with China, China's growing military spending, and the Chinese government's adherence to total control over its populace- these facts make Iran look completely harmless in comparison).

Anyway, I really hope Iran stays safe.

Khalil Mohajer:

What is foremost going to provide our citizens safety and security is the empowered and the strengthened international institutions that can monitor and uphold international law without the sense of naivity that may undermine the regional and domestic stability.

The Washington-Tel Aviv axis since the election of Bush have repeatedly violated international laws and regulations and tried to discredit any global institutiions which been influencing the interests of the world community at large such as non prolifiration of weapons of mass destructions. Since they have been found in gross violation of variety of issues ranging from human rights abuses to committing war crimes, genocides and ethnic cleansing, the zionists-christian extremists view such institutions as obstacles towards their expansioinist and hegemonial aspirations and have fueled the American publice opinion with cynicism and skepticism towards UN, Kioto, Human Rights Commissions, and the NPT.

The crusade mentality that fills the neo-conservative agenda has inturn ushered a sense of purpose among disenfranchised and marginalized Americans that just about some years ago were looking for the invading UN helicopters with binoculars in places like the state of Montana. This constituency whose anger fostered the Oklahoma massacre and the Koresh incident was organized under the religious right and helped Republicans gain control of the congress and the White House. A very dangerous and violent populism was brewing with military and oil interest with the disguise of morality, free market and democracy. This populism was led to total dominance of civic and cultural life in America after the 9/11 and the American populism had found its match in Bin Ladin. The current split and divisions among the ruling elite is the reflection of dissatisfaction regarding the failure of populist agenda that has dominated the foreign policy of the ruling party which nevertheless brought about a boom in the oil and military industry through fear, hate and lawlessness at the cost of instability and insecurity and declining democratic values for most of the people around the world.

Unfortunately the increased public awareness and world condemnation of the Bush-Lihud axis has not turned into substantial dividend for law abiding and the anti aggression resistance in the region. Iran still has a long way to go to convince the international and the domestic communities of the correlation of the shia culture and democracy and in order to do so we cannot afford to abandon our core demand for justice, understanding and rule of law for the tempting but detrimental to trust building efforts by building a nuclear weapon. We cannot afford to succumb to Bush's lawlessness and intimidations and reward the oil-military-religious extremism with a new cold war.

A Middle East free of nuclear weapon, ruled by the people, for the people, from the people in peace with all nations that respect human dignity and the territorial integrity of others should be the guiding principal of our foreign policy. The tragic state of Iraq, worrisome conditions of Afghanistan, and the devestation in Lebanon demonstrate that the goodwill alone cannot deter a determined aggression motivated by ethnic superiority and the world dominance with utter disrespect for human life. While we should work harder to build trust and reach out to the world community to resurrect the international law from under the ashes of Bush-Tel Aviv earth scorching and as we attempt to convince them of our peaceful intentions, we should help make it clear that such a nation cannot fall victim to demented aspirations and moronic assumptions of a few by voluntarily terminating its options for deterrence.

Fladude:

I suppose the USA could spare giving Iran some nukes... we can ship them over via orbital transit...Iranians problem "catching em" and refill the Silos with some newer missles...

I'm affronted by those that call USA "imperalist" If We were, we would still hold as US Territory the Phillipines, Japan, Cuba, Grenada, and various other islands and areas ...hey we could still with British Control what was France,West Germany and Italy...

Get Real...

Daoud:

Notwithstanding the author's vitriol, a single inescapable fact will result from Iran's development of nuclear weapons - Israel will not be wiped off the map without Iran/Syria also being wiped off the map. It's called MAD - Mutually Assured Destruction. If or when attacked , Israel will assuredly respond with complete and total nuclear annihilation. Is Iran/Syria ready to deal with 18 million dead and 30 million wounded?

Cayambe, Philo, CA USA:

Hossein,

I am very pleased you have raised this issue and framed it in this way. Despite being a purely secular but very conservative Republican (or perhaps because of that) I am in substantial agreement with your position. Iran has ample cause to develop nuclear weapons for its own defense. It lies within relatively short range of several nuclear states, Israel, Russia, China, Pakistan, and India; all of which are capable of being or becoming nuclear threats. It has in fact been brutally attacked in the recent past (by Iraq in the 80's) with an enormous loss of life and treasure defending itself. Given what was discovered of Iraq's nuclear program in the early 90's and Bush's "well-founded" suspicions of its resurgence, how feckless would the Iranians be were they NOT intent on developing their own program?

No doubt the Iranians will delay to whatever extent they can any punishments administered by the "world community", but they will surely cling to developing the capability and capacity to enrich uranium, for which they have ample internal supplies of ore. This is necessary for nuclear power generation and they have a right to do it under the NPT. That it is also a necessary capability for a nuclear weapon is incidental and exposes one of many faults in the NPT itself.

In any case, the so-called world community acting through the UN will have a devil of a time applying pressure on Iran without also addressing itself to the more egregious case of North Korea. The brutal fact is that the "world community" has neither the will or the cohesion necessary to apply Security Council decisions on the ground; witness the latest brou-ha-ha in Lebanon. As for us in the USA, we have a lame duck President waddling through the quicksand of Iraq with zilch leftover military capacity to engage Iran on its own turf, no matter how much we huff and puff.

I also take issue with your characterization of our national policies as "imperial". We might be better off if in fact they were imperial. It is the nature of "Empire" as the Romans, the Mongols, and the British taught us to at least extract resources from afar exceeding the cost of imperial maintenance. No, we are merely hegemonic, wasting our wealth on bullying various parts of the globe to comport with our vision of proper government and commerce.

It won't happen while Bush is President, but at some point we must recognize that like it or not, other states will become nuclear simply because it is imperative to their security; and, as you have pointed out, we ourselves are a cause of such insecurity. We have not the capacity to police the NPT throughout the world; a fool's errand if there ever was one. The constructive role we should play instead, is to execute any nation, except Russia or China, that makes use of a nuclear weapon for offensive purposes. For this we have ample capacity and reach throughout the world. Under this regimen, Assured Destruction, the offensive use of nuclear weapons is no longer a useful threat against neighbors.

We have a long history of interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, to include Iran (remember the Shah, God rest is soul). It is rarely successful and you would think we would learn from it, but alas, hope seems to spring eternal. Iraq is becoming part of that tradition as we learn once again that you just can't create democracies by forceful means. It is something we couldn't do in Vietnam either. Iran is a constitutional theocracy of sorts. It was established by a popular vote of the people. If it is to be changed, it should be the Iranians who change it, not Americans. We have enough problems keeping our own mullahs under control, leave the Iranian ones to the Iranians.

Again, my complements on your post.

rafi:

Iran have the rights for difence itself
yes, iran have all right for make nuclear arms,if you want stop the iran nuclear progam,US must change palucy of midle east and stop the support to isreal
and make the good relations with arab countrys,then automatically iran stop the nuclear program.

matt:

if you walk down the street and see someone with a baseball bat it is intimidating.

if a country on the other side of the world has nukes it is intimidating.

the fact that they have the weapon does not necessarily mean they will use it.

many americans have firearms kept in their own home for "personal defense". not all americans use their firearms to invade their neighbors or make threats to their enemies.

let them get nukes if they want. if people die, people die. bullets, bombs, and nukes all kill just the same.

Asian:

I am not Iranian but a fellow Asian. I can very much appreciate the authors thoughts. Iran has the right to defend itself against agressive provocation and reckless agitation over the past 4 years.

Anonymous:

Iran has every reason to creat an environment of cooperation and peace in the region. The leadership in Iran now came to the conclusion that the country must advance in sience and technology. Some people may think that the leadership in iran may need to use WMD to deter US, UK and Israel to attach Iran, but Iran quickly becoming the major power in the region by becoming a symbol of independence and resistance. This is far more powerful that nuclear bomb. Just see what happened in last 5 weeks in the region and you get the point. The winners of world war II have already divided up the world into their region of interests. Iran now says that all the bets are off and people in this region no longer submit to the west influence. also it is important to realize that the France and Germany own the most advance nuclear fuel production technology in the world and they like to keep it that way.
So Iran should go ahead with enrichment and avoid any developement of Nuclear Bomb ( which that is ecxactley what they are doing). US loves to see any indication of developement of nuclear bomb to attack Iran immediatly. US used nuclear bomb against Japan not to finish the world war II, but to send a warning to USSR to stop advancing from North to capture Japan. So Neo-cons are waiting for opportunity to attack and level Iran. By now everybody knows that they have no respect for human life. So Iran is playing its card very well to keep the play on stillmate status. Neo-cons are pushed by defense and oil industries in US to change the balance of power in the region to get full control of the region again, but so far Iran has managed to turn around the dynamic against them.

camille roy:

If anyone is interested in the op-ed I mentioned above, in which an American rightwinger advocates in print in mainstream media for nuking Iran on the basis of current circumstances, here is the text online:
http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles/06/defend.html
This appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on 8/22/06.

Anonymous:

Iran should allow IAEA inspections, and so should Israel.

Winston:

Mr. Derakhshan, you make me laugh

Arya:

As a secular Iranian, I have undergone the same transformation as Mr. Derakshan.

American and Israel paint Iran as a threat. How many wars has Iran launched recently? Iran has not started an offensive war for over 200 years!

Israel just started another war of aggression last month, killing a thousand innocent people. Israel is killing Palestinians on a daily basis.

America has killed even more in Iraq.

Incredibly, Iran is painted as the threat even though the evidence clearly paints another picture.

Israeli and American militarism is an exponentially greater threat to the region than an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Only with nuclear weapons will the Iranian nation guarantee its safety from the coarse military adventurism of the Israeli-American axis.

camille roy:

I agree with the logic in this post, up to a point. I think it is true that a powerful segment of rightwing America has gone mad. I never realized how the threat of nuclear annihilation from the old Soviet Union kept our crazies in check, but now I know. The print edition of the San Francisco Examiner had an oped by Walter Williams on 8/22/06 that basically argued for nuking Iran. (Interesting that this is not in the online edition!) But here's a quote transcribed from the print:
"Any attempt to annihilate our Middle East enemies [Note he means with nukes, as in casualties in the millions] would create all sorts of handwringing about the innocent lives lost, so-called collateral damage."

'Handwringing'! 'So-called collateral damage'! My god.

So I see the author's point. However, I think that in the medium term, after the immediate peril from Bush and Company has passed, the consequence of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East may well be a nuclear exchange between muslim nations. That is a terrible risk.

Sama Adnan:

Whether we think Iran should have nuclear weapons or not we should at least have one standard for all countries in the region. If we are to allow Israel to have stock piles of nuclear bombs, then the world community cannot tell Iran that it may not do the same. The current opinion of the majority of Arabs is that there should be a nuclear-free Middle East but if that is not possible then all major Arab countries and Iran should have them as a deterrent.

People argue that Iran has a fanatical government and while that maybe true so do the United States and Israel. Israel's foray into Lebanon and the destruction it wreaked on civilians and their property, along with US acquiescence, is a perfect demonstartion of this maligned alliance. Israel's power must be checked in the region and it might as well be by Iran. Unlike Israel, who invaded Egypt in 1956 and 1967 and Lebanon in 1982, Iran has never invaded a neighboring country.

As for a deterrent against US actions, well the United States can't invade or bomb Iran in the near future due to the capability of Iran to ignite the Shiites all over the oil-glazed Persian Gulf. In the longterm, Iran will need nuclear weapons, if Israel stays armed, however.

As for a threat to Europe and the United States, get real. Iran never made such a threat nor can it even dream of the enormity of the ensuing defeat. At the end, Iranian nuclear arms are opposed by Israel and only by Israel. US opposition stems from Israel's opposition because Israel seeks to maintain its status as the lone super power in the Middle East. That cannot be. Ironically, Israel's nuclear weapons may prove to be useless in the face of its new adversaries in Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon, which are much harder to hit than Cairo and Tehran. But what it boils down to is: if Israel were your neighbor you would go nuclear too.

Sivakumar:

well said ,JVD70.

Sivakumar:

When I hear questions like whether Iran will "really" be a threat if it had nuclear weapons, i can only shake my head in disgust.

Does any one really believe that Iran wants "peaceful nuclear energy"? I guess they are indeed so starved of energy that they want to build a pipeline all the way from Iran to India going thru Pakistan.And of course, they have a very sane guy called Ahmedinejad who wants to wipe a country off the map. If any one was even sleep walking during the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, they would know how a "resistance" and "freedom fighting" group was stocked like an army.

There is a reason why "neo conservatives" even came into the picture in the first place. There is a reason why the Republithugs get away with brazen demagoguery on the war. There are enough people who naively wonder "what would happen if Iran would be nuclear armed?".

If Bush indeed bombed Iran before the November, that would win him more support than any thing he is (not)doing in Iraq right now

Arash:

I think World start to realize nuclear iran is in benefit of world stability. we did not have taliban or alqayde problem in 70 because iran was in chage of near and middle east. now iran raised in larger scale in asia and central asia and near and middle east so you will see a dramartic changing politics in all political channel soon in comminig days.

Peyman:

I think Iran should do a nuclear test to finish this stupid show.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL:

The US sent 150.000 troops into Iraq to liberate it from Saddam Hussein. It did not send the more than 400.000 required to conquer and occupy the country and monopolize its oilwells.

People create their own reality. The US is imperialist only if you violate the very definition of empire. There are a vast number of empires in the past, from the Persian to the Roman to the British one they all occupied as much territory as they could and held onto it with military force.

The USA liberated Europe and Japan in '44 - '45 and created in Germany and Japan the 2nd and 3rd largest economies and two of the worlds most potent democracies, those two countries have some of the largest companies on the planet (Toyota, Siemens to name just two) who are in fierce competition with US based companies. Is that Imperialism?

China and India are seeing millions of people each year escaping poverty thanks to a globalist liberal economic system that has been established almost exclusively by the work of the US after world war II. The USA has worked tirelessly to contain the illiberal undemocratic countries of Eastern Europe until the Soviet Union fell and all of non-Soviet Eastern Europe converted to capitalism and democracy virtually immediately.

The US is imperialist only if you violate the very definition of what an empire is. Our columnist here wouldn't object to having the Iranians, who are backing SCIRI, Da'wa and Al Sadr in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon, with nuclear weapons.

Sir your lack of historical awareness, knowledge of the definition of words such as 'empire' and support for arming one of the most dangerous nations on this planet is frighteningly naieve and disturbing.

Arash:

We do not even need to explain people why we should be nuclear. It is in our national benefit.

Douglas Kliewer:

The Republicans in the United States absolutely need Iran to threaten to develop a nuclear device. It gives them ample occasion for fear mongering and sabre rattling. Also, if timed right, the Republicans could pull out of their current slump at a crucial time if the President schedules a bombing raid on Iran right before the November elections. After all, nothing builds more support for politicians than charred corpses.

Brigitte Meier, Everett, MA USA:

Is a nuclear Iran really a threat to the West?

I agree with Mr. Derakshan that Iran needs nuclear weapons, though for different reasons. And it certainly has a right to peaceful nuclear energy and research like any other state in the world. I also agree with Mr. Derakshan, that peacefulness alone cannot protect Iran from US interference: the US insists on submission in order to control. That is the jist of the latest "incentives package", essentially an invitation to Iran to accept the US master and its own slave status voluntarily.

The present turmoil in the Middle East, instigated by the US in search of total world energy and economic control, and constructed not unlike a worldwide NazicumStalinist regime, is unlikely to bring that control. Instead, unless Iran is left to play the expanded role of a major nuclear power in the Middle East, there will eventually be a regrouping. Iran will have to form a strategic relationship with Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of central Asia, Indonesia and in time, China, for reasons of self-defense and protection of China's energy supply. India, as a US ally will be sandwiched in between; its Muslims pulling toward this new Muslim alliance, its Hindus pulling toward alliance with Japan and the West. Both Japan and India are in danger of destruction in any armed show-down, whereas the US isn't. They will therefore likely take a more neutral stand, like Russia. That new constellation would leave Israel as the dominant power in the Middle East, but faced with an opposition both much larger than now and including nuclear weapons, even if Iran is prevented from developing its own. Syria will align with Iran. Lebanon is too small to have a significant influence. The Gulf nations are rich, but militarily weak and will not likely side against their fellow Muslims. If Israel refuses to resolve the problem with Palestinian lands, such a new block will have the capacity to actually wipe Israel out despite US support. After Iraq, any war between Israel and Iran supported by these other Muslim nations, would be devastating to the US economy. India is not likely to go fight it as a proxy. Which will in fact exert the necessary pressure on Israel to force it to return all occupied territories.

By contrast, accepting Iran with nuclear energy, both peaceful and for bombs, leaves the current balance of powers in the Middle East: Israel, Syria, Iran, Iraq as the four pillars to uphold the Middle Eastern space in peaceful ways.

Ironically, if Israel does not intend to return all occupied territories outside its 1948 borders, it has more chance at doing so with Iran turning into a nuclear power, because it leaves the quarrel between Israel and Iran, which would both be nuclear powers, and directly affected by any use of these bombs. That is in neither's interest.

No peaceful world order can be designed with the US as the global terrorist nation which it is now. Nor does any world order in which the US has global control really work.

Simply put: World government just cannot be turned into one global corporation with the US as top CEO.

Brook:

What imperialism? I am sick of these b.s. armchair commentators insulting my country based on a lot of ignorance. What did we do in Iraq that was so horrible -- getting rid of a genocidal dictator? Wasn't this the same cause 500,000 Iranians died for? Didn't Khomeini say it was a religious duty to get rid of Saddam?

We installed a constitutional democratic government -- which no empire in history has ever done.

Iran cannot be allowed to have nukes for the simple reason that they have stated emphatically that they will proliferate the technology to "Muslim nations", plus a government that treats their own people so horribly would have even less regard for non-Iranians. Does the author want to trust the Iranian government won't use their weapons for blackmail, proliferation, and bringing the world to the brink of apocalypse? Sorry, I'm not betting those odds. If Iran contines to defy the whole world, we will have no choice but to make sure they don't get a bomb. Pakistan with the bomb is scary enough -- we don't need Iran too.

Anonymous:

That's just great! What the world needs is another rogue state like Pakistan, albeit a shia state, so that it can terrorize its neighbors with nuclear blackmail. Why not 'effectively disarm' Pakistan and the problem is all solved!

Tony:

That argument that Iran acquiring nuclear weapons would encourage Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries to do the same is ridiculous.

If Israeli possession of nukes didn't do it, Iranian nukes won't do it either because Arabs see Israel as a bigger threat than Iran.

Kusha:


Whilst I agree that Iran has the right to have some sort of WMD arsenal as a deterrent and to advance its regional position, I think the most cogent reason for it not to have such weapons is the prospect of the domino effect of other nations in the Mideast( Syria, S.Arabia, Turkey and Egypt)going nuclear.This could, perversely, lead to a possible peace based upon the fear of mutual destruction or, equally likely, nuclear armageddon. The latter cannot be allowed to even come close to happening.

Massoud Taheri:

I guess when everyone in Iran start gluing in the dark, people in favour of nuclear power and arms, will be convienced that; a nuclear-armed mullah is the last thing people in the region want!

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