Bullying Iran is not an option: Before Western leaders seek sanctions against Iran, they should put their own houses in order on nuclear weapons and nuclear power (Mary Riddell, January 8, 2006, The Observer)
As Iran moves towards the ultimate in WMD, George W Bush must be thinking he fought the wrong war. […]
Sixty years on, the notion of nuclear nemesis has not sunk in. Last year’s make-or-break US conference to revive the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty achieved nothing. The pact, ratified in 1970 and signed by 187 countries, was designed to ensure that unarmed states never acquired weapons and that armed nations, in return, would wind down their arsenals.
That cornerstone of a peaceful world is crumbling, partly because Bush wants new weapons while demanding that other regimes forswear them, but also because the treaty is fatally flawed. Its aims, to eradicate nuclear weapons while championing the spread of nuclear energy, are irreconcilable. Atoms for Peace, suspect in Eisenhower’s day, is an oxymoron in a globalised age.
Any rogue state can build up a civil programme, opt out of the treaty with six months’ notice and begin making weapons. Iran has always claimed, to universal disbelief, that it is only exercising its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. Pakistan, a non-signatory, was last week reported to be buying up to eight reactors from China, which has long been suspected of helping with its weapons programme.
On the campuses of Tehran, even moderately minded students are aggrieved. Who are Bush and Blair to preach while laying in new nukes and welcoming India, with its illicit weapons, into their nuclear club? Israel is stacked with unauthorised nukes, a Nato base sits at Herat and the US Fifth Fleet trawls the Persian Gulf. Why should Iran, so besieged, not have a deterrent?
It's all the same war and if you can't tell the difference between America/Britain/Israsel/India on the one hand and Saddam/Ahmadinejad/Assad/Kim on the other then you're not on the right side.