Middle E

  1. i am allways looking to the news on daily bases and i believe the fallowing:

    Iran can not use WMD on Israel duo to the fact of existing MAD situation

    Iran Can not deliver WMD , poor technology

    Science are in syria and Egypt not Iran

    now what bad thing can come from Iran N program:

    Oil , Iran will switch to Nuclear power and be able to sell more oil that will make oil cheaper and the war on Iraq want be useful any more , duo to the fact that iran in the next step will make its neighbors start there own nuclear programs and in the end of the line they will be able to start selling more oil in the market and oil price will be effected by this actions

    remember that Iran Cant hit israel with WMD or any other long rang weapon and if it hit that mean that isreal want that as a way or reason to start a full scale war on Iran

    think when UAE, Qatar , KSA ...etc start there N programs how much Oil will be dumped in the market

    the all Iraq war will be useless and the money will go down the drain ...

  2. jcsd
  3. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Ok.... it appears to me, though, that your beliefs rest on factually incorrect information and faulty logic:
    MAD only works if both parties believe in it. It doesn't seem logical to me to believe that terrorists would believe in it, so I see no reason to think that it would constrain Iran's actions.
    Iran has ballistic missiles that can easily reach Israel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahab-3

    It does not take much in the way of expertise to produce atomic weapons anymore, only resources. The technology is decades old.
    Iran produces about 4.1 million barrels per day and uses about 1.8. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Iran/Oil.html

    So that's a decent amount of new oil it could dump on the market if it greatly reduced its usage. But the other countries are much smaller and their production/consumption ratios much larger. Qatar, for example, produces 1.2 and uses 0.1: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Qatar/Oil.html

    Regardless, I'm generally in favor of anything that reduces oil consumption, but due to Iran's government believe the risks outweigh the benefits.
    I don't see what the Iraq war has to do with this.
  4. I think it's a little funny that russ devoted an entire thread to supporting nuclear power in another section of the forum, but seems to be afraid of nuclear power when Iran wants to start using it.

    Interestingly enough, there was an article in Physics Today about Iran. Looks like some legitimate scientists, one in particular (can't remember the name), are being hassled and almost shut out of the international scientific community. In my opinion, shutting off Iran from the rest of the world is a good way to radicalize their country (not just their government).

    There's no better way to set up an "us vs them" confrontation by shoving somebody in a corner and saying "you're them."
  5. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not sure you even read my post - I expressed no fears at all about nuclear power itself and even said that I generally support it! In addition, while I agree with it, the association between nuclear power and nuclear weapons in Iran was made by the OP.
    How does that address the issue of what should be done about a country or government that is already radicalized?
  6. BobG

    BobG 2,351
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You miss the point of possessing nuclear weapons. No one wants to start an exchange of nuclear weapons. That makes a full scale invasion of Iran a virtually zero possibility. It makes the risk of any actions they take in the Middle East a lot lower.

    They may not be able to threaten a country such as Israel directly, but they would have a great deal of leverage over other SW Asian countries.

    It's not exactly a magic bullet, however. You already have two nuclear powers hostile to each other in Pakistan-India. In fact, their problems have a large impact on Afghanistan. India currently invests quite a few resources in the Karzai government, while Pakistan is backing the Taliban. And India's back-up plan to Afghanistan is develop a closer relationship with Iran, which isn't very trusting of Pakistan, itself. You have a new cold war brewing with less predictable governments.

    A nuclear Iran isn't the end of the world, but it is another huge complicating factor in the entire region.
  7. The country isn't radicalized, only the government is.
  8. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Ok....so how does what you said deal with a government that is already radicalized?
  9. Ignore them because it's not our business? Iran is no danger to the United States. We should take the Switzerland approach.
  10. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Isn't "ignore them" the same as "shutting them off from the rest of the world"? Right now, the world buys a huge amount of oil from them, so we aren't ignoring them: to ignore them, we'd have to stop buying oil from them. I'd think that would anger the radicals.

    It also isn't just about the US directly: Iran is a threat to our ally Israel. It is also a potential threat to stability in the region in general - which makes it a threat to the world economy.
  11. CRGreathouse

    CRGreathouse 3,497
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I think the suggestion is "business as usual" rather than "isolate them".
  12. If you have the time, read this article in Physics Today:


    Do you think treating scientists as criminals will be more likely to get them to open up to the west, or radicalize them?
  13. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    I suppose so, though "business as usual" is still four years of sanctions. But even beyond the fact that "business as usual" means accepting Iran's promotion of terrorism, I just don't think it is prudent to operate on the assumption that a terroristic regime that is violating its NPT obligations won't attempt to acquire a nuclear bomb or that their acquiring of a nuclear bomb isn't something we should bother worrying about.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  14. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    What does that have to do with the issue here? When you said "ignore them" did you actually mean "engage them"? You're all over the place here. Please try to make a coherent point and be explicit about it: don't give half-throughts and make us fill in the blanks! (now I'm going to try:)

    It seems like your real point is that we should drop any negative attitudes and actions toward Iran and engage them with full economic and political status/rights/priveleges of our trusted allies/trading partners, cancel all negatively-toned treaty obligations, etc. It seems like you are saying we should ignore the fact that the government is radicalized and promotes terrorism and just assume that if we treat them like/grant them the priveledges of a responsible member of the world community, they will de-radicalize and become that responsible member of the world community. I don't know what world you live on where treating criminals like they aren't criminals turns them into responsible people, but it isn't Earth. It is a naive and dangerous belief: the reality is that if you give a criminal your trust, he will use it to stab you in the back and rob you blind. In the real world, people need to prove they are worthy of trust before being given trust.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  15. mheslep

    mheslep 3,409
    Gold Member

    That implies abandoning enforcement of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. Is that really what you mean here? Iran gets a weapon, then Egypt, the Saudis, Syria do the same to keep up. Ignore them too? If Israel attacks Iranian nuclear facilities ignore that?
  16. mheslep

    mheslep 3,409
    Gold Member

    Aside from a Uranium weapon, I don't think that statement is supportable. The technology may be old but I don't know that it is widespread.
  17. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not sure if I agree, but even assuming I do, isn't a uranium weapon enough?

    Or, lets look at it another way: has any country with the resources to obtain enough Uranium ever failed at their attempt to produce a nuclear bomb?
  18. You seem to live in a black-and-white world where either we punish an evil country, or become close allies with them. If somebody isn't an ally, they're criminals. Anyway, I DO think we should ignore the fact that the government "promotes terrorism" because the terrorism they promote isn't anti-American terrorism as far as I'm aware. They support anti-Israeli terrorism, and I don't particularly care about that.

    Additionally, their government is on shaky ground right now with the populace. Perhaps you didn't notice the protests last year. You are comparing the entire country of Iran to "a criminal" as if Iran is a single person. It's not. The crimes of Ahmadinejad are not the crimes of the Iranian people.

    Iran CAN become a responsible member of the world community. I wouldn't want to live in your world where countries keep the same exact policies decade after decade.

    Keep in mind the United States is the only country who ever used nuclear weapons as a form of terrorism. This country targeted civilian areas and killed FAR more innocent civilians than Al Qaeda ever has. By your logic, the United States could have never become a "responsible member of the world community."

    I'm talking about nuclear power. Iran has as much of a right to nuclear power as the United States does. If you want to talk about enforcement of the NPT, why don't you start with Israel? They are in direct violation of the NPT, but you seem alright with that, while one of Israel's biggest enemies can't even have nuclear power, let alone a nuclear weapon. How is that fair?
  19. mheslep

    mheslep 3,409
    Gold Member

    Under the NPT, there is an agreed upon path to achieving nuclear commercial power. The point of most of the NPT is to enable exactly that: commercial power without weapons. Thus if you want to talk nuclear power, you talk NPT.
    No, as a signatory of the NPT Iran does not have a right to un-inspected nuclear power. None of the non-weapon state signatories do. And frankly, as a state sponsor of terrorism, I don't personally think the government in Iran is entitled to anything.

    That's a ham handed misdirection of the question I asked about Iran, but no Israel is not in violation, Israel is not a signatory of the NPT. Iran is both a signatory and is in violation.

    So, again, back to the original question: By saying the West should ignore Iran, are you in favor of abandoning enforcement of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty?
  20. mheslep

    mheslep 3,409
    Gold Member

    I'm of the opinion that the more routes to weapon are closed off then the overall risk of proliferation is lowered.

    I don't know who might have failed. It seems to me the far lower resource requirement path is a small heavy water (e.g. CANDU) reactor that will then produce plutonium from natural un-enriched uranium ore. If the distribution of sophisticated implosion technology required for a plutonium weapon is restricted, and I suspect that is doable for some time, then we preclude the low resource path to weapon.
  21. for us, it is only an economic concern. perhaps "the world" buys a huge amount of oil from them, but we do not. nor do we get much from the region.
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