Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East

  • News
  • Thread starter JRDunassigned
  • Start date
  • #1
JRDunassigned

Main Question or Discussion Point

The U.S. is worried that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, tension and volatility in an already unstable area around Israel could lead the way for WWIII.

Doesn't Israel possess nukes, and does that not in itself create the volatility already seen in the area?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
tiny-tim
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
25,832
251
The U.S. is worried that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, tension and volatility in an already unstable area around Israel could lead the way for WWIII.
I don't think that's remotely correct.

A World War requires at least one major power to be on the Iranian side … there's no danger of that! :biggrin:

Also, the whole Middle East is worried about Iran getting nuclear weapons, not just the U.S. :frown:
 
  • #3
tchitt
Israel is widely believed to have nuclear weapons but I don't think they've admitted it to this point. A lot of countries would like other countries to believe that they've got weapons of mass destruction ala Saddam Hussein.

I don't see nuclear proliferation ending anytime soon... strangely enough it can be a path to lasting peace.
 
  • #4
OmCheeto
Gold Member
2,124
2,552
The U.S. is worried that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, tension and volatility in an already unstable area around Israel could lead the way for WWIII.

Doesn't Israel possess nukes, and does that not in itself create the volatility already seen in the area?
I was just reading about that last week.
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE5621XZ20090703"
Fri Jul 3, 2009 1:27pm EDT
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli submarine sailed the Suez Canal to the Red Sea as part of a naval drill last month, defense sources said on Friday, describing the unusual maneuver as a show of strategic reach in the face of Iran.

Israel long kept its three Dolphin-class submarines, which are widely assumed to carry nuclear missiles, away from Suez so as not to expose them to the gaze of Egyptian harbormasters.
......

Each German-made Dolphin has 10 torpedo tubes, four of them widened at Israel's request -- to accommodate, some independent analysts believe, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.
Quite the risky move(traversing the canal) considering the following:

http://www.shipsonstamps.org/Topics/html/gbla.htm" [Broken]
In June of 1967, a convoy of 14 freighters was underway in the Suez Canal, northbound, when war broke out between Israel and Egypt. The canal was officially closed and the ships had to anchor in the Great Bitter Lake. Within three days it became clear that the canal was going to be blockaded for an indefinite amont of time due to the deliberate sinking of vessels. The hostilities entered history books as the Six-Day-War. For the ships it meant almost eight years of forced isolation, imprisoned in the Great Bitter Lake.
Perhaps Egypt is getting a bit nervous about Iran.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132399" [Broken]
(IsraelNN.com) Two Israeli warships reportedly passed through the Suez Canal Tuesday in what is seen as an unusual show of cooperation between Egypt and the Jewish State, according to Arab news media.

The report has not been officially confirmed by the IDF. However, in what appeared to be confirmation by Cairo, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Ghet told journalists that the crossings were legitimate in accordance with an agreement between the countries.

......

Usually Israeli ships and submarines travel around the Horn of Africa in order to reach the Red Sea....
Which is quite a bit out of the way.

But I would say that nukes are neither good nor bad. They only become bad when we use them against each other.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #5
tiny-tim
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
25,832
251
Israel and Egypt cooperating

Perhaps Egypt is getting a bit nervous about Iran.
Yes, Israel and Egypt are friendly countries, and on the same side so far as Iran is concerned …

no wonder they're publicly cooperating to put pressure on Iran. :smile:
 
  • #6
JRDunassigned
Well I'm wondering, then, why the U.S. has refused to acknowledge that Israel does in fact possess nuclear warheads? What interest does the U.S. have in Israel; is there an oil field I'm unaware of?
 
  • #7
tchitt
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that they possess nuclear warheads. Israel has always been a close ally of the United States...

They aren't a threat to the USA so naturally the USA doesn't much care whether they've got WMD's or not.
 
  • #8
JRDunassigned
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that they possess nuclear warheads. Israel has always been a close ally of the United States...

They aren't a threat to the USA so naturally the USA doesn't much care whether they've got WMD's or not.
Yes, but why have the U.S. and Israel always been close allies?
 
  • #9
tchitt
Because after World War II it was decided that the Jewish people needed a state of their own... what with the holocaust and all. A lot of Arab countries feel like they got shafted on the deal and they want the holy land for themselves. We're just defending their right to exist.

After 1945 the United Kingdom became embroiled in an increasingly violent conflict with the Jews.[53] In 1947, the British government withdrew from commitment to the Mandate of Palestine, stating it was unable to arrive at a solution acceptable to both Arabs and Jews.[54] The newly created United Nations approved the UN Partition Plan (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181) on November 29, 1947, dividing the country into two states, one Arab and one Jewish. Jerusalem was to be designated an international city — a corpus separatum — administered by the UN to avoid conflict over its status.[55] The Jewish community accepted the plan,[56] but the Arab League and Arab Higher Committee rejected it.[57] On December 1, 1947 the Arab Higher Committee proclaimed a three-day strike, and Arab bands began attacking Jewish targets. Civil war began with the Jews initially on the defensive but gradually moving into offence. The Palestinian-Arab economy collapsed and 250, 000 Palestinian-Arabs fled or were expelled.[58]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel#Independence_and_first_years
 
  • #10
tchitt
I'm not necessarily against a nuclear Iran... that is, I don't think any country should have the right to tell any other country what they do within their own borders. The current Iranian government is pretty fundamentalist, though... and that's scary. Israel hasn't historically been the instigator and the Iranian president has talked about wiping israel off the map which naturally makes everyone nervous.
 
  • #11
JRDunassigned
Because after World War II it was decided that the Jewish people needed a state of their own... what with the holocaust and all. A lot of Arab countries feel like they got shafted on the deal and they want the holy land for themselves. We're just defending their right to exist.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel#Independence_and_first_years
Does the Islamic community feel it was shafted, or were the Muslims really shafted?

And in keeping with American-Jewish relations: so then the reason we're still, to this day, even with the Israeli state being established, interested in it's affairs is because of 1) a fear of nuclear war and 2) the Jewish community lobbying for the American government to stay involved with the affairs of their homeland?

What of the UN? It established Iran; why is America the nation with the largest investment in Israel's survival?

I can't even get my governor to put a stoplight in at the end of the street...
 
  • #12
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
I'm not necessarily against a nuclear Iran... that is, I don't think any country should have the right to tell any other country what they do within their own borders. ...
Does that sentiment hold once a country violates an international treaty it signed (NPT)? How about a Nazi Germany arming itself to the teeth in the 1930s? Did anyone have the right to intercede before they overran Europe?
 
  • #13
459
7
I'm not necessarily against a nuclear Iran... that is, I don't think any country should have the right to tell any other country what they do within their own borders.
Isn't telling other countries what to do within their own borders the point of having nuclear weapons? Keeping them out of the hands of Iran makes Iran's enemies safer. It also serves to keep Iran vulnerable to being told what to do.
 
  • #14
JRDunassigned
Does that sentiment hold once a country violates an international treaty it signed (NPT)? How about a Nazi Germany arming itself to the teeth in the 1930s? Did anyone have the right to intercede before they overran Europe?
I know that this wasn't directed at me, but perhaps you should ask "why didn't anyone intercede with Germany?"

Many scholars believe WWII was preventable had the League of Nations been more assertive, had the Treaty of Versailles been less strenuous/embarassing to the German people, had the Soviets remained neutral in the Japanese/Chinese war, etc.

Alas, that is not the topic of my post, but would be a good conversation at another time.
 
  • #15
JRDunassigned
Isn't telling other countries what to do within their own borders the point of having nuclear weapons? Keeping them out of the hands of Iran makes Iran's enemies safer. It also serves to keep Iran vulnerable to being told what to do.
It seems like everyone is in a room pointing a gun at one another; some may be faking that they have a gun, others are offering to lay theirs down if you do first, some have already laid theirs down ("Same time, man! Same time!"), and some are saying "you lay yours down and I won't shoot you in the face... !"

It's interesting how everything is a "-cosm" of some sort, whether a macro or micro. Peace treaties, proliferations, allies, enemies, and very few constants, (though common history will always be written by the winners).

Perhaps a strong family promotes a strong community promotes a strong city promotes a strong county promotes a strong state promotes a strong region promotes a strong country promotes a strong world. And vice-versa.
 
  • #16
459
7
Yeah, there's nothing new about conflict. I think you're onto something with your last paragraph. It's my opinion that nuclear weapons are a massive gamble that can accelerate a unified world government or collapse it altogether. In the meantime memes struggle for dominance.
 
  • #17
JRDunassigned
Everything is fine, dandy, comfortably tense until Kim Jong-Il launches a nuke that, contrary to popular beliefs, can get some serious range. Though I'm beginning to doubt the idea that if "X" launches a nuke, "Y" will respond and "Z" will back up "X" by preemptively striking "W".

I think, perhaps I hope, that our leaders, whether or not they're an "Illuminati" bunch or the people who's faces we see in offices are wiser than that.

Unless one of the hit targets is Israel. Then all hells breaking loose.
 
  • #18
tchitt
It seems like everyone is in a room pointing a gun at one another; some may be faking that they have a gun, others are offering to lay theirs down if you do first, some have already laid theirs down ("Same time, man! Same time!"), and some are saying "you lay yours down and I won't shoot you in the face... !"
Exactly.

The problem is that most of the world thinks countries like Iran and North Korea are actually crazy enough to shoot someone else
 
  • #19
tchitt
Everything is fine, dandy, comfortably tense until Kim Jong-Il launches a nuke that, contrary to popular beliefs, can get some serious range. Though I'm beginning to doubt the idea that if "X" launches a nuke, "Y" will respond and "Z" will back up "X" by preemptively striking "W".

I think, perhaps I hope, that our leaders, whether or not they're an "Illuminati" bunch or the people who's faces we see in offices are wiser than that.

Unless one of the hit targets is Israel. Then all hells breaking loose.
Why are you so sure that if Israel, specifically, gets hit it will spark a global thermonuclear conflict? As much as the United States has a love affair with Israel we've still got to think about our own survival. I think that at the end of the day... Israel just isn't worth it.
 
  • #20
JRDunassigned
Why are you so sure that if Israel, specifically, gets hit it will spark a global thermonuclear conflict? As much as the United States has a love affair with Israel we've still got to think about our own survival. I think that at the end of the day... Israel just isn't worth it.
Neither do I, but look who is in command of many major posts and running major corporations based out of America. Observe who supplies major funds to Presidential campaigns. Aren't these the people who are owed the most favors in politicians eyes?

It's cynical, but sometimes I feel Israel is the first priority of many liberals, oil for many republicans; who's representing the People's interests here? The people that aren't Jewish, the people who Are environmentalists, the people who can't donate $4,600 per presidential campaign but do honestly need attention? Where is the funding for the reformation of our educational systems? Why are we number one in the world in education -- until 5th grade? Why are we still paying for post-secondary education as we fall further away from being competitive on a global scale?

sigh..
 
  • #21
tchitt
I always thought Israel was more of a conservative cause, as well as oil. I am a conservative and I'm not saying this is a bad thing.

Noone is representing the people's interests anymore... Our representatives are supposed to be objective proxies for the people. The fact of the matter is that many of them get elected and just do whatever the hell they want.

Corporations run the United States because they are able to make the largest campaign contributions. Activists run for office to put their own agenda into place.

sigh..
That pretty much sums it up.
 
  • #22
Office_Shredder
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,758
104
It's cynical, but sometimes I feel Israel is the first priority of many liberals
You don't really pay attention to Israel debates do you?
 
  • #23
JRDunassigned
You don't really pay attention to Israel debates do you?
I pay attention to AIPAC guest lists...

Please, enlighten me. Honestly
 
  • #24
russ_watters
Mentor
19,705
6,047
Doesn't Israel possess nukes, and does that not in itself create the volatility already seen in the area?
Unlike Israel regarding Iran, Iranian leaders have said they would like to annihilate Israel. So there is a pretty big difference between the perceived danger of Israel and Iran having nukes.

Beyond that, no, Israel's nukes do not create volitility in the region. If anything, they are a stabilizing influence, since Israel's neighbors have a lot to fear from launching a large attack against Israel.
 
  • #25
russ_watters
Mentor
19,705
6,047
Does the Islamic community feel it was shafted, or were the Muslims really shafted?
Those two aren't mutually exclusive of course. Whether they actually got shafted is quite debatable, though, and certainly people's intrenched opinions won't be changed here.
And in keeping with American-Jewish relations: so then the reason we're still, to this day, even with the Israeli state being established, interested in it's affairs is because of 1) a fear of nuclear war and 2) the Jewish community lobbying for the American government to stay involved with the affairs of their homeland?
1. No. What does that have to do with anything?
2. Maybe a little. But it is much more:
3. Tradition. We've been their allies since the beginning and we feel responsible for staying their allies. Given that the situation has changed little from when Israel was founded, there hasn't been much to change our stance.
What of the UN? It established Iran; why is America the nation with the largest investment in Israel's survival?
The US is the country with the largest foreign policy, period. Don't think there is something special about our relationship with Israel - we also have a large number of troops in South Korea and until recently in Germany. We also came to the aid of Kuwait and had a large number of troops in the ME protecting the entire peninsula from Saddam Hussein. We're the leader in virtually every major international military effort.
 

Related Threads on Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East

  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
62
Views
5K
Replies
35
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
Replies
20
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
18
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
2K
Top