1. Aug 26, 2006

### Schrodinger's Dog

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5288286.stm

Here are the actual demands of the UN.

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2006/sc8792.doc.htm

As you can see the US is convinced they are going to make weapons and Iran is convinced of it's right under the non proliferation treaty to enrich Uranium for nuclear energy facilities. It's an impasse currently.

Ahmadinejad has clearly stated on numerous occasions that the pursuit of nuclear energy is for peaceful purposes only, but the question does not seem to be: is he looking for warheads but: when he will build them.

The US uses rhetoric that says he is absolutely looking for weapons, despite it having no intelligence to support this.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5281052.stm

Of course the Iranian presidents attacks against the west and Israel give us little reason to believe he is planning only peaceful uses for enrichment, some of his rhetoric, or should I say nearly all the rhetoric we have heard about confirms this.

Should we trust Ahmadinejad or should we be wary of this political wolf in sheeps clothing, wary enough to go further? I say this because there is some talk of the US sidestepping the UN and going it alone in garnering sanctions from other countries.

More broadly what do you think is the best course of action against Iran, should it fail to comply with the UN?

And lastly a more apposite question in my mind is: who should we believe here? The US or Iran? Should we believe in the UN? And how does your belief reflect your views in thinking of an answer to the problem...

EDITED: for clarity of meaning.

Last edited: Aug 26, 2006
2. Aug 26, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

One could simply wait.

Ahmadinejad could actually be sincere about peaceful uses for enrichment. It could be used for enrichment of a few percent and used in Russian version of a light water reactor (LWR), which is the VVER.

The heavy water could be used in a production reactor, and could be used to produce Pu-239. That is peaceful until someone uses it as a nuclear warhead in hostile act.

Presumably, Iran could simply buy nuclear warheads, or pits, from N. Korea.

In any event, Bush needs to get a grip on reality and realize that the US is one of many nations, not the sole supreme power in the world.

3. Aug 26, 2006

### Cyrus

First, interesting post Schrod

Well, lack of good intelligence. This sounds all too familiar....

No, but then again, we should not trust G. W. Bush either.

First and foremost, open a dialog between the two countries?

I do not believe Iran, but at the same time I do not believe anything our government has to say anymore. They have told lie after lie and twisted enough facts for a lifetime. We should do what Kissinger said to do. (1) start an open dialog with Iran. (2) ask what conditions of security does Iran define that makes it necessary for nuclear weapons, (3) how can the US help Iran with said definition of security so that Iran does not feel the necessity to obtain nuclear weapons. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4078254699358348828&q=charlie+rose+british+harvard+book Listen to his words:
Given that Bush refueses to talk to Iran and Syria, I tend not to trust a word out of his mouth anymore. His time to leave government has come. He should resign or get impeached.

If he does not change his tune, Iran is going to change it for him. Iran is no Iraq. Iran has 53,000 suicide bombers on stand by. Iraq will pale in comparison to ferocity of insurgency if the US steps one foot inside Iran. It will be a massacure on both sides. And for what? Because Bush was too close minded to even open a dialog with Iran??? (1) we wont win, just like we are not winning in Iraq. (2) we will create an even bigger divide between the middle east and the United States (and it's already as big as the grand canyon). (3) Our troops are going to be sent in to fight yet another war that was fabricated on lies and falsehoods. (4) why have we not yet strung up UBL by his heels and dragged him through the streets?

ANOTHER WAR? NO THANK YOU!

Let's spend all that money and help the people in New Orleans. Let's spend that money on healthcare. Let's spend that money on Education. Let's spend that money on Science and Technology so we can widen that gap. And then whatever money is left, let's spend that helping to build the Middle East instead of tearing it down. Then they won't hate us, then they won't decide to blow themselves up. Then they might actually sit down with us for tea.

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4. Aug 26, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Dialogs with Iran and Syria are long overdue. They should have been done when Khatami was president of Iran, and when Bashar al-Assad became president of Syria.

5. Aug 26, 2006

### Cyrus

Also, Iran is a nation. Just as is Germany, or France, or Israel. They have every right to pursue nuclear technology if they want to. Other countries do not need to get our approval to govern themselves. Is this really what we want our nation to be known as? A bully that goes around meddling in everyones affairs?

I would like somone to name 1 war that Iran has started in the last 100 years. Just one. Now lets turn the coin. I CAN tell you that the United States government started a revolution in Iran and got rid of a democractically elected president, and put in the Shaw instead. Boy, whats this word im looking for again......FAIRNESS? Don't believe me? Read up on the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-cia-index.html

If you want to argue about hezbollah fine, but that is a proxy of Iran, just as Israel is a proxy for the United States. So that argument holds no weight. You want to argue that they might give the bomb to a terrorist group? Fine, I'll by that. But that can be prevented with tight restrictions achieved through negotiations, not blatant threats.

You see, Iran is not Iraq. Iran is not a bunch of different groups like Iraq is. Iran is a unified nation that WILL be very hostile to invaders. Much, Much moreso than Iraqis.

Be aware, if we go to war with Iran get ready to send your children and your childrens children to the middle east. 10 years Iran held off Iraq after the US gave Iraq massive support in the 80's. They lost 1 million people in that war. They know what war is like, and they will take it seriously. If you think the US forces will waltz in like they did in Iraq, think twice. This will be a long, long war and they will have to reinstate a draft. Why? Our generals have requested for additional troops and were turned down simply because there were no troops to send! Iraq should have had almost 4-500k troops. We undermaned the job by sending in only ~200k troops. What do you think will happen if we start another war with Iran? Iran, Iraq, Afganistan...I don't think we have enough people in the entire United States to take on that kind of job even if we wanted to.... Do we REALLY want to send over 1 million troops just to the middle east? I sure don't.

It's time to start being real America..... too many people fail to read the news, learn about other peoples cultures, or care about world events. I hope more people spend time on these kinds of issues, and go out and vote!

I'm not trying to be Anti-American here, because I am an American. But I am very worried that too many people like to listen to sound bites from Bush, and don't realize the nonsense they are being spoon fed......

/rant.

Edit: Journalism. I hope we get some serious journalism as well. Have you ever noticed that in a British Press confrence they hold the person up to what they say? Here, everything is staged, questions written before hand. Are you kidding me!? Let's have an open debate here, last time I checked, we live in a democracy! We need more Charlie Roses' and less Fox..................I can't say it together.........news.

You do know, the majority of Iranian citizens are pro-US??.........how about using that to our advantage instead of making them turn against us, which WILL happen if we go to war with Iran..... Iran, like China, has a HUGE population of young people that are of the military age. Think about that....

Edit 2: Oops, almost forgot. Not only do we not talk to Iran or Syria. We talk about democracy in the ME yet we chose not to recognize a democractically elected Hezbollah......... double standards................

I guess the problem is not "What do you do with a problem like Ahmadinejad?" The problem is what do you do with nonsense and ignorance on both sides of the fence? Ans. You get them out of office to start with!

I fear we are heading down the WRONG path with this whole terrorism business and in the process sacrificing what is essential....our civil liberties.

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6. Aug 26, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

I heard a comment, possibly yesterday, that Bush is backing of the 'democracy' rhetoric, because there are non-democratic allies, e.g. Saudi Arabia, who feel a little uncomfortable with it. I think the term used was 'back-pedalling' on democracy - and it seems to be very obvious to millions of people in Islamic countries.

7. Aug 26, 2006

### Cyrus

Here is a map of Iran and Iraq juxtapose.

Just from the map alone, you can see how much bigger Iran is from Iraq. 200k troops in Iran? Good luck. Try doubling that number and still not having enough. Because almost double is what should have been in Iraq in the first place. To stablize Iraq and fight Iran, realistically your talking at the very minimum 800k troops, and that's probably a conservative number.

George Vidal said it best in the move, http://whywefight.com

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8. Aug 27, 2006

### Schrodinger's Dog

War is unlikely,the US cannot afford it, which is why I steered clear of overtly suggesting it.

population of Iraq.26,074,906

population of Iran.68,017,860

But since you mentioned it

The only way the US governement would be able to sell military action to its people now, given it's history, is if Iran actually had nukes and started pointing them at the world. Since I personally doubt this is going to happen, that is to say doubt that nukes are going to materialise in the country it's a moot point.

I quite agree war would be literal and financial suicide for the US. The greatest enemy to the US people in my eyes atm is George Bush, what the country needs is to take care of itself, it spends too much time wasting billions on sticking it's meat hooks into every conflict that rears it's head, as if bullying countries is the high art of diplomacy.

Put your own state of affairs into order then consider the rest of the world once you've trimmed the beard, lost a little fat and put on your pulling shirt. The US needs to reinvent it's image in my opinion, in the wake of the mess that is the Bush regime.

I also agree with Astronuc that the the idea of wait and see seems the best course of action atm, If you managed to read the UN document I sugest you read Irans response at the end, it's very indicative to my mind of an actual feeling of being picked on by bullies, and they feel it is unjustified and without cause. That's something I can currently agree with, at least untill the IAEI shows me clear evidence of their nuclear weapon machinations, then there is no sense in claiming that they are doing something now is there? Habeus Corpus anyone?

Here's a small excerpt of the last passage, it's a long old read but I recomend it.

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9. Aug 27, 2006

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
They could do this:
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-fg-iran26aug26,0,1409761.story?track=mostviewed-homepage

I'm not sure about the details of implementation (particularly the freezing of assets), but that approach (trade restrictions) is one I'm mostly in support of. To be precise, I think such an approach is fair, I'm not sure though, if it's the wisest option on the table.

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10. Aug 27, 2006

### Cyrus

Well, Iran has had sanctions with the US for the last 30 years. They froze $12 billion of Iranian money in 1979. Factor in the interest and that is an amazing amount of money. http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19811...onomic-sanctions-and-the-iran-experience.html Russia has 25 million Muslims on its boarder with Iran that speak Farsi. You think Russia is going to anger them and Iran? They learned their lesson in Afganistan already. What are you going to do, sanction a major oil producing country so that gasoline becomes$10 a gallon? Unrealistic.

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11. Aug 27, 2006

### kyleb

There is no need for more sanctions as long as Israel has every right to defend herself:
http://www.washtimes.com/world/20060827-122213-1606r.htm

12. Aug 27, 2006

### Yonoz

Iran does not hide its intentions to destroy Israel.
Iran is run by a fanatic regime that hangs 16 year old raped girls and stones mothers to death in front of hundreds. Note these are not anecdotal examples.
Iran has destabilized the middle east for years by exporting terror into other countries, see the latest Lebanese conflict and the Buenos Aires bombings. One cannot simply look at whether or not they have started wars, that is all but irrelevant in these times.
Note Ahmedinejad is not the root of the problem. The real men running the show are the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Council of Guardians.
Iran has purchased nuclear weapons-only technology from Pakistan.

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13. Aug 27, 2006

### Yonoz

Suicide bombers on Iran kids' TV:
BTW here's the children's cartoon mentioned in the article. It's second in the list.

14. Aug 27, 2006

### Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
I'm pretty sure that when this came up a while back, we had quotes of him actually saying he wanted nukes. (and wanted to nuke Israel, because while they could obliterate Israel, Israel could only damage the Muslim world)

The reason to wait is because you think the expected cost of action is greater than the expected cost of inaction. It is not a reasonable policy to wait simply because the possibility of a peaceful outcome exists.

That's debatable, of course. On the philosophical level (on what principles do you grant rights to a government?) and on a more concrete level -- they signed the non-proliferation treaty. :tongue:

I do if and only if it's better than the alternatives. It's not a reasonable policy to reject a plan just because you don't like what it entails. :tongue:

I've been wondering about that for a while. Economic warfare is the new "gentleman's war" -- is it really a better alternative? Is it more effective than military warfare? Or less damaging?

15. Aug 27, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

They definitely need to change that attitude. Iran's Council of Guardians needs to get a grip on reality and recognize Israel's right to exist, and peacefully so among its Islamic (and Christian) neighbors.
True, but I think many Muslims are opposed to such harsh behavior.
I think many terrorists are homegrown and seek support from states like Iran. Certainly it appears Iran and Syria have supported either financially or logistically terrorists in other countries.
It's relevant to those countries which have been attacked. On the other hand, use of proxies for war is a significant problem.
So how does the west reach moderate Muslims? What credible leadership is there in the west either in US or Europe?
According to the article, the key issue is proliferation of 'enrichment' technology, which can be used to make enriched uranium for anything from LWR fuel to fast reactor fuel, to WG uranium. Inidividuals from Khan Research Laboratories, including Abdul Qadeer Khan, have been under investigation concerning the transfer of centrifuge technology. The uranium used in most of the world's commercial nuclear fuel is produced (enriched) by this method, so it's not weapons-only technology.

16. Aug 27, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Actually the oil companies do not want trade sanctions against Iran. It cuts into profits, particular of the managers and executives.

Actually I would prefer a peaceful, or at least less violent solution. Bush's policy in Iraq is an unmitigated disaster, particularly for those who have been killed or wounded or displaced. Bush has demonstrated that violence is not the solution.

17. Aug 27, 2006

### Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
That's the whole problem I have with your post! You're advocating a course of action because of the possibility it might lead to your preferred outcome -- you do not seem to be making any serious attempt at evaluating the likelihood of your preferred outcome, nor the consequences of your course of action should your preference not materialize.

I didn't realize you thought Bush perfectly executed the violent approach!

Also, do you have any grounds for your belief that there is a "solution" to this problem? What if we're in a no-win scenario and all we can do is to try and mitigate the ensuing disaster?

Furthermore, even if there is a "solution", do you have any grounds to believe that it will be found before it's too late?

I don't have a problem with people who wish for a peaceful solution -- just those who would have us pursue it blindly. :grumpy:

18. Aug 27, 2006

### kyleb

I just skimmed the article and it seems it is about two and a half year old speculation, could you quote what you believe backs up your conclusion?

They have proclaimed public support for reaching a two state solution between Israel and Palestine twice over the past few years, they even offered to attempt to mediate a deal. Our attitude got in the way of that though, we told them to piss off.

19. Aug 27, 2006

### Yonoz

I truly believe that, but it is irrelevant. This is a fanatic regime with little appreciation for human life.
It's certainly become a problem. Countries are waging war on other countries without being held accountable simply because they do it under the table.
It's a complex problem. There is no single unified Muslim leadership. Islamic fundamentalism is given too much weight by the west. There are ever-changing regional dynamics, historical tensions and status-quos. Take for example Iran and Syria. Iran is a theocracy; Syria is run by a military junta with a dubious record of violently oppressing religious groups - yet they cooperate, simply because it serves both leadership's interests. Iran and the Taliban, despite having much similarity, did not get along all that well, certainly not as well as Iran got along with Pakistan - another military junta state. A British-appointed royal family has ruled quite benevolently over Jordan for nearly a century. Jordan is almost entirely Palestinians, the Hashemite family is a minority, just like the misappropriately named Alawite Bashar Assad in Syria. Egypt used to be identical to Syria but is slowly turning into a democratic republic (slowly because whenever a move is made towards democracy, the public strengthens the religious revolutionaries). And Libya - well, let's just say every country has its right leaders. There probably is no single universal solution, but I think that currently (in)decisions are based on wrongful projections of western ideals and values onto other cultures.
I was once interviewed by a BBC crew. It was during the Intifada, the public here was so outraged at the BBC there were mass cancelations of cable subscription until the cable company removed it from the base plan. Off-camera, I spoke to the interviewer about BBC coverage, and he said "we report it like we see it" - I believe this is not enough. I don't think the average westerner gets enough information to really comprehend the conflict. I suppose the west should start off by educating itself. The government is not credible enough to do it, the media is too sensationalist - I guess it's up to you.
I stand corrected, but it is nevertheless quite clear from the article that the technology was transferred in a deal to allow all 3 nations: Pakistan, Iran and North Korea to benefit from each other's advances to produce a nuclear balistic missile program. Obviously some will disagree but I think they would not be so happy about having a nuclear-capable Islamic fundamentalist neighbour whose leaders repeatedly describe the destruction of their state as a noble goal.

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20. Aug 27, 2006

### Yonoz

kyleb, allow me to diverge from our regular skirmishes.
Do you honestly believe Iran, a country with quite a bit of oil, requires a nuclear program for research purposes?