Gene Lyons: Why We Don’t Need Another Needless War
Gene Lyons writes that the United States must resist Israeli pressure to attack Iran, in his column, “Why We Don’t Need Another Needless War…In Iran:”
Two big things about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s beating the war drum against Iran: First, Netanyahu has been predicting Iran’s imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons for twenty years. The usual time horizon he’s cited has been roughly one year.
Evidently, however, the Persians have fallen about nineteen years behind schedule. According to “senior Israeli government and defense figures” recently interviewed by the Associated Press, the best available intelligence is that the Iranians not only don’t have nuclear weapons now, but haven’t decided to build them. This also squares with the U.S. intelligence community’s view.
“The suspicion in Israel,” the AP continues, is, get this, “that the Iranians have held off on a decision in order to deny Israel—and other countries—the pretext for an attack.” The cunning devils.
This also agrees with U.N. inspectors conclusions about Iran’s allegedly peaceful uranium enrichment activities. That while the potential for making bombs exists and the Iranians haven’t been exactly forthcoming, there’s no direct evidence the country’s moving toward atomic weapons.
For that matter, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently made a foreign policy address following parliamentary elections. “The Iranian nation” he said, “has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”