Furthermore, President Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric has raised genuine concerns in Israel. If one were an Israeli policy maker, one would be highly reluctant to place much faith in the hope that Iran would continue to exercise restraint. After all, the long Jewish narrative has been characterized by chronic persecution and then the Holocaust. During much of the duration of that narrative, the Jewish people were largely powerless to fend off the threats that confronted them. More recently, the UN failed to break Egypt’s illegal blockade of the Strait of Tiran in 1967 and it has failed to enforce the terms of UNSC Res. 1701 (to disarm Lebanon’s various militias, including Hezbollah). Nations’ perspectives are shaped, in part, by history. Given those experiences, Israel has developed the expectation that it cannot count on others to safeguard its own security. It must rely on itself to best safeguard its wellbeing and the lives of its people. Furthermore, given Israel’s tiny size, Israel understands that one or two atomic bombs would all but annihilate it. Given the convergence of history and geography, Israel’s margin for error is razor thin. A nuclear-armed Iran would represent a potential existential threat.
For the U.S. and most of the international community, a nuclear-armed Iran would not pose an existential threat. Iran could create real problems by gaining a capacity to put a chokehold on oil operations and shipments. Complacency and a failure to learn from past oil price shocks (1973, 1979, and 2008) have increased vulnerability to such an outcome. For the U.S. and moderate Arab States, a nuclear-armed Iran would also have profound regional balance of power implications. Nonetheless, most of the international community, including the U.S., would not face an existential threat.
Failure to reach an agreement could lead to those who have most at risk to respond most sharply. An existential threat dwarfs energy shock or regional balance of power implications, so Israel might be most inclined to take the sharpest action. The tiny Persian Gulf emirates are simply too weak to have a viable option. Hence, in the face of a nuclear-armed Iran, they could simply switch alliances in a hope of purchasing security.
War, of course, would be very damaging in the region and beyond. I would rather see the threat and, if necessary implementation, of truly crippling sanctions applied to facilitate the prospects of a diplomatic breakthrough than taking a less decisive approach that essentially allows the proverbial clock to wind down until the various parties are left to consider more difficult alternatives.
My illustration was simply for the purpose of suggesting that if Iran were solely concerned about defense or a civil nuclear program, those issues could be addressed. There is no need for illicit nuclear activities.No nation would seek such a deal for god sake.
Although that may be true, Iran cannot ignore or even threaten the critical or vital interests of other sovereign states and expect that they will do nothing simply because Iran is exploiting technicalities of international law.It is a voluntary agreement with the IAEA.. Iran can and do say no. If the IAEA came to the US and said give us access to your nukes.. the US would say no.
What do you mean by "all diplomatic areas." Certainly, all issues relevant to the dispute, rights under international law, security of the states involved, etc., are legitimate matters for the diplomacy.I agree, but as long as ALL diplomatic areas are not covered, then the west is playing right into the hands of the fanatics on both sides that want a war.
Those are separate matters. IMO, the linkage between resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and Iran's nuclear dispute is very weak, and probably weaker than resolving issues with Tehran first. After all, it is Tehran that sponsors groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, not the other way around. Then, Hezbollah and Hamas would potentially be weakened if an agreement was sufficiently broad to reduce Iranian assistance to those groups.Yes, and Israel's nukes, treatment of the Palestinians, the disputed areas in Lebanon, the whole Palestinian question and so on. Problem is the west has conditions, just as Iran has....
I have always said, deal with the Israeli-Palestinian issue and that way declaw Iran big time. Fixing the Israeli-Palestine issue would solve a lot of problems or at least start to solve a lot of problems in the Middle East. As it stands now, it is a lighting rod, and excuse for radicals on both sides.
Furthermore, even if there were no Israeli-Palestinian dispute/Arab-Israeli dispute, Tehran would still be governed by the current revolutionary regime. Ideology and historical aspirations would still drive the regime on a course that I believe is aimed at achieving regional hegemony. Hence, that regime would very likely be pursuing a similar course to the one now underway. Its ability to exert influence via its Hezbollah and Hamas allies could be somewhat less if and only if those groups accepted Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace (very questionable given those groups' fundamental goals and ideology).
Of course, I strongly believe that efforts to resolve the historic Israeli-Palestinian dispute and other aspects of the larger Arab-Israeli dispute should be pursued on their own merit. Some improvements in regional stability would be better than none. However, I highly doubt that the path to peace with Iran would be paved by going through Ramallah first. Indeed, there is no silver bullet under which peace with one party would lead to a rapid spread of peace throughout the region. Tough negotiations will be required on all the tracks.