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Iran's Quest For Identity...

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The famous quote by Marshall McLuhan-- paraphrased;

"Violence is a quest for identity"

It is a gem, and to me seems fairly obvious.

I have listened to many folks say that it is Iran's sovereign right to refine nuclear ore, even to a weapons grade product. I have heard that Iran only wishes to have nuclear weapons capability so that it will give other nations pause before attempting invasion, remembering the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recently the international air strikes and support in stripping tyranny from Libya.

I have heard people say that Iran probably will not preemptively strike another nation with nuclear weapons... All of these ideas seem to a greater or lesser extant probable.

One thing that alarms me though is that people seem to connect the stalemate of the Soviet Union with NATO and other powers as an analogy with Israel and Iran. What concerns me is that Iran's leadership has a spiritual doctrine that bridges the mystical with the physical. There are even those of the extremely devout in Iran that wish to push along world events to cause an apocalypse, believing the twelfth imam is already physically alive with us.

I feel that Israel does have a point in fearing from a nuclear Iran. When nuclear weapons are backed not even by extreme political positions, but further it with religious ones, than the danger multiplies.

what do ou guys think?

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Well, in Israel there are extremists too, with their divine rights to the land and they are ready to use any means to assert it. One of them, Likud, is quite often at power. Moreover, I think personal actions are more important than the ideology. Leaders of invasion to Lebanon are popular politicians. And Lebanon in 80s wasn't a "pre-emptive strike" (could the war in 2006 be called so?) but an outright occupation of foreign territory. That's like Iran would invade Pakistan, because Baluchis cause unrests in the east. Iran didn't occupy even Iraq after they were attacked by them, but let's say that'd be making a virtue out of incapacity.

It seems to me Iran leaders follow the same strategy as Saddam and Israel: creating an echo of uncertainty, let allegations spread, but don't focus on the goal too obviously so that they can make an image of victims around themselves. Wasn't it somewhere in Dune, that war is always based on deception? Creating further contingencies and uncertainty concerning their military capabilities is the way how Iranian strategists cope with their political isolation and relative (in comparison to Sunni powers around them) lack of military material to deter any attack from the outside. Of course they won't attack anybody, but they need to look like they could, so that they won't end up like Syria or Iraq.

Just look at this - www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2VJIOR8I3s - in USA, Russia, France, North Korea, Pakistan...nukes would be prestigious tools of deterrent, expressions of country's military spirit and confidence ;) where is this pride in Ahmadinejad's words?

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I agree that it legitimizes through force the leadership of Iran. Nobody will think of doing to them what was done to Iraq.I also believe that the soon to be built nuclear weapons have a slim chance of being used. I just know from personal experience that narrow-minded religious views can and do delude people into doing pretty crazy things. I feel that people do not take this kind of thing as seriously as they should. We have know idea what the Iranians will do with their refined uranium, and the possibilities are endless. This kind of nuclear confrontation is different in a few ways from any other nuclear confrontation we have ever seen. Take the anxiety between the nuclear buildup of Pakistan and India, and elevate it a few times.

The religious scruples of the leaders of Iran are pretty intense. It could even get worse. Many of these folks believe that they are the generation that will witness the coming of the Mahdi. It almost seems that this kind of thing isn't taken seriously.

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I think when it comes to Iran, we should see it as a perfect example of the state that uses rhetoric to the most extent. They are great at their anti-western show, but I don't think we should see it as anything more then the rhetoric. Such a country can not afford to be a completly loyal to its rhetoric or it would not be able to properly interact with other countries in the world. Therefore the religious extremes would not be influencing the Iran's foreign policy, that is not to say that it will stop to broadcast anti-western rhetoric.

I don't see either Israel or Iran becoming India and Pakistan for the simple reason that they do not have the border disputes.

The only problem with nuclear armed Iran is that it would become a regional power in the Near and Middle East, fulfilling it dream since 1950s and something that the West has been trying to avoid for about the same time. The result would be military build up by Iran's neighbours and most likely USA would end up giving extra guarantees to its allies in the region to protect them. Possible stationing of nuclear weaponry somewhere in the region to allow retaliatory strikes against Iran.

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One does not achieve a position of great political power by being crazy, unstable, or unwilling to negotiate. Iran's political system, like nearly all political systems across the world, is fairly good at ensuring that the people at the top are not insane. If we can trust the United States with nuclear weapons when many people in the American political establishment act like religious nuts and claim to believe that the Second Coming of Christ is imminent, then we can also trust Iran with nuclear weapons when many people in the Iranian political establishment act like religious nuts and claim to believe that the coming of the Mahdi is imminent.

Personally, I do not think for one moment that any of those ultra-religious politicians actually believe what they're saying. I think the vast majority of them - in Iran, the US, and elsewhere - are just cynically using religion to get more power for themselves. After all, it is very suspicious when you claim that you talked to God and He gave you some commands that just so happen to fit perfectly with your political ambitions.

Still, having said all that, there may be one reason to oppose Iran's nuclear program: the danger that it will cause every other large country in the Middle East to get its own nuclear weapons. A nuclear Iran isn't a problem. But if nuclear silos start being built all across the region and everyone starts pointing missiles at everyone else, it's only a matter of time until an accident happens.

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True, but in the case of India and Pakistan you have only two regional powers pointing missiles at each other. As the Cold War showed, it is definitely possible (perhaps even easy) to avoid war in such a situation.

But what if Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt each end up with nuclear missiles pointed at the others? A 4-way stand-off makes matters far more complicated, and a lot more dangerous.

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True, but in the case of India and Pakistan you have only two regional powers pointing missiles at each other. As the Cold War showed, it is definitely possible (perhaps even easy) to avoid war in such a situation.

But what if Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt each end up with nuclear missiles pointed at the others? A 4-way stand-off makes matters far more complicated, and a lot more dangerous.

I think in situation where Iran gets the nuclear weapons, other countries in the region would not get nuclear weapons, they will just build up their conventional military strength and have US provide the nuclear retaliation capabilities. The reason is that the region is of vital importance due to oil found there and the fact that it can set the price of oil. To the arabic nations there it would be a good deal as the US will bear the cost of the nuclear program to protect them.

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India-Pakistan is actually a tripod because China also has nuclear missles and is in competition with India. Thus, China invests and collaborates with Pakistan. Secular, communist China collaborates with Iran also for oil and gas, so Iran's religious rethoric goes down the drain for even maintaining diplomatic relations with a country that actively persecutes muslims inside its own borders (ethnic Uyghurs vying for independence).

 

The issue with Iran is that there's also Russia nearby and Turkey (that hosted US ballistic missles during the Cold War). And Israel that has nuclear arsenal. So it's not unmatched.

 

And there's one more thing that might not be taken into consideration: Iran is not North Korea. Iran's citizens are not as brainwashed as the NKs. There were riots against the Gvt. there are people actively and passively opposing it, so an escalation to nuclear war because of religious dogma is unlikely as long as you lack homefront support. The whole issue with Iran right now is that the great powers don't want a competitor in an area they try to control. Especially one of the natives. Also, besides the Saudis (that are the dogmatic adversaries of Iran) there aren't many countries rich enough to build and maintain nuclear weapons.

 

My conclusion is that even if Iran gets nuclear weapons they are not likely to attack anyone. Remember the Allied Occupation of Iran in WWII to get an idea of why the Iranians want so badly to be at the same level with everyone else when it comes to military deterrent.

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The current US effort to achieve regime change in Syria will also aid in the isolation of Iran for future "peace and security efforts". I'm not convinced weapons of mass destruction is the reason why Iran is in the cross hairs of the US, after all, we all remember how weapons of mass destruction was the buzz word used to justify the war against Iraq.

The funny thing is that Iran might soon find themselves getting access to various nice weapons, probably even nukes, courtesy of our very own friendly South African government. What makes this funny is the fact that the old Apartheid regime had very strong ties, especially on military matters, with Israel. The new regime on the other hand has close ties with just about everyone, and don't mind the odd weapon scandal or two. The ANC government even tried to ignore the UN sanctions against Iran by continuing to buy fuel from them.

In my honest opinion the country in the world most likely to launch their nukes first is the US. Not Iran.

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The new Gvt. seems much more normal than the last. Hopefully they'll be able to get rid of the sanctions and kinda' reach normality.

 

There is a thing here... it seems (to me) that Iran observes its own legislation. Legislation is bad, true, but mostly they seem to stay inside those rules. Again, it is how I see it. While, let's say, China, has a very vague legislation which is breached daily by everyone. So, my impression is that Iran might be a better functioning state structure.

 

Another thing is that a rumor says that the whole thing about Iran right now is the fact that they want to trade oil in euros instead of dollars. Same rumor says that Iraq was invaded on the same basis (remember only France and Germany protested = euroengine) and Ghaddafi was trying to kickstart a gold-backed pan-islamic currency (with ultimate goal of forcing everyone to buy arabic oil with that currency and thus sidelining USD and EUR). But rumor are rumors... and unless you're an investigative journalist, it's hard to say.

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