The recent deal struck between the West and Iran that is supposed to limit Iran’s nuclear program has put Israel in a difficult position. Its major ally — the U.S. — has chosen a diplomatic route to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb. But the deal will only last six months and there is no guarantee diplomacy will work.
As Norman Podhoretz wrote in the Wall Street Journal recently, a “new consensus” on Iran has emerged that posits the notion that the only thing worse than Iran getting the bomb is taking military action to prevent it.
Adherents of the new consensus would have us believe that only two choices remain: a war to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons or containment of a nuclear Iran—with containment the only responsible option. Yet as an unregenerate upholder of the old consensus, I remain convinced that containment is impossible, from which it follows that the two choices before us are not war vs. containment but a conventional war now or a nuclear war later.
Given how very unlikely it is that President Obama, despite his all-options-on-the-table protestations to the contrary, would ever take military action, the only hope rests with Israel. If, then, Israel fails to strike now, Iran will get the bomb. And when it does, the Israelis will be forced to decide whether to wait for a nuclear attack and then to retaliate out of the rubble, or to pre-empt with a nuclear strike of their own. But the Iranians will be faced with the same dilemma. Under these unprecedentedly hair-trigger circumstances, it will take no time before one of them tries to beat the other to the punch.
We’ve heard from the pundits and politicians. Now it’s your turn. Will Israel still attack Iran despite the recently signed agreement to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment program? Please leave your thoughts in the comments. If you’re not registered to comment, please take a few seconds to do so.