Giving Up Nukes to Encourage Iran
John Quiggin offers what he terms “A modest proposal” to solve the Iranian nuclear standoff:
Britain, France and Germany are busy trying to persuade Iran to abandon efforts to develop nuclear weapons, so far with little success. Cajolery and bribery having tried and failed, how about a bit of leadership by example? Two of the three parties in this effort have nuclear weapons of their own, even though they donÃ¢€™t face any conceivable threat of invasion. Perhaps if they agreed to disarm themselves, the Iranians would be impressed enough to follow suit.
It’s rather unclear to me, though, why this would work even if the Brits were willing to disarm. Presumably, Iran’s desire to have nuclear weapons is independent of Europe’s possession of them. The threat of a United Kingdom nuclear strike on Iran is, after all, relatively low.
Update (1123): Tim Worstall finds the proposal problematic as well.