Misconceptions About Iran’s Nuclear Program
Pay particular attention to Joseph Cirincione’s op-ed in the Washington Post, characterized as Five Myths About Iran’s Nuclear Program. I think a better word than myth would be misconception. In the op-ed Mr. Cirincione lays out five misconceptions about Iran’s nuclear program and explains why they’re misconceptions. Here they are:
- Iran is on the verge of developing a nuclear weapon.
- A military strike would knock out Iran’s program.
- We can cripple Iran with sanctions.
- A new government in Iran would abandon the nuclear program.
- Iran is the main nuclear threat in the Middle East.
His last two interconnected points are very important. A nuclear race is now on in the Middle East and in all likelihood it will continue regardless of what we do. The challenge we should be entertaining is how to manage a nuclear-armed Middle East and mitigate its effects.
Rather than debating items 1-3, just for the sake of argument let’s assume that Mr. Cirincione’s assertions are all correct, namely that Iran’s nuclear weapon (if it, indeed, is producing one) is one to three years away, that the most we can achieve via military strikes is delaying Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and that, even if an enhanced sanctions regime could be put in place against Iran, it wouldn’t prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Under those circumstances what is our most prudent course of action?