WITH Iran having notified the United Nations nuclear
watchdog agency on Monday that any day now it will begin enriching its
stockpile of uranium in order to power a medical reactor, we should
admit that Washington’s approach to countering the Islamic Republic is
leading nowhere. What’s needed, however, may be less of a change of plan
than a change in how we view the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.
it or not, there are some potential benefits to the United States
should Iran build a bomb. (I’m speaking for myself here, and in no way
for the Air Force.) Five possibilities come to mind.
Iran’s development of nuclear weapons would give the United States an
opportunity to finally defeat violent Sunni-Arab terrorist groups like
Al Qaeda. Here’s why: a nuclear Iran is primarily a threat to its
neighbors, not the United States. Thus Washington could offer regional
security — primarily, a Middle East nuclear umbrella — in exchange for
economic, political and social reforms in the autocratic Arab regimes
responsible for breeding the discontent that led to the attacks of Sept.