Iran: Not That Bad a StartRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: nuclear weapons, Barack Obama, Iran
Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full, A Matter of Principle, and the recently published Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite its obvious weaknesses, and undaunted by the usual hyperbole of the Obama administration and its bearers, beaters, and apologists, led by John (“unbelievably small”) Kerry, I think the Geneva agreement over the Iranian nuclear program is progress. Habitual readers will recall that I had effectively given up on this administration doing anything except, to conflate phrases of FDR and Mao Tse-tung, “stand idly by with folded arms” while the ayatollahs seeded the topography of Iran with launchers loaded with nuclear-tipped missiles. Of course, this would have led to similar arms in the hands of the Saudis, Egyptians, and Turks, which, with Iran, Pakistan, and Israel, would have made the Middle East a dense forest of nuclear missiles aimed heavenwards on their launchers, but angled at each other. At that point, a nuclear exchange would be practically inevitable, even if it were initiated by one of the Muslim countries in the region tacitly allowing a terrorist group to deliver a suitcase bomb in a container ship and then unctuously claiming not to have known anything about it (much as Mullah Omar, then the ruler of Afghanistan, did after the 9/11 attacks). The failed state is the refuge of the enemies of civilized, or even just powerful, countries, as it affords the world’s most odious people the excuse of claiming no direct responsibility for the outrages launched from such places, e.g., terrorism in Sudan or piracy in Somalia.
While the Geneva agreement relaxes sanctions, especially on petroleum and petrochemical products and precious metals, and will bring a gush of hard currency that the Iranian theocracy may be assumed likely to use mischievously (i.e., for criminal purposes), that freshet of economic stimulus will be addictive to many Iranians who are not enjoying their present threadbare economic condition, which is not entirely palliated by the knowledge that those who claim charge of their immortal Islamic souls are close to being able to trigger mutual nuclear incineration with designated impious regimes....