Experts: Attacking Iran will Result in Bomb-making Spree

William J. Broad of the New York Times provides a compilation of quotes from experts on Iran’s nuclear program in his report about the growing list of reasons against militarily attacking the country. In short, bombing Iran will spur a bomb-making spree and “unite what is now a fractious state…and build an atmosphere of mobilizing rage.”

“People always assume the bad guys want nukes,” says Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear nonproliferation specialist at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. “But I think there’s usually a hesitation about the balance of risk. My sense is that the threat of military action makes bad guys feel like they need the bomb.”

Pakistan’s foreign minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, seemed to have embodied that kind of determination when he said famously in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”

Mark Fitzpatrick, a senior nonproliferation official at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a prominent arms analysis group in London, said in an e-mail interview that it was “almost certain” that a military strike on Iran would result in “a Manhattan-style rush to produce nuclear weapons as fast as possible.”

These analysts maintain that the history of nuclear proliferation shows that attempting to thwart a nuclear program through an attack can have consequences opposite of those intended. Mr. Lewis of the Monterey Institute and other experts often cite Iraq. Israel’s attack on the Iraqi Osirak reactor in 1981, they argue, hardened the resolve of Saddam Hussein and gave his nuclear ambitions new life.

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Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is an Iranian-born journalist based in Washington, DC.

One Comment

  1. Israel WANTS Iran to be tricked in going for some tangible evidence of developing a bomb – or even to be engaged in trying to make one

    Israel is not afraid of an Iranian bomb – it WANTS to force Iran in that direction. Why?

    This may appear counterintuitive but forcing Iran’s hand to try to develop itself will be the goldmine Israel currently has and will guarantee that perpetual goldmine into the future – and this will be the source of Israel’s aid and military supplies for the next 1000 yrs if Israel can continue to pull it off

    Israel will be always be safe because it can always ‘justifiably’ nuke Iran if Iran tries to sprint towards a bomb to defend itself – but in the meantime Israel will ‘make it’s money’ off forcing Iran to try to defend itself like that.

    It’s all a run of the mill Israeli ruse designed to make money and have the US military accomplish Israeli objectives

    Now everybody understands the reason for the endless Israeli and Israeli Lobby threats – it is because any Iranian movement towards defending itself will result in windfalls for the Israelis – and if Iran ever does try to sprint towards a bomb there will be Jerichos on the way to Tehran in the time-worn policy of Israeli Self-Defense

    Anything short of a nuke and Israel wins – and even if Iran does try to sprint Israel is still safe and still wins

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