One can always tell when its an election year as the rhetoric related to Iran hits a fevered pitch. Rather than discuss the two wars (Iraq & Afghanistan) the U.S. has been fighting for more than a decade, political debate has recently focused intently on Iran’s development of uranium in the pursuit of a nuclear weapon. These discussions consistently debate one issue: when should Israel (or even the U.S.) bomb Iran to prevent the country from developing a nuclear weapon? Rarely do politicians or the media address the validity of the assumptions surrounding this question. Why is it unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon when countries like North Korea have one? What does the West think would happen if Iran were to acquire a nuclear weapon? Why is a nuclear armed Iran considered irrational while a highly volatile and partially unstable Pakistan considered a secure home for nuclear weapons? I could go on forever, but I won’t. I’ll instead hope that increasing levels of tough talk will subside as the U.S. Presidential election year passes.
Last night, to my surprise, 60 Minutes broadcast a reasonable interview on the topic from a highly informed Israeli source; ex-Chief of Mossad Meir Dagan. Dagan explains in the interview that a preemptive Israeli strike on Iran would be counterproductive and instead recommends that the international community continue to pursue sanctions. Dagan also suggests the best way to facilitate regime change in Iran is internally – by fomenting revolution via Iran’s next generation – rather than externally through an Israeli or Western invasion. Here’s the video and it’s worth a listen.