Obama is calling for the world to unite in getting tough on Iran over its nuclear program and alleged assassination plot in the U.S. Where will this lead?
Best Opinion: Weekly Standard, Haaretz, Baltimore Sun
President Obama is urging United Nations inspectors to release new classified evidence that Iran has been testing nuclear weapons technology, according to The New York Times. If the seemingly damning evidence is made public, it would likely rekindle the debate over whether the U.S. or some other country should launch military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities to keep Tehran from getting the bomb. Tehran is already lashing out at Washington for accusing it of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in the U.S. Could this mean war?
It certainly should: Iran “has the blood of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan on its hands,” says William Kristol at The Weekly Standard. It’s a “brutal dictatorship that has aided terrorists,” and “it’s seeking nuclear weapons while denying it’s doing so.” Obama should look at the assassination plot as “an engraved invitation” to strike and weaken the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the regime’s nuclear program, to set it back before it’s too late.
“Speak softly… and fight back”
Striking Iran is a bad idea: The question isn’t whether the U.S. will attack Iran’s nuclear installations — Israel is far more likely to take that step, says Sefi Rachlevsky at Israel’s Haaretz. But that would only “increase Iran’s determination to embark on an open race for a nuclear bomb.” And it would only undermine “Western support for the nuclear deterrent that protects Israel” from its hostile Muslim neighbors, while giving Iran greater incentive to use the bomb once it gets it.
“The link between Shalit’s release and Iran’s bomb”
We should keep the threat of war on the table: “Should we bomb Iran for plotting to blow up a Washington, D.C., restaurant in order to assassinate the Saudi ambassador?” asks Jonah Goldberg in the Baltimore Sun. “Probably not.” But instead of insisting we should resolve this diplomatically, Obama should at least make the mullahs over there think it could start raining missiles at any time. A plot like this is “an act of war” — we don’t need any more proof that being reasonable with Tehran doesn’t pay off.
“We probably shouldn’t attack Iran, but we shouldn’t tell them that”