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Iran should have a nuclear weapon, or at least be free to pursue one. For years, the United States and its allies, mainly Israel, have been fighting to prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon. While, on base logic, this seems like the best scenario, it is a very limited view. Of course, it has to be conceded that a country that has been known to harbor and support terrorism is a frightening prospect, however, a nuclear armed Iran is not as much of an existential threat as politicians would lead us to believe.
Although it seems counter-intuitive, a nuclear armed Iran would make for a safer world. In the modern period, there have been four major wars: The French Revolution, World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. What they all share that others, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Falklands, the Balkans, lack, is a sort of intensity; the former represents war by the most powerful members using all resources for radical geopolitical results. What we can see is that as nuclear weapons became more proliferated and more consequential, the totality of the conflicts commencing decreased. Why? In a pure cost-benefit analysis of these conflicts, the costs seem to have risen to extreme levels, the benefits have become all but extinct.
Especially with nuclear weapons, the threat of mutually assured destruction has prevented even the closest of encounters. During the Cold War, the tension between the US and the USSR was ever growing, yet even at the most critical points, things always diffused themselves. Even more recently, conflict between India and Pakistan was essentially resolved by nuclear weapons being involved. India and Pakistan agreed not to target nuclear facilities because of the dangers that nuclear facilities have in of themselves. A nuclear armed Iran could do something similar for the Middle East. Israel would cease to be the sole holder of nuclear weapons, potentially making them less aggressive, and helping the region be more stable. Iran would also become more acutely aware of their aggressions; something learned from Maoist China.
Terrorists groups would be an even less likely outlet for Iran. If the past couple years have shown anything, it’s that the surveillance capabilities of the US is far reaching and extremely impressive. If Iran were selling nuclear weapons to terrorist groups, it would undoubtedly be discovered. Further, after the cost of finally getting a nuclear weapon, Iran wouldn’t want to risk such an investment with a terrorist group.
Yet, even with the growing escalation between Israel and Palestine, unrest over the future of oil prices, and effects of the Arab Spring still radiating, the US has moved in the safer direction of trying to mitigate the Iranian crisis by removing various sanctions against Tehran. This is another weak demonstration of international policy from the US. The US would have been better off keeping the sanctions in place and letting Iran develop a bomb. The US’s goals of achieving peace in the Middle East would have been made easier through the stability brought by a nuclear Iran. The removal of sanctions may have economic benefits, but the greatest possible benefits are going to be lost as a result. There is a better deal out there, just not one Americans have an easy time stomaching.
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