People are still falling for it. Slippery Seyed is back to his old tricks and apparently has some new fans. Seyed Mousavian, for those who do not remember, is a former Iranian nuclear negotiator and spokesman for Khatami’s nuclear team. I have discussed his sophisticated tactics on behalf of the Iranian regime in previous posts, to be found here and here).
In the National Interest, Mousavian recently penned a 10 point elucidation of why “Iran doesn’t want the bomb”. If it was written by someone else and entitled ‘Why Iran shouldn’t get the bomb’, it may have some practical use.
Unfortunately, slippery Seyed is playing games. How do we know? Well, because the action of the country he claims does not want the bomb… does not match his own misleading and tendentious analysis.
Let’s go through the points (quickly), from 1-10.
1) Religious obligations
Well to put it simply. Khamenei’s mythical fatwa banning nuclear weapons does not exist. I challenge you to find it; in writing, on any of his official sites. See my lengthier blog post on this precise matter.
2) No long-term advantage
That is not how the Iranians see it. The magic word here is “immunity”. Iran’s leadership has seen how tyrannical, oppressive regimes with nuclear weapons have gained immunity (N. Korea), while those who oppress their people without these WMDS fall by the wayside (Libya, Iraq, Syria…).
3) Technology Choice
I ask: Just why does Iran need this technology for nuclear energy when they have more oil and gas than nearly every other country in the world? Probably because it is not nuclear energy they desire…
Iran is already isolated. Mainly as a result of spreading terror across the region, supporting a brutal Assad regime, and disregarding any semblance of human rights at home. A nuclear weapon, however, would enable the Islamic Republic to bully those neighbors it had previously merely alienated. And anyway, since when had isolation ever bothered rogue states in the past? (See this recent claim from a senior Iranian commander)
Mousavian says it himself: “Iran’s ultimate strategy is to be a modern nation, fully capable of competing with the West in terms of advanced technologies…” Liberal, modern, responsible democracies can indeed be trusted with this technology. Oppressive, theocracies which stone women and homosexuals while threatening the existence of other countries… well, they cannot.
What goodwill? The Iranian regime has been caught deceiving the IAEA over and over again during the last decade. In fact, they almost seem to be in a perennial war with the UN watchdog. See my recent blog post. What has changed now?
7) No Stockpile
Check out this recent summary of the IAEA November Safeguards Report (analyzed by former IAEA officials). These experts would beg to differ.
8) Enrichment Offers
Mousavian has a warped view of history. In the past, when external parties have offered to enrich Uranium in an open fashion (something Iran does not do) on behalf of the Islamic Republic… Iran has refused to cooperate.
Diplomacy, thus far, has been utilized by the Iranians as the ultimately foot-dragging mechanism, buying time, while speeding ahead with their nuclear program.
MAD indeed does not apply here; indeed Mousavian is conversely right in his assessment. It is his stated causation that is wholly incorrect. MAD would never work because the Iranian leadership sees martyrdom (a central tenet of Shia Islam) as a positive precept.
They have sponsored suicide terror attacks across the Middle East (and indeed beyond – Thailand, India for example). Iran knows that the US would categorically never even consider ‘wiping’ out Iran. Neither would Israel. In fact,
the only country threatening to remove another country from history is Iran.
Once again, the Iranian regime understands the important historical precedent of nuclear weapons serving as the ultimate deterrence; providing much needed immunity for oppressive, tyrannical, theocratic regimes; regimes that have neither legitimacy at home nor abroad.
10) Forget Regime Change
Once again… Nuclear weapons = immunity for tyranny (at least against external regime change).
FM Bildt. Be careful what you tweet. Mousavian has been serving the nuclear program of Iran for many years now, and nothing has changed. I suggest you have a read of these posts before claiming that the points of view this “well informed person” are indeed “worth noting”. Points of view, President Obama can do without.