I don’t know which is worse: President Obama asserting, in defense of the nuclear deal he and his Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated with Iran, that “The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some form of war, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon,” or the fact that most Americans, and most American pundits, seem to accept that limited choice of options as a given.
Nothing could be more ridiculous, of course. We already know, because the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have repeatedly inspected Iran’s nuclear energy programs and reactors and verified the fact, that no bomb-making work has been going on in Iran for years. Iran has no weapons-grade uranium 235 and no plutonium. Even the US intelligence services and Israel’s Mossad leaders past and present have said that Iran has no nuclear weapons program underway.
If the existence in a country of scientists capable to make a bomb were a cause for going to war, the US would have to be attacking Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, all the countries of Eastern Europe and all the former Soviet states now referred to as “the Stans” in central Asia, as well as a host of others whose students have performed admirably as engineers and physics majors in US and European universities. Any of these countries could work out the science and the engineering issues needed to design and build a bomb, and if they didn’t have nuclear reactors that could churn out the necessary fissile material (most do), they could buy it on the black market.
So, for that matter, could Iran, if its leaders really wanted The Bomb. How hard would it have been for Iran to surreptitiously buy a nuke or three from ally and fellow Muslim state Pakistan, which has a bunch of them, or from financially strapped North Korea, or just to buy the ingredients for a bomb from them? But Iran has not done this, and despite years of unprovoked Israeli threats to send bombers to attack Iran, a fairly impressive and vicious cloak-and-dagger Mossad campaign to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, a US/Israeli-orchestrated cyber attack, called Stuxnet, that destroyed most of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and supercomputers, and covert US support of terrorist actions inside Iran, Iran’s leaders have not reconsidered their decision back in 2003, a full 12 years ago, to halt the country’s research on developing a nuclear bomb, which Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has declared to be a “sin” under Islam.
Anyone who is convinced Iran plans to build a bomb and create Mideast mayhem by using it should ask themselves how that would benefit Iran. The country has been battered by sanctions and an oil embargo that have hampered any and all of its efforts to grow its economy and to improve the lives of the Iranian people. Iran also experienced first hand the horrors of war in the prolonged and horrific struggle it had against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein (who had US backing). Even if there are people who occasionally still shout “death to America” at demonstrations in Tehran, it would be hard to find someone in that country who would really want a war with the US, or with Israel either for that matter -- a country that has at its disposal some 400 nuclear weapons (and which, unlike Iran, has never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, does not allow international inspectors on its territory, and most importantly, has never ruled out using nukes first or against a country that has no nukes).
The US can't expect fellow Security Council member states China, Russia, France, and even Britain and Germany, to stick with sanctions on Iran if Congress kills the nuclear deal just negotiated