"..And Thou Beside Me In the Wilderness." Omar Khayyam was always an odd Persian but I think he would have serious problems living with many of his present countrymen. He was a scientist and mathematician as well as a poet, but his skepticism would not have been appreciated in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
What are we to make of Iran’s nuclear intentions and capabilities? Courtesy of my Alexandria neighbor, John E. Pike and the "Daily Telegraph" we have the materials shown above.
Shahab-6? 10,000 kilometers in range? "Two to three years" to weaponization?" If this is true, then Iran would hold English cities at risk. When? No one really knows how long that would take. Three years? Five years" Ten years? Nobody knows really? The Mullahs probably do not know.
Would they use the weapons? This is actually rather unimportant. As a consequence of Iranian nuclear weapons, the playing field would be leveled to a remarkable degree. T. Friedman would begin to be right about something in his vision of the future. Could we still crush Iran? Certainly, but it would probably not come to that. Rather, we would experience a marked diminution of US influence and leverage in the region, and an upsurge in the general willingness of crazies around the world to believe that we are weaker. A perception of weakness on the part of one’s enemies is a dangerous thing. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other "emerging" countries would feel encouraged or threatened (choose your term) into taking similar paths. Would this danger drive these countries further into our arms? It is impossible to say, but with my usual pessimism I fear the worst.
Obviously, diplomacy and persuasion should be played out to the end, but the reactions of the Iranian government thus far are not encouraging.
People will say that this is all "cooked up" by the neocons and Bushies. I do not think that is true.