Weird as it sounds, this might actually be the solution to the current crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme. It certainly seems a better idea than yet another war in the region, a war which would make the Iraq debacle look like a school playground punch-up.
Give Iran the bomb: it might make the regime more pliable
So what is the answer? The answer, of course, is not to panic, and also not to reach for our six-guns, and not to spout the language of Wild West ultimatums. There are two very different regimes, and their ambitions call for different responses.
My despairing feeling is that, in the case of Iran, we should admit that it’s checkmate, as they say in Persian. The Iranians are one day going to possess a nuclear bomb; there is almost certainly nothing we can do about it; all our blustering and threats are pointless. Indeed, if all else fails, there may even be a case for giving the Iranians the bomb — that’s right: maybe it is time for the Americans to take control themselves of this unstoppable programme.
If I am right in thinking that an Iranian bomb is not only inevitable, but also corresponds to the wishes of the people of Iran, then perhaps we could turn this whole thing on its head. Perhaps it is time to end the sense of terror, and suspicion, and escalating menace. Perhaps the Americans could actually assist with the technology, as they assist the United Kingdom, in return for certain conditions: that the Iranian leadership stops raving about attacking Israel, for instance, and that progress is made towards democracy, and so on.
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