Should The West Attack Iran?

The former head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency recently called for Israel to join forces with other countries to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. This hawkish view is understandable if one has the opinion that Iran truly does intend to manufacture nukes. Certainly, it is evident that world sanctions against Iran have proven ineffective, since the country’s leadership continues to boast that it will proceed with its nuclear plans. But is war the answer? And do the hawks have other motives? If we consider these questions, we may shed some light on the motives of those involved.

The Pros Of Attacking Iran

If a coalition of western countries did decide to attack Iran, they very well might be able to delay or even eliminate Iran’s capacity to build a nuclear bomb. If we hold the generally accepted view that Iran is a rogue state, this would be a favorable outcome. And this view is, by no means, a stretch. Iran’s anti-Israel rhetoric has included denials of the Holocaust and threats to wipe Israel off the map. These threats may be bluster, but any threat of violence by a country should be taken seriously. Also, if Iran did have nuclear weapons, it would be much more dangerous in any future military conflict. The Middle East is unstable as it is.

The Cons Of Attacking Iran

The major downside of attacking Iran would be a potentially devastating retaliatory strike against Israel. With Israel within the reach of hundreds – perhaps thousands – of Iran’s missiles, thousands of Israeli lives might be lost, and a war might start that could draw in neighboring countries. Also, the countries that would attack Iran would face the court of world opinion if it was found that Iran’s nuclear technology was only being developed for peaceful ends.

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