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The Missiles of November

Ana Palacio provides a Cold War nuke analysis redux:

That Iran’s push to acquire the capacity to produce nuclear weapons is partly motivated by security concerns cannot be denied. Nationalism, however, is a more important factor. It is not just that all the great powers have nuclear weapons; the problem, from Iran’s perspective, is that lesser powers – particularly neighboring states such as Pakistan and Israel – have them. The Iranians regard themselves as the heirs to a great and ancient civilization, and their ambition of achieving regional preeminence reflects this. At the same time, they perceive their country to be marginalized, discriminated against, and the target of aggressive international condemnation.

Palacio is arguing nonsense on stilts.  Substitute “Soviet Union” for Iran, “global” for “regional,” and you could have pulled this from any 1970s or 1980s apologia for nuclear disarmament.

The Soviets, like the mullahs, head a regime that isn’t “normal” with respect to the international order; it sees itself as gaining legitimacy precisely from being outside that order, but seeks to warp it to its own ends.  The Soviet nuclear threat ended with the elimination of the Soviet, not the nuclear, and it was ended through judicious application of proxy military and direct economic pressure.

Sanctions had brought the mullahs to the table not for fear of losing their nukes, but for fear of losing their regime and their lives.  Sadly, ending the mullocracy was never part of this administration’s agenda.

Posted in Foreign Policy.

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