“There is no case to be made that
“ This is not a recommendation for a military strike on the Iranian nuclear program. One could decide that allowing
's Iranian Self-Deception America
Let's admit the facts about its nuclear program and then have an honest debate about what to do.
By FREDERICK W. KAGAN AND MASEH ZARIF Wall Street Journal, Op Ed, February 27. 2012
Americans are being played for fools by
Yet the policy discussion in the
People are conflating intelligence assessment with policy recommendation. The prospect of war with
IAEA inspectors on the ground at Iran's nuclear facilities reported the following facts on Friday: Iran's inventory of centrifuges enriching uranium isotopes has been steadily expanding, along with the stockpiles of uranium enriched to 3.5% and 20%—important stages on the road to weapons-grade uranium.
The price of this refusal, including U.N. and international sanctions, has devastated the Iranian economy. Unemployment and popular dissatisfaction with the regime are high. Unprecedentedly harsh sanctions imposed by the Obama administration are driving off customers for
What peaceful purpose could be served by accepting such damage to pursue an illegal nuclear program? The international community has repeatedly offered
The pressure on
Western observers are confusing internal Iranian disagreements about how to manage their economic challenges with disagreements about foreign policy. Increasing external pressure this year could fracture the Iranian leadership on this issue, but no one has adduced any convincing evidence that is happening.
By contrast, there has been no vocal outcry for military action against
Some say that
The Iranians are advancing technically as fast as they can to acquire the fuel for a nuclear bomb. They also are pursuing key elements of a weaponization program separately and covertly. At the same time, they have attempted to draw the IAEA inspectors into protracted negotiations that would buy time to reach what the Israelis call the "zone of immunity" after which
Add it up any way you like:
This is not a recommendation for a military strike on the Iranian nuclear program. One could decide that allowing
Those who oppose military action against
Mr. Kagan is director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Zarif is research manager at the Critical Threats Project and leads its