Friday, February 18, 2011

The Price Of A Nuclear-Free Iran

It's easy to make fun of Glenn Beck for associating Shi'ite Muslims' longed-for messianic 12th imam with the Antichrist. Indeed it's easy to make fun of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad for longing for the 12th imam.

Theology aside, it's not so funny if Iran really is embarked on an apocalyptic project that involves using a nuclear weapon against Israel or anyone else. And yet there's also evidence that, Iran's fanatical-sounding front man notwithstanding, the Iranian government is engaged in rational decision-making about whether to build nukes at all.

As Richard Nixon used to say about the U.S. and Soviets, we have irreconcilable ide0logical differences with Iran. But that doesn't mean we can't make a deal. Because of the uncertainty Iran sows about its ultimate aims, we obviously can't permit it to have nuclear weapons. I'd rather be open for business now than at war in five years.

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