This is a continuation of yesterday’s post, Why Rand Paul Should Learn to Stop Supporting Iran Sanctions And Give Them The Bomb: Part 1. Prior to this post, we established why there aren’t alternative policy options and why Iran would want the bomb.
Some policymakers assume that Iran would become more aggressive with the backing of a nuclear bomb or that they would even provide terrorists with such capabilities. But in fact, history demonstrates that when states acquire nuclear capabilities, they become more defensive and hesitant in the international community because other major powers begin watching them very closely. Think China, India, and Pakistan in particular. There is little reason to believe Iran would behave differently. Iran will certainly have more bargaining power, but with a cooled approach to foreign policy, we will have to worry less about the influence of terrorists in the region and perhaps worry more about how Iran shapes its regional territory.
As for terrorists taking over a nuclear weapon, I’m sure our readership can fathom the vast amount of resources the Iranian government had to use to fund the creation of a singular warhead. Building and maintaining nukes is an incredibly expensive and resource-heavy endeavor. Terrorists do not have those kinds of resources, and there has never been any intelligence to suggests that any terrorist organization, in the history of mankind, has ever shown interest in pursuing a nuke when chemical and biological weapons are so much cheaper and easier to use.
What concerns many people is if Iran’s government will simply hand off their nuclear weapons to a terrorist organization. However, this does not consider the sunk costs involved in building the bomb; why would the Iranian government hand off such an expensive and dangerous asset to a party that cannot be managed? Finally, it is extremely difficult to smuggle nuclear weapons in and out of Iran, especially given the United States’ ability to track fissile material.
Some have called for more friendly diplomacy with Iran. They argue that we can talk Iran down from building a nuclear weapon. However, as I established yesterday, Iran has a lot of vested interest in building a bomb; their program is not something from which they can simply be “talked down.” I agree that open lines of communication are the best way to maintain a positive relationship with Iran, but what better olive branch is there than allowing Iran its sovereignty in developing the bomb? I do not foresee any future where Iran would respect us if we prevent them from running their country as they please. I think it’s more important to think of Iran post-bomb and start building diplomatic ties now. Ironically, history shows us that where nuclear capabilities materialize, relative peace and stability follows.
I realize how out of the ordinary this policy prescription is. All I ask is that libertarians move outside the overriding paradigm conflating American discourse, and consider more peaceful, ethical, and practical approaches to Iran’s nuclear program. A nuclear Iran is an inevitability. The question is what we should do in the months and years leading up to that day.