Yesterday, a coalition of British NGOs, think-tanks, and trade unions published a new report that assesses an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be “highly dangerous.”
The document, entitled “Time To Talk: The Case For Diplomatic Solutions On Iran,” warns that President Bush “feels duty-bound to stop Iran’s nuclear program. With little faith in diplomacy, the use of US military force remains a possibility, since Bush believes it unlikely that a…successor will have the ‘political courage’ to undertake a military strike.” There will likely be “great pressure on the President either to contemplate military action before he leaves office or to give the green light to Israeli strikes,” the report states.
The consequences of a U.S. or Israeli strike are “potentially so serious that complacency about the possible outcomes of a military strike could be perilous.” The report attacks “the assumption that targeted military strikes against Iran’s nuclear installations would effectively set back Iran’s nuclear program in the mid-to-long term.” Among the scenarios that the report lays out:
The underlying message is that, while the threat from Iran is serious and negotiations are difficult, “it cannot be said that the potential for diplomacy has been explored fully when direct talks between Iran and the US have not taken place.”