This weekend at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, ThinkProgress asked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) what an attack on Iran over its nuclear program would do to the Green Movement there. “They might be supportive,” he said, without offering any evidence of how he knew this to be the case.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), who along with McCain led the American delegation to the Halifax forum, later jumped in to answer the question as well. While Udall wondered whether an attack would “create a nationalistic fervor” (Iranian human rights activists and those close to the Green Movement think it will), he said “the benefits” of military strikes on Iran “are very, very significant”:
UDALL: This, if it arrives at our doorsteps will be one of the most weighty decisions that any of us would have to make if in fact the United States were involved in such an effort. My analysis is in the short term, there would be a price to pay but also an advantage gain. The price to pay would be oil prices rising, perhaps proxy attacks around the world on the part of non-state actors that the Iranians immorally deploy. I think in the medium term, the benefits are very, very significant. You would see the Middle East not in a nuclear arms race, an entire region destabilized.
Watch the clip:
It appears that Udall believes that attacking Iran would prevent it from developing nuclear weapons and thus ward off a regional arms race. However, the reality is that in all likelihood, bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would have the opposite effect in only delaying an Iranian nuclear weapons capacity, an analysis that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta agreed with earlier this month. And if anything, attacking Iran would, as one DOD official said, “incentivize the Iranians to go all the way to weaponize” their nuclear material.