The hawks on the American Enterprise Institute’s foreign policy team are usually quick to hype the threat of a nuclear Iran and warn anyone who will listen that a nuclear armed Iran would spell doomsday for Israel and regional stability in the Middle East. But Danielle Pletka, the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI now says that the problem with a nuclear weapons possessing Iran is that the world might accept it as a responsible, nuclear weapons possessing state.
The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it. It’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, ‘See! We told you Iran is a reponsible power. We told you Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately. We told you Iran wasn’t seeking regional influence or regional hegemony through its acquisition of nuclear weapons. And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem.
“Hold on. The ‘biggest problem’ with Iran getting a nuclear weapon is not that Iranians will use it but that they won’t use it and that they might behave like a ‘responsible power’?” Media Matters’ MJ Rosenberg asks, adding, “But what about the hysteria about a second Holocaust?”
Pletka’s new position — that the “biggest problem” is Iran possessing a nuclear weapon and not using it — is probably not going to be the talking point du jour at AEI’s December 6, event “The Costs of Containing Iran: More Than the U.S. Is Bargaining For.” But it will be interesting to see if Pletka uses the venue to clarify her position and reaffirm her hard-line stance against a nuclear Iran.