Richard Just at The New Republic is “a little disturbed by the cavalier attitude some liberals have taken towards the prospect of a nuclear Iran”. Ah, good, I’m incredibly disturbed by the cavalier attitude warmongers have taken to the truth. Just writes:

As plenty of others have noted (see this TNR Online piece), Ahmadinejad isn’t exactly the only member of the Iranian regime who would like to see Israel destroyed. Even a so-called moderate, former president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, famously said, of a nuclear attack against Israel, “It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.” So maybe it’s true that Khamenei is taking power back from Ahmadinejad.

I wonder whether or not Just is deliberately trying to mislead his readers about this. Anyways, here’s what Efraim Karsh and Rory Miller wrote about Rafsanjani:

>The next year, former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, widely regarded as a pragmatist, noted that Israel was more vulnerable to nuclear attack than Muslim countries “because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything.” Then he added, “It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.”

The fact of the matter is that no matter how many times The New Republic truncates that Rafsanjani quotation, it’s still the case that he was talking about deterring Israel’s nuclear arsenal and not launching an Iranian first strike.


Be that as it may, at the end of the day, I do not only the Iranian nuclear program as such, but also the larger issue of the slow disintegration of the global nonproliferation regime, extremely seriously as a policy problem. Which is precisely why it’s so crucial to combat the horribly misguided “counterproliferation” school that was behind the Iraq War, and to fight against the view that sporadic unilateral military strikes are anything but counterproductive in achieving nonproliferation goals. Peter Scoblic’s 2005 New Republic article “Moral Hazard” is probably the best relatively brief statement of why the “bombs away!” approach to dealing with these problems only makes the problems worse and worse.