The release this week of a U.N. report with detailed findings pointing toward potential Iranian nuclear weapons work saw a chorus of right-wing calls for war with Iran. Yesterday, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney came out with a Wall Street Journal op-ed threatening war with the Islamic Republic, delivering the message to the Iranians that “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
In the wake of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report on Iran — which, despite the hype, may not be quite the “game-changer” hawks had hoped for — one prominent Romney adviser went further than the candidate, calling for a military strike against Iran. Eric Edelman, a former staffer to Vice President Dick Cheney and board member of a neoconservative pressure group, warned in the journal Foreign Policy that, if Iran goes nuclear, there would be a series of terrible consequence. After raising the “possibility of an Israeli-Iranian nuclear conflict” — ie, nuclear war — in an article headlined “Why Obama Should Take Out Iran’s Nuclear Program: The Case For Striking Before It’s Too Late,” Edelman and his co-authors wrote:
The closer Iran gets to acquiring nuclear weapons, the fewer options will be available to stop its progress. At the same time, Iran’s incentives to back down will only decrease as it approaches the nuclear threshold. Given these trends, the United States faces the difficult decision of using military force soon to prevent Iran from going nuclear, or living with a nuclear Iran and the regional fallout.
Edelman’s hawkishness on Iran is not new: In a January article in the same journal, he wrote with the same co-authors: “The military option should not be dismissed because of the appealing but flawed notion that containment is a relatively easy or low-risk solution to a very difficult problem.”
As ThinkProgress has noted, hawks abound on the Romney campaign foreign policy team — among them, those who pushed for the Iraq war and a slew who’ve pressed the case for attacking Iran. One even advocates for a controversial Iranian exile group that the State Department considers a terrorist organization. (HT: Marc Lynch)