Letter re-Israel/Iran to International Herald Tribune - 2/3/12

Letter to International Herald Tribune – 2nd March 2012 – not published

Amos Yadlin’s article “Israel’s Deadline For Striking Iran” is deeply alarming. Can this combination of bellicosity and wishful thinking really represent the thinking of the Netanyahu government?

Iran’s nuclear programme is the consequence of Israel’s nuclear weapon programme, just as the UK and the US’s programme resulted from fear of a German programme, the Soviet Union’s was a reaction to the United States’, China’s to the Soviet Union’s, India’s to China’s, Pakistan’s to India’s. Israel’s has been freestanding and undeclared but only implausibly. Failing Iran’s programme it will be Saudi Arabia’s or Egypt’s. (Note that Iraq could be attacked because it did not have nuclear weapons and Libya because it had de-nuclearised).

Nuclear deterrence is useful – as Israel has found. Threats against nuclear deterrence are dangerous and provocative. Neither Israel’s attacks on Osirak nor the Syrian plant provide any reliable experience.

Israel should surely be thinking of persuading Iran to accept a nuclear-free Middle East rather than promoting itself (unacceptably) as the Middle East’s sole nuclear weapon state; let alone trying to pull its great financial and political benefactor, the United States, into yet another un-winnable war.

Yours,

Elizabeth Young

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