Why Is It Bad If Iran Gets a Nuclear Bomb?
Why Is It Bad if Iran Gets a Nuclear Bomb?
Other than the fact that we don't like it, why is it bad if Iran gets a nuclear bomb? Troublesome nations like China, Pakistan and North Korea have gotten the bomb, and the world hasn't come to an end. Surely the Iranians know that actually using one against a nuclear power like the United States would result in their own destruction. Don't they?
Do they even care?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has talked often about imagining a world without the United States and Israel. Maybe some of that is just talk, but there is physical evidence that in addition to developing a nuclear weapon Iran is also pursuing dangerous electromagnetic pulse (EMP) technology. The United States has detected missile tests from sea-based platforms from which the Iranians have launched warheads at the high-point of the missile trajectory rather than the aim point over the target.
This indicates an interest in detonating a device high overhead to maximize the EMP effects of disabling all electronic equipment including computers and telecommunications systems. Maybe that's why Ahmadinejad talks about "a world without America." While incapable of annihilating the United States with a small nuclear arsenal, EMP technology could largely incapacitate the world's lone superpower nonetheless.
Once upon a time we could count on mutual assured destruction (MAD) as a deterrent to nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. But now the players have changed. For radical Iranian Shiities such as Mahmoud Ahmadinjad, MAD may represent more of an inducement than a deterrent, according to Bernard Lewis, the foremost Western scholar on Islam.
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