The United States ap­proaches this is­sue as though it can con­trol events, but Iran, Is­rael and other coun­tries in the re­gion will not wait for the stately pro­cesses of Amer­i­can diplo­macy.

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

ian prob­lem, time is run­ning short and the United States is los­ing its abil­ity to shape events. Other states will act if the U.S. does not. The Is­raeli source told us that a nu­clear Iran would be an ex­is­ten­tial threat to Is­rael, and that Is­rael can­not al­low the Ira­ni­ans to have the bomb. “We take se­ri­ously their state­ment to wipe Is­rael from the map,” our source said. “Given our his­tory we take it very se­ri­ously.”

Nor do we sus­pect Is­rael will be act­ing alone. Saudi Ara­bia faces its own ex­is­ten­tial threat from Iran. Tehran is seek­ing to un­der­mine the le­git­i­macy of ing the build­ing blocks for nu­clear weapons without ac­tu­ally assem­bling them. But that is a naïve sug­ges­tion; in fact it would be more desta­bi­liz­ing than ac­tu­ally hav­ing a work­ing bomb, be­cause Tehran would be un­der con­stant threat of at­tack with no cred­i­ble re­sponse. Also dis­mis­si­ble is the idea that should Iran go nu­clear the Cold War-era de­ter­rence model would ap­ply, with Is­rael and Iran achiev­ing a sus­tain­able bal­ance of ter­ror. This as­sumes of course that Iran’s mil­lenar­ian mul­lahs are as ra­tio­nal as the Soviet Polit­buro, a risky as­sump­tion at best.

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