Monday, July 27, 2009

So We Know What Their Interests Are?

The silly mullahs of Iran don't even know that nukes are counter-productive to their security:

“I think we are in full agreement on the negative consequences of Iran obtaining this kind of a capability,” Gates said. “I think we are also agreed that it is important to take every opportunity to try and persuade the Iranians to reconsider what is actually in their security interests.”

One tack the U.S. is taking is “trying to persuade the Iranians that their own security interests are diminished by their policies, not enhanced,” Gates said.

The Iranian nuclear program threatens to destabilize the region and might prompt an arms race in the Middle East, Gates said. The U.S. has been working for the past two years to bolster maritime surveillance, air defense and missile defense in the region, he added.

I actually agree with Secretary Gates that Iran's security is better if nobody in the region is nuclear. An Iran with normalized relations with the world would have the population and money to build a conventional military that would overpower any of their Arab neighbors' conventional militaries.

When you add in Iranian nukes, gulf Arab oil-producing states would have ample money to match Iran nuke for nuke.

Just as our conventional military dominance makes it to our advantage if everyone has no nukes, it is to Iran's advantage for nobody in their region to have nukes. But that's only true if Iran's leaders think like us.

And it get worse. Not only are nukes counter-productive from a regional power standing, the idea that Iran needs nukes to deter our attack on them ignores the fact that we have not attacked them (as I write in the linked post):

I mean, good grief, what worse things do the mullahs want to do that they fear will finally prompt America or Israel to nuke Iran after a long history of our restraint in the face of hostile mullah actions? Now that's a scary thought.

I don't see any reason to believe that we should mirror image the mullahs. The fact that Iran's rulers do not agree with our assessment about what is in Iran's interests should tell us that we don't know what Iran's rulers believe is in their best interest--not that we must speaker louder and use smaller words so they'll understand their interests (as we see them).