I must confess my knowledge of Iran only slightly surpasses my knowledge of A Flock of Seagulls' 1982 hit, "I Ran." That being said, I've tried to stay abreast of the U.S.'s efforts to form a coalition to aid in pressuring Iran into abandoning their nuclear ambitions.
Luckily, everything seems to be going swimmingly. Today, when asked by what means he would prevent Iran from pursuing uranium enrichment, President Bush replied, "We want to solve this problem diplomatically, and we're working hard to do so," but "all options are on the table."
And, in celebration of Army Day in Iran, President Amadinejad declared, "The land of Iran has created a powerful army that can powerfully defend the political borders and the integrity of the Iranian nation and cut off the hand of any aggressor and place the sign of disgrace on their forehead." *
Them sounds like fightin' words.
*Would a powerful army defend any way but powerfully?
Now, I certainly side with those who believe the world is a safer place without Iran eventually possessing the ability to produce nuclear weapons. (Of course, they may already have some the old-fashioned way--arms dealers from the ex-Soviet Union.) It'd be presumptuous to say every Arab leader is a bellicose, jihad-loving lunatic, but from all indications, Amadinejad certainly is one. For example, following a suicide attack in Israel in October of 2005, he said, "There is no doubt that the new wave in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the Islamic world." (How can anyone say the phrase Middle East peace talks with a straight face?) However, how realistic is it that diplomacy will resolve the issue? The IAEA is scheduled to visit Natanz and other nuclear sites on Friday and inspect Iran's existing program. Since most Middle East countries are open books when it comes to foreign inspectors, the whole issue should get cleared up on Friday. But if by some chance the inspectors cow from Iranian pressure, or Iran prefers to keep some information undisclosed, then the next option would appear to be the aforementioned coalition or the U.N. Security Council, whose declarations are genuinely as feckless as arena security guards trying to keep fans from storming a basketball court.
So eventually we're left with what? Another preemptive strike?