The united states has been foolish in its foreign policy toward Iran in many ways over the past few decades. In 1953 a CIA operation ousted Mossadegh, the democratically elected leader of Iran for the rule by the Shah. The U.S. government failed to predict the high levels of Iranian nationalism as well as the hatred for the shaw’s lavish lifestyle and western influence many Iranians felt. As well the U.S. failed to expect the level of blowback that culminated with the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
For fear of the new Iranian theocracy we helped Saddam Hussein and his secular republic flight Iran from 1980-1988. We stood by and watched as Iraq used chemical weapons on Iranian soldiers, the hypocrisy is palpable. Also in 1988 an american destroyer mistook an Iranian passenger plane for a jet fighter and fired on it killing 290 souls. In his state of the union address George W. Bush referred to Iran as the ‘Axis of Evil’ alongside Iraq and North Korea hardening extremists and increasing nationalism as well as anti american sentiment.
Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s comments regarding Israel are often misconstrued. He was not talking about nuking them but rather that they should not exist on the map. He was talking about the the Palestinian’s claim to the land and not scorching the earth where the jews stand. He was talking about a fundamental belief that an intergovernmental body such as the united nations does not have the authority to take land from one people and give it to another. Benjamin Netanyahu has said himself that Iran is a threat to “zionism”. This is different than claiming Iran is a threat to Israel. President Netanyahu understands that in order for zionism to work jews from all over the world must continue to immigrate to Israel. A nuclear armed Iran make jewish individuals fearful and discourage them from immigrating to the holy land.
In the future perhaps the US should leave Iran alone. Trying soft power for once might work. A carrot and stick approach, carrot being trade, stick being attitude toward their nuclear program. However it should remain just that an attitude! The Iranian people have seen the U.S. repeatedly meddle in it’s affairs and as far as I’m concerned they want a nuclear weapon as a deterrent to keep us away and they should get it. Iran is an independent nation who has the right to get a nuclear weapon, launching an attack or smuggling out a nuke is suicidal and Iran does not appear suicidal. Let us not forget that Ronald Reagan allowed Pakistan to develop nuclear weapons. This idea that the united states gets to choose which countries can have nukes and which can not is arrogance and foolishness and will lead to much larger problems for Americans in the future.