The high stakes poker game continues as Iran seeks better relations with the West in an effort to eliminate costly economic sanctions that have crippled the nation, causing its population to become more and more rebellious.
It's only natural for high-end western nations to welcome a détente with Iran, especially when another war is an option. The curse that plagues rational people is naively thinking they can negotiate effectively with irrational theocrats or ruthless dictators.
On the other hand what can the West do but continue sanctions or buy into the charm offensive of Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani, lifting the sanctions, safe with the knowledge that Armageddon isn't around the corner. This is something I explained in a blog on 8/11/11. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dan-ehrlich/iran-nuclear-weapons_b_1080973.html
This new spirit of détente developed last week during US President Barack Obama's phone with Rouhani has Israel worried. It's leader Benjamin Netanyahu contends Iran is using conciliatory gestures as a smoke screen to conceal an unabated march toward a nuclear bomb.
You can bet that's what he told Obama during a meeting in Washington. He wants sanctions kept in place under the equally naive belief that this will stop Iran from going nuclear. Israel should know if you want a nuclear bomb you can get one. http://uk.news.yahoo.com/israels-netanyahu-press-obama-no-let-iran-pressure-133203201.html#chhbtCL
There's more worry with nations such as North Korea or Pakistan having atomic weapons, nations which are directly bordering potential enemies. These are also nations that can covertly sell their technology to countries such as Iran.
The problem with some Islamic nations such as Iran going nuclear is you never know what the future will bring...what leaders will take over the countries. Will they be liberal or extreme zealots? Just look at Pakistan.
The fact that Shiite Iran may get the bomb is more menacing to the surrounding Sunni Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia than Israel. As I wrote in past blogs, Iranian threats of destroying Israel were mainly aimed at Arabs, the people it wants to lead.
To do this is must unseat Saudi Arabia as their spiritual leader. It also wants to hold sway over all the Gulf states. Becoming a nuclear power would give it power over the Middle East.
The Saudis would be much happier as an ally of Israel, under its nuclear umbrella than Iran's. The reality is Israel poses no threat to the Arabs...they just want trade with them.
So, what would a nuclear Iran mean? We probably wouldn't know since Iran, as with Israel, will never admit to having the bomb. And also like Israel, just the belief around the world that it does have atomic weapons is where its power would rest.
The big worry is what happens if future Iranian leaders fit into the religious zealot category with yen for the afterlife. Remember Shiites don't think much of this life...they're after paradise. They may get into a showdown with Israel or Turkey and opt for greater good scenario...that being killing a few million is acceptable for the greater good.
You see regardless of the world power rhetoric, only a mad man would launch a nuclear attack on Israel since atomic weapons don't recognize borders. The Palestinians would also be wiped out along with the populous part of Jordan and possibly much of Lebanon and Syria. And this isn't even taking in the real possibility of a world war and worldwide economic chaos. But, it would be for the greater good.