Monday, August 28, 2006

Iranian brinksmanship

So over the weekend, Iran got frisky.

First, they called attention to the fact that they're building a heavy-water reactor.

Then, they test-fired a submarine-launched anti-shipping missile.

Neither of these are major events in and of themselves. The reactor move isn't helpful, but its far from complete and only a step in the nuclear process. And the missile sounds like more hype than major capacity. Even in the unlikely event that the missile is all it's cracked up to be, there's a big gap between being able to build a nuclear bomb and being able to miniaturize it and make it robust enough to form a reliable missile warhead.

Consider it, instead, one more splash of paint in the target Iran is painting on itself. A target that Israel, for one, appears to be preparing to hit if necessary.

Take that last link with a grain of salt. It's the Washington Times, after all. But they name their sources, and Israel would be stupid not to be developing some kind of contingency plan for dealing with a nuclear Iran. They hit Iraq's Osirek reactor back in 1981; there's no particular reason to think they'll be shy about doing the same to Iran.

Hmmm... maybe that prediction about an imminent nuclear war isn't so nutty after all.

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