News out of Moscow on the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program is not good. Tehran has dug in its heels on its right to enrichment and appears unlikely to make any serious concession to the West when it comes to its ever-expanding program. But, in what only can be considered an Alfred E. Neuman moment of “what, me worry?”, famed neo-realist Kenneth Waltz concluded in a USA Today op-ed yesterday on the Iranian program that “policymakers and citizens worldwide should take comfort from the fact that where nuclear capabilities have emerged, so, too, has stability. When it comes to nuclear weapons, now as ever, more could be better.”
Good to know. Maybe we could even begin handing out nukes on the street corner. By Waltz’s logic, it’s likely to reduce crime as well.
But before we get all that comfortable with Iran having nukes, another story bears noting. According to a report in Britain’s Guardian, “A multinational investigation into bomb plots targeting Israeli diplomats earlier this year has produced the clearest evidence yet that Iran was involved.” And as European security officials apparently told the newspaper, those plots, combined with the planned attack against a Saudi diplomat on U.S. soil, make it now “difficult to judge Tehran’s ‘risk calculus.’” Indeed, according to one intelligence officer, “Until recently it was possible to see why they were doing what they have been doing…Now it has become very unpredictable.”
Maybe Waltz can sleep easy at night with such a regime having nuclear weapons. But I suspect most folks in the Middle East won’t—and reasonably so.