Conservative columnist: Iraq policy has fostered nuclear proliferation in Iran, North Korea
U.S. policy in Iraq has encouraged Iran to develop nuclear weapons, according to a today's column by conservative pundit George F. Will.
Negotiations cannot succeed without one of two things. One is a credible threat of force, which America's Iraq preoccupation makes unlikely. The second, which is also unlikely, is a mix of incentives, positive and negative, that can overcome this fact: Iran's regime is mad as a hatter, but its desire for nuclear weapons is not irrational.
Iran lives in a dangerous neighborhood, near four nuclear powers -- Russia, India, Pakistan and almost certainly Israel -- and the large military presence of another, the infidel United States. Iran has seen how the pursuit of nuclear weapons allows the ramshackle regime of a tin-pot country such as North Korea to rivet the world's attention. Iran knows that if Saddam Hussein had acquired such weapons, he would still be in power -- and in Kuwait. And even if the major powers could devise security guarantees sufficient to assuage Iran's geopolitical worries, there remains the regime's religious mania.