Double Standard on Iran


As published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA): Nov. / Dec. 2020

The Iranian government recently agreed to allow United Nations inspectors to enter the country and examine their nuclear facilities. This reasonable policy is particularly notable when compared to that of Iran’s main regional rivals, particularly Israel.

While there is no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapon, it has been suggested that they would be reckless not to develop one for deterrent purposes. While I appreciate concerns about Iran’s nuclear weapons potential, I think Iran’s leaders understand the terrible consequences of even planning for a nuclear standoff with the Israeli state.

It is widely accepted that Israel possesses an arsenal of nuclear weapons and the technology to deploy them to devastating effect. Intimidation is the main reason to possess these monstrous devices, whose strategic power lies in the fear generated by the threat of their use. I question Israel’s decision to bar International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors access to their nuclear facilities while holding Iran to a different standard.

Such arrogant exceptionalism naturally creates insecurity, resentment and distrust. Even the awful dictator in North Korea has been more transparent than Israel when it comes to nuclear weapons.

Morgan Duchesney, Ottawa, Canada

In a recent article for the Atlantic Council, nuclear weapons expert Kelsey Davenport noted the IAEA “confirms that Iran continues to abide by critically important verification measures put in place by the [nuclear] deal....As a result, if Tehran were to further move outside the limits set by the [deal] or make the political decision to dash to a bomb, it is highly likely that its efforts would be quickly detected.” One would never assume Iranian compliance, given the deceitful and incendiary rhetoric constantly flowing from Israel and the U.S.