Editor’s Note: This article is republished with permission of LEAP/E2020. See end of article for credits.
– from Political Anticipation Magazine (MAP) issue #5
by Marie-Hélène Caillol (translation: Ian Shaw)
Can one seriously think that the day when Iran has a nuclear weapon, its first concern will be to launch it at Israel and be devastated in its turn in the following minutes? However it’s on this implicit (nobody dares to express it for fear of revealing the nonsense of it) but pervasive idea that the gigantic national and economic interests at work in the Middle East establish their destabilizing politics with Western public opinion.
Now, let’s ask the following question: Why does Iran want the bomb? The answer is obviously the same as for France, England, the United States, etc…: To live in peace! Which is to say: the day when Iran has the bomb, the conditions for peace in the Middle East are met.
What would happen in practice?
First of all in Iran: Iranians’ paranoia, and oh how justified, disappears instantaneously to make way for responsibility, an essential premise for the resumption of the democratic process partially suspended in 2001 (following the enormous renewal of Western aggressiveness in the region) which led to the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, succeeding the moderate Islamist government of Mohammad Khatami.
In the neighbouring countries, except Israel: Iran is once again taking the path of democracy providing a successful model for the application of moderate Islam to political life which is the only possible alternative to the corrupt autocratic regimes to which the people decided to put an end despite the absence of other solutions. In addition, Sunni-Shiite animosity, on which the West has poured a great deal of oil lately, will decrease as soon as Iran provides an attractive model applicable to Sunni Islam (carrot) and has the nuclear weapon (stick).
In Turkey: The pressure will obviously be enormous so that the other democratic power in the region, this one Sunnite, also arms itself with the nuclear weapon, which it won’t be long in doing, completing the region’s strategic balance, each religious group (Jews, Sunnites, Shiites) having its own defence.
In Israel, where opinion is very divided over the Iranian question (half of the population being fully aware that attacking Iran to prevent it from arming itself is certainly not the way towards a glowing future for their country in this part of the world), the extremist government currently in office having failed and clearly becoming a public danger will be replaced by moderate governments favourable to solving the Palestinian question and to cooperate with the rest of the region, in short to restart the process interrupted by Rabin’s assassination in 1995 and intended to put Israel on the path to its lasting integration in the region. And if its neighbours don’t feel threatened by Israel any more, they will be much easier to convince to cooperate themselves and put over 70 years of hatred behind them.
Western oil interests, not longer being able to use the Israeli question to justify the mobilization of Western military forces, are stopping their ceaseless sabotage and manipulation and starting to work on an equal footing with strong states, as they are doing with Russia, Venezuela, Brazil, Norway, etc… No one will cry over this collateral damage, especially if it’s thought that the policies led by these interests are no longer even able to guarantee cheap oil… quite the contrary (obliging Iran to block the Straits of Hormuz is certainly not the way towards cheap petrol…). Russia and China no longer need to show their teeth and to plan to rearm themselves as Putin recently stated. The tension is dropping between the West and the BRICS.
Some will consider this scenario simplistic and optimistic but we ask ourselves what their scenario is leading to – that which is on the table unfortunately: to attack Iran to prevent it arming itself with a nuclear weapon (knowing that henceforth the country is putting all its efforts into getting it and that the more it’s attacked the less choice it has), exploding the already very high tensions in the region, contributing to push Israel to the limit (in particular, with the departure of the most moderate fringe of Israelis) as well as the rest of the region (while driving to despair people of the Arab springs), creating a geopolitical polarization between a West grasping onto its old privileges and exclusive turf on the one hand and the emerging powers with the BRICS to the forefront, on the other – with resumption of a race to be armed with the key…
Of course, even if Iran arms itself with a nuclear weapon (and I repeat: no matter what one does, they will get there), there would have been a way to really limit the risks, but for that we would have needed political leaders with vision which we haven’t had: it would have needed the creation of an official system of accession to nuclear power status at UNO level, implying a process of democratic, technical and diplomatic upgrade for the applicant countries, etc…
Editor’s Note: This article is from Political Anticipation Magazine (MAP) Issue #5 which is published by the European Laboratory of Political Anticipation (LEAP) with the collaboration of NewropMag. Econintersect republishes these articles as it represents views from a European perspective. To download the entire Political Anticipation Magazine (MAP) issue #5 – click here.