[ by Charles Cameron — and Furnish pwns Sowell ]
First there’s Cheryl Rofer‘s piece on Nuclear Diner, The Iran Framework Agreement: The Good, the Bad, and TBD. Then that gets quoted by Alexander Montgomery in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage for April 6. And now Cheryl has a piece in Mother Jones titled Never Mind the Doubters: The Iran Deal Is Good Enough:
The framework deal announced last week over Iran’s nuclear program has sparked a wideranging discussion that has focused on its security and geostrategic ramifications. But it is important to recognize that for Iran, the nuclear program must be understood not just as a security issue or as an attempt at “streetlegal proliferation” but also as a prestigious and scientific enterprise. From this vantage point, the facesaving parts of the deal are precisely what make it possible for Iran to accept it. Less obviously, the deal could keep key scientific constituencies within Iran not just satisfied but also potentially invested in nonproliferation. Such a scientific investment in the new framework will allow for much more transparency, minimizing the risk of “sneakout.” This would be far better for regional and international security than military attacks, which tend to accelerate and drive programs underground.
Methinks kudos are in order — and I personally am thankful for a voice of informed and informative nuance on so hotly contested and significant a topic.
In other Iranian nuclear deal news, blog friend Tim Furnish has taken on his fellow-conservative Tom Sowell‘s NRO piece on the topic, There’s No Deterring an Apocalyptic Nuclear Iran:
— Timothy Furnish, PhD (@Occidentaljihad) April 11, 2015
That’s the extended analytic piece which Tim concludes with this paragraph:
While in Iran for the 2008 Mahdism Conference, I heard both President Ahmadinejad and Prime Minister Ali Larijani speak. Ahmadinejad said, regarding Israel and Shi`i eschatology, that “the problem of the+ false, fabricated Zionist regime” would not be solved “in the absence of the Perfect Man, the Mahdi” — effectively dousing the alarmist, and inaccurate, view that the IRI’s chief executive wishes to “hotwire the apocalypse.” Islamic fervor for lighting that eschatological detonation cord exists among certain Sunnis groups (including, quite possibly, al-Qa`idah) — but it is not characteristic of Twelver Shi`ism. Larijani, in the closing speech of that same conference, proclaimed that “Mahdism has three pillars: spirituality, rationalism and jihad.” It is admittedly possible, despite all the aforementioned reasoning, that “their own vitriolic rhetoric could conceivably run away with the leaders of the Islamic Republic, and an Iranian nuclear weapon find its way to Tel Aviv.” But the preponderance of evidence — Islamic history in general, specific Shi`i traditions and teachings as well as modern religio-political discourse in Iran — indicates, rather, that the rationality and spirituality of Iranian Mahdism is holding at bay its undeniable jihad aspect. Tehran thus, ironically, finds its potential nuclear policy fettered by Qom: mainstream Shi`i theology does not support violence (nuclear or conventional) in order to precipitate the return of the 12th Imam; furthermore, employing nuclear weapons is verboten in the Mahdi’s absence — except, perhaps, under the rubric of defensive jihad, were Iran itself to be attacked or invaded. Seen in this light, the Islamic Republic’s pursuit of nuclear weapons falls from the overly-alarmist apocalyptic register into a more mundane, and manageable, geopolitical one.
If that was so duing the presidency of Ahmadinejad, it is doubly so now, with Rouhani in his place.