Comment: I'd say...

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I'd say...

The only relevant question is this: "does the threat posed by a nuclear Iran exceed the cost of preventing a nuclear Iran?"

The answer is no. A nuclear Iran poses no threat to any other nuclear nation, including the U.S. and Israel, because of MAD. The major effect of a nuclear Iran would be a change in the balance of power in the region, as opponents of the Iranian regime would no longer be able to pressure Iran to the extent they now do. Those nations would be compelled to develop their own nuclear weapons, and a regional balance of power would develop. There is no reason to suppose that a nuclear Iran would lead to a general war in the Middle East. Whereas, our current policy of intervention through the Middle East almost certainly will lead to a general war, or at least a continual succession of minor wars like Iraq and Afghanistan.

India and Pakistan, which despise one another as much as any two Middle Eastern nations, both developed nuclear weapons. There has yet to be a nuclear war, or any major war. One could argue that nuclear proliferation actually reduces the risk of war because it raises its cost for all parties concerned: again, MAD.

If the nuclear bomb had not been invented at the end of the WWII, I would argue that the Cold War would have been hot: a third world war fought with massive conventional forces between the Soviets and NATO. Nuclear weapons and MAD prevented that.

Our policy should be to withdraw from the M.E., and sell weapons (including nuclear weapons) to stable, friendly nations in order to allow a regional balance of power to emerge. That is, if our goal is peace: as opposed to domination. The same policy should apply to East Asia: withdrawal coordinated with arms-sales to stable friends such as Japan, S. Korea, and Taiwan.

Our general goal should be to withdraw in such a way that we leave behind us a stable, multi-polar, regional balance of power which can maintain itself without U.S. intervention.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."