Not ‘If” but ‘When’…

From Simon Heffer

The other day I went to one of the most disturbing events of my life. Together with a number of others, I listened for the best part of two hours to two American security experts: their area of expertise was Iran and the threat it poses.

The burden of their observations can be summed up as follows: that an American strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities is not a question of if but when.

And, it was emphasised, this certainty is not dependent on the man the world regards as the warmonger Bush still being in office: his successor, be he or she Republican or Democrat, will see that there is no option but to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions too.

The terrifying thought is this: what he heard at that seminar may well be right — that the US will eventually go for it.

We have such short memories. It’s not that long ago since: we (Britain and the US) egged on– and armed — Iraq in its war on Iran; turned a blind eye to Iraqi use of poison and nerve gas against Iranian troops (there are still people in Iran dying from the after-effects of Iraqi gassing); and did everything in our power to prevent UN intervention to stop the conflict. Why? Because it was deemed necessary to stop Iran at all costs.

Nothing’s changed, really. But the Iranians have learned the lesson. In a world that is irredeemably hostile to them, nukes are the only safeguard. Which is why they’re going for them. We’d do the same in their position.