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What do you think the U.S should do about the current situation in Iran?

There are multiple things that come into play with the situation in Iran. there are the death threats, Iran saying that they're going to "wipe Israel off the face of the Earth", the fact they now have nuclear weapons and are lying about their purpose, and anything else you can think of. I was just wondering what your guy's opinions were. Do you think that we could end up i n a nuclear war?

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    Mar 7 2012: israel has nuclear weapons. pakistan has. north korea has. china has.

    really, what would change if iran also had?
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      Mar 7 2012: I feel like everything could. It's not the fact that they have one, it's what they plan to do with it. And right now, I feel like Iran is very unstable and un-trustable.
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        Mar 7 2012: so you would bomb a country because of your feelings? what kind of person you are?

        ps: you write in your profile that you are christian. what kind of christian? which branch of christianity teaches that "before you are slapped on one side of your face, shoot the guy dead"?
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          Mar 7 2012: Mr. Edward Long pretty much said it for me. And your right about me being a Christian, but we're talking about protecting a Country. It's not me, it's millions of people. And it's not even just our country, I feel like(correct me if I'm wrong) this could be multiple countries fighting, with billions of people at risk. I am not in charge of this country, no one but myself, and so no, I won't "shoot a guy dead" before he slaps me. But if I was in charge, I would be ready to do it if I felt like it threatened the well being of my country.
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        Mar 7 2012: ah, so you are a christian unless it is about protecting a country? that's certainly a unique interpretation of christianity. can be suspended as needed.
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          Mar 7 2012: I am a Christian always. I am also a sinner. Simply because I'm human. If I were in power, it is no longer about me. I would readily give my soul up to protect the millions who need it.
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        Mar 7 2012: so you already regret supporting any aggression against iran? good.
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          Mar 7 2012: yes. why should there be violence if there doesn't need to be? But sometimes, (alot of times) I feel like there needs to be.
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      Mar 7 2012: None of the nations you cite is a vociferous enemy of Israel. For Iran to become the first of the many nations who desire the eradication of Israel to have nuclear capability is about as clear and present a danger as can be. America will (or should) become the aggressor only if Iran refuses to stop nuclear development. It is simple, Mr. Pinter, I am not allowed to take a gun into an airport because history has shown it to be a threat to public safety. Iran is not allowed to have nuclear weapons because she has openly declared herself to be a threat to Israel's safety. Sometimes the rules become a matter of having the strength, and will, to enforce them. I hope America shows the will, and I know she has the strength.
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        Mar 7 2012: and you honestly and genuinely believe that iran will attack israel, a country that has superior army and backed up by the financial might of the united states?

        you know, i kind of accept that you, americans, have that feeling of supremacy. but you should not think that every other country is a total idiot jackass.

        you are allowed to have a gun at home. i believe that you are much less trustworthy than iran. you can go berserk if you take some trace amounts of chemicals. iran, on the other hand, is not at this risk
        • Mar 7 2012: Mr. Pinzer Iran is ALREADY attacking Israel. They are waging a cold war, this is a fact. Iranian leaders are indeed total idiot jackasses so, yes, the assumption is made that they can go a bit crazy with a nuclear weapon.

          You are starting to sound biased against the US. How do you make the leap from gun ownership to trusting Iran is very confusing to me. Iran is building the mother of all weapons and it is clear it intends to use it for geopolitical leverage. If they want to play that game, then it is their choice.
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          Mar 8 2012: Ooops, you have lapsed in to negative name-calling and I must withdraw from the debate for fear of being deleted. Calm down, Mr Pinter, and return to the on-topic discussion abilities you consistently demonstrate here on TED conversations. Thank you.
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        Mar 8 2012: “America will (or should) become the aggressor only if Iran refuses to stop nuclear development.” Who gives this authority to America? Tomorrow if u find China, India, Russia not trustworthy u will invade them. Till today no other country has used nuke except US. Every country has it right to defend him self . Not attack others .
        “Iran is not allowed to have nuclear weapons because she has openly declared herself to be a threat to Israel's safety.” ----What about Israel itself ? It is a nuclear powered country and kills hundreds if Iranian every year.
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          Mar 8 2012: Like Mr. Pinter, none of the countries you name have publically declared their intent to annihilate Israel. That is what sets them apart from China, India, Russia, etc.
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          Mar 8 2012: @edward long: neither iran did, as it was already told in this conversation. however, it is also assumed that pakistan and north korea supports terrorists.
    • Mar 7 2012: A nuclear Iran will most certainly create a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Iran is a Shia country, the rest are Sunnis with oppressed Shia minorities. This matters Mr. Pinter. Iran has no particular reason to own a nuclear weapons except to make a geopolitical muscle flexing. This will be met by its neighbors and it poses the world with a great dilemma. Are we ready to support nuclear weapons proliferation? Are ready to take that chance? If not then, what do you do?

      You speak of US aggression but fail to acknowledge the fact of Iran's support for Hezbollah and Hamas, organizations that attack Israel on a regular basis. Another fact is that Israel is surrounded by countries that have attacked them multiple times in all out conventional wars. So they have a reason to be a bit, shall we say, jumpy. And yes, Israel, unfortunately, does its part to continue the cycle, but do you really think a nuclear Iran would not change this equation for the worse? What's your solution? A banner that says "world peace"? Iran's hands are already bloody on this. This is the point that everyone seems to forget.

      To top it all off Iran's leaders both secular and religious are in open conflict with the very existence of Israel and have declared so in public, and yes, translations vary on what has been said, but hey, the spirit of it is not too auspicious. Moreover, Iran is Theocracy ruled by ulemas and Ayatollahs that is now going through a power struggle with the secular government, that would be good if both weren't radicals. Someone may take a prophesy as a literal command from Allah and this does not concern you?

      Wake up Mr. Pinter, things are more complicated than you think.
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        Mar 7 2012: i support a lot of things, but i don't support to spread my views with weapons. i believe, for example, that eating too much fat is not healthy. but i'm not planning to bomb civilians in dallas to get rid of steak eating texans.

        can you imagine that in iran, people are living. ordinary people going to work every day. you are not bombing countries. you are bombing people. you are not limiting trade with countries. you are limiting trade with businessmen.

        and spare the hypocrisy about iran threatening israel. you don't lift a finger when pakistan supports terrorists who blow up dozens of people in india every year.

        btw can you name a war that iran has started?
        • Mar 7 2012: Of course you do not support spreading your views with weapons. I do since I am blood thirsty warmonger, ka-boom.

          Since it is clear you will not bomb fat Texans lets pretend someone in New Mexico says they want to bomb them. Would you allow them to purchase bomb making materials? Furthermore, if someone can prove to you he's killed fat people already would you simply sit idle and let them build bombs? What would you you do then? I'll guess your answer, look away, after all you are a pacifist. Congratulations, you live in a perpetual 1939 European dreamland.

          Do you think I dehumanize Iranians? How about dehumanizing Jews? Iranians certainly do not live in that state Israelis do, and who do they thank for that? Many, including the Iranian state. State policies Mr. Pinzer have consequences on its citizens. It's about time people wake up to this. This, by the way, cuts both ways.

          And don't call me a hypocrite. I do not support terrorism in any form. What I do support is eradicating it by violent means if necessary. You cannot have peace without falling into the contradiction of war.

          Your Pakistan-India example is perhaps the best reason why you need to wake up from that daydream of yours. You already know the reason why Pakistan is so difficult to deal with and gets away with its attacks to India. Pakistan holds nuclear weapons, plain and simple. This is exactly what Iran wants. Impunity under the shade of a missile topped with an nuclear warhead and a deterrence policy that will allow them to do whatever they want. And you support this?
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        Mar 7 2012: luis, how about showing the minimum level of respect if not with leaving calling me mr pinter every now and then, but at least spelling it right if you insist? anyway.

        yes, you are a warmonger, but i didn't want to say it out loud. not by any stretch of the imagination, iran will attack anyone in a foreseeable future. do anyone honestly believe that they will turn the israeli military machine on themselves, thus eradicating their own rule? let alone the US military machine waiting just one corner away. and i'm not even starting to talk about how negligible threat iran means to the US.
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          Mar 7 2012: Well, that's what it seems like. Give me an example when they said, "ok, guys, we see this is bothering you, so how about we solve this? Like sit down, and talk about it, and not lie about it? ok."
        • Mar 7 2012: Your defense of Iran's right to build a bomb that most certainly create an nuclear arms race that poses a threat to highly unstable region is contradictory and you know it. You just can't bring yourself to accept it. With idealistic naivete you would allow then every country in the world to have a nuclear weapon in the name of peace? Wow.

          Your staunch support for peace seems to also be deaf and blind. Besides missing the very real and dangerous implications of such a development. You failed to address your own question about Pakistan and you fail to address the question of Iran supporting Hezbollah and Hamas. But you are quick to point out that Israel and the US are aggressors. I have a feeling you are not so much in Iran's camp as you are against any US action, regardless of how morally correct it may be.

          Krisztian, my misspelling of your your name fairly innocuous compared to what you have put on your comments. Don't take it personal, it is not. If I wanted to misspell your name on purpose I would have called you Mr. Neville Chamberlain.
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        Mar 7 2012: contradictory to what?

        in the name of peace? not at all. in the name of not initiating aggression to counter faint and unrealistic threats.

        what is about pakistan that makes my argument invalid? do you think that a military intervention against pakistan would have been a good thing? on what grounds? they didn't attack anyone with nukes, they didn't sell any nukes, and the total number of terrorist attacks pakistan might have supported are not demonstrably higher than it would have been without the nuke. we can assume the same thing in iran. they would not attack anyone, the terrorist attacks against israel would continue, and overall, nothing will change.

        on the other hand, restoring free trade with iran would have many positive consequences. just as dramatic changes in israel's gaza policy.
        • Mar 7 2012: An unstable nuclear Middle East is a much bigger threat to peace than an unstable conventional Middle East that's your contradiction. In the name of short-term peace you are ready to jeopardize long term. This argument is the argument that allowed Nazi Germany to burn down Europe, they wanted to rearm and people said why not? It is the same argument that keeps me backing away from peace at no cost or peace for the sake of it. Peace is one of the most expensive ideas humanity can achieve, it requires effort, discipline and soldiers, none of it cheap or replaceable.

          You claim that the Iranian threat is faint and unrealistic but you offer absolutely no argument, except to say that the powers that be wouldn't want to risk it. Because, well, after all, crazy dictators are not really that crazy and they all want to stay. Saddam, Gaddafi, Mussolini, Amin, Hitler and countless others killed millions under that argument. Iran is pursuing a weapon, why would they need one? why would they want one? why would a country sponsor attacks on another unless there is a specific motive behind it?

          The point about Pakistan was brought up by you. The single most wanted man in the world was hiding in plain sight in Pakistan , and they, as you pointed out support terrorists activities in India. Why do you think this direct threat to India's security cannot really be solved was my question. You know the answer, Pakistan is nuclear so they act with impunity, so much impunity that they supported North Korea's development of a nuclear weapon. So I imply you want the same for Iran all in the name of love.

          But no. Apparently you don't want the same for Iran. You just want them to exercise the right to have a nuclear weapon and yield it as a bargaining chip in an explosive casino. Interesting, by the way, do you think individuals have a right to bear arms?

          Krisztian you believe there is no excuse for aggression, period, and that clouds your judgement. I sincerely hope you are right.
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        Mar 8 2012: Israel also have nuke power and they attack Iran also. But no country has ever said anything about invading them. So why Iran ? How they Are less trustworthy.
        “Iran has no particular reason to own a nuclear weapons except to make a geopolitical muscle flexing.” .. What about defending their own country? Why US , Russia & others have nuke ? What’s Their purpose?
        And you say middle east is unstable . In that point of view US is the most violent country and they have proved it. How US then still having NUKE ?
        And you know North Korea is one of the rarest crazy country in the world but they are not dangerous ? Because they don’t have oil ?
        How many country US have invaded after world war and what they have really got? Vietnam , Afghanistan ,Iraq? So how many times US was morally correct ? What they have really offered to the world ?
        What US have really got their and what kind of peace it has offered to the world?

        If you really don’t want any nuke for Iran then all other country should destroy theirs also with mutual agreement. That would be really great.
        And by any chance Iran is not going to use nuke until they are really desperate. Because after they use nuke the after effect will be horrible for them as other big country will invade for them. I don’t think Iran is such suicidal .
        Luis Marin India – Pakistan has its own problem. But believe me none of are going to use nuke nether nuclear powered Pakistan is the problem . And despite of all hatred and grudge India Pakistan always try to solve it peacefully. Though that is not always what happens. But believe the though any war is pain-full. All three wars between India and Pakistan has very minimum civilian casualty. And you know why Pakistan got the guts to attack. Because they were financed by a western country. No country is a terrorist . Few people may want some JIHAD or something. But believe me most of the civilian are almost same all over the world.
        • Mar 8 2012: Israel has not said they want Iran to disappear from the face of the earth. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq have indeed invaded Israel, that is basically all of the countries that surround Israel, with bigger armies and much more resources. Iran has funded and armed terrorists groups that attack Israel on a regular basis. So, yes Israel has motives to defend itself. What are Iran's motives for defense?

          You bring up a good point. I am for nuclear disarmament as I do not believe any country should have nuclear weapons. I am also a realist and believe this is likely an impossibility. So I am for non-proliferation.

          The US invasion of Iraq was incorrect and immoral, Afghanistan was justified. A country that harbors terrorists should be held responsible for their actions. But if you want to talk immoral why don't you talk Russia-Georgia? China-Tibet? Iraq-Kuwait? Egypt-Syria-Jordan-Israel? Somalia? Darfur? and the US is the only 'Satan'? Please. Don't worry we'll live to see a Chinese led world, I am sure it will be all flowers... I do not blindly defend all of US policies and actions, in fact, I do not really support this concept of policing the world either, but I see a grave problem with Iran.

          We live in a very connected world that runs (depends) on oil that sits in the Middle East. If the international community allows one country to hold this region hostage then war is an almost certainty, if this country is nuclear, then nuclear war is likely. This your 'desperate' scenario. With the stupidity of its leadership any country can find itself painted on a corner.

          Finally, India and Pakistan have been involved in FOUR wars. Some peace right there.
    • Mar 7 2012: Hi Krisztian,

      People are more concerned about Iran because they don't expect the Israelis, Pakistanis, Chinese or Koreans to use them. Whether it's an explict attack, by proxy via Hamas or a Saudi Shiite group, or "just" a threat that allows Iran to control the world's oil supply. The Iranians, for right or wrong, are seen as wanting to use nuclear weapons to dominate the region.

      I can see where the Israelis and Sunnis are concerned. I'd love to say that the bombast about destroying Israel is just boasting but the Iranian military support of the Shiites in Iraq and Hezbollah in Gaza plants the concern that it's not all just words. It's enough to legitimize people asking, "What are their intentions?" The question that I have is, would a reasonable person in Tel Aviv or Riyad be concerned?

      Not every action in the Middle-East is initiated by the US.

      Best wishes,
      Doug
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        Mar 7 2012: they don't expect north korea to do crazy things? that's delusional. to simply make iran disappear from the face of the earth would take like 5 days for the US army. any direct attack from iran is unimaginable.

        and about giving terrorists nukes: do you honestly think that terrorists are having harder time getting nukes from korea or pakistan?
        • Mar 7 2012: Hi Krisztian,

          I agree with you about Korea. The difference is that Korea's blackmail is just blackmail. It doesn't lead to Korea's control of the world's energy supply.

          You are certainly right in that a direct attack is unimaginable in the central US where I live. It's not in Riyadh or Tel Aviv.

          I don't support a US assult on Iran and I don't see much support for it where I live. What I have seen speculated is a 20-30 day air attack just to destroy their nuclear facilities. And the professional military don't make any promises about how effective it would be or how long the effect would last. It's not like all of their plants are listed on google maps.

          You don't have to explode a nuclear weapon for it to be effective. They would give Iran extraordinary leverage if they chose to enforce, for instance, a blockade of oil leaving the middle east.

          I agree that terrorists wouldn't care if the bomb came from Iran, Pakistan, or a supply dump in the former Soviet Union. It would still be a bad thing.

          The most likely result I see is a 1960's style arms race in the middle east. Having grown up a few kilometers from the Russian first strike targets, I can tell you that it's not a good thing.

          Best wishes,
          Doug
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        Mar 7 2012: iran does not control the world's energy supply either. first, there are other sources of energy. second, they are not stupid not to sell it.

        and bear in mind. i didn't say it is a good thing that iran wants to have nukes. i said they have the right to have. just as the most aggressive and powerful nation, the US has. it is unfortunate. but it is not a reason to initiate aggression.
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          Mar 7 2012: I agree with most of what Mr. Bell has to say. A arms race is exactly what I imagined, which is why I proposed this debate. An I think you fail to realize that while there are different means of energy, (which I'm all for) it would take time to convert, and money to mass produce like oil, since we don't use it like we should. If we din't have oil, it would take a lot of painful time, and when I say painful I mean it literally, to convert. People can hardly afford oil as it is, and it's our #1 means of energy.

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