(Nidal El Khairy)
At a White House press conference on 18 May 2009, US President Barack Obama expressed "deepening concern" about "the potential pursuit of a nuclear weapon by Iran." He continued:
"Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon would not only be a threat to Israel and a threat to the United States, but would be profoundly destabilizing in the international community as a whole and could set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East."
By his side was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the room with them, there was an elephant, a large and formidably destructive elephant, which they and the assembled press pretended not to see.
I am, of course, referring to Israel's actual nuclear weapons systems, with which Netanyahu is capable of doing to numerous cities in the Middle East, including Tehran, what the US did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Obama's remark that "Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon" would be "profoundly destabilizing" and "could set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East" is profoundly dishonest. In reality, the race started in the early 1950s when Israel launched its nuclear weapons program.
The significance of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons is not that Iran would become a threat to Israel and the US, but that Israel and the US would no longer contemplate attacking Iran. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate weapons of self-defense -- a state that possesses nuclear weapons doesn't get attacked by other states.
David Morrison, The Electronic Intifada, 29 June 2009