There’s big news these days about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and how Iran might be proceeding to further enrich uranium and build ten new nuclear facilities, as reported here by the LA Times.

This activity, and Western saber rattling in response, brings to mind Ted Koppel’s NY Times Op-Ed piece in 2006, called “An Offer Tehran Can’t Refuse.”

Sword of Damocles, as per Koppel, 2006

Sword of Damocles, as per Koppel, 2006

Koppel said it is inevitable that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons, and that

… If Iran is bound and determined to have nuclear weapons, let it.

But this should also be made clear to Tehran: If a dirty bomb explodes in Milwaukee, or some other nuclear device detonates in Baltimore or Wichita, if Israel or Egypt or Saudi Arabia should fall victim to a nuclear “accident,” Iran should understand that the United States government will not search around for the perpetrator. The return address will be predetermined, and it will be somewhere in Iran.

This approach has its problems, and there’s no way that the existing nuclear club will want Iran to join, for a variety of reasons.  They’ll fight it as much as feasible. Nevertheless, as a diplomatic lever, this approach may resonate with Iranians who don’t want a Sword of Damocles over the nation’s head.


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