Why is the US OK with Israel Having Nuclear Weapons and Not Iran?

A very good piece in the Washington Post on Monday asks this question, and includes this insightful quote from Joe Cirincione:

The dilemma for Israel is that, should Iran ever develop a nuclear warhead, Israel will surely feel less unsafe if it has its own nuclear deterrent. But, ironically, Israel’s nuclear arsenal may itself be one of the factors driving Iran’s program in the first place.

“History tells us that Israel’s position as the sole nuclear-armed state in the region is an anomaly — regions either have several nuclear states or none,” said Cirincione, of the nonproliferation Ploughshares Fund. “At some point, for its own security, Israel will have to take the bombs out of the basement and put them on the negotiating table.”


4 Comments on “Why is the US OK with Israel Having Nuclear Weapons and Not Iran?”

  1. Cyrus says:

    The question itself of course presumes that Iran wants nuclear weapons but is somehow prevented from acquiring them (and by the US, presumably.) That assumption is generally not questioned — or even raised — in such articles.

  2. yan says:

    I just read the news about Hersh’s revelations that Obama and co. lied about the use of sarin gas by the Syrian regime. Does this news cause you to have any second thoughts about your earlier position in which you supported taking unilateral action to punish Syria for violations of the law of nations before an investigation conducted by an international body had taken place?

    • Dan Joyner says:

      I really don’t know much about the Hersh piece, and whether it adds very much to understanding about what was happening, known, and presented at the time. I saw this piece about it, which makes the piece sound controversial:


      Of course, that doesn’t per se mean it’s not correct. It may well be. And if it is correct, I’m not sure what that really means for the debate. In order to really understand how intelligence was used and whether assessments made at the time were correct or sufficient to form the basis for the decisions that were made, I suspect we’d have to have a much more thorough investigation, as was done regarding the Iraq war.

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