The escalation in the nuclear crisis is now threatening to replace diplomacy with war as the west’s response to the Iranian threat. The recent comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran’s nuclear programme; public debate in Israel about the wisdom of a military strike, without much pushback from outside the country; private mutterings about the best “window” for such an attack; and now the serious diplomatic consequences of the assault on the British embassy and its staff, are combining to deepen the chasm of distrust to new and dangerous levels.
The price of a nuclear-armed Iran would be very high – unacceptably high. Iran’s capacity to destabilise the region would increase considerably.
But that is not an argument for military action. Avowed Iranian nuclear facilities are numerous and the regime does not lack for ammunition or targets in return. For these reasons we must avoid military action becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy.