"No, we've made it clear, our position is that they won't have a nuclear weapon."Unusual for GWB is a statement that actually seems to acknowledge that the international community has a role here:
"We are working our hearts out so that they don't develop a nuclear weapon, and the best way to do so is to continue to keep international pressure on them."The question I have is simple - if Iran's programme is reasonably advanced, chances are they already have the capability to create nuclear weapons. The basic technology is pretty well understood, and the only task for a nation to accomplish is to create the base facilities for refining various materials used in the bomb itself. I'd be guessing, but I don't imagine that Iran (or any of a dozen other countries not "officially" part of the A-Bomb club) is all that far from being there.
To me, the question quickly becomes one in which we must ask who, if anyone, on this world has the wisdom to be accorded the right to hold such weapons? I personally don't subscribe to the notion that any nation is "inherently good", and therefore will not make a mistake with these weapons.
If the worry is over having nuclear capability fall into "terrorist hands", then treat it as such. To a certain degree, the issue is no longer if a country is capable of developing nuclear weapons, but rather when. Since terrorist organizations do not possess the financial and infrastructure resources that a nation state has, one would have to presume that the only way they would be able to acquire any kind of nuclear capability would be through black market channels.
So - if Iran, or any other country, is developing nuclear capabilities, the question is no longer a matter of the capability, but rather of accountability. Are all of the materials accounted for? Are the procedures around the materials sufficiently rigorous to identify when something has gone missing? What we should be looking for is to ensure that paths into the black market have been closed out. If they aren't, we need to ensure that the country in question takes appropriate steps.
Simply stating that Iran cannot have nuclear weapons capability is silly. The fact is that a determined government will find a way to make it happen - openly or not. The sabre-rattling "not on my watch" attitude is missing the point - military intervention is the wrong answer. No nation in the world has sufficient militar resources to garrison all of the areas that are potential threats to it. Rome, the Ottoman Empire, and the British Empire all suffered the same basic fate in this regard.
The one thing that is true is that this is a new era. More than just 9/11 underscores that fact. The world is a 'smaller place' than it used to be - communications technology makes it easier for information to flow between nations; economies are now cross linked in ways that have never happened before. These things all speak to a new era. It is an era where military might is unlikely to 'rule the day' for any length of time. The nations of the world need to learn new ways to resolve disputes and move forward.
The United Nations was a good start - it at least opened the door to dialogue between nations. Today, it has begun to run into limitations that stem from it's pre-cold war structure, and needs to be reconsidered. The UN needs to evolve. In order for that to happen, countries like the US and France need to give up their "veto" powers; the so-called "Security Council" needs to be radically re-structured so that it reflects today's realities.