During an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Conversations with Judy Woodruff” due to air this weekend, former Secretary of State Colin Powell shared his thoughts on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, saying:
The Iranians are determined to have a nuclear program… Notice I did not say a nuclear weapon. But they are determined to have a nuclear program, notwithstanding the last six or seven years of efforts on our part to keep them from having a nuclear program… I don’t see a set of sanctions coming along that would be so detrimental to the Iranians that they are going to stop that program, so ultimately, the solution has to be a negotiated one.
We [the United States] have to operate in such a way, that, if necessary, we give a guarantee to all the countries in the region and we make it absolutely clear to Iran that if it seeks and acquires a nuclear weapon the United States will be committed to using weapons against it if it threatens anybody in the region. That’s the system that has worked since the Soviets acquired nuclear weapons…[A nuclear Iran] may be inevitable, but it can be deterred….
Both men agree that Iran is determined to reach a proto-nuclear capability, in which it has the potential to weaponize uranium but exercises restraint so as not demonize its position in the international community. If this argument holds true, should the West look towards deterrence, containment, or preemption? The answer to this question will determine the new strategic balance of the greater Middle East.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.