Iran’s defiance of the security council might motivate arms reduction …?

Iran’s defiance of security council resolutions (declared again this week by President Ahmadinejad at the UN general assembly) is discomfiting, but not unreasonable. Iran’s stubbornness is fueled by the autocratic approach of the security council and its members, particularly the US. Iran’s testament that the security council should lead by example is more appropriate than ever, because of the history of the US-led invasion of Iraq under false pretenses. Iran may rightfully fear for its sovereignty. The arguments proved by Dr Stranglove that the doomsday deterrent does not work still stand. And Iran already has on its side the IAEA, which has earned credibility in its recent work.

While the Iranian stubbornness can be denigrated by us all, the example and attitude of western powers is no better. The US delegation left the UN as Ahmadinejad rose to speak to the general assembly – this is an example of a litany of recent insults that do not aid cooperation but antagonise. (Even Columbia University did itself a disservice by introducing him at a campus speech with ridicule – that is just plain bad manners and not appropriate to a school or enlightened leaders.) It is foolish childishness. It is sad that Ahmadinejad’s words ring true, in light of ongoing scandals and gaffs, saying that US leaders “openly abandon morality” and act with “lewdness, selfishness, enmity and imposition in place of justice, love, affection and honesty.” All of us could heed that entreaty to act with love and honesty. The example of world powers should be pacifist not belligerent. They should reduce armaments themselves. (Anyway the next war will be a cyberwar.) And share nuclear energy technology if they themselves are promoting it as a solution to climate change (as are US, UK and France).

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