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Rational Weapon Seeking

On the heels of last week's KR piece, Richard Cohen reminds us in today's Washington Post how rational it is for Iran to be seeking nuclear weapons. Knight Ridder reported:

Of more than two dozen Iranians interviewed in Isfahan and Tehran, all favored Iran's acquiring nuclear power and enriching its own uranium to power its plants, even if the process could be manipulated to develop an atomic bomb.

Most added that they'd like to see Iran develop nuclear weapons as a deterrent and to enhance its stature in the Middle East.
It is important to gauge the extent of regime rationality in formulating security policy. Is Iran deterrable if they acquire weapons? Can its interest in weaponizing be mitigated through security concessions or diplomacy? These are baseline questions - but we can't trust people like John Bolton to even ask them.

Update, 11/23/04 10:05 PM EST: I don't mean to minimize the risks of a nuclear Iran, which are obviously severe, potentially regionally and globally destabilizing.


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