Thursday, August 24, 2006
Fear creeps into Iran's streets
It is deceptively easy to find out what Iranians think about this nuclear dispute. When we travel around the city, we have no government minder and need no permission to go around and interview people on the streets. Only once since I've been here has a policeman come up to ask us what we are doing. One look at our accreditation kept him at bay.

But the real hurdle comes when the camera comes out, when people realize we are a Western television crew, and even more so, when they find out we are from CNN. Iranians are incredibly friendly and insightful people, but it can be difficult to get them to open up on camera. That said, you have to look at the nuances to get a real sense of what's going on here.

When we were last here a few months ago, everyone we spoke to, from the rich to the poor, from the moderates to the conservatives, told us they believed in their country's right to a civilian nuclear program. They felt insulted that the world wanted to withhold the chance from Iran to have nuclear energy produced by its own scientists. And there was a huge undercurrent of nationalist pride in the fact that Iranian scientists had figured out how to enrich uranium, that they would never have to be dependent on others to do that.

But now, with a new United Nations mandate to stop the program by the end of the month and in the immediate aftermath of the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, fear is creeping in to the Iranian streets.

In the past few weeks, I've been to all parts of Tehran.

In the blue-collar south, there remains defiance against the West. I was told repeatedly at a car parts market that Iran has endured sanctions before and can endure them again.

But in the north, university students spoke openly to us about their fear of the economic hardships Iran could soon face. Iran's youth make up the majority of Iran's population. The median age is 25. And there are large groups of college graduates who have no jobs. Inflation here keeps going up, so the economic situation is ripe for things to get dramatically worse if sanctions are imposed.

Iranians I've spoken to are aware that theirs is a government looking to flex its muscles, looking to gain international clout. And they know all of that is part of Iran's defiance against the West over the nuclear issue.

But now, international affairs could soon hit home in a very real way. Jobs could be lost. Prices could skyrocket. Gas could become too expensive for some to buy. And this prospect will prove to be the biggest test of domestic support for Iran's official position to continue its nuclear program. Are Iranians willing to follow their government and seemingly fight for this right whatever may come?
Posted By Aneesh Raman, CNN Correspondent: 2:22 PM ET
I find it ridiculous that "the West" - the Americans, more specifically - can just arbitrarily decide who can and cannot have nuclear technology.
Posted By Anonymous Rodderick, Calgary, AB : 3:16 PM ET
Those who keep peace should make such decisions. Countries that provoke violence and harbour those who perpetuate violence shouldn't have weapons that can cause even more problems. Why not let North Korea or Iran have nukes? Because it makes no sense internationally.
Posted By Anonymous Baron Quigley, TL Birmingham, AL : 3:41 PM ET
Why does Iran need nuclear reactors? Don't they sit on over 100 billion barrels of oil? And aren't they second in the world in natural gas reserves?

It just doesn't make sense that the Pres. of Iran claims he needs nuclear power. It's much cheaper for them to produce energy from these natural sources, and cleaner for their air to go with nat. gas. Iran's claims just don't fly with me, and I don't trust what their Pres. says about his motives for developing nuclear power.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 3:42 PM ET
To Rodderick of Calgary,
It is practical and logical that the United States of America, which is the world's military superpower; arbitrarily does decide who can and cannot have nuclear technology. Countries with known unstable and totalitarian leaders/governments pose a definite threat and risk to the rest of the entire world.
Posted By Anonymous Janet, Edmonton, AB : 3:43 PM ET
In response to Rodderick's comment- the Americans are not the only ones against Iranians obtaining nuclear capabilities. The UN is controlling the fight against Iran on this subject, of which the US only has a minor influence on what the decisions are. Anyone who wants Iran and a defiant Iranian leader to have nuclear capabilities is asking for a major conflict in a short matter of time, but don't worry, you will be safe in Canada either way.
Posted By Anonymous Nick, New York, NY : 3:45 PM ET
It is obvious that allowing Iran to master nuclear technology will be a dire threat to the rest of the World. Their president with his loose mouth proclaiming that he would like to wipe out another country does not help their argument of having the right to develop nucl. tech., which they do have. But, why Israel,India,Pakistan and plus other western country in the dream team of nuke countries would want to stop others from developing nukes? True Iran with nukes is potentially dangerous but its approx. 100 million barrels of oil reserve will not last forever and the U.S possess way above this amount but they choose to keep it under ground for future use and buy oil in the middle east. No country has the moral ground to decide who should or should not have nukes as long as it possesses a stockpiles of them and all kinds of biological and chemical weapons such as the U.S,Russia, China,France and Great Britain. Let's have everybody free of these WMD's. Unfortunately, the day when the World will be free of WDM's from every country will unlikely happen.
Posted By Anonymous Jean,Washington, D.C : 4:42 PM ET
In Farsi we say "wanting is gaining". If you want something enough you'll be able to gain it no matter what. This is what we want, and this is what we will gain. Anyone not happy, well too bad. I, however, do suggest to those not happy to focus on their own wants, maybe at least they can gain something out of it too.
Posted By Anonymous Bijan, Los Angeles, CA : 4:46 PM ET
I have a strong feeling that the bomb is either allready made or is in its final stage. This is to me the only reason Iran is so defiant, they have reached a stage of no return. Unfortunately, that leaves very little options for a peacefull resolution if true.
Posted By Anonymous W.Saab, Dubai, U.A.E : 4:46 PM ET
The President of Iran has intentionally and significantly contributed to the rise in oil prices. Every single time the price of oil has gone down a bit he just walked out onto his balcony and made a statement about nuclear this and that to further de-stabilize situation and bring up the revenue he is generating from oil.

Aside from congratulating him for mugging the world, why are the people of Iran also not wondering where all that extra revenue is sitting? If it's not in their economy and contributing to raising their standard of living is it in the President's personal Swiss account? In the personal accounts of the religious leaders running Iran?

For all of the rhetoric, follow the money to find the true motivators of their actions.

Have you found that the people of Iran are at least asking about this in private??
Posted By Anonymous Jay, Indianapolis, Indiana : 4:47 PM ET
Hey Rodderick, if someone threatened to wipe you and your family off the face of the earth, would it make you nervous if you saw them buying an arsenal?
Posted By Anonymous David, St. Clair, Mo : 4:47 PM ET
We are already dealing with the consequences of careless or unstable nations in possesion of a nuclear capability. Russia and the United states flooded the planet with Nukes for a MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) strategy that has left us all in danger.

Unfortunately the administration's policies in the cases of North Korea and Iraq have demonstrated to the world that if you have nuclear capabilities, we will negotiate with you, while nations that don't yet have that capability are a possible target of unilateral invasion.

It is no woder that Iran wants to develop a nuclear capability in order to safeguard the regime from outside influence. The longterm consequences of nuclear weapons in the hands of unstable governments has yet to make itself clear and we still live in risk of those weapons falling into the hands of someone who is willing to use them as something other than a deterrant.
Posted By Anonymous Robin B-E Boston, MA : 4:48 PM ET
The President of Iran has distinguished himself by suggesting the Holocaust did not occur and has threatened countries outside Iran's borders. A lesson was learned with Hitler.Why should the world take a chance with the irrational leaders of Iran? The downside is that if any country is likely to use nuclear weapons it is Iran. If Roderick does not appreciate that the U.S. is defending Canada, a country which devotes very little of its GDP to defence,he does not have a realistic view of the world. Al Queda has operatives or followers in Canada,only some of whom have been apprehended. It is only a matter of time before some act of terror occurs in Canada.
Posted By Anonymous David, Toronto, Canada : 4:49 PM ET
To Baron from Birmingham...

Those who "keep peace" should make the decisions about the nuclear ambitions of others?

You illustrate a common problem these days. In the eyes of too many people here in the U.S., our country can do no wrong... harms no other country, perpetuates no violence, provokes no situation. We are always the defenders... of freedom, of liberty, of the world.

For decades, not just now, our country has played a dominant role on the world stage. Why is that anytime we swoop in to take military action we are doing it in defense and when others (such as Iran) do it, its to perpetuate violence.

Iran and Syria are state-sponsors of Hezbollah. We like to call them "terrorists." Remind me again why we are in Iraq? What missile did they launch at us? They didn't. So, to them, we are as much the perpetuators of violence as they are to many of us. Until Americans realize that we're going to sit by idly and watch. After all, its on their soil that people are dying every day, not ours.

And yes, although Saddam Hussein was "a bad guy" in a myriad of ways, there are dozens of them worldwide. Many that ego-centric Americans have never even in heard of, in countries that 95% of us can't even place on a map. Leaders who kill, exploit and abuse power. Why haven't we marched in there to "keep peace?"

My guess is that those places just don't have anything we're interested in... at the moment.
Posted By Anonymous JB, Mayfied, Ohio : 4:50 PM ET
I sincerely hope that the Iranian people will finally reach their limit after 27 years of suffering at the hands of the Islamic regime, and utilize the unrest and dissatisfaction that will be brought by the soon to be imposed sanctions to revolt against their ill-fated regime. It is time for the Persians to regain their status in the world as the once did under the days of Monarchy.
Posted By Anonymous Ali, Cypress, California : 4:50 PM ET
If nuclear energy is their goal, and if their pride demands that they "must have" this technology, then why not accept the incentives offered by the US, Britain, France, German, China and Russia? Iran would be protected from immediate action by the West, and they would have modern nuclear facilities.

That is, unless the pride is really about having "the bomb." If that's the case, then the very fact that pride is at the root of their nuclear program should be enough to justify the alarm in the rest of the world.
Posted By Anonymous Dan Jensen, Washington, D.C. : 4:51 PM ET
the grassroots solution to Iran and the Middle East is to make alternative energy independence our national policy. Consider the amount of progress our country could make if we funneled the tax money into research and development for energy independence instead of trying to dominate the oil reserves 0f iran, iraq,saudi arabia,ect. With energy independence we could leave the middle east to hopefully resolve their own issues but more likely their would be continued bloodshed. This bloodshead however would not involve Americans and hopefully our image among Middle East countries would improve.
Posted By Anonymous Steve Dix douglas ma : 4:51 PM ET
Hopefully, Israel will do what the US should already have done and that is take them out before they get any further along. I would love to see the US do this ourselves, we are right "next door" in Iraq. Take 'em out now. And to Roderick, when you are the biggest bully in the sandbox, you get to set the rules.
Posted By Anonymous dan, orange city, florida : 4:51 PM ET
Rodderick, their are people out their that want to kill other people for no reason whatsoever, other than to do it. If the unstable regimes get their hands on nuclear weapons, they will sell them or give them to anyone that wishes to harm the free world. Unfortunately, it is going to take a massive or catastrophic event to get certain people's attention to this crisis. However, once the catastrophy has occurred, those same people are going to be wondering why more wasn't done to protect the respective society. It is kind of like waiting to put up a traffic signal at a busy intersection until a certain number of fatalities take place...
Posted By Anonymous Robert Fort Myers, Florida : 4:52 PM ET
I think it's time to do a little nuclear testing. People have either forgotten, or don't really know, what an atomic bomb can do. Some people just dismiss it as something every country has the 'Right' to develop. Just 2 or 3 strategically placed nukes, and Israel doesn't exist anymore. One little suitcase nuke in Washington, DC.. and the capitol doesn't exist anymore. Get the picture?
Posted By Anonymous Ron, Scottsdale Arizona : 4:52 PM ET
Also to Rodderick: I find it ridiculous to allow Iran to just arbitrarily decide when and where they will allow or forbid IAEA inspectors. No one is denying Iran nuclear technology. With oversight, Iran would be able to go on its merry, civilian nuclear way.
Posted By Anonymous Jeff, Cleveland, OH : 4:53 PM ET
Why is it OK for Israel to have nuclear weapons but not Iran?
Posted By Anonymous Brian Carter Altadena, CA : 5:00 PM ET
I believe that the posturing, saber-rattling, and "my dad can beat up your dad" politics of the Iranian president are hurting his country's energy ambitions far more than anything else. If he didn't call for the distruction of Israel-something that can be accomplished through nuclear "research"-then perhaps the international community would believe in nuclear power for Iran. Instead, he has made the more mature governments of the world nervous. Just as the once mature government of the U.S. has made the East nervous.
Posted By Anonymous Adam, New York City : 5:01 PM ET
To Baron Quigley of Birmingham,

Your comments are exactly on target. There is no doubt that those who keep peace should make decisions about who should have nuclear weapons and those that provoke or perpetuate violence should be prevented from having them.

Given this ideal, perhaps the US should also be forced to give up its nuclear arsenal. After all, the Bush administration has provoked quite a bit of unnecessary violance in Iraq and has harboured (at least diplomatically and financially) an Israeli administration that perpetuate's unnecessary violence.

There's a book with a quote that goes something like, "Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye."

Are you familiar with this book? It's called The Bible (specifically Luke, 6:41-42).

Like every other rational being on earth, I'm chilled by the thought of religious extremists (in Iran or the US) or crazed meglomaniacs (in N. Korea or the US) having access to nuclear weapons.

But the solution requires us to carefully and honestly examine how our own actions may have contributed to Iran and North Korea's desires for nukes. Self-righteous and hypocritical bullying is the problem, not the answer. Clearly, we need leaders who have matured beyond a junior high school mentality and understand that true leadership is accomplished by example, not by force.
Posted By Anonymous Brian Dyre, Moscow, Idaho : 5:02 PM ET
Note the comments made by Iran regarding the destruction of Israel, and the potential that will increase, with a nuclear Iran, of those weapons falling into the hands of terrorists (Iran supports Hezbollah and supplies weapons/rockets-why wouldn't they arm them, or any other terrorist group, with a dirty bomb?). Why should a country with such blatant threats be allowed to have such nuclear technology? The UN and the US have a responsibility to stop this threat and rightly so. Unfortunately, powers such as China and Russia have a stake (financially) in not joining the majority of the UN council in opposing Iran. The same applies to North Korea.
Posted By Anonymous Irving Alicea, Atlanta, Georgia : 5:02 PM ET
Iran can realize the desire to have a nuclear engergy program. Its the enrichment of Uranium that the international community seeks to deny Iran. I believe Russia has offered to provided the necessary grade Uranium for the purposes of feeding a peaceful nuclear power program. If the intentions of Iran's leadership are pure then they would accept this offer and immediately begin building better relations with the rest of the world.
Posted By Anonymous Scott, Cincinnati-OH : 5:03 PM ET
The sad thing is, tough economic conditions will produce more resentful young Muslims----something that region already has in abundance. But, what can be done to prevent that?
Posted By Anonymous Laura Ho, Bakersfield, CA : 5:04 PM ET
Suppose the U.S. told Iran that if they continue to enrich Uranium we will make a large number of atomic bombs available to Isreal. I wonder which way they would go then.
Posted By Anonymous Martin Beck Auburn, Al. : 5:05 PM ET
The most dangerous nations are those that have actually used weapons of mass destruction against civilians--they will probably do it again. It was the U.S. that first used nuclear weapons against civilians in Japan during WWII, after first fire-bombing them (100,000 burned to death even before the nukes were dropped).

Seems to me state terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. When they do it to us, it's terrorism. When we do it to them, it's normal war-time practice, or it's the "war on terror". In the Gospels, this is called hypocrisy. Everyone else in the world can see it but we can't. And we're supposed to be "Christian".

"The only people on earth who do not see Christ and his teachings as nonviolent are Christians."
-- Gandhi
Posted By Anonymous Gord, Vancouver, BC. : 5:07 PM ET
To everyone
I hate to say it but we are living in times that potentially will re-shape our world as we know it. For the last 70 years everybody has been talking about a nucleur weapons and their aweful destruction. My belief is the world may need another wake up call for people to understand the impact of this tremendous power. I firmly stand behind the United States because I know that I will never have to go to sleep at night in fear. But at the same token we must realize the hate around the world that has hit a all time high. This Irain issue must be dealt with swiftly because if we don't this will come to bite use all in the ass. I can garuntee one thing if Isreal is hit by a nucleur bomb and their is a good chance this will happen in the future then we will experience our worst nightmare. The western world will bear its teeth like never before. These issues facing all of use are the most important of human existance. In the past we never had the integrated networks that has allowed the ideaology of nations to spread as far as they have. I really hope the United Nations steps up and speaks with one voice and delivers a punch if nessarcy. Anybody that calls for the destruction of another country should be dealt with swiftly. I say if this last more than 2 months than go in and hit them hard, because these people don't understand the quality of life. Even Hezballah said recently, "We will defeat Isreal because they want to live and we want to die". How can you deal with that? Enough is enough. These regime must be stop in order for people around the world to feel safe. You'll never get rid of terror we all know that!!! Terror has been around for centuries. But we can prevent terror from governing a nation and that is exactly what is happening in Iran.
Posted By Anonymous Chris, Toronto, ON : 5:07 PM ET
Rodderick, the USA let the Europeans take the lead on these negotiations for 3 years. These negotiations got nowhere until the US started pushing a bit. Even now, the U.S. is not on-point on this. The international community is so up-in-arms over Iraq. Here, the U.S. is working through the U.N. Let's see if this alternate approach works. I hope for all our sakes that it does.
Posted By Anonymous Chris, New York, NY : 5:39 PM ET
My biggest fear is not that Iran could get nuclear weapons, but rather WHO they could give nuclear materials too. We all know Iran supports terrorism, so what to stop them from giving/selling the enriched uranium to one of these terrorist groups? Remember, terrorism isn't tied to any one country so there is no fear of retaliation. I nulcear strike by Iran would be suicide just because of the retaliation that we all know would happen.
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Milpitas, CA : 5:43 PM ET
Almost every worldwide poll says that people consider the US a much bigger threat to world peace than either Iran, Iraq or North Korea. This includes the population of other developed nations such as Canada, Britain and Western Europe. In this context to claim that the US has some sort of moral authority to decide who is a threat to world peace and who isn't. Unfortunately we Americans are so drunk with power that we cannot see our face in the mirror and wonder why it looks so ugly.
Posted By Anonymous Rahul, Honolulu, HI : 5:44 PM ET
Rodderick, Janet and Nick: It is not an arbitrary denial of Nuclear Technology. Iran signed the Non-proliferation Treaty swearing off the development of nuclear weapons. Part of that Treaty permits them to develop civilian use Nuclear Technology under the watchful eye of the IAEA. Iran has repeatedly hidden its development activities from the IAEA. The West is not acting arbitrarily, it is mearly enforcing an international treaty that Iran has agreed to.
Posted By Anonymous Bjorn, St. Paul, Minnesota : 5:45 PM ET
Yes. those who keep peace should perhaps be entrusted to make such decision...I guess that leaves out the US which, against international opinion, wages a violent conflict in Iraq...against its own citizens.

Why,indeed dose the US need nuclear capability, when it has native oil reserves and, for now, relatviely good relations with the oil-producing Middle Eastern powers that it pays off using US tax dollars as 'aid',

Yes, Itan should be looking at bio-fuels and other petroleum alternatives but perhaps they're looking at the US example..,. forget alternative energy sources...just exploit the oil you have now and let our children worry about what comes next.
Posted By Anonymous Todd, New York, New York : 5:46 PM ET
The leaders in Iran have called for the destruction of Israel. Israel already has nuclear weapons. The world we all share could become incompatible with human life very quickly if the proliferation of nuclear weapons is not stopped.
Posted By Anonymous Steven Bradley, OK : 5:48 PM ET
I've long thought that Luxembourg (sp?) should decide who should have nukular bombbs. ;-)
Posted By Anonymous Azlin, Milford, Pa. : 5:48 PM ET
This is ridiculous to assert Iran has been developing its own missile technologies. Very little of any of Iran's advanced weapons technologies are indigenously designed. It all came from North Korea and Pakistan, which all came from, and here's the kicker, China. Iran is delluding itself with visions of grandeur, that it is some how a great power rather than a rogue state, and that spells trouble in the future.
Posted By Anonymous Wenton Chan, SF, CA : 5:50 PM ET
Iran is a country of 70 million people, most of whom are under 25. Moreover, its oil reserves are - from what I have read - relatively mature.

It's only logical for them to want nuclear energy... if America sought alternative sources of energy, it would not be bombing Afghanistan and Iraq. The former for the pipelines, the latter for the oil.

Iran has the right as a nation who signed the NPT to pursue nuclear technology, if other nations block it, those nations are violating the treaty, so long as Iran grants access for inspections.

But even if Iran was using the nuclear energy as a smokescreen to build weapons, can you blame it?

We bombed Afghanistan - no nukes.
We bombed Iraq - no nukes.
We didn't bomb North Korea - got nukes.

See a trend?

Oh, and there's the big fat elephant in the room: its neighbors have nukes too: Sunni Pakistan has nukes, Jewish Israel's got nukes... and right next door, you have 100,000+ American soldiers sitting on its borders.

It's utterly hypocritical to expect Iran not to have nukes, or want them.

Here is a country that has not attacked any nation for as long as I can remember and is surrounded by a country that is at least directly responsible for wars in neighboring countries and we in the West cannot understand why they seek nuclear technology?

And the talk about "wiping Israel off the map?" It's rhetoric, the same rhetoric that some Israeli leaders use against Syria and Iran. It's also the same rhetoric that Americans in the Admin. use, remember Paul Wolfowitz' "we shall end states?"

America has failed in the Mideast. Pure and simple. It's now looking for a scapegoat.

Look at the little bit of influence the US has in the countries it has invaded versus the large amount of influence Iran wields in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iraq. Most of that comes from dialogue and shared customs, not bombs.

As an Iranian-Canadian, I am highly critical of many thing Iran has done pretty much going back 100 years, but in this debate, as much as I wish to understand the West (I am part of the West after all), all I see is hypocricy and a failed foreign policy.

Learn to put down your guns and come to the table in a civilized fashion and you will be shocked to see what can come out of it.

Of course, history will be the judge of which country was uncivilized at the onset of the 21st century.

But, I doubt the CNNs and FOXs of this world will show this perspective to the otherwise fine American people whose governments and media fail them every day... Problem is, administrations change, media profits, but the people will suffer for generations to come.
Posted By Anonymous Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, Montreal, Canada : 5:50 PM ET
Iran has not - despite their self-contained world view - proven they are capable of the international responsibilities required in deploying a nuclear arsenal. And if anyone thinks that it's not about real "power" vs. energy for the Iraqi people, then wish us all luck when they get their weapons built and offer a self-legitimized excuse as to why they had to lie in order to "protect their sovernity".
Posted By Anonymous Paul Yates, Vancouver BC : 5:58 PM ET
If Iran wants peaceful nuclear power why don't they open up their nuclear facilities to UN inspections?? Then this stalemate with the UN goes away. That is if they had nothing to hide. But, they do have something to hide and that is why we should not trust the Iranian goverment.
Posted By Anonymous Ron, Minneapolis, MN : 5:59 PM ET
Aside from longstanding international treaties on nuclear issues, nuclear power necessitates great responsibilty. The power the vaporize whole cities should be kept from those most likely to use it at all costs. To equate the rationality and motivations of the leaders of North Korea and Iran with those of say England and France is a dangerous notion. Iran has more than enough oil and gas reserves for centuries, yet it imports gasoline. If their desire is to be energy selfsufficient, then build more refineries. If they only want nuclear power, then allow full international inspections. This is a nation who's president says Isreal should be wiped off the map. Who will he say next week should be wiped off the map??? None of the leaders of the acknowledged nuclear powers have ever made a statement such as this. Is this a sign of great responsibility? Or is it a sign of instability and immense risk?
Posted By Anonymous Robert Frederick ,Harrisburg, PA : 6:01 PM ET
This blog is good, great discussion and different points of view. So let me share one. To all of those that say we had no reason to attack Iraq(or the Regime). Let me give you one reason, there are many, but regardless of those reasons I feel this is all we ever needed.
Saddam Hussian had and still has asassination contracts out on the current and past two presidents of the USA. That's republican and Democrat. His sons had pictures of thier families and friends and was actively working to assasinate them. That is an act of war against the US. That is all we ever needed, no WMD's, not oil, whatever. You try to off our leader, we will come for you. This is America and weather you hate Bush or clintin or whomever or not, he IS our president and it is our country and we will defend it. Now that;s not to say we've never done that to anyone before either, or make it right, but it's a fact.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin Kalispell, Montana : 6:03 PM ET
It should be so obvious that it would not need to be said, but after reading through these comments, I feel compelled to remind the room:

Iran is run by a Jihadist junta, and its President has repeatedly voiced desires to destroy Israel, badly hurt America, and establish a Jihadist hegemony to make the Taliban look like Mother Teresa.

And yes, America is the good guy in this equation, the only nation with the means and the resolve to keep monsters like Ahmadinejad from raping their neighbors.

Thank God for President Bush (a sentiment which will no doubt be mocked, but which also needs saying all the same) and our military.
Posted By Anonymous DJ Drummond, Houston Texas : 6:03 PM ET
Charming! This is quite possibly the most dimwitted argument I have heard in a while. We are the superpower so we get to dictate? We appear to be great at it, how is Iraq going? How did the US-Israeli operation against Hezbollah turn out? Anybody who thinks that Iran is going to "use" nuclear weapons against the rogue state we continue to baby sit hasn't a clue what they are talking about. As the only Shia country on the face of the Earth, the Clerics in charge will allow nothing that will invite the nation's total destruction. The CLerics consider Iran and themselves to be the protectors of Shias everywhere. I do find it humorous that the only country to use the nuke gets to tell others what to do and not to do with them. If Pakistan was sitting on a lot of oil, I bet we would have issues with them having a nuke. Pretext is what this is all about.
Posted By Anonymous Sol, St. Louis, MO : 6:07 PM ET
I love it when Americans see no fault ever in anybody but America. You are liberal by chance, are you? Ha ha. It's the golden rule, he who has the power makes the rules. Get it? If Iran would let international monitors in, didn't have a loon for a leader saying Israel shouldn't exist, and showed the smallest amount of stability, they could have their toy.Otherwise, we say what's so get to play. Not everyone is equal, utopia heads.
Posted By Anonymous Brian, Chicago, IL : 6:07 PM ET
Iran has the right to a peaceful nuclear energy program, even if they are sitting on top of all that oil. But to allow a known supporter of world terrorism to acquire the means of massive distruction, which they quite possibly/probably could share with those world terrorists, is asking for trouble of massive proportions. This is also a country whose leader has gone on record as wanting to destroy Isreal - after them, who next? They are ruled by a bunch of radiacal clerics, who aren't accountable to the election process - in fact they subverted the democratic wishes of their own countrymen. They will bend only to a threat - let's try the relatively peaceful one first in the form of sanctions and pray that it works. If it doesn't, then force will have to be used, maybe even massively. They've been given every chance to comply, but they cannot be allowed to get away with breaking the rules. Maybe Isreal's nuclear capable subs will snap them back to reality. I hope so because nobody wins a nuclear war - everybody comes out a loser.
Posted By Anonymous Charles, Henderson, Ky. : 6:13 PM ET
I would like to think that the common day to day struggles between a 25 year old in America and in Iran are not that significant. Love for education, family and God and the desires to be free from opression are likely touchstones that both can say...we got that too!
Posted By Anonymous Brian, Ridgewood, nj : 6:14 PM ET
No country can justify the possession or development of Nuclear weapon. All the coutries those who sent their representatives to talk to Iran have it. Every country wants it as they feel threatened by it. This is the sad fact. If North Korea can defy USA so easily, why can't it sell it to Iran at a ridiculous price. The fix is not to wipe out North Korea, Iran, God knows who else from the face of earth, but to find a way to co-exist. Remember, God made peace, Man made war. Let peace pervail!
Posted By Anonymous Nathan, San Jose, CA : 6:16 PM ET
My goodness, Roderick seems to think Canada is perfect and perfectly exempt from any consequences of Iran gaining nuclear weapons. Canada has not been minding just who may come to their country at all. Roderick may believe that Iran obtaining nuclear weapons poses no threat to himself, his family or his country -- but he is very wrong. When Iran manages to get "the bomb" they may not actually use it themselves, but they will certainly give nuclear weapons to terrorist groups. And certain terrorist groups will find Canada a very easy target.

We need to make an effort to be a little less self-righteous (or for the other posters less self-hating) and try to make some practical decisions that might make our world safer and less insane.
Posted By Anonymous Elise, Dallas, TX : 6:16 PM ET
I am an Iranian/American and want to let all of you know that the majority of Iranians do HATE their government and wish that they could change things but the government of Iran is one ruthless government where there is absolutely no tolerance. Many have been tortured and killed, taken from their homes in the middle of the night. What you see on TV and the people who support the government are the minority, the majority can't speak out. I also believe that they are close to the point of no return and that's why they are making a run for it. What we need to do is help the majority to overthrow the Government without hurting innocent civilians and taking out the infrastructure. The Government of Iran is the head of all terrorism worldwide and has suffocated its own people. God help us all if they get the Nuke. We were wrong about Iraq but Iran is something that the world needs to deal with.
Posted By Anonymous Ben , Marin County,CA : 6:18 PM ET
The United States no more has the right to tell Iran or North Korea they can not have Nuclear weapons than they have the right to tell the US to dismantle theirs. The United States does have the right to withhold support from these nations in their pursuit of these weapons. The real question will someday be when does the US destroy their facilities or weapons and because this is the worse and most violent thing the US can do the US and other nations try to impose their will as an option. I'm all for that. What else can be done?
Posted By Anonymous MIke, Mountain Home, Arkansas : 6:19 PM ET
I heard many of the youth of Iran are not going to public prayer and meetings, they are going to resorts during the weekend for just good clean fun and social activities. They are all plugged into the web and are gaining new ideas. That said, the world needs to do what it can to limit this expensive effort by Iran to build nuclear weapons. I believe even their leaders know that its now or never because the next generation will not sacrifice their families for some fanatical goal of ridding Isreal and bringing them into WW3.
Posted By Anonymous Mark, South FL : 6:19 PM ET
Please, do not think that the opinion of Rodderick is that of the Canadian people.
We, as democracies, are in this together.
It is up to the US as the representative of the West to weigh an opinion of who controls the bombs.
The Iranian people are beautiful, their leader is unstable, they wanted someone to stand up for them, not to insitigate a global war.
Posted By Anonymous CRN, Thunder Bay , Ontario : 6:21 PM ET
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