Obviously, there is a risk that any nuclear weapon, particularly in a country like Iran, might be stolen by a rogue group. However, Iran has already demonstrated great strategic sophistication in executing its nuclear program. On a related note, successfully eliminating Iran’s nuclear program is probably beyond the capabilities of Israel and may even be beyond the capabilities of the United States.
Would a nuclear Iran spark an arms race among its neighbors? Perhaps. This is the greatest risk of non-intervention. However, attacking Iran is guaranteed to destabilize the region.
We would be best served by a subdued yet firm restatement of our commitment to our ally Israel and a policy of prudent vigilance. For the sake of peace as much as ourselves, we should also warn our allies, including Israel, that we will not entangle ourselves in a conflict they initiate. To the extent that we misread this complicated situation, we are our own worst enemy.
Luca Gattoni-Celli is a contributing editor at The Skeptical Libertarian. He is spending the summer in Washington, D.C., interning at a public policy think tank, where he works with the editorial, operations, and IT departments. In the fall he hopes to begin an internship or entry-level position as a journalist writing about economics and politics.