Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is no threat to U.S.

By Christina Coloroso

The thought that our generation will be forced to bear the financial and social ramifications of yet another war is a cause for alarm.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been accused by the United States of covertly developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a peaceful civilian program.

Despite repeated assertions to the contrary by high-ranking Iranian officials, the United States is adamant that Iran must immediately cease any technological development or face the wrath of United Nations sanctions and, possibly, another “pre-emptive” invasion.

A debate about Iranian intentions could not come at a more pressing time, as American and allied forces are already cripplingly overstretched on numerous fronts. With a newly approved $70 billion in appropriations for the War on Terror, there appears to be no end in sight to American intervention in the Middle East.

The United States should stop looking for trouble abroad and instead focus on the serious threats posed to national security.

If Iran is willing to guarantee it is not a threat to the United States, that assurance should satisfy us. Even Israel, which has long quarreled with Iran, is not a target of any military or nuclear attack, since President Ahmadinejad has agreed that peaceful elections are the best solution to conflicts over territory and government.

If the United States or Israel were to attack Iran, conventional military forces would be well suited to the task of defense, as their current function is to present enough of a deterrent to prevent war with any regional foe. Iran’s other nuclear neighbors, such as Russia and Pakistan, pose a substantial roadblock to any thoughts of aggression the regime may foster.

American apprehension regarding Iran is merely a product of poor diplomatic relations, which have worsened through shortsighted decisions such as breaking diplomatic negotiations between the two in the United Nations.

Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology is for the stated purpose of energy production, which it has the right to develop under the international Non-Proliferation Treaty. The heavy water nuclear reactor, which analysts say is a sure sign of weapons production, is a necessity for energy technology; and though it could be used for creating weapons, it is not exclusively used for that purpose.

Iran has enthusiastically cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s regulations and requirements for peaceful nuclear development under the supervision of Russia. It is in the country’s best interest to improve relations with Russia and the agency, as the security that this triangular alliance provides will have long-term benefits.

Finally, Iran does not yet have the capacity to deliver any nuclear attack even if the technology were developed. There is no evidence that such measures of production are occurring right now or are planned for the future. Without a way of launching any weapons it would hypothetically develop, the country cannot be considered a threat.

Contrast that, for example, with North Korea’s open testing of nuclear weapons technology and its openly stated intention to use the weapons for protection and attack.

Now there’s a threat worth worrying about.