from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

Iran’s Peaceful Annihilation Program

February 22, 2012

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The "peaceful nature" of Iran’s nuclear program has taken a curious blow. The wife of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast, an Iranian nuclear scientist killed in Tehran in January, has told the press that "Mostafa’s ultimate goal was the annihilation of Israel."

Roshan worked at the enrichment facility at Natanz, a key part of Iran’s "peaceful" nuclear program. His widow apparently did not get the message from the authorities in time, so she told the truth. In dictatorships like Iran that is almost always a mistake, but viewed from the Supreme Leader’s offices her heart was of course in the right place.

Her praise of her husband should help inform our debate over the nature and objectives of Iran’s nuclear program. The official U.S. position is that it is "unacceptable" for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, and this is a reminder that that should be our actual policy as well. The risks of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state are not as great as those we will incur if we back away from that clear goal.

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