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Axis of Evil, one down and two to go?

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In 2002 the president of the United States of America outlined what he called the “axis of evil” - Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Those countries which desperately scramble for weapons of mass destruction and oppress their people (in the case of Iraq, whole ethnicities). It was only a year later in 2003 when the first bombs began their decent onto the streets of Baghdad and the war on terror was in full swing.

IranNow a damning report on the nuclear intentions of the Iranian state released by the IEAE (International Atomic Energy Agency) suggests that Iran has been developing an array of components and tools for building a nuclear weapon.

The Iranian government, when deciding to return comment, claims all such activity to be purely civilian in nature. However, the report also highlights the amount of information that the Iranian government may have received from other countries, Libya being a key offender, including plans for parts of a nuclear warhead itself. The IEAE also points to a number of studies into the physics and mathematics of spherical blasts to the core of a Nuclear device, this has gone unexplained by the Iranian authority’s and makes the IEAE 'concerned' as it would appear there is no other possible explanation for such research.

But ultimately it is Iran's secrecy that will be it's downfall. It has made the IEAE very suspicious of its actions. The Iranian government did not admit to two nuclear facilities – Darkhoven and Qom - having been built and left the IEAE to find out of it's own panicky accord. The Iranian government has also acquired nuclear materials through supposedly private companies which the IEAE has discovered to be a cover for government procurement. It is this secrecy that has put the governments' of the world on high alert and put Iran in a worrisome position. Publicly defending it's rather reasonable power generation claims and yet privately hiding and plotting other projects, you can only make yourself ask, why?

So what is the issue with Iran having nuclear weapons? Firstly we have the implication of a rather horrific war in the middle east between Iran and Israel. This would be devastating to the innocents in the middle east and a mighty blow to the stability of the world itself.

Secondly we have the possibility that Iran may genuinely wish to use weapons against European countries, this is almost unthinkable given the repercussion that would swiftly and without thought be inflicted upon Iran.

Finally we have the most likely possibility of a powerful bully state running the middle east. Which unlike Israel is unconstrained by a democratic state, strong liberal media and ties to a host of nations who would not tolerate severe military threats. Iran could overnight become the most influential of the middle east states, already possessing 9% of world oil it could become the de facto controller of a great deal more. Already it has show it's hand in a threat against India - refusing to send oil, how would we cope with it enacting a threat against us? If it used all it's military might and influence it could stop 30% of the world's oil reaching the petrol pumps and power plants of the western world. It would not take a Nobel laureate to appreciate that this would be catastrophic economically and politically.

However, it can be difficult to predict a government who believe they have the unilateral support of a deity on there side, have once testified there plans to annihilate an entire state and have called for the murder of non Iranian civilians for ransom. But at the very same time the new generation appears to be on the brink of turning against the revolution generation, against the autocracy.

So the actions of the USA, UK and other NATO states will be watched with unbearable scrutiny whatever there course of action. But is the idea of a theocratic and hostile regime holding nuclear weapons worth the risk? And is military action worth the human cost?

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