Nuclear consequences

from killing of Soleimani

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The consequences of the killing of Iran Gen. Qassem Soleimani might well range widely: escalating rounds of bloody tit-for-tat strikes circling the Middle East, the orchestration of proxy clashes drawing in the United States’ and Iran’s allies, terrorism against soft and hard targets in Iran’s crosshairs, cyberwarfare targeting infrastructure and, even, full-out kinetic war involving Iran proper.

However, what’s given shorter shrift, perhaps because it’s harder to fathom, is Iran’s going full-bore with a nuclear arms program. Iran has witnessed the latitude enjoyed by North Korea’s regime, brought about by the robust nuclear arsenal that that country is assembling. Of obvious note, the United States has wisely left all of North Korea’s generals unharmed, despite that country’s putative nonconformance with U.S. prescriptions.

Perhaps Iran’s takeaway from the Soleimani killing, in the framework of no calamitous consequences met by North Korea, is that assured sovereignty and nuclear weapons go hand in hand. Iran’s suspension of its previous commitments might lead to its becoming the world’s 10th member of the nuclear club.

Keith Tidman.

Bethesda, Md.

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