When as conservative publication as The Economist makes a stand against Bush's apocalyptic aspirations, you know its time to take action. (I know this is a few weeks old but I've been sitting on it in my drafts box.)
Interestingly The Economist- unlike Jacques Chirac- considers a benuked Iran to be a threat. There are several opinions to be found on this matter but I find Chirac's the most rational. This position is backed up by the North Korean situation: If a despot as insane and callous about their own populace's welfare as Kim Jong Il won't start shooting off nukes for fear of reprisals then Iranians certainly won't. On the other hand, the chances of Israel or the US using nuclear weapons are far, far higher.
Another interesting point about the Economist article is their conviction regarding "Iran's apparent determination to build nuclear weapons". Now, I really dislike groundless speculation and I think that the press should not be repeating Bush's propaganda without any real evidence, which of course, there isn't. I believe that Iran has probably looked at the possibilities of 'going nuclear' but it would be pretty obvious to them that they are under intense scrutiny from foreign intelligence agencies and they wouldn't be able to conduct a serious secret weapons program for long. Instead I reckon they are bluffing in an attempt to utilise the spectacularly immoral deception of the Iraqi intelligence debacle to their own ends by using the ignorance and bigotry of the Neo-Cons to draw sympathy in the international forum. Canny and wise, no doubt as the neocons have blatantly fallen for it and are on a war footing. The Iranians have no weapons program. I am sure of it. They might have some documents that roughly describe how to make hemispheres of enriched uranium that can only be used to construct nuclear warheads but these are actually more likely to be US fabrications. Ultimately, if the US or Israel are stupid enough to rise to the Iranian bait and launch some pre-emptive strike then the Iranian cause will unite the- currently split- nation and most likely the rest of the middle east too in a concerted opposition to US imperialism. And rightly so.