Michael Singh wants the Biden administration to threaten Iran with preventive war:
But the Biden administration should also prepare for the eventuality that diplomatic and economic pressure will not be enough to deter Iran’s leadership from its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Officials in Tehran have already demonstrated that they are willing to permit their country to endure severe economic hardship for the sake of nuclear advancement. As a result, the United States will need to send a clear message that it is willing to go beyond sanctions and conduct a military strike as a last resort to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
A military attack to “prevent” Iran from acquiring something they are not seeking is many things, but it is not a last resort. Attacking Iran to “prevent” a possible future threat is obviously not defensive. It is unprovoked aggression against another country based on an unproven assumption that the targeted government intends to build these weapons. It is worth adding that it would still be an act of aggression even if the Iranian government were actually trying to acquire those weapons, so it would be even more egregious if they were not. This is the same demented logic that led to the invasion of Iraq, which was an illegal war of aggression.
The U.S. has no right to take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities. There is no international authorization for such an action, and barring some very strange developments Russia and China would never approve of such an attack. A military strike (or, more realistically, a major air campaign) against Iran’s facilities would be the act of a rogue superpower in violation of the U.N. Charter. When pundits and analysts urge Biden to pursue a “Plan B” that includes military action, they are urging him to commit a massive international crime.
Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.