Beware False Certainty On Iran

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 10:45

Should Israel or the United States bomb Iran? In newspapers and magazines, in blogs and tweets, on television pundit panels, the answer is clear and emphatic.

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How We Learned Not To Fear China's Bomb

Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:17

Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a frightening claim about Iran. "I look at the rhetoric and the kind of philosophy that drives the Iranian regime, the kind of threats they have made to others in the world," he said, "and my deep concern about this regime is that, for the first time in history, we are facing a regime that not only wants to attain nuclear weapons but a regime that has, compared to virtually all other holders of nuclear weapons in the past, far less fear of using them."

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Why Iran's Perspective Is Essential

Friday, 20 January 2012 08:56

In two recent interviews, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government of Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. That's not a controversial claim. But the prime minister also said that if Iran develops nuclear weapons it will use them. That claim is controversial. In fact, it's about the most serious charge one government can level at another. Why it hasn't received far more attention and scrutiny is beyond me.

And while I'm admitting my limitations, let me state that I am not an expert on Iran. Nor do I believe that I can read the minds of Iran's leadership, unlike the prime minister, who is apparently quite sure that he can.

But I do know a little about psychology. And when I hear a leader confidently make such a bold and hostile statement, I am reminded of a concept familiar to all serious practitioners of international relations.

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