Let’s not bomb Iran

Prospect Magazine

Let’s not bomb Iran

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Outside the US, most people oppose military action, says Peter Kellner

Barack Obama has good reason to hope that the simmering crisis over Iran’s nuclear ambitions does not boil over. If it does, say in response to an Israeli strike, and the president has to decide whether America should take some kind of military action, he may have to choose between dividing his country and dividing Nato.

YouGov recently conducted five parallel surveys on the subject: in the United States, Britain, Germany and Denmark (which currently holds the European Union presidency), and across the Arab world, from Morocco to Iraq.

Most people in all five surveys believe Iran is striving to develop nuclear weapons. Even across the Arab world, fewer than one in five people believe Tehran’s assurances that its sole ambition is to produce civil nuclear power. The problem is what to do about this. Clear majorities across Europe, the US and the Middle East oppose military intervention on the

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  1. April 22, 2012

    Alyson King

    Britain has had experience of internal strife and values diplomacy to resolve deep rooted differences. Policing Northern Ireland during the Troubles gave Tony Blair the misplaced confidence that Northern Ireland style soldiering on the ground could build a new Iraq. The coalition with America made that an impossibility, and Americans did not recognise that the majority of Iraqi citizens wanted to welcome them, along with a Western democratic model of government.

    Perhaps Tony Blair should have already realised that, in the light of Reagan’s generous offer to carpet bomb Northern Ireland, to assist Britain with its war on terror there.

    There are a lot of different agendas focussing on the Middle East and Iran has not had positive experience of Western values. Oil and global finance are mired in double speak. The greater the openness in discussions the better the outcome might be. Respect and mutual benefit need to be the means of tackling the crisis.

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Peter Kellner

Peter Kellner
Peter Kellner is president of YouGov and author of “Democracy: 1,000 years in pursuit of British Liberty” (Mainstream) 

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