--“If Iran were to attack Israel” or an Arab state, the victim has the right to retaliate. But, ahem, the whole purpose of policy toward Iran is to make such an attack impossible, to ensure they don’t become victim to mushroom clouds that kill hundreds of thousands of people. Straw is actually saying: No worries! If Iran drops nuclear warheads on Israel or Saudi Arabia they have the right under international law to retaliate!
If I had more space, I’d dispute the details of Straw’s history of UK-Iran relations but briefly let me note that the historical mistreatment of Germany and Russia were once leading arguments for appeasing those countries at a time when their regimes were Nazi and Communist. Straw could, if he wished, equally make the precise opposite argument that the majority of Iranians would love to have the West help overthrow the Islamist regime.
In other words, Iran is only seeking nuclear weapons because it wants to have nuclear power, an idea most experts ridicule. What about all that petroleum the country produces and which can be accessed for almost no cost as compared to a dangerous and politically costly route for power generation?
Here's the Los Angeles Times making all the same arguments in a September 2009 editorial. Straw, like other leaders, simply ignore experience in favor of the ideas bouncing around in their heads.
What Gould understands and Straw doesn't understand is that having power and leverage is a good thing. The whole guilt-ridden, apology-oriented approach to international relations taken by the Obama Administration and many in Europe (and also generally taught in Western universities) doesn't work. It only convinces your foes that you are weak and your friends that you are unreliable.
This article is published on PJMedia.