PM Tony Blair goes wobbly
Fridays are always perfect for a bit of reflection, but oh how I wish that the British Prime Minister wasn’t allowing his Iraqi campaign to influence his judgment on the “Iran issue”.
Running a fund is not at all like running a government, of course, but I spent five years in Ottawa with former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s team so I have a sense for the challenges that any leader faces. (This experience often helps in dealing with CEOs in our market as well; we just don’t talk about the constitution as much ;-))
Britain is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (partly ’cause they helped win WWII, and party ’cause they were in the nuclear missle business before it became not the cool thing to do). So, Tony Blair’s thoughts on Iran’s desire to arm themselves with nuclear technology are truly important. The French government (another permanent member) has already given Tehran the thumbs up to acquiring all the technology required to make a nuclear bomb, and the Chinese gov’t isn’t known for trying to interfere inside another nation’s borders; other than showing an interest in your industrial technology, that is.
So with Tony Blair’s capitulation on Iran today, there aren’t a lot of influential global players left around the table to continue to put pressure on the Iranian government to stop their apparent drive to build a nuclear weapon:
“I can’t think that it would be right to take military action against Iran . . . What is important is to pursue the political, diplomatic channel. I think it is the only way that we are going to get a sensible solution to the Iranian issue.”
British PM Tony Blair
Mr. Blair supported (if not co-led) the invasion of Iraq for fear that Saddam was going to finance a series of terrorist chemical attacks around the world. Or maybe it was the Nigerian yellow cake. Or those buried chemical missle batteries. Whatever the fears, and regardless of the findings after the fact, its lost on me how Mr. Blair can ignore a nuclear threat. His career may be winding down and his authority is zapped. He can be conscious that his legacy appears to be in tatters (as is almost always the case, unfortunately, when a British PM leaves office btw), but why let the beating you’ve taken on your Iraq mission impact your decisions on an even more ominous threat?
Iran having a nuclear weapon strikes me as as least as threatening to the peace and security of the United Kingdom as Saddam’s access to 30 year old ground-based chemical-tipped Scuds with between a 500 and 1,500 mile range.
One North Korea is more than enough in the world, and every option needs to be one the table as the superpowers try to pry the nuclear trigger from Iran’s clenched fist.