And yes the Finnish media and the academics are not liking the reintroduction of the term one bit.
An Iranian bomb would engender a similar crisis in today’s Middle East. Iran would dominate the small, energy-rich Gulf states, and it would cause tremors among supposedly staunch U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The larger nations in the region, if they deem that America has lost its will to defend them from Iranian encroachment, may also fall into line.
A nuclear-armed Iran could bring Soviet-style intimidation to the Middle East.
Where is the Iranian nuclear showdown going? No doubt that will be a subject of discussion when President Obama visits Israel this week and meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But in Washington, Jerusalem and other capitals, officials tend to discuss whether time remains to prevent (or delay) an Iranian bomb, and what the consequences would be if not. Many speak with certainty, but their most basic assumptions remain questionable.
Can even the most sophisticated intelligence services know, in real time, the nuclear progress of a country half the size of Europe? The U.S. was caught off-guard by nearly every country that has gone nuclear, from the Soviet Union in 1949 to North Korea in 2006.
It is useful, then, to consider how the world would look with a nuclear Iran. Even today, without a bomb, Iranian leaders already boast regularly of their intention “to wipe Israel off the map.” While many non-Israelis consider this scenario implausible, Iran’s ambitions don’t end with Israel.
Tehran wants to dominate the Middle East, playing for regional hegemony, energy resources and cultural supremacy. As a double minority in the region — Iran is Persian and Shiite, while the rest of the region is Arab and mostly Sunni — Tehran seeks to tilt the balance of power by projecting influence deep into Arab and Sunni lands.