Is Iran Now a Nuclear Target for the United States? by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett

"Tomorrow—Tuesday, April 6, 2010—the Obama Administration will proclaim, as a matter of declaratory policy, that the United States claims the prerogative to use nuclear weapons against the Islamic Republic of Iran, even as Iran remains a non-nuclear-weapons state. The Administration will make this declaration as part of its much anticipated Nuclear Posture Review, which will be issued two days before President Obama and Russian President Medvedev sign a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

We welcome the conclusion of the new START agreement, a long-overdue step in reducing the role of nuclear weapons in America’s military posture. Such a shift is, of course, critical to any chance of progress toward President Obama’s goal, defined in the historic speech he delivered one year ago today in Prague, of a world without nuclear weapons.

In principle, the Nuclear Posture Review should constitute another initial, concrete step toward the ultimate realization of the President’s worthy vision. To its credit, the Obama Administration will issue the final text of the Review online, for all to see. Unfortunately, though, the Administration will flinch from taking the most important step that it could take in the context of the Nuclear Posture Review—namely, to declare that, as a matter of policy, the United States possesses nuclear weapons for the sole purpose of deterring the use of nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies."

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