Ten years ago diplomacy was in short supply. It was called cowboy diplomacy, but in actuality it was My Way or the Highway bullying.
Bush declared Iraq, Iran, and North Korea to be the Axis of Evil, and we promptly invaded Iraq, a nation that had not attacked us, was not a threat, and had nothing to do with terrorism or the attacks of 9/11.
North Korea promptly built themselves some nukes to protect themselves and it worked! Bush was afraid to invade them.
The lesson Iran learned from this, is that they also had to get a Nuke. Actually it is a bit more complicated than that (it always is). For the people of Iran, nuclear power is simply evidence that they have the technology of the twenty first century. They have joined the big boys, they have become a developed nation instead of the looked down upon developing nation. For most of the people of Iran this is a great source of pride. Most of the people do not know that their country is developing bombs (if they are), and they are not dedicated to invading anyone. They just want to live normal lives.
The Ayatollahs and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad felt threatened, not only by the United States, but by Israel, and by Saudi Arabia and all of the other Arabs. Perhaps they thought they needed a bomb to protect themselves.
Today all of the conservatives in the country want to invade Iran, and there are indications that Israel is gearing up for a unilateral military strike on their nuclear facilities. But is Iran really evil? Iran has not invaded another country in modern times. In 1980 it was Iran, that was attacked by Iraq helped by the US in a war in which 100,000 Iranians were killed in chemical attacks. Almost all of the terrorist attacks have been done by Arab Sunni Muslims. The Persian Shiites have not had a single suicide bomber!
President Obama also warned Iran that if they developed a nuclear bomb they could get attacked by the US, but at the same time he was about the only voice of rationality and is meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convince him that a unilateral attack would be very foolish. The sanctions are working and an attack would only unify the people of Iran whereas they are now fractured. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/arti...
If Iran used North Korea as inspiration to build a bomb, perhaps they should look to North Korea's young new leader as an example of rationality. The nation is isolated and the people are starving to death. North Korea has decided to end their nuclear program and admit inspectors in exchange for food aid. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...
Sanctions and Diplomacy works!
We should have learned from invading Iraq that things are never as simple as the conservatives think it will be. In many ways Iraq is worse off today than it was before the invasion. Iran is twice the size, has three and a half times as many people, and is much more difficult logistically than Iraq was. It would be extremely foolish to start another war, especially since we haven't paid for the first two yet.