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Fox Guest - If We Attack Iran We Can Set Their Nuclear Program Back 5 - 7 Years

Reported by Donna - May 4, 2006

Frequent Fox guest Michael O'Hanlon from the Brookings Institution, spoke to Shepard Smith on Studio B today regarding what Fox always calls the Iran Nuclear Showdown.

It was more of the same, how Russia and China aren't in favor of U.S. backed sanctions, but O'Hanlon made a startling statement.

O'Hanlon came out and said that whatever the status of Iran's nuclear program we could set it back 5 - 7 years if we attacked. Whoa, I thought, wait a minute, weren't we going to try every diplomatic route before we even thought of military action?

Seems to me that someone was pretty quick in the draw when just asked about the Iran nuclear program. O'Hanlon said there were possibly three reasons why Russia and China wouldn't go along with U.S. backed sanctions, 1) Russia and China were worried about the U.S. pulling an Iraq in Iran, or 2) Russia and China don't like us meddling so much in another country's affairs or 3) Russia and China are worried about keeping strong economic ties with Iran.

These were well thought out reasons, but then to have him abruptly say that Iran was anywhere from 3 - 15 years on the path to getting a nuclear weapon and we would set them back 5 - 7 years if we attacked was a bit strong. Why he went right to the attack option isn't clear. I kind of expected a discussion on what our diplomatic route was going to look like, but no, O'Hanlon went right to the attack option. Maybe he couldn't come up with a diplomatic path because this administration doesn't do diplomacy well?

Better yet, maybe he could tell us how he came up with the 5 - 7 years number?

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