It is hard to know what is the world view of the small inner circle of top Iranian leaders.Are they religious fanatics indifferent to reality? Or are they capable of pragmatism and compromise? Even the international minded Economist doesn't have any clear insight.Maybe such an insight is not possible,but it important to find out. The inner circle of of top Iranian leaders favour a nuclear weapons development programme that could lead to war with America. This is not dissimilar to an inner circle of leaders in Germany launching World War I without giving the elected German parliament much of a chance to respond.
Iran's top leaders may feel entitled to have some nuclear weapons to match those of Israel,even though Shia Iran has not had any quarrel with Israel historically. Why? The Iranian revolution has bred militancy typical of many revolutions. It wants to export its revolution abroad. The long war with Iraq didn't fully exhausted its revolutionary ideology.
It brutally suppresses dissent and imposes puritanical religious conformity at home. Some years ago, I read about a case of a cleric who ordered a young teenage woman executed for giving him backchat. In the movie Persepolis now in theatres, the author mentions the execution of a young Iranian woman who was forcibly legally "married" and raped because a virgin could not be executed under Sharia law. Medieval Christendom had a similar law.
Can the religiously fanatical top leaders of Iran's clerical regime be trusted with nuclear weapons? A nuclear Iran would propel a nuclear arms race in the politically unstable Middle East. Could that lead to a high risk of a nuclear war?
Should America and Europe be prepared to go to war to prevent a nuclear Iran?