She is a Shia nation in a Muslim world 90 percent Sunni, a Persian nation on the edge of a sea of 320 million Arabs. Kurds, Azeris, Arabs and Baluch make up close to half of Iran's population. War with America could tear Iran apart.
Why then would Tehran want a war -- and with a superpower?
Answer: It doesn't. Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has attacked no nation and gone to war once -- to defend herself against Saddam Hussein's aggression that had the backing of the United States.
In that war, the Iranians suffered the worst poison gas attacks since Gamal Abdel Nasser used gas in Yemen and Benito Mussolini used it in Abyssinia. Iran has thus condemned the use of gas in Syria and offered to help get rid of it.
Last year, Iran's departing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who frightened so many, made a simple logical point about Iran's supposed bomb program:
"Let's even imagine that we have an atomic weapon, a nuclear weapon. What would we do with it? What intelligent person would fight 5,000 American bombs with one bomb?"
Yet, still, the beat goes on. "There is no more time to hold negotiations," says Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, Iran is only six months from developing an atom bomb.
Yet the New York Times reports Monday, "American intelligence experts believe Iran is still many months if not years away from having such a weapon." Time to clear this up.
Congress should call James Clapper, head of national intelligence, and pin him down publicly on these questions:
Has Iran made the decision to build an atom bomb? Does Iran even have all the ingredients for a bomb? If Iran made a decision to build a bomb would we know about it? And how long would it take for Iran to build and test a nuclear device?
Americans were misled, deceived and lied into one war. Let's not follow the same crowd into another.
Obama is being urged not to meet with Rouhani, as the man has a checkered past. Yet U.S. presidents met three times with Stalin, three with the Butcher of Budapest, once with Chairman Mao.
Compared to these fellows, Hussein Rouhani looks like Ramsey Clark.
Query: If Iran has the scientific and industrial capacity to build a bomb -- and all agree it has -- what could conceivably be the reason Iran has not yet done so?
Perhaps, just perhaps, Iran doesn't want the bomb.
Talk to the man, Mr. President.