Andrew appears to be put off by the killing involved in covert attacks on Iran:
The US was rightly outraged by Iran’s plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington; but what about the targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists? If Iran started assassinating American scientists, would we not make a stink? Don’t get me wrong: sabotage of Iran’s nuclear program is easily the best way forward, along with sanctions. But killing individuals seems to me an over-reach we could come to regret.
The U.S. would do far more than “make a stink” if Iran started blowing up our nuclear scientists, but that’s beside the point. If the U.S. reserves the right to sabotage another state’s nuclear program because of an irrational fear of it, it is hard to see why it would distinguish between destroying facilities and equipment and killing personnel. If Andrew believes sabotage is the “best way forward,” that will include targeting the people involved in advancing the program with their knowledge and expertise. Since that part of it seems like dangerous overreaching to him, doesn’t that imply the same thing for the entire effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program?
Sabotage is only “easily the best way forward” if one accepts that it is imperative that Iran’s nuclear program be delayed for as long as possible. It is the best way if the only other possible alternative is openly attacking Iranian facilities. If that is the case, our Iran policy is so intellectually and morally bankrupt that there isn’t much else to say about it.