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Should the US attack Iran? Monitor Facebook fans speak out.

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REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric S. Powell/Handout

(Read caption) The USS Abraham Lincoln transits the Indian Ocean Jan. 18. The aircraft carrier sailed through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Persian Gulf without incident a day after Iran backed away from an earlier threat to take action if an American carrier returned to the strategic waterway.

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Tensions with Iran are high – and keep getting higher. 

To thwart Tehran’s suspected nuclear program, the United States has tightened sanctions against the country, and now Europe has agreed to end its purchase of Iranian oil.

Iran has met the sanctions with threats: to close the vital Strait of Hormuz – and worse. In fact, Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently ordered the regime’s armed forces to prepare for war. In his State of the Union address, President Obama, who has long urged diplomacy with Iran, asserted that “America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.” Congress cheered.

The views on “what to do with Iran” are heated. We recently published an op-ed from two former US hostages in Iran, L. Bruce Laingen and John Limbert, who give “Five reasons to avoid war with Iran.” Earlier this week we ran a contrasting view from Council on Foreign Relations fellow Matthew Kroenig. He offers “Five reasons to attack Iran.”

Our readers on Facebook had strong and plentiful reactions to the two pieces. We’ve selected and excerpted some of the most compelling comments below.

We asked: Do you agree with the opinion of this commentator? “5 Reasons to attack Iran”

Joel Slentz

"Absolutely not. The only justifiable reason to go to war with Iran is if Iran attacks an ally. If Pakistan (the country that was borderline harboring Osama bin Laden under our noses) is allowed to have nuclear weapons, then why can’t Iran? That’s like telling the US that they can’t have nuclear weapons, but Mexico can. Also, when was the last time Iran invaded the Western hemisphere? Oh wait, that’s right, THEY HAVEN’T. But we have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan – two countries, which by the way, neighbor Iran – so wouldn’t it make sense for Iran to try to deter the US?"

Phil Reed 

"A nuclear-armed Iran will learn what every other nuclear-armed state already knows: The weapons themselves are the bluntest of instruments. An Iran with one or even 10 or 20 nuclear missiles cannot credibly threaten nuclear war because it would be, essentially, nuclear suicide; the US, Russia, and China still have overwhelming nuclear superiority over it and will for the forseeable future. As for whether it will increase the rate of proliferation; certainly, but Iran isn’t the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the region. That would be Israel, followed by Pakistan and Syria."

Mark Farley 

"NO! Pre-emptive strikes are usually a bad idea. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until enough people listen: It’s time for the US to stop going around being the world’s policeman. The US government should continue doing what it’s already doing, namely, working hand-in-hand with her allies to be a single, focused entity in this matter, as well as all other matters of international import."

 Coco Smith 

"...[B]oth Russia and China have warned us about attacking Iran. China is economically dependent on the United States, but oil dependent on Iran, and unless Saudi Arabia steps in to fill the vacuum, I doubt they will endorse an attack on Iran from the United States. In fact, I think the United States is overreacting as usual, and I’d say the problem here is American “exceptionalism” going head to head with what the author called Iran’s “grossly inflated view of their place in the world”."

Mary Cubillan 

“The problem is Iran’s leaders not their civilians or children.”

Chris Kohler 

“No, I do not agree completely with the writer. But, the way things appear, I would say that warring on Iran is inevitable.”

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