“Iran is a mortal threat,” says Lewis. And he does not believe Ahmadinejad will be deterred from using nuclear weapons by the fear of retaliation. Mutual assured destruction does not work – indeed it may even be an incentive – to those who view a nuclear conflagration as hastening the advent of the hidden 12th imam. If they martyr their own people in the process, Lewis commented, they have only done them a favor by providing them a quick pass to the great brothel in the sky.
There's more at this post by Jonathan Rosenblum at Cross-Currents (which won this week's Watcher's Council competition). He attended a talk by Lewis coupling with a screening of Obsession. Then the next day he had lunch with a "senior American official":
and mentioned Lewis’s point about jihadist historiography. The need to avoid providing further credence to that narrative, he replied, is precisely why the United States cannot allow Iran to go nuclear or be perceived as fleeing Iraq. Either event would only confirm the narrative of Islam’s advance and Western weakness. Iranian possession of the Bomb would cause to skyrocket the status of a state with an explicitly expansionist agenda under the banner of Islam. Every anti-Western terror group in the world would seek protection under Iran’s nuclear umbrella.