Did Sanctions Work in Iran?

1127-IRAN-BREAKTHROUGH_full_380A good piece in the CSM on how sociological conditions and a new leader in Iran led to Western sanctions being more affective in bringing them to the bargaining table regarding their nuclear ambitions.

Also in the article, it is explained why the sanctions are working, for now, in Iran but did not in North Korea. Very interesting.

Read Here


Iran’s Rouhani: New Hope for Negotiations?

indexThe article I’m about to link focuses on Obama reaching out to Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani, due to a NBC interview earlier this week where he made a shift in some of Iran’s political stances.

Mr. Rouhani, unlike his predecessor, Ahmed Ahmadinejad, has a more liberal view on Iran’s political troubles, such as the crippling sanctions by the West in response to Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Also, he even stepped back from Iran’s long term stance regarding wiping Israel off the map moving to a more moderate position of pursuing peace in the region. So in light of this shift in posture the White House has opened communications with Tehran hoping to start a dialogue focusing on lifting the sanctions in return for Iran abandoning it’s nuclear program.

But what the article really focuses on though are the criminals in Israel and Jerusalem’s views on this whole matter. Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu says this is all farce and an attempt by Rouhani to lighten the sanctions upon Iran’s economy while the nuclear program secretly continues.

Now, let’s get back into the same old argument here that I have addressed many times before. Even though the NYT article states that the Israeli nuclear arsenal is kept foggy regarding how many bombs they have if they even have any at all. But outside sources places the number at 250 nuclear weapons. And this does not include the American arsenal that would surely be fired upon Iran if they lobbed their single bomb into Tel Aviv or somewhere else not holy to Muslims.

Now Iran, unlike other Middle Eastern nations, is not filled with extremists that are known for suicide attacks. The reason why, amongst others, is that they are a Shia nation and 90% of suicide bombers are Sunni Muslims, e.g., Osama bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri, and every 9/11 hijacker. Also on this point you never here of Iranian suicide bombers. Iran prefers to financially and materially support these groups. Suicide bombers are all from Arab states too, e.g., Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Palestinians. Iran isn’t even Arab, they’re Persian.

So what I am trying to get to here is this: Iran is not full of extremists in the violent/terrorist sense of the word. So why would they take the risk of being wiped off the map by Israel/U.S. by starting a nuclear war with their single bomb or a few more thereafter? It’s a simple argument of M.A.D., i.e., Mutually Assured Destruction. Iran is smart and calculating. They put politics above extremism. They are a rational nation that prefers political action rather than martyrdom.

So why is Israel so nervous?

If the West has any bravery or fortitude in them the real answer for a safe and anti-nuclear Middle Eastern region is to make it a Weapons of Mass Destruction-free zone. Collect all the nuclear bombs with the IAEA and collect all the sarin gas warheads and anthrax from nations like Syria.

But, unfortunately, the U.S. will never allow that to happen due our outdated interests in Israel, which is way out of view now that the Cold War is over. We need to rethink our policies in that region.

Read Here.









The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s Hypocrisy

South_Korea_North_Korea-0d7eeAround noon today local time, North Korea conducted a third nuclear test. The underground explosion registered on the seismic scale  showing that it was the most powerful explosion of the three so far. Now on April 10th, 2003, North Korea backed out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s (NPT) agreement to resume its nuclear program which it signed on to in 1985. The North Koreans sees these weapons as essential to their own national security and an opportunity to flex it’s military muscle internationally.

Now, does it not seem that the NPT is one of the most hypocritical international treatise on the books? Why should the superpowers who first developed nuclear weapons get to say, “That’s it. Whoever hasn’t developed a nuclear device yet cannot develop one.” Shouldn’t the aim of treatise of this sort be to eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide, not just limit them to certain leading actors in the international community? No one wants certain rogue countries like Iran and North Korea to have them but I also don’t want the U.S., Russia, and China to have them also. It seems that the NPT is missing the point of what should be done by the U.N. and the IAEA in general, i.e., pressure nations worldwide to abandon or dissolve all nuclear programs.

Read Here.

North Korean Nuclear Test and Sanctions

1583425681357439171The Post reports that North Korea announced on state t.v. that the government will begin new nuclear tests in reaction to new U.N. sanctions sponsored by the United States. And in return, the U.S. and China plan for even tougher sanctions if the tests are undertaken.

This report has reinforced my view that much of the time sanctions imposed upon “rogue” nations, i.e., any country that does not bow to the alter of the U.S. and the U.N., does not usually work. Now I do recognize that sanctions against Iraq stopped their WMD production, but it did not give to a peoples’ revolution to overthrow the dictator. And look at Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. Sanctions there have had no affect on the leaders’ ambitions but have only harmed the peoples of those nations.

Please comment if you have any relevant opinions or if you disagree with me. This idea is new to me and I may be wrong.

Iran will press on with enrichment: nuclear chief | Reuters

Iran will press on with enrichment: nuclear chief | Reuters.

The situation with the West’s concern over Iran’s plans to enrich uranium continues and the head of Iran’s nuclear energy program stated they are moving forward.  A few important points should be made regarding this article.  The first is the fact Iran, at least on the surface, is trying to be rather open about their nuclear plans to the rest of the world.  If they were trying to build a nuclear weapon in the shadows of what they are doing, they are the worst hiders of their actions in the history of the world.  Just compare Iran’s actions to North Korea on this issue, for example.

The other important factor from this article has to do with a declaration the nuclear chief is making:

But he (Iran’s nuclear chief) also said Iran would continue and possibly raise its output of reactor fuel using 20 percent enriched uranium – which suggests that less of it might be available for use in what the West suspects is an attempt to develop atom bombs.

In other words, Iran is using their material, at the moment, for non-weaponized purposes and they want to increase that usage.  Iran has a finite amount of nuclear materials so the fact they are looking to use up more of it for energy purposes only should be encouraged by the West.  The faster they use their material up, the better for peace in the long run.

At this point, Iran has done nothing to show they are wanting to use their nuclear material for a nuclear bomb and there is seemingly no reason to begin a war over their actions.  This could change in the future, no doubt, but the fact remains there is still no evidence Iran is a true threat to the world and the guns and missiles currently aimed at them should be holstered for now.

Why the United States Does Not Want Iran to Pursue Nuclear Materials

The situation in Iran continues to grow worse as the presidential election in the Unites States progresses.  In the past few days, we have seen Republican candidate Mitt Romney call Iran the biggest national security threat to the U.S.  President Barack Obama announced new sanctions on international banks dealing with Iran.  And Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, along with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, stated military actions are not out of the question in dealing with Iran and could take place sooner rather than later.  All of this in spite of the reality there is no proof yet of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

The scary part of unconventional weapons, of course, is if someone were to have them and actually use them.  It’s one thing to have them as a threat as many countries around the world possess nuclear weapons but have not used them in warfare.  It’s an entirely different and heinous act to use these weapons in warfare and know they will have long term effects on the area, particularly if it is a civilian area like a large city.  We have seen many ruthless leaders denounced for these actions over the course of history and should expect only the highest amount of responsibility when they are used by “peaceful” nations.

That being said, why is the U.S. so terrified about a nuclear armed Iran?  Because the U.S. clearly knows the effects of unconventional weapons as it has apparently very recently continued their use.

Many who followed the Iraq War are familiar with the city of Fallujah and the fierce fighting that took place in 2004.  What we don’t know is the type of weaponry used by the U.S. when shelling the city.  Some clues are beginning to emerge as to what may have been used: uranium laced ammunition.  Aljazeera reported on the aftereffects of the fighting and a curious trend has been increasing as birth defects have risen to alarming levels.  Some studies are stating the number of defects has reached “five times the international norm” and radiation levels in Fallujah are also high.

Which brings us back to the situation with Iran.  The United States is very concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and they should be.  No one wants to see the use of these weapons and no one wants to be a part of the aftermath of destruction they leave behind.  However, the hypocrisy of the U.S. position is obvious.  If the United States government does not want unconventional weapons used on anyone in times of warfare, the work clearly need to begin at home and a long, hard look must be taken as to the U.S. willingness to use chemical and biological weapons.

Danger Level Rising in Persian Gulf

According to this article in the NYT, the U.S. is increasing it’s military presence in the Persian Gulf mainly in an effort to deter the Iranians from closing (i.e., mining) the Strait of Hormuz.

This is a very risky action in the Gulf and hopefully it will amount to nothing. But this military build-up, like the article states, could be misinterpreted by the Iranian government and military, and set off a clash between the two forces.

Another issue at stake, as the article states, is that this movement of our Navy is also a sign to the Israelis that we are prepared to make a military strike if sanctions do not deter Iranians from enriching uranium.

But what underlines the Israel issue are two things: Israel military actions are always an overkill and also how can we expect Iranians not to develop nuclear weapons when their main rival, Israel, possesses over 250.

We have seen in the past overkill by the Israelis in their military actions in the occupied territories, e.g., killing civilians in Gaza in efforts to kill Hamas leaders; and through the actions of Moussad, e.g., murdering political party members and Iranian nuclear scientists internationally with no regard to the countries where these assassinations took place.

They have no limits to their actions for they know they have the U.S. in their back pockets. The U.S. supports Israel unconditionally because they are so important to our military interests in the Middle East region, i.e., if something occurs in the Middle East militarily, we can use Israel as a staging ground in the interest of maintaining our need for oil.

So what we have now is a metaphor that I came up with. Israel is like the little brother of the baddest kid on the block. The little brother can do whatever he wants, no matter how outrageous, for he knows that his big brother will beat-up whoever attacks him. So the rest of the kids on the block can do nothing to stop his actions no matter how egregious.

I, like nearly every American, am worried about Iranians having nuclear weapons due to the fact they are so anti-American. But yet it seems so hypocritical to say that one nation in the region can have atom bombs while another cannot. So, in a perfect world, we should rid Israel of their nuclear missiles and make the Middle East nuclear bomb-free.

More Signs of Danger from Israel

Netanyahu and Defense Minister are closing out other voices regarding a military strike against Iran; a troubling sign.

Read Here.