“A few days after his election, President Obama called a nuclear Iran “unacceptable.” In February 2009, he pledged “to use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.” By the next year, after a first round of negotiations with Iran had failed and the United Nations and Congress passed tougher sanctions, that pledge had softened. “The United States,” Obama said in July 2010, is “determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons…”
The authors continued:
“The administration’s alternative to prevention — isolation — implies containment. But a nuclear Iran could not be contained as the Soviet Union was. Containment requires credibility, a resource United States will have drained if, after numerous warnings to the contrary, we permit Tehran to cross the nuclear threshold. And no matter how isolated, a nuclear Iran is likely to spark a destabilizing cascade of proliferation. Despite its own isolation, North Korea shares its nuclear technology. Iran might, too. Tehran’s enemies, led by Saudi Arabia, would seek safety behind their own nuclear deterrent. And Iran and Israel, as former defense undersecretary Eric Edelman has argued, would have incentives to initiate a nuclear first strike, potentially dragging the United States into the conflict. All this would severely diminish U.S. influence and drive up oil prices.
“The Obama administration needs to regain its clarity and refocus its rhetoric and action toward preventing a nuclear Iran. It should do so, if necessary, by ‘all elements of American power.’”
Read the full op-ed here. Related Posts
- The New IAEA Report: Beyond Weaponization, November 10, 2011