Saturday, September 02, 2006

Should Iran be sanctioned for enriching Uranium?

I remain unpersuaded by arguments that Iran should be sanctioned for enriching Uranium. The campaign against Iran is primarily due to the efforts of the Pro-Israel Lobby and there is no strong evidence that Iran is a significant threat to us here in America.

Iran may indeed be intent on developing and deploying nuclear weapons -- although there is no strong evidence of such an intent --- and that is their prerogative if they feel so inclined. Sure, we should take reasonable steps to dissuade Iran from developing and deploying nuclear weapons, but the emphasis must be on reasonable. Step number one should be to propose that the Middle East be a nuclear-free zone and insist that Israel give up its nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons program. If we refuse to take those steps, then we are obligated to permit Iran to pursue the same course.

The huge elephant standing in the middle of the room that nobody wants to talk about is the idea that the Bush administration, its Neoconservative backers, and the Pro-Israel Lobby in general are not really that committed to "diplomacy" and are merely using it as a ruse to buy time and an excuse to eventually launch a military campaign against Iran. There is no strong evidence of those intentions per se, but it is clearly percolating in the minds of many people. As the NY Times put it in an article entitled "Russia Hints It WonÂ’t Back Any Penalties Against Iran":

... Mr. Lavrov left in doubt whether Russia would ever agree to any penalties. His view echoed one heard increasingly here: that sanctions could be a first step toward a new American-led military conflict in the Middle East.

My view is that we should do the exact opposite of sanctions and removed all existing U.S. sanctions against Iran and encourage much more good old-fashioned Capitalism to seep into Iran and gradually they will come around to Western values and not push so intentsely for confrontation with The West. China is an example of this approach in action, as well as in evolution.

-- Jack Krupansky

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