Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Next Step with Ahmadinejad

Over the last few days Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has continued his dance with the United Nations and the West. His goal is quite simple: a nuclear Iran. He has successfully stalled and bullied the United Nations, all the while racing to get nuclear capability. Every time the United Nations has given Ahmadinejad a deadline, he has given the United Nations the finger, and continued to do what he wishes.

The United States and Israel have both said they will not tolerate a nuclear Iran. France has now gone on the record saying that war may be necessary to keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. French President Sarkozy said if the United Nations allows, “Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, we would incur an unacceptable risk to stability in the region and in the world.” Germany, one of the countries that have stalled sanctions against Iran, is calling for a tougher stance against Iran. The German government has even said they don’t believe sanctions are going to work.

Where does that leave the world? If the world truly believes Iran can’t be allowed to get a nuclear weapon, it is time to make some very difficult decisions. Those decisions may include military action in Iran. The United States and Israel have probably (and hopefully) drawn up a point of no return scenario. This would be a list of criteria that would require an immediate military response. We may not have hit that time yet, but it is fast approaching.

For those who argue against a military action, it is time to get deadly serious with Iran. Former Governor Mitt Romney released his plan for Iran this week. His plan is tough, and works to so isolate Iran that if Ahmadinejad were to continue to press for nuclear technology, the world would have reason to respond militarily. Governor Romney’s plan includes:

1) Putting Iran in a diplomatic isolation.

2) Tougher economic sanctions against Iran.

3) Call on Arab states to join this effort. This would require the Arab states to support the government of Iraq, stop all financial support of Hamas and Hezbollah, and thaw relations with Israel.

4) Communicate to the people of Iran. There are those within Iran that do not share the views of Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs. Governor Romney believes we should do everything in our power to help those people.

5) Create a Partnership with the “entire world of Islam”. Romney argues that, “[o]nly Muslims will be able to permanently defeat the radical jihadist threat. We should help them any way we can.”

The full text of his outline can be found at the National Review Online. Ahmadinejad has made it crystal clear to anyone who is listening that he is going to acquire nuclear technology. He has also made it crystal clear that he intends to destroy both Israel and the United States. If the leader of a nation tells me he wishes to commit genocide and destroy my country, I tend to take him at his word. The current process is failing. The United Nations and the IAEA continue to demand and ask Iran for cooperation when Iran has no intention of giving it. Really isolating Iran may be the only way to avoid a military strike. Once Ahmadinejad has acquired a nuclear weapon is too late.


Brandon said...

I'm curious how Gov. Romney thinks we can isolate Iran further or hurt it's economy more and how these steps would be productive. We already talk to Iran only through the Pakistani and Swiss ambassadors and many countries also do not have diplomatic ties with Iran.

The current sanctions, along with the incompetence of the Ahmadinejad administration, have crippled Iran's economy. Any further sanctions are likely to hurt the people of Iran, who want democracy, and not their leaders.

Andy D said...

The full text of the “isolation” bullet point from Gov. Romeny’s plans is as follows:

“First, we must put Iran in diplomatic isolation. Rather than invite its leaders to address world forums, they should be treated like pariah. Indicting Ahmandinejad under the Genocide Convention should be a first step. Rather than dignify the world’s most prominent sponsor of terror with unconditional meetings such as Senator Barack Obama has pledged, America and united leaders should show moral indignation.”

His second point deals with the economics part:

“Second, we must tighten economic sanctions against Iran. These sanctions should be as least as severe as the sanctions imposed on apartheid South Africa. The effort to economically isolate the Iranian regime should build on the important efforts of the U.S. Treasury Department by restricting credit and capital. State pension funds should divest from companies doing substantial business with Iran. And, we must endeavor to persuade nations like China to abandon their economic activity with the Iranian regime. “

I agree that we want to avoid hurting the people of Iran as much as possible. We need to support their effort to remove the current regime (and not just Ahmandinejad). However, as long as Iran has the funds to pursue a nuclear program, their government hasn’t been hurt enough.

I view this as an issue that cannot be negotiated. Under no circumstances can the current Iranian regime be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. Because of that, military action must be on the table. The question is, what can we and the rest of the world do to avoid using that military option? The plan Gov. Romney lays out has been the best plan I have heard.