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Speaking from the lush Hawaiian venue of the Asia-Pacific economic summit, Obama falsely claimed during a televised news conference on November 13th that “we are in a much stronger position now than we were two or three years ago with respect to Iran.”
The truth is precisely the opposite. Iran poses a graver and more immediate danger to world peace and security, and to the security of the U.S. homeland, than ever before. Iran is moving, virtually unimpeded, ever closer to developing nuclear arms capability. Iran is also planning, or already building, at least one missile base in Venezuela, which will be equipped with medium-range missiles capable of reaching the United States mainland.
Moreover, Iran has announced that it will send its warships to establish a presence along the marine border with the eastern and southern coasts of the United States. Iranian Rear Adm. Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi said in July 2011 that its frigates and destroyers have been equipped with “surface-to-surface missiles.”
Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and military reach have extended beyond the Middle East, including to the Western Hemisphere. Its Quds forces, along with Hezbollah cells, are using Venezuela as a base from which to expand their activities throughout Latin America and to form collaborations with drug cartels in Mexico, for the purpose of infiltrating the United States through its porous southern border. And let’s not forget the alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington.
All of these serious provocations are happening during Obama’s watch. His appeasement policies, including his naive engagement-without-conditions approach to negotiating with Iran, have exacerbated the dangers.
Valuable time was lost as Obama continued his quixotic quest for unconditional talks with Iranian officials. And when there was a real opportunity for regime change during the Iranian “Green Movement” uprising against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s fraudulent re-election in June 2009, Obama was AWOL.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations watchdog body dealing with nuclear power security, issued an alarming report last week with more detailed evidence than ever before that Iran is working toward developing a nuclear bomb capability. The report laid out information on the secretive Iranian program to enrich uranium, its development of a payload system to carry a nuclear weapon on a missile, and the computer modeling and testing of high explosives to trigger a nuclear device.
According to an ex-CIA agent, who had penetrated inside Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the Iranian regime “now has enough enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs.” Other more conservative experts have said that Iran now has the capability to make weapon-grade uranium and build at least one atomic weapon within six months. Either way, we are clearly running out of time to stop Iran from becoming a full-fledged nuclear arms power.
What has been Obama’s public response? More sanctions on top of the ones that have not stopped Iran’s progress. Obama even lauded Russia and China for standing with the United States in support of the past ineffective sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council, and held out the hope for a continued unified approach to Iran.
“When I came into office, the world was divided and Iran was unified around its nuclear program,” Obama said at his news conference. “We now have a situation where the world is united and Iran is isolated. And because of our diplomacy and our efforts, we have, by far, the strongest sanctions on Iran that we’ve ever seen. And China and Russia were critical to making that happen.”
Referring to the Russian and Chinese presidents with whom he met at the Asia-Pacific summit, Obama said that he spoke with “President Medvedev, as well as President Hu, and all three of us entirely agree on the objective, which is making sure that Iran does not weaponize nuclear power and that we don’t trigger a nuclear arms race in the region. That’s in the interests of all of us.”
What Obama failed to mention is that Russia in particular opposes any further sanctions or other punitive measures against Iran. In fact, Russia was angry that the IAEA report was even made public. A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry said that the report was “nothing but an intentional — and counterproductive — whipping up of emotions.”
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