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The United State of America is “not setting deadlines” on Iran and is still committed to negotiations which are “by far the best approach” to prevent Tehran from becoming a nuclear power, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared last week.
To ensure the message was not lost in Hebrew translation, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland elaborated the next day, “it is not useful to be…setting deadlines one way or the other [or] red lines.”
So according to the US’s top diplomats, representatives of president Barack Obama who describes the prospect of a nuclear Iran as “unacceptable,” it is detrimental to delineate the thresholds of the intolerable, which at the very least would make the Iranians think twice before dashing towards nuclearization.
Hypocrisy, like Iran’s nuclear progress, knows no bounds.
Notably, Clinton’s comments came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated that all efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear progress thus far have failed “because [Iran] doesn’t see a clear red line from the international community.”
So much for the US and Israel being on the same page; consider the Obama administration’s vehement refusal to place any limits on Iran’s nuclear progress as a sharp rebuke of Jerusalem. This is the same “pro-Israel” Obama, mind you, that the majority of American Jews will vote to re-empower in November, and to whom a significant segment of Israeli officialdom deems it prudent to outsource the responsibility of dealing with the Iranian nuclear—existential—threat.
Not to worry, they say. Obama “has Israel’s back.” That is, besides the fact that his administration has completely eroded the credibility of the “military option.”
So how exactly does Obama intend to stop Iran from achieving nuclear status? According to Clinton, “we’re convinced that we have more time to focus on these sanctions, to do everything we can to bring Iran to a good-faith negotiation.”
Given the monumental failure of the three-staged talks conducted between world powers and Iran earlier this year in Istanbul, Baghdad, and Moscow, that leaves sanctions as the US’s most plausible measure.
In Hillary’s estimation, “the sanctions, we know, are having an effect.”
Yet the administration is playing a fool’s game, predicated on invoking Iran’s struggling economy to mask a flawed policy. After all, it is impossible to deny that sanctions are indeed “hurting.” This argument, however, is deceptive, as a devalued rial is merely a means to an end—halting Iran’s nuclear program.
In this respect, sanctions have failed miserably. In fact, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s August report showed that sanctions are having the exact opposite effect of the one intended: Iran is accelerating its nuclear program.
The IAEA confirmed that Iran doubled since May the number of centrifuges installed at its underground Fordow facility, and produced an additional 145kg of higher-grade enriched uranium over the same period. The report again accused Iran of sanitizing its Parchin military complex, at which suspected nuclear-related experiments have been conducted.
That Iran’s response to sanctions—particularly the embargo on Iranian oil imports implemented by the EU in July—is to fast-track its nuclear program proves the regime’s intent to build nuclear weapons. Iran was left with two choices in the face of international sanctions: Stop the suffering by curbing its nuclear progress, or limit the overall suffering by going nuclear as quickly as possible.
The Iranians have chosen the latter.
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