How should the U.S. prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?
Although the European Union has been getting a lot of press of late for standing up to Iran by imposing to an “unprecedented” set of sanctions against Iran – banning importation of Iranian oil to its member states while also imposing currency and commodity sanctions on Iran’s central bank – a closer look at the sanctions show they lack real teeth.
The ban is not scheduled to take effect until July 1, which gives EU nations time to replace the oil imported from Iran and the Iranians plenty of time to find other buyers for their oil. In addition, Europe has already backtracked from the sanctions, releasing a statement saying that if Iran would be willing to negotiate its nuclear policy, the sanctions will be lifted.
Not a chance. For their part, the official Fars News Agency quoted one Iranian official who suggested that Tehran should halt sales to Europe now “so that the price of oil soars and the Europeans … have trouble.”
(The Iranians have also once again threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, but most analysts see that as a bluff since Iran would have to stand up to the U.S. Navy, whose aircraft carrier was recently allowed into the Strait without protest from Iran.)
As Front Page Magazine reports, “Thus, another round of sanctions against Iran, designed to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table in order to convince the regime to halt its uranium enrichment program, continues to reveal the paralysis of the world community in the face of a determined, radical, terrorist state that is undeterred in its drive to possess the ultimate guarantee against mocking the prophet.”
The magazine also reports that there have been 4 rounds of sanctions against Iran passed by the United Nations, each severely ineffective. In December 2006, the Security Council banned the sale of nuclear related materials and froze the assets of some regime officials. In March 2007, the UN expanded the asset freeze and slapped an arms embargo on Iran. In March of 2008, the asset freeze was extended again, and member states were authorized to monitor ships and planes headed for Iran as well as individuals involved in the nuclear program.
The last round of international sanctions passed in June of 2010, froze the funds of individuals and businesses connected to the Revolutionary Guards and went after the financial sector of the Iranian economy.
In addition to international sanctions, about a dozen individual states — including the US, the EU, Japan, and Australia — have added their own national sanctions on everything from penalizing companies that do business with Iran to preventing the sale of oil and gas equipment to replace Tehran’s aging oil infrastructure.
Yet during the time that the sanctions have been in place, the Iranians have installed 5,000 working centrifuges at their main enrichment facility in Nantanz that is busy enriching hundreds of pounds of uranium; completed construction of the reactor at Bushehr and made it operational; constructed at least one and probably more smaller enrichment facilities such as the one built into a mountain outside of Qom; and, according to the nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, are rapidly developing the technical capability to marry a nuclear bomb to their missiles.
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