Iran’s nuclear ambitions leave world in a bind

December 2, 2009 — by Arnav Dugar

The current Iranian regime has consistently shown its intent to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has already shown sufficient progress on the three pieces of technology to create an effective nuclear weapon: uranium enriched to weapons grade, a missile capable of reaching Israel and parts of Western Europe and a warhead that will fit on the missile.

Iran’s clandestine nuclear program is a ticking time bomb and its well-advertised intent to threaten Israel makes it a real danger. Even so, when it comes to dealing with Iran, the world, particularly the U.S., is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Meanwhile, Iran seems to be betting it can deploy nuclear weapons while the world is muddling through inaction.

After much delay, Iran has adamantly refused the U.N. proposal in which the enrichment process would be outsourced to Russia and France so that it would be impossible to convert the resulting energy grade uranium into a weapons grade form.

Another option is to combat the impending nuclear war with aggression, proposed by former vice president Dick Cheney, but it will not be well received by Arabs, the American public, or the rest of the world. Regardless, the U.S. simply doesn’t have enough money to fight another war.

A lot of faith has been put on Obama to devise a peaceful approach compared to his predecessor—not to mention the Nobel Peace prize he recently won.

Pressuring Iran by imposing global economic sanctions against Iran has been proposed, but rapidly growing economies such as China’s are dependent on Iranian oil and not inclined to support such an action.

One viable option out of this deadlock could be for the U.S. to take a hard stand and impose its own sanctions against Iran even if the rest of the world does not fully support this action. If the European Union agrees to these sanctions along with the U.S., together accounting for over 30 percent of world oil imports, it should have significant impact on Iran’s oil and natural gas based economy.

Even if the Iranian regime continues its nuclear weapons program despite these sanctions, the people in Iran are likely to feel the economic impact and hence may demand changes from their government.

Iranians have already shown their displeasure with the government by taking to streets and protesting last summer’s elections. The time may be ripe to bring changes within the country while making the world safer.

Of course, such sanctions will likely result in higher oil prices, but it is better to pay that price now instead of taking chances with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

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