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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Iran’s nuke program dangerous as any

Kris Clancy is writing from Tel Aviv, Israel

Wednesday, the U.S. and Iran agreed to hold a second round of talks concerning their nuclear program, Iran’s foreign minister told the New York Times.

In light of these new developments in what has been a roller coaster of diplomatic negotiation, it is important to take a good assessment of what U.S. policy should be, compared to where it is with Iran’s program.

Like any problem in the Middle East, how to deal with Iran’s nuclear policy is never a clear-cut decision.

The only black and white fact is that Iran should never have nuclear weapons.

It is important to make clear, however, that no country should be allowed to have nuclear weapons. Not the United States, Iran, Israel, the United Kingdom, et cetera.

Since the question is not about the legality or morality of nuclear weapons, but only what the United States should do about Iran’s impending nuclear capability, I digress. Instead we shall take a look at the few possibilities the United States has.

The first possibility is what many in the world, especially here in Israel, think will happen. The United States and Iran will go to war. This possibility is very real, and also the scariest. Our troops are already bogged down in a sectarian-divided Iraq and in Afghanistan.

In addition, the unrest in the Palestinian territories will only serve to destabilize the region even more if, instead of trying to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the surrounding nations are drawn into the war between the United States and Iran.

Make no mistake; such a war can only lead to escalating hostilities the world over.

The second possibility is a continued course of tougher sanctions through the United Nations and in cooperation with other world leaders. Though the United States has allowed this course to continue, how much longer President Bush will allow an ineffective body such as the Security Council to pursue this course is questionable.

The third possibility is direct talks between the United States and Iran on a diplomatic level that has not been seen since the ending of the hostage crisis of 1979.

This is the best course of action the United States can take. If such an action took place, and both parties used it as a chance to speak honestly, many more issues than just Iran’s nuclear buildup could be discussed, such as the more pressing necessity of curbing sectarian violence in Iraq and stabilizing the country.

We have seen that Iran, in some form, has been reacting to UN pressure. The most recent development is between the International Atomic Energy Agency negotiators and Iran. IAEA officials will be allowed to go and tour Iranian nuclear facilities to make sure that all nuclear development is for peaceful means.

In truth however, no one knows what any of these gestures mean. It could be nothing more than a farce; a show the regime is putting on for the world in hopes to scale back the sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy. Or it could also mean a change within the regime itself, in which the political base of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has changed, and many of his supporters have left him because they feel his rhetoric and harsh stance against the world has hurt Iran’s diplomatic ties and the nation as a whole.

We can argue the possibilities of what the United States should do and we might never agree, but the fact remains that with advances in travel and communication, the world is getting increasingly smaller.

Scientists estimate that there is enough nuclear power to kill more than 8 billion people. Yet, ironically, there are only 6 billion people living on the planet.

To allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons is a threat the human race – not just the United States – cannot afford to take.

Clancy, a political science senior, can be reached via [email protected]

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