Will Tougher Sanctions Convince Iran To Abandon Their Nuclear Ambitions?

Posted by Frederick Jones
February 7, 2008
Uranium Conversion Facility in Iran

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, along with Germany have agreed on a draft for a third sanctions resolution against Iran in response to its refusal to halt the main elements of its nuclear program. The United States and some other members of the Security Council are calling for a vote on the resolution as soon as possible.

Despite two previous Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions against Iran, Iran continues to enrich uranium. Will a third, tougher sanctions resolution convince Iran to abandon their nuclear ambitions?

Comments

Comments

Nobody
|
Pakistan
February 8, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

Tougher sanctions might not immediately convince Iran to abandon their nuclear ambitions but they could bring Iran back to the negotiating table and be reasonable. Tougher sanctions will, however, cause problems for the masses. I hope and pray that tougher sanctions will not affect medical supplies and things related to babies and children.

Robert
|
District Of Columbia, USA
February 8, 2008

Robert in Washington writes:

With no evidence of intent to develop a nuclear weapons program, what is the objection to Iran's efforts to enrich uranium only to the level necessary for use nuclear power plant electrical generators?

After all, the U.S.A. also enriches uranium. Please explain why it is bad when Iran enriches uranium and it is okay when the U.S.A. enriches uranium.

Diplomacy is the appropriate tactic to resolve differences between nations, not belligerence and/or aggression.

Zharkov
February 8, 2008

Zharkov writes:

What is Iran supposed to use to generate electric power after its oil reserves have been depleted? Russian natural gas, perhaps? Without oil, Iran is just another poor, third world country that will need a financial rescue someday. Nuclear power, at least, offers to delay Iran's ultimate oil catastrophe. Besides, our federal government lacks the diplomatic expertise to negotiate these things if one can judge from its treatment of Russia.

Here is what Mr. Putin is saying today:

"Russia would respond with 'an adequate response' to what he called the west's failure to act on Moscow's security concerns, including over NATO expansion and plans to deploy a US missile defense system in eastern Europe.""There are many discussions on these [issues]," he said in a speech to Russia's influential State Council, which gathers ministers, Kremlin officials and parliamentarians. "But our partners -- I note with regret and pain in my heart -- are using them as no more than an information and diplomatic cover for realizing their own plans. We have still not seen any real steps towards finding a compromise.""In effect, we are forced to retaliate." Russia has, and always will have, responses to these new challenges," he said to applause. "Over the next several years, Russia should start the production of new types of weapons -- which are in no way inferior to what other states have, and in some cases are superior.""NATO itself is expanding. It's approaching our borders. We drew down our bases in Cuba and in Vietnam. What did we get? New American bases in Romania, Bulgaria. A new third missile defense region in Poland," he said. "We are categorically being told these actions aren't directed at Russia, and therefore our concerns are completely unfounded. That's not a constructive response."

Now with that in mind, precisely what do you expect the Iranian government to do? Drop all plans for future energy generation when the main source of energy, Russia, is being encircled by NATO forces? The Russians clearly feel threatened by this, so no doubt Iran feels doubly threatened. Iran's ayatollahs may be moral idiots, but they are not as stupid as we would hope them to be. Exactly what does the U.S. government have to offer that would make Iran energy-secure, while the U.S. itself is not energy-secure? Nothing?

So there are two choices - assume Iran now has nuclear weapons which it probably already purchased from other states, and needs electric power only, and leave them alone on that point, or offer some sort of guarantee they will not run out of energy if they give up the idea of nuclear generating plants. As we can't guarantee that for ourselves, we certainly can't guarantee that for Iran.

Russia, however, might offer such a guarantee, except that we have screwed up relations with the Russian government so badly that they have no incentive to help us with Iran. Russia is the key to solving the Iranian nuke problem, and until the State Department realizes this, there is no real answer to the question except another no-win war to weaken America further. The American public has had enough of no-win wars paid for by increasingly oppressive taxation, which is why the president and congress have the lowest approval ratings in American history.

Purpose
|
United States
February 8, 2008

Purpose in U.S.A. writes:

Rather than comment I have several questions. Is there verifiable evidence that Iran is definitely enriching uranium? Does Iran desire to maintain trade with the UN Security Council and Germany, in other words, are the UN sanctions negative or do they pose a significant threat. How is trade viewed by the nationals in Iran? Sovereignty is paramount to all governments therefore, reducing international or UN presence via sanctions may actually be a reward for a rumor of a uranium enrichment program.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
February 8, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

NO. Sanctions, whichever kind, never worked in the past and more recent one on Syria for example, miserably failed. Under those U.S. sanctions, Syria witnessed the greatest economic openness and development. Its economy superseded in percentage points that of U.S. economic growth rate. Other military sanctions, such as those regarding Lebanon have also miserably failed. Going a decade earlier to the Iraqi sanctions, it only starved and destroyed the Iraqi people, not Saddam and his government; it took a war to do that.

So why would the Iranian succumb to UN Sanctions when in fact what is demanded is illegal, in the first place under International Laws and in violation of basic Iranian rights that are recognized by the United Nation, the criminal organization itself which is being ordered basically by the U.S. to violate own charters and agreements and those that Iran has signed into. After all, Iran are member of the NPT, while arch foe Israel is not, and it is known beyond a doubt to possess a nuclear arsenal of 402 bombs or warheads.

When the U.S. State Department lame officials are going to stop what we in Syria call this MEHZALLEH and live with the fact that other nations have rights to possess and discover all technologies and make own advancements as well. Everyone in the world knows and understands that all the U.S. and Israel want and design for is the whole region of the Middle East is to be like Iraq today, a Donkey-Camel riding population that can make available freely military bases and oil reserves.

What one can realize, is that the State Department officials, have the same idea about foreign nations as the people in the street or the other branches of Government, they are really not much more sophisticated than average Joe Six-pack at all, and that is why we see for decades this repeated failure after another, not much success to point to except wars. So desperate they are to show some kind of success and improvement that they will desperately promote a sloppy paint job on mud hut in Iraq, a hand shovel and dig promo in Escondido and the light up of a cake in Colombia as a success story. Who are you fooling but yourselves, and the Poles.

Ronald
|
New York, USA
February 10, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

No. ...Tougher sanctions by U.S., UN, member states of UN, EU, or any combination thereof, will not deter Iran from the goal of nuclear enrichment. Having said that, this does NOT provide the U.S. rationale for any "pre-emptive" strikes on Natanz, Bush, or any other sites for nuclear development in Iran. If the whole world were unified against nuclear development in Iran, there would still be a contradiction between policy and practice. World powers (even rogue powers) are, by definition, nuclear powers. The U.S. set this standard. Iran has set nuclear capability at the top of its national agenda, and has even placed the symbol of the Atom on its currency along-side the picture of the Ayatollah.

If the U.S. fails to achieve nuclear sanctions on Iran, and Iran seeks a nuclear attack on Israel, Israel has the capability to defend herself. If Israel is attacked, the U.S. can, and should join in her defense. If the U.S. strikes Iran first, it would constitute a grave error, and appear to be taken solely for political reasons. Deal with Iran.

Peter
|
California, USA
February 10, 2008

Peter in California writes:

What might make Iran abandon its nuclear ambitions is knowing that they will never run out of petroleum -- and they will never know that! It might help if they knew Israel did not have a nuclear monopoly in their neighborhood - and that too is not likely.

It's also curious that people are worried about Iran's behavior, which is in complete compliance with the NFT, while no one is concerned about the United States, which is violates it and has moreover threatened first strikes against non-nuclear states.

Finally, Iran and many others have noticed that the United States commits flagrant aggression against non-nuclear nations and others that can't defend themselves, notably Iraq and Somalia in recent times, with catastrophic, indeed genocidal, consequences to their civilian populations. Even a small nuclear deterrent will do much to prevent the United States from bringing about the deaths of hundreds of thousands or even millions of their people and the violent displacement of millions more.

Such are the lessons of Iraq, just as people drew certain lessons from Poland in 1939.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
February 11, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

QUOTE: Religion is the opium of the masses.

Unfortunately, when the people are lead by fanatical elements that use a splintered belief pattern as a control element, any logical solutions are misdirected and negated.

Sanctions are the last and finial step precluding war and generally do work well. They don't work when a country is solvent monetarily and has ties to major powers such as Russia, whom does not honor the sanctions. It is much like Cuba in the 60's, but with economics and not missiles being used.

Under the present situation and conditions: It's simply an effort in futility and only political appeasement at this juncture.

James
|
Colorado, USA
February 12, 2008

James in Colorado writes:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different response each time.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
February 12, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Seems I've received a warning from our red friends ...like back in the 80's when they came to the matriarch of my Italian namesake saying I cost them 13 million right up and 24 million with my activities in Afghanistan ...in less than a month. Can't choose your family ...and I always put country first.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
February 15, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Right about now I'd say Amanutjob should take his 3-D rose colored glasses and see something besides a green glow emanating from his egotistical megalomaniacal fantasies.

Right about now I'd say most of Iran wishes someday to not be considered the leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Save those that have the responsibility for being such, that is.

Right about now I wonder what changes be the result of a change in policy from "Behavior change" to that of "Regime Change," or more correctly: "Regime Replacement Therapy."?

Right about now I could see sanctions being part of either policy.

Right about now would probably be good , if the intent is to "isolate the regime ", to boot the regime strait out of the UN.

In revoking membership , the regime reaps the reward for having violated every aspect of the UN charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide, as well as being in standing violation of SC resolutions on terrorism, Iraq, Lebanon, the "Quartet " agreements on a two-state solution, and the Conventions on Biological and Chemical weapons, in addition to the ones recently passed by the SC regarding the nuclear issues ...with another on the way.

Right about now I suggest we all put on 3-D glasses and look at the whole enchilada, because what hasn't been effective yet is due to the fact that a piecemeal approach has been taken up to this point.

This is not to say that the many issues have not been addressed by the U.S. government in concert with other nations. I mean to say that they are considered separately, and not as a holistic analysis as an approach to sanctions.

I am not impressed with the press' role in all of this, exhorting speculative strike scenarios, and spin offs of dire consequences.

Right about now folks might need a few ideas on how to make the international system work in Iran's case.

I'd start from a simple premise.

"Do right by the people. "

1. Implementation of full international economic and military sanctions on the Islamic Republic regime via UN security council resolution based on human rights, support for terrorism, and this to be tabled with or without IAEA board recommendation on the nuclear threat the theocracy poses.

These two issues alone should be viewed as circumstance the world cannot turn it's back upon, at risk of civilization itself.

2. Full diplomatic sanction and closing of Iranian embassies world-wide. Diplomatic sanction by the UN, and removal of representation from this international forum.

3. Freezing of any and all financial assets of the Islamic Republic regime, their current and former leadership, and corporate interests world-wide.

4. Repeated statements by world leaders publicly calling for the leadership of the Islamic Republic regime to step down peacefully, and to relinquish the government to the hands and will of the Iranian people.

If these basic things cannot be implemented in full, in totality without loopholes, being unanimously " seized of the matter " as an instrument of global political will enforced by the international use of force of arms if needed; Then the chances of realizing " behavior change " are slim indeed.

Whereas regime replacement therapy looks good to a lot of Iranians, and a few of those are convinced it can be done without U.S./Coalition bombs.

Right about now might be a good time to show a little solidarity, and not just with words, but diplomacy.

Lot of hard work to get folks on the same page as it was, over enrichment. Maybe what I've suggested is not possible to achive in the UN. Iran becomes a "test case" for UN reform in multiple ways.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
February 16, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

What Eric describes can be surmised is what American Diplomacy and 'nurturing democracy' to the world is all about: The citizen's needs in conjunction with the support mechanisms of Government to produce an overall homeostasis of peace and prosperity.

It isn't about how the people feel their wants or desires.

Even during George W. Bush Sr.'s reign as President, the business men in Iran put together an Embassy, complete with marble floors just offshore to show they were not part of this Religious Islamic Zealotries which took precedence. Had Congress at the time voted to go in then, the entire world would have been a better place and we all would have circumvented what we are dealing with today.

Who would not want freedom, healthy children, a well educated and trained craftsmen work force and above all the PEACE that emerges from a Democratic Union?

You're 100 percent right, it is the leadership who does not have its citizens best interest in hand, for now or the future.

The problem is simply the misuse of a Religion, the misuse of God's word which has led to a state of Chaos. This was a sad truth recognized by even Carl Marx and Engles whose latter communist era eliminated the religious element and ended up eliminating humanity in decision making. Neither extreme is to the benefit of society as a whole.

Dealing with a fanatic is much like dealing with an Angry Man: Did you ever try to reason with someone who was angry? It is Impossible. You can even tell them you will strike them and what do they do? Keep on ranting.

You are correct, until the leadership is replaced with responsible and dedicated representatives, nothing will be accomplished but political appeasement.

You do need to realize that if sanctions are taken off it will be viewed by their citizens as the world recognizing the present Leaderships power and support they are correct. It would only shore up their platforms of control over the people.

Never quit...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
February 19, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

How "regime replacement therapy" manifests is fully depedent on whether the UN Sec. Council has the guts to support a rather extensive opposition community inside and outside Iran as they have begged and pleaded with the international community to do for some time. Given that the other options; to implement more limited sanctions or go to war ;are not quite as viable in solving the problem, nor the best options to contemplate, given the situation needs resolution and that war is the last option.

To this point, the only leader of free nations who's had that alternate vision of an Iran existing within the community of nations ..."in greater freedom", and had the guts to voice the option is President GW Bush in the 2005 SOTU speech...."..and to the Iranian people I say tonight, as you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you." The man presented possibilities to people in so doing, as a president will on occasion. And they have continuously, despite the human toll...the politicly imprisoned, the dissapeared, they do so not with the support of nations, indeed they continue today despite the lack of anything tangible offered in solidarity by the community of democracies.

Years have passed since, allowing the IRI regime to further consolidate it's nuclear capabilities and other WMD programs, it's armed force structure, further train and recruit martyr brigades for terrorist action ( with public advertizement no less!), Continue to destabilize the region by proxy and all of it directly flying in the face of UN resolutions, as a member and original signatory to the UN charter.

Its unelected president, coming to power in a soft-sell military coup de etat, is currently leading the crushing of any and all dissent, including a high cleric who simply stated the obvious in that people were sick of Political Islam, and wanted traditional Islam to return.

Is it America's place to encorage this fundemental change within Islam? I think it would be most definately in our national interests, as well as in the interests of Muslims worldwide.

To them , they must realize that if a few morally corrupt individuals can produce for the scorn of all...an Abu Graib.....Then they should have no trouble understanding that from our eyes, a few pissed off preachers have threatened to take Islam itself over oblivion's cliff.

In our case, we punished and imprisoned the guilty ourselves, as a nation of laws and justice. In Iran's people's case, justice delayed is justice denied.

The coordination of economic and military sanction, freezing of assets, closing of embassies, banishment from the UN General Assembly, and other non-violent measures as may be found worthy under international law will be overwhelming to the Islamic Republic of Iran, providing solid legitimate purpose and support among the people of Iran to effect change from within. In confidence that an interim government and UN monitiored referendum regarding a representive permanent government and constitution will be the result of the Iranian people's efforts. At least that is my understanding from many an Iranian.

"Regime replacement therapy" - Iranian style, with a little help from their friends will no doubt be "Quartet Music" to the future's ears, played in "Larger Freedom."

And to Joe, thanks for the kind words, I truly believe there is no policy enacted by man or government that cannot be improved upon to better serve the people.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
February 19, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

@ Joe in TN -- "Who would not want freedom, healthy children, a well educated and trained craftsmen work force and above all the PEACE that emerges from a Democratic Union?..."

Americans do not want any of it. They are the only people on earth that do not want all the above goodies. That is why Congress-Bush passed/signed the Patriot Act and other similarly Freedom restricting bills that are presented as security measure., tens of espionage, eavesdropping and spying bills, few more coming up to restrict the internet and freedom of speech. Vetoed the Child Health care bill and spent on XOM research on turning cow dung into fuel more than on the Department of Education in the past eight years. Americans are quickly becoming the least technically developed country, with much of the skilled labor force is geared for retailing or making Potato Chips as there are no funding at all, other than NASA, for any kind of research and development. Basically, USA now is nothing more than a larger version of Saudi Arabia, except the pay scale and living standards over there is much higher.

Nobody
|
Pakistan
February 19, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

Joe's tough stance makes more sense than Eric's.

yonason
|
Florida, USA
February 19, 2008

Yonaton writes:

"Will Tougher Sanctions Convince Iran To Abandon Their Nuclear Ambitions?'

In a word, "no."

.

Latest Stories

July 27, 2009

U.S.-Nigerian Relations

Feb. 23, 2010: Opening statement by Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. more

Pages