News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Flashpoint

December 14, 2013

FLASHPOINT: America’s major policy shift on Iran

In a recent address to the nation, President Barack Obama acknowledged Iran “has been unwilling to meet its obligations to the international community.” In the same speech the president vowed to “prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

But then the president announced a deal that permits Iran to continue enriching uranium — a key ingredient of nuclear weapons. An agreement allowing Iranians to continue enrichment activity is a profound and dangerous reversal of long-standing U.S. policy toward Iran.

President Obama lauded the plan as a breakthrough that “achieves a great deal.” The question is, a great deal for whom?

This interim agreement abandons entirely a firm international consensus and unanimous U.S. Senate view regarding curtailment of Iran’s enrichment capabilities. Six United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions have called for Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment activities. All five of the permanent members of the Security Council — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — voted for these resolutions.

Additionally, I cosponsored a Senate Resolution calling on Iran to accept the terms of these UN resolutions and abandon all enrichment activities. The resolution passed the Senate unanimously, including the vote of then-senator and now Secretary of State John Kerry. The recent agreement with Iran ignores and undermines all of this and instead concedes an ability for the country to enrich uranium in perpetuity.

In return, the six-month agreement lifts an estimated $7 billion in sanctions levied against Iran, turning on a spigot of money to a country that has backed terrorism, repeatedly threatened Israel and seeks to upend the balance of power in the volatile Middle East region.

The existing and critical sanctions regime took years of negotiations with our allies. Under this new plan, the United States and its allies would begin to dismantle sanctions before we can verify that leaders in Tehran have lived up to their part of the bargain and taken tangible steps to stop the growth of their uranium enrichment capabilities. This policy of trust-then-verify is completely backwards.

Then there is the question of compliance.

Time and again the Iranians have broken, disregarded and ignored UN agreements and Security Council mandates. The UN Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons prohibits the proliferation of nuclear weapons while protecting the right of countries to develop nuclear power. Although Iran signed this treaty and claims it is only pursuing nuclear energy, it has defied the world by enriching uranium to levels far beyond what is needed for nuclear power and in amounts greatly exceeding their needs.  

Additionally, Iran has a history of denying or blocking UN inspectors from examining their most critical and sensitive nuclear sites, including those developed in absolute secrecy – contrary to their international commitments.

Iran’s pattern of noncompliance with this treaty and numerous UN Security Council resolutions is reason enough to question their reliability, credibility, and intentions, and to justify continued sanctions.

Short of any potential military options, sanctions are the best leverage we have to preclude a hostile state from becoming another nuclear power. I am deeply concerned the administration’s interim deal with Iran weakens our leverage in exchange for only cosmetic concessions and self-imposed, unreliable and inadequate limitations on Iran’s nuclear program.

If these sanctions are lifted by even the slightest amount, what would discourage Iran from obtaining more centrifuges to enrich uranium? How easily could Iran reverse its promised steps and reestablish the links needed to enrich uranium to weapons grade? And once Iran accesses its frozen accounts and receives an influx of cash, will it be too late to determine compliance before the damage has been done?

Given the consequences at stake, Congress must exercise strict oversight and demand answers from the administration to ensure that any agreement with Iran is verifiable and monitored closely to identify issues of non-compliance.  We must at the very least ensure that any sanctions relief follows — not precedes — complete and verified Iranian compliance with the terms of this agreement.

We all share the goal of stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. However, until Tehran proves to the United States that it is committed to abandoning its nuclear weapons ambitions, we must remain steadfast in exerting the utmost pressure on Iran.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Flashpoint
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Today in History for July 29th Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity