The Blog

On Iran, Obama Is to the Left of UN, Libya, and European Diplomats

12:23 PM, Jun 25, 2008 • By JAIME SNEIDER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

For Obama, it's still a question of debate whether Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon. His web site observes only that "Iran has sought nuclear weapons." Obama isn't even willing to go out a limb and say there is no peaceful reason the country with the second or third largest oil reserve in the world would want nuclear power.

While Obama continues to call for "economic pressure," what kind of pressure can possibly be exerted in light of Iran's recent move to transfer all of its funds to non-European bank accounts where they won't be frozen? Sanctions were the right decision five years ago, but the time for them to work has long since passed. The same is true of diplomacy. For several years, the Bush administration has taken part in a multilateral effort to engage Iran with Britain, France, Germany, and several other countries including Libya. Only one condition has ever been proposed: Iran had to suspend its enrichment program for the duration of negotiations. Now Obama would eliminate even this condition, putting him to the left of Libya and sparking reservations among girly-boy European diplomats.

Mohamed El Baradei, head of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, said yesterday Iran is six months away from having a nuclear weapon. The choice increasingly looks like one between military action and resigning ourselves to nuclear blackmail. What do you think the candidate who isn't willing to say Iran has an active nuclear weapons program is going to do?