Stop giving Iran a pass

Article Highlights

  • Allowing the Iranian regime to pursue enrichment “for peaceful purposes” distracts from the nuclear threat at hand

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  • The administration has essentially given up on preventing Iran from further enriching uranium

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  • Any outcome short of ending Iran's nuclear program will give Tehran the ability to threaten US interests

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The Obama administration’s recent focus on finding a compromise to allow the Iranian regime to maintain some enrichment capabilities “for peaceful purposes” distracts from the underlying nuclear threat at hand. Any outcome short of the verifiable dismantling and end of the Iranian nuclear program (including the removal of all nuclear material) will leave Tehran at the threshold of a nuclear weapons capability that will pose a threat to American interests and global security.

President Barack Obama said in March that a diplomatic resolution with Iran could give the regime “access to peaceful nuclear energy.” Likewise, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said less than one week later that the Iranian regime could demonstrate its supposed peaceful intent simply by ending its development of 20 percent uranium enrichment, transferring the stockpile of that material from Iran, and agreeing to continuous inspections. Implicit in Obama’s and Clinton’s positions is some sort of notion that Iran could retain certain nuclear capabilities—an admission that the administration has essentially given up on preventing Iran from further enriching uranium or demanding an immediate and sustained suspension of enrichment and other activities.

 

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About the Author

 

Maseh
Zarif
  • Maseh Zarif is the deputy director and Iran research Team Lead for the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. He works on national security issues related to the Middle East and South Asia, with a particular focus on Iran’s nuclear program and its regional activities. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, National Review Online, and Foreign Policy, among others, and has appeared on CNN and Fox. Before joining AEI, he worked for several years in corporate finance as an analyst and a consultant.

  • Phone: 202.862.5929
    Email: maseh.zarif@aei.org

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