A “get-tough” stance by the US Administration towards the on-going nuclear negotiations with the Iranian regime is recommended in a recent Chicago Tribune editorial Remember the threat from Iran. Any effort to make concessions or further prolong any agreement deadline would be “even more dangerous” than the atrocities that ISIS has already displayed.
The earlier deadline on reaching an agreement passed in July, and the next is set for November 24, but talks so far have been “dim”. Any further extensions for a deadline should be rejected, and instead if a conclusion has not been reached by next month then it would be advisable to increase sanctions on the Iranian regime.
The regime in Tehran has been playing the card that if the US is lenient towards its nuclear program then it will fight the ISIS insurgency. However, this argument is empty.
The Iranian regime says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but any proof of that is being hidden from International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors who have been waiting years for answers about its past research into detonators that could set off a nuclear device. Any further extensions merely play into the hands of the mullahs’ stalling tactics and provide even more time to develop a nuclear weapon.
The earlier demand for the absolute dismantling by the regime of all its nuclear enriching machinery dissolved in negotiations. The latest concession from Western countries is to allow Iran to keep its 20 thousand centrifuges, and instead re-arrange the pipes connecting this equipment to reduce any threat. The editorial notes that any disconnecting could be reversed in days to its current configuration so that Iran could have a nuclear bomb in as little as two months as experts predict.
The alternative of requiring Iran to have a cap on uranium enrichment would be difficult to enforce, especially if Iran decided covertly to manipulate its nuclear program. Even if there were an enforceable agreement to restrict Iran’s nuclear capacity for a period, as the Washington Post indicates, neighbouring countries would take this as a cue to initiate their own arms buildup leading to a possible nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Sanctions brought the Iranian regime to the table in the first place, and lack of progress in talks should only indicate that current sanctions are not stringent enough and should be strengthened.