Op-Ed

PrintPrint EmailEmail ShareShare CiteCite
Style:MLAAPAChicagoClose

loading...

A New Approach to Iran's Nukes

Author: Charles D. Ferguson, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Science and Technology
September 8, 2008
Christian Science Monitor

Share

The United States has reached an impasse in trying to stop Iran from proceeding with its nuclear program. Iran has repeatedly ignored UN Security Council resolutions calling on it to suspend its uranium enrichment activities that could either fuel peaceful nuclear reactors or military nuclear bombs.

In recent weeks, Iranís talks with the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency have been pretenses that have allowed Iran to move ahead with uranium enrichment with no additional controls on its overall nuclear program.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration has tried to ratchet up pressure on Iran with sanctions. And more recently, during the week of the Democratic presidential convention, Sen. Barack Obama reiterated that he is committed to ďtightening the screws diplomatically on IranĒ if elected.

Even if Iran at times toys with accepting a temporary suspension of its uranium enrichment program, it does not appear to intend to stop this potentially dangerous activityóregardless of sanctions.

Clearly, a new approach is needed to put in place stricter controls on Iranís nuclear program and to respect Iranís right to peaceful nuclear activities.

Tough talk and Iranian defiance have left the world worrying about possible itchy trigger fingers in Israel. The Israeli military could try a replay of the 1981 operation that destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor. But this time the odds are stacked against destroying an Iranian nuclear infrastructure that is scattered among more than 20 facilities and has employed thousands of technicians.

The solution? A loyalty test can reassure both sides. Nuclear negotiators need to understand that Iranian leaders want to maintain loyalty to the promise they made to the Iranian public to uphold Iranís right to uranium enrichment.

View full text of article.

More on This Topic

Article

Final Countdown

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

In the past, U.S. officials have been less than eager to define a specific redline for the Iranian threat. While setting a March deadline...