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The United States Should Impose Even More Severe Sanctions against Iran
Russia and Turkey joined forces to declare that more sanctions against Iran will not help to resolve the nuclear issue. Instead of sanctions, they have called for more talks with the 5+1 group that includes the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany:
"According to the Fars News Agency, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks at a statement issued at the end of a Joint Strategic Planning Group meeting in Moscow on Friday.
They said that Iran's nuclear issue can be resolved only through diplomatic means and a resumption of talks without preconditions."
China agrees. Her leaders have said that negotiations are the path to resolution of the conflict between the West and Iran.
In prayers yesterday in Tehran, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said "that European countries have in fact imposed sanctions on themselves because they are in [the] grip of financial difficulties and [the] oil embargo against Iran will aggravate their problems." Earlier this week, Kazem Jalali, a member of Iran's parliament said "that the European Union's oil embargo against Iran is meant to politicize the atmosphere for a new round of negotiations between Tehran and the 5+1 group"; the Iranian Foreign Ministry said "that the European Union will be responsible for the consequences of its ill-advised decision to impose oil [an] embargo against Iran"; and a YouTube video showed Iranians rushing to the bank to buy gold coins and dollars. Last Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said "that talks between Tehran and the 5+1 group should start if [the] West has a sincere intention."
Comments by Iranian religious and political leaders and the clamor for gold and dollars by Iranian citizens suggest five things:
1. Despite what leaders in China, Russia, and Turkey have said, severe sanctions on Iran are working.
2. They are long overdue.
3. The Iranian people realize that their leaders are taking them down a path that threatens their nation's financial security and could possibly lead to war.
4. Iranian political leaders are using their clout with Turkey, China, and Russia to dissuade Western nations from pursuing further sanctions.
5. The Iranian government is feeling the pressure and their call for more talks with the 5+1 group is a desperate attempt to return to the status quo.
Talks designed to prevent Iran from continuing to pursue the development of nuclear weapons have been underway for almost a decade, and they have produced no results. Finally, severe sanctions appear to be working, and they are the last step before a military confrontation between Western nations and Iran. Rather than back away from sanctions as China, Russia, and Turkey suggest, the U.S. should pursue an even more vigorous campaign to impose financial hardship on Iran for its belligerent attempt to develop nuclear weapons which can have but two purposes: the elimination of Israel and hegemony over the Middle East.
Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily. His latest book is titled If You Voted for Obama in 2008 to Prove You're Not a Racist, You Need to Vote for Someone Else in 2012 to Prove You're Not an Idiot.
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