The Obama Administration says that it wants to "talk" with Iran about these new developments.
Why bother? I mean really? What's the point? Does anyone out there realize that we have been TALKING to Iran and imposing sanctions of one kind or another since 1979?
That's right. Since 1979, the United States Government, along with some of it allies and eventuall the UN, has been imposing sanctions on Iran of one kind or another.
In an article today by Michel Ledeen in the Wall Street Journal he states:
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said last October at the National Defense University, that "every administration since 1979 has reached out to the Iranians in one way or another and all have failed."
Here is what has transpired over 30 years:
February 1979-The Carter Administration tries to establish good relations with the revolutionary regime by offering aid, arms and understanding. Iran demands that we honor all arms deals with the shah, remain silent about human-rights abuses being carried out, and hand over Iranian "criminals" who had taken refuge in America. In November of that year the American Embassy is seized.
1980's-The Reagan Administration seeking to repair the relationship with Iran and to see the hostages freed sold weapons to Iran and provided military intelligence about Iraqi forces during the Iran-Iraq War. All of this came to a crashing end when the Iran-Contra Scandal erupted.
1990's-The Clinton Administration lifts sanctions imposed by Carter and Reagan. It also allows Iranians (including the national wrestling team) to enter the U.S. for the first time since the '70s. In addition, the administration also hosted Iranian cultural events and unfroze Iranian bank accounts. At one point, President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright publicly apologized to Iran for purported past sins, including the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh's government by the CIA and British intelligence in August 1953. The result of all of these gestures of goodwill? In 1999, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei proclaimed that we were their enemies.
2000-Present-The Bush Administration, although criticized for NOT talking with the Iranians actually did quite a bit of it. (See the BBC documentary: "Iran and the West.")
And as Mr Ledeen describes in his article:
At the urging of British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, the U.S. negotiated extensively with Ali Larijani, then-secretary of Iran's National Security Council. By September 2006, an agreement had seemingly been reached. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Nicholas Burns, her top Middle East aide, flew to New York to await the promised arrival of an Iranian delegation, for whom some 300 visas had been issued over the preceding weekend. Mr. Larijani was supposed to announce the suspension of Iranian nuclear enrichment. In exchange, we would lift sanctions. But Mr. Larijani and his delegation never arrived, as the BBC documentary reported.
So that effectively describes the "talking" part of our involvement with Iran. But what about the sanctions? Consider the following:
President Carter issued an executive order forbidding the sale of anything to Tehran except food and medical supplies.
President Reagan banned the importation of virtually all Iranian goods and services in October 1987.
President Clinton issued an executive order in March 1995 prohibiting any American involvement with petroleum development. The following May he issued an additional order tightening those sanctions. Five years later, Secretary of State Albright eased some of the sanctions by allowing Americans to buy and import carpets and some food products, such as dried fruits, nuts and caviar.
President Bush (W) took spare parts for commercial aircraft off the embargo list in the fall of 2006. In 2008 he revoked authorization of so-called U-turn transfers, making it illegal for any American bank to process transactions involving Iran—even if non-Iranian banks were at each end.
In late 2006, the United Nations started passing sanctions of its own. In December of that year, the Security Council blocked the import or export of "sensitive nuclear material and equipment" and called on member states to freeze the assets of anyone involved with Iran's nuclear program.
In 2007, the Security Council banned all arms exports from Iran, froze Iranian assets, and restricted the travel of anyone involved in the Iranian nuclear program. The following year, it called for investigations of Iranian banks, and authorized member countries to start searching planes and ships coming or going from or to Iran. All to no avail.
So as you can see, nothing has worked and much has been tried. The simple fact of the matter is this: the government of Iran has made it's choice and that is now clear to the rest of the world.
Iran WILL continue toward it's goal to create and mass produce nuclear weapons unless it is stopped from doing so.
We could have tried a coup and maybe toppled the regime. The time to do that was this summer when the people rose up in rebellion. The Obama Administration said they didn't want to "meddle" in their affairs. So be it.
That window is now closed.
We have another one still open but it will also soon be closed.
Soon Iran will receive it's long awaited shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems. As reported in December 2007 in The Guardian:
Russia is to supply Iran with a new and lethal anti-aircraft system capable of shooting down American or Israeli fighter jets in the event of any strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Russian defence experts yesterday acknowledged that the missile system, originally designed in the 1970s, would significantly enhance Iran's ability to shoot down enemy aircraft.
The S-300 had a range far superior to that of the US Patriot system, experts said. It could also shoot down cruise and ballistic missiles, they added.
"It's a formidable system. It really gives a new dimension to Iran's anti-aircraft defences," said one Russian defence expert, who declined to be named.
"It's purely a defensive system. But it's very effective. It's much better than the US system. It has good radar. It can shoot down low-flying cruise missiles, though with some difficulty."
Once this happens the risk to pilots on a bombing mission will be too risky and most likely THAT window will also be closed.
Some have said that perhaps a Naval blockade would work to strangle Iran from receiving any supplies since it imports just about everything.
There is just one problem with that: Hezbollah and Hamas have the capability to hit US Naval ships sitting off their coast with anti-ship missiles if necessary and they take their orders from Iran.
We are quickly running out of options people and we need to act and act soon.
It's either that or we allow Iran to continue down this path until one day in the near future we will wake up to a "Breaking News Flash" that Iran has joined the exclusive club of nuclear equipped powers in the world.
Then it's too late.
From that day on we will have to TRUST that Iran will use this power responsibly.
That's right, TRUST them.
It's worked well so far. Right?