Since 2003, when negotiations began over Iran’s nuclear program, there has been no shortage of warnings, reports and punitive sanctions voiced, written or imposed by the international community. (A quick count shows at least three punitive European Union sanctions, four US sanctions, five U.N. resolutions, 20 IAEA reports, and an untold number of informal warnings.)
Unfortunately, none have succeeded in slowing–much less stopping–Iran’s atomic ambitions, which many increasingly believe has a military dimension. But despite this track record, President Nicholas Sarkozy of France issued yet another ultimatum, stating: “Group of Eight powers will give Iran until September to accept negotiations over its nuclear ambitions or face tougher sanctions.”
But wasn’t it just a year ago that G8 leaders released a nearly identical statement on the Iranian nuclear program? Talk about déjà vu.
Iran likely sees the latest promise of big power firmness for what it is: More toothless rhetoric.
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In fact, a top advisor to Iran’s Grand Ayatollah, Ali Akbar Velayti, said in a defiant response to the G8 statement that Iran, “will not retreat even one step from its peaceful nuclear activity.”
The notion Iran that is willing to negotiate its nuclear program away without more determined measures is no longer credible after six years of unsuccessful talks.
But time is on Iran’s side as they move unhindered toward a nuclear (weapon) breakout capability, which many believe is already here.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what the G8, led by the Obama administration, is doing—giving Iran more time to join the once-exclusive nuclear weapons club.
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It is clear: More unenforced deadlines and unexecuted ultimatums are not the answer. Immediate, tough action is.