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November 12, 2014 1:37 pm

Will Iran Ever be Held Accountable for its Actions?

avatar by David Ibsen

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The Iran nuclear program's Arak heavy-water reactor. Photo: Nanking2012/Wikimedia Commons.

Last week, concerns about the current nuclear negotiations with Iran were further legitimized by two developments.

The first was the letter sent by President Obama to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The letter reportedly raised the possibility of a U.S.-Iran alliance against the Islamic State (ISIS) on the condition that Iran reaches a settlement with the P5+1 on its illicit nuclear program. This is a naïve and shortsighted suggestion that also contradicts previous statements by the Obama Administration rejecting any “trading of aspects of Iran’s nuclear program to secure commitments to take on ISIL.”

The suggestion that Iran could be a potential security partner is ludicrous in light of Iran’s strident anti-Americanism and ongoing encouragement of sectarianism and extremism in the region. Iran has worked to stoke the sectarian divide and destabilize Iraq. Iran and its proxy Hezbollah have further worked to support the brutal Bashar Al-Assad regime and undermine moderate opposition fighters in Syria.

One can only hope that President Obama used a portion of his letter to urge the Supreme Leader to cease support for the brutal sectarian militias and proxies that have divided and alienated large swathes of the populations in Iraq and Syria, and commit to the establishment of secure, inclusive, and stable governments across the region. The audacity of hope indeed.

The second development was the release of a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stating that Iran is again stonewalling the Agency by failing to provide clarifications and explanations of its past nuclear weapons work.

The issue of ongoing Iranian intransigence memorialized in the IAEA report is compounded by the numerous additional outstanding concerns regarding Iran’s ballistic missile program, illicit procurement networks, possible undisclosed nuclear facilities, and, of course, the size and scope of its enrichment program.

Perhaps rather than seeking reconciliation via direct communications with the hardline and pathologically anti-American Supreme Leader, the U.S. should be focusing its efforts to ensure that Iran addresses the fundamental and long-standing concerns of the international community regarding the danger of its nuclear program.

The myth of Iranian regime moderation has been resoundingly and repeatedly refuted by Tehran’s actions at home and abroad since the election of Hassan Rouhani.

Clearly, the best way to ensure regional stability is to curb Iran’s adverse influence in the region. This will not be accomplished by naively pushing for reconciliation with Iran or by turning a blind eye to Iran’s continued stonewalling of international nuclear inspectors, sponsorship of terrorism, and support for the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad. That is the purpose behind UANI’s new petition to the UN Representative of Iran.

Discussions (or personal correspondence for that matter) that fail to hold Iran accountable for its continued defiance of the international community regarding its nuclear program or its violent, sectarian, and extremist misdeeds will not ‘ensure peace in our time’ – rather it will only further inflame regional conflict.

“‹David Ibsen is Executive Director of the bi-partisan advocacy group, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).

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    We are at war. Many stubbornly and foolishly don’t put the pieces together and refuse to identify the evil doers as evil. We are disgracefully politically correct.

    There are no Luftwaffe overhead or Panzer divisions on our borders. But make no mistake; we are under attack—our values, our tolerance, our freedom, our virtue, our land. Did anyone imagine in the 1920’s what Europe would look like in the 1940’s?

    We dare not wallow in complacency, in a misguided tolerance and naive sense of security. We must not be lulled into inaction for fear of offending the offenders. Radical Islam is the scourge of the world and this must be cried out from every synagogue . ISIS MUST BE DESTROYED. Iran is our enemy. They are the new Nazis.
    These murderers, these barbarians are radical Islamists.

    This is all out war. Show no mercy on them. They must be utterly destroyed.. . They want to murder Jews and we must destroy them first. WHY ARE PEOPLE AFRAID TO STATE THIS. MOST OF THE WORLD HATES US JEWS for no reason. We should stop appeasing the world and protect ourselves and Israel. Yes we have a few countries such as the U.S.A. to turn to and we have some friends from different religions, yet another holocaust is coming if we Jews remain silent and a third intifada has begun. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg, never again, never forget, never forgive. I am a son of holocaust survivors.

    Video is on

  • Jon R.

    No, apparently Israel will NEVER be held accountable for its actions!

    Oh, wait–you said “Iran.”

  • Jonah

    Naive and shortsighted! He is everything but that. His objectives run parallel with Iran’s when it comes to the Israel dellimma.. You raise a terrorist organization then offer other terrorists financial assistance to oppose them. This scam on a scale of 0 to 10 is an eleven. What he is trying to do is offer cover for Iran if israel attacks them.

  • Julian Clovelley

    And your alternative to a negotiated agreement is…?

    That is the problem. Iran has recently located more uranium on its own soil, and according to most reports the concentration so far has largely been on locating sources that can be exploited by open cast mining techniques. there may be more and richer deposits below the surface. uranium is, after all, as common as tin

    At the same time Russia is co-operating with Iran in developing a group of nuclear power reactors. The crucial difference with their approach seems to be that the fuel will be supplied by Russia and spent fuel returned for processing – thereby tracking any loss of enriched uranium

    The Russian negotiations are far more likely to dissuade Iran from pursuing enrichment to weapons grade than sanctions, in that whatever happens – and whatever fear and annoyance is caused – Iran is likely to be heavily dependent on nuclear power when the oil supplies run out. Like it or not the whole of the Islamic world may be faced with that reality

    So what is the alternative to negotiated agreement? Sanctions are hardly likely to be effective, when the required raw material exists within national boundaries. Military attack, or the threat thereof, is likely only to incite hawkish politicians to urge faster enrichment, and construction of centrifuge operations in a more secretive, geographically diverse, and better protected manner – for example much further below ground level

    A peaceful high tech nuclear program – in combination with other high tech programs – can only result in a better educated and more open Iran population. The real task is to build better and more stable relationships in the interim. The writer of this article has little to offer but rhetoric with statements like “Clearly, the best way to ensure regional stability is to curb Iran’s adverse influence in the region” – How is this supposed to be achievable when Israel exists in a state of antagonism with the Islamic world, with the continuation and expansion of Zionist incited Occupation, Blockade and Settlement of Arab territory and deteriorating relationships with the Arab population within Israel’s own borders? Get real…

    Amongst the initiatives from the Democrat Administration that are contrary to the Republican Right ethos, and that may assist in calming the situation, are Obama’s initiatives in the area of Climate Change policy. A decline in the use of fossil fuels would reduce the dependence on Arab oil and the depletion of Arab oil stocks. Research poured into renewable energy sources – such as solar power – may well offer the Arab world a viable alternative to the enrichment of uranium to provide nuclear fuel for power reactors

    But there exists within the Jewish community a Zionist extremism that acts almost like a fifth column to sabotage the Democrat party in general, and Obama in particular. Sometimes your worst enemies are found amongst your friends – and there is a historical precedent in the Jews who served in the armed forces of the Reich and those who ignored Hitler’s antisemitism in their determination to vote for the Right

    May Heaven protect us – above all else – from slow learners.

  • Unfortunately, the US, in particularly our President don’t understand the Orient (Middle East) AT ALL, like a subject being in 2-dimentional space cannot understand the third dimension. They don’t understand their mentality (even, as they say, “moderate” groups. More, they don’t see or pretend not to see the heavy support to Iran and its nuclear program by Russia, clearly noted by Vladimir Putin. It is of course not from the love to Iran, but it the maniacal wish of Putin to harm the US. And until the US and the West curb Russian provocations, and stirring all conflicts in the Middle East , our fight concerning (for) Iran, Iraq, Syria and other unquiet countries will fail completely.

  • M McL


    As Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird wrote in March 1969, these “developments were not in the United States’ interests and should, if at all possible, be stopped.”

    8th paragraph ‘last wire’>same accusation Iran is dealing with

  • No, not while Obummer is in the White House and the EU is filled with apologists for Islam. Islam is a religion of peace! Ha!

  • isak

    I think every human want to be super power if one has it and shares with his companions.Every one will fight to have that super remember most educated persons are not born wiser but they fight to know , listen,search untill they finish human puzzle education.The trueth HEROES are born not made or construct.remember GOD LOVES BRAVE HEROES one day HERO will be born if not yet and wipe us or will depend how far SHE OR HE WANT IT

  • Matt

    Americans in Vietnam, Russia in Afghanistan, the US in Iraq And Afghanistan, the Iran/Iran war. These little tiffs tend run a long time at least decade, for one side to win not through negotiations takes 20 to 25 years. I would expect Syria and Iraq to be no difference. Syria is already around 4 years, the Sunni insurgency in Iraq was classified as a low level destabilization campaign before it became an armed insurgency around a similar time frame of 4 years. If you look at Lebanon and the time frame and the political deal and then the time frame to consolidate power by Iran. Don’t expect a deal or compromise anytime soon.