President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations yesterday took a sharper tone towards Iran’s augmentation of a nuclear program. But in order to keep from encroaching on Iran’s sovereignty, his admonishments on the sensitive subject remained vague. By supporting a diplomatic approach, Obama encouraged the right of every nation to harness “peaceful nuclear power” – a phrase that does little to illustrate the imminent threat Iran poses as a nuclear nation.
While Iranian leaders continue to threaten Israel, Iran cannot be considered a peaceful nation or one that should be allowed to enrich uranium for “peaceful nuclear power.” It has become clear to the international community that Iran’s intentions for its nuclear resources are not peaceful at all. We are not urging an attack on Iran either — by the United States or by Israel. But the Obama administration must take a more solid position on the issue. By drastically increasing sanctions on Iran, the United States can potentially pressure the regime into making concessions in their nuclear program.
Obama’s efforts to sponsor an idealistic perspective on a nation’s right to achieve nuclear power do little to comfort a growing sense of unease. In the case of Iran, a nation with compromising intentions that is engaged in hostile relationships with surrounding countries, Obama’s case for peace is too romantic for the context of this precarious situation. The president’s words and actions are just, but his unwillingness to take definite action only prolongs Iran’s window of opportunity to create a nuclear weapon.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 26 print edition. Email the WSN Editorial Board at [email protected]