Wednesday, August 25, 2010

During campaign, Barack Obama stated position that Iran must not be allowed to enrich uranium

Over at raceforiran, commenter Richard Hack has dug up specific statements from the Barack Obama campaign and from Obama himself that he would be committed to depriving Iran of any enrichment.
Mr. Obama, the candidate who has expressed far more willingness to sit down and negotiate with the Iranians, said in an e-mail message passed on by an aide that in any final deal he would not allow Iran to produce uranium on Iranian soil, the same hard-line view enunciated by the Bush administration.
Mr. Obama’s position is closer to the zero-tolerance approach adopted by the Bush administration. “I do not believe Iran should be enriching uranium or keeping centrifuges,” he said in an e-mail message passed on by aides.

Mr. Obama does seem more willing to dangle in front of the Iranians a “grand bargain” that would spell out benefits — diplomatic recognition, an end to sanctions — as a reward for halting its enrichment of uranium and allowing full inspections of the country. Richard J. Danzig, considered a candidate to be secretary of defense in an Obama administration, said Mr. Obama was willing to “put out a more positive side to the agenda to lead the Iranians toward making the right choices here.”

But Mr. Obama has also been more specific in describing the kind of sanctions he might reach for if the Iranians continue on the current path. “If we can prevent them from importing the gasoline that they need, and the refined petroleum products, that starts changing their cost-benefit analysis,” he said.

Some experts have counseled caution about such an approach, one that the Bush administration has stopped short of taking. A blockade, however, could constitute an act of war, and most experts believe Iran could respond in kind by cutting off oil exports, increasing prices and leading to shortages.
Any expectations that the Obama administration would be in any important way better than the Bush administration were unfounded and have turned out to be false.


lidia said...

welcome back! You were missed

Roger said...

Tony Karon's article in today's issue of Asia Times Online ( lays out the conundrum facing the US very clearly. Neither the US nor Israel will attack Iran. Iran is beside the point. Israel is using the Iran file to manage the Obama administration to achieve 3 objectives:
1.) Ensure Obama dare not start hinting or even considering allowing Iran to enrich Uranium, out of a fear that as soon as Israel discovers that is what may be happening, it will launch an air attack or Iran (to a chorus or approval from its American supporters), with huge unnecessary risks to America's position in the region, and to postpone for a very long time the possibility of Iran and the US engaging in meaningful talks.
2.) Ensure Obama does not take the illegal, counter-productive and unusable military option against Iran off the table, and to postpone indefinitely the possibility of sanctions being lifted, thereby ensuring the indefinite primacy of Israel as sole ally and agent of the US in the region.
3.) Use the Iran file as a diversion from Israel's refusal to halt settlements in occupied territory or to be painted in a corner where the American public would wish it to make peace with its neighbors.

I feel some smart people in the US (including Obama), especially in the military establishment are aware of all this. Perhaps wishfully, I see some faint signs that Obama realizes his main challenge is to balance his relations with Israel and Israel's huge base of support in the US against the United States' own national interests.

Anonymous said...

three words
Lester (kirinisky) Crown