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.and
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.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.
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.