Hossein Mousavian writes: To stop Iran achieving “critical capability” to produce nuclear weapons in the coming months, President Obama must impose “maximal” sanctions – that is the message of a new report issued in Washington by five senior non-proliferation specialists.
They call on Obama to implement a de facto international embargo on all investments in, and trade with, Iran, declaring: “A successful outcome in any negotiations with Iran depends on the immediate implementation of these sanctions, along with simultaneously reinforcing the credibility of President Obama’s threat to use military force, if necessary, to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
Although the report is the work of The Project on US Middle East Nonproliferation Strategy – and is supposedly about nonproliferation – its authors have concentrated on punitive measures against Iran, and none against Israel. However, Iran has been fairly compliant: it has ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has given the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) more than 4,000 man-days’ worth of inspections in recent years. According to the US National Intelligence Estimate’s assessment in 2007 and 2011, Iran does not have an active nuclear-weapons programme.
There is no conclusive evidence that Iran has made any effort to build the bomb since 2003, and Iran’s leadership has not yet made a political decision to do so. In contrast, Israel is not a signatory to the NPT, has not permitted the IAEA even a single inspection and possesses hundreds of nuclear weapons. The reasons that international efforts to realise a “nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East” have made no progress since Iran proposed the idea almost 40 years ago must therefore be clear. [Continue reading…]