Lifting Sanctions on Iran Would Threaten Our Security

iran_sm_2013The following is an opinion piece, and it should not be construed to reflect the ideas or position of GTJ as an organization.

The Obama Administration’s ill-advised rush to soften the U.S. stance towards Iran threatens our security along with the very existence of Israel, one of our closest allies. Talks regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons development program are underway between Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and Germany. And the administration indicated this week its openness to “quickly” lift these sanctions depending “on what they put on the table.” In fact, according to The Hill, an administration official is “open to Iran’s ideas about how to proceed forward.”

Many within the general public and within the Obama administration appear to be have been lulled to a false sense of ease with the newly elected Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani. Although presented as a “moderate” by the general media, his record is that of a dangerous radical. True, Rouhani’s pleasant Rosh Hashanah greeting via Twitter pleased the ears. But the world should recall that he played a leading role in a 1994 attack on the bombing of an Argentine Jewish community center. The blood of the 85 people murdered remains on his hands.

Rouhani is far better skilled at improving public opinion through pleasantries than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, this likely serves only as a means of securing the regime’s goal of regional domination and nuclear weapons development. And make no mistake; Rouhani has faithfully served the brutal Iranian regime for decades, and was rewarded with the post of “representative of His Highness” to the Supreme National Security Council beginning in 1989.

Sadly, President Obama has shown a tendency to fail to communicate the threat extremist jihadist ideology poses peaceful co-existence. This administration chose to label the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence” rather than an act of Islamist extremism and initiallyrefused to admit that jihadists orchestrated the attack on our nation’s representatives in Bengazi. And in the wake of the Arab Spring, the Obama administration funneled billions of dollars of aid to the Muslim Brotherhood — an organization known for its past nurturing of terrorist leaders and engaging in terrorist activity.

The most recent blow to the Obama administration’s foreign policy credibility occurred this past summer when chemical weapons were used in the Syrian civil war. In August, 2012, the president declared that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be “a red line for us.” After chemical weapons were used, the president scrambled to enlist global and domestic support for a military response to these attacks. He failed on both fronts. Obama’s “red line” was breached, but in the end the administration chose to back down.

Regardless of whether or not U.S. military intervention would have been prudent, the stark contrast between the president’s warning to Syria in 2012 and the inaction following the use of chemical weapons this summer stokes doubt over this administration’s commitment to halting Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Of course, this concern over the president’s approach to Iran existed even prior to this summer’s foreign policy debacles. In a rare, unanimous bipartisan vote, the Senate approved new sanctions against Iran in November 2012. The administration opposed these sanctions. Yes, Obama opposed every Democratic senator in his party on sanctions designed to inhibit Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons capabilities.

Now, once again, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress who understand the Iranian threat are attempting to counter the administration’s seeming desire to lift sanctions without fully accomplishing the task at hand. And Israeli leadership is warning the administration that the talks in Geneva could result in another Munich 1938. After the “peace” achieved in Munich, Hitler proceeded to extinguish the lives of millions and embroil the world in war.

Sanctions on Iran must only be lifted if Iran completely complies with demands to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons capability. Nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranian regime threaten our own security, threaten Israel’s very existence, and threaten to condemn millions of innocent Iranian citizens to further subjugation. Now is the time for the United States to oppose today’s evil with resolve.