Jim Kouri
Obama's Iranian nuclear weapons policy a failure?
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By Jim Kouri
August 30, 2010

"The astonishing fact that Iran has been allowed to progress unimpeded to this point demonstrates that President Obama has been an abject failure in even his most fundamental responsibility of protecting the American people," said Arizona's U.S. Congressman Trent Franks.

Iran's continued pursuit of nuclear capabilities is unacceptable in the eyes of the U.S. government, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said yesterday, according to an American Forces Press Service report by Army Sergeant First-Class Michael Carden.

"Iran is a particularly difficult issue," Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told local business leaders in Detroit. "Their achieving a nuclear weapon capability is unacceptable and incredibly destabilizing."

"The astonishing fact that Iran has been allowed to progress unimpeded to this point demonstrates that President Obama has been an abject failure in even his most fundamental responsibility of protecting the American people," said Arizona's U.S. Congressman Trent Franks, who serves as a member of the Committee on Armed Services, Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, Military Readiness Subcommittee, Committee on the Judiciary, Constitution Subcommittee.

"It has been obvious for literally years that Iran has every intention of developing a nuclear weapons capability. Indeed, it has been five years since I stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and called for Iran to be referred to the United Nations Security Council. Still, with every new step the Iranian regime has taken toward completing their nuclear weapons program, the Obama Administration has, without fail, cowered on the sidelines, often refusing to enforce even the most rudimentary sanctions, much less sanctions with actual teeth," said Rep. Franks.

"This is an enormous challenge," Admiral Mullen said. "We're working hard to make sure either one of those outcomes doesn't occur, because I think either will be very bad for all of us."

The United States is still pursuing a diplomatic approach, he said. Financial sanctions were placed on Iran in June. Military intervention, the admiral added, is not an option the U.S. military currently wants to engage.

Mullen said there's much the U.S. government doesn't know about Iran. The countries haven't had an open dialogue with each other since 1979, Sgt. Carden noted in a report obtained by the Terrorism Committee of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

"We don't know each other very well," the admiral said. "You may think you know enough to understand the consequences, but I worry about miscalculation here. I worry about a small incident rolling itself into something that could get out of hand."

Iran's attainment of nuclear weapons would likely lead to a strike against Israel, Mullen said. The Israeli government has a "complete belief" that Iran has that in mind, he added.

"Truly, there is no excuse for having allowed the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism to advance this far in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, just one of which could forever change the face of the world as we know it," said Congressman Franks.

"If Iran successfully builds nuclear weapons — and they are very rapidly hurtling toward that goal — there is no reason to believe those same weapons will not end up in the hands of terrorist organizations, even as so many other Iranian weapons have in the past. Radical Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad even concedes the technology would not remain exclusive to Iran, saying 'Iran is ready to transfer nuclear know-how to other Islamic nations due to their need,'" Franks said.

"I pray President Obama wakes up and finally leads on this issue, for should the apathy and recklessness that have marked his entire Presidency continue, Mr. Obama will go down in history as the President who stood by as the shadow of nuclear terrorism descended upon the world," said Rep. Franks.

"[Iran] is a regime that is a state sponsor of terrorism," Mullen said, noting the Islamic state's links to al-Qaeda and extremist fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan. "It is an existential threat. [Nuclear] capability in hand is an existential threat to Israel."

Mullen said he is hopeful that the issue can be resolved on diplomatic terms. However, ending Iran's nuclear pursuit is a "very difficult and complex problem."

"I think Iran is on path to achieve that capability, and we need to be mindful of that," Mullen said.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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