Little change in Iran policy so far from Obama camp

Those expecting a radical change in foreign policy towards Iran with the incoming Obama administration may have had a moment of pause recently as early developments show a continuation on the present course[A1] .

"Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, I believe, is unacceptable," Obama said, according to the Washington Post[A2] . "And we have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening."

This condemnation echos Bush administration rhetoric and comes directly after a congratulatory letter sent by the Iranian President.

During the primaries, Obama was attacked by many including his rival Clinton for proposing direct negotiations with the Iranian government as well as taking a nuclear first-strike involving civilians "off the table."[A3] 

The current rhetoric has grown markedly more hawkish.

These recent statements by Obama as well as those made by Bush administration officials starkly contradict the consensus of a National Intelligence Estimate [A4]  released in December of 2007, which concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and the program remained frozen.

The conclusion of the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies—virtually ignored in Washington—was released despite heavy pressure from Vice President’s Cheney’s office [A5] to keep it under wraps.

The 2007 NIE’s conclusions were repeated [A6] in September of this year by Thomas Fingar, head of the National Intelligence Council (the nation’s top intelligence analyst) who reminded an audience that Iran had "abandoned aspirations for a nuclear weapon." 

There was no evidence Iran has resumed work on a nuclear weapon, Fingar was quoted by Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus of the Washington Post[A7] , which led the Guardian [A8] to conclude that "[a]lmost single-handedly he has stopped – or, at the very least, postponed – any US military action against Iran."

Ironically, Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty[A9] , which grants the right to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes to its signatories.

India, Pakistan, and Israel are not signatories but all of their nuclear weapons programs have been either tolerated of directly assisted by the U.S.  The Bush administration has also promised to give enriched uranium to the Saudi’s[A10] [A11] .

Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has called for an Iran policy with more carrots, less sticks, without such blatant hypocricy[A12], .









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