Hey, does anyone remember this?
July 10, 2009: Obama Gives Iran Deadline On Nuclear Program
President Obama said Friday that Iran faces a September deadline to show good-faith efforts to halt its nuclear weapons program, and said the statement issued by the world’s leading industrial nations meeting here this week means the international community is ready to act.
Ready to act…you know…sometime.
The president said the U.S. and its partners are ‘not going to just wait indefinitely’ while Iran works on a nuclear weapon.
So you all heard the news last September, right? About how Iran started working with the US to show good-faith? Remember how big of a story that was? No? Huh. Weird.
President Obama on Tuesday said the international community needs to impose fresh sanctions if Iran fails to come clean on its nuclear program by this spring, injecting a new sense of urgency into the push to reel in that nation’s suspected weapons program.
Good thing he’s injecting a new sense of urgency. The old sense of urgency seems to have faded away. No doubt Ahmadinejad was impressed. Here’s what he had to say:
You should know that the more hostile you are, the stronger an incentive our people will have, it will double. … They said ‘we want sanctions on petroleum’. Why don’t you do it? The sooner the better.
It almost feels as if Iran doesn’t take us seriously.
On a totally unrelated note, let’s announce to the world that we are restricting our own nuclear options more than we have since the beginning of The Cold War.
Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions.
We can see how well that’s worked with Iran, for example.
[President Obama’s strategy] eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the Cold War. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons, or launched a crippling cyberattack.
Those threats, he argued, could be deterred with ‘a series of graded options’ — a combination of old and newly designed conventional weapons.
Our weapons exist to protect us. If we have weapons that are more powerful and effective than our potential enemies’ weapons, we are more protected. If aggressors believe that we have the ability (and will) to destroy them, they are less likely to mess with us. So why on Earth would our President overtly promise to limit his military options, even in the face of biological or chemical weapons? Is he concerned that a group who would attack us with biological weapons would feel we were responding unfairly?
Shock to no one:
The most immediate test of the new strategy is likely to be in dealing with Iran, which has defied the international community by developing a nuclear program that it insists is peaceful but that the United States and its allies say is a precursor to weapons. Asked about the escalating confrontation with Iran, Mr. Obama said he was now convinced that ‘the current course they are on would provide them with nuclear weapons capabilities,’ though he gave no timeline.
Timelines aren’t really his thing.
Is the situation with Iran entirely Obama’s fault? No, of course not. An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal summarized the predicament well:
President George W. Bush will share responsibility for a nuclear Iran given his own failure to act more firmly against the Islamic Republic or to allow Israel to do so, thereby failing to make good on his pledge not to allow the world’s most dangerous regimes to get the world’s most dangerous weapons. But it is now Mr. Obama’s watch, and for a year he has behaved like a President who would rather live with a nuclear Iran than do what it takes to stop it.