Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lines in the Sand

The US is currently taking part in negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. For years, Iran has been the target of economic sanctions placed on it by the US and European nations in response to its nuclear tests, which many believe are indicators of the nation's desire to construct a nuclear weapon.

However, it appears not everyone is happy about the fact that we are pushing for peaceful solutions to the Iranian situation. Rather than letting the negotiations play themselves out, a couple of Senators have decided to play with fire by producing a bill to levy even greater sanctions against Iran. If it passes, it could be a major issue for the US as it tries to work out a resolution with Iran.

The problem is that, if the US Senate votes to pass these tougher sanctions amid negotiations with Iran, it could disrupt those talks completely, and negotiations could break down. Rather than waiting to see what happens, these Senators would rather take the gamble.

Their argument is that the tougher sanctions would only be put in place if talks fail, but that doesn't address the issue that passing the sanctions could cause the talks to fail. Why not craft the bill, have it ready, and if the talks fail, then pass it? Seems to make a lot more sense to me.

Preventing a successful negotiation could have dire consequences, not the least of which could be further alienation of Iran from the rest of the world. This bill could seriously jeopardize America's position in negotiations, by indicating to Iran that they're not serious about resolution since we're planning for the talks to fail.

I understand that the Iran issue is a delicate one, and I am fully aware that allowing Iran to construct a nuclear weapon is in no one's best interest. All that is apparent, but it should also serve as a caution for anyone who is thinking about tampering with the negotiations. The stakes are very high, and I sure wouldn't want some hot-headed Senators getting in the way of such a delicate situation.

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