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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

U.S. presidential candidates on Iran's nuclear programme

Barak Obama

From Obama for President Website:

“Iran has sought nuclear weapons, supports militias inside Iraq and terror across the region, and its leaders threaten Israel and deny the Holocaust. But Obama believes that we have not exhausted our non-military options in confronting this threat; in many ways, we have yet to try them. That's why Obama stood up to the Bush administration's warnings of war, just like he stood up to the war in Iraq…. Obama opposed the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which says we should use our military presence in Iraq to counter the threat from Iran…. Obama is the only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions….. Obama would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation. Seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress.

Writing in Foreign Affairs Magazine (July/August 2007), Barak Obama said:

Our policy of issuing threats and relying on intermediaries to curb Iran's nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism, and regional aggression is failing. Although we must not rule out using military force, we should not hesitate to talk directly to Iran. Our diplomacy should aim to raise the cost for Iran of continuing its nuclear program by applying tougher sanctions and increasing pressure from its key trading partners. The world must work to stop Iran's uranium-enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy. At the same time, we must show Iran -- and especially the Iranian people -- what could be gained from fundamental change: economic engagement, security assurances, and diplomatic relations…. Finally, we must develop a strong international coalition to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Iran and North Korea could trigger regional arms races, creating dangerous nuclear flashpoints in the Middle East and East Asia. In confronting these threats, I will not take the military option off the table. But our first measure must be sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy -- the kind that the Bush administration has been unable and unwilling to use.

Hillary Clinton

From “Just Hillary Website”:

Hillary Clinton believes that Iran’s nuclear pursuit, coupled with its leadership’s despicable anti-Semitic rhetoric, require that the United States do everything it can to deny nuclear weapons to Iran. “U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot, we should not, we must not, permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat, as I have said for a very long time, no option can be taken off the table.” [Speech on the floor of Senate 2/14/07] …. Hillary believes that the United States should use every tool in its arsenal - from imposing economic sanctions to siphoning off funds for Iran’s nuclear program to initiating a process of direct engagement with Iran. … Hillary also believes in pursuing vigorous diplomacy with Iran. …. {and to} talk to Iran in order to gain valuable insight, intelligence and information about how to pressure its leadership to change course. But Hillary has said that as president she would not commit to personal meetings with leaders of rogue states without conditions.

Writing in Foreign Affairs Magazine (November/December 2007) Hillary Clinton said:

Iran poses a long-term strategic challenge to the United States, our NATO allies, and Israel. It is the country that most practices state-sponsored terrorism, and it uses its surrogates to supply explosives that kill U.S. troops in Iraq. The Bush administration refuses to talk to Iran about its nuclear program, preferring to ignore bad behavior rather than challenge it. … As a result, we have lost precious time. Iran must conform to its nonproliferation obligations and must not be permitted to build or acquire nuclear weapons. If Iran does not comply with its own commitments and the will of the international community, all options must remain on the table.

“On the other hand, if Iran is in fact willing to end its nuclear weapons program, renounce sponsorship of terrorism, support Middle East peace, and play a constructive role in stabilizing Iraq, the United States should be prepared to offer Iran a carefully calibrated package of incentives. This will let the Iranian people know that our quarrel is not with them but with their government and show the world that the United States is prepared to pursue every diplomatic option.

John McCain

From McCain Website:

John McCain believes Syria and Iran have aided and abetted the violence in Iraq for too long. Syria has refused to crack down on Iraqi insurgents and foreign terrorists operating from within its territory. Iran has aided the most extreme and violent Shia militias, providing them with training, weapons, and technology that they have used to kill American troops.

The answer is not to enter into unconditional dialogues with these two dictatorships from a position of weakness. The answer is for the international community to apply real pressure to Syria and Iran to change their behavior. The United States must also bolster its regional military posture to make clear to Iran our determination to protect our forces in Iraq and to deter Iranian intervention in that country.

In his Foreign Affairs Article (November/December 2007) McCain said:

Iran, the world's chief state sponsor of terrorism, continues its deadly quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Protected by a nuclear arsenal, Iran would be even more willing and able to sponsor terrorist attacks against any perceived enemy, including the United States and Israel, or even to pass nuclear materials to one of its allied terrorist networks. The next president must confront this threat directly, and that effort must begin with tougher political and economic sanctions. If the United Nations is unwilling to act, the United States must lead a group of like-minded countries to impose effective multilateral sanctions, such as restrictions on exports of refined gasoline, outside the UN framework. America and its partners should also privatize the sanctions effort by supporting a disinvestment campaign to isolate and delegitimize the regime in Tehran, whose policies are already opposed by many Iranian citizens. And military action, although not the preferred option, must remain on the table: Tehran must understand that it cannot win a showdown with the world.”

(Source: Counterterrorism Blog)


Lonely Wolf said...

It all sounds like whoever wins the elections, they continuously associate Iran with terrorism, do not separate peaceful nuclear programs from nuclear weapon development, and so on. One more aspect is that the constructor of Bushehr plant is Russian Atomstroyexport, not Westinghouse or Areva or whoever from the West, and this makes them a bit nervous.

Maria said...

This war on terror rethoric is all over their speeches, just another populistic speech campaign. They all do what they should do.

Sam Stokes said...

The thing of U.S. Iran and Russian relations is that the US will never accept two things - the Iran having nuclear weapons and Russians supplying it to them.

Alexandra Prokopenko said...

Sam, weren't Russians supplying nuclear fuel for the plant in Bushehr? Just a piece of basic knowledge about how weaponry differ from a peaceful atom.

Sam Stokes said...

I did not mean Russians sending nuclear weapons to Iran, but the fuel still can be enriched and reprocessed. You never know with those Third world countries, they do not seem to respect international law that much.

Alexandra Prokopenko said...

2 Maria
Or maybe they say what they want to do but not saying all of it?