Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Does Iran Have a Nuclear Ace Up Its Sleeve?

Getting a Good Deal with Iran
-Senators Lindsey Graham, Joseph I. Lieberman & John McCain

•Iran had no uranium enriched to 20% until two years ago, nor was the Fordow site operational before then. Focusing only on these recent manifestations of Iran's nuclear program, without also addressing older and broader enrichment and proliferation-sensitive activities, would effectively reward the Iranians for their escalation and allow them to move back the goal posts.

•Rather, the U.S. must make clear that international pressure will continue to build on Iran until it takes the concrete steps that will address the entirety of the threat, with a swift timetable for implementation.

•Given the Iranian regime's long-standing pattern of deceptive and illicit conduct, we believe it cannot be trusted to maintain enrichment or reprocessing activities on its territory for the foreseeable future - at least until the international community has been fully convinced that Iran has decided to abandon any nuclear-weapons ambitions. We are very far from that point.

•Just as importantly, Iran must not be permitted to possess sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon, or centrifuges in sufficient quantity or sophistication that would allow it to "break out" and build a nuclear weapon swiftly and covertly.

•A diplomatic solution with Iran is possible if the Iranian regime genuinely wants one. But to achieve this outcome, we must not allow the Iranians to draw us into an extended negotiation with a continuing series of confidence-building measures that never ultimately force Tehran to verifiably abandon its pursuit of a nuclear-weapons capability.

•Our best hope for avoiding conflict is to leave no doubt that the window for diplomacy is closing. In the absence of a negotiated solution that addresses the totality of Iran's nuclear program, and soon, we must take the steps that President Obama laid out in February, when he said: "America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal."

The U.S. must be prepared, if necessary, to use military force to stop Iran from getting a nuclear-weapons capability.
(Wall Street Journal)


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