Iran Can't Be Allowed Nuclear

(Wall Street Journal) Sens. Robert P. Casey (D-Pa.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) - The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is a threat to the entire world, including particularly the U.S., and its destabilizing consequences are not containable. If Iran succeeds in acquiring a nuclear-weapons capability, neighboring Arab states will seek their own atomic arsenals. The Middle East will become a nuclear tinderbox, and the odds of nuclear material falling into the hands of rogue terrorists will dramatically increase. Iran itself is already the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism in the world. If it acquires a nuclear-weapons capability, its proxies - groups such as Lebanese Hizbullah and Shiite militias in Iraq that have the blood of hundreds of Americans on their hands - will become significantly more dangerous, because they could strike at us and our allies while being protected from retaliation by Tehran's nuclear umbrella. A nuclear-armed Iran would also threaten the global economy by holding Middle Eastern oil supplies hostage. Recently, Iran's leaders threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz. If Iran tried to do so now, the U.S. and our allies would have an overwhelming military advantage. But what if Tehran had nuclear missiles? It is imperative that the U.S. and its partners accelerate and expand economic pressure on Tehran. Sanctions must threaten the very existence of that regime in order to have a chance of stopping its illicit nuclear activities. We introduced a bipartisan resolution last month that explicitly rules out a strategy of containment for Iran and reaffirms that the U.S. has a vital national interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear-weapons capability. Some have asked why our resolution sets the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a "nuclear weapons capability," rather than "nuclear weapons." The reason is that all of the destabilizing consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran will ensue as soon as Iranians have the components necessary for a weapon - and by then, it will be too late to stop them. That is why the comprehensive sanctions legislation passed by Congress in 2010 and signed into law by President Obama identified the U.S. goal as preventing a "nuclear-weapons capability."

2012-03-09 00:00:00

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