3 Steps to Stop Iran From Getting a Nuclear Bomb

The issue is not just the nuclear program. It is the hostile intentions of a regime.

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The Gulf states are justifiably worried that Iran's drive to influence the agenda in the region is now being transformed into an effort to dictate the agenda. The Arab states see clearly what is happening. A new study of public opinion shows that most Arabs in the Gulf see their region as a more likely target than Israel from an Iranian bomb. If we wait for that threat to fully materialize, we will have waited too long. As the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has said, we might be left with a choice of "an Iranian bomb or bombing Iran." The only thing worse than bombing Iran, according to Sen. John McCain, is letting Iran get the bomb. All the choices for the United States are bad. The only option is to find the one that is the least bad.

The minimum we must do is station missile defense systems in or provide them to local states, including missiles with the range to hit Tehran. Second, we must provide a security blanket and guarantee to selected Gulf states including Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Third, we must impose an embargo even more extensive than the one we imposed on Cuba at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. This would include a ban on the sale or purchase of products or services to or from Iran, a ban on all financial transactions of any kind with Iranians for their businesses, a ban on all travel to and from Iran, and more. This policy must make it absolutely clear that any companies or individuals who violate the embargo will be banned from doing business with the United States.

It is painfully obvious that the international community has no idea how to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. No one has a magic solution. Thirty years of negotiations and sanctions have failed to end the Iranian nuclear program and its war against the West. Why should anyone think such attempts will work now, given that the Iranians are probably less than a year away from the finish line in their race to achieve nuclear weapons capability? In an article entitled "Has Iran Won?" the Economist magazine put it this way: "Who would have thought that a friendless theocracy with a Holocaust-denying president, which hangs teenagers in public and stones women to death, could run diplomatic circles around America and its European allies?"

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