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Alton Lu

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Iran Is No Threat -- Unless We Stay On Our Current Course

Posted: 03/ 1/2012 12:28 pm

In the recent Arizona Republican debate, the candidates, aside from Ron Paul, were seen advocating for stronger sanctions and military action against Iran.

Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich has stated he wishes to engage in a preventative war. Gingrich has criticized the Obama administration's failure to take more extreme measures in preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

Romney said that if Obama is re-elected, we would have nuclear war with Iran.

Senator Rick Santorum, following Gingrich and Romney, said, "I have been on the trail of Iran trying to stop them from getting nuclear weapons."

The candidates talk of preemptive or preventative war. This is like a case of a police officer killing a civilian for threatening his neighbor. Only that in this case, Israel also threatened the civilian. Bombing a country based on moving towards nuclear capability is a step back from the Bush administration's reason for invading Iraq. Except that this time, Israel and the United States both know that Iran has no weapon and the people know as well. The consideration of preemptive war stems from Iran almost reaching nuclear weapons capability.

What would happen if Iran happens to get nuclear weapons? At the moment, the United States has over a thousand active nuclear warheads. Israel has around 80 active nuclear bombs. Iran has zero. The United States could easily reduce the entire country to a memory.

The Iranian leaders are aggressive, they are radical. But they are not stupid. No one would think to strike out against a country with more than a thousand times more firepower than themselves. With the amount of weapons at the United States' disposal no one would seek to fire a nuclear weapon on our soil or our allies.

Now the U.S economy is being further threatened as Iran says it will close the Strait of Hormuz, which supplies around 20 percent of the world's oil reserve. The United States says any disruption of its economy will not be tolerated.

But let's look at why the Iranian government might be doing this. We are applying sanctions that are starving their people and spreading widespread discord not towards their leaders, but towards the Western powers. People fight back when cornered and desperate. That is exactly what the people of Iran are feeling.

This entire threat for closing the oil reserves falls from the fact that the sanctions are crippling their country's livelihood. Step back from the sanctions and the threats of preemptive war and the Iranians will return to their own business.

The Iranian people would resume building its nuclear programs. However, to do this would essentially allow Iran to pursue an atomic bomb, as war advocates might say. It's time to stop ignoring the words of their leaders. Iran already spoke that it is not seeking nuclear weapons. From Al Arabiya news, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iran Supreme Leader stated, "We are not after an atomic weapon. We want to break the supremacy (of the world powers) that relies on nuclear weapons."

"God willing, the nation will reach this goal," he told a meeting with Iranian nuclear scientists, according to an official government statement.

Khamenei says they wish to have a country not under supremacy of another country with nuclear weapons. People should be able to easily understand how another country would despise being ruled by outside powers. It's very similar to how many conservatives call for smaller government intervention in the lives of Americans.

Others might say that he is easily lying and at first chance, Iran will secure a bomb. Again, the fact that the United States is decades ahead of Iran in military technology, a nuclear bomb in a fragile country should merely bring about the old idea that 'I won't hit you if you don't hit me.'

The United States seems constantly involved in conflicts that are self-generated. We've slapped on the sanctions, threatened military action and all that's done is balkanize the country and turn it further against the world.

Each country is threatening 'preemptive war.' The United States should be the bigger person, as we are. Fall back on the rhetoric and leave Iran its sovereignty. Iran's supreme leader has already stated that they are not seeking nuclear weapons.

The reason we spend so much on our defense budget is for defense, not preemptive war. Otherwise, call it what it is: a war budget. Military strikes serve only to further antagonize their leaders. Defend our shores and stop threatening a country that could turn truly dangerous when foreign powers push its back against the wall.