Loosen Iranian Sanctions? A Lesson from Ronald Reagan
How should the United States approach negotiations with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program? Hasan Rouhani, the new “moderate” president of Iran makes superficial political changes to soften his image in the West. The Obama Administration and much of the mainstream media suggest now is the time to negotiate with Iran. They assert any deal on nuclear enrichment now is better than no deal at all.
They remind me of the voices I heard… in the first years of Mikhail Gorbachev’s tenure in the 1980s as the new leader of the ailing Soviet Union.
As with Iran today, the economic and political crisis in the Soviet Union was real; so was the pressure exerted on the system from both within and without. Mr. Gorbachev… loosened some restrictions on speech and other forms of expression.
Sure enough, these moves… met with near-ecstatic cheers from Western pundits and politicians, followed by calls for reciprocal “confidence-building” measures [by lifting ballistic-missile sanctions]… Anyone urging a contrary policy was branded a warmonger.
Fortunately, one of those alleged warmongers was Ronald Reagan, who… had long understood that lifting sanctions without any concrete evidence of Soviet reform was precisely the wrong way to proceed. Under the policy known as linkage… the U.S. government tied economic concessions to real, verifiable reforms.
The U.S., to its eternal credit, held firm. The Americans were not ready to accept a bad ballistic-missile deal… They were not ready to cancel the sanctions. Four years later, the evil Soviet empire collapsed without a shot having been fired. Block quote excerpted from Natan Sharansky “Is Rouhani the New Gorbachev?” Wall Street Journal 11/18/13
If Obama had any spine at all, he would follow Ronald Reagan’s example. Americans must recognize that Obama’s aspirations for a nuclear agreement with Iran are currently driven by domestic political concerns. Obama wants to divert attention from the debacle that is ObamaCare. However, Obama welcoming a deal with Iran to alleviate domestic political pressure is cynical, short-sighted and deadly. Any nuclear agreement between the West and Iran must be guided by one single issue, how many people can Iran kill with nuclear weapons? – Grizzly Joe