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  • Secretary Clinton Seeks Middle East Partners for Iran Sanctions

    In his inaugural address, President Obama vowed to reach out and engage with the international community including those nations hostile to the United States.  However, it is clear that Obama’s engagement with Iran has been nothing short of a failure.  In her recent remarks with the Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal, Secretary Clinton admitted that Iran “has failed to reciprocate.”  Instead, Iran announced that it will increase its enrichment capacity and produce twenty percent uranium.  The Obama administration is now preparing to move ahead on the sanctions front in its dual-tracked approach: engagement combined with multilateral pressure.  While Secretary Clinton visited Qatar and Saudi Arabia this past weekend, her deputy secretaries are traveling around the region in hopes of enlisting countries to put pressure on Iran to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons. James Steinberg will be traveling to Israel the week of February 21st; Jacob Lew headed this past weekend to Egypt, Israel and Jordan.  The State Department’s Under Secretary for political affairs, William Burns is also traveling to Syria and Lebanon, hoping to loosen the links between Damascus and Tehran.  Considering Syria is Iran’s closest ally in the region and Lebanon is expected to oppose sanctions against Iran, the hopes of achieving any sort of “crippling sanctions” against Iran’s nuclear ambitions are dim.

    In addition to seeking Arab support for Iranian sanctions, Secretary Clinton also took the opportunity to focus on Iran’s government and the Revolutionary Guard’s staggering increase in power.  Iran’s clerical leadership increasingly has been eclipsed by a military dictatorship.  The 125,000 strong force has amassed considerable wealth and reports directly to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  Infamous for brutality and oppression, the revolutionary guard has imprisoned and killed hundreds of protesters since the June 2009 elections.  To make matters even worse, Ayatollah Khamenei is increasingly dependent on the Revolutionary Guard.  According to Jim Phillips, Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at The Heritage Foundation, when Ahmadinejad came into office, as a former member of the Guard, he placed an estimated 10,000 loyalists, including many cronies from the Revolutionary Guards in critical positions throughout the state bureaucracies and revolutionary organs of the regime. This amounts to a slow-motion coup by the Revolutionary Guards.

    When confronting Iran, the United States must take the extremely ruthless governance of Iran into consideration as well as how international pressure on eliminating Iran’s nuclear weapons program might affect the volatile political situation.  If the Obama administration has learned anything from its failed engagement from Iran, it is that Iran’s rulers are not to be trusted and action bearing considerable bite is necessary.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Secretary Clinton Seeks Middle East Partners for Iran Sanctions

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      Pretty risky. Unless of course, American government is on the same side?

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      Pretty risky, unless of course, they're working together?!

    3. Ozzy6900 says:

      I agree that Iran needs to be dealt with and should have been dealt with over a year ago, but I cannot see President Obama following through with anything against a Muslim Nation of any kind. He has proven himself to be a sympathizer of Nations that condone terrorist activity and are hostile to the United States. I feel that anything that the USA agrees to do with other Countries will just be negated in the 11th hour by President Obama.

    4. William Person says:

      LIstening and watching the Obama administration "manage" the Iran situation is like watching an impotent man walk into a brothel!!!

    5. William Person says:

      Its is like having a lot of hope but no hard evidence.
      That ineffectual bumbler just frosts me!!

    6. Pingback: SINsational “i” zed: Lebanon Making Room for Syrian Tanks (BPT) « Michael James Stone

    7. Drew Page, IL says:

      Hard to believe, isn't it? After all the nice-nice we made with Iran, they aren't going to do what we asked and give up their nuclear development plans. You know it's just possible that Iran was being less than completely truthful when they said they were only going to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

      I'm sure our good friends in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon will gladly help the U.S. impose sanctions on a fellow muslim country, just because we asked them.

      Maybe if we prevailed upon Mr. Obama's new close friends Messrs. Chavez and Castro, they would help the U.S. in placing sanctions against Iran. For that matter, I'm sure the rest of the U.N. would be glad to aid the U.S. in placing sanctions on Iran, after all the apologizing Mr. Obama did for our past arrogance, dismissiveness and derisivness.

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