Re: [ipjn] Senator Bayh Threatens Iran
thanks for sending this out. I announced it at our rally. How I wish we could get rid of Evan and return his father to this seat.
--- On Sat, 10/3/09, Timothy Baer <timothybaer2003@...> wrote:
From: Timothy Baer <timothybaer2003@...>
Subject: [ipjn] Senator Bayh Threatens Iran
Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009, 3:14 AM
From: Senator.Bayh@ address-verify. com
To: timothybaer2003@ hotmail.com
Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2009 14:41:03 -0400
Subject: The Iranian Nuclear Threat
Targeting Iran's Achilles' Heel
By Evan Bayh
Yesterday in Geneva, the United States participated in face-to-face, multilateral negotiations with representatives of Iran's regime and offered them a final chance to verifiably terminate their illegal nuclear program or face the strongest sanctions in the history of their republic.
In the coming weeks, we will begin to answer the fundamental question at the heart of Iran's future: Will the country's ruling clerics choose to behave as leaders of a rational nation-state and embrace policies based on a cost-benefit analysis of what is in their national interest?
Or will they embrace global confrontation, driven by religious extremism and hatred of Israel, the United States and Western civilization?
Recent events do not inspire optimism. Iran's provocative missile tests this week come just days after the disclosure of a secret Iranian nuclear enrichment facility at Qom. The smoking-gun revelation of a covert atomic facility unsuitable for civilian energy production — revealed as global leaders gathered in New York to discuss the regime's behavior — unmasked the true nature of Iran's nuclear program.
To date, President Barack Obama has skillfully handled this complex challenge. The administration 's repeated offers of engagement have put Tehran on the defensive and made it much more difficult for Iran's leaders to blame the West for their problems. No one can question the sincerity of American entreaties to peacefully negotiate to resolve our differences with Iran.
Obama 's personal diplomacy with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev last weekend may have opened a new pathway to persuade Russia and perhaps China to endorse meaningful international action. Medvedev acknowledged last Friday that Iran's nuclear program had violated U.N. Security Council resolutions and called on the country to comply with international inspections. It remains to be seen, however, if Russia and China will follow through with support for tough new sanctions.
Multinational diplomacy can succeed only if it is backed by the credible threat of meaningful action. While robust multilateral sanctions are highly preferable, the United States must be prepared to act unilaterally should other global powers decide to place their own economic interests above the cause of global security.
The disclosure at Qom adds new urgency to our efforts to change Tehran's strategic calculus. Iranian leaders respect strength and are contemptuous of weakness. Only by eschewing half-measures and endorsing consequential penalties can we impress upon the Iranian regime that its security is undercut, not enhanced, by its nuclear pursuits. We need to embrace a sanctions regime commensurate with the threat posed by a potentially nuclear-armed Iran.
Israel perceives this scenario to be an existential threat, a view informed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad' s repeated threats to annihilate the Jewish state. Neither Israel nor the international community can afford to take even a small risk that Iran might acquire and misuse a nuclear weapon.
Iran faces a stark choice: Accept intrusive, verifiable International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of its uranium enrichment facilities, or face what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls "crippling" economic penalties.
Congress is preparing to push through strong unilateral measures to defend our national security and preserve regional stability in the Mideast. My legislation, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, strikes at Iran's Achilles' heel: the country's reliance on refined petroleum imports for its domestic economy.
Despite its vast crude oil resources, Iran has limited refining capabilities and depends on gasoline imports for approximately 30 percent of its domestic consumption. Pressuring suppliers to reduce their exports of fuel to Iran could force the regime to choose between the fuel on which its economy depends and its expensive nuclear program. My bill, which I introduced with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), would give the president expanded authority to ban foreign firms from doing any business in the United States if they are involved in exporting gasoline or other refined petroleum products or equipment to Iran.
The Bayh-Lieberman- Kyl bill has been co-sponsored by a rare and broad coalition of 76 senators, including some of the most liberal and conservative members of our chamber. We have put politics aside in pursuit of a policy to deter the Iranian regime from continuing down its present path.
Today, all companies doing business in Iran, as well as their investors, would be wise to consider the likelihood of imminent congressional action on this and other sanctions legislation.
While we all hope that Iran's leaders seize this historic opportunity to change course, prudence demands that Congress prepare for a different approach should Iran continue to reject meaningful negotiations over its nuclear program.
We must not let Iran use the Geneva talks as another opportunity to deny and delay. With each day that passes, Iran is producing more fissile material.
According to published reports, it now has accumulated enough low-enriched uranium to make a rapid sprint to the nuclear finish line. Our window of opportunity to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is quickly closing. The atomic clock is ticking, and we have seen with India, Pakistan and North Korea that it can run out sooner than we think.
Obama is right to affirm that all options remain on the table should diplomacy fail. Sanctions against Tehran may not work, but they must be tried.
The pro-democracy uprising occasioned by the recent disputed presidential election exposed powerful divisions in Iranian society. Ratcheting up economic and financial pressure on the Iranian government is our last, best chance short of military action to convince the regime that changing course is the only viable path to international legitimacy.
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
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