Just days following the passage of a new round of sanctions against Iran, the Associated Press obtained copies of Iran’s Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi’s book which stated that “the most advanced weapons must be produced inside our country even if our enemies don’t like it. There is no reason that they have the right to produce a special type of weapons [sic], while other countries are deprived of it.” Even though Yazdi does not speak for the Iranian government, he is a strong radical voice in Iran’s revolutionary establishment.
This is yet another example demonstrating Iran’s veiled intentions when it comes to its nuclear program. While the Supreme Leader of Iran has consistently stated that acquiring nuclear weapons runs contrary to the theology of Islam, Iran has proven time and again it cannot be trusted.
Such statements demonstrate the naiveté of the Obama Administration’s nuclear policy. While the US is seeking to draw down its nuclear arsenal, radical leaders, including those in Iran, are not living up to their international obligations and consistently engage in duplicitous behavior. There is little reason to believe that Obama’s call for a “nuclear free world” will be realized while men such as Yazdi claim to have a right to such “special weapons.”
Despite these clear messages from Iran and a mild set of sanctions from the UNSC, President Obama is also seeking to weaken the sanctions bill that is working its way through the US Congress. While the legislation would impose penalties on foreign companies that sell oil products to Iran or invest in Iran’s oil industry, the administration is seeking to exempt companies from countries that have cooperated in passing the UN sanctions, most importantly Russia, China, and members of the EU. Each day that passes by, Iran is one step closer to building a nuclear weapon. It is time the Obama Administration awoke to this reality and responded accordingly.
Ricky Trotman is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm