We also must levy much tougher sanctions on Iran. President Obama should make it clear the U.S. will push for international bans on foreign investment, loans, arms exports, and gasoline exports to Iran. This would starve the Iranian regime of its funding and deprive its people of the cheap fuel they’ve come to rely on. If Iran continues to defy the international consensus, it must pay a stiff price.
The U.S. also must prepare for military action as a last resort. The Pentagon should update its plans for attacking suspected weapons sites in Iran. We should take every precaution to avoid injuring innocent civilians. But we also have to ensure that any strikes decisively set back Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities.
Furthermore, to make sure Iran doesn’t lash out with the missiles and weapons it already has, the U.S. should make it clear that an Iranian attack, whether on our homeland or on an ally, would be met with overwhelming force. If hit, we’ll hit back much harder and more destructively and block Iran’s oil exports. Moreover, we urgently should be building up our missile defenses, rather than cutting back on them as the Obama Administration is doing.
Finally, our leaders need to explain that our complaint isn’t with the Iranian people; it’s with their leadership.
In recent months, millions of brave Iranians have marched to protest their government, which seems to have stolen its most recent election. The United States wants to see all Iranians living safely in freedom, as members of the international community. The nuclear weapons their leaders seek are as much a threat to peaceable Iranians as they are to us.
The Iran problem won’t dissipate overnight. But we can protect ourselves and our allies if we act quickly and work together. The United States should be ready to take “yes” for an answer, when Iran is ready to halt its support for terrorism and its efforts to obtain the world’s most terrifying weapons.