America has several beloved and cherished annual traditions: the Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas-era Home Alone re-runs, and the renewal of economic sanctions against Iran. It is in this spirit of reckoning and popular unity that President Obama has signed on for another year of silent treatment with Iran, considering their nuclear program as a threat to the United States “and the United States’ interests in the region”. Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might be claiming that his importations of uranium are only destined for a civilian-oriented use of his nuclear plants, but UN officers and consecutive US administrations alike believe that this continuous enrichment of radioactive products are hiding a much more nefarious intent.

Barack Obama: ICWYDH, Ahmadinejad

Barack Obama: ICWYDH, Ahmadinejad

Since 1995, Iran has been regularly banned from trading with US companies – which, in the current economic context, might actually be of Iran’s benefit (see: China declares itself “a little worried” for the United States). Given Iran’s repeated and unabashed threats towards the United States and its policies, be they military or social, the source of concern for a hypothetical atomic attack can be considered legitimate. Despite Obama’s claims to return to the old-fashioned diplomatic negotiation techniques to reach a favorable agreement with Iran, the renewal is just a comfortable and reassuring safe foreign policy blanket.

On top of the United States’ refusal to engage in talks with Iran on another topic than their nuclear program, Ahmadinejad is facing three different sets (yes! three) of United Nations sanctions regarding their practice on uranium enrichment. Separating uranium isotopes might be a necessary component in civil nuclear power generation, but generally raises suspicion as it is the main product used in the fabrication of nuclear weapons.  In order to stop, or at least diminish, nuclear weapon proliferation, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)  is called upon activities of uranium enrichment to monitor the specific use the country is making of U-235.  Last February, Mohamed El Baradei, the president of the IAEA has reported that Iran refused to bend to UN rule asking for the immediate suspension of activies regarding  the enrichment of uranium.

Nuclear weapon proliferation is not an issue concerning the United States “interests in the region” solely. This concern is international, and Iran’s allies – especially Syria – could feel the need to emulate Ahmadinejad’s race to uranium and create extreme tension in the Middle East. The current situation with the United States’ most detested ally, Israel, could lead to a war we hardly dared considering back in the 1950s, when McCarthy was teaching our parents how to stack up canned food in their backyard bunker.  Never has scientific progress caused that much fear for humanity as Oppenheimer’s discovery; and in those troubled times of division and segregation, of tension and mistrust, such a tremendous and irremediable power in the hands of an unstable leader could possibly be the end. Without automatically assuming, like U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen (R), that Iran already has the nuclear weapon at the ready, it is evident that President Obama should dive into tight, strict and regular diplomatic talks with Iran in order to curb their enthusiasm towards the bomb. It is in such situations one should feel grateful that trigger-happy John McCain is not at the wheel.

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