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February 15th, 2012
05:05 PM ET

Letters to the President #1122: 'Iran, you ran, we all ran!'

Reporter's Note: President Obama’s administration is watching Iran’s nuclear activity closely, but watching and halting are two different matters, as I note in today’s letter.

Dear Mr. President,

No doubt you’ve heard this latest news from Iran about more advances in their nuclear program. They’ve grabbed up big headlines, staged photo ops, and they’re pretty much bragging to the world that their nuke program is still steaming ahead.

So…uh…how are those economic sanctions working out?

Yeah, I thought so. While many nations around the world certainly hope such measures will make the Iranians reconsider their nuclear ambitions, it doesn’t seem all that likely. I suspect we have a better chance of stomping out reality TV than driving Iran from the nuclear stage.

As much as we and our friends (particularly Israel) have reason to dislike that idea, I can certainly understand why Iran would want to keep heading in that direction. Oh sure, they keep insisting it’s all about peaceful power production, but that sounds an awful lot like a guy with an illegal, full auto 9mm in his trunk telling the police that he is just going quail hunting. Being a nuclear power has a certain cache that remains unmatched by anything else in the world, at least if your goal is to A) Push other nations around or B) Protect yourself. And of course Iran likes the idea of having both of those options at the ready.

So while maybe the Israelis will hit them with a military strike, or maybe the sanctions will take a heavy toll, I can’t help but think that, given time, Iran will in fact wind up with nuclear weapons. They’ve just been marching too steadily that way, and they are too close, to believe that any measures now will do anything more than slow them down a little while longer.

I hope we and the rest of the world will be ready for that new reality.

Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom

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