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Kit Bond: Negotiating with Iran Leads to 'Nightmare' Scenario

By Jim Meyers   |   Wednesday, 30 Sep 2009 03:36 PM

Sen. Kit Bond tells Newsmax that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a "nightmare" for the whole world — and negotiating with the Islamic Republic will lead nowhere.

Sen. Bond, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, also said that despite America's bowing to Russian protests over a planned missile defense shield in Europe, Russia is "not a trustworthy partner" in imposing harsh sanctions on Iran.

See Video: Sen. Kit Bond discusses the challenge the United States faces with radical Islam - Click Here Now

The four-term Missouri senator is the co-author of a new book with Lewis Simons, a longtime foreign correspondent, entitled "The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam."

Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella asked Bond for his views on Southeast Asia.

"I have been going to Southeast Asia and found there's tremendous potential for greater economic trade," Bond said.

"Southeast Asia is our fifth largest trading partner. It is also home to some of the world's most deadly terrorist organizations. Jemaah Islamiya was charged by Osama bin Laden with carrying out the second of the 9/11 wave attacks. They were going to target Los Angeles.

"The Muslim countries of Southeast Asia — including Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world — do have these terrorist organizations. But Indonesia in particular has a very moderate government, popularly elected and re-elected."

Bond argues in the book that the U.S. can re-establish its credibility in Southeast Asia with a "smart power" approach.

"Smart power involves both the military force — we have to kill those who are trying to kill us — but also economic development issues. Trade with these countries. Investment in these countries to help earn profits for American firms and employ people in the area, and teach them to develop small businesses," the senator told Martella.

"But just as important are educational exchanges — getting more students from the area here, getting Americans to go there as students or as Peace Corps workers, as volunteers, as tourists. Because the more Americans we have on the ground there, the less they will fear America.

"As a result of the Iraq war and the longstanding concern that Muslims have about the Israel-Palestine issue, we have fallen very far from the favor of people in the Muslim world, especially Southeast Asia."

Turning to Iran, Martella noted that a top Iranian official has now said the nation will not abandon its nuclear development program or even discuss it when Iran meets in Geneva with the U.S. and its allies this week.

"What does that tell you?" Martella asked.

"It tells me what I've known all along — you can't trust Ahmadinejad or the Ayatollahs," Bond responded.

"You can't expect to negotiate and talk with them. They love when we talk, when we negotiate, because that allows them to continue their efforts not only to develop nuclear weapons but to continue to develop the missiles with which they can threaten their neighbors, especially Israel, and threaten the rest of the free world.

"A nuclear-armed Iran is a nightmare, not just for the region, but for the whole world. We have to get serious about them. I hope the president has now learned, based on the latest activities, that we cannot expect talk to do anything with the Iranians. We need effective sanctions."

Asked if tough sanctions on Iran will be effective without the cooperation of Russia and China, Bond answered that administration officials "indicated that they thought Russia was coming along. Excuse me, but I'm from Missouri. I'm a show-me senator. I believe that Russia is not a trustworthy partner. They have too many dealings with Iran.

"President Obama gave [Russian President Dmitry] Medvedev all he wanted when he decided to cancel the fixed missile protection system for Poland and the Czech Republic. But he did that without getting any assurance that Russia would [reciprocate].

"I think it's time for him to deliver the second part of what I hope was a bargain. If he bargained away our allies, I hope he got something from it. And I would like to see him put the pressure on Russia to come along and join us in sanctions."

See Video: Sen. Kit Bond discusses the challenge the United States faces with radical Islam - Click Here Now

[Editor’s Note: Get Sen. Kit Bond’s new book, “The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam” — Go here now.]

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