Economic sanctions represent a key tool in the U.S. effort to prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons, says Newsmax contributing editor Ken Timmerman.
“I believe sanctions are necessary from a moral perspective,” he told Newsmax.TV. “They are the only weapon we have between appeasement and war.”
If we aren’t ready for war, we must apply effective sanctions, says Timmerman, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his exposure of Iran’s weapons program.
Sanctions have had an important psychological effect on the Iran regime, he says. “Iranians are clearly worried about them. They talk about it all the time.”
The sanctions make it more difficult for Iran to get insurance on its oil cargo. “When the sanctions that passed Congress last month went into effect, the very next day saw Iran’s commercial aircraft grounded in Europe, because they couldn’t get access to commercial jet aviation fuel,” Timmerman said.
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But President Obama needs to go further. “What the Obama administration hasn’t done and must do is to help the pro-freedom movement inside Iran,” he said.
“That’s a moral imperative and absolutely must be done if we want to avoid an open war with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Iran’s activation of the Bushehr reactor this weekend is a key event, Timmerman says.
“Once Iran has the reactor up and running it has a source of plutonium for a bomb,” he explains. That gives the nation a second source for nuclear weapons in addition to the uranium enrichment plant it already has.
“It gives them a more advanced program which is harder to control and makes them infinitely more dangerous,” Timmerman said.
The recent silence of Israeli officials on the issue may indicate Israel is preparing to attack the reactors, he says. “When the Israelis are getting ready for action they don’t talk.”
Timmerman spoke before The New York Times reported that White House officials said Israel is highly unlikely to attack Iran in the next year. That’s because the United States and Israel have come to agree that Iran is still a year away from being able to make a nuclear weapon.
Russia’s huge assistance to Iran on the Bushehr plant dramatizes the two nations’ cooperation that has existed for years, he says. “But Prime Minister Putin seems to be willing to take it to a confrontational state.”
Timmerman is strongly opposed to the Muslim mosque planned for a spot near ground zero. The fact that the mosque’s developers won’t rule out raising funds from the Iranian regime should be a deal breaker by itself, he says.
“If they’re going to accept funds from either Saudi Arabia or Iran, it clearly shows the intent of the builders is to create a Cordoba mosque,” Timmerman says. Cordoba, Spain represented the furthest point of penetration for the Muslim empire into Europe in the 10th and 11th centuries.
“It represents to the Muslim mindset the advance of Islam into the Judeo-Christian heartland,” he said. “That’s what the mosque is all about, and that’s why Americans should oppose it.”
On the subject of Iraq, Timmerman says there will be trouble when the U.S. fully withdraws.
First, there is the influence of Iran. “They are helping al Qaida and Shiite groups plant bombs,” he said. In addition, tension between Sunnis and Kurds in the North is a problem, Timmerman notes. Christians are stuck in the middle of that, so they’re being persecuted.
“It will get worse with the absence of U.S. troops to keep the peace,” he said.
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