By Alex Stone
Iran is the most serious threat to the United States’ national security right now. Preventing the rogue nation from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability should be one of the top priorities in U.S. foreign policy. The United States’ security would be in serious danger if Iran were to acquire these nuclear weapon capabilities, so it is important for the U.S. to continue to lead the efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring the capability.
If Iran were to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, the Middle East would become a very dangerous place. This capability would quickly trigger an arms race in the region. We can all agree that the United States does not want to see multiple Middle Eastern countries begin to acquire nuclear weapons, especially with the current instability in the region.
A nuclear Iran would cause oil prices to increase drastically. Iran would have more leverage to raise prices and evade sanctions. Americans have grown accustomed to a life dependent on oil and if oil prices continue to rise, this will present a significant hardship for many working Americans.
While Iran claims that it is building a nuclear program for “civilian purposes,” the regime is defying international demands to suspend its nuclear program and continues to enrich uranium. Experts agree that there are no plausible “civilian purposes” for Iran’s nuclear program. The regime could be only months away from achieving a nuclear weapons capability, which would grant it all the international authority that an actual weapon would. An Iranian nuclear weapons capability would likely engender an arms race in the already unstable Middle East and would allow the dangerous regime in Tehran to enjoy an elevated level of power in the region.
The United States House of Representatives recently introduced House Resolution 568, the Iran Prevention Act. The legislation was introduced by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Representative Howard Berman (D-CA). The Senate’s companion resolution, S. RES. 380, was similarly introduced in a bipartisan fashion by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The United States Congress understands the severity of the threat posed by Iran and the issue transcends partisan lines.
The United States, along with Europe, has imposed biting sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank. Helping to calm international oil price fears, Saudi Arabia has agreed to fill any oil supply gap created by sanctions on Iran. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner explained at a recent House Financial Services Committee hearing that “we are making really substantial progress, and our hope is of course that it will alter Iran’s calculations about their interest in pursuing nuclear capabilities.”
The United States Congress, the administration, and our allies in Europe are working together to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. Significant progress has been made, but the threat is more real than ever. The United States must not lose focus and must continue to do everything in its power to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.