In 2010, Obama made it his top priority to scale back the amount of nuclear weapons around the world, including the US and Russia, as a part of the New Start treaty. It passed the Senate 71-26 on Dec. 22, 2010.
Today, that treaty is being put to the test by leaders in the Middle-East and the US. In 2010, the US and Russia agreed to scale back on their nuclear arsenal, but today the countries remain at odds on how to handle Iran and its alleged move to make nuclear weaponry a reality.
Despite attempts by the Obama administration and Israel to handle this situation through diplomacy, tensions continue to rise in the Middle East. Israel and the United States may be preparing for the worst in what look more and more like an eventual attack on Iran, sooner than many thought.
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said on a trip to Holland,
Action must be taken before it is too late. Sanctions on Iran must be intensified.
He insists that Israel’s allies must intensify sanctions now and not wait until later this year. That’s an indirect statement aimed at the United States.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that European Union foreign ministers are planning to meet Monday to agree on an oil embargo and the freezing of the Iranian Central Bank’s assets.
On the other side, Iran’s foreign minister has told nearby countries not to align themselves too close with the United States. That’s what you call a threat.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in response to the sanctions on its crude oil exports,
We want peace and tranquility in the region. But some of the countries in our region, they want to direct other countries 12,000 miles away from this region.
More specifically, Salehi said,
I am calling to all countries in the region, please don’t let yourselves be dragged into a dangerous position.
This statement is more than likely directed at Saudi Arabia who is a prominent ally to the US and just got through inking a $60.5 billion arms deal with the US which includes the sale of 84 F-15 jets. Additionally, Iranian scientists are being assassinated by magnetic bombs placed on their cars. Iran thinks Israel and the US are behind these efforts, but both parties obviously deny the allegations.
Thirty-one-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan was killed Wednesday by a bomb and is the fourth scientist to be killed by such actions in the past two years. He leaves behind a young son after being murdered. Roshan was unarmed, not a terrorist and not in an immediate warzone upon his murder.
Iran promises to shut down the Strait of Hormuz—responsible for a fourth of the world’s seaborne oil trade—if the European Union and the US go through with crippling sanctions on the country.
And from what European and US sources have said, the closing of the Strait of Hormuz would inevitably lead to some sort of military action to be taken: The US’ Red line according to Obama.
With Iran intent on defending what they feel to be their right to research nuclear capabilities, they seem intent to also take military action on anyone that stands in their way—which is nearly every country that surrounds Iran.
Obama has already expressed concerns over Iran and has taken strong, diplomatic actions against Iran. On December 31 last year, Obama and Congress overwhelmingly supported sanctions against Iran as a part of the controversial National Defense Authorization (NDAA) bill.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave a succinct and telling response about the growing situation in Iran. According to RT.com, Panetta said,
We are not making any special steps at this point in order to deal with the situation. Why? Because, frankly, we are fully prepared to deal with that situation now.
The EU and US have placed their pieces in all the right positions for this war game. At this point in the game, every move by Iran and Israel could be the necessary ember to spark another war.