Negotiating with Iran is more dangerous than it looks

There are greater risks than the obvious that could lead to instability in the region if Iran ever gains a nuclear weapon. Photo: Mushroom cloud/ AP

CHARLOTTENovember 20, 2013 — Even the most casual observers of the news know the idea of Iran having a nuclear weapon is not a good idea. But there are even greater risks beyond the obvious that could lead to further instability in a region where in any given week stability is measured by the number of terrorist attacks plus the death toll.

That being the case, why does the United States persist in trying to make an end run around the other members of the P5 + 1 to “negotiate” a deal with Iran on our own?

With all the hullaballoo surrounding Obamacare, Americans tend to forget that Barack Obama doesn’t have a stellar foreign policy portfolio either. During a debate during Obama’s first run at president, the senator emphatically stated that given the opportunity he would try to negotiate with Iran.

Under normal circumstances negotiation is always better than conflict, but dealing with Iran is not a normal circumstance. Which means Obama’s well-intended philosophy was foolish then and remains foolish now.

The most frustrating aspect of the president’s approach to Iran is that based upon the background of his formative years where he grew up in Indonesia, he, of all people, should recognize the futility of dealing honestly through negotiation with the Islamic world

Pure and simple, Iran cannot be trusted. Everybody knows it. They are stalling for time to complete their nuclear project. Everybody knows that too. Shouldn’t the combination of those two basic facts be enough to stop Iran from going nuclear under the guise of being intended for peaceful purposes?

The added threat to a nuclear Iran is the possibility of nuclear Saudi Arabia. The Saudis would go nuclear as a defensive measure to protect themselves from their regional neighbor. Not that the Saudis have notions of an offensive strike, but the sheer madness of having two additional nuclear powers in a place where the slightest spark can trigger a major conflagration at any time is far from a healthy situation.

Pakistan and India already have nukes. That is bad enough. Add a couple more, including one that already has a diabolical legacy of conflict and the world has a recipe for disaster.

The Saudis are keenly aware that their capital city of Riyadh is potentially a target. The two countries have a 30-year history of animosity. Israel, as it must always do, is keeping close tabs on all of this. They are well aware of the rift between Tehran and Riyadh, which means their security could be endangered as well.

If the Iranians force the Saudis into going nuclear, it is not necessarily the case that the desert Kingdom will have to build their own weapons. With their financial resources it would be quicker to procure their weaponry from Pakistan.

Which brings us back to the United States attempts to negotiate with Iran to allow them to have “peaceful” nuclear weapons. Secretary of State John Kerry can pontificate until he is blue in the face about a credible alliance with Iran, but his rhetoric is not convincing. Certainly, given the current climate in Washington, if Barack Obama provides assurances to the American people about the wisdom of this move, it’s a surefire guarantee that the talks will amount to much ado about nothing. So far, they already have. Why would six more months of talks change anything?.

The solution is simple. It is also the most logical and most reasonable answer. Do not allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon. Stop talking and begin doing something else that will ensure the Iranians are incapable of developing nuclear weapons. At this point, talking with Iran is like giving matches to an arsonist. Better to get rid of the matches.

The United States has been negotiating with Iran for about six months. A half a year later, we are no closer to a solution and the Iranians have six months of additional research and development toward their “peaceful” nuke.

They say that “talk is cheap.” In this case it could more expensive that we can imagine. Meanwhile, the Iranians are increasingly emboldened in the belief that they winning this battle on all fronts.

For now, they are right. And the world gets more dangerous.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (  

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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