Editor's Note: The following is an issue backgrounder from CFR.org. For more, click here.
Preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon has been a top foreign policy priority for successive U.S. Democratic and Republican administrations. President Barack Obama has relied largely on expanding sanctions to pressure the Iranian regime. Several GOP candidates also call for economic measures against Iran, but there is disagreement among them on whether Washington should use military action to deter Iran's nuclear program.
President Obama entered the White House pledging to open dialogue with Tehran without preconditions. In March 2009, in a Nowruz message, he told Iran's leaders his administration sought "engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect." Following the disputed Iranian presidential election in June 2009, Obama opted for a low-key response in the early days. But the Iranian government's violent crackdown on opposition supporters made diplomacy difficult, even as the Obama administration attempted to balance outreach with defense of human rights.
On the nuclear program, the administration brokered a deal backed by the IAEA that would see the international community provide fuel to Tehran's research reactor while implementing safeguards. While Iran agreed initially, it later withdrew support.
Tehran's continued violence against opposition supporters and new reports outlining Iran's enrichment-related activities–including that it was building a secret uranium- enrichment facility near Qom–hardened Obama's stance on Iran by 2010. Since then, Obama has worked to isolate Iran by imposing new sanctions and toughening existing ones against the regime, both unilaterally and through the United Nations. Some analysts say the administration has also used covert actions to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, such as the 2010 Stuxnet cyberattack, although there has been no official confirmation.
In November 2011, following a report by the IAEA that included strong indications of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, the administration upped efforts to squeeze the regime. For the first time, U.S. sanctions targeted Iran's petrochemical sector, and the entire banking sector–including the Central Bank of Iran. It fell short of sanctioning the bank. The Obama administration has said a military option is on the table, but stressed it would focus on a diplomatic approach to press Iran.
Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has called for a naval blockade of Iranian ports, increased intelligence operations against Iran and "crushing economic sanctions." Although she has not committed herself to going to war against Iran over its nuclear program, she has said, "The Pentagon should prepare a war plan, as a last resort, should all else fail in preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons." She has spoken against Iran's influence in the region and has often referred to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a "mad man."
In 2007, she told the St. Cloud Times that Iran had a plan to divide Iraq and control half of the country and set it up as a "a terrorist safe haven zone."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich calls for disrupting Iran's nuclear program through covert action, including "taking out their scientists" and cyberwarfare. He advocates the use of military force as a last resort: "If we get to a point where the military believes that they are truly on the verge of getting a nuclear weapon, I would be prepared to use military force."
Gingrich has also called for regime change in Iran (TheHill); if he became president he says he would set up a fund to support dissident groups, repeal restrictions on U.S. spies, cut off Iran's gasoline supply, and "basically wage economic warfare against them until the regime broke."
As former U.S. ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman pressed China to support strong U.S. sanctions against Iran, but as GOP candidate he has argued that sanctions will not prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. In an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan in November 2011, Huntsman said sanctions "aren't going to have much of an impact" and instead suggested that military action might be the only way to deter Iran.
In his October foreign policy speech (Politico) he expressed his willingness to use military force against Iran. "I cannot live with a nuclear-armed Iran. If you want an example of when I would use American force, it would be that," he said.
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) has spoken against using a military option to counter threats posed by Iran. He cautioned against any president taking military action without consent of Congress. He says presidents must abide by the Constitution in such matters. " You go to the Congress and find out if our national security is threatened," he said during a GOP debate on November 12.
Paul cautioned against warmongering on Iran. "I'm afraid what's going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq," he added during the debate.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has called for Washington to sanction Iran's central bank to deter Tehran from pursuing nuclear capability.
On the question of a preemptive military strike, Perry told ABC's Christiane Amanpour in November 2011 that he would not take the military option off the table to thwart Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. He said the United States has only bad options when dealing with Iran.
Like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, Perry also urges regime change in Iran and argues that Obama missed an opportunity to oust the Iranian regime in 2009, when authorities confronted their greatest mass protests since the 1979 revolution. He says the United States should be "actively involved" in removing the regime from power and recommends "diplomatic, and economic, and overt, covert, or even civic opportunities" to do so.
Mitt Romney has said that it is "unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon" and he would apply a range of measures–economic, diplomatic, and ultimately military, to deter Tehran. "If we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon," he said during a November GOP debate. "If you'd like me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon."
He has called for imposing additional economic sanctions and working with the insurgents to encourage regime change in the country. During a primary debate, he said Obama should have spoken out during the mass protests of 2009 and told protesters, "America is with you." He also called for covert support for dissidents.
Former senator Rick Santorum says the United States should be working with Israel to preemptively strike Iran's nuclear facilities, noting the success of Israeli strikes to disrupt facilities in Iraq and Syria. He has also suggested, like Cain and Romney, tougher sanctions against Iran and greater support for pro-democracy groups in the country.
In November 2011, at a campaign stop in Iowa, Santorum called Iran's nuclear scientists "enemy combatants" similar to the Taliban and al-Qaeda and, therefore, potential targets for assassination.
For more issue backgrounders from CFR.org, click here.
Ron Paul for life.
Anyone here work out yet that ther are more powerful, more destructive bombs out there already, And Russia has already got them, and shown them to destroy more and not contaminate the area after. Just look up "mother of all bombs" on internet and check Russian news. Now if Iran says it wants nuclear, park a sub in the Mediteanean Sea and tell them, "drop one bomb anywhere, and we'll wipe you off the map with blanket super bombs and put you into the history books" you can go talk to Allah.
There’s no doubt Rick Santorum is exceptional. But, Rick Santorum, the members of Taliban and al-Qaeda could be defined as the potential criminals. Did you really think the Iranian nuclear scientists are similar to them? Sure thing, if you said Iran’s nuclear supporters “enemy combatants” similar to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, I would totally agree.
All must bow to their zionist masters
Basem Mohammed Ratrout Chairman, Department of Medicine, Head of Internal Medicine Section M.B.,B.S., University of Jordan
M.Sc. Internal Medicine, University of Jordan
Jordanian Board of Internal Medicine
American Board of Internal Medicine
Fellow, American College of Physicians Medicine
Vijayaraghavan Nambiar Consultant 1971- BSc (Bachelor of Science Degree)
1976- MBBS – Manipal – India
1981- MD (Int Med) – Madras – India
1987- MRCP (UK)
1995- ACLS Instructor (KKUH – Riyadh)
1997- FRCP – Edin (UK) Cardiology
Naeem Ali Consultant, Gastroenterology Fellowship Program Director Transplant Hepatology Fellowship, Univ of Toronto, Canada· Hepatology fellowship, Uni of Toronto · American Board of Gastroenterology · FRCPC, Internal Medicine ·
American Board of Internal Medicine Hepatology
Khalid Al-Dhahri Consultant Saudi Board of pediatrics American Board of pediatrics Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Fellowship of pediatric cardiology, fellowship of pediatric cardiac intervention (University of British Columbia) Cardiology Pediatric Cardiology
Khaled Selim Head Section, (I) Director of MOTP American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Gastroenterology and American Board of Hepatology and liver Transplant Hepatology
Shehab Al-Dhafiri Head Section 2001- Dr. Shehab A. M. Al-Dhafiri FRCPC FRCP(C) – Canadian Board of Dermatology
2001- ABD – American Board of Dermatology Dermatology
Mahmoud Shorman Head Section American Board of Internal Medicine
American Board of Infectious Diseases
Certified in Infection Control by the Certification Board of infection control USA Infection Control
Yasir Shaikh Consultant 1990- Yasir Shaikh, MD Dermatology Consultant & Laser Surgery American Diploma of Dermatology (Boston University – USA)
1995- KFF Derma (KFU – KSA) Dermatology
Siddig Mohammed Hussain Ali Consultant MBBS-MD in Internal Meds, UNIV. OF KHARTOUM. MRCP/ SCE(Endocrine and DM) ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSCIAN [ UK ] LONDON Medicine
Usama Hussein Ismail Assistant Consultant 1986- MBBcH, Egypt
1995- Master Degree (MSc) in Cardiology, Egypt
2005- Medical Doctorate (MD), in Cardiology, Egypt. Cardiology
Hassan Yousef Faraj Consultant, Assistant Program Director Internal Medicine Residency M.B.,B.S, MD University of Zagreb
American Board of Internal Medicine Medicine
Azd AlamEddine Assistant Consultant 1997- Degree of Doctor of Medicine, Tishreen University-Syria.
2004- Master Degree internal Medicine
Board of Qualification & Training
2007- MRCPI Part1, Royal college of Physicians of Ireland Cardiology
Nagat Abdalla Mohammed Assistant Consultant MBBS
2006- MRCP Medicine
Gamil Mohammed Assistant Consultant 2000- MBBCH from Ain Shams University, Egypt
2005- Master in dermatology & venereology from Ain Shams University, Egypt Dermatology
Abeer Al-Mulla Chairwoman Medical Imaging Department 1998- MBBS
2003- Fellowship Radiology King Faisal University
2006- Fellowship program in Body Imaging Medical Imaging
Zakariya Al-Safran Consultant Intervention 1995- MBBS
1995- Fellowship King Fahad University
2002- Fellowship in Body Imaging and Interventional Radiology Medical Imaging
Ahmed Albuali Consultant 2008/2009- Cross Sectional Body Imaging Fellowship, McMaster University, Canada.
2009- Teaching & Learning Certificate – McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.
2009/2010- Emergency & Trauma Imaging Fellowship, University of British Columbia, Canada.
2010- Certificate of Frontline Leadership Program- Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver , Canada.
2011- PER-CT Functional Imaging Fellowship University of British Columbia, Canada. Medical Imaging
Fadhel Al-Molani Consultant 1996- MD
2004- Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR)
2005- Fellowship in Vascular and Body Interventional Radiology
2006- Fellowship in Diagnostic Neuroradiology
2010- Fellowship in Interventional Neuroradiology Medical Imaging
Noor Al-Naimy Consultant 1996- MBBS
2003- Fellowship in Radiology
2006- Fellowship Woman’s Imaging on Medical Imaging
Hind Hassan Assistant Consultant 1999- MBBS
2006- MRCP Medicine
Nihad Al-Mokhtar Assistant Consultant MBBS, CLINICAL MD UOF KHARTOUM. MRCP (UK) Medicine
Ahmed M. Aly Consultant 1995- MBBCH
2000- Master Degree, Cairo University
2006- Medical Doctorate, Cairo University
2006- Clinical Fellowship in Body Imaging, McGill University, Canada
2009- Clinical Fellowship in MSK Imaging, McGill University, Canada Medical Imaging
Ashraf Fawzy Consultant NM MBBCH Cairo University
Masters of Nuclear Medicine- Cairo University
Doctorate of Nuclear Medicine – Cairo University
Fellow of European Board of Nuclear Medicine
Certified Board of Nuclear Cardiology. Medical Imaging
Eyad Al-Absi Head of Nuclear Medicine
Consultant 2007- American Board of Radiology
2008- American Board of Nuclear Medicine Medical Imaging
Ebrahim A. Al-Hasan Consultant 1995- MD
2006- Chest Subspecialty Medical Imaging
Saif Al-Zaabi Consultant 1997- BHSc
2000- FRCPC – Diagnostic Radiology
2000- MD Medical Imaging
Husam Al-Muhaish Consultant 1997- MBBS
2004- SSC-RAD Saudi Board
2004- Jordanian Board in Radiology
2004- KFU- Fellowship Radiology
UBC –Fellowship in diagnostic Neuroradiology Medical Imaging
Abduljaleel Poovathum Consultant 1994- MBBS
2004- FRCP Medical Imaging
Wael Ibrhaim Hamied Assistant Consultant 1993- Bachelor in Medicine
1999- Master Degree
2008- PHD OF radiology Medical Imaging
Osama Sadiq Associate Consultant 1990- MBCHB Alexunder
1996- Master of Radiology Cairo
2008- FRCR Fellowship of the royal college of radiology in Lon, UK Medical Imaging
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