Is it time for new sanctions against Iran?


The Iranian defence minister Ahmad Vahidi has warned that if Israel were to attack his country it would prompt the destruction of Israel. He said:
“If this [an Israeli attack] happens, which, of course, we do not foresee, its ultimate result would be to expedite the last breath of the Zionist regime”

His comments came after the Islamic Republic has test-fired their most advanced long-range missiles.  France has called the tests “provocative”.

Iran’s missiles can reach up to 2000km — potentially putting Israel and American bases in the Gulf within range. What do you make of this latest move?

Is this a show of defiance or are the protecting them self again potential threats? A Top Revolutionary Guard,Abdollah Araaqi, said “Iranian missiles are able to target any place that threatens Iriran_missile_range2an”.

The UK said the tests should not distract from international talks with Iran on its nuclear programme later this week and Russia urged restraint.

This blog says that Iran now has a powerful bargaining chip for Thursday’s meeting with the P5+1, So what’s the answer? Obama’s decision last week to scrap the missile defence shield in Europe is being viewed by others as a major blunder – they say he’s now lost a powerful negotiating tool with Iran. 

So what is the answer? More sanctions?

Or would that be, as US conservatives argue, too naïve?

46 Responses to “Is it time for new sanctions against Iran?”

  1. 1 anu_d
    September 28, 2009 at 10:58

    I would re-read the starting phrase of the blog as..
    “The West cranked up it’s dispute with Iran….on ground of it’s percieved rights to let US, UK, Russia, France, China, ISRAEL and India keep their nuclear weapons as the responsible and mature denizens of this plant……but prevent the deemed irresponsible and immature Iranians to handle tools of that require a level of sophistication, intelligence and maturity not found in the Iranians”

    a_D in Kuwait

    • 2 Vidal
      September 29, 2009 at 08:32

      You mensioned few countries with nuke, my guess you have problem with them having nuke forgetting that countries like pakistan, north Korea too have nuke. Maturity does not come by the region…people…colour..but i think the responsible way you handle issues, Iranian leadership are not responsible they need to be tought lesson

  2. 3 VictorK
    September 28, 2009 at 11:13



    The regime has forfeited its right to exist. It should be destroyed, along with the nuclear facilities. We (the West) should learn the lessons of Iraq & Afghanistan: military action should exclude sentimental liberal cant about bringing freedom & democracy to Iran, or nation-building, or winning Iranian hearts & minds, etc. Those are internal matters that don’t impinge on Western interests. We should destroy the regime & its nuclear plants simply to eliminate the prospect of a Middle Eastern nuclear war (the logical end to Iran’s constant threats to destroy Israel, and part of Shi’ite theology), and the possibility that Iran will provide portable nuclear devices to terrorists, devices that will detonate in Western cities.

    • 4 alan goodger
      October 20, 2009 at 21:00

      Iran has always been rattling it’s sabre’s even during the Iraqi war, unprovoked kidnapping of allied troops, seamen& yet it was’nt long before their forces were at loggerheads with Saddam hussain? now their off again threatening the stability around the region; One minute Israel should’nt exist.
      yes sanctions would’nt go a miss ;But would it stop those fanatics trying their hardest to cause trouble;It appears to be similar to Saddam’s antic’s with the inspectors went in to inspect their atomic research plants & everytime saddam kicked them until anough was anough he caused his own down fall as in most arab countries around the area, just has to have a go to show how powerful they
      are;therefore like predicting they come unstuck ;So yes sanctions first if they dont work then see what other options there are or maybe their government should seriously bring about a change to whom leads them& get someone who’s educated anough to see sense as at this momment in time, there are to many hot heads in power; Otherwise all you will get is bombers fanatics who think the answer lies in killings & all the time that continues there will No peace at all or Progress anywhere in that regionat all with poor qualitiy of life all concerned

  3. 5 James Ian
    September 28, 2009 at 12:02

    I just don’t see what anyone is going to be able to do about it? I don’t think anything can be done about it without starting a world wide war. The only thing we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

  4. 6 VictorK
    September 28, 2009 at 12:23

    @Ibrahim: Iran has interfered in the internal politics of Lebanon & has sponsored terrorism in that country, the Palestinian Authority, & Iraq. Though it has no quarrel with Israel, it’s constantly threatening that country’s destruction. It regards itself as the spearhead of a worldwide Islamic revolution, which makes it a threat to all established Muslim regimes. Even the Saudis – who have to live in the region & so appreciate the implications of Iranian hegemony – are reported to be willing to collude with Israel to rein in Tehran’s regional ambitions (as would Turkey, not to mention other Persian-hating Arab states)
    The Shah’s regime, of course, was far less brutal and much more civilised than the current Islamic dictatorship.
    It’s the Iranian regime, with its combination of infantilism, religious insanity, bellicosity, and terrorism that has brought on this crisis.

  5. 7 Nigel
    September 28, 2009 at 12:24

    Isreal does not admit to having a nuclear weapons even after Mordechai Vanunu blew the whistle about Dimona and they are allowed to get away with it. Having two nuclear powers in the region would be a step back so the obvious step forward would be to have BOTH Israel and Iran destroy their existing weapons and the means by which more could be built.

  6. 8 Craig
    September 28, 2009 at 12:30

    “the regime has forfeited its right to exist”

    By what measure does the government of any country forfeit it’s right to exist other than in the eyes of it’s own population? If the Iranian people will it, they can change the regime.

    The idea that destroying a country completely will serve our interests is sheer stupidity. Iran has US military bases in two of it’s neighbouring countries and the language of the US over the last couple of decades has been of overthrowing the Iranian government and actions have been taken in order to achieve that.

    So the Iranians are understandably threatened and therefore spen more on military R&D etc, then the US says they are warmongering and the Iranians get more threatened………..

    There is NO easy answer, but the start is for the two governments to talk to each other. Otherwise neither can ever know what the other is actually planning.

  7. 9 anu_d
    September 28, 2009 at 12:45

    4 VictorK
    September 28, 2009 at 12:23
    @Ibrahim: Iran has interfered in the internal politics of Lebanon & has sponsored terrorism in that country, the Palestinian Authority, & Iraq.

    ==>>@ Victor,

    So han’t US interferred ( but called it intervention or support) in the internal state of affairs, politcs, government or monarch yselection and diplomatic / military support in Afganistan, Pakistan, Saudi, Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon in the Middle East Region ( extended unto Pakistan).

    Us has the rights for such interventions…..and Iran does not ?

  8. 10 Dennis Junior
    September 28, 2009 at 13:11

    Yes, it is time for some new sanctions against Iran…..

    =Dennis Junior=

    • 11 Dennis Junior
      September 29, 2009 at 10:52

      The sanctions should be enacted at the EARLIEST possible time….And, with the consequences should be harshed enough to make the country realise that it needs to act to international norms…..

      =Dennis Junior=

  9. 12 Daan (The Hague) The Netherlands
    September 28, 2009 at 13:32

    I honestly don’t see why Iran should not have the right to produce nuclear arms. I can see why the west does not like the idea, nor do i, since i am opposed to nuclear arms to begin with. But why can other states keep and develop nuclear arsenals and at the same time judge Iran for aspiring a similar nuclear capability. In regards to a fitting response to Irans aspirations and actions i do not believe that sanctions are the answer, nor do i believe that a direct militairy response if Iran fails to stop its programme is realistic. What would happen if Iran cuts the oil flow to the west? Idle threats and clattering with arms will not scare the current regime. And further sanctions may possibly only hurt the civillian population and confirm the image of the west as the enemy, thus reducing the chance for a mentality change amongst Iran’s civillian population.

  10. 13 Dan
    September 28, 2009 at 13:40

    This matter deals with crime and the law so I think the issue to be dealt with should be the facts of the case and an explanation of what the law is rather than inviting people to express emotionally charged opinions. Do the Swiss have legal and moral responsibility to arrest him?

    It is only a few months ago that the world learned about a father who locked up her daughter in a dingy basement space for twenty something years, and repeatedly raped her, fathering several children. I guess, what most people are saying here is that that father looked more like a monster so nobody had sympathy for him but Polanski is an accomplished celebrity and so should be excused after decades on the run.

  11. 14 gary
    September 28, 2009 at 13:53

    New sanctions? Did any of the old sanctions work? I believe more is being made of Iran’s actions than is currently warranted. I honestly do not believe Iran has the expertise to produce functional devices without conducting tests, and these can’t be hidden. Waiting, talking and listening seem the prudent choices.

  12. 15 Peter Gizzi UK
    September 28, 2009 at 14:18

    With the help of The USA and The UK Israel got the bomb. They have the power to obliterate their neighbours but their neighbours are denied the right to defend themselves. All nuclear powers should begin reducing their weapons INCLUDING ISRAEL. There then might be a chance of peace?

  13. 17 Jennifer
    September 28, 2009 at 14:46

    Is Iran going to care about sanctions? I don’t think so. I think that they need to have their butt spanked; majorly. If you can’t behave rationally you don’t need access to nuclear weapons.

    If Iran wants to be a part of the international community they should first and foremost abide by the same rules as others. They have to stop denying facts; truth. If you listened to speeches from some at the U.N. they seem to be rooted in the past not dealing with current issues. This is a problem that Iran has that inhibits it from being seen in a positive way.

    Iran is out of control. But, now, who IS going to stop them? Maybe someone should have stopped them before they got to where they are now.

  14. 18 Ibrahim in UK
    September 28, 2009 at 14:51

    * The West has been obsessed with Irans oil since the 50s. The US and UK overthrew Iran’s democracy and replaced it with a dictatorship giving them access to Irans oil. Iran revolted and took back their oil. The West has been trying to regain Iran’s oil and dominance of the Middle East.

    * During the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam used WMD on Iran, but Iran never responded with the same despite having the ability and motive to. The regime is responsible with WMD, is signatory to NPT and is open to inspections.

    * Israel already has nukes, is not signatory to the NPT nor open to inspections, flaunts international laws, occupies Arab lands and acts disproportionately to threat. The West supports Israels position of occupation and nuclear non-cooperation while threatening Iran for less.

    This one-sided bias approach to the Middle East drives support away from the West and into the hands of anyone challenging the Wests dominance of the Middle East.

  15. 19 T
    September 28, 2009 at 14:52

    Sanctions are pointless. The big question is this: will the States attack Iran? OR, if Israel attacks Iran, will the States join them? Either way, since the U.S. is essentially bankrupt, how is The World’s Greatest President (Obama) going to pay for this invasion?

  16. 20 Ibrahim in UK
    September 28, 2009 at 15:20


    Thanks for responding to my original message (summarised in the above post because it was too long and removed).

    The West accusing Iran of interference (with a distinct lack of hard evidence) is the pot calling the kettle black. Israel occupies Palestine, and occupied Lebanon. The US occupies Iraq and Afghanistan and “owns” many of the Middle East dictators. How much more interfering can one get?
    Supporting groups which resist their occupiers is only interference/terrorism from a colonial view.

    If Iran were to submit to US demands by allowing the West to retake control of Iranian oil, and recognise Israel as the undisputed dominant power in the Middle East, then all its “infantilism, religious insanity, bellicosity, and terrorism” would be acceptable and rebranded. The question of nuclear weapons would disappear.

  17. September 28, 2009 at 15:32

    “I’m Not a Diplomat,” Says the General!
    TEHRAN – Hossein Salami head of the airborne division of the Revolutionary Guards said that he was ready to push the button last night. The Guards Corps takes its orders directly from Seyd Ali who recently stated: “Nuclear arms are against our creed,” but won’t budge on ‘suspension of uranium enrichment.’
    The October 1st meeting with 5+1 may delay action, but a showdown is inevitable although it is not clear who will pull the trigger!

  18. 22 Ibrahim in UK
    September 28, 2009 at 15:33


    Why is only Iran required to abide by the rules, when others blatantly and regularly flaunt them?

    We SUSPECT Iran might have a nuclear programe, we have sanctions on them.
    But we KNOW that Israel has nukes (beyond a nuclear programme). We know they are ignoring UN resolutions, we know they are occupying Arab land, we know they act disproportionately to their threats. These are all established by the UN. Where are the sanctions? Where is the criticism? Where are the demands that Israel “should first and foremost abide by the same rules as others. They have to stop denying facts; truth.”

    Again, it is this consistently biased and one-sided approach to the Middle East that changes the question from one of Irans nuclear threat, to one of Israels regional dominance at the expense of the Arabs.

  19. 23 Simon
    September 28, 2009 at 15:44

    put the shield in place and attack. religious extremists do not build missiles of mass destruction just to watch the paint dry on them. we outgun them by alot so strike now and put an end to all this once a for ALL. the world would be a better place

  20. 24 Jennifer
    September 28, 2009 at 15:58

    Re: We SUSPECT Iran might have a nuclear programe, we have sanctions on them.

    Um, I think there is no suspecting now…….

    Re: Why is only Iran required to abide by the rules, when others blatantly and regularly flaunt them?

    Iran is not a victim.

  21. 25 Bert
    September 28, 2009 at 16:06

    Let’s get real. Everyone is so carefully ignoring the elephant in the room.

    I do not see how this genie of nuclear weapons can be put back in the bottle. At the same time, what makes a nuclear-weaponed Iran a real global threat is that these guys have been shown to export their weapons to countries with Islamist suicidal maniacs.

    So, is it possible that no one can grasp such a simple idea? Any weapon in the hands of a suicidal maniac is bad news. Nuclear weapons would be inconceivably bad. That’s the long and the short of it.

  22. September 28, 2009 at 16:19

    Hi Ibrahim in UK
    Iran has gone over the edge. It will stop at nothing to get the bomb. The rest is history, killing time, diversion! The military build-up, arrests, imprisonment, torture and death of scores of opposition groups, journalists, political activists and students in Iran is irrefutable proof of tyranny and dictatorship.
    Ominously, 45 years after the Yum Kippur War, the world is faced with a menace which threatens Arabs and Israelis alike.

  23. September 28, 2009 at 17:59

    Iran has joined the nuclear club, like it or not. Only skilful negotiations will save the situation. Threats and counter-threats will exacerbate the whole situation. Sanctions will only harden the resolve of the Iranian leadership. Now is the time for hard-nosed diplomacy. Isolating the regime could only make the situation even worse. Russia and China should try to use their influence to bring the Iranians on board for constructive talks.

  24. 28 John in Salem
    September 28, 2009 at 18:05

    The U.S. refused to have any dialog with Iran for decades following the hostage crisis, much the same way we refused to talk with N. Korea, so I have to wonder where we get the moral authority to dictate anything to either of them. If they want to set up a “balance of terror” in the Middle East like the West had with Soviets for 50 years maybe we should let them – everyone understands what mutually assured destruction means, and only N. Korea is stupid enough to think it can sell weapons to terrorists and not be a target for those same weapons.
    If building settlements on occupied territories were equal to putting missiles in Cuba, one has to wonder how long it would continue without regard to objections.

  25. 29 Rob in Vancouver
    September 28, 2009 at 18:09

    The newly revealled facility is protected by anti aircraft weapons, and is burried in a mountain. It is under guard by the Republican Guard. This does not sound like the typical configuration for a facility to be used for civilian purposes.

    We have enough nuclear powers on this fragile planet. Yes, sanctions need to be applied. As one who lived in South Africa during sanctions, yes – they do work. They make the population question their leaders wisdom, and ultimately bring around an internal change.

    Another military adventure from a world tired of fighting will solve nothing. But economic and diplomatic isolation will work – eventually.

  26. 30 Joe F.
    September 28, 2009 at 19:16

    The world needs to step back and let Iran have their nuclear weapons. No, wait, hear me out. The world also needs to let Iran know that if they want to play with fire, they should expect to be burned. If Iran should one day decide to use their nukes on any neighboring country, then the whole of the world should come down on them like a hammer. Children who misuse their toys should know their are consequences when they do misuse them.

  27. 31 Tom K in Mpls
    September 28, 2009 at 21:23

    We should have nothing to do with Iran, either for or against. The same is true with Israel, and for the exact same reasons.

  28. 32 Kat in Vancouver
    September 28, 2009 at 21:34

    It sounds like Iran is taking a page out of North Korea’s play book. Threaten nuclear annihilation to get their demands met.

    With that said, looking at it from the Iranian’s perspective perhaps they MIGHT be trying to balance the power with Israel who has at least 20 nuclear weapons in undisclosed locations. Israel is the undercover nuclear threat in the region.

  29. 33 Kat in Vancouver
    September 28, 2009 at 21:40

    One last thing let’s look at how the Iranian’s got the nuclear technology in the first place from Mr. Eisenhower’s “1953 Atoms for Peace programme”.

  30. 34 Thomas Murray
    September 28, 2009 at 22:08

    Hey guys…

    The Bush administration has already squandered its political and military capital on an ill-advised invasion of Iraq and an intractible war in Afghanistan. (It’s not that we’re LOSING the war in Afghanistan, it’s just that the insurgency there will NEVER give up;– Jihad is like a major paying industry to them.)

    Iran’s push to develop strategic missiles is exactly for the same reason Sadam Hussein didn’t want to admit to NOT having any weapons of mass destruction. The middle east is a dangerous place for everyone in it, so one must understand Iran’s desire to defend itself agains hostile neighbors.

    No. I don’t want to live under an Islamic state, either. But if the western world keeps up its attitude of unrelenting belligerence — toward Iran, or EVERYONE else — I can forsee a scenario in which western opinion about the matter will no longer have any relevance — if indeed it still has any now.

    –Shaking My Finger at You from Louisville, Kentucky, US.

    P.S. I really got distracted by that Polanski thing. I’m a film nut and I think “Chinatown” — one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of the ’70s — transcends the weakness of the flesh. But that’s just my opinion. –TMM.

  31. September 29, 2009 at 04:24

    Well the threat has been magnified at the beginning of this week and As the US and other western nation say really its a threat to the whole world. Pakistan, North Korea and now Iran has become one of the worst access to evil. The public pressure and the adamant character of Ahamadinejad to leave the throne is really a grave signal to Iran. People in Iran are used to the sanctions and its advisable to the western forces to remove Iran from all international memberships and isolate them.

  32. 36 T
    September 29, 2009 at 04:44

    Obama and the West are in no position to impose new sanctions on Iran:

    The States consume a huge percentage of the global oil supply. This leaves the rest of world with high gas prices. The States already have growing inflation and a falling dollar. If Iran cuts their oil supply, where will Obama make up the difference? Also, endlessly buying U.S. is going to end. What will he do then?

  33. 37 VictorK
    September 29, 2009 at 09:08

    I noticed that you’d changed the subject heading yesterday.

    Military action against the regime is needed, not sanctions.

  34. 38 Samuel
    September 29, 2009 at 12:21

    The US loves to impose sanctions. Why don’t they impose sanctions on themselves?
    Iran is not Iraq or Afghanistan Mr.Obama, that is the difference.

  35. 39 scmehta
    September 29, 2009 at 14:03

    Yes, it is time to impose new sanctions against Iran; not because of its test-firing the long-range missiles, but because of its arrogance and secretive nuclear ambitions, which don’t appear to be peaceful.

  36. 40 Alex Kiss
    September 29, 2009 at 14:11

    VictorK – You’re American right?

    That much was clear in your “bomb everyone and kick the butt of the bits left over,” attitude.

    When will you people learn that the bark of muslim leaders the world over is far worse than their bite? But no, you overreact, every time, and then force them to back up their bluster with action.

    The best response to Iran is just ignore them until they REALLY present a threat to you. Which I doubt will happen.

    Ordinary Iranians seem to be educated, peaceful and enlightened, and eventually they will kick out their extremist leadership.

    Mr Armani Dinnerjacket deserves ridicule, not sanctions.

  37. 41 Tom K in Mpls
    September 29, 2009 at 14:29

    The question of Iran having nukes is meaningless if they can’t be delivered. Iran has just proven how weak their delivery systems are. They do have some short range ballistic missiles. These are hard to stop and present a fallout danger to the launcher. They do have some medium range ballistic missiles. These are fairly easy to stop. The long range missiles are the easiest of all to stop.

    Now if they could launch cruise missiles from a submarine, then they would be a threat.

  38. 42 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    September 29, 2009 at 14:47

    Has anybody ever considered the possibility that Iran may actually already have the bomb? Intelligence reports have been wrong before. Other countries that have recently acquired nukes did not advertise the fact on the www, did they? If Iran is pushed too far to the wall, could it not conceivably respond by detonating one little nuke in some sensitive place? Afterall, it seems that for any country to gain any respectability, it must have the capacity to kill thousands and millions in one blast. It is therefore only natural that the Islamic Republic of Iran should seek to purchase such respect through getting that ultimate symbol of “manhood”. If I were one of Iran’s leaders, I would probably support efforts in that direction despite my disgust that any country should possess such means of mass death. So the only countries entitle to lecture Iran on nuclear weapons and to impose sanctions, are those that DO NOT have the weapon, not the hypocritcal “west”.

  39. 43 Tom D Ford
    September 29, 2009 at 16:00

    Time for new sanctions?

    How about taking a look back over what has resulted from the old sanctions already in place?

    They have enabled a conservative religious government to firmly entrench itself to the disadvantage of The People of Iran.

    They have resulted in a drive to develop nuclear power because they can’t develop their oil fields, refineries, and pipelines in order to benefit from Oil products as energy and to sell their Oil products and make money internationally.

    They have resulted in developing a second uranium enrichment facility in secret, likely out of fear that Israel will bomb the first facility like they did that nuclear plant a few years ago.

    So. What would the new sanctions be and what is their predicted future effect on the People of Iran?

  40. 44 John LaGrua/New York
    September 29, 2009 at 19:03

    Sanctions are counterproductive as they only stiffen resolve.. If,indeed the Iranains are developing nukes it may well be to counter the threat from Isreal who has raised the ante by it’s nuclear weapons Ben Gurion inititated the nuclear arms race in the Mid -East realizing that with a nuclear hegemony Isreal could carry out it’s plan to expunge the Palestinian presence from the sea to the Jordan and frustrate any serious Arab military reaction.Iran will not be deterred by threats and the US should reject the war hawks drum beat .for conflict .5000 US dead in Iraq ,50000 badly wounded are a terrible price for Bush stupidity and guilibility.Inflammatory speaches and reports by Isreal should not prevent Obama from pursuing a regional solution to Arab -Isreali problems and patiently moving toward a rapproachmont with Iran.as in the best interest of the US.and world peace.

  41. 45 viola
    September 30, 2009 at 01:15

    Too bad nobody seems to understand that the U.S. is only one of many countries in the world that value stability and is trying very hard to find the best way to achieve it and having a tough time of it.

    I’ve heard a lot about the exquisite manners of Islamic cultures and would like to say that threatening your neighbors with extinction is very poor manners in my humble opinion. I would take them at their word if someone were to tell me he wants to kill me. Couldn’t afford not to in case he really means it. Wish Ahmadinejad understood that.

  42. 46 subra
    September 30, 2009 at 19:09

    When the outside world is remaining passive and only talking of sanctions, The Ayatollas in Iran are flexing their muscles and threatening Israel and US with their missile and nukes. They forget Saddam Hussein also adopted the same belligerent spirit but when America invaded Iraq he ran into a rat hole and hid for months. Ahmadinejad may be you’ll do better than Saddam and not run in the same rat hole.

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