November Surprise – Obama Sanctions Force Shutdown of Iranian Nuclear Program

The right-wing’s largest bogeyman against the President over the past years have been regular calls to take a harsher, war-like line with Iran. They claim that Obama has been too soft on the Iranians.

They prepared for a speech at the UN where the President of Iran came out to verbally attack the US, and found themselves dumbfounded when he came bearing an olive branch. They claimed the Iranians would stop at nothing to world domination, only to have rumors of talks between our nations leak out.

To the right-wing, Iran was the devil itself, something to bring up in order to pound the war drum. It did not matter that they could not find the nation on map, it was the enemy and they were marching to war.

To Mitt Romney’s rhetoric, the sanctions were meaningless, that Iran was “spinning its centrifuges” to making a bomb. It was only a matter of time. Vote for Romney or else Iran would have a nuclear device virtually overnight.

Today, the Iranian Foreign Policy and National Security Commission of Parliament Mohammad Hossein Asfari told the Iranian Student’s News Agency, the second largest news organization in the nation, that Iran was shutting down their centrifuges, suspending its entire nuclear program, as a symbol of “good will.”

In the discussion, Mohammad admitted that the sanctions have been crippling to the Iranian people. With their trade effectively shut off, the exchange rate for their currency was slashed by over 80%, and continuing to plummet. The nation was facing crucial shortfalls of crucial goods, from wheat, flour, sugar, and red meat, as well as aluminum and steel. The sanctions have effectively turned Iran into an international pariah.

Nuclear development is not something you can just suspend and restart at will. The materials degrade, decompose, and pollute themselves over time. Any successful nuclear program requires continuous active development. Once a program is shut down, in effect it will need to be restarted from scratch. Years of effort, gone.

The Obama sanctions have restored balance to the region.

Western shipping companies no longer trade with Iran. Land routes are cut off. Iran is isolated in a way never before imagined by its leadership. And in this grand game of diplomatic chess, the Iranian government has just surrendered its king.

This step by the Iranian government is a step forward in the rejoining of the world community that they had turned their back on. The pursuit of diplomatic avenues first, rather than war footing, by the Obama administration has delivered results that the previous administration never could. And now, with Iran’s shutdown of its nuclear program, the re-establishment of normal relations with Iran may be restored.

Historically, Iran has been the United States’ strongest ally in the region. Our history of diplomatic friendship with the nation dates back over 200 years. It was the United States backing of the Shah, and his dictatorship, which brought about the current antagonistic relationship.

I hope that by the time my son is of age, he can visit with friends from our once-ally, and to visit the ancient land of Zoraster, or Xerxes, ancient Persia – modern day Iran.

The winds of change are blowing, and they are joyeous winds indeed.

UPDATE – Iran this morning has partially backtracked on this step, as claimed by UK’s The Guardian newspaper. Today Mohammad Hassan Asafari is now stating that they are prepared to shut down, but have not yet shut down enrichment, but did have this to say:

…as announced previously, Tehran is ready to temporarily supply its need for 20%-enriched uranium for its 5-megawatt Tehran [Research] Reactor from abroad if the sanctions are lifted.

A positive step in relations between the two nations.