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President Obama must keep the pressure on Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions / Mistakes made in Korea could be catastrophic if repeated in the Mideast (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL) 04/15/12)Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/president-obama-pressure-iran-drop-nuclear-ambitions-article-1.1061497 NEW YORK DAILY NEWS NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Fresh from watching North Korea defiantly launch a doomed missile, an American delegation dispatched by President Obama today joins an umpteenth round of nuclear negotiations with Iran.

The two events are inextricably linked. Should Obama treat the mad mullahs as he did the loon in Pyongyang, the consequences for world peace could be dire indeed.

Put bluntly, Obama blew it by committing to deliver 240,000 metric tons of desperately needed food aid to North Korea based solely on a diplomatís word that Kim Jong Un would, of course, refrain from testing a missile and would, of course, stand down from testing a nuclear device.

And up went Kimís rocket like a middle finger to a U.S. President whose aides were left to claim with straight faces that Obama had done well compared with his predecessors in that he hadnít yet delivered the food.

There is no room for such a blunder in Obamaís faceoff with Tehran. Not when the Iranian government is moving ever closer to nuclear capability. Not when Israel is being forced to the brink of a self- defensive strike. Not when Obama has said ďI donít bluffĒ on declaring it unacceptable for Iran to get a nuke.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have bought time to enrich uranium, hone weapons technology and move labs and production facilities into bunkers by engaging in dead-end negotiations.

Many believe Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have returned to the table to discuss matters further because the U.S. and most of the world have finally applied economic sanctions with bite. Perhaps so, perhaps not.

It is clear, though, that the value of the countryís currency has plummeted, oil production is way down and food and housing prices are through the roof. Even tougher sanctions are set to come in July.

Congress, by the way, was the driving force behind the squeeze, not Obama.

Now, the President must start leading from the front. This is the time to ratchet sanctions up, not down. This is the time to refuse half measures. This is the time to force Iran to stop, not just slow down. The stakes are too high for anything less.

The worst possible outcome would be for Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to announce a breakthrough, prematurely loosen the vise and then discover that Ahmadinejad is still headed toward a missile that, unlike Kimís, would be fully capable of hitting targets.

Bunkers closed. Enrichment stopped. Uranium stores shipped out. Total. Irrevocable. Fully verified and fully verifiable for years to come. (© Copyright 2012 NYDailyNews.com. 04/15/12)

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