The editors at the New York Times opine under the headline “Next Steps With Iran” that the U.S. “should reach out to” President-elect Hassan Rowhani and “put together a broader nuclear proposal” that “should include a process for acknowledging Iran’s right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under safeguards, limiting uranium enrichment and gradually lifting sanctions under tight conditions.”
The editors seem not to be cognizant of their own dissonance here. This is complete self-contradictory nonsense, for to acknowledge Iran’s right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is to acknowledge its “inalienable right” under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) to uranium enrichment, and, moreover, the sanctions against Iran are intended to punish it for its refusal to surrender this right by limiting its uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes.
What the Times is really saying in this editorial, translated from newspeak, is that the U.S. should go on punishing Iran with sanctions until it surrenders its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is actively inspecting its nuclear program and monitoring its uranium enrichment and has repeatedly affirmed that no nuclear material is being diverted to any military aspect of its program.
What it means by calling for the U.S. to “acknowledge Iran’s right to pursue nuclear energy”—which includes the right to enrich uranium towards that end—is that the U.S. should allow Iran to pursue nuclear energy, but only if it surrenders its right to enrich uranium and instead purchases the necessary nuclear fuel from the West.
And, of course, the nuclear issue is just a manufactured pretext by which the U.S. may pursue its policy goal of regime change in Iran, which it is attempting to do through sanctions by collectively punishing the civilian population in order to foment domestic unrest with the hopes that eventually they will rise up and overthrow their government.
U.S. policymakers, see, have learned nothing from Iraq. Or, perhaps the argument could be made that they learned quite a lot indeed, just all the wrong lessons.