Friday, January 30, 2004

Relations with Iran?

Drudge had this story today, but I though I would briefly remark on it:

Iran is considering admitting a U.S. congressional delegation in what would be the first official U.S. visit since Iran's 1979 revolution.

[...]

Regarding Iran, guests at a bipartisan dinner in the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday for Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammed Javad Zarif, said firm dates were discussed for visits by congressional aides as early as Feb. 11, to be followed by members of Congress.

Zarif said in a telephone interview Thursday that no dates had been set, but added, "I hope to be able to see this happen." Iran rebuffed a proposed visit earlier this month by Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., but allowed U.S. military planes to deliver aid after a devastating earthquake in the ancient city of Bam.

[...]

Both sides have much to gain from better relations. The Bush administration wants Iran to give up a suspected nuclear bomb program, to extradite al-Qaeda detainees, stop supporting anti-Israeli militants and assist Iraq's political transition. A majority Shiite Muslim nation, Iran has influence on Iraq's Shiite majority and could help — or disrupt — the transition from U.S. occupation to Iraqi rule.

Iran wants the United States to lift sanctions that prevent investment in Iran's oil industry and most trade with the United States.

What I wonder is why would we want to restore relations? Sure, the above article mentions that we hope to get Iran to halt its nuclear program, but that quite simply is not a reasonable goal. Iran wants to assert itself as a regional military power on the same level as Israel and can't do it without nuclear weapons. Iran has already placed an extreme amount of capital, monetarily and otherwise, in this "project" and realizes that if it has nuclear weapons it will have a much more powerful international voice. The US can't possibly do anything to ease these ambitions. In addition, the article states that the US wants Iran to stop its support of "anti-Israeli militants." The Mullahs that run Iran firmly believe that Israel has no right to even exist. This is a fundamental part of the world view and belief system. We're going to talk them out of that? In short, Iran is building nuclear weapons (no mater what the IAEA thinks), supports terrorist groups with money, supplies, and safe-harbor, demonizes the US and Israel and every opportunity, and brutally assaults and kills those who support a democratic Iran. And to think that the US would greatly benefit from Iranian oil is silly. The global oil market is more than sufficient to meet the needs of the world, let alone the US. Even a flood of Iranian oil in to the US would only bring the price of oil down an infinitesimal amount.

Restoring relations with Iran is bad policy and the US has nothing to gain from it.


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