Analysis on Iran: Little time left for sanctions

Recent shrill statements by Iran's President Ahmadinejad threatening to "wipe Israel off the map" have heightened awareness of the dangers.

December 2, 2005 01:48
3 minute read.
iran's Ahmadinejad portrait 298.88

Ahmadinejad 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


In September, after a promising move by the International Atomic Energy Agency declaring Iran to be in "non-compliance" with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it looked like the US and Europe were finally taking some action. But over two months have passed, and the issue has not even been raised in the UN Security Council. As a result, there is still no serious consideration of sanctions or other pressures that might end Iran's quest short of the finish line. As time runs out, the potential for a military strike is therefore getting more attention. The recent shrill statements by new Iranian President Ahmadinejad threatening to "wipe Israel off the map" and the cross-border attacks by Hizbullah, Iran's Lebanon-based ally, have heightened awareness of the dangers. World leaders and even the UN have said all of the right things in condemnation, but they have not acted. Last week, a new Russian initiative designed to give Iran a graceful way out by agreeing to enrich uranium in Russia was the pretense for yet another delay in bringing the issue to the Security Council. Like the Europeans, Russian and Chinese leaders are finally waking up to the serious threat they would face if Iran becomes a nuclear power, but time is running out. This is also the message delivered this week by OC Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aharon Ze'evi (Farkash) and reiterated by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The diplomatic approach has been tried for years, without results, and the deadline is now here. Ahmadinejad's genocidal rhetoric has demonstrated the futility of hopes for a stable deterrence relationship with a nuclear-armed Iran. In this framework, a limited military option based on air strikes against major targets, possibly via a combined NATO-type force to demonstrate the international support, is slowly gaining currency. A unilateral Israeli operation would only be launched as a last resort, when every other avenue has failed. But in raising the specter of military action, Sharon and Farkash are also telling the major powers that they will have to act firmly and quickly to avoid such a confrontation. There is still a short time in which to try using sanctions, based on concerted action by the Security Council. This may also turn out to have little impact on Iran, but a serious effort needs to be made to avoid the need for the use of force. Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg is the director of the Program on Conflict Management at Bar-Ilan University

Related Content

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
June 16, 2019
U.S. does not want war with Iran, continues diplomacy


Cookie Settings