United States should calm down on Iran

Yesterday, former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani announced Iran has enriched uranium for the first time – a huge development as the country hints at pursuing a nuclear weapons program. The United States needs to keep its eye on this situation, but seeking military options to handle Iran at this point in the game could be tragic.

In the latest issue of New Yorker magazine, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported the Bush administration is planning an attack on Iran to bring about another regime change in the world. Although invading Iran is probably unlikely in the near future, even considering striking Iran could be tragic for the United States.

President Bush has downplayed Hersh’s article stating the United States wants to handle Iran through diplomacy. He went on to call the report “wild speculation,” according to the Agence France-Presse.

In another article by the AFP, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw used similar language to address the Iran issue.

“The idea of a nuclear strike on Iran is completely nuts,” Straw said.

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll indicates President Bush’s approval rating has dropped to 38 percent – the lowest since Bush took office. The American public is already having difficulty supporting the current war in Iraq. Does the White House expect this country to support another war?

President Bush and several State Department officials said the United States will use diplomacy first to handle Iran. But in light of how we blundered in Iraq, our country can’t afford to do this alone.

The United States has had terrible relations with Iran since a fundamentalist regime took place there in 1979. It’s hard to negotiate with a country that we barely even know. Our intelligence resources on that country are terrible.

The U.N. Security Council, European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency have much more leverage to talk to Iran than we do. These organizations have already been handling the Iranian situation much better than we have. IAEA President Mohammed El Baradei was in Iran this week reviewing the country’s latest developments.

The United Nations Security Council has already demanded Iran stop all its uranium-enrichment programs and open all its nuclear facilities to IAEA inspections by April 28. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already rejected the demand, stating his country has rights to nuclear research.

We know the Bush Administration isn’t a big fan of working with organizations such as the United Nations and IAEA. But we really don’t have a choice. They are much more knowledgeable in addressing this situation than we are.

But there is a deeper reason why attacking Iran could be tragic. Brewing inside Iran for a while has been a huge democratic movement – led mostly by college students fed-up with the regime. Ahmadinejad knows he can’t control this movement for much longer.

Many analysts have wondered if Iran is puffing up its nuclear claims just to irritate the rest of the world. If the United States attacks Iran, Ahmadinejad could rally support by tapping into his people’s anti-West sentiments.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.