A US think tank has warned that diplomacy would not stop Iran’s nuclear program and that harsher sanctions against Tehran should be adopted, a move that could drive a wedge between the White House and Germany.
US President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to “do everything that is required” to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, including harsher sanctions and, if necessary, military action.
From: Deutsche Welle
“The diplomatic path is not promising,” Middle East expert James Phillips of the conservative US Heritage Foundation wrote, according to the DPA news agency. A carrot-and-stick policy towards Iran holds little hope, he added, because “for Iran, a nuclear weapon is the biggest carrot.”
Phillips warned Obama against meeting with Iranian leaders, and said he believed Tehran would use the event for propaganda and delay tactics. He said Iran was not interested in dialogue and reconciliation with with it calls “the Great Satan.”
Iran’s real Achilles’ heel, he said, was its economy, adding that if hurt by harsher sanctions, the rule of Iran’s fundamentalists could be seriously challenged.
But a new round of sanctions risks magnifying the diverging interests between the US and its allies such as Germany, which still has firm financial connections with Iranian banks and which continues to do business with the Islamic republic of around 70 million inhabitants. In fact, some 75 percent of all medium and small businesses in Iran use German-made equipment.