Sanction Iran now

Tougher sanctions on Iran will make the world a safer place.

by Samantha Bass

I would like to begin this column by saying how grateful I am âÄî not only as a student, but also as a U.S. citizen âÄî that the Senate and House have both passed legislation that will impose sanctions on Iran. When merged into one document, this joint bill will significantly limit IranâÄôs ability to import refined petroleum resources. Under the new bills, U.S. companies would be banned from working with IranâÄôs energy sector. U.S. sanctions against Iran are especially timely given IranâÄôs escalation of military activity and displays of power in the region and the upcoming Nuclear Non-Proliferation Conference. On April 25, IranâÄôs Revolutionary Guards test-fired five missiles in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. While Iran often shows off new weaponry advances in order to threaten other countries, this most recent maneuver is far more menacing. Approximately 40 percent of the worldâÄôs traded oil departs through the Strait of Hormuz. Therefore, IranâÄôs recent activity indicates that Iran is more than capable of causing great harm to the entire globe. IranâÄôs not-so-subtle threat comes only a week before the U.N.âÄôs review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which begins Monday at U.N. Headquarters in New York. The treaty stipulates that a review must be held every five years, and the pervious one occurred in 2005. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be a featured speaker at the event and is expected to call attention to nuclear weapons in nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Israel. He is also likely to reiterate IranâÄôs need for nuclear technology as a source of energy. Yet IranâÄôs status quo to date does not align with AhmadinejadâÄôs alleged desire for peace and development. IranâÄôs missile practices in the Gulf are proof. Iran has repeatedly called for IsraelâÄôs destruction and denies that the Holocaust ever happened. In addition, Iran continues to fund terrorism by giving an estimated $100 million to $200 million per year to Hezbollah. Along with Syria, Iran provides the terrorist organization with rockets and missiles. According to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the Washington Post, âÄúWe are at a point now where Hezbollah has far more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world.âÄù IranâÄôs leaders have chosen how they wish to spend their nationâÄôs time, money and energy, and all arrows point to the direction of violence and war. MondayâÄôs nuclear conference presents an opportunity for the worldâÄôs leaders to act on IranâÄôs threats by imposing more sanctions on Iran. The United States is expected to push a fourth round of sanctions against Iran aimed at halting uranium enrichment, and I hope the U.N. passes these sanctions. If Iran is capable of causing so much destruction in the Middle East without nuclear weaponry, imagine what will happen a few years from now when it develops nuclear weapons. Now is not the time to be waltzing with Iran. Now is the time to act with sanctions. Samantha Bass, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, University undergraduate student