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November 30. 2013 1:16AM

Dangerous Iran deal: Weakening sanctions is senseless

Easing of international sanctions against Iran, which President Obama has agreed to, seems a very dangerous course, on so many levels. Iran is one of the most volatile and stridently extremist Muslim nations, and it is smack dab in the middle of the equally volatile Mideast. The level of concern is amply shown by the fact that Israel and Saudi Arabia, not exactly best friends forever, are alarmed by Obama's move.

Iran was quick to prove itself unreliable. Within days of Secretary of State John Kerry outlining the framework of an interim agreement, Iran was saying that half of what Kerry was saying is not what Iran had agreed to.

Nuclear experts say Iran is now quite close to achieving the level of uranium enrichment it needs to make some very big bombs. The fact, if it is fact, that it has agreed to slow or halt its enrichment procress for the moment means little.

The fact that the U.S. and the international community have ignored several U.N. Security Council resolutions that ordered Iran to abandon its enrichment activities is typical and also indicative of what lies ahead: Iran will obfuscate and violate while the U.S. and others wring their hands or look the other way.

This isn't a case, as in Iraq, where the U.S. was confident that weapons of mass destruction existed where they did not. In the present case, Iran acknowledges, even brags about its uranium-enrichment.

The U.S. and other Western countries had spent years convincing themselves to tighten economic sanctions on Iran.

It is clear that they were finally working, which is why Iran came to the table, seeking sanctions relief.

Now was the time to require proof of the rollback of its nuclear plans before any sanctions were loosened.

To bring this to a local, New Hampshire level: Will U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen march in lockstep with Obama on this as she has done on Obamacare, or will she exercise independent judgment, as some of her own Democratic colleagues are doing, and demand tougher sanctions?


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