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Third round of sanctions against Iran amplifies the need for a new Iran approach

Press Release by National Iranian American Council (NIAC)


Washington, DC, March 3, 2008 - The newest UN Security Council Resolution will not solve the nuclear standoff with between Iran, according to the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

"The sanctions path is not leading anywhere," said Trita Parsi, President of NIAC. "Sanctions for the sake of sanctions signals neither strength nor determination. It only reveals strategic paralysis."

The standoff between the US and Iran has ended up in a stalemate with Washington pursuing pressure through the UN Security Council. Most analysts agree, however, that Iran's nuclear program is progressing faster than the West can muster pressure on Tehran.

According to Parsi, it is time for the international community to start exploring alternative strategies.

"We need to recognize the limitations of the sanctions path and reevaluate the zero-enrichment objective," said Parsi. "Instead of intensifying a failed policy, we should think about how we can prevent an Iranian bomb even if Iran enriches uranium."

The Bush Administration has assumed that enrichment equals weaponization, arguing that Iranian control of the fuel cycle provides Tehran with a virtual nuclear bomb. This approach, however, ignores alternative strategies that can prevent an Iranian bomb.

"The assumption that uranium enrichment equals weaponization deprives us of opportunities to explore a wide range of solutions aimed at limiting Iran's nuclear program, since elimination is no longer a viable option," Parsi said.

The third round of UN sanctions passed Monday with a 14-0 vote (Indonesia abstained). The resolution, which is sponsored by France and Great Britain, is the first to ban trade with Iran in goods which have both civilian and military use. The resolution also calls for financial monitoring of two banks with suspected links to proliferation activities, Bank Melli and Bank Saderat.

The sanctions come in the wake of last week's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, which cites "good progress" in clarifying the outstanding issues in Iran's nuclear dossier.

"The US needs to make a new diplomatic move to regain the initiative, instead of responding to Tehran's maneuvering," said Parsi. "The first step is to set aside any preconditions for negotiations over the nuclear issue."


About NIAC:
Founded in early 2002, the National Iranian-American Council is a non-partisan, non-political, non-sectarian, and non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Iranian-American participation in American civic life.

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