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September 16, 2008

What Do We Have to Look Forward to?

With the presidential election only 7 weeks away it appears to be a good time to ask: What changes on Iran policy do we have to look forward to respectively with each of the candidates and their running mates?

Obama has taken a firm but realistic approach to an Iran strategy noting that a nuclear Iran would be a threat to us all, however we have certainly not exhausted our options for diplomacy. He believes that military action cannot be discarded as an option but has said that it should be put aside until all other paths have become obsolete. Furthermore, Obama is a proponent of high level diplomacy with Iran without preconditions.

Obama’s running mate Joe Biden has been accused of being soft on Iran. Driven by a belief that “we’re on the course of unintended consequences” he is a strong supporter of opening up diplomatic channels with Iran. Additionally, Biden believes that in order to reach a stage where open, transparent diplomacy would be possible, we must first address a non-aggression pact with Iran.

McCain, on the other hand, has repeatedly stated that unconditional diplomacy with Iran would show “weakness” and therefore cannot be made a policy option. He supports pre-emptive military strikes and the use of sanctions. He does however believe that military action in Iran, if necessary, would require some congressional consideration.

His running mate, Sarah Palin is frighteningly less educated about the Iran issue. She strongly supports Israel in their “defensive” posture against Iran. Biblical citations are not off limits to Palin when attempting to make a point as is evidenced in an interview with ABC where she claims “let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side…I do believe, though, that this war against extreme Islamic terrorists is the right thing.

It seems as though the candidates could not be more evenly split over the Iran issue. When the time comes to make your decision, do yourself a favor and make it an informed one.

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