web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

A “financial war” against Tehran would be the most humane way of avoiding a nuclear one

.

Photo Credit: Flash 90

The 21st of November 2011 was a good day for the Iranian people and a bad one for the Iranian regime: The UN General Assembly condemned human rights violations in Iran, the USA reinforced its sanctions on the Iranian oil and petrochemical industries, Canada banned transactions with the Iranian Central Bank, France called for an end to purchases of Iranian oil and the UK suspended all financial cooperation with Iran with immediate effect.

 

Missing from this list, however, are Germany and the EU.

 

On the 8th of November the body empowered by the UN to deal with such matters, the IAEA, brought forward unambiguous evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. On 14 November the EU Foreign Ministers met to discuss their response to the IAEA report and decided… nothing, apart from to postpone a decision until 1 December. This failure and the subsequent unilateral steps and statements by London and Paris show the divisions within and the impotence of EU foreign policy in this area.

 

In a communiqué of 21 November, France’s President Sarkozy described the actions of the Iranian regime as “a grave and urgent threat to peace“. “In addition to the unacceptable risk of nuclear proliferation, they could spark a military escalation in the region with catastrophic consequences for Iran and for the world.”

 

A threat of this magnitude calls not for prevarication, but swift and strong action: every day that passes without massive Western pressure increases the likelihood of a military strike against Iran. So what can be done?

 

There are three possible courses of action.

 

Firstly, the world can take non-military measures similar to those adopted by the UK: sanctions on the Iranian state bank and a severing of all financial ties with Iran. While this would not halt Iranian oil exports, which provide the bulk of the funding for the nuclear program, the lack of financial means would have a devastating impact.

 

Such a step would, of course, entail certain risks such as a possible rise in oil prices and a deepening of the Iranian economic crisis. It would, however, correspond to Chapter VII, Article 41 of the UN Charter which lists various non-military means that the Security Council can use against countries in breach of its resolutions, including “complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations”.

 

Secondly, the world can await the predictable preventive attack by United States and/or Israeli forces on the Iranian nuclear installations. The risks attendant on a military intervention are, however, far higher than those of an embargo on Iranian financial transactions.

 

Thirdly, the world can allow the Iranian bomb to be built. This, however, means accepting not only risks, but catastrophes and would sharply increase the threat of a future nuclear conflict, not only because it would spur a regional nuclear arms race, but also because the nuclear-armed regime would be unlikely to allow itself to be disarmed or deprived of power without using its nuclear capabilities. The world would then have to decide whether to make further concessions to the expansionist fanatics in Teheran or confront them, but now at an immensely higher price.

 

Just as the shots in Sarajevo in 1914 ushered in the catastrophes of the 20th century, the Iranian bomb would be the herald of the coming disasters of the 21st.

 

A number of states, notably Russia, China and some EU states including Sweden, Finland and Germany may seem to have embarked on a “fourth way”. They oppose not only the Iranian bomb, but also the “new sanctions of unprecedented magnitude“ advocated by France. They reject any thought of a military strike even more vehemently. However, to block both an Israeli-American military strike and stronger sanctions amounts to nothing more than an acceptance of the Iranian bomb.

 

As regards the Chinese attitude, according to the Atlantic Council, “While China would prefer Iran not to develop nuclear weapons … China does not feel threatened by the prospect of a nuclear weapons-capable Iran. … Some elements in the Chinese defense establishment would actually prefer a nuclear Iran … if that compels the United States to retain substantial military forces in the Gulf rather than East Asia.” (Barbara Slavin, Iran Turns to China, Barter to Survive Sanctions, November 2011).

 

Similar considerations may be in work in the Kremlin.

 

Germany, meanwhile, is finding it difficult to break free from its traditional friendship with Teheran. As the German ambassador to Iran recently put it, “There are not many peoples who have for centuries maintained such lively relations as the Germans and Iranians, in the process developing friendship, trust and close ties. This is a historical treasure that should be preserved.“ (Bernd Erbel, Ansprache zum Tag der Deutschen Einheit in Teheran, 3. 10. 2011)

About the Author: Küntzel is an external research associate at the Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a member of the Board of Directors of the German chapter of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME). Matthias holds a tenured part-time position as a teacher of political science at a technical college in Hamburg, Germany.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A “financial war” against Tehran would be the most humane way of avoiding a nuclear one”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A look inside the IAF war room
IDF to Stop Persecution of Observant Soldiers With Beards
Latest Indepth Stories
Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Chaim Koren presents his credentials to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, at the presidential palace in Cairo.

Egypt’s al-Sisi is in an expansionist mood. He wants Israel’s permission to take over Judea and Samaria.

Looters in Ferguson wore masks to avoid being identified -- but the kafiyehs worn by some provided a clue to possible identities.

Cries of justice for Michael Brown drowned out any call for justice for Police Officer Daryl Wilson.

got your back

Cloistered captain Obama, touts his talents and has the temerity to taunt Bibi,his besieged ally

Gush-Katif-082412

Former PM Ariel Sharon succinctly said, “the fate of Netzarim (Gush Katif) is the fate of Tel-Aviv.”

“What’s a line between friends?”

Unrest in YESHA and J’m helps Abbas and Abdullah defuse anger, gain politically and appear moderates

A “Shliach” means to do acts with complete devotion and dedication in order to help bring Moshiach.

The pogroms in Chevron took place eighty five years ago, in 1929; the Holocaust began seventy-five years ago in 1939; the joint attack of Israel’s neighbors against the Jewish State of Israel happened sixty-six years ago… yet, world history of anti-Semitism did not stop there, but continues until today. Yes, the primitive reality of Jews […]

“We don’t just care for the children; we make sure they have the best quality of life.”

“Why do people get complacent with the things they’re told?”

Arab opposition to a Jewish State of any size was made known by word and deed in the form of terror

Operation Moses: First time in history that non-blacks came to Africa to free blacks from oppression

As Arabs murder and maim Jews, Jordan’s leaders bark the blood libel of “Israeli aggression.”

Perhaps attacking a terrorist’s legacy broadly and publicly would dissuade others from terrorism?

R’ Aryeh yelled “Run, I’ll fight!” Using a chair against terrorists to buy time so others could flee

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

More Articles from Matthias Küntzel
Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini

Let me please start with Fanny Englard, an active survivor of the Holocaust and a friend of mine. She grew up in Germany/Cologne and lives now south of Tel Aviv. Fanny wrote in a letter: “As a twenty-year-old, on 8 May 1945 I was liberated from hell and tried to find my family, but without […]

Nuclear

Is the German government going to consider 0.5% of Germany’s exports more important than solidarity with the West and the special relationship with Israel?

A threat of this magnitude calls not for prevarication, but swift and strong action: every day that passes without massive Western pressure increases the likelihood of a military strike against Iran.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-financial-war-against-tehran-would-be-the-most-humane-way-of-avoiding-a-nuclear-one/2011/12/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: