Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama at the second presidential campaign debate in Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
Does Iran Have an "Inalienable Right" to Enrich Uranium?
Emily B. Landau of the Institute of National Security Studies takes a close look at a long-held Iranian claim.
The right of Iran – or any other nonnuclear state – to pursue nuclear energy, including uranium enrichment activities, is not absolute. According to the NPT, this right is explicitly conditional. Iran's ongoing claim to an inalienable right is based on a partial reading of the relevant clause in Article IV of the NPT. What the continuation of the critical sentence clarifies is that the right to nuclear energy – including enrichment activities – is contingent upon upholding Articles I and II of the treaty, including the stipulation that states not manufacture nuclear weapons.
Obama-Romney III: All About Projection
The candidate who can portray himself as the most responsible when it comes to dealing with international challenges such as Iran, writes Michael Tomasky in the Daily Beast.
But if you’re talking about a powder keg whose contents include Iran, Syria, and Israel, you’re talking about quite a keg indeed, and these are all questions that are going to have be, I hate to say it, “settled” in one way or another in the next four years. These all can be settled without war. But several fortuities have to happen for that to be the case. And a nuclear Iran can be contained—the mullahs know what would happen to their country if they used a weapon. But Barack Obama has basically ruled containment out, and Mitt Romney certainly has. It’s not at all ridiculous to think that matters could escalate into a regional war with untold consequences.
Obama vs. Romney on the Mideast
Zack Gold of the National Interest takes a look at the similarities and differences between Obama and Romney when it comes to Mideast policies.
On the possibility of a war with Iran, critics on the Left and Right raise fears that, as conservative writer Daniel Larison put it, a Romney administration “will almost certainly be stuffed to the gills with militarists and Iran hawks.” While several of Romney's advisers led the United States into Iraq, it is clear that the United States has reached a post-9/11, post-Iraq stasis in its security policy toward the Middle East. Not even the most hawkish of hawks are suggesting a ground invasion into Iran. Also, if Obama is taken at his word, a U.S. attack on Iran would be just as likely in a second Obama administration if sanctions fail to halt the Iranian nuclear program.