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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 August 2005, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Should Iran face sanctions?
Isfahan uranium conversion facility, Iran
The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has approved a resolution demanding that Iran suspend all nuclear activities.

The IAEA did not call for Iran's case to be referred to the UN Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions. The resolution could leave the door open for further talks if Iran complies.

Iran has broken all the remaining UN seals at its nuclear plant at Isfahan, making it fully operational.

Do you think the IAEA resolution will be effective? Should we be worried by Iran's resumption of nuclear work? Do you have a personal story to tell?

This page is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by Justin Case, Aberdeen, Scotland:
Will there be another episode of "war on terrorism"? How imminent is the nuclear threat from Iran?

I see Iran as having a covert nuclear intention by saying that its nuclear development is for peaceful purposes. Let the world not be fooled; who expects Iran to openly say that its nuclear program is for the production of nuclear weapons. Iran should go back to the negotiating table to avert the looming sanctions.
Ikele, Los Angeles,USA

Yes, at this point sanctions are the only thing we can do although I don't feel it is the answer. The pressure that sanctions put upon the country only add to the anger and resentment they already feel towards us. I don't think there would be such concern if Iran wasn't included from the start as part of the "Axis of Evil". We would be foolish indeed to let them go ahead with their nuclear activities in good faith.
Sally, Green Bay, USA

Shouldn't the world wonder how we got to this point. Iran did not create their atomic program...they had the aid and backing of German, Russian, French and British multi-national corporations and governments.
Arthur, Dallas, Texas, USA

The US has shown it's displeasure with Iran, but has not threatened them with force. As I recall the US deferred to Europe in handling the situation. I wonder who everyone on this page will blame should a terrorist ignite a nuclear weapon and we find out it came from Iran. I'm sure once again it will be the US to blame.
Mike Daly, Miami, FL - USA

Why should Iran care about sanctions? North Korea has thumbed its nose at the IAEA and continues to be rewarded. That is the example Iran seems to be following.
Dan B, Minnesota, USA

Hasn't Iran been facing foreign dissatisfaction for nearly 30 years already? They will continue down this path whether anyone else likes it or not. Especially now that Pakistan has nuclear weapons, Afghanistan and Iraq are occupied by unfriendly Western powers, and Russia is hovering to the north. They'd be fools to do nothing about it. They're working on more than nuclear energy, they want their own nuclear weapons. Would anyone else in their position do otherwise?
Andrew Thomas, Washington DC, USA

I wish that the world could allow Iran nuclear development to continue as a gesture of trust, because I would rather believe that their intentions are constructive and not aggressive. But in the nuclear age, where it takes only one madman with a button to wreak irreparable havoc on the world and its people, I fear that such a gesture of trust is too great a risk for us to take. On the other hand, how long can we hypocritically suppress all hints of dangerous power in the hands of others while casually wielding it ourselves? It is a double standard that cannot last forever.
Katherine, Los Angeles, USA

To impose sanctions on Iran would first end up in a future Iraq situation and secondly would oppress the country's right to develop itself economically. Such oppression is a large scale, political bully tactic that breeds the 'bombers' of today - justice is the only way to win the war on terror!
Aneeka Muneer, Leeds

Did England, France, China, Russia, Israeli, Pakistan, India or the United States face sanctions because they developed nuclear weapons? Iran has every right as a sovereign nation to do everything in their interests and technological capacity to defend their Nation with whatever weapons they care to develop.
Michael Neff, Flower Mound Texas

Here we go again. This certainly sounds familiar to the tune played to us before the war in Iraq. If the US wasn't as stupid to label countries as the axis of evil then perhaps these countries wouldn't be preparing for the inevitable. Iran has a potential nuclear threat from India, Pakistan and Israel. That in itself gives it a right to produce weapons of similar tact. Which I don't think they are! If the US is serious about this then it should get the 3 mentioned countries to disarm first, then disarm itself shortly after. Let's not forget that it is Iran who have asked that work will be carried out under IAEA supervision which it wouldn't have if it had other agenda's. Like always most people on here are drawing judgements without the facts. To me this is all drumming up fear in the populace to justify yet another war.
Raf, Nelson, UK

Who has the right to decide that it is a rogue state?
A Sathyamurthy, Coimbatore, India
Why should Iran face sanctions? Who has the right to decide that it is a rogue state? Isn't the US a rogue when it has actually used the nuke bombs? Why should Iran be dubbed a rogue nation on the mere assumption that it would not be a responsible state? Or do the US and its allies have an ulterior motive behind raising a hue and cry just as they did before invading Iraq? Iran has every right to develop and possess any weapon that it deems necessary to defend itself. They will pose no more of a threat than other nations who already possess the dreaded weapons.
A Sathyamurthy, Coimbatore, India

If a politically volatile state such as Pakistan is free to develop nuclear weapons, how can the world stamp on Iran without looking grossly hypocritical? Sandwiched as it is between the Indian subcontinent on one side, and Israel, bristling with nuclear capability on the other; and with an aggressive US stance I too would want nuclear weapons, and I don't blame Iran for trying to join the club.
Andrew Taylor, Nottingham, UK

If Iran wanted nuclear technology for peaceful purposes then she would be actively engaging with the EU. It is obvious that Iran wants to be in a position to develop nuclear weapons. The situation in the Middle East is currently dangerous but stable. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran could easily create a serious crisis in the region with the potential for a major war.
Syd, Manchester, UK

We saw in Iraq that years of economic sanctions only hurt the common man, with little effect on the regime in power. I predict that the "west" will not have to act at all. As in the past, if Israel perceives a nuclear threat to its very existence, it will act without permission or hesitation to demolish that threat.
Tommy, Fort Worth, US

Iran should not be trusted in any way regarding it's nuclear industry. Iran must be dealt with and its people must have the chance to experience real democracy and freedom.
Ashkan, Stockholm, Sweden

Iran's nuclear industry is aimed at keeping open the option of developing nuclear weapons
Nick Gotts, Aberdeen, Scotland
Of course Iran's nuclear industry is aimed at keeping open the option of developing nuclear weapons: that is all any state could want nuclear power for, given the disastrous economics of using it to produce electricity, once the costs of security and waste disposal are taken into account. But so long as the existing nuclear weapons states refuse to disarm, attempts to prevent nuclear proliferation are sheer hypocrisy.
Nick Gotts, Aberdeen, Scotland

I have to laugh at the people stating that Iran has the right to develop nuclear plants for energy production. If all they are interested in is producing cheap electricity then why don't they put their efforts into developing solar or wind technology?
B Oxford, Lyneham, UK

Iran has the power to hit the US and other nations really hard. By turning off her oil taps, or even just threatening to turn then off, we could see oil prices climb high enough to trigger a severe worldwide recession. Even so, we need reassurances regarding Iran's real intentions, given that in the past she has not always been truthful.
David, Coventry, UK

There is no doubt in my mind that Iran has more than energy in mind with its nuclear program. The US isn't against them having nuclear power plants. The issue is the enrichment centrifuges that will create weapons grade plutonium. I say let them continue unabated. If they keep a nuclear arsenal as a form of deterrent then all is well. I shudder to think what would happen should a western city fall by one of their nukes. I'm sure that those of you who are now complaining about the US, would then be asking why the US didn't do anything to prevent it. In your eyes the US will always be at fault.
Mike, Texas, USA

Bush has already labelled Iran as part of the "Axis of Evil". Whether Iran agrees to intense inspection or dismantling of all nuclear related activity, this will not satisfy the US. We saw in Iraq that there was no WMD programme, and despite the intrusive inspections in place the US and UK still invaded and occupy Iraq. In the face of such aggression, every country has the right to develop deterrents, especially when the US is researching nuclear weapons to use in "pre-emptive" strikes.
Ibrahim, London, England, UK

All nations have the right to use nuclear plants for energy production
Daniela
As long as Iran uses nuclear technology for civilian purposes, there is no justification for sanctions. I do not believe we have to be worried right now about a nuclear threat from Iran. All nations have the right to use nuclear plants for energy production. An oil producing country will one day face the same dilemma as other nations - lack of fossil fuels. Therefore it would be an unfair technological setback to keep Iran or other countries from using or further developing atomic energy.
Daniela

If another country wants to join the club it should be allowed. Iran is a responsible country with a respected civilisation. Its' needs have to be considered. Perhaps the present nuclear group should work collectively to develop a source of energy to neutralise any impending accidental blasting of nuclear bombs?
Isahbiazhar, Kuala Terengganu Malaysia

I'm for Iran having a nuclear power plant. The US has Sellafield. But this statement made worries me: "I think that would be a grave miscalculation by the US and particularly by Europe to move towards the path of confrontation," Cyrus Nasseri, Iran's chief negotiator at the IAEA talks said. Is this some kind of threat to the USA & Europe? Why would Iran make such statement if it is supposed to be making a nuclear power plant and not nuclear weapons? I'm suspicious, so imagine how other countries feel!
Michael R., Newcastle, UK

I can see why any country would want nuclear power, but nuclear weapons should not be the goal. There should be a requirement for open inspection of nuclear facilities for safety and security, so that material cannot be stolen, reprocessed or diverted to military uses.
Steve, London UK

Every country in the world have the right to have a cheap energy resources. Iran is going to use the nuclear technology not for making weapons but for the peaceful energy generation purposes. Due to these reasons Iran should not face sanctions. The US should help all those countries who want to use the nuclear technology for peaceful solutions
Shafquat Hussain, Karachi, Pakistan

Iran should not face sanctions. Just because we have created new ways to produce energy, doesn't mean we want to use it to harm others. It's as though the west has already got Iran labelled. So much for "not judging a book by its cover". I am truly disgusted with the IAEA. If the EU and US is so worried about Iran having nuclear energy, then perhaps they should talk to other countries in the region and around the world. In other words "practice what you preach".
Hassan Amidhozour, Tehran, Iran

Possession of nuclear weapons the world over including in the UK is tied up with a distorted nationalism. We are witnessing this with Iran who is playing on this. Grassroots movements worldwide should move to making abolishing nuclear weapons a priority like the abolition movement against slavery. Otherwise, we will continue seeing games played with the international community using nuclear technology by states seeking to possess nuclear weapons.
John P, Birmingham, UK

The folks accusing the "only country in the history of the world" to use nuclear weapons of "hypocrisy" for working to deny the theocratic totalitarian dictatorship of Iran access to nuclear technology are forgetting something: The United States only used nuclear weapons on one occasion, to end a war we did not start. We have not used them again in the sixty years since, even though we could have at any time. We have not used our nuclear weapons to threaten any nation, but possess them only as a deterrent. Does anyone believe those in charge in Iran would show the same restraint?
Jim, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA

It seems that some countries put themselves above the rules they make for others
Kenneth Ingle, Belefeld, Germany
I do not like the country of Iran or its leaders, but it is wrong to say they must not do things which the USA, Britain, Israel and India are allowed to do. Either it is a crime to make atomic weapons or it is not. It is the deed which is important, not the people. As with war crimes, it seems that some countries put themselves above the rules they make for others. A no to Iran must also be a no to the USA, or we are not being honest!
Kenneth Ingle, Belefeld, Germany

Some of you have called Iran a rogue country. Let me ask you this. Has Iran dropped nuclear bombs on cities filled with civilians? Has Iran invaded and occupied a sovereign nation? Has Iran developed the largest stock pile of nuclear weapons in the world? Iran certainly hasn't. If you can guess which country has done all of the above then you have found the real rogue country.
Ismael Halili, Sanaa, Yemen

Why shouldn't Iran have nuclear weapons? Is it because of the paranoia speared by the US that Iran might use such weapons. Well that just takes the cake. Who is the one that has used nuclear weapons on civilians? Not Iran. It's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Raj Ahinari, Madras India

Sanctions? When have sanctions done any good? It seems that only the innocent suffer from sanctions. My thoughts are that the progressive elements in Iran should be strongly supported by the West. Maybe if these more open-minded people could take charge of Iran this threat could be averted.
Dave, St. Paul, USA

Somehow, the only country in the history of the world who has used nuclear weapons to kill civilians feel as though they are the ones who should determine who should have them and who should not. This is of course ludicrous, as the US is furthering it's nuclear capabilities and aiding countries who have not signed the NPT in achieving their nuclear ambitions. Such hypocrisy does not hold much weight in Iran or the rest of the world. Placing sanctions on Iran will not hinder it's desire for nuclear technology, as many Iranians view it as a symbol of national pride. we must also take into account the fact that America is indeed creating an atmosphere of paranoia which undoubtedly leads to an international arms race. We focus on the idea that Iran is a threat to world peace, however I believe that the US and it's allies hold that distinction themselves.
Pooyan, College Park, USA

The Iranian government is unpopular with the great majority of the Iranian population who are tired of this theocratic regime. The government has managed to hold onto power by force through the closure of newspapers and publishers with liberal views, murder and imprisonment of outspoken critics, and the disappearance of any potential anti-regime leaders. By holding negotiations, European countries are approving the government's actions and directly and indirectly, keeping this regime in control. Negotiations with the Iranian regime are a waste of time and Europeans should join the US in helping Iran rid itself of this tyranny.
Omid, Tehran, Iran

Every nation has the right to acquire the latest technologies for their development, but the UN should adopt a strategy to get rid of all weapons of mass destruction from earth.
Shaikh Askari, Toronto, Canada

Iran has broken no laws
Ellis Birt, Worcester, England
Iran has broken no laws, and its planned activities will break no laws. Once again America is on its high horse with one rule for itself and its allies and one rule for the rest of the world. Where is the call for Israel to allow IAEA inspectors into its facilities and to begin dismantling its nuclear weapons? Americas 'them and us' policy is a disaster for the whole world.
Rod, Scotland

Western economies cannot afford to impose sanctions on Iran. With the already extremely high cost of oil, we need their oil, so that would be excluded from any sanctions. But what would happen if Iran suddenly decided to cut the supply off in retaliation?
Ellis Birt, Worcester, England

Iran is being offered assistance on reactors that cannot be used to manufacture weapons grade material, yet they still choose to pursue this program. This alone should tell us something, and sanctions should be just the start. This is not about fairness, this is about Western well-being, and the bottom line is that we cannot allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
Raj, USA

Iran has been under US sanctions for years, so I doubt further sanctions would do much. Military action is unlikely to end this issue the way it did Israel attacked Iraq as the Iranians are well prepared for it. Since there seems little to prevent the Iranians developing a full nuclear cycle, it might be best to allow it in return for the most stringent inspection regime possible and bide time till a more reformist government comes to power. If the USA hadn't invaded Iraq, Iran probably wouldn't feel such a need to develop its nuclear capabilities and would also fear the US more - currently Iran's emboldened as it believes as the US is tied up in Iraq. Further, a deal would have been quite likely in the past year when there was a more moderate reformist government in Iran if the USA hadn't delayed engaging constructively on this issue. Far from reflecting badly on the UN or Europe, this mess is primarily a US foreign policy failure.
F, London

I could agree with Iran producing its own materials for nuclear energy, just like other countries. This should, however, only be allowed in any country under strict international supervision. Especially so in Iran because of the unnecessary and frankly deeply disconcerting secrecy and lies which Iran has shown around this issue. Weapons grade uranium is an entirely different matter. This should never be allowed anywhere. The Iranians and others with "nuclear ambitions" should themselves invite international supervision. There should be very clear rules about what countries are allowed to produce and what not. The historic inequality between the "old" nuclear states and the others should over the years be redressed. This will inevitably be a long and painful process
T van Dorp, Oegstgeest, Netherlands

Take the lesson learned with N Korea
Steve, Cincinnati, OH, US
For all those in favour of working with Iran on producing nuclear energy, please take the lesson learned with N Korea. I am sure the people here saying Iran has no bad intentions, said the same of N Korea. The US provided them help in the agreement that they wouldn't produce weapons. Surprise! N Korea now has weapons. Everyone needs to wake up.
Steve, Cincinnati, OH, US

As long as Iran faces nuclear enemies then why not pursue the nuclear option. Blame the world for their ambition, not Iran. If the world was truly interested in nuclear non-proliferation then no single country would be allowed to maintain a nuclear arsenal. The "do as I say, not as I do" argument is not credible.
Jason Dimmell, Ottawa, Canada

From BBCPersian.com: This is the beginning of new round of differences with the West, not the international community. The US and Europe know that Iran is not making an atomic bomb now and will not do so at any time. In fact the argument is not on nuclear might but having access to advanced technology. The West doesn't wish to share her technology know-how with Third World countries. There will never be any success in such negotiations.
Mahmoud, Iran

From BBCPersian.com: I am quite sure that Europe is convinced of Iran's peaceful intentions but the US is standing in the way of negotiations. Europeans have more sense but Americans want to follow their heavy handed approach. Iran will carry on with its rightful enrichment programme as permitted by the non-proliferation treaty. So it would be better if it is done with the consent of Europe.
Simorgh, Mahshahr, Iran

From BBCPersian.com: Science and technology is not good or bad per se. It all depends on its application and who is using it. A matchstick could burn down a forest. Now we have to be fair when we judge Iran's leaders' behaviour in the past. How are they seen by the world? I also agree that Iran must have access to nuclear power but what are the guarantees that our leaders might not use it for non-civilian purposes?
Farzad, Masjed Soleiman, Iran

From BBCPersian.com: We have more serious issues in our country to worry about: Poverty, unemployment and drug addiction are but a few. We should divert our money and means to solve these problems and not safeguard our future by nuclear power.
Ali, Torbat Heydarieh, Iran

If sanctions are imposed again in Iran it would be the ordinary folk who have to bear the hardship
Mehrnaz, Strasbourg, France
From BBCPersian.com: Any outcome is against the interests of the Iranians as a nation. Even if Iran decides to go back to the negotiation table it will not make any difference since Iran's new fundamentalist government would invite harsher lines from the West anyway. If sanctions are imposed again in Iran it would be the ordinary folk who have to bear the hardship. If Iran manages to make atomic bombs it will not have any choice but to be isolated like North Korea and become a nuclear power country with a destitute people. Which path will Iran's regime take?
Mehrnaz, Strasbourg, France

I do not think there should be sanctions. As an Iranian refugee I do not feel much sympathy for the Iranian regime. However I think it's unfair that there is such unequal treatment between different countries. To use democracy (or the lack of it) as an excuse is just unacceptable. I feel the patronising attitude of the UN will cause a lot of trouble and will gain the Iranian regime a lot of support.
Hiwa, Leuven, Belgium

How can the international community condemn nations which haven't committed any wrong doing? The pre-emption policy is not just and can't win hearts and minds.
Kourosh Amirmonazah, London

Iran should only face sanctions if it is doing something illegal, which it is not. Iran's right to nuclear energy is guaranteed in the NPT, to which it is signatory. It's about time the international community stopped practicing double standards and apply sanctions on those who haven't even signed the NPT, namely Israel.
Abbas Al-Lawati, Omani in Montreal, Canada

I have lived and worked in Iran for several years and feel more qualified than most to make this point. I feel that there is little doubt that their only aim is to gain nuclear weapons, and in the hands of such a regime, it can only bring nearer the day that such a weapon will be made available to some very crazy people, who will use it to murder hundreds of thousands. Either we stand up to them now or face some very serious consequences in the near future.
Steve, Tehran, Iran

Iran should have faced sanctions by now. Britain and America are not moving fast enough to conquer this threat to world peace.
Ian Caldwell, Chicago, Illinois

It is Iran's legal right to any nuclear technology. The West and Americans want Iran to stay a Third World country forever. I support Iran's decision to go nuclear a hundred percent, and Westerners should learn to live with the new Iran.
Alborz, Canada, BC

Sanctions have almost never worked in history
Abbas, Miami, USA
Sanctions have almost never worked in history. They only hurt those that we are trying to attract and help the ones we intend to punish.
Abbas, Miami, USA

As far as I know, according to international regulations Iran has the right to produce 20% of the energy by using nuclear technology. It's funny how the nations that are putting pressure to avoid Iran's nuclear production are the same ones that have nuclear weapons. To me it's clear that the US and allies want to keep the monopoly of the energy by forcing all the nations to rely only on oil/petroleum. Furthermore, I think there should not be nuclear weapons at all, no exceptions. Nuclear technology should be used only to provide energy.
Paula, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Why should Iran face sanctions? The UK, and more importantly, the USA, have constantly undermined the aims and objectives of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Why do we feel that we are right to deny Iran nuclear energy or a nuclear arsenal if we are not willing to give ours up?
Andreas Wax, London, UK

Sanctions against Iran are absolutely unacceptable. Why do a couple of countries have the right to decide who can and who cannot use the nuclear power and, the most outraging, rule over the kind of energy source a given country should use? And the worst: 99.9% of the so-called inspections are covered by a severe political veil.
Filipe Barini, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

It would be better to work WITH Iran on ensuring that its plutonium is not enriched to weapons-grade and to keep them in the fold of dialogue at least. We cannot afford another war built on the same pretences as Iraq. But the danger is this time it's real, they really could have or develop a secret weapons programme. Iran is a conservative Islamic state, one step away from a Taliban-style Islamist regime, and if a nuke falls into the hands of radical Islamists they will certainly use it against the West.
Jeremy, Atlanta, Georgia

If any action is to be taken on Iran over this issue it will be unilateral, since I believe China will block any UN resolutions. The Chinese signed a deal last November to exploit Iranian oil. They won't want to jeopardise this deal with more sanctions.
Carl James, London, UK

As long as Israel is permitted to keep one nuclear device no other state should be stopped
Rafiq A Tschannen, Amman, Jordan
Why single out Iran? Why should Iran not resume work on its nuclear programme? As long as Israel is permitted to keep one nuclear device no other state should be stopped from developing their potential. We can only progress in this question if we stop all double standards and work towards a totally nuclear free world. Let Israel and the USA start and I am sure all other states will follow.
Rafiq A Tschannen, Amman, Jordan

Why should Iran face sanction? Iran is not doing anything illegal. Could Western countries shut up and mind their own business for once. Iran has the right to achieve the nuclear technology for the peaceful purpose. In stead of spending time to corner Iran, those original five countries should work on the disarmament of nuclear weapons they possess.
Shah Baten, London, UK

While it would be nice to live in a world where countries used solar and wind power to fuel their energy needs, the reality is that this is unlikely to ever happen. Fossil fuels will one day run out, and each country has a right to secure its own energy needs in a way that they see fit. This idea that there is "world condemnation" against Iran's use of nuclear power is a joke. The West does not want it, as we may have to start treating a Muslim nation as an equal. The non-Western parts of the world I am sure will be happy to see Iran for what it is - a country pursuing its right to secure its energy needs in a changing world. If that makes the west nervous, then tough. Countries like Iran will never fit into a Western mould, any more than we would fit into a Middle Eastern one.
Peter Owen, Perth, Australia

I am very curious what kind of backbone the Europeans will show now. If this goes to the Security Council and nothing happens it will be the final nail in the coffin for the UN. And no, Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapon technology. Countries that have them also have governments with checks and balances. The highest Iranian authority is not an elected official and he answers to nobody.
Eric, USA

Tony Blair is going to renew the UK's nuclear weapons shortly. The US scuppered non-proliferation talks as it wanted to build 'tactical' nuclear weapons and states outside the NNPT (North Korea, Israel, Pakistan and India) seem to be exempt sanction. The double standards are sheer hypocrisy.
Mark Webb, Dublin, Ireland

Iran should do whatever it sees suitable for her national interest
Farnaz, Iran/US
No. There is absolutely no legal ground there to impose sanctions on Iran. Iran should do whatever it sees suitable for her national interest. UK and US arranged a coup in 1953 and destroyed buds of democracy in Iran, supported the dictator Shah for many decades, helped dictator Saddam Hussein to kill half a million Iranians and made the Iranian people suffer for 25 years under sanctions. Not to mention that Western countries gave the nuclear bomb to Israel on a golden plate. Why should Iran have any respect whatsoever for Western countries and bow to what they ask for?
Farnaz, Iran/US

Iran is the last anti-American nation that is deemed a "threat" to Israel and US interests in the Middle East. However, unlike Iraq's nuclear programme Israel and the US must think very carefully. Iran isn't afraid to retaliate against any form of military aggression. Israel and its bastions must respect Iran's decision, failure to do so would be detrimental to peace in the Middle East.
Javid H, Hamilton, Canada

The US and to some degree Europe are upping the anti over Iran's nuclear programme. Expect the US to generate justification for an attack on Iran and perhaps Syria. And expect it soon.
Andrew Milner, Yokohama, Japan

I'm an Iranian and very much against the Islamic regime there but Iran has the right to develop the nuclear technology like any other nation in this world. When US developed the first nuclear bomb they should have thought of this that other nations might, for their own security, develop it too. Sanctions will not hinder Iran in fact it will make Iran more determined to develop it. The only peaceful way is to recognize and respect other nations' rights. If US and the Europeans didn't support Iraq in its war against Iran in the 80s this situation would not take place. Any attack or sanction will undermine the struggle of the reformists and put the people's support right in the hand of the unpopular regime.
Reza Shokouhi, Long Beach/USA

Iran should absolutely face sanctions. Many people find hypocrisy in the fact that the USA believes it should have weapons and others shouldn't. However, I'm somewhat familiar with US military procedures, and our arsenal is quite secure and heavily monitored. Russia's, by all accounts, even Russian accounts, is not. It poses a threat as some weapons may fall into terrorist hands. Though no one wants more nukes around the world, I believe the bigger fear is that new countries haven't got the security infrastructures to keep the bombs secure.
Justin, TX, USA

There cannot be two interpretation of the same rules to suite the West
Sia, Malaga Spain
No Iran should not be sanctioned. The IAEA should continue to monitor the plants in Iran. Iran has the right under the NPT to develop nuclear energy. It is also hypocritical of the West to prevent Iran to advance technologically on grounds of proliferation as it was France, UK and Norway who actively assisted Israel to become a nuclear weapons power. There cannot be two interpretation of the same rules to suite the West.
Sia, Malaga Spain

Iran must continue with its nuclear work. Legally it has every right to do so. The recent events has shown the double standard that the US applies again and again, and indeed also that of the EU. Ironically it is the same George Bush who on one hand seems to care so much about "democracy" for the Iranian people and encourages them to reform their ways, and on the other hand wants to impose sanctions on the same nation. Sanctions will in long term help to make the Iranians stronger and will show "some Iranians" the real face of this democratic and humanitarian West.
Bita, Netherlands

If pursuing nuclear technology deserves sanctions, all nations including the US, Britain, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, China, Russia, and others we are publicly unaware of, should have sanctions imposed upon them. The only nation to ever use nuclear weapons is the USA and they have never been called to task for that.
Bill Hamilton, Canada

Iran is one of the rogue countries. We cannot appease Iran. Britain and Europe should know that the policy of appeasement does not work. If Iran does not follow the wishes of the world opinion and pursues the policy of defiance, which I am certain she will. Then, the ultimate forceful action will depend on the resolve of the EU nations and the US.
Vin, California, U.S.A.

Hasn't Iran been under sanctions for the last 25 years?
Dr Ardeshir Aryani, Tehran, Iran
Should Iran face sanctions? Hasn't Iran been under sanctions for the last 25 years? Haven't the benevolent people of Iran proven through 8 years of imposed war and destruction and many, many years of hardships that they are not intimidated by these hollow rhetoric and hypocrisy from the West? Fortunately these sanctions have made Iranians be resourceful and more creative and have brought about a renaissance in the fields of science and industry. Iranians are proud of their home-grown technological advances in many areas including nuclear energy and nuclear energy bodes well for Iran so that it can utilize nuclear reactors for generating electricity to free up millions of barrels of oil for sale overseas. This is a very prudent course of action specially with the current price of oil and Iran's ever increasing population. Talking about sanctions against Iran reminds us of the shepherd who cried wolf, and Iranians are used to this western hypocrisy.
Dr Ardeshir Aryani, Tehran, Iran

The "only" reason that this "very" oil rich Nation has a nuclear program is to enable it to develop a viable deterrent to possible US led intervention and regime change. The Iranian leadership felt that their days were numbered otherwise based on what happened in neighbouring Iraq. I am curious what the West can or will do really since they are overextended in Iraq and Afghanistan already. Europe may recommend sanctions, but will tread softly due to major economic concerns and interests in Iran. I would strongly expect a few well placed US (or Israeli) air strikes in the coming weeks or months, however. Iran is not North Korea and the stakes are much, much higher for US interests in the region.
John, NJ, USA

The whole matter seems to be a concerted effort by the opposing parties to undermine to UN apparatus. Only thing that become clear at the end of the day is how irrelevant UN is becoming. European efforts seem more towards building up European dignity than anything else. It's harvest time for Iran and N Korea with the situation as it stands. Sanctions will not help, they never seem to have in the recent past.
Vishnu, India/USA

Iran's ignoring of the EU is truly a watershed event that Europeans will have to come to answer: Does Europe matter anymore? The Iranian answer is no. What will be the European answer be? Will Europe want to be significant or an also ran. The time for that decision is now. Europe has the lead on this issue and it must either pass the baton or keep going.
Phil, St Louis, USA

I agree with the sentiment that the US is the only nation ever to target innocent people for death via a nuclear bomb. Yet, we demand that others obey some sort of rules that even we don't follow. Israel won't even say if they have nuclear capacity, and is there anyone who doesn't think for a nanosecond that they wouldn't hesitate to use it if threatened? As others have pointed out, we are reaping what we've sown-deadly destructive devices that never should have been used in the first place.
Neil Fahey, Chicopee, MA

Why is it OK for the US to refuse to destroy its nuclear weapons?
Gary Chiles, Wellington, New Zealand
Iran allows IAEA inspections of its nuclear installations, does the US do likewise? Why is it OK for the US to refuse to destroy its nuclear weapons, yet any other country that wants the same weapons who isn't a US puppy is labelled a terrorist state? Why is Pakistan still not facing sanctions for being a nuclear armed military country? Too much hypocrisy in one hit, have to lie down for a bit.
Gary Chiles, Wellington, New Zealand

If the world wants to do anything to Iran about its nuclear program, then it must first address the nuclear programs of Korea, Israel, Pakistan, and India, including imposing sanctions on all of these countries. You can't pick and choose who is and is not allowed this technology the way that Europe and the US are trying to do. The choice of focusing on Iran and not Korea reinforces the appearance, if not reality, that the West is targeting Moslems and Islam. Nuclear power really isn't a deterrent anymore and, if it is, why shouldn't all countries have the same level of deterrence that Israel and the US has? Are they so much better than everyone else? I ask all governments to please take a step back and stop choosing countries and punishments based on fear and misunderstandings. The US brought this technology to its fruition and we are all now paying the cost.
Jennifer, Seattle, USA

To do nothing would be to reveal the weakness of the UN, further undermining its credibility. Further, any and all efforts must be made to make sure that Iran does not go nuclear. It is time for the West to establish a hard-line stance.
Mike, Vancouver, Canada

Iran has every right to fuel enrichment just like any other country. Just because the US can't get Iran to kow-tow to it, the US pressures everyone to work against Iran: the EU3 with general harassment, India with the gas pipeline (so now Australia is building an LNG export facility), Pakistan with oil and gas pipelines, the Russians with Bueshar, ad infinitum. I am not worried about any nuclear device work by Iran - they don't need it. They can do like the Russians who put bio-weapons on many of their strategic missiles. I wish the Iranians the best and safest success with their enrichment program.
Hasan Hussein, Cincinnati, USA

The EU and Americans cannot afford another confrontation
Andrew, London
Sanctions? For what? From whom? The Russians, Chinese, all want to do business. Iraq is in chaos. The EU and Americans cannot afford another confrontation. The timing is perfect from an Iranian perspective. Just like India and Pakistan, Iran will be a nuclear power some day. A strike against it by the Americans or Israelis would plunge the region into chaos. And let's not forget the Saudi Kingdom is at a sensitive stage - one wrong move and Middle East could explode.
Andrew, London

It seems to me that the view of "all problems can be solved by discussion" is wrong. The US has bowed to European pressure for a dialogue with Iran, and so far it has failed. A year ago people swore up and down that the US would invade Iran. That hasn't happened. Though I am in no way advocating a violent overthrow of Iran's power structure, the cold hard truth is that without the fear of repercussions, Iran has no reason to comply with the US or Europe.
Tristan, Richmond, VA

Iran should not face sanctions. What it does have the right to do though, is to pull out from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if the US or Europe keep on interfering with its right to nuclear energy. Iran is not obliged to be in this Treaty, under which it is allowed to do what it's doing anyway. So, like India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea who actually have nuclear weapons and have not signed up to the Treaty, Iran should be allowed to do the same. Iran has been very patient in the face of sheer hypocrisy on the part of Western nations.
Bilal Patel, London, UK

It may be time to refer this matter to the Security Council. Hopefully the IAEA will be able to monitor this program effectively. If El Baradei is having reservations about the Iranian program, the Iranian government is not negotiating, and there is building international concern then immediate action needs to take place by the Security Council for the good of the world.
Brian Quinn, Pittsburgh, USA





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