SURIANO: United States must be firm against Iran
A RINO's View
In recent days, the tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran have grown exponentially. This round of trouble began when — according to the U.S. Department of State — Iran attacked Saudi Arabia’s oil production. The U.S. has responded by sending additional troops to the region.
This has worried some that the U.S. and Iran are drifting toward war. So, what is to be done about this threat to global security? There are several options that can be taken short of war. But first, why is Iran such a threat to U.S. national security?
Iran in its current state — I harbor no ill will for the Persian Empire — started in 1979 when it stormed our embassy in Tehran and took American citizens hostage. This was an act of war, but in the post-Vietnam era former President Jimmy Carter had to rely on negotiations to secure their release.
The hostages were ultimately released on the day Ronald Reagan took over as president. In more recent times, Iran has remained a threat to the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East. Iran is responsible for the deaths of at least 600 American soldiers in Iraq. They shot down a U.S. Navy drone and it has seized a private British oil tanker.
All of these are acts of war against the U.S. and its allies. This is not to mention the plight of the Iranian people who live under a totalitarian theocratic regime which restricts basic human rights, or their calls to wipe Israel off the map.
So, should the U.S. invade Iran and plunge the region into war? No, the U.S. must take steps to prevent this.
The U.S. must continue its pressure on Iran in an attempt to curtail its bad behavior on the international stage. We must continue our sanctions on Iran to make it harder and harder on the Iranian regime to conduct business at home and abroad. This has a two-fold benefit, as it weakens the ability of Iran to confront the U.S. and it hurts the legitimacy of the government in the eyes of its people.
This will hopefully get the Iranians to adjust their behavior on their own accord. We must also supply pressure to our European friends to do the same. We cannot afford separate deals with Iran to weaken our position.
Sanctions are not the only thing we must do with regard to Iran. The U.S. must be able to match strike-with-strike against Iran. It has been clear that Iran is testing the U.S. with its acts against us. We must show resolve and consider small strikes against Iran to show that we will not allow it to gain control of the region.
This would probably be seen as an escalation by some, but is simply necessary if we are to prevent further damage by the Iranians. If we continue to give them free reign, they will take every opportunity to do so. Now, why should we not just let Iran take control? What harm will be done by it?
The issue is the Strait of Hormuz, which is of extreme strategic importance to the U.S. Experts say 20% of the world's oil supply runs through the Strait of Hormuz, and the U.S. cannot allow it to fall under Iranian control. We cannot allow the global economy to fall under the influence of evil tyrannical regime.
Now, people will shout: “No War for Oil.” To them I say: Grow up already. No one wants war, but driving the entire global economy into the ground seems to be a bad thing. The only response from the anti-war crowd is that it is our fault. The U.S., as the greatest naval power in the history of the world, has a responsibility to protect global trade.
Before us, the Royal Navy had this responsibility, and after the sun set on its empire, we were left to take up the role. People argue that the U.S. should not be a global policeman, but the sad reality is if we are not walking the beat, the world falls in chaos, war and genocide.
If we have the power to prevent chaos and choose not to, then we bear the responsibility of what comes next. I wish the U.S. did not have to deal with Iran, but if we do not, no one else will until it is too late. Then, in the end, the U.S. will have to step in to clean up the world's mess.
Robert Suriano is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in history. His column, "A RINO's View," runs on alternate Mondays.
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