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(Regarding "Menendez wants new Iran sanctions" (Page A-5 in The Record, Dec. 3)
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., recently said he wants new economic sanctions imposed on Iran. Menendez asserts that the sanctions are necessary to force Iran to halt its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
However, as longtime foreign affairs correspondent Eric Margolis wrote in a recent column, "In a major concession, last summer Iran converted or diluted 200 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent, rendering it unusable for any potential further enrichment into nuclear weapons fuel. The International Atomic Energy Agency certified this procedure. The balance of Iran's uranium stockpile is at 5 percent — adequate for energy production but not for weapons. Half its 20,000 centrifuges used to enrich uranium are shut down. U.N. inspectors or cameras closely watch Iranian nuclear installations — not to mention American and Israeli satellites."
Moreover, with its oil reserves declining, Iran wants to develop its nuclear power industry for future generations. And every nation is guaranteed under the U.N. Charter to develop nuclear power as long as it is for peaceful purposes.
Yet for years, American and Israeli officials have told us that Iran is on the verge of developing a nuclear weapon. But U.N. inspectors have not found any violations for more than a decade. In addition, U.S. intelligence has repeatedly stated that Iran has no nuclear weapons.
So why are Menendez and the rest of the neoconservative cabal in Washington determined to impose more draconian sanctions on Iran despite the lack of evidence that the Islamic Republic is developing nuclear weapons?
The American people must hold accountable the Washington politicians who are creating a climate of fear and war-mongering that could lead to the deaths of thousands of Iranians and American soldiers.
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Murray Sabrin, Ph.D., is Professor of Finance at Ramapo College