Past Event

Iran, Sanctions, and World War III

“So I told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War Three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” — George W. Bush

Last month, President George W. Bush announced that world leaders risk “World War Three” unless they engage more actively in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Earlier this year, the administration accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps of proliferating weapons of mass destruction and assisting terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories.

Recently, the administration announced broader economic sanctions against Iran. The sanctions target banks, businesses, and government officials along with a division of the country’s military. Officials emphasize that the sanctions are meant to foster diplomacy and not start a war. Others argue that it is indeed the first step towards war with Iran.

Tehran denies it is building nuclear weapons and asserts its right to advance a peaceful uranium-enrichment program. United Nations atomic watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday he found no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons and accused U.S. leaders of adding “fuel to the fire” with recent rhetoric. Iran’s new chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said sanctions would have no affect on the country’s nuclear policies.

Will sanctions be effective in pressuring Iran to halt its development of nuclear technology? Is there enough evidence to support the use of sanctions against Iran? Do sanctions go far enough? Are they the first step towards war or towards greater diplomacy? Are there other agendas at work in the administration’s increasingly punitive stance against Iran? What will be the impact on oil markets? How will U.S. intervention concerning Iran affect the nation’s relationships with China, Russia, and other nations in the Middle East? How willthe change in U.S. policy with Iran affect Iran’s relationship with these same nations? Are we on the path to World War Three?

Join us this week at Café Society to learn more about and share your thoughts on U.S. relations with Iran.

Suggested Readings:

Remarks by Rice and Paulson on Iran Sanctions

Sanctions Against Iran Would Work

UN nuclear boss warns warmongers over Iran

The Administration’s plan for Iran

In Search of Logic About Iran

For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.