Ron Paul warns sanctions will motivate Iran towards a nuke

Republican presidential candidate U.S. Representative Ron Paul (Reuters / Brian Snyder)
President Barack Obama insists that sanctions are propelling Iran into a “world of hurt,” but Congressman Ron Paul — who's currently vying to face Obama in the 2012 election — says it is the US that’s being endangered with those actions.

From the campaign trail this week, Texas congressman and GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul said that the current efforts being waged on Iran by the Obama White House by way of sanctions are doing nothing to stop Iran from advancing any nuclear program it could have in the works. It doesn't stop there, though. According to Paul, these sanctions will only spur Iran to invest more of its energies towards procuring a nuke.

Speaking Monday on CNN’s State of the Union show, Congressman Paul was outspoken about what he says the real dangers of ongoing sanctions on Iran really are — and it’s the exact opposite of what America would hope for.

“I think sanctions gives the motivation for them to want a nuclear weapon,” explained the congressman, who has in the past insisted that America lacks any evidence to suggest Iran is involved in procuring a nuclear warhead. “We have 45 bases around them, we can demolish them within hours.” On the congressman’s part, the US has indeed heavily added manpower on seemingly all fronts surrounding Iran, mobilizing both ships and troops and equipping neighboring countries with ammunition as well. Although the US has put troops of all types around Iran, President Obama continues to stand by his plan of solving the nuclear warhead dilemma with diplomatic sanctions, not strikes.

Last week President Obama told The Atlantic that the sanctions would cripple Iran and force the nation to abandon its rumored nuclear program, but Paul — a long time opponent of unnecessary military interventionism — says this maneuver only makes it seem like America is asking for trouble.

“And the worst thing the sanctions do, and Republicans and Democrats both support it and the other GOP candidates want war even more, the whole thing is there is a lot of dissension in Iran and we should encourage it by not interfering, once we get involve and threaten to bomb them, it becomes nationalistic – everyone joins the Ayataollah and Ahmedinejad,” explained Representative Paul. “So there is a blowback – unusual circumstances and unintended consequences.”

Congressman Paul also added that he thought the president’s current policies were implemented with good intentions, albeit not thoroughly thought out. “So yes, our people are well-intended, but they don’t realize how much damage they do by not accomplishing what they want and causing more harm to us,” said the congressman. “So our military personnel right now are very adamant not to be involved in a bombing of Iran, it makes no sense whatsoever to our military personnel, to the CIA, even though they are much more interventionist than I am.”

Paul’s rivals within the Republican Party have also condemned President Obama over his handling of the Iranian problem, but while the congressman continues to fight for America to remove itself from the matter, his competing candidates say Obama needs to up the ante, so to speak. During a televised GOP debate last month, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said, “We must not allow Iran to have nuclear weapon…If I’m president, that will not happen. If we re-elect Barack Obama, it will happen.”

Over the weekend, Romney attacked Obama once more over what the governor feels are sanctions that fail to strike Iran hard. Obama has “failed to put into place crippling sanctions against Iran,” Romney said from Georgia, adding that "He's also failed to communicate that military options are on the table and in fact in our hand. And that it's unacceptable to America for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

"I will have those military options, I will take those crippling sanctions and put them into place, and I will speak out to the Iranian people of the peril of them becoming nuclear. It's pretty straight-forward in my view,” added Romney.

Speaking to CNN on Monday about both a threat in Iran and the ongoing Afghanistan War, Paul rehashed what has been a reoccurring motif throughout his campaign: an end to all wars. “The American people are sick and tired of the wars going on over there, we are going broke fighting these wars that are not legitimate in that we were not attacked, they were not declared, and the American people in their majority want us out of there,” Paul said.