Hardliners in Iran are using America’s impotence in dealing with the crisis in the Ukraine as an example of what happens when you give up your nuclear strength.
Twenty years ago, no one would have messed with the Ukraine. Russia certainly would not have dared to move forces to its doorstep.
In 1994 Ukraine was the third largest nuclear power. That same year Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear arsenal with the promise from the United States and Russia that neither country would use force or threaten action against the newly independent nation.
Ironically, Ukraine gave all of its nuclear warheads — 1,900 long range and 2,500 short range – to Russia.
The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurance was considered a major diplomatic agreement when it was signed by Russia, America, Great Britain and the Ukraine. Now it seems like a worthless piece of paper.
Russia says the agreement with Ukraine has been dissolved because a “coup” in Kiev has created a new government that is not part of the agreement. Every other country that signed the paper disagrees, but the head shaking is not backed up with anything but “strong disappointment.”
To paraphrase the movie Animal House, the world is saying to Ukraine, “You screwed up. You trusted us.”
Other countries are certainly taking notice.
Iran and North Korea come to mind. Why would either country now give up nuclear capabilities for a pinky promise of non-aggression?
Like it or not, international respect is equivalent to your nuclear stockpile. Take North Korea as an example; Ukraine is Disney World compared to that country when it comes to poverty, corruption and human rights violations. But, no one has ever suggested invading North Korea because Kim Jong-un is crazy and sits on a nuclear arsenal. Why do you think he keeps testing them? To show the world he has them.
But there are those in the US government who want to invade Iran. Why? Because they don’t have nuclear weapons capability yet and we want to stop them before they have the same leverage as North Korea.
There have been signs that Iran is ready to stand down voluntarily. In February Iran and six world powers, including the United States, agreed to comprehensive negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program.
New talks were to begin today.
Iran will be handed a piece of paper by Russia, the United States, Great Britain, China, France and Germany promising no aggression if Iran gives up its nukes.
Expect the response to be, “Isn’t this the same deal you gave the Ukraine?”
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