The Challenge in the Middle East

Hunter Lantzman, Staff Writer

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With President Obama recently being inaugurated for a second term, he’ll face more than enough foreign policy challenges in the upcoming years, particularly in the Middle East. President Obama must fight to establish democracy, but also to keep Israel, America’s greatest ally in that region, safe, and deal with the imposing threat of Iran harboring a nuclear weapon. The Iranian front of foreign policy is possibly the most crucial to American national security in the coming years, and it’ll be one of President Obama’s largest challenges in his second term.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s red line may have been perceived by most diplomats attending the UN’s conference as a joke, such as Jeffrey Goldberg, a foreign policy writer for The Atlantic tweeted: “Netanyahu’s bomb cartoon is the Middle East equivalent of Clint Eastwood’s chair.” But the enriched uranium levels that the Prime Minister of Israel was speaking about are a serious threat to both Israeli and United States foreign policy.

Iran is 70% of the way to a nuclear weapon, and that weapon in the hands of an extremist Iranian government could be deadly. Bush’s sanctions (that Obama has continued) have limited Iran’s production of enriched uranium, but the production has only been slowed so far that Iran could have enough enriched uranium for nuclear capabilities in anywhere from three months to a year. Obama needs to be more aggressive in the Middle East and negotiate a deal with Iran, who has thus far been impervious to our actions. Israel also needs to be ready to face Iran on their own if Obama  doesn’t reach a deal with the Ayatollahs.

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