Con Coughlin: Iran is on the verge of getting the Bomb and it's time Obama did something
Published 04/11/2011 | 15:19
EVER since he took power three years ago, President Obama has done his level best to avoid a confrontation with Iran over its nuclear programme. Mr Obama began his presidency with a direct video appeal to Tehran to abandon decades of hostility towards America and establish a dialogue based on "mutual interests and respect". This innate belief that he can persuade the ayatollahs to mend their confrontational ways has meant that, even when presented with clear-cut evidence of Tehran’s wrongdoing, he has proved reluctant to offer an effective response.
When the regime launched a brutal crackdown against anti-government protesters following the disputed presidential election in 2009, Mr Obama agonised for days about whether he should back the opposition Green movement. By the time he did so, most of the opposition leaders had either been killed or were languishing in jail, and the most serious challenge to the ayatollahs’ rule since the 1979 revolution had been stopped in its tracks.
Even when Mr Obama was handed unequivocal evidence in the autumn of 2009 that Iran was building a second nuclear enrichment facility at Qom, he still preferred to take a softly-softly approach. The inevitable new round of sanctions was implemented, but no meaningful action was taken to curtail Iran’s obsession with developing nuclear weapons.