Ottawa Citizen Editorial: Nuclear Iran Most Urgent Matter of Global Security

This editorial from the Ottawa Citizen praises Canada for taking a leading role in sanctioning Iran:

Doomsday scenario
The Ottawa Citizen
June 23, 2010

It is entirely appropriate that, on the eve of hosting heads of government from around the world, Canada has adopted a leadership role in the most urgent matter of global security.

For several years, the Islamic revolutionaries who control Iran have single-mindedly dedicated the resources of their state to the construction of a nuclear arsenal. In old James Bond movies, genocidal madmen typically appear out of nowhere with their doomsday weapons, and proceed to hold the world hostage. The Iranian situation is different only in that the ayatollahs have openly and defiantly made known their intentions well before acquiring the weapon.

On Tuesday, the Canadian government announced new sanctions against the Iranian regime. The sanctions are consistent with recent United Nations resolutions, and while they won't disable Iran's nuclear program, they might at least slow it down.

This isn't, however, only about depriving the Iranian government of the matériel to construct weapons of mass destruction. It's about building a consensus that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his acolytes reside outside the community of nations. Canada is right to use our position as G8 president to strengthen that consensus.

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon correctly drew a distinction between the Iranian government and the Iranian people. The Iranian government is illegitimate, having rigged last year's elections. The young dissidents who have taken to the streets in protest, who want to live in a modern state rather than a medieval one, continue to be harassed, imprisoned and executed. As frightened as the West is of the wild-eyed Ahmadinejad, his victims so far have been his own people. There are not many ways to envision a decent resolution to the Iranian problem. One of the few such scenarios, however, would have the reformist movement taking their country back from the theocrats. Slowing down the regime's nuclear program through sanctions might just buy the reformists enough time.

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