Talking about Iran from a few different points of view

Updated
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) receives the Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the rector of Havana's University Gustavo Cobreiro, during a ceremony at the university in Havana, on January 11, 2012.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) receives the Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the rector of Havana's University Gustavo Cobreiro, during a ceremony at the university in Havana, on January 11, 2012.
Adalberto Roque / AFP - Getty Images

How should the U.S. handle Iran? How should the U.S. deal with Israel’s contemplating a strike on Iran?

In a recent op-ed, Mitt Romney laid out his plan as president. It involves, in short, “…diplomacy with a military option that will persuade the ayatollahs to abandon their nuclear ambitions.” The rest of the GOP presidential field has also shared their thoughts on what should be done.

But the question of Iran has been a question the world seems to be asking, and it’s certainly a question we’ve been asking our guests lately.

And we’ve gotten a wide variety of suggestions.

Today we had on Dr. Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, to discuss the issue and here were some of her thoughts:

The sanctions now that Iran is facing are tougher than ever. And even their leaders have acknowledged these are crippling and biting….The reality is a strike is not going to end the program in perpetuity. It may set it back a year or two. The only way to end it permanently is if they decide – as South Africa did and as other countries have – to give up their nuclear weapons program.

The Council on Foreign Relations’ Dan Senor, who joined us on Tuesday, saw things a bit differently:

I think we can argue that Obama’s hand on foreign policy has been uneven…Obama is saying to Netanyahu: ‘Don’t worry about military action. Let our diplomacy and sanctions play out. If diplomacy and sanctions don’t work ‘We’ve got your back.’ If you’re the Prime Minister of Israel and you’ve been subjected to the record of the last three years that Obama has subjected Israel to, are you prepared to outsource national security decisions – decisions that you have to defend against an existential threat, a potential nuclear threat – are you prepared to outsource those decisions to Barack Obama?

And here’s how the Washington Post’s David Ignatius described things back in January:

My own sense is that the Obama administration’s policy on Iran – and I wouldn’t say this about many other areas of foreign policy – is actually working just about right. The Iranians are really nervous; the sanctions are biting. There’s a kind of panic beginning in Tehran about the availability of dollars, about where their economy is going…

And as the U.S. and other countries are pressing Iran to allow UN inspectors the chance to visit the supposed nuclear sites, what do you think is the right approach in the region?

Talking about Iran from a few different points of view

Updated