The Associated Press is reporting that Iran has halted oil shipments to Britain and France in response to the decision of the European Union in January to impose sanctions on Iran’s crucial fuel exports, a sanction that was not set to begin until July. The EU imposed sanctions on Iran which included a freeze of the country’s central bank assets and an oil embargo. With this most recent move on the part of Iran, the country is making it known that it believes there are EU countries who need to buy Iran’s oil more than Iran needs to sell it to them. The EU’s January decision to impose sanctions on Iran came about as a response to Iran’s refusal to halt their nuclear program. How much longer can the European Union and the Iranian leaders go tit-for-tat ?
Iran declares it wants to develop a functional nuclear program for peaceful, productive purposes, such as the production of electricity. Western nations, including US leaders have long feared that the true purpose of the nuclear program is to develop nuclear weaponry.
Both sides, the West and the Iranians have their points. As sovereign nation, Iran feels that it has the right to develop an energy program to take care of the needs of it’s citizens. Oil is resource that will eventually run out and it may be wise thinking to plan ahead for future without the world’s dependency on the oil that Iran provides. To be sure, it is also possible that Iran wants to develop advanced nuclear weaponry. The US has nuclear weapons and so does Israel, two nations that have long had a tense relationship with Iran. The United States has a responsibility to protect the bodily safety and security and it’s citizens, including protection from the possibility of a nuclear attack by enemy nations; even if Iran does not want to attack the US, there is the possibility that Iran could then sell the arms to terrorist groups that do want to attack the US.
There is still time for the West, which includes the European Union and the United States, and Iran to de-escalate an increasingly tense situation. But time is slowly winding down.