Powell: Obama’s Iran Sanctions Not Strong Enough

By Katie Cline

May 30, 2010 10:41am

In an exclusive interview on ‘This Week’, General Colin Powell said he doesn’t think the newly-proposed UN sanctions regime against Iran will work. The “clever” Iranians, Powell said, will find a way around them.


“The Iranians have been around for thousands of years trading and selling and getting around various constraints and whatnot,” the former secretary of state told host Jake Tapper. “They’re very clever. And they know what sanctions might be coming.  And I’m sure that they have done their own planning and have their own counter-sanctions strategy,” Powell said.

Powell explained that he doesn’t believe the sanctions will push the Iranians to change their behavior.


“I don’t see that this causes sufficient pain that will cause them to say, ‘gee, why didn’t we realize we were so off on this and we’re going to stop all of our nuclear program?’ The nuclear program is there.  It’s operating.  And I don’t think they’re going to give it up easily,” Powell said.


“I think we may have to eventually reach a point where we say, well, maybe we have to accept a nuclear program that’s designed strictly for power generation and for their medical research reactor,” he said.


Powell called the current state of play with Iran a “dangerous situation.”


“I wish they were not pursuing any nuclear program,” he said. “But the fact of the matter is, whether we argue about whether they should or shouldn’t, they have it.  The centrifuges are spinning.  They’re producing the material.  And the policy so far has not caused them to stop doing that.”

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