Point Counter Point

Michael Farley:U.S. is not the world policeI’m a proud American, but for the next 100 words or so I’m going to be an Iranian citizen — and I want full inspections of every nuclear facility in the United States and full disarmament of their nuclear weapons program.You think I’m joking, but I’m dead serious.My fellow Iranians and I do not feel safe, considering the U.S. is the only country to ever use nuclear weapons in combat, and we will impose strict sanctions against the U.S. government if they do not comply with our demands.And if the U.S. chooses to ignore our sanctions, we will impose more sanctions on them and threaten to send in our own nuclear inspectors!OK, now back to being a red, white and blue American:Do you see how ridiculous I sound as an Iranian citizen demanding inspections of our nuclear facilities? Well, the U.S. demanding inspections, disarmament and imposing sanctions sounds just as ridiculous to me.Really, how many times has Iran been sanctioned by the U.S.? Because it literally seems like every week the U.S. is threatening to impose more and more sanctions against them. A little word to the wise in the White House: Iran has a Holocaust denier leading the country; do you believe for one second he feels pressured by a sanction? Sanctions might be the most superficial way of attempting to discipline a country.I made the argument that I, the Iranian, did not feel safe with the U.S. having full nuclear capabilities. This may sound ridiculous, but that is the same mentality shared by the U.S. — and currently the world — about Iran. The U.S. is the only country to ever use nuclear weapons in combat, and is responsible for more than 200,000 deaths. Who are we to dictate who is too dangerous to have nuclear weapons?I won’t use the Second Amendment to back up my argument since this is a worldwide topic, but don’t people everywhere have the right to protect themselves? If my neighbor buys a tank and points it at my house, I’m doing the same to him.I honestly think no country or government is “safe” enough to have nuclear weapons, but it’s too late for that. I’m all for peace and keeping things safe, but the U.S. is not the world police. If we have the right to inspect and demand disarmament, then every country in the world has that same right, and until the world becomes a war-free zone, that’s how it’ll have to be.Jeff Ayers:We have the right to safetyThe United States demanded that Iran grant international inspectors “unfettered access” to its recently disclosed uranium enrichment facility, and I say, good.  I would personally feel safer knowing just what exactly Iran was up to as far as nuclear weapons are concerned.  These demands may make America look as if we’re trying to “police the world” again, but I believe this situation is different. We aren’t trying to solve other people’s problems — we are looking out for ourselves.  The United States’ status militarily, politically and economically gives us the capacity to demand access to Iran’s facilities, and to carry through with that demand. The first priority of the U.S. government should be the protection of its people.  Worrying about how we will be viewed by others for utilizing our standing as a powerful nation should come in second — a distant second.     There is a very good chance, in fact, that Iran’s facility violates the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it signed in 1970, that states an agreement between the nations of the world to suspend the development of nuclear weapons.  If Iran is indeed breaking this treaty, then demanding to inspect the facility is simply an act of holding the country accountable for an agreement they made on the world’s stage.   Also, in the past, Iran has been responsible for openly hostile acts towards the United States.  For example, in 1979 Iranian militants took the United States embassy, holding 53 hostages for 444 days.  Iranian President Mahmoud Amhadinejad also continually takes shots at the U.S. and President Barack Obama in many of his speeches.       As if that’s not enough, Iran strained their relationship with the U.S. and other Western nations once more when they recently tested a variety of long-range missiles.  These missile tests came days before a meeting with the U.N. Security Council and I believe they were meant as a message to take Iran seriously.  These missiles are capable of hitting targets as distant as Moscow, Southern Italy, Israel and most importantly, U.S. military bases in the Middle East. The White House has publicly condemned these tests, calling them clearly “provocative” acts.  America’s strong stance against Iranian efforts to further arm itself should be viewed for what it is: the United States government ensuring the well-being of its citizens.