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Question of the Week: If Iran continues with its nuclear research, which of the following actions do you believe is the most appropriate for the United States?
Posted by Randy | March 07, 2012

This week, President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss concerns and difference regarding Iran's suspected nuclear program. USA Today reports that “there seemed to be stark differences between the two leaders on just how dire the situation is. Obama repeated that he believes there is 'still a window that allows for a diplomatic resolution to this issue' and noted again the 'crippling sanctions' his administration and Europe have imposed on Iran.” Prime Minister Netanyahu has warned that the time for a diplomatic solution is running out. He told President Obama “I think that above and beyond that are two principles, long-standing principles of American policy … that Israel must have the ability always to defend itself, by itself, against any threat; and that when it comes to Israel's security, Israel has the right, the sovereign right to make its own decisions.” Since that point, questions have been raised about U.S. policy towards Iran and whether military action against Iran is necessary. 

Question of the Week
: If Iran continues with its nuclear research, which of the following actions do you believe is the most appropriate for the United States? 

(  ) The U.S. should act using all available options to stop Iran's ability to develop a nuclear weapon.
(  ) The U.S. should support Israel’s right to defend itself.
(  ) The U.S. should only support strong diplomatic sanctions.
(  ) The U.S. should do nothing unless Iran attacks the U.S.
(  ) Other (leave your comment below)

Take the poll here.  

Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here.

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  • S L commented on 3/9/2012
    Congressman Forbes, In responding to your instapoll for this week, there is no actual option to select "The US should only support strong diplomatic sanctions." Thus, any respondent is forced to choose between promoting war and "doing nothing" (unless they post to your blog, as I did). I suggest you update your answer categories if you wish to receive a more accurate viewpoint from the 4th District.
  • Joe Tritschler commented on 3/9/2012
    Although the US should keep all options on the table including support of Israel's rights, miltary actions are likely to start on going conflict which in turn would stop our domestic recovery and possibly put us and the world into a deeper recession. It's all linked, so ask is it worth $10 per gallon gas?
  • H.R. Lippman commented on 3/9/2012
    Choices on POLL difer from those in the BLOG: ( ) The U.S. should act using all available options to stop Iran's ability to develop a nuclear weapon. ( ) The U.S. should support Israel’s right to defend itself. ( ) The U.S. should only support strong diplomatic sanctions. ( ) The U.S. should do nothing unless Iran attacks the U.S. ( ) Other I support the missing choice ( ) The U.S. should only support strong diplomatic sanctions. ( ) ....unless Iran attacks the U.S.
  • Thomas Johnston commented on 3/9/2012
    The U.S. should support the UN sanctions and avoid direct U.S. military intervention.
  • Tom Shearer commented on 3/9/2012
    It is difficult to state in a short paragraph what we as a nation can do, or have the will to do. Many nations already have nuclear warfare capability, and Iran is a sovereign state like them, so has the right to do as it pleases within its borders. We should use as much diplomacy as possible but at the same time be prepared for any eventuality with Iran. As a nation we have squandered our wealth on foreign wars and entitlement programs - with nothing in financial return for those efforts, except perhaps pump prices that are still affordable to most. And now we are in nearly inextricable debt due to voters that support politicians that pander to them for votes and spend money we do not have. Can we even now afford to extend ourselves any more? We are in a FINANCIAL war, and that is what is being fought, above and beyond military ones.
  • David Scott commented on 3/9/2012
    In my humble opinion, Iran will not capitulate under any form of negotiations. Let's not forget that Iran took American hostages back in the 1970's and we paid them ransom money to get our citizens back. Iran is a terrorist nation. Their current president was one of those original hostage takers. What needs to be done here is to send in our very best Seal Team and Green Beret experts in covert operaations to ensure their nuclear infrastructure gets permanently dismantled. Nothing we say or do will make any difference. The only thing that Iran will understand is action.
  • Kent Brockwell commented on 3/9/2012
    We should keep our nose out of it. And if Israel decides to wipe Iran off the map, not our problem. It's only an issue if they attack us. And who's to blame them? Had we never bugged them or anyone in the Middle East in the first place, we wouldn't be in this position. Have we learned nothing from Iraq, Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Africa, etc. If we set up camp there, they will hate us. Generation after generation will follow suit. Then, on a random sunny day in September, they'll get revenge. Then we attack and set up more camps. Then they attack. Then we attack. If that concept is too confusing, go get a copy of Dr. Seuss' The Butter Battle Book. It's the reason my 9-year-old has a better grasp of global conflict escalation than most politicians.
  • Alireza Hosseini commented on 3/9/2012
    I came to this page to make a comment, because I answered the current poll question as OTHER. I think U.S., should warn IRAN that will not tolorate any Iranian attack on Israel. I am an Iranian, but have no sympathy for the current government. However there is no right for U.S. or Israel to attack Iran, just because they think, at some point of time, Iran may make a nuclear bomb, which I don't think they are really after. I more think that they just want to have the capacity and be ready. Any unjustified action from U.S. or Israel will actually make them think that this is the time to start producing. Second issue is that, Iran is not Iraq or Syria that few Israeli airplain can destroy it's nuclear program. The main danger is that Israel may make the first move, because they know that Iranain response will force U.S. to get involved. In another word, the lighter is in Israel's hand, but the fire will catch Iran and U.S., and this is only because of unjustified full support of U.S. for Israel, even when Israel is not moving in the right direction in the peace process.
  • Larry Greenwood commented on 3/9/2012
    I think the U.S. should act using all available options, although it seems to me that we have talked plenty and it has done no good, sanctions have done very little except maybe make them more intent on doing what they plan. If everyone would stop buying all oil from them maybe that may get their attention. Then if the U.S. would produce more oil we could supply ourselves with this Canadian oil and alternatives as well as sell to other countries. Finally I think we should support Isreal since they seem to be the one's in the line of fire. I do not know if this all can wait for Obama's schedule and his re-election.
  • Hetrb Fitzell commented on 3/9/2012
    As a fiscal conservative, I believe we wasted 4 trillion in Iraq fighting imaginary wmd's that existed only in the terrified minds of the frightened. The pre-war hysteria of our "leaders" led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents. We need not repeat the errors again! We need knowledge and not more hysteria and debt!
  • Ron Cress commented on 3/9/2012
    I can appreciate everyone's concern as to where this is headed. However, what concerns me is that I've not seen Iran threatening to wipe anyone of the face of the earth with their desire to move into the Nuclear Age; yet. Which I understand that there is just some stuff I'm not privy to, but still, do we deny a nation the opportunity simply on the judgement of what we or others want to believe in. If I had my way, I'd rather not see any nation hold their finger on any buttons, but I'm a realist. So, I'll state that I believe the sanctions are probably our best course to take for the moment. However, I'm not sure if that's of any consolation if they or anyone else is bent on doing what they want. It might slow them down some, but in reality, it just hurts the little people. Those in charge, are simply going to allot whatever monies towards what it is they want, while the rest of the nation suffers. Talk is cheap, but if one goes in with an open mind; from both sides; such as to agreeing to allow those living in fear of this the opportunity to be a part of their process, then maybe we wouldn't have so much discord going on with it.
  • Monica Sanders commented on 3/9/2012
    Israel should be able to defend herself and should not be labeled a rogue nation by the UN. Iran is a tiny country. Pakistan has nuclear weapons and I remember the wailing that went on when that happened. Leave Iran, Syria and Egypt alone. Stop building mosques, stop our military intervention. It is the jihadist cells in this country that are the problem and the agregious disregard for the US Constitution, Supreme court ruling by our illegal president.
  • Jeff Nuckolls commented on 3/9/2012
    The response requested dictates the given that Iran is working toward the production of nuclear weapons. I believe that to be the case. An Iran with a nuclear weapon is a complete game-changer in the balance of power in the Middle East. The balance has already been altered with the political changes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. There is unrest in Yemen. Syria is presently in the crucible and the end result cannot accurately be forecast. Geographically, Israel stands isolated. When Iran develops their nuclear weapon Iran will have a defensive shield for self-protection as well as an offensive sword just as other nuclear powers do. So far, and in present times, other nuclear powers have maintained an element of control and have not deployed a nuclear weapon in a defensive or offensive act. But, more than viewing the existence of an Iranian nuclear power with military tools to defend itself and use as an offensive weapon for defensive reasons, the potential exists for Iran to afford a version of their weaponry, or the critical components of a weapon, to terrorist groups that are bent on the destruction of the United States and Israel. Thus, controlling Iran’s nuclear weapons will become an issue. The present question really is whether to control Iran’s assent to a nuclear power and if so, how? The pursuit of diplomatic channels is always favored over military action even when diplomatic channels include harsh economic sanctions. However, without the benefit of knowing the information available to U.S. and Israeli security agencies, it appears that diplomatic channels are not resulting in a cooperative Iran and that Iran is moving ever aggressively in their pursuit of nuclear capability. Pursuit of diplomatic answers and a diplomatic resolution is favored, but, such a pursuit must be tempered with the reality that Iran may be dealing in bad faith all the while gaining time and traction toward their ultimate goal of obtaining nuclear capability. Hence, diplomacy and its pursuit may fail and a line must be drawn to determine at what point diplomacy is fruitless and other action is warranted. Given that Iran is bent on targeting the U.S., U.S. interests abroad and Israel, the U.S. should back and fully support Israel’s efforts to defend itself and be prepared to assist Israel and in so doing defend the United States should diplomatic avenues fail.
  • Suzanne D. Schreck commented on 3/9/2012
    Israel will handle the the situation with the greatest effectiveness, efficeincy, and economy. That being said, I think the US has to bring all of its might and power and resolve to back Israel. Israel will solve the problem much more quickly that the US would.
  • James Bollengier commented on 3/9/2012
    Read El Baradei's The Age of Deception and you will see the true story about Iran's rights and Western antagonation. You catch more flies with honey versus vinegar. Let Iran proceed with peaceful energy research and when we catch them with military purposes, we blockade and sanction them severely. We don't need Israeli and US propaganda to start another war like Iraq based on unconfirmed information.
  • John Massengill commented on 3/9/2012
    This is exactly what the U.N. is for, We as a country are not the world police nor can we fund every conflict. If a direct threat is imminent defend! If you can't clean your own backyard... We have homeless, hungry U.S. citizens who need jobs, start there. The United Nations should deal with Tyrants and Terrorist. The U.S. should be a part of the solution, not THE solution and the bank.
  • George Mushett commented on 3/9/2012
    Nuclear deterance (sp) worked against the Soviets and brought the cold war to an end. We should make sure that Iran knows they are in our "gun sights".
  • Bernice Hale commented on 3/9/2012
    The President is doing precisely what we should be doing. Sanctions, diplomacy, working with the nations in the area, working with Israel, and keeping all options open.
  • Louis Tayon commented on 3/9/2012
    The Middle East is such a tinder box just waiting for the one thing that would get all the tribes joined. An attack would serve that purpose,the Moslem world against the Christian world. All efforts should be taken to get China and Russia on board to isolate Iran. It is in their interest also and we should make sure they know the conquences of this issue. Support Israel if attacked but get us out of this quagmire
  • Christopher Bremus commented on 3/9/2012
    I think we should support Israel in this matter. The leadership of Iran has stated their desire to eliminate Israel from the Middle East on a number of occassions. I don't know exactly what they mean but they have made the statements (push them out or kill them??). Israel has every right to be concerned. Especially since there are strong indications that Iran is developing nuclear weapons along with an effective missle delivery system. Missles out of Lebanon is one thing but missles out of Iran could annihilate Israel. I believe we should support Israel’s pre-emptive right even to the point of providing military assistance because Israel could not likely sustain the effort. Israel has been our most loyal ally in the region and we owe it to them. Please remember their support for us in the Irag war. Israel exercised extreme constraint when Saddam sent missle after missle on them trying to provoke an Israeli response in the attempt to undermine our coalition with other Arabs.
  • Renee Gardner commented on 3/9/2012
    Our son is currently serving in the United States Air Force and is deployed in the Mid-East...no bombing should not be the quick road we run...but only the last path traveled, when all else has failed. Not only for our family, but for all the families on both sides of the World.
  • DAVID W CORDLE commented on 3/9/2012
  • Hughey Doanld commented on 3/9/2012
    We complain so much about debt and how we recently had two main wars that weren't paid for. And now people believe in starting one against a nation with superior firepower than our recent Libya battle. Presidential candidates who rebuttal the decision being made, openly admit they don't have ALL the information because THEY DON'T. We do so much in the Intel field and briefs that will blow your mind. Daily “couches politicians" are quick to make a decision that goes alone with their juggling of what fast food restaurant to drive to for dinner. Black ops (video gamers I'm guessing)-No, US leading the attack-No, Starting a war that WILL escalate beyond us just dropping bombs-NO, Sending our Air force into harm’s way with no exit strategy-NO, Drone attacks as if its open area like Afghan-NO, and so many other factor the citizen and even politician/candidates aren't privilege to. So let the guy who made an effort to become Commander in Chief do the decision making and how about we support whichever leader we get. If you want to change the decision, I'll get you recruited and YOU can work your way up and because a 02 Intel Marine. OOH RAH and Semper Fi for all those who are actually faithful to our beloved nation.
  • Mary Kelly commented on 3/9/2012
    The United States spends entirely too much money on defense. We spend 60 percent of the budget in defense. If a country wants us in their country fighting let them have to foot the bill for the weapons, planes, military equipment, and man power let them foot the payroll. I say pay as they go. Let them have to quit using our country for their own purpose. They like killing each other. As far as Iran the US needs to quit attending to other countries busineses.
  • James Jordan commented on 3/9/2012
    Being a Green Beret in the U.S. Army and seeing that part of the world and how radical that some of those people are We should intervene before they become a nuclear power. To talk that Israel is jumping the gun is crazy to be the only Christian country in that part of the world. To live in fear your whole life worried about radical Islamic people trying to kill you and your family everyday. People who haven't served are so sheltered here in the U.S. Every main stream News organization with their political spin on the news. Do you honestly think that being nice and begging please don't do this or that to a culture of male dominace and barberism is just going to say OK?? Look at history because it always seems to have a way of repeating itself but with the stakes always getting higher each time. And what do we do as a country is to apoligize for everything showing the world how weak we are. I am all for other countries getting technology and coming out of the stone age but with the thought of we are all infidels and we should all be dead isn't the people you want controlling nuclear power. I just don't see what is wrong with our new society here in the U.S., pathetic and weak. Just imagine your family living in fear everyday whether or not a rocket or vehicle bomb is going to explode right outside or inside your house. You all need to come out of your bubble and see the world how it is true form and not through some 1080p HD political monitor. Join the military and visit these places to see how it really is and then tell yourself that there is nothing to worry about. DE OPRESSO LIBER... Look it up
  • Raymond Murray commented on 3/9/2012
    U.S. should press the UN to join a united strike against Iran. We cannot allow them to have a nuclear weapon. If all else fails, then we should support the Isreal's and any action they take. We have talked long enough and so far all Iran has done is stall by talking.
  • W Barrett commented on 3/10/2012
    Be prepared, stay informed and do not strike the first blow. Our position in this section of the world has weakened the US by spreading us too thin. After what our forces have done we are still hated in many areas; we are welcome as long as we are doing their work for them, afterwards we are hated and wanted to leave, burn our flag, and kill over the burning of a book. Afghanistan is draining us more, Syria is becoming more an issue everyday, and I remain cautious of China. In my opinion, Iran is just sitting back waiting for the right moment to pounce. We need to recoup our losses, become strong once more and build America back to where we were! Is WW III in our future, and will we be able to support ourselves?
  • Dana Bryant commented on 3/12/2012
    I believe we should support Israel. I believe we should NOT intervene militarily, even to the point of erring on the side of caution so our position cannot be construed as aggression. USA does not need to be in a war with Iran.
  • Thomas G commented on 3/12/2012
    The sanctions are working and the Iranian president is already a lame duck having lost advantages in their parliament. The Israeli people do NOT want a war, that has been made crystal clear in recent polls, to include polling while Netanyahu was here. A war would have disasterous ramifications and I hope this crazy congress doesn't swallow the snake oil like they did on Iraq.
  • Henry Freas commented on 3/12/2012
    We must be very careful in as much as we ought not to exercise a first strike without extraordinary provocation (and even then with utmost caution lest we make an irretrievable blunder). At the same time, although we cannot dictate Israel's actions, we can neither join them in the first step of open nuclear war with Iran nor abandon them to obliteration under a military assault against Israel from Iran. We have placed ourselves in a position in which we have no good options. We must be extremely careful what we say, what we do, and what we do not say or do. The President must ask himself: "Do we want to open Armageddon?"
  • Rich Reviello commented on 3/19/2012
    Seems people are all over the place by these comments. I will tell you all one fact and there is no denying this one, all this talk of war with Iran, makes Iran the winner. The why is simple, ever time talk of war with Iran, what happens the price of oil goes up. Talk about a bombing them before they complete the bomb, and the price of oil inches upward. Israel talks about an attack is going to happen soon, the price of oil rises again. Americans pay more and more each time a threat is made, it doesn't hurt Iran, but it certainly in a round about way hurts America. It not only stalls the economy, but it spreads unrest and uncertainty within our population. It is a sanction in reverse, without doing a thing, Iran has imposed a sanction on us. Keep talking war and speculators with keep raising the price of oil, and the price of gas will continue to inch upward. It will have nothing to do with the Keystone pipeline, or further drilling in the gulf. It will raise because the world market prices will raise. Remember this the oil companies are not bound to sell American oil here, they sell it on the open market. The higher the price oil goes on the open market the more profit on American oil.
  • Frank Sanom commented on 1/9/2015
    There is no proof that iran is building nuclear weapon. Moreover its known to all that we and Israel have the biggest storage of nuclear weapon. In what right we allow israel having own devastating weapons and show double standard on other middle east countries! We should know these advantages of nuclear power. ( ) The U.S. should do nothing unless Iran attacks the U.S. http://civilengineersforum.com/nuclear-power-plant-advantages-disadvantages/
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