Rush Limbaugh absurdly claimed that President Obama believes Iran should have a nuclear weapon because "that's fair." In fact, Obama and his administration have called Iranian nuclear activity a "threat" and demanded that they adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Limbaugh: Obama thinks Iran should have a nuclear weapon if Israel does "because that's fair"
Limbaugh claims Obama thinks "If the Israelis have one, the Iranians should." On the October 13 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh mocked "idealists on the left" who "swoon at the idea of getting rid of nuclear weapons," and commented that "Obama knows he can't make any other nation get rid of theirs" and so Obama has decided that "If the Israelis have one, the Iranians should":
LIMBAUGH: I talked to Dinesh D'Souza yesterday, interviewed Dinesh D'Souza for the next issue of the Limbaugh Letter. He's written a book and an article in Forbes about what it is that has shaped Obama. His theory is his father, very staunch communist Barack Obama Sr., anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist. And D'Souza makes a great case. One of the examples he gave me: Obama wants to limit nuclear weapons. And of course a lot of idealists on the left swoon at the idea of getting rid of nuclear weapons. Well, that's wonderful! Wonderful! Let's do it! Well, Obama knows he can't make any other nation get rid of theirs. All he can do is reduce our stockpile. So he'll do it, thinking he's making the world safer, while at the same time following through with this idealistic notion of reducing nuclear stockpiles. And if there is any damage, punishment to the United States in the process, then fine, we deserve it, because we have such an unfair advantage already with so many nuclear weapons and missiles that the rest of the world doesn't have. For example, the Middle East doesn't have one, except for Israel. That's just not fair, the way Obama looks at it. The Israelis have a nuclear bomb, but the Iranians don't. They might soon, but that's good, because that's fair. If the Israelis have one, the Iranians should. If we have a lot, then other people should have them too.
Obama: "Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat." In an April 5, 2009, speech, President Obama said:
Iran has yet to build a nuclear weapon. My administration will seek engagement with Iran based on mutual interests and mutual respect. We believe in dialogue. (Applause.) But in that dialogue we will present a clear choice. We want Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations, politically and economically. We will support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections. That's a path that the Islamic Republic can take. Or the government can choose increased isolation, international pressure, and a potential nuclear arms race in the region that will increase insecurity for all.
So let me be clear: Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran's neighbors and our allies. The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a defense against these missiles. As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven. (Applause.) If the Iranian threat is eliminated, we will have a stronger basis for security, and the driving force for missile defense construction in Europe will be removed. (Applause.)
Obama: Iran must "fulfill its international obligations" and "forsake" nuclear weapons. In a November 25, 2009, speech, Obama responded to what he called "detailed evidence ... demonstrating that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom for several years" by criticizing Iran for "endangering the global non-proliferation regime, denying its own people access to the opportunity they deserve, and threatening the stability and security of the region and the world":
Now, Iran's decision to build yet another nuclear facility without notifying the IAEA represents a direct challenge to the basic compact at the center of the non-proliferation regime. These rules are clear: All nations have the right to peaceful nuclear energy; those nations with nuclear weapons must move towards disarmament; those nations without nuclear weapons must forsake them. That compact has largely held for decades, keeping the world far safer and more secure. And that compact depends on all nations living up to their responsibilities.
This site deepens a growing concern that Iran is refusing to live up to those international responsibilities, including specifically revealing all nuclear-related activities. As the international community knows, this is not the first time that Iran has concealed information about its nuclear program. Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear power that meets the energy needs of its people. But the size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program. Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow -- endangering the global non-proliferation regime, denying its own people access to the opportunity they deserve, and threatening the stability and security of the region and the world.
It is time for Iran to act immediately to restore the confidence of the international community by fulfilling its international obligations. We remain committed to serious, meaningful engagement with Iran to address the nuclear issue through the P5-plus-1 negotiations. Through this dialogue, we are committed to demonstrating that international law is not an empty promise; that obligations must be kept; and that treaties will be enforced.
And that's why there's a sense of urgency about the upcoming meeting on October 1st between Iran, the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, and Germany. At that meeting, Iran must be prepared to cooperate fully and comprehensively with the IAEA to take concrete steps to create confidence and transparency in its nuclear program and to demonstrate that it is committed to establishing its peaceful intentions through meaningful dialogue and concrete actions.
To put it simply: Iran must comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions and make clear it is willing to meet its responsibilities as a member of the community of nations. We have offered Iran a clear path toward greater international integration if it lives up to its obligations, and that offer stands. But the Iranian government must now demonstrate through deeds its peaceful intentions or be held accountable to international standards and international law.
CRS Report: "Obama Administration has adopted the long-standing assessment of Iran as a 'profound threat to U.S. national security interests.'" An August 20 Congressional Research Service report titled Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses states: "The Obama Administration has adopted the long-standing assessment of Iran as a 'profound threat to U.S. national security interests.' This threat perception is generated not only by Iran's nuclear program but also by its military assistance to armed groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Palestinian group Hamas, and to Lebanese Hezbollah."
USA Today: Obama administration excluded Iran from pledge not to use nuclear weapons on non-nuclear states, considers Iran and North Korea "nuclear rogues." An April 7 USA Today article reported that President Obama would not include Iran in the United States' pledge not to strike non-nuclear states with nuclear weapons because Iran does not comply with non-proliferation standards. From the USA Today article:
Washington's supporters in Asia and Europe welcomed Obama's pledge Tuesday to reduce America's nuclear arsenal, refrain from nuclear tests and not use nuclear weapons against countries that do not have them.
North Korea and Iran were not included in that pledge because they do not cooperate with other countries on non-proliferation standards.
The U.S. considers them nuclear rogues -- Pyongyang for developing and testing nuclear weapons and Tehran because it is suspected of trying to do the same under the cover of a peaceful program, something Iran denies. Outlining the policy Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the focus would now be on terror groups such as al-Qaeda as well as North Korea's nuclear buildup and Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Gates on Iran: ''[I]f you're going to be a proliferator, then all options are on the table in terms of how we deal with you.'' Defense Secretary Robert Gates was quoted in an April 6 New York Times article saying that the US "Nuclear Posture Review" contained "a message for Iran and North Korea." From the Times article:
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates made the choice explicit. ''There is a message for Iran and North Korea here,'' he told reporters on Tuesday.
Nonnuclear states that abide by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty would not be threatened with nuclear retaliation by the United States -- even if they conducted conventional, biological or cyber attacks. But, he added, ''if you're not going to play by the rules, if you're going to be a proliferator, then all options are on the table in terms of how we deal with you.''
Reality: Conservative hero Reagan -- not just "idealists on the left" -- wanted to eliminate nukes
Reagan's "ultimate goal" was "eliminating all nuclear weapons." In several speeches, President Reagan stated that his "ultimate goal" was the "total elimination of nuclear weapons." For example, in his second inaugural address, Reagan also called for a world without nuclear weapons:
REAGAN: There is only one way safely and legitimately to reduce the cost of national security, and that is to reduce the need for it. And this we are trying to do in negotiations with the Soviet Union. We are not just discussing limits on a further increase of nuclear weapons. We seek, instead, to reduce their number. We seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth.
Reagan: "[S]igning of the first-ever agreement eliminating nuclear weapons" "has a universal significance for mankind." In December 1987, President Reagan signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with the Soviet Union, which "requires destruction of the Parties' ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, their launchers and associated support structures and support equipment within three years after the Treaty enters into force."
In his remarks on signing the treaty, Reagan stated, "For the first time in history, the language of 'arms control' was replaced by 'arms reduction' -- in this case, the complete elimination of an entire class of U.S. and Soviet nuclear missiles. Of course, this required a dramatic shift in thinking, and it took conventional wisdom some time to catch up. Reaction, to say the least, was mixed. To some the zero option was impossibly visionary and unrealistic; to others merely a propaganda ploy. Well, with patience, determination, and commitment, we've made this impossible vision a reality." He added, "I will venture to say that what we are going to do, the signing of the first-ever agreement eliminating nuclear weapons, has a universal significance for mankind, both from the standpoint of world politics and from the standpoint of humanism."