Iran’s nuclear crisis: Obama could play the human rights card

Today’s announcement by President Obama and European leaders that Iran is building a secret underground nuclear facility adds fresh urgency to an issue that’s been festering for years. Tensions will now be considerably higher among negotiators at the planned Oct. 1 meeting about Iran’s nuclear program.

Already, there is talk of much-harsher sanctions if Iran does not meet international demands in the next two months. “Everything must be put on the table now,” said French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

One issue that should be put on the table was displayed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this week in New York: Iran’s religious minorities.

Iran’s deplorable record on human rights is often treated as separate from the nuclear issue. It’s not. If Iran’s government can’t be trusted to treat its own citizens with basic dignity, how can it be trusted with nuclear technology?


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