WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama must ensure Iran does not develop nuclear capability, but encourage a positive vision for the country, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said.
"Much more can be done," to check Iran's progress in nuclear development, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate said in a USA Today commentary published Wednesday.
The United States could ban insurance for shipments to Iran, all military sales to Iran and all financial dealings with Iranian banks; end trade credits; limit Iran's access to international capital markets and banking services; close air space and waters to Iran's national air and shipping lines, and end "Iran's ability to import refined petroleum," Palin suggested.
"These would be truly 'crippling' sanctions," she said. "They would work if implemented. "
If Iran isn't stopped, a regional nuclear arms race could be triggered in which neighboring countries would "seek their own nuclear weapons to protect themselves," Palin said.
She noted Russia still supports Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors and sells arms to Iran "despite the Obama administration's much-touted 'reset' policy with Russia," she said
While the United States must guard against Iran's nuclear capabilities, "we also need to encourage a positive vision for Iran," Palin said. "(An) Iran where human rights are respected, where women are not subjugated, where terrorist groups are not supported and neighbors are not threatened. A peaceful, democratic Iran should be everyone's goal."
When men and women protest against Iran's government, they must know that the free world stands with them, she said.
"We can start by supporting them with diplomacy and things such as radio broadcasting, just as we did with those who suffered under the former Soviet Empire," Palin said. "Most of all, we should support them with confidence in the rightness of the ideals of liberty and justice."