For those of you who haven’t heard, Iran has turned its nuclear power plant program — established, ironically, by the U.S. in the 1950s — into a nuclear bomb program. The country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. While he has denied the claim that they have been making nuclear bombs for several years, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that he only seeks peaceful resolution. This does not sit well with the United Nations. They view the creation of a nuclear program for exactly what it is: a violation of several treaties and a threat to peace throughout the Middle East.

In its efforts to stop Iran from continuing its nuclear program, the U.N. has imposed several sanctions. A sanction can be an economic or militaristic boycott on a country. It can be a crippling blow or a slap on the wrist. In the case of Iran, it has been only the latter. Resolution 1737 of December 2006 banned trade with Iran in all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology that could contribute to the country’s development of nuclear-weapon delivery systems. In March 2007, the U.N. Security Council adopted resolution 1747, further tightening the sanctions by imposing a ban on arms sales and expanding the freeze on assets. In March 2008, the council imposed even further sanctions against Iran in resolution 1803. If you’re politically savvy, you may notice a trend here: none of these resolutions are working!

While I don’t think it’s a good idea to go for all-out war with Iran, it is clear that negotiations up until now have been completely useless. Now, President Barack Obama is interested in talking with Ahmadinejad about our differences. Not only does this undermine the entire effort to suppress Iran so far, but it is also a sign of dissent and fickleness in our allied powers. We’re giving a message to Iran and any other uncooperative countries that says something to the effect of, “You called our bluff. Now let’s talk.”

What will these talks accomplish? What leverage do we have to offer Iran as an alternative to nuclear proliferation? What will Iran say when we “demand” they shut down their nuclear armament program? Your guess is as good as mine, but here’s mine anyway:

Obama: “President Ahmadinejad, we understand that your country has been interested in strengthening your military under the guise of nuclear power plant production. We know you’re not interested in peaceful negotiations with Israel, as you simply haven’t given us any reason to believe you are a sane individual. Therefore, we would like to ask you to shut your nuclear program down. Please.”

Ahmadinejad: “President Obama, thanks for the gift basket full of Marlboro Reds, hot dogs, and the autographed poster of Britney Spears. We haven’t been able to acquire any of these items since your country enacted the trade embargo. How we’ve survived this long without them, I don’t know. As for the nuclear program, we feel terrible about all of this. Unfortunately, you have nothing to offer us or threaten us with to enforce the dismantling of our armament. Bring on your ridiculous U.N. sanctions. They will not stop us. I haven’t given you any reason to believe I am sane because I am not sane. I am a lunatic who wishes death to all Israelis and Americans, and I look forward to owning my own 5,000-pound nuclear bomb capable of erasing 400,000 people from the planet. Have a safe flight home. Or don’t. I couldn’t care less.”

Now is not the time for respectful talks and dinner parties. We can’t just pretend that Iran hasn’t been completely uncooperative with the rest of the world for the past 20 years. We must demand this nuclear program be immediately extinguished. It’s time the United Nations puts together some real consequences for Iran’s actions and stops sending candy grams politely asking them to stop.