Saturday, September 24, 2005

Iran Referred to Security Council - Maybe

The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), the UN's nuclear proliferation watchdog agency, voted to refer Iran to the UN Security Security Council. Some day. Maybe. (Y Net: Watchdog refers Iran to Security Council). The watered down resolution submitted by the US and so-called EU3 and subsequently passed by the IAEA highlights the major problems with the UN.

Twenty-two countries voted for the resolution, twelve abstained including China, Russia, and South Africa. Only one country - Venezuela - voted against the resolution, continuing their antagonistic stance against the US. The only positive note to come out of this was India's reversal, finally voting in favor of the resolution. Considered a close ally of Tehran, India sent a very strong signal that their growing economic relationship with Washington outweighed their historic ties with Iran. An India-Iran alliance would be most troubling given India's possession of nuclear technology.

Unfortunately, the resolution as passed has no teeth and carries no weight. While the resolution accuses Iran of failing to prove their nuclear program is only for energy needs, the resolution does not provide any time-line for referral to the UN Security Council. An open ended threat to some day slap Iran on the wrist accomplishes nothing.

The removal of any time-line was a compromise reached by the EU3 - France, Germany, and Great Britain - to obtain China's and Russia's abstention. It's largely irrelevant since a veto from one or both is likely should the matter ever come before the UN Security Council. The net result is that Iran continues to move closer to nuclear capability while the UN does what they do best - nothing.

As I've said several times in the past, this is not a matter we can afford to send to the UN. We don't have the years it takes for the UN to pass a series of resolutions to implement sanctions, inspections, and not much else while Iran continues to develop their nuclear program. The only answer to this situation is a unilateral surgical strike against Iran's nuclear research facilities. We have everything we need already in place to do it, and we already know that a strike will be the ultimate result no matter which route we take. The only question is how long we'll give Iran to develop a weapon before we do it.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Rob Cohen said...

Great idea -- mounting a "surgical" strike against Iranian nuclear installations! Don't you realize they would retaliate ... probably against US forces in Iraq and by blocking the Straits of Hormuz?

And aren't their installations underground and hardened? It would take a massive attack with nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's capability with massive loss of life and widespread radiation contamination. Even then the objective would probably not be accomplished.

Furthermore, Iran has a right to peacefully develop nuclear energy. Their activities are not illegal under the IAEA regime. They are permitted to have a nuclear fuel cycle and their oil resources are not going to last forever. And even if they were to have a nuke or two it would merely serve as a deterrent. They would be suicidal to consider using nukes first because they know they would be obliterated in a massive US Israeli nuclear strike. Look at North Korea and how they've managed to parlay their nukes into negotiations even though their capability has not been confirmed.

Furthermore, I don't like a world where the US has a monopoly on nuclear terror.

Are we going to take action against Israel which has an estimated arsenal of more than 300 nuclear warheads? Why has Israel kept their nuke program secret for 50 years if not to avoid international opprobrium?

The single greatest threat to world peace and stability is US economic and military aggression. This is the real rogue state that is feared and loathed in most of the world. The sooner the US and its ruinous and murderous policies are reined in (impeaching Bush and jailing Rove are good first steps) the better off the entire world will be.

2:12 AM  
Blogger krishnan said...

Iran has a right to develop nuclear energy aqnd enrich Uranium for this purpose under IAEA supervision. What about Pkistan which smuggled centrifuges to Iran after stealing them from the Netherlands?
India has betrayed 5000 years of history for 12 pieces of Silver Krishnan

2:31 PM  
Blogger Kannafoot said...

Even the IAEA does not believe Iran's claim that they are doing this for peaceful purposes only. Given the current regime in Iran - one that came into being while holding 70 Americans hostage for 444 days - I would never trust them with any form of nuclear capability.

As to the original comment, I don't know if they would retaliate militarily or not. Libya certainly didn't. Neither did Sudan nor Afghanistan in the '90s. Neither did Iraq when Israel hit their nuclear facilities. My guess, though, is their response would be economic, not military.

As to closing the Straits of Hormuz, that simply wouldn't happen. Libya tried to isolate the Gulf of Sidra and Egypt tried to close the Suez Canal. Both failed when confronted by the US military. Iran would be just as unsuccessful.

Yes, their installations are underground and hardened, however we do have weapons (short of nuclear) capable of penetrating them. Not that I would oppose tactical nuclear "bunker busters" if that's what it takes, however. Regardless of how we do it, Iran cannot - and will not - be allowed to develop nuclear capability. We can temporarily leave it in the hands of the Great Debating Society in New York City, or we can skip the foreplay and eliminate the problem now. I vote for the latter.

6:22 AM  

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