Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Iran Snubs West

Russian news agency Pravda reports that Iran has resumed work at their nuclear energy plant near Isfahan. This move comes after Iran rejected an EU sponsored plan that would allow a similar type of UN monitoring as was implemented in Iraq after the Gulf War. Iran maintains that their nuclear program is intended solely for the production of energy, however the West contends that the program will ultimately produce a nuclear weapon capability.

The EU now threatens to refer the matter to the UN for sanctions. As we've seen in the past, sanctions are a hollow threat and would likely have little impact on Iranian nuclear activities. Iraq flaunted UN sanctions for 12 years.

There is no doubt that neither the US nor Israel will allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons if there is any possible way to prevent it. The real question is how far Iran is willing to go in pushing the issue. Their present course appears to be one of delaying tactics not unlike those used by Hussein in dealing with UN weapons inspectors.

The Grape's concern is that the referal to the UN, along with the debate and ultimate imposition of sanctions, only serves to buy Iran more time. It really comes down to two choices. Either Iran will willingly curtail nuclear activities - unlikely at best, given their current hard-line power structure - or a military option will be used to destroy their uranium enrichment plants. The only real question at this point is how close do we allow Iran to come before exercising that last option. Don't hold out hope for sanctions working. They've been pretty ineffective in the past.

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2 comments :

Alan Fraser said...

I recall Israel's response to construction of a nuclear reactor outside Baghdad. F15s and F16s were sent in for highly surgical strike. The reactor was destroyed and that was the end of it.

Kannafoot said...

I'm expecting the same result in Iran. The verbal sparring is entertaining, but I don't see it ending any other way.