Iranian Paralysis Broken, Security Council Looms
The United States and the EU-3 have taken the stand that it is time to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council for non-compliance with IAEA agreements and an emergency meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors is expected to be requested shortly. The ‘talks about talks with a secretive, adamant and belligerent Iran appear to have finally run their course. Top officials from the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China will meet in London Monday to confer on proceedings and options. The words are unusually strong and it appears the only way that Iran can avoid the Security Council is to immediately reverse course in Natanz and come to a rapid agreement with Russia on a nuclear fuel cycle that includes enrichment exclusively outside Iranian territory.
After breaking the IAEA seals on the Natanz enrichment facility at the protest of IAEA officials present, open discussions of referral to the Security Council immediately began among the United States and the EU-3. The initial Iranian response was one of defiance from former Iranian president and current head of the Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. In a sermon at Tehran university, Rafsanjani said, “Adopting harsh measures like imposing sanctions cannot bring about the desired outcome. We will stand by our right to nuclear technology. They will regret creating any problems for us.”
This latest volley of Iranian threats seems to have fallen on deaf ears this time, as the EU and the United States seem to be reducing the amount of wiggle room in their rhetoric by the hour. Even Germany seems to have tired of the repeating cycle on display over the past three years, as German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said bluntly of the situation, “Our talks with Iran have reached a dead end.”
Yet, UN Secretary General told the BBC that Iran had contacted him and told him it was still interested in talks. Iran has unceasingly insisted that its ‘right’ to uranium enrichment is non-negotiable. Since this is precisely what the EU and the United States want to prevent, further discussions would simply prove to be another fruitless endeavor, save for the additional time further talks would once again grant Iran.
There is still time for the West to reverse course once more. But it appears that the United States and the EU-3 have discovered a new resolve, possibly broken the grip of the Iranian Paralysis and chosen to engage the world’s premiere state sponsor of terrorism and it’s nuclear program within the arena of the United Nations Security Council, as a potential last diplomatic stop on the path to conflict or resolution.