HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

InBrief Archives

Iran Orders IAEA Cameras Out

In a move that parallels North Korea before they announced they had nuclear weapons, Iran has told the IAEA to remove its cameras, monitoring equipment and seals from Iranian nuclear facilities. Ali Larijani, the secretary of the High Council of National Security of Iran and former presidential candidate (2005), gave the IAEA until the end of next week to have the equipment removed.

Speaking from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said of Iran’s referral to the Security Council, “It’s not the end of the road. I hope that in between, Iran will take steps that will help create an environment and confidence-building measures that will bring the partners back to the negotiating table.” That is a false hope, as Iran has demonstrated no efforts towards this end except to prolong the process. The removal of the cameras, even if signed into law in Iran, indicates just that.

While there is just a small chance to avoid conflict with Iran, the mullahs have made every attempt to provide false magnification of those chances, as the belligerent state has made suggestions that it was suddenly now prepared to talk about the Russian Proposal, a plan to have Iran’s uranium enriched on Russian soil with the spent fuel returned to Russia to prevent further enrichment and/or plutonium production.

However, in a statement seen by many as surprisingly supportive, the Russians said that they would discuss their proposal on enrichment with Iran only if Iran once again halted enrichment operations. The Russian Proposal to Iran is essentially being proposed in partnership with the United States on a global scale as a means to provide nuclear fuel for reactors worldwide. But the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership plan this refers to is criticized as being far short of a non-proliferation mechanism. “They’re trying to sell this as a nonproliferation initiative, but we shouldn’t be so quick to cede that point,” according to Henry Sokolski, the executive director of the Non-Proliferation Policy Education Center. Daryl Kimball, executive director the Arms Control Association in Washington said, “They’re using this as a way to sell reprocessing technology rather than as a way to solve the problem of fuel supply, and that’s troubling.”

If this is the case and the program is not secure enough for non-aggressive nations of the world, how can the Russian incarnation of this plan be a safeguard against the most acute nuclear crisis on the planet, Iran?

Regardless, the Iranian statement that they seek to negotiate is a ruse - another thinly veiled attempt to stall for more precious time. The Russian Proposal is not a secure solution nor a mechanism that will prevent Iran’s internal development outside of the Russian controls. At the same time, it is enough of a hindrance as to be counter-productive in Iran’s eyes and will be avoided at all costs, once negotiations can be dragged out for the maximum useful period of time.

It is most likely impossible to stop the Iranian regime from producing nuclear weapons considering the international community’s lack of an appetite to confront Iran. The writing is on the wall. The United States and the West squandered decades while indigenous Iranian dissident groups went virtually unaided, left alone and with scarce resources in the face of a brutally oppressive regime. Now, finally, there is talk of funding these groups to derail the mullahs internally. But it is almost certainly too little too late, at least insofar as derailing the race for nuclear weapons is concerned. That leaves external force. This is an option that no nation appears prepared to accept.

If the current regime is allowed to attain nuclear weapons, the prevailing fear is that Ahmadinejad and the like-minded powerful in Iran would seek to bring about catastrophe in epic proportion in order to usher the way for the return of the Mahdi, or 12th Imam. With fanatic religious fervor like this predominating the minds of men with nuclear weapons at their disposal, MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) and the Cold War stalemate it brought about would be a psychological strategy rendered inert and non-applicable.

Through decades of neglect, the West has left itself with no palatable options and ceded the initiative to a regime that will possess nuclear arms with a keener eye for religious fulfillment than for their own survival.