Iran's Terrorism Ignored In Nuclear Bartering
Iran’s signals remain consistently mixed regarding the nuclear crisis steered by the regime. The weekend’s developments revealed nothing new, while one spokesman called calmly for more talks and the accompanying allotment of time while another threatened again with Iran’s oil weapon should the West impose sanctions.
From one side of the regime’s mouth, patience was urged by Hamid Reza Asefi, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Said Asefi, “The proposals contain legal, political and economic contents, all of them must be carefully examined, and we hope the Europeans understand that they can not sacrifice the accuracy for the sake of speed.”
With all the alacrity of a three-toed sloth, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had previously announced that Iran intends to respond to the current proposal from the UN Security Council’s ‘Permanent Five’ and Germany no sooner than mid-August. In Iran’s advanced quest for nuclear weapons, with ample start-up technology and equipment in hand, time is now the principal currency.
From the other side of the regime’s mouth, Iran renewed its pledge to use oil as a weapon through the Ahmadinejad-appointed Oil Minister, Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh. In a self-contradicting statement, Vaziri-Hamaneh offered that “Tehran would not use oil as a weapon, but if its interests come under attack, it will use all available means, including oil.” That, naturally, is using oil as a weapon. He went on to warn that the cost of a barrel of oil would rocket past US $100 if sanctions were placed on Iran, as Iran’s threats to block the Strait of Hormuz and loose the dogs of terror worldwide are not hollow chest-pounding.
Some may mince words and arrive at the conclusion that the Iranian oil minister was referring to a defensive measure. That would be a naïve observation. Iran’s oil weapon has already been fielded and wielded, as global oil prices are largely dictated by the perceived Iranian mood of the day. With each dollar increase, Western economies are hit hard and the Iranian cash windfall balloons even further. Crash courses on nuclear weapons development are not cheap, explaining at least in part the floundering Iranian economy despite the nearly five-fold increase in oil revenues in just the past few years.
But even the sustained windfall of hard currency into Iran’s coffers pales in comparison to the invaluable element of time. Just as in the manipulation of the oil markets through Ahmadinejad’s bellicosity, the chief tool employed in the ongoing barter for precious time is carefully and intently chosen language.
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, used a familiar and popular term once more yesterday in referring to the West’s conciliatory package now on the table: “ambiguities.” Keeping true to the Iranian practice of speaking from both sides of the mouth, while Asefi referred to the resumption of a moratorium on uranium enrichment as ‘a step back,’ Mottaki called the very package that calls for such a halt a ‘step forward’ but was quick to point out that ‘ambiguities’ plague it. For this reason, said Mottaki, “Iran has set up special working committees to look into the P5+1 package seriously and carefully.” Carefully indeed, as multiple teams of men will be diligently working well into August.
It is important to note the use of the term ‘ambiguities.’ It has been carefully chosen by the Iranian regime to describe another recent submission to Iran. It was used to describe the late-2005 so-called Russian Proposal that called for Iran to enrich uranium for nuclear power on Russian soil. The deal was, of course, dead on arrival, but ‘ambiguities’ within it warranted further talks and, of course, more time by design. Talks ensued in attempts not to strike a deal, but rather to forestall a UN Security Council reference.
Yesterday’s mixed signals of ‘ambiguities,’ steps forward and steps backward are not even unique in the current offer’s context, as they are precisely the same positions iterated three weeks ago when the EU’s Javier Solana delivered the official proposal to Iran’s head nuclear negotiator (and would-be president) Ali Larijani in Tehran. Larijani spoke of both “positive steps” and “ambiguities” in the same breath, while the oil weapon continued to dictate Iran’s fiscal fortunes.
Three weeks have passed since the ‘official proposal’ and the Iranian position remains consistently self-contradictory, serving the purpose of buying time.
The West continues to focus on the ‘ambiguities’ of the Iranian nuclear weapons program rather than their unambiguous role as world’s chief exporter of international terrorism.
Meanwhile, the United States and the West seem quite willing to not only sell them this time, but also build them more nuclear reactors, supply them the fuel, slide them imbalanced trade incentives and, inexplicably for the United States, end existing sanctions imposed specifically because of Iranian terrorism.
There can be no victory in the War on Terror without defeating the Iranian regime. Not many want to hear it or think it, but that is the simple reality. From the 1979 hostage crisis to the bombing of the US embassy in Beirut, from the 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks to the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and from the current harboring of al-Qaeda members to the race for nuclear weapons, Iran’s role in international terrorism is quite clear.
American reaction to each has been little to nothing with eyes averted.
Now, America and her allies offer the terrorist regime nuclear reactors while the mullahs complain of ‘ambiguities’ while offering none through their bloody deeds.
Somewhere in there lies a strategy for prosecuting a War on Terror.